New
New
Year 10
Edexcel

Anglo-Saxon society

I can describe key features of Anglo-Saxon society.

New
New
Year 10
Edexcel

Anglo-Saxon society

I can describe key features of Anglo-Saxon society.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Anglo-Saxons were a group of tribes which settled in England from northern Europe.
  2. Anglo-Saxon society was hierarchical with the king at the top and slaves at the bottom.
  3. The aristocracy included the earls who helped the king to govern the country.
  4. The majority of society lived in villages and were peasant farmers.
  5. Anglo-Saxon society was not fixed.

Common misconception

Roles were fixed in Anglo-Saxon society - a peasant would always be a peasant.

Anglo-Saxon society was more open to social mobility: a hard-working peasant could gain more land and become a thegn, some slaves became free and an earl could even become king!

Keywords

  • Earl - an earl was a leading member of both Anglo-Saxon and Norman aristocracy, ruling an earldom on behalf of the king

  • Thegn - a thegn was a lower member of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy; they were warrior lords holding smaller areas of land than an earl

  • Aristocracy - the aristocracy is a class of people who hold high social rank, often inheriting their status and wealth

  • Hierarchy - a hierarchy is a system in which people are put at various levels or ranks according to their importance

Assign students roles (king, earl, thegn, peasant, slave) and conduct a role-play to demonstrate the hierarchical society, emphasizing each group's responsibilities and challenges.
Teacher tip

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
What is the name of an important source for the study of the Battle of Hastings, made as an embroidery on linen?
Correct Answer: Bayeux Tapestry, The Bayeux Tapestry
Q2.
Who led the Normans when they invaded Britain in 1066?
Correct answer: William the Conqueror
Edward the Confessor
Harold Godwinson
Harald Hardrada
Q3.
Which of the statements below provides the best definition of a barbarian, as seen by the Romans?
Correct answer: people outside the Roman Empire who were perceived as uncivilised
people outside the Roman Empire who were perceived as civilised
people outside the Roman Empire who were perceived as dangerous
Q4.
Match the words with their definitions.
Correct Answer:Invasion,when a country enters another with the intention of occupying it

when a country enters another with the intention of occupying it

Correct Answer:Empire,a large area often made up of different territories and peoples

a large area often made up of different territories and peoples

Correct Answer:Power, the ability to influence, control, or direct the behaviour of people

the ability to influence, control, or direct the behaviour of people

Q5.
Which statement below is the best definition of migration?
Correct answer: the process of moving from one place to another with the intention to settle
the process of moving across international borders
escaping from war
Q6.
Which statement below is the best definition of settlement?
a temporary movement of people to a new place
Correct answer: the process of establishing a community in a new location.
the process of moving from one place to another

6 Questions

Q1.
Match the words with their definitions.
Correct Answer:earl,leading member of aristocracy, ruling an earldom on behalf of the king

leading member of aristocracy, ruling an earldom on behalf of the king

Correct Answer: thegn,a lower member of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy

a lower member of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy

Correct Answer:aristocracy ,a class of people who hold high social rank

a class of people who hold high social rank

Q2.
This word is a system in which people are put at various levels or ranks according to their importance.
Correct Answer: Hierarchy, hierarchy
Q3.
Where did the Anglo Saxons come from?
Western Europe
Southern Europe
Correct answer: Northern Europe
Q4.
Select two members of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy.
Correct answer: earls
Correct answer: thegns
slaves
peasants
Q5.
Which statements best describes the movement within the Anglo Saxon hierarchical system?
It was a fixed system and people always stayed at the same level in society.
Correct answer: A hard-working and lucky peasant could gain land and climb up the hierarchy.
Correct answer: Through the loss of land, earls could drop down to the level of a thegn.
Correct answer: A free peasant could sell themselves into slavery.
Q6.
Which group made up the greatest percentage of the Anglo Saxon population?
Correct answer: peasants
thegns
slaves
earls

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