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The Geographical Outline of Great BritainThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland covers an area of some 244 thousand square miles. It is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles are separated from Europe by the Strait of Dover and the English Channel. The British Isles are washed by the North Sea in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

The population of Great Britain is about 60 million. The largest cities of the country are London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The territory of Great Britain is divided into four parts: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

England is in the southern and central part of Great Britain. Scotland is in the north of the island. Wales is in the west. Northern Ireland is situated in the north-eastern part of Ireland.

England is the richest, the most fertile and most populated part in the country. There are mountains in the north and in the west of England, but all the rest of the territory is a vast plain. In the northwestern part of England there are many beautiful lakes. This part of the country is called Lake District.

Scotland is a land of mountains. The Highlands of Scotland are among the oldest mountains in the world. The highest mountain of Great Britain is in Scotland too. The chain of mountains in Scotland is called the Grampians. Its highest peak is Ben Nevis. It is the highest peak not only in Scotland but in the whole Great Britain as well. In England there is the Pennine Chain. In Wales there are the Cumbrian Mountains.

There are no great forests on the British Isles today. Historically, the most famous forest is Sherwood Forest in the east of England, to the north of London. It was the home of Robin Hood, the famous hero of a number of legends.

The British Isles have many rivers but they are not very long. The longest of the English rivers is the Severn. It flows into the Irish Sea. The most important river of Scotland is the Clyde. Glasgow stands on it. Many of the English and Scottish rivers are joined by canals, so that it is possible to travel by water from one end of Great Britain to the other.

The Thames is over 200 miles long. It flows through the rich agricultural and industrial districts of the country. London, the capital of Great Britain, stands on it. The Thames has a wide mouth, that's why the big ocean liners can go up to the London port.

Geographical position of Great Britain is rather good as the country lies on the crossways of the see routes from Europe to other parts of the world. The sea connects Britain with most European countries such as Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway and some other countries. The main sea route from Europe to America also passes through the English Channel.

The Climate of Great Britain

Great Britain is situated on islands. It is washed by seas from all sides. That's why the climate and the nature of Great Britain is very specific. The popular belief that it rains all the time in Britain is simply not true. In fact, London gets no more rain in a year than most other major European cities. Generally speaking, the further west you go, the more rain you get. The mild winters mean that snow is a regular feature of the higher areas only. The winters are in general a bit colder in the east of the country than they are in the west. While in summer, the south is slightly warmer and sunnier than the north. Besides Britain is famous for I fogs. Sometimes fogs are so thick that it is impossible to see anything within 2 or 3 metres.

Why has Britain's climate got such bad reputation? Maybe it is for the same reason that British people always seem to be talking about the weather. There is a saying that Britain doesn't have a climate, it only has weather. You can never be sure of a fry day, though it may not rain very much altogether. There can be cool and even cold days in July and some quite warm days in January.

The weather changes very often. Mark Twain said about America: "If you like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes" but it is more likely to have been said about England. The lack of extremes is the reason why on the few occasions when it gets genuinely hot or freezing cold, the country seems to be totally unprepared for it. A bit of snow, a few days of frost and the trains stop. Working and the roads are blocked. If the thermometer goes above 2ГС, people behave as if they were in Sahara and the temperature makes front-page headlines. These things happen so seldom that it is not worth organizing life to be ready for them. Everyone who comes to Great Britain says that it looks like one great beautiful park. The British people love their country and take care of it.

General notes Linguacountry-At the university we can use not only historical materials of country. We should connect country study with tradition, customs, literature (novels, short and funny stories) and so on.

         We think that country study is one of the important necessary subject.  Because every student must know his country better then others countries. If we want to know our country we must read more and more. Reading is one of the main sources of getting knowledge.

         It is better to take the fiction stories text of country study themes. The fiction stories of authors from the country studied language. This material should  reflect the whole range  of janrs and must present a systematic view of the country studying  literature.

         Country studies better to use fiction stories, but not scientific-popular literature. Scientific-popular literature presents a narrow literature, it is necessary to possess with some special background and keep interest to this problem. It is impossible to formulate the structure of the plot in the scientific-popular literature [2].

         One of the main task of country study is to enlarge  the word stock of students. The advantage of fiction stories is that an author uses quite repetitive  lexical material. The same  word can be presented in different context and grammar  structures. This repetition allows to use the lexical material after words. The lexical material is closely connected with the vocabulary of common use. It is traceable the lines between reading and speaking on the basic of country study text.

         The development of reading and communicative skills considers to the age psychology of pupils. At the early stage children  read stories about every day life. Communication here is devoted to the real life and has some standards are acquiring of this reality and then speaking. That’s why they need lexics use to prove their statement other than children share their feelings, problems, domestic affairs  with pleasure [3].

         Reading brings us, potentially  the whole world except for tiny segment of it which we can experience directly. Our direct experiences  are limited by our total social circumstances where and how we live, what money and facilities we have and ultimately by the fact that  we must die. The range of experience available  to us through  reading is unlimited, but it is not merely  a question of quantity. The most  important kinds of reading are those which  in some way affect the  segment of life that is within the range of our direct experience, by increasing our understanding of ourselves and others, improving our powers to discriminate  and thus enriching the quality of our lives.  From this  is follows  that the most rewarding  kinds of reading are not merely those which offer information (knowledge about thing), important though this may be or entertainment, though this too can play its part, but the body of imaginative  writing, which deals with the aspiration of man in general, and is therefore necessary  relevant to our own experiences. What  are rather drearily called the classics, or “serious” literature, are in fact the beat of those pieces  of writing, whether poetry, prose, or drama, which claim to make, implicitly or explicitly, statements about “Life” in general and therefore about us. To be able to discriminate  in this field between the false and the true, between glitter and glow, between the superficial and the fundamental, is of quite unusual will tend to develop a critical capacity, tool of increasing precision[4]. 

         It is known, that every pupil has a big interests in foreign language and foreign country’s life.  We called lingua country study such a science which its explored the ways of acquaintance pupils with a new culture for them.

         The practice shows, that pupils with big interests  and curiosity treat history, culture, art, traditions, customs, geography, hobby and etc. Which is in connected with foreign country. 

National Emblems of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (abbreviated from "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland") is the political name of the country which consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (sometimes known as Ulster).

Great Britain is the name of the island which is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, whereas the British Isles is the geographical name of all the islands off the north-west coast of the European continent. In everyday speech "Britain" is used to mean the United Kingdom.

The flag of the United Kingdom, known as the Union Jack, is made up of three crosses. The upright red cross on a white background is the cross of the 1st George, the patron saint of England. The white diagonal cross on a blue background is the cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, The red diagonal cross on a white background is the cross of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

The Welsh flag, called the Welsh dragon, represents a red dragon on a white and green background.

St. George's Day falls on 23 April and is regarded as England's national day. On this day some patriotic Englishmen wear a rose pinned to their jackets'. A red rose is the national emblem of England from the time of the Wars of the Roses (15th century).

St. Andrew's Day (the 30th of November) is regarded as Scotland's national day. On this day some Scotsmen wear a thistle in their buttonhole. As a national emblem of Scotland, thistle apparently first used in the 15th century as a symbol of defence. The Order of the Thistle is one of the highest orders of knighthood. It was founded in 1687, and is mainly given to Scottish noblemen (limited to 16 in number).

St. Patrick's Day (the 17th of March) is considered as a national day in Northern Ireland and an official bank holiday there. The national emblem of Ireland is shamrock. According to legend, it was the plant chosen by St. Patrick to illustrate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish.

St. David's Day (the 1st of March) is the church festival of St. David, a 6th-century monk and bishop, the patron saint of Wales. The day is regarded as the national holiday of Wales, although it is not an official bank holiday.

On this day, however, many Welshmen wear either a yellow daffodil or a leek pinned to their jackets, as both plants are traditionally regarded as national emblems of Wales.

In the Royal Arms three lions symbolize England, a lion rampant — Scotland, and a harp — Ireland. The whole is encircled and is supported by a lion and a unicorn. The lion has been used as a symbol of national strength and of the British monarchy for many centuries. The unicorn, a mythical animal that looks like a horse with a long straight horn, has appeared on the Scottish and British royal coats of arms for many centuries, and is a symbol of purity. 

The Norman Conquest of England The conquest of England by the Normans began in 1066 with the battle of Hastings', where the English fought against the Normans. The conquest was complete in 1071. Who were these Normans who conquered England? They were Vikings^ or “Northmen”, men from the North. Some 150 years before^ the conquest of England they came to a part of FVance, opposite England, a part which we now call Normandy. There they adopted the Christian faith, the FVench language and the Roman law of their new home in France. They became French. What did the Norman conquest do to England? It gave it French kings and nobles. The Normans also brought with them the French language. After the Norman conquest there were three languages in England. There was Latin, the language of church and the language in which all learned men wrote and spoke; the kings wrote their laws in Latin for some time after the Conquest. It was difficult for the people to understand these laws. Then there was French, the language 165 Урок одиннадцатый which the kings and nobles spoke and which many people wrote. Finally, there was the English language which remained the language of the masses of the people. Some men might know all these languages; many knew two; but most of the people knew only one. There were some people who understood the French language though they could not speak it. Rich people who owned land, the landowners, often knew French and Latin. But poor people, the peasants, did not understand French or Latin. They understood only English. In time, however, came the general use of the English language. About 1350, English became the language of law; and at that time there lived the first teacher who taught his boys to read and write English and to translate not from Latin into French'*, but from Latin into English. Then between 1350 and 1400 lived Wycliffe ['wiklif] who made the first complete translation of the Bible into English, and Chaucer^ the father of English poetry. The English language when it came into general use* was not quite the same as it was before the Conquest. The grammar remained, but many words came into it from the French language.

Linguistic situation of england after norman conquest
The English language we now know would not have been the same if it was not for the events that happened in 1066. In 1066, the Duke of Normandy, William sailed across the British Channel. He challenged King Harold of England in the struggle for the English throne. After winning the battle of Hastings William was crowned king of England and the Norman Kingdom was established. Norman-French became the language of the English court. At the beginning French was spoken only by the Normans but soon through intermarriage, English men learnt French. Some 10,000 French words were taken into English language during the Middle English period and about 75% of them are still in use.

One of the most obvious changes that occurred after the Norman conquest was that of the language: the Anglo-Norman. When William the Conqueror was crowned as king of England, Anglo-Norman became the language of the court, the administration, and culture. English was demoted to more common and unprestigious usages. Anglo Norman was instated as the language of the ruling classes, and it would be so until about three centuries later. But not only the upper classes used French, merchants who travelled to and from the channel, and those who wanted to belong to these groups, or have a relationship with them, had to learn the language.

These events marked the beginning of Middle English, and had an incredible effect in the way English is spoken nowadays. Before the Norman conquest, Latin had been a minor influence on English, but at this stage, some 30000 words entered the English language, that is, about one third of the total vocabulary. But vocabulary was not the only thing that changed in the English language. While Old English had been an extremely inflected language, it now had lost most of its inflections.
The influence of the Normans can be illustrated by looking at two words, beef and cow. Beef, commonly eaten by the aristocracy, derives from the Anglo-Norman, while the Anglo-Saxon commoners, who tended the cattle, retained the Germanic cow. Many legal terms, such as indict, jury, and verdict have Anglo-Norman roots because the Normans ran the courts. This split, where words commonly used by the aristocracy have Romantic roots and words frequently used by the Anglo-Saxon commoners have Germanic roots, can be seen in many instances. 

In vocabulary, about 10000 words entered the English language at this stage, and more than a third of today’s PdE (Present-day English) words are related to those Anglo-Norman ME (Middle English) words.

English pronunciation also changed. The fricative sounds [f], [s], [Ɵ] (as in thin), and [ʃ] (shin), French influence helped to distinguish their voiced counterparts [v], [z], [] (the), and [ƺ] (mirage), and also contributed the diphthong [oi] (boy).

Grammar was also influenced by this phenomenon especially in the word order. While Old English (and PdE in most of the occasions) had an Adj + N order, some expressions like secretary general, changed into the French word order, that is, N + Adj.

English has also added some words and idioms that are purely French, and that are used nowadays. 

Fnch influence on the vocabulary in middle english

The English language has been shaped by a number of other languages over the centuries, and many English speakers know that Latin and German were two of the most important. What many people don't realize is how much the French language has influenced English.

Without going into too much detail, I want to give a little bit of background about the other languages which shaped English. It was born out of the dialects of three German tribes (Angles, Jutes, and Saxons) who settled in Britain in about 450 A.D. This group of dialects forms what linguists refer to as Anglo-Saxon, and at some point this language developed into what we know as Old English. This Germanic base was influenced in varying degrees by Celtic, Latin, and Scandinavian (Old Norse) - the languages spoken by invading armies.Bill Bryson calls the Norman conquest of 1066 the "final cataclysm [which] awaited the English language." (1) When William the Conqueror became king of England, French took over as the language of the court, administration, and culture - and stayed there for 300 years.Meanwhile, English was "demoted" to everyday, unprestigious uses. These two languages existed side by side in England with no noticeable difficulties; in fact, since English was essentially ignored by grammarians during this time, it took advantage of its lowly status to become a grammatically simpler language and, after only 70 or 80 years existing side-by-side with French, Old English segued into Middle English.
During the Norman occupation, about 10,000 French words were adopted into English, some three-fourths of which are still in use today. This French vocabulary is found in every domain, from government and law to art and literature - 
learn some. More than a third of all English words are derived directly or indirectly from French, and it's estimated that English speakers who have never studied French already know 15,000 French words. (2) 

Britain Ancient History ely, Great Britain) is the name of the largest of the British Isles, which lie off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The name is probably Celtic and derives from a word meaning 'white'; this is usually assumed to be a reference to the famous white Cliffs of Dover, which any new arrival to the country by sea can hardly miss. The first mention of the island was by the Greeknavigator Pytheas, who explored the island's coastline, c. 325 BCE.
During the early 
Neolithic Age (c. 4400 BCE – c. 3300 BCE), many long barrows were constructed on the island, many of which can still be seen today. In the late Neolithic (c. 2900 BCE – c.2200 BCE), large stone circles called henges appeared, the most famous of which is Stonehenge.
Roman occupation the island was inhabited by a diverse number of tribes that are generally believed to be of Celtic origin, collectively known as Britons. The Romans knew the island as Britannia.
It enters recorded history in the military reports of 
Julius Caesar, who crossed to the island from Gaul (France) in both 55 and 54 BCE. The Romans invaded the island in 43 CE, on the orders of emperor Claudius, who crossed over to oversee the entry of his general, Aulus Plautius, into Camulodunum (Colchester), the capital of the most warlike tribe, the Catuvellauni. Plautius invaded with four legions and auxiliary troops, an army amounting to some 40,000.
Due to the survival of the Agricola, a biography of his father-in-law written by the historian Tacitus (c. 105 CE), we know much about the first four decades of Roman occupation, but literary evidence is scarce thereafter; happily there is plentiful, if occasionally mystifying archaeological evidence. Subsequent Roman emperors made forays into
Scotland, although northern Britain was never conquered; they left behind the great fortifications, Hadrian's Wall(c. 120 CE) and the Antonine Wall (142 -155 CE), much of which can still be visited today. Britain was always heavily fortified and was a base from which Roman governors occasionally made attempts to seize power in theEmpire (Clodius Albinus in 196 CE, Constantine in 306 CE).
At the end of the 4th century CE, the Roman presence in Britain was threatened by "barbarian" forces. The Picts (from present-day Scotland) and the Scoti (from Ireland) were raiding the coast, while the Saxons and the Angles from northern Germany were invading southern and eastern Britain. By 410 CE the 
Roman army had withdrawn. After struggles with the Britons, the Angles and the Saxons emerged as victors and established themselves as rulers in much of Britain during the Dark Ages (c. 450 - c. 800 CE).

Who were they?
The Iron Age is the age of the "Celt" in Britain. Over the 500 or so years leading up to the first Roman invasion a Celtic culture established itself throughout the British Isles. Who were these Celts? 
For a start, the concept of a "Celtic" people is a modern and somewhat romantic reinterpretation of history. The “Celts” were warring tribes who certainly wouldn’t have seen themselves as one people at the time.

The "Celts" as we traditionaly regard them exist largely in the magnificence of their art and the words of the Romans who fought them. The trouble with the reports of the Romans is that they were a mix of reportage and political propaganda. It was politically expedient for the Celtic peoples to be coloured as barbarians and the Romans as a great civilizing force. And history written by the winners is always suspect. 
Where did they come from?
What we do know is that the people we call Celts gradually infiltrated Britain over the course of the centuries between about 500 and 100 B.C. There was probably never an organized Celtic invasion; for one thing the Celts were so fragmented and given to fighting among themselves that the idea of a concerted invasion would have been ludicrous. 
The Celts were a group of peoples loosely tied by similar language, religion, and cultural expression. They were not centrally governed, and quite as happy to fight each other as any non-Celt. They were warriors, living for the glories of battle and plunder. They were also the people who brought iron working to the British Isles. 

The advent of iron
The use of iron had amazing repercussions. First, it changed trade and fostered local independence. Trade was essential during the Bronze Age, for not every area was naturally endowed with the necessary ores to make bronze. Iron, on the other hand, was relatively cheap and available almost everywhere.

Hill forts
The time of the "Celtic conversion" of Britain saw a huge growth in the number of hill forts throughout the region. These were often small ditch and bank combinations encircling defensible hilltops. Some are small enough that they were of no practical use for more than an individual family, though over time many larger forts were built. The curious thing is that we don't know if the hill forts were built by the native Britons to defend themselves from the encroaching Celts, or by the Celts as they moved their way into hostile territory. 
Usually these forts contained no source of water, so their use as long term settlements is doubtful, though they may have been useful indeed for withstanding a short term siege. Many of the hill forts were built

on top of earlier causewayed camps
Celtic family life
The basic unit of Celtic life was the clan, a sort of extended family. The term "family" is a bit misleading, for by all accounts the Celts practiced a peculiar form of child rearing; they didn't rear them, they farmed them out. Children were actually raised by foster parents. The foster father was often the brother of the birth-mother. Got it? 
Clans were bound together very loosely with other clans into tribes, each of which had its own social structure and customs, and possibly its own local gods. 

invasion of great britain by celtic tribes

Before the spread westwards of Angles, Saxons and Vikings, Britain and Ireland were inhabited by people speaking Celtic languages. Who were they? Their origins probably go back to about 2,400 BC, when the first Bell Beaker material appeared in the British Isles.1 Genetically their predominant signature is Y-DNA R1b-L21, which has been found in pre-Roman skeletons in Eastern England.2

This has been overlain to varying degrees by Germanic genetic markers, for example R1a1a, which in the British Isles is predominantly of the Z284 type found in Scandinavia. Its offspring L448 is dominant type in Norway and Scotland. Another subclade, Z287, is also found in Scotland. Both subclades are relatively young, which would fit the expansion of the Norse Vikings.

Since the Celts of Britain and Ireland were illiterate in pre-Roman days, it was ancient Greek and Roman authors who first recorded the names of their tribes. The conquest of Britain from 43 AD expanded Roman knowledge of what had been for the ancient Greeks a distant island on the edge of the known world. The famous Geography of Claudius Ptolemy, written in Greek c. 150 AD, included the British Isles. Ptolemy relied on the work of an earlier geographer, Marinos of Tyre. So the Geography generally reflects the situation c. 100 AD.3

The Romans tended to turn tribes into civitates, with a Roman-style town as a civic centre. Ptolemy gives the names of Roman towns. Yet he retained the old names for the islands: Albion for Britain, and Ierne (Latinised as Hibernia) for Ireland. The island group had long been known collectively as the Pretanic or Britanic isles. As Pliny the Elder explained, this included the Orcades (Orkney), the Hæbudes (Hebrides), Mona(Anglesey), Monopia (Isle of Man), and a number of other islands less certainly identifiable from his names. The post-conquest Romans used Britannia or Britannia Magna (Large Britain) for Britain and Hibernia or Britannia Parva (Small Britain) for Ireland.4 The Irish retained Alba as a name for Britain. It reappeared in the Gaelic Kingdom of Alba in Scotland,5 and the Gaelic word for Scotsman - Albannach. It seems to have retained some currency within Britain too, since the Albiones are mentioned on a Latin memorial within that part of Spain which was settled by Britons in the Post-Roman period. See Celtic Tribes of South-West England.

The Geography is a snapshot of how the Romans perceived the peoples they knew around 100 AD. It would be folly to assume that this pattern can be projected back or forward indefinitely. Tribes were not static entities, but could move, fission and fuse. Their boundaries could expand or contract. Tribal names can vanish from the record, or new ones appear.6 Clues to some of these changes are scattered around in place-names and pedigrees, coins and commentaries, itineraries and inscriptions. Memoirs, annals and legends have been pored over by generations of scholars trying to piece together a picture of these shifting polities. None of this material can reveal the deeper past of the Celts, which vanishes into prehistory - the province of archaeologists. The latter have particular problems with the British and Irish Iron Age. In Ireland and Northern Britain indigenous pottery vanishes in this period. That makes it more difficult to distinguish between different groups of people. Yet the sudden appearance of high-quality pottery in Atlantic Scotland with broch-builders is all the more significant against this background. Foreign links are clear.7 The same is true for the first wheel-thrown pottery in Britain, associated with the Belgae.

The Isle of Man is about 30 miles (48 km) long by 10 miles (16 km) wide, its main axis being southwest to northeast. It has an area of 221 square miles (572 square km). The island consists of a central mountain mass culminating in Snaefell (2,036 feet [621 m]) and extending north and south in low-lying agricultural land. Man’s coastline is rocky and has fine cliff scenery. The grass-covered slate peaks of the central massif are smooth and rounded as a result of action during various glacial periods. The island’s landscape is treeless except in sheltered places. To the southwest lies an islet, the Calf of Man, with precipitous cliffs, which is administered by the Manx National Heritage as a bird sanctuary.

The climate is maritime temperate, with cool summers and mild winters. The average mean temperature in February is 41° F (4.9° C) and is 58° F (14.3° C) in August. The average annual rainfall is 45 inches (1,140 mm). The native flora and fauna are of little interest, but the domestic Manx cat, a distinctive tailless breed (see photograph), is traditionally believed to have originated on the island.

The Isle of Man has been inhabited by humans since the Mesolithic Period. It became the home of many Irish missionaries in the centuries following the teaching of St. Patrick (5th century ad). Among its earliest inhabitants were Celts, and their language, Manx, which is closely related to Gaelic, remained the everyday speech of the people until the first half of the 19th century. The number of Manx speakers is now negligible, however. Norse (Viking) invasions began about ad 800, and the isle was a dependency of Norway until 1266. During this period Man came under a Scandinavian system of government that has remained practically unchanged ever since.

In 1266 the king of Norway sold his suzerainty over Man to Scotland, and the island came under the control ofEngland in 1341. From this time on, the island’s successive feudal lords, who styled themselves “kings of Mann,” were all English. In 1406 the English crown granted the island to Sir John Stanley, and his family ruled it almost uninterruptedly until 1736. (The Stanleys refused to be called “kings” and instead adopted the title “lord of Mann,” which still holds.) The lordship of Man passed to the dukes of Atholl in 1736, but in the decades that followed, the island became a major centre for the contraband trade, thus depriving the British government of valuable customs revenues. In response, the British Parliament purchased sovereignty over the island in 1765 and acquired the Atholl family’s remaining prerogatives on the island in 1828.

The government consists of an elected president; a Legislative Council, or upper house; and a popularly elected House of Keys, or lower house. The two houses function as separate legislative bodies but come together to form what is known as the Tynwald Court to transact legislative business. The House of Keys constitutes one of the most ancient legislative assemblies in the world. The Isle of Man levies its own taxes.

Though fishing, agriculture, and smuggling were formerly important, offshore financial services, high-technology manufacturing, and tourism from Britain are now the mainstays of the island’s economy. The island’s annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle races (in June) attract many visitors. The island’s farms produce oats, wheat, barley, turnips, and potatoes, and cattle and sheep graze on the pastures of the central massif. The principal towns are Douglas, the capital; PeelCastletown; and Ramsey. There is an airport near Castletown, and packet boats connect Man with the British mainland. Pop. (2006) 80,058.

Julius Caesar first landed in Britain on August 26th, 55 BC, but it was almost another hundred years before the Romans actually conquered Britain in AD 43.

A Gaulish chieftain named Commius was sent across the Channel to enlist support for the Romans among the British tribes, while a trusted officer took a fast galley to reconnoitre the coast. Caesar assembled eighty ships at Boulogne to carry two legions, the Seventh and the Tenth, plus irregulars, altogether some 12,000 men. The cavalry and their horses were to sail separately from Ambleteuse, a few miles north. After waiting for a wind the Roman ships left Boulogne in the early hours of August 26th and came in sight of the white cliffs of Dover around 9am. The cliffs were bristling with menacing British warriors, horsemen and war chariots. It was obviously no place to land, but Caesar waited for hours offshore for the cavalry, which had got penned in Ambleteuse by tide and wind. In the afternoon the Roman fleet sailed north-east without them to pass the South Foreland and come in sight of the long stretch of flat shore to the north. The Britons moved along on land to keep pace.

The Roman ships drew in and anchored offshore, probably about where Deal is now, and the legionaries were faced with wading to land, burdened with weapons and gear, while the Britons threw javelins at them and galloped menacingly to and fro on the beach. It was not an agreeable prospect and the soldiers hung back until the eagle-bearer of the Tenth jumped into the sea and shouted to his comrades to follow him and defend the standard. This they did and more and more of the Romans struggled through the waves to the beach. After savage fighting, the legionaries managed to form up, charge the Britons and drive them in flight. With no cavalry this could not be followed up and the Romans made camp. 

The Britons sent emissaries to Caesar to sue for peace, along with Commius with his tail between his legs. Caesar took hostages from them and after four days, on the 30th, the cavalry transports at last appeared, but were blown away by a sudden fierce storm and forced back to Gaul. The gale coincided with an exceptionally high tide and many of Caesar’s ships dragged their anchors and were wrecked on the beach. The Britons took note and started to muster their forces again. The Romans began repairing the ships, but now they were short of food. Parties ventured into the countryside to reap corn and gather supplies, but legionaries of the Seventh were ambushed by British chariots and horsemen. Fortunately for the Romans, the attack raised such a cloud of dust that Caesar saw it from the camp and hurried up with reinforcements. After several days of incessant rain Caesar managed to bring the British to a pitched battle, which was what Roman commanders always wanted against a barbarian and comparatively undisciplined enemy. The British were defeated with heavy casualties, but again could not be effectively pursued. Caesar had had enough. He embarked his men on the ships and sailed back to Gaul.

Caesar tried again the following year, launching a stronger and better prepared force of five legions on a second expedition, which carried him across the Thames at Brentford, but again the weather was abominable and gales played havoc with his ships and supplies. After concluding a face-saving treaty with the local British king he returned to Gaul once more. It was almost another hundred years before the Romans actually conquered Britain, in AD 43.

Roman Conquest of Britain-he Roman conquest of Britain was neither quick nor painless. From the time Julius Caesar first set foot on the island until the time Pax Romana was fully installed, it would take more than 150 years. It would see much war, many revolts and much bloodshed.
The earliest people are thought to have come to Britain about 500,000 years ago. The Celtic tribes invaded from Europe after about 800 BC, many with long term roots there as well as in northern France. They developed knowledge of how to make stronger weapons and tools using iron: it was the start of the Iron Age . There were at least seven different tribes living throughout the island. The tribes had their own coinages, there was wealth from copper and tin and commerce was successful. Gaelic, Irish, Welsh and Cornish languages are all connected to the language of the Celts. In 320 bc. The Greek navigator/geographer Pytheas conducts a partial exploration of the island of "Albion".
Caesar and Britain-ulius Caesar became governor and military commander of the already Roman provinces of Gaul. From 58 BC to 47 BC. He led a number of military campaigns throughout Gaul (now modern day France, Belgium, and parts of Germany, Holland, and Switzerland) To preserve Gaul as a province, Caesar determined to separate it from its foreign enemies and allies. After crushing the Germanic tribes, enemies of Gaul, Caesar desided to invade Britain, an ally of Gaul. The British islanders had helped the Gauls across the chanell to fight against Caesar. Britain, unconquered and close at hand, would prove a dangerous example of independence to Gaul, and therefore must be silenced and taught the power of Rome.. Caesar probably planned an expedition to Britain in 56 BC, a year when the Armorican tribes in the coast of Britanny revolted against the Romans with aid from the tribes of southern Britain. The operation was further delayed by battles with the Morini and Menapi, Belgic tribes who controlled the Straits of Dover. Caesar's first visit to Britain was very brief. In August of 55BC Caesar with two legions crossed the English Channel to Dover. The Britons met the legionaries at the beach with a large force, including warriors in horse-drawn chariots. After an initial skirmish, the British war leaders sought a truce, and handed over hostages.
Claudius and Britian-bout 100 years later (in AD 43) the Roman emperor Claudius invaded Britain. The emperor started off his reign with some instability and a lack of support from the people. He was in dire need of a military victory to sure up his public image. In order to achieve this he decided to invade Britain, a place that Julius Caesar visited but never ended up conquering. The only real benefit from the expedition was that the records helped Claudius plan his invasion of Britain. Claudius sent in four legions under the control of Aulus Plautius, who became the first governor of Roman Britain..They land at Richborough (Kent) for a full-scale invasion of the island. The main army was put ashore at Richborough, ventured across the Medway and the Thames and captured Colchester, capital of the Catuvellaunian kingdom. The Romans moved north through England and Wales but were stopped by the fierce tribes which were living in what is now Scotland
Caratacus Revolt-n historical person with some legendary accretions, Caratacus (also spelled Caractacus) was the king of the Catuvellauni at the time of the Roman invasion under their commander, Aulus Plautius.. He and his brother, Togodumnus, were said to be sons of the British king, Cunobelinus, and, after the king's death, became the leaders of the anti-Roman campaign that managed to resist the invaders for a period of nearly nine years. He lead the revolutionaries through the change in governers from Plautius to Publius Ostorius Scapula .In the winter of 47 AD., tribes from outside the Roman occupied territory began assaults on the positions to the south. The new governer did not hesitate and confronted these insurrections not with the full might of the Roman army, but a number of lightly armed cohorts The Iceni had been very much pro Roman during the invasion, and rebelled for the first time The tribes were defeated after a fierce battle. Now Caratacus, who had fled to Wales from eastern England after the Battle of Medway' reappeared. He was now leader if the Silures of South Wales. Little did Ostorius know that Caratacus was later to be general commander of the opposition to Roman rule. He would be centered on the central territory occupied by the Ordovices In Caratacus' final battle the tactics and sheer willingness of the Romans to win overcame the warriors. Caratacus' family were captured. His wife and daughter taken and his brother surrendered. Caratacus though fled north west to the Brigantes. This was a bad move, as the queen of the Brigantes, Cartimandua, was pro Roman. The Roman governor had already put down a rebellion amongst hthe Queen's subjects. Not wanting to get on the wrong side of the Romans, she ordered that he be taken and given to the Romans. Caratacus and his family were sent to Rome where he was paraded in Triump the pardond by Claudius and alowed to live out his life in Italy. But this was not the end of trouble in Britian for the Romans.

Latin (L) influenced the development of Old English (OE) more than any other non-West Germanic language with which OE came into contact. Most scholars divide the influence of L chronologically into three time periods. The first time period concerns such influence as occurred on the continent prior to the arrival of Anglo-Saxons in England and which arose from contacts between West-Germanic speaking peoples and L speakers. The second period of influence spans from the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons in England up to their Christianization ca. 600/650. The last period of influence spans from the time of Christianization up to the arrival of the Normans in 1066.

The most readily apparent influence that L had on OE concerns the use of the L alphabet. Prior to the Christianization of England, what little writing there was, was written with runic letters. Collectively these letters comprised the futharc alphabet (called so after its first six letters). Through the influence of Irish insular script, OE scribes adopted the L alphabet. They did so with only slight modification and the retention of certain runic letters. Modifications included the use of L with a line through it, <ð> ("eth"), to represent both /q / and /ð/. Somewhat later, they also used the rune thorn,<þ>, to represent these two phonemes. Finally, they incorporated the rune wynn, <>, to represent /w/.þ>ð>

It is more difficult to determine L influence on OE syntax. Naturally, our knowledge of OE syntax is hindered by the general paucity of extant OE texts. Furthermore, many of the surviving OE texts are translations of L texts, and even when they are not, many nonetheless reflect a clear dependence on L models. Consequently, it is difficult to account for the syntactical irregularities of OE texts with any certainty. Such irregularities could represent the influence of L or – just as likely – an otherwise poorly evidenced aspect of OE syntax. Nonetheless, scholars agree that certain constructions – whether native to OE or not - likely did find wider distribution in OE through the influence of L than would otherwise have occurred. Such was likely the case, for example, with the OE "dative absolute" construction as modeled on the L "ablative absolute." While this construction appears rarely in the conservative prose of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, it is ubiquitous in the highly Latinate translation of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History.

Not surprisingly, L held the most pervasive influence on OE in the area of vocabulary. Moreover, this sphere of influence provides the clearest index of the changing relationship between OE and L speakers. In total approximately 450 OE words, mostly nouns, were borrowed from L (Baugh, 106). Around 170 of these entered the OE lexicon during the continental period (Hogg, 302; Williams, 57). These words pertain mostly to plants, household items, clothing and building materials. As such, they represent the influence of Vulgar (i.E. Spoken) L rather than Classical (i.E. Literate) L. It is uncertain how many words date from the second period of L influence. In general though, scholars maintain that there are slightly fewer borrowings dating from this period. With the exception of a comparatively larger number of words having to do with religion and learning, borrowings from this period pertain to the same subject matter as those of the first period (Hogg, 302-3). In strong contrast with the two preceding periods, the third period shows a marked increase in words concerning religion and learning. The influx of such words clearly reflects the influence of the literate, CL culture associated with the Church following the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons. In addition to direct borrowings, L also influenced the OE lexicon by occasioning the formation of semantic loans, loan translations (or calques) and loan creations. Consider, for example, the semantic loan OE cniht for L discipulus, in which native OE cniht,"boy" or "servant," assumes the additional sense of L discipulus, "disciple." Such translations are abundant in the OE lexicon. Equally prevalent are loan translations, in which a L compound word is translated using morphologically equivalent native elements: e.G. OE foreberan <>praeferre. Loan creations are also numerous. Like loan translations, loan creations translate the L word using native elements but with greater morphological freedom: e.G. OE restedæg for L sabbatum.

The overall abundance of semantic loans, loan translations and loan creations suggests a final and more general truth concerning the influence of L on OE. Despite the relatively extensive influence of L on OE, OE clearly shows a strong tendency to rely on native resources. That is to say, given the linguistic conditions of OE period, one would expect L to have exerted a far greater influence than in fact our knowledge of OE suggests.

Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest. More than 3,000 lines long, Beowulf relates the exploits of its eponymous hero, and his successive battles with a monster named Grendel, with Grendel’s revengeful mother, and with a dragon which was guarding a hoard of treasure.

The story of Beowulf

Beowulf is a classic tale of the triumph of good over evil, and divides neatly into three acts. The poem opens in Denmark, where Grendel is terrorising the kingdom. The Geatish prince Beowulf hears of his neighbours’ plight, and sails to their aid with a band of warriors. Beowulf encounters Grendel in unarmed combat, and deals the monster its death-blow by ripping off its arm.

There is much rejoicing among the Danes; but Grendel’s loathsome mother takes her revenge, and makes a brutal attack upon the king’s hall. Beowulf seeks out the hag in her underwater lair, and slays her after an almighty struggle. Once more there is much rejoicing, and Beowulf is rewarded with many gifts. The poem culminates 50 years later, in Beowulf’s old age. Now king of the Geats, his own realm is faced with a rampaging dragon, which had been guarding a treasure-hoard. Beowulf enters the dragon’s mound and kills his foe, but not before he himself has been fatally wounded.

Beowulf closes with the king’s funeral, and a lament for the dead hero.

When was Beowulf composed?

Nobody knows for certain when the poem was first composed. Beowulf is set in the pagan world of sixth-century Scandinavia, but it also contains echoes of Christian tradition. The poem must have been passed down orally over many generations, and modified by each successive bard, until the existing copy was made at an unknown location in Anglo-Saxon England.

How old is the manuscript?

Beowulf survives in a single medieval manuscript, housed at the British Library in London. The manuscript bears no date, and so its age has to be calculated by analysing the scribes’ handwriting. Some scholars have suggested that the manuscript was made at the end of the 10th century, others in the early decades of the 11th, perhaps as late as the reign of King Cnut, who ruled England from 1016 until 1035.

The most likely time for Beowulf to have been copied is the early 11th century, which makes the manuscript approximately 1,000 years old.

The Scandinavian invasion of England.

In the Scandinavian attacks upon England three stages can be distinguished:
-The first is the period of the early raids, beginning according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 787 and continuing with some intermissions until about 850. The raids of this period were simply plundering attacks upon towns and monasteries near the coast. English people were captured to be made slaves. These early raids were apparently the work of small isolated bands.
-The second stage is the work of large armies and is marked by widespread plundering in all parts of the country and by extensive settlements. This new development was inaugurated by the arrival in 850 of a Danish fleet of 350 ships. Although defeated by a West Saxon army, they soon renewed their attacks. In 866 a large Danish army plundered East Anglia and in 867 captured York.
The Eastern part of England was now largely in the hands of the Danes, and they began turning their attention to Wessex. The assault upon Wessex began shortly before the accession of King Alfred (871-899). After seven years of resistance, Alfred was forced to take refuge with a small band of personal followers in the marshes of Somerset. But Alfred’s persistence triumphed when he suddenly attacked the Danish army. The result was a devastating victory for the English and a capitulation by the Danes (878).
-The Treaty of Wedmore, which was signed the same year, marks the culmination of the second stage in the Danish invasions. Wessex was saved. The Danes withdrew from Alfred’s territory but they were not compelled to leave England. The treaty merely defined the line, running roughly from Chester to London, to the east of which the foreigners were to remain. His territory was to be subject to the Danish law and is known as the Danish Law. In addition the Danes agreed to accept Christianity, and this fact would help to pave the way for the ultimate fusion of the two groups. This third stage of the Scandinavian incursions covers the period of political adjustment and assimilation from 878 to 1042. The treaty of Wedmore did not put an end to Alfred’s troubles. Under Alfred’s son Edward the Elder (900-925) the English began a series of counterattacks that put the Danes on the defensive. Towards the end of the century, when England seemed at last on the point of solving its Danish problems, a new succession of invasion began. In the Battle of Maldon, the English lost their leader and the invasion now began to assume an official character. Finally Svein, king of Denmark, determined himself to be king of the country. Upon his sudden death his son succeeded him. For the next twenty-five years England was ruled by the Danish King Cnut.

The Scandinavian influence on the English language

The Viking Age lasted roughly from the middle of the eighth century to the beginning of the eleventh. The Vikings were the Germanic tribes of the Scandinavian Peninsula and Denmark. The reasons for their sudden attacks and voyages are unknown; it is possible that they were of economic or political nature. In their adventures the Swedes established a kingdom in Russia; Norwegians colonized parts of the British Isles, the Faroes, and Iceland, and from there pushed on to Greenland and the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland; the Danes founded the dukedom of Normandy and finally conquered England (Baugh 92). Vikings conquered large areas of England but were stopped by King Alfred of Wessex. He signed the Treaty of Wedmore (878) with Gunthrum, the Viking leader. The treaty defined the boundary line, running roughly from Chester to London, to the east of which the Vikings were to remain (Berndt 1989: 22). This area was where Danish law and customs were followed and would later be known as the Danelaw. In the beginning of the eleventh century, the Vikings reached the pinnacle of their achievement - Cnut, king of Denmark, conquered Norway England and obtained the throne of England (Berndt 23).

Viking invasions led to an immigration wave from Scandinavia. Although most of the new inhabitants were Danes, there were also Norwegians and Swedes. The two peoples, the English and the Scandinavian, amalgamated. As is described in Baugh and Cable (98), the Scandinavians intermarried with the English, adopted many of their customs and accepted Christianity. Not much is known about the relation of the two languages. In some places the Scandinavian gave up their language early and in some places Norse was spoken as late as the seventeenth century. It is also highly possible that some of the new inhabitants were bilingual. Old Norse and Old English were similar languages so it is highly probable that the two may even have been" mutually intelligible to a limited extent" (Baugh and Cable 96) which made the process of borrowing and adoption easier.

Scandinavian place-names-any places in today England bear Scandinavian names (more than 1,400). These names are notable evidence that the Vikings once settled in England. These places are mostly situated in the district of the Danelaw but are not uniformly distributed (Berndt 22, 64). According to Baugh and Cable (98-99), there are more than 600 places with names ending in -by (such as Whitby, Grimsby). The Scandinavian word by means 'farm' or 'town'; the word can also be seen in by-law (town law). Some 300 place-names end in the Scandinavian word thorp that means 'village' (like Althorp, Bishopsthorpe, Linthorpe). There are almost as much place-names that contain the word thwaite, 'an isolated piece of land' (e.G. Applethwaite, Langthwaite). Around a hundred end in toft, 'a piece of ground, a messuage' (Brimtoft, Nortoft).

Scandinavian loanwords-lthough the Scandinavian loan words began to enter the English language probably at the same time when the Vikings settled down (the period of Old English), the evidence in writing can be found mostly in Middle English texts. The loanwords were recorded long after they came in use because it took some time before they entered the standard English. Baugh and Cable divided the early loanwords (in OE) into two groups. The first group constitute words "associated with sea-roving and predatory people" (99). The second group is made out of "words relating to the law or characteristic of the social and administrative system of Danelaw" (99). After the Norman Conquest, most of the words from the second group were replaced by the French terms and thus can no longer be found in Modern English.

British Government Basics

Can you name the British Head of State? Can you identify the two houses of Parliament? Do you know the name of the highest court in Britain? Don't worry if you had to answer with a firm 'no'. After studying this lesson, you'll know the answers to all these questions and more, for in the next few minutes, we're going to take a little tour of the government of the United Kingdom.

First off, you need to know that the United Kingdom is both a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. That sounds like quite a mouthful, doesn't it? Let's break it down. In a parliamentary democracy, citizens elect a legislative body called a Parliament to represent their interests and carry out their will. This is one layer of the British government. Britain is also a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch serves as Head of State but is limited in power and must work in conjunction with the Parliament.

Second, you must understand that Britain has three arms or branches of state: the legislative, which debates and passes laws; the executive, which carries out the laws and runs the country on a day-to-day basis; and the judicial, which enforces the laws. In Britain, these three branches often overlap, and their powers sometimes fuse together when government officials belong to more than one branch at a time. For instance, many members of Parliament also serve as ministers in the executive branch.

The Monarch

Before we talk more about the three branches, let's take a quick look at the person that stands above them all: the monarch. The British monarch, although limited in power, is the official Head of State and the Head of the Nation. As such, he or she serves as Britain's public face and a national icon and performs official and ceremonial duties, like opening each session of Parliament, appointing the Prime Minister and other government officials, regularly meeting with the Prime Minister, honoring the achievements of British citizens, representing Britain in the international community, and making appearances at events and festivities.

The Legislative Branch

Let's turn our attention now to the three branches of the British government. We'll talk about the legislative branch first. Parliament is the British legislative body. It is made up of two houses - the House of Lords and the House of Commons. It performs four primary duties: passing laws, authorizing taxes and government budgets, scrutinizing and investigating government administration, and debating current issues.

The House of Commons, Parliament's lower house, consists of about 650 Members of Parliament (MPs), who are elected by British citizens. These MPs make laws, control the government's finances, and keep a close eye on government administration. The House of Lords, Parliament's upper house, consists of over 700 Lords. Some are bishops and archbishops; others are hereditary peers, whose seats have passed down through the generations; and still others are peers appointed by the monarch for their specialized knowledge in areas useful to the government. The House of Lords participates in the lawmaking process, scrutinizes government administration, and independently investigates matters of public interest.

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