The Age of Chronicles and Sagas

Ref: C2343768

We will trace the growth and development of the Saxon kingdoms in the period of the so-called "heptarchy" as well as the development of early Welsh and Scots dynasties. By assessing the level of transformation across British society we will try to reconstruct the history of Britain during the period c.730 - 870 AD AD and suggest reasons for the success of Mercia during the 8th century, particularly under Offa. We will then consider the circumstances under which the growing threat of the Norsemen presented themselves, and the nature of that threat. We will use sources such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Church records and early Welsh Irish poetry in order to create a picture of the culture of the British Isles during the Dark Ages and assess the value of such evidence. You will be introduced to all the major cultural aspects, theology and warfare during the period concerned.

Course aim

The course will analyse key developments of the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy and other native British cultures upto and beyond the the reign of King Offa across the British Isles.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This is a live lecture delivered by a subject specialist in an online webinar video learning platform. You will need to be able to access the internet on a device with speakers or earphones. There will be opportunities to take part in discussions and chats. If you’d like to know how to use Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain, using at least 2 examples, how the Latin Church influenced British and Saxon culture during the 8th century AD
  • Give at least three reasons that made the kingdom of Mercia so important in the 8th century AD
  • Explain using at least one example, the significance of the Battle of Ellandun in 825 AD.
  • Give at least two key features of the emergence of the Norse raids in Britain in the 9th century.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • "In Search of the Dark Ages" Michael Wood, BBC Books 2006 "England During the Dark Ages" John Green, Didactic Press 2013

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Age of Chronicles and Sagas

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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