The Britain of 600-800 AD was populated by four distinct peoples; the British, Picts, Irish and Anglo-Saxons. They spoke 3 different languages, Gaelic, Brittonic and Old English, and lived in a diverse cultural environment. In 600 the British and the Irish were already Christians. In contrast the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons and Picts occurred somewhat later, at the end of the 6th and during the 7th century. Religion was one of the ways through which cultural difference was expressed, and the rulers of different areas of Britain dictated the nature of the dominant religion in areas under their control.
This book uses the Conversion and the Christianisation of the different peoples of Britainas a framework through which to explore the workings of their political systems and the structures of their society. Because Christianity adapted to and affected the existing religious beliefs and social norms wherever it was introduced, it’s the perfect medium through which to study various aspects of society that are difficult to study by any other means.
Introduction 1. Politics and Society in Britain c.600-800 2. The Conversion of Britain to Christianity 3. The Organisation and Culture of the Church in Early Medieval Britain 4. Society, Politics and Religion in Early Medieval Britain Conclusion