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The Art of Anglo-Saxon England c. 600-850 - HOA00017H

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Jane Hawkes
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

The art of Anglo-Saxon England allows a vivid insight into the radical changes, economic, political and social, that marked the area in the early medieval period. It is a period that saw a process of continual migration and settlement of Germanic peoples into the region, a movement that initially impacted on a Roman territory inhabited by Celtic peoples, and which saw the emergence of a complex society with an economically powerful ruling elite that embraced both ‘Church’ and ‘State’. It is a period that saw the continual activity of Christian missions, both into Anglo-Saxon England from Ireland and the Continental mainland, and into Europe from England. It is thus a period that saw a meeting of cultures that were pagan and Christian, secular and religious, oral and literate, Northern European and Mediterranean.

By studying the art used to decorate the metalwork, manuscripts and stone monuments produced in the region during this period we will explore the complexities of a visual culture that could be shaped by such interactions and, at the same time, could be consciously employed in attempts to shape them.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired:

  • A familiarity with the many different artistic media employed in the period.
  • An understanding of some of the issues involved in the cultural transmission of the visual languages current in the region.
  • An understanding of some of the complexities of imagery and meaning in early medieval religious art.
  • A knowledge of some of the major monuments of the period and their historical context.
  • An awareness of the various scholarly approaches to the material and the factors informing them.


Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (3 day paper over 4 days)
Art of Anglo-Saxon England, c. 600-850
8 hours 90
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral Seminar
N/A 10

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (3 day paper over 4 days)
Art of Anglo-Saxon England, c. 600-850
8 hours 90

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on their formative assessment within one week.

Students will receive feedback on their summative assessment within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

  • Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (any edition, but Oxford World’s Classics, ed. J. McClure and R. Collins, Oxford, 1994 passim is perhaps the best translation available at the moment)
  • J. Campbell (ed.), The Anglo-Saxons (London, 1982 passim)
  • Leslie Webster, Anglo-Saxon Art: a New History (London, British Museum: 2012)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

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