£30 – £45

Christmas in Early England - Dr Sam Newton

Actions and Detail Panel

£30 – £45

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Online Event

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description
Christmas in Early England. - with Dr Sam Newton.

About this Event

Rediscover the magic of Christmas with an exploration of the significance of the midwinter festival in early England and how it was celebrated. We begin the day with a look at the Old English calendar, which we can reconstruct from the information provided by the early eighth-century Northumbrian scholar Bede in his work, De Temporum Ratione Liber, “Book on the Reckoning of Time”. Not only does this document indicate how the pre-Christian year was structured, it also allows us to suggest some of the ways in which it formed the foundation for the Christian calendar among the English-speaking peoples. For example, Christmas Eve was known as Módra Niht, ‘Mothers’ Night’, in the old calendar, perhaps because it originally referred to the longest night of the winter, out of which the new year was born. We shall then consider what the evidence of archaeology shows us about the Yuletide feast in early England. Excavations of feasting hall-sites and of rich barrow-burials, which have revealed fine drinking vessels and other feasting accoutrements, enable us to see where and how the midwinter festival was celebrated.We shall bring the archaeology to life with the references to feasting in Old English, Old Norse, and Middle English sources, completing the day with the vivid account of Christmas at Camelot from the Middle English poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

10.30 – 11.30: The Old English Calendar

11.30-12.00: Coffee-break

12.00 – 1.00: The Old English Yuletide Feast

13.00-14.00: Lunch-break

14.00-15.00: Christmas at Camelot –Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991. He published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993, and his second, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, in 2003. He has published several papers, some of which are available on Academia – https://independent.academia.edu/SamNewton .

He has lectured widely around the country and contributed to many radio and television programmes, especially Time Team, for whom he worked for seven series. He is a tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education, an accredited Arts’ Society lecturer, and a Director of the Wuffing Education Study-Day Partnership.

Some suggestions for optional background reading

Barron, W.R.J. (ed. & tr.), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Manchester 1974).

Branston, B., The Lost Gods of England (Thames & Hudson 1957, 1974).

Chaney, W.A., The Cult of Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England (Manchester 1970).

Ellis Davidson, H., The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe (Routledge 1993).

Evans, A., The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (British Museum 1986).

Sturluson, Snorri, Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway, tr. Lee M. Hollander, American-Scandinavian Foundation (Austin 1964).

Hutton, R., The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (Oxford 1996).

Orchard, A., Cassell’s Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend (London 1997).

Tolkien, J.R.R. (tr), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Orfeo, ed. C. Tolkien (Unwin 1975).

Turville-Petre, E.O.G., Myth and Religion of the North – The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia (London 1964).

What happens next:

If you haven't already done so it is essential that you create an account on Eventbrite and sign in in order to be able to join the Zoom Meeting. After booking you will receive an email with a link to take you to a webpage with a timer counting down to the start of the event. When it reaches zero it will say 'Join Now'. Click on the link and Zoom will automatically start. It is wise to have set up and tested your Zoom configuration well in advance and be aware of how to use the controls. There is guidance and a test link here.

Please search for 'Wuffing' in the Online section of Eventbrite to find more Study Days from Wuffing Education. Also click on the 'Follow' button above to hear details about any new Wuffing events as soon as they are published. Also please click here to receive our email newsletter about future events.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Online Event

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Save This Event

Event Saved