THE "INVASION" OF CHRISTIANITY
Originally Posted by valtallica
We can see that the language of the people on the little island of Britain was influenced by invasions of new people. The Celts were first invaded by the Romans, bringing in Latin words. The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes added their essentially German speech, and Viking raids and settlements added the Scandinavian influence. But there was one "invasion" that differed because it was peaceful, yet it had a profound influence on the English language – the "invasion" of Christianity, beginning in 597 AD.
Pope Gregory the Great was inspired to send St. Augustine and 49 monks to Britain after observing some fair-haired boys about to be sold as slaves in the Roman marketplace. He asked where they were from and when told that they came from the island of Britain and were pagans (non-Christians) he said, "What a pity that the author of darkness is possessed of men of such fair countenances." He sent missionaries to convert the people and save them.
The Celtic and Anglo-Saxon tribes were notoriously savage, so the monks were probably much relieved when the English King Aethelbert agreed to listen to their words. He said, "Your words… are new and uncertain, and I cannot accept them and abandon the age-old beliefs that I have held… But since you are sincere in your desire to impart to us what you believe to be true… we will not harm you." Therefore, the conversion of England to Christianity was gradual and peaceful.
The monks built churches and monasteries, which became the center, not only of religion, but of education and learning as well. The monks taught medicine and healing arts, poetry, literature, astronomy, and arithmetic. Because the generally wrote and spoke in their native Latin, many words were added to our language on these subjects.
Besides enriching the Old English language with new words, the monks did something even more important – it gave the English more abstract words. Now they were able to communicate abstract ideas more clearly. Old English words were mostly common, concrete words like cow, cold, hot, land. Greek and Latin words like angel, subconscious, angst, martyr led them to new ideas. Religious words came from Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, but the monks also added biblical words that from around the world like camel, lion, oyster, and ginger.
From: www.rssu.org/history/christia.htm+%22St.+Augustine%22+%2B%22English+lan guage%22+history&hl=en&ie=UTF-8]This Page[/url]
Hope that helps! :wink: