A2 induction language timeline

  • May 28, 1000


    Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest. It tells the breathtaking story of a struggle between the hero, Beowulf, and a bloodthirsty monster called Grendel. Poems of this kind would often have been recited from memory by a court minstrel, or scop, to the accompaniment of a harp. This fire-damaged manuscript is the only surviving copy of the story.
  • May 29, 1100


    This illumination shows a seated scribe writing with his quill, surrounded by monstrous creatures. Illuminated manuscripts are a precious source for learning about medieval visual culture, especially since they tend to be much better preserved than, for example, paintings on panels or walls. In the early Middle Ages, most illuminated manuscripts were produced in monasteries.
  • Aug 30, 1150

    First text in middle english?

    First text in middle english?
    Most sermons (or homilies) in this collection are copies of earlier ones in Old English. But this one is different. It is an English translation of a Latin sermon in which we can see many of the changes that signal the end of Old English. The rhythm and pattern of the sentences are beginning to sound distinctly modern. That is why linguists have called it the first text in Middle English.
  • Apr 13, 1220

    A medievil death

    A medievil death
    Death was at the centre of life in the Middle Ages in a way that might seem shocking to us today. With high rates of infant mortality, disease, famine, the constant presence of war, and unsophisticated medical techniques, death was a brutal part of most people's everyday experience.
  • May 29, 1280

    French hebrew manuscript

    This is one of the finest surviving French Hebrew manuscripts. It was written in 1280 by a scribe named Benjamin, and contains a variety of texts relating to the bible, to worship and to various periods of history. Several artists were responsible for the beautiful French Gothic miniatures, some of which are circular in shape, as seen in this opening. On the right, is the mythical bird, Bar-Yokhani, a symbol in Judaism of a future saviour coming from God to save the world. On the left is King So
  • Jan 3, 1310

    living and dead princes

    Stories in which terrifying meetings occur between the living and the dead became increasingly popular from the early 1300s. One common theme found in manuscripts, paintings and sculptures, was the story of three living princes who encounter three dead princes, shown as worm-eaten corpses.
  • May 29, 1390

    First english cookery manuscript

    This is the oldest known cookery manuscript in the English language. It is entitled The Forme of Cury (meaning 'Form of Cookery' in Middle English). It was written by the master-cooks of King Richard II, and is in the form of a scroll made of vellum - a kind of fine calfskin parchment. This section shows a recipe for 'chastletes', which were small pastry castles. The pastries were filled with pork or almonds and coloured with saffron or sandalwood. The word 'coffin' referred to the pastry case,
  • Nov 15, 1430

    Chess playing

    Chess playing
    Chess playing was a popular pastime in the medieval period, as shown in this illuminated manuscript in which the King and Queen are playing the game. Chivalry or courtly love might have been expressed through a number of leisure activities, such as dancing, enjoying music or horse riding.
  • May 29, 1473

    First book printed in English

    William Caxton was the first Englishman to learn to use a printing press. The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye was his first printed book, and the first book printed anywhere in English. It was produced in 1473 on the Continent, in either Bruges or Ghent. The text is a recuyell (compilation) of stories about the Trojan Wars by Raoul Lefèvre, originally written in French. The translation was also by Caxton.
  • Sep 27, 1500

    Tower of London

    Writers at this time were undecided about towns. On the one hand, they recognised them as powerful centres of economic, cultural, political, administrative and spiritual activity. But on the other hand, they saw that towns offered many wicked temptations, the most dangerous of which were taverns and alehouses, gambling dens and brothels.
  • May 29, 1570

    Hand written recipe

    The late 1500s was the first time that cookery books began to be regularly published and acquired. It was also the first time that cookery books were directed at a female audience. However, literacy rates among women were very low, so it is likely that these books would only have been purchased by the privileged few. In any case, only the higher echelons of society would have had regular access to valuable key ingredients such as sugar, spices, hothouse-grown fruits or plentiful livestock.
  • Fire of London

    The fire had started in a baker's shop in Pudding Lane on 2 September. In 17th century London fires were common, but none of them had spread so widely or caused as much damage as this. London was by far the largest city in England and mainly consisted of wooden buildings, tightly packed together along very narrow streets. This poorly built urban sprawl, together with dry weather and a strong easterly wind, created the perfect conditions for the rapid spread of the fire.
  • Cities in chaos

    The population of Britain grew rapidly during the 1700s, from around 5 million people in 1700 to nearly 9 million by 1801. Many people left the countryside in order to seek out new job opportunities in nearby towns and cities. Most towns were grimy, over-crowded and generally unsanitary places to be.
  • Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

    Oliver Twist is Charles Dickens's second novel, about an orphan boy whose good heart and healthy appetite helps him escape the terrible underworld of pickpockets and poverty in 1830s London. It has proven to be one of the best loved novels in the history of literature.
  • Alice's adventures in wonderland

    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is of the best loved children’s books of all time. This is the original manuscript of the book, titled Alice's Adventures Under Ground, and handwritten and illustrated by Lewis Carroll.
    The story tells of a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a hallucinogenic world populated by talking packs of cards, and animals who look at pocket watches, smoke pipes and have tea parties.
  • Jack the Ripper Murders

    Jack the Ripper' was the name given to an unknown serial killer (or killers) active in Whitechapel, London in 1888. Some believe that the name was invented by journalists in a bid to sell more newspapers, although it was also reported that the name was given in a letter to the Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer. The Whitechapel murders were not the first serial murders in London but they were the first to create a media frenzy.
  • Wilfred Owen WW1 poetry

    Wilfred Owen is among the most famous poets of the First World War. This is the original manuscript of the poem 'Dulce et Decorum Est', written in Owen's own hand while he served as a soldier in the appalling conditions of the trenches. Composed between 1917 and 1918 (the year of his death), the poem gives a chilling account of the senselessness of war.
  • Wanted poster for Hitler

    This front page of the Daily Mirror from 1939 is presented as a 'WANTED' poster for Adolf Hitler - the 'reckless criminal ... wanted - dead or alive'. The newspaper appeared on 4 September 1939, just one day after Britain and France declared war on Germany. The British press had the difficult task of reporting the news of war to its readers.
  • Man lands on the moon

    After World War II, several nations, particularly the Soviet Union and the United States (enemies in the Cold War) competed to be the first to send rockets, then animals, then men into space. For many years, the Soviets led this 'space race', sending the first man, Yuri Gagarin, to orbit the earth on April 13, 1961. But the US was the first country to send men to the moon. The iconic moon landing took place on 21 July 1969.
  • Mimi Khalvati, 'Ghazal: after Hafez'

    Hafez was a Persian lyrical poet who lived in the 14th century, and his Ghazals hold a similar place in Arabic and Iranian culture to that of Shakespeare’s sonnets in British culture. They are classic poems, following a strict metre, rhyme and refrain, often learned by heart. They are also regularly sung; the rhyme letting the listeners know to anticipate the refrain, which they may join in with, so that performing a Ghazal becomes a communal experience. They usually deal with emotions and theme