History of English

  • 400

    The Beginning of Old English

    Tis an example of the first four line of the Lord's Prayer in old english:
    Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum
    Si þin nama gehalgod
    to becume þin rice
    gewurþe ðin willa
  • Period: 400 to

    Year of Important Events

    Those dates that don't have a specific month and day, I will just use the 1st of January.
  • Jan 1, 700


    The exact date of the writing of the poem Beowulf is unknown, as is the author. The date is suspected to be sometime between 700 A.D. and 1000 A.D.
  • Jan 1, 1066

    Norman Invasion

    Norman Invasion
    The Norman conquest greatly influenced the English languages. The invading Norman's spoke a French dialect called Old Norman.
  • Jan 1, 1100

    End of Old English: Beginning of Middle English

    Here's an example of middle English, which is the first four line of pslam 23 (the one that begins with "the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want):
    Lauerd me steres, noght wante sal me:
    In stede of fode þare me louked he.
    He fed me ouer watre ofe fode,
    Mi saule he tornes in to gode.
  • Jan 1, 1387

    Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

    Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
    Though Chaucer began writing the tales in 1387, he didn't actually finish them until 1400.
  • Jan 1, 1440

    Printing Press

    Printing Press
    This invention by Johannes Gutenberg greatly helped to stabalize the English Language.
  • Oct 12, 1492

    America is Discovered

    America is Discovered
    Though many argue who first discovered America, for the sake of the timeline I will say it was Christopher Columbus.
  • Jan 1, 1500

    End of Middle English: Start of Modern English

    In the words of Shakespeare (in early modern English):
    Why then the world's mine oyster,
    Which I with sword will open.
  • Creation of the English Dictionary

    Creation of the English Dictionary
    It was and is another great invention, besides the printing press, that helped to stabalize the English language.
  • Shakespeare's First Folio

    Shakespeare's First Folio
    This collection of 36 plays was published in 1623.
  • Industrial Revolution

    Industrial Revolution
    The invention new machinery and so forth forced the creation of new words to name and exlpain them.
  • American Revolution

    American Revolution
  • Germanic Invasion

    The Germanic Invasion gave rise to the true start of the English language. It was a combination of the languages of the Germanic people, which included the Angles, Saxons, Frisii, Jutes, and the Franks.