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Before the powerful and well known monarchs of the fifteenth sixteenth and seventeenth centuries what is now known as England Scotland Wales and Ireland were ruled by a paganistic and heathenistic group of people called the Anglo-Saxons Anglo-Saxon England and Wales pg2 These rulers were mostly ruthless illiterate barbarians but in the later years of the Anglo-Saxon era they started to convert to Christianity and become educated and more intelligent people The Anglo-Saxon monarchs and the monarchs of the Elizabethan age shared many common characteristics but their differences numbered much more The Elizabethan monarchs were products of a more cultured civilized society and their manner of rule reflected the socially acceptable customs and beliefs of the time The Anglo-Saxons on the other hand ruled as individuals in an almost primitive society without culture or refinements Anglo-Saxon England- culture and society pg1 Their rule was dictatorial brutal and ruthless Anglo-Saxon kings were known for their acts of bravery loyalty and kinship and they were honored for these traits The throne rested in the hands of the bravest most tested Anglo-Saxon who showed the most leadership The Elizabethan monarchs however assumed rule by descent and because the monarchs were only allowed to wed other royalty many fell to the harsh results of inbreeding Marriages were arranged among the Elizabethan royals for political and strategic purposes The tremendous sense of honor bravery even brutality of the Anglo-Saxon kings began to be replaced by lineage monarchy where ones blood line became more important than personal character or ability The first notable king remembered in Anglo-Saxon tradition is Aella Historical Heathens pg1 who ruled about 480 AD He became known as the first Germanic king of the South Saxons in the area of Sussex Aellas fame comes from his participation in many battles in the second half of the fifth century and as king he united all of the other Anglo-Saxon kings south of the Humber River under one rule
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