In the early
days of history (50-450) England
was known as Britain and the people
who lived there were the Britons. There were no big towns on the British Isles at that time. People lived in small villages along the rivers or near the
sea. The Britons caught
fish, grew wheat and had
many pigs, cows and sheep in the
meadows near the rivers and on the sides of the mountains. Later they learned to make things of wool and metal and sold them to the people who came across the sea.
Romans with Julius Caesar at the
head invaded the British Isles and forced the population to pay tribute.
Romans kept their armies in Britain. They built roads and had the country under control.
protected themselves from the attacks
of the Britons by the walls which
they built across Britain.
can see the Roman walls in Britain even now. Here is Hadrian's Wall which was built by the emperor Hadrian in the year 122.
Romans left the country only
in the
second half of the 5th century.
The Roman armies were called back to
where they defended the country from barbaric peoples.
Roman; n
British Isles
an invader
to protect
the Britons
to invade
to force
to keep
a road
a century
When Robin Hood lived in his
fathers house, he often met a girl. Her name was Marian. She lived with her
father not far from Robins house. They walked in the forest and sometimes went
hunting together. They liked each other very much and one day Robin asked
Marian to marry him. But just at that time the Normans came and killed Robins
father, burnt down his house and took away everything he had. Robin did not see
Marian for a long time. He wrote a letter, where he told her about his father and
their home. I shall always love you, he wrote, but the life in the forest is
not for you, so I shall never see you again, good-bye!
Marian was very sad when she read Robins letter. She
cried all day long. At last she decided to go to Sherwood Forest and look for
It was a long way to Sherwood Forest and Marian was
afraid to travel so far alone. She dressed herself like a knight and went off
to look for Robin. One day Robin dressed himself as a Norman knight and went to
Nottingham. On his way through the forest he met another knight. . Whats your
name and where are you going? They could not see each others faces because
their heads and faces were covered by their vizors. Marian (for it was
she) was afraid to answer. Ah, said
Robin, you do not want to answer. Then fight. Robin was taller and stronger
than Marian, but she fought bravely. Marian got a wound in one arm, Robin got a
wound in his cheek. Robin felt sorry for the young knight who was fighting so
well. Stop! Stop! cried he. You will be one of my men. Robin forgot that he
was dressed like o Norman knight and spoke in his language and in his voice.
When Marian heard Robins voice she dropped her sword and took off the vizor.
Her face was pale but she smiled.
to hunt
to marry

to cry
to be afraid
a knight
to cover.

a vizor
to drop
a voise
a sword
to smile
to feel (felt; felt)
a wound
to bandage

Britons could not keep their land free for a long time. The Germanic tribes
from Western Europe-the Angles, Saxons and Jutesattacked the coasts of ritain and after long wars with the Britons settled on the
British Isles. The Britons fought bravely against the enemies and defended
their land. But the enemies were stronger. They took houses, fields and cattle
from the Britons. The Angles got most of the land and became the strongest tribe. The Britons went to the mountains in
the west of the Isles and settled there. This part of Britain is called Wales
now. As time went on the two peoples - the Angles and the Saxons - grew into
one and were called Anglo-Saxons. They called their speech English, and their
country England - that is, the Land of the English.
Anglo-Saxons formed many kingdoms-Kent, Essex, Wessex, which now are counties
of Great Britain. These kingdoms were at war with one another. The stronger
kings took the land from the smaller kingdoms .
a kingdom -
a coast -
to form -
a tribe -
Europe -
the Angles -
the Saxons -
the Jutes -
a county -
a nation-
to settle -
two hundred years the English people
were at war with the Danes who came
from Denmark and the Northmen who came from Scandinavia. King
Alfred when he was a boy of sixteen took part in the battles with the enemies. At twenty
he became king of
Wessex and began to prepare
for the defence of the country. He built a feet of ships and fortifications on
the coasts.
The small kingdoms were united to fignt against the invaders. After the victory over the Danes, King Alfred did much for his people. He opened schools, asked scholars to translate into English the
of world literature and worked out
the English code. The English people named him Alfred the Great.
be at war


the Northmen ;
a battle
a fleet
to unite
a scholar
a code
Danes returned again and again to attack England. The English people had to pay
tribute. But the Danes wanted to rule over the country and after many battles took the crown from the English. They held it
for twenty-four years. Three Danish kings, one after the other, ruled over
England. One of these kings - Canute was at the same time king of England,
Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The rule of Danish kings over England came to an
end soon after Canute's death in 1035.
the Normans began to attack the coasts of England from Normandy (France). In
1066 the Normans won the victory and William, Duke of Normandy, was crowned
king of England and called William the Conqueror.
invaders burnt houses and killed people. The land was taken from the English
and given to the Normans. The invaders spoke French, and it was the language of the upper classes and the government. English was the language of the lower classes.
to. role
the Normans
a crown
a duke
to crown
a conqueror
to burn (burnt; burnt)
to kill
upper classes
Duke Wiliiam conquered England he took away lands and houses, money and cattle
from the Anglo-Saxons and gave them to the Normans. Many poor Anglo-Saxons
became the serfs of the Normans. Two different peoples lived in England at that
time: each spoke its own language, and each hated the other. This went on for a
very long time.
Hood was a legendary hero of those times. He was well known_and loved by the
poor people of England. He was tall strong handsome, and his songs were heard
everywhere. He was brave too and there
was no better archer in that part of
the country. He was also kind in never hurt the weak or the poor._One day
Normans came with many soldiers to Robin's house. There was a terrible fight
in which Robin's father was killed. The
Normans took everything from the house and burnt it down. Only Robin was saved, because he fougfit so bravely that no soldier could
go near him, kill him or take him
prisoner. But when Robin saw that his father was dead and that his house was burnt down he stopped fighting and
ran away to the great forest of Sherwood. Many other Saxons, who were
oppressed by the
Normans, soon learned that Robin
was in Sherwood Forest. A great number of poor men joined him. In short time
there were very many men in the forest who wanted to take revenge upon the oppressors. They made
Hood their leader. The poor people loved Robin and his men whom they called the Merry Men. Robbin became known as Robin of Sherwood Forest or Robin Hood. We do not know how he got the name Hood. Some people say that he was called Hood because he
his men wore green_hoods. He became known not only in England, but in many
countries as Robin Hood. And now
we know him also as Robin Hood.
to learn (learned;learnt)
a number ;

to join
take revenge upon
a hood

a serf

to hate
to go on
an archer

to hurt (hurt;hurt) ,
a fight
to save
to take smb. prisoner -.
dead [ded]
Hood and his men fought against
monks and Norman barons who oppressed
the people. Robin Hood took money from the oppressors and gave it to the oor people. The sheriffs tried to arrest him
but could not do it. At
last the sheriff of Northampton decided to organize a shooting contest where he could arrest Robin Hood. He knew that Robin Hood could shoot very well. The prize was a golden arrow.
Hood called his men and asked them
whether they had to take part in the
contest. They decided that the risk was great but they had to go.
day of the contest was
fine and clear.
The town was decorated with flags
and the field for the contest was full of people. The sheriff looked everywhere for Robin Hood and his men but did not see them. He knew that they were always dressed in green. The contest was won by
a man dressed in red who
had come from a village
with a company of young men. He received the Golden Arrow and left the town. Nobody thought that it was Robin
Hood. When leaving the town Robin Hood
shot an arrow into the sheriff's open window. There was a
paper at the end of the
arrow with the following words: "Robin Hood thanks the sheriff for the
Golden Arrow."
a monk
a sheriff (堠
, )
to try
at last

an arrow
with a
to prove
a statement
sheriff of Nottingham hated Robin Hood even more. He was happy when he could catch one of Robin's men and put him into prison. But he could not cat Rlobin. Robin Hood went to Nottingham very often but he was
always dressed in different
clothes and the sheriff could
not recognize him. So Robin was never caught. One day he was walking through the forest and met a butcher. This butcher was riding to the market at Nottingham. He was dressed in a blue coat. On each side of his grey horse hung a basket full
meat. Robin came out from behind the
trees and stopped him.
have you, my good friend?"
he asked. "Meat,"
answered the man. "Fine
meat for Nottingham Market. Do you want to buy some?"
I do," said Robin. "I'll buy it all from you, and your horse, too. How much
do you want? I want to be a butcher and go to Nottingham Market." So the
butcher sold
his horse and all the meat to
Robin. Then Robin changed clothes with him. He put on the butchers blue clothes and the butcher
went away in Robins
green suit.
to recognize
to ride (rode; ridden)

a basket
a prison
Robin Hood went to Nottingham Market
and sold the meat very cheap. The butchers in Nottingham were very angry with
Robin Hood for selling the meat so cheap. They wanted to know where he came
from. They invited Robin to a dinner with the sheriff of Nottingham. On the way to the town-hall an
old butcher began to ask Robin questions.
Havent you ever been here before? he asked.
Havent I? answered Robin.
Havent I ever seen you before?
Havent you?
Are you a new in the business? Well, I think so, said
the old butcher, getting very angry.
Do you? said Robin laughing.
Soon they came to the town-hall and the butchers
learned nothing about Robin Hood. At dinner the sheriff heard about the new
butcher who sold meat so cheap. The sheriff wanted to buy cattle cheap too. So
he asked Robin Hood if he had any cattle to sell. Robin offered the sheriff to
see his cattle in the field the next morning.
That night the sheriff took out three hundred pounds
of his gold and put it in three bags. In the morning the sheriff got on his
horse, and with three hundred pounds in gold went with Robin Hood to see the
cattle. When the sheriff saw that they were on the road to Sherwood Forest he
was frightened and wanted to go back to Nottingham. But Robin laughed only and
they went on. When they came into the forest Robin saw about a hundred deer
among the trees.
Look there he cried. How do you like my cattle?
to be angry with,

a towh-hall
Havent I?
to offer
a deer
The sheriff was more frightened and
wanted to go back, but Robin Hood invited him to dine with Merry Men. That was
just what Robin Hood always did. He gave those men, who took money from poor
people, a very fine dinner, and than he made them pay very much money for it.
The sheriff understood that he was in
the hands of Robin Hood. After dinner Robin Hood asked the sheriff to
pay for the dinner.
I am poor men, said the sheriff, I have no money.
No money! What have you in your bags, then? asked
Only stones, nothing but stones, answered the
frightened sheriff.
Robins men opened the bags and put the three hundred
pounds of gold on the ground. Sheriff, said Robin, I shall take all this
money and give it to the poor. You have taken much more than that. Then Robin
told his men to bring the sheriffs horse. The sheriff got on his horse, and
Robin led him through the forest. Than he said good-bye to the sheriff and went
away laughing. So the sheriff paid three hundred pounds in gold for a dinner with
Robin Hood.
to make smb. do smth. - -
noting but --
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .