Since the Middle Ages, society has come a long way. Not only are the epics of today and during the Middle Ages different, but the actual eras within the Middle Ages are different as well. In the earlier years work, war, and religion were the essential factors of life. Through time these factors were expanded, and evolved to what it is now today.
The Anglo-Saxon period was recognized with the pagan religion. These people worshipped gods of nature, and this worship was not a source of spiritual revelation. The Medieval period mainly focused on Christianity. In the earlier years, education took place in the cathedrals, and later moved to the monasteries in the Medieval time. As technology increased, and more materials became available, churches were built stronger and more durable than ordinary buildings. Wood was soon accompanied with metal on the material list. Churches were also the common defensive ground during an attack.
The Anglo-Saxon period was one beset by frequent warfare and violent invasions. The townspeople would come together and defend themselves and their lord behind the high walls of the church. By the Medieval period, many people had moved out towards the countryside or were traveling. From then on the use of the church as a defensive shield diminished. Anglo-Saxon warriors traveled on foot and carried only a shield and sword. Again, with technology and trading with other countries, the Medieval warriors were able to defend themselves better with more protective armor like spears, helmets, mail shirts, and stronger shields and swords. Not to mention the use of horses.
Kingdoms were ruled by a king or lord during the Anglo-Saxon period. By the 1000's townspeople began to buy off their property from the lord and have it as their own. This also enabled them to travel. More and more farmers of the Anglo-Saxon period began to trade their goods and increase their profits.