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The Anglo-Saxon kings > Alfred 'The Great'

The Anglo-Saxon kings > Alfred 'The Great'
Alfred 'The Great' (r. 871-899) Born at Wantage, Berkshire, in 849, Alfred was the fifth son of Aethelwulf, king of the West Saxons. At their father's behest and by mutual agreement, Alfred's elder brothers succeeded to the kingship in turn, rather than endanger the kingdom by passing it to under-age children at a time when the country was threatened by worsening Viking raids from Denmark. Since the 790s, the Vikings had been using fast mobile armies, numbering thousands of men embarked in shallow-draught longships, to raid the coasts and inland waters of England for plunder. Such raids were evolving into permanent Danish settlements; in 867, the Vikings seized York and established their own kingdom in the southern part of Northumbria. The Vikings overcame two other major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, East Anglia and Mercia, and their kings were either tortured to death or fled. Second, Alfred started a building programme of well-defended settlements across southern England.

http://www.royal.gov.uk/HistoryoftheMonarchy/KingsandQueensofEngland/TheAnglo-Saxonkings/AlfredtheGreat.aspx

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King Alfred the Great Family tree poster & books House of Wessex Family Tree Detailed Tree Scottish King or Queen at the Time FAQs Name: King Alfred the GreatBorn: c.849 at Wantage, BerkshireParents: Aethelwulf and OsburhRelation to Elizabeth II: 32nd great-grandfatherHouse of: WessexBecame King: 871Married: Ealhswith of MerciaChildren: 5 children, Aelfthryth, Aethelflaed, Aethelgifu, Edward, AethelweardDied: October 26, 899Buried at: WinchesterSucceeded by: his son Edward Anglo-Saxon king 871–899 who defended England against Danish invasion and founded the first English navy. He succeeded his brother Aethelred to the throne of Wessex in 871, and a new legal code came into force during his reign. He encouraged the translation of scholarly works from Latin (some he translated himself), and promoted the development of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

Timeline of Anglo Saxon England 597 AD-687 AD 597 - The Roman brand of Christianity is brought to Britain for the first time by St. Augustine, the missionary sent from Pope Gregory to convert the Saxons. Augustine lands in Kent and is welcomed by King Aethelbert whose Frankish Queen is already a Christian practicing at her church of St. Martin's, Canterbury. Augustine converts Aethelbert and his court to Christianity and founds a monastery at Canterbury. Alfred the Great: The Most Perfect Man in History? King Alfred of Wessex (r.871-99) is probably the best known of all Anglo-Saxon rulers, even if the first thing to come into many people’s minds in connection with him is something to do with burnt confectionery. The year 1999 saw the 1100th anniversary of his death on October 26th, 899, at the age of about 50. The occasion is being marked with conferences and exhibitions in Winchester, Southampton and London, but the scale of celebrations will be modest compared with those which commemorated his millenary, and culminated in the unveiling by Lord Rosebery of his statue in Winchester. Alfred’s reputation still stands high with historians, though few would now want to follow Edward Freeman in claiming him as ‘the most perfect character in history’ (The History of the Norman Conquest of England, 5 volumes, 1867-79). Alfred is someone who has had greatness thrust upon him.

Epic World History: Anglo-Saxon Culture The Anglo-Saxons were Germanic barbarians who invaded Britain and took over large parts of the island in the centuries following the withdrawal of the Roman Empire. They were initially less gentrified than other post-Roman barbarian groups such as the Franks or Ostrogoths because they had less contact with Mediterranean civilization. The Anglo-Saxons were originally pagan in religion. The main group, from northwestern Germany and Denmark, was divided into Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. German tribal affiliations were loose and the original invaders included people from other Germanic groups as well. Although some of the early Anglo-Saxon invaders had Celtic-influenced names, such as Cedric, the founder of the house of Wessex, the Anglo-Saxons had a pronounced awareness of them-selves as different from the peoples already inhabiting Britain.

Anglo-Saxon Culture Michael Delahoyde Washington State University History: When Rome was weakening early in the fifth century c.e., troops in the outlying regions, including the British Isles, were withdrawn. Walls, roads, and baths remain even now. They also left the native Celts and Celtic-speaking Britons somewhat christianized, and Picts and Scots in the north, but "political" power fell to unstable tribal units.

Anglo-Saxon literature: Poetry There are two types of Old English poetry: the heroic, the sources of which are pre-Christian Germanic myth, history, and custom; and the Christian. Although nearly all Old English poetry is preserved in only four manuscripts—indicating that what has survived is not necessarily the best or most representative—much of it is of high literary quality. Moreover, Old English heroic poetry is the earliest extant in all of Germanic literature. It is thus the nearest we can come to the oral pagan literature of Germanic culture, and is also of inestimable value as a source of knowledge about many aspects of Germanic society.

Where did the Anglo-Saxons come from? The Anglo-Saxons left their homelands in northern Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands and rowed across the North Sea in wooden boats to Britain. They sailed across the North Sea in their long ships, which had one sail and many oars. They made a series of attacks on different parts of the country over a period of years and under a number of leaders.

Exploring the Depth and Beauty of Anglo-Saxon Literature This map shows kingdoms in the island of Great Britain at about the year 800 CE. When we hear the words “Anglo-Saxon literature,” Beowulf is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Then we might think of the beauty of illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Durrow or the Lindisfarne Gospels. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener talks with Professor Larry Swain of Bemidji State University about these works, as well as Norse and Irish influences on Anglo-Saxon literature and the significance of the Byzantines, Theodore and Hadrian, who came to Northumbria in the seventh century CE. Professor Swain recommends learning Old English in order to be able to read works in Old English, of course, but equally intriguing, to allow us to better express ourselves in modern English.

ANGLO-SAXON POETRY Art imitates life so the mimetic theory stipulates. By examining the literature a culture produces, we may infer how they lived and what they valued. By examining these three short poems, we may infer that at least the following ideas / persons / beliefs meant a great deal to the Anglo-Saxons... the archetype of the journey on land and sea exile Anglo Saxons Houses and Saxon villages We know what Saxons houses may have looked like from excavations of Anglo Saxon villages, such as the one at West Stow in the east of England. Here, an early Anglo-Saxon village (c.420-650AD) has been carefully reconstructed where it was excavated. Using clues from the what was discovered, archeologists have reconstructed the houses as they may have looked about 1,500 years ago. We know that the Saxons built mainly in wood, although some of their stone churches remain.

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