Cultura & Literatura
Anglo Saxons

Anglo Saxons

Anglo Saxons

"When William the Conqueror won on the battlefield in 1066, he didn’t just usurp a country’s throne – he personally oversaw the end of a vibrant and lively era of British history. He stamped out every last trace of it that he could, but no matter how hard he tried, the legacy of the Anglo-Saxons would live on. In All About History Book of the Anglo-Saxons, uncover how seven separate kingdoms slowly joined together, and find out why King Alfred became known as ‘the Great’. Explore what life was really like, and meet the deadly Viking raiders who managed to conquer part of England. Get up close and personal with the final Anglo-Saxon kings, and reveal what really happened in the last days before everything changed forever…"

País:
United Kingdom
Língua:
English
Editora:
Future Publishing Ltd
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7 minutos
origins of the anglo-saxons

In the 6th century, a British cleric named Gildas wrote, in elegant Latin, a jeremiad against the corrupt and decadent rulers of his people who, through their sins, had called God’s vengeance down upon them and their realms. That vengeance took the form of blond-haired, moustachioed warriors. The book Gildas wrote was called De Excidio Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain) and it’s the only contemporary source we have for what was happening in Britain in the two centuries after the Romans left in 410 CE. Those blond warriors were Angles and Saxons – Germanic-speaking peoples who came from the flat, marshy regions of what are today northern Germany and southern Denmark. According to Gildas, they had been invited to the country as mercenaries and then had turned on their employer,…

1 minutos
the once and future king

The legendary image of Arthur, the once and future king, who will return in England’s direst need to heroically fight against any enemies, is somewhat undercut by the fact that, if he existed at all, Arthur actually fought against the English as a champion of the native Britons, the people who would become the Welsh. But Arthur’s very existence is a moot point. The earliest definite reference to him is in the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons), which was written in Wales around 830, so at least three centuries after when he was supposed to have lived. In the Historia, Arthur is the dux bellorum (duke of battles) rather than a king, who leads the Britons to 12 victories over the Anglo-Saxons, the last being at Mount Badon. This is…

1 minutos
the seven kingdoms

Britain was a very different place in the chaotic centuries after the Roman legions left in 410 CE. With the breakdown of the centralised Roman administration, the country dissolved into innumerable petty kingdoms, many now completely lost to memory, contending with each other for short-lived dominance. Into this mix came the Anglo-Saxons, sailing over the North Sea and using the rivers and estuaries of east and south Britain as their highways into this new country where they were carving out kingdoms. Roads were few and often dangerous. The sea and rivers provided much surer and safer means of travel. These bands of warriors established new kingdoms and brought their families over the North Sea to join them, but they fought as enthusiastically among themselves as they fought with their British…

2 minutos
northumbria

The clue is in the name; Northumbria was the Anglo-Saxon kingdom north of the Humber. At its peak it was the largest and most powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom and, through being home to Bede for all his life, it is the best recorded kingdom up to the 8th century. Northumbria demonstrates in its history the consolidation of smaller kingdoms into larger polities, for it came about through the forced union of Bernicia, with its royal stronghold at Bamburgh, and Deira, centred on the old Roman city of York. According to the surviving king lists, Bernicia was founded in 547 by Ida – hence the kings of Bernicia were called the Idings – when he captured Bamburgh. For half a century, the Idings fought desperately to retain their precarious hold on the coast,…

2 minutos
mercia

For nearly 300 years, Mercia was the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. When Ecgfrith, king of the Northumbrians, was killed in 685, Mercia filled the power vacuum, coming to dominate the land south of the Humber, with only the kingdom of Wessex holding out against Mercian hegemony. But of the three major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms – Northumbria, Wessex and Mercia – the history of Mercia mostly comes from the pens of its enemies. Most notable among these is Bede, a proud Northumbrian, who despite the otherwise broad sweep of his History, treats the Mercians pretty well only as antagonists. The name Mercia derives from Mierce, an Old English word meaning the ‘marches’ or ‘border people’, and that is what it was when first settled: the border kingdom between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms…

2 minutos
wessex

Of the three major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms – Northumbria, Mercia and Wessex – the latter was the last to achieve prominence, but the kings of Wessex eventually became the rulers of a unified England. However, there was little to suggest their eventual status in the founding of Wessex. As with the other kingdoms, the king lists go back to a founder, Cerdic, from whom the ruling dynasty drew its legitimacy, but there is little to prove that the kings who came after Cerdic, the Cerdicings, were actually related to their supposed forebear. According to the account in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Cerdic landed on the Hampshire coast with five boatloads of men in 495 CE, establishing a kingdom on the south coast and gradually expanding inland and to the west. However, Cerdic is…