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Lecture 5

Week 5 The Reign of Alred.docx

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History 2405E
Kim Luton

The Reign of Alfred - Introduction: - He is Englands king, hardly anyone in English history has something bad to say about King Alfred-> Life of Alfred by Bishop Asa and The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle make him a national hero - Alfred made a treaty with the danes, some of his charters and personal letters (very literate person)-> Manages to get his Latin up - Alfred translated many books from Latin into Anglo Saxon-> One book that Pope Gregory wrote was translated - Only European king we know of in the medieval period that wrote books - He took the throne of Wessex during a rough time for Anglo Saxons, East Anglia/Northumbria ceased to exist and lost control of London - Aethelwulf raised his children in certain ways, hope they would all succeed each other with the throne but how did Alfred come to power when he had 3 older siblings? - 871-878 The Fight for Survival: - In 871 Alfred succeeds the throne, throughout the 70s he spent almost his entire time defending Wessex against the Danes - Wessex had been weakened by many campaigns from the Vikings and Alfred offered to pay them money to go away which turns out to be a success - Vikings went to go seek easier pickings in Mercia. Alfred knew that the Vikings would return after he gave them money to leave - The second invasion of Wesssex occurs in 875, he pays them off again and the Vikings leave - In 878 the Danish king Guthurum was close to coming into wessex and since Alfred knew this was coming so he flees to the Western section of Wessex-> The entire area was swamp/marsh and you need to know your way around - Alfred knew the area, he finds his way to a royal house at Cheddar and resides there for safety - In 878 Alfred returns and leads a defeating victory against the Vikings-> Attacks them at Edington - Guthurum converts to Christianity and promises to never return to Wessex again - He showed the requisites of an Anglo Saxon king-> Military leadership, powerful, religion - Alfred’s dynasty was solidified and seems to have brothers who don’t spite him - Vikings numbers were fewer by this time, possibly making the situation easier for Alfred-> Crisis of Vikings is over - 878-892 Reconstruction and Reform: - Alfred was able to use this pe
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