England Middle Ages Anglo-Saxon Viking Norman Holy Grail King Athelstan Domesday

$45.33 Buy It Now, $35.71 Shipping, 30-Day Returns, eBay Money Back Guarantee

Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,285) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 384750481121 England Middle Ages Anglo-Saxon Viking Norman Holy Grail King Athelstan Domesday. In Search of England: Journeys into The English Past by Michael Wood. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Softcover: 352 pages. Publisher: University of California Press; (2000). Dimensions: 9½ x 6¼ x 1 inches; 1¼ pounds. England is the birthplace of many immortal legends told around the world: King Arthur and Camelot, the Holy Grail, Robin Hood, the mysterious Isle of Avalon. But are these famous stories based on historical events and actual people? And what do they tell us about the character and origins of the Anglo-Saxon world, a culture that helped shape American identity? In his absorbing new book, Michael Wood examines the roots of English history. Peeling back the layers of literary and oral material that have accumulated over the ages, he offers a fascinating series of rich stories; part history, part myth; that, directly or indirectly, touch on questions of English history and identity. He looks back at the legends surrounding Alfred the Great, King Athelstan, the lost library of Glastonbury, and more. Wood's emphasis is the Early Middle Ages, and the first two sections of the book offer deep excursions into particular moments in the history of that era. In addition to recounting some well-known legends, Wood considers the manuscripts and other primary sources of historical information on which they are based, assessing the validity of existing documentation, fleshing out historical contexts, and considering the treatment throughout history of these stories by famous writers, poets, and movie-makers. In the third part of "In Search of England", Wood writes about places that illuminate interesting aspects of early England: Tinsley Wood, near Sheffield, which has been claimed as the site of Athelstan's great victory against the Celts in 937; a farmhouse in Devon which has been occupied since Domesday and possibly long before; and the village of Peatling Magna in Leicestershire, scene of an extraordinary confrontation with King Henry III in 1265. These are the places and events that offer a complementary version of the history that is discussed earlier in the book. "In Search of England" is published at a significant moment. With the European Union, and with assertions of independence within the United Kingdom, questions about English national identity have become increasingly topical both there and abroad. Wood offers a potent and revealing account of the origins of a culture that has had a significant impact worldwide. His narrative is a rich unfolding of history and legend reaching to the present day, and a delightfully readable meditation on the roots of the Anglo-Saxon world. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover. University of California Press (2001) 352 pages. Unblemished except for VERY slight edge and corner shelf wear to the covers. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Condition is entirely consistent with new stock from a bookstore environment wherein new books might show minor signs of shelfwear, consequence of simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #1767.1a.PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: Examines the roots of English history, peeling back the layers of literary and oral material that have accumulated over the ages, offering a fascinating series of rich stories that directly or indirectly touch on questions of English history and identity. Michael Wood is a writer and historian living in England. He has worked as a journalist, broadcaster, and filmmaker, with over sixty films to his name. His book "In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great", based on his PBS television series, was a bestseller in England and in the United States. He is also the author of "In Search of the Trojan War", which also accompanied a PBS series, as well as other books pertaining to history, notably ancient history. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: From the popular television historian whose previous books include "In Search of the Trojan War" and "In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great", comes this study of a pressing question. Now that Britain seems to be an increasingly meaningless concept, what does it mean to be English? Michael Wood traces an answer through many of the most cherished national myths, such as Robin Hood, King Arthur, Alfred the Great, and the mysteries of Glastonbury. As you would expect from Wood, he ranges about over the whole of England, rather than sticking to the obvious places. He visits Tinsley Wood near Sheffield, claimed as the site of Athelstan's great victory over the Celts in A.D. 937. He finds a farmhouse in Devon that has been continuously occupied for 1000 years and a village in Leicestershire where the local peasantry confronted the king's soldiers in 1265 to tell them that they were violating the rights of "the common people of England." The book also boasts a wonderful, judicious collection of reproductions of old posters and paintings showing how English forebears, particularly the Victorians, imaginatively recreated the country's past in their own image. Timely, readable, and fascinating, this is popular history at its very best. REVIEW: A collection of illuminating essays with scholarly zeal, journalistic skepticism and narrative flair. Most interesting are the essays in which Wood journeys off the trampled paths, as he does in his essay on Bede, the priest and scholar who wrote the first and one of the greatest English histories in 731 A.D. A history written, as the best are, "with the heart and the spirit as well as the intellect", as is Wood's adroit journey through the thickets of early medieval history. REVIEW: Better than any historian for decades, Wood brings home not just the ways in which buildings, landscapes and written texts may be read, but the sensual beauty of encounters with them. As a cameo of modern Englishness, it is brilliant; and if Michael Wood claims the cover picture, he lets this man have the last word. A thoughtful meditation on the roots of the Anglo-Saxon World. REVIEW: With scholarly zeal, journalistic skepticism and narrative flair, Wood, a veritable archaeologist of myth, examines key iconic figures, places and texts that have come to represent the idea and ideals of the English. Brings home the ways in which buildings, landscapes and written texts may be read and the sensual beauty of them. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: I always pick up Wood's newest work in English history with high anticipation and I've never been disappointed yet. This volume is a collection of semi-independent chapters collected under three themes. "Myth and History" includes essays that discuss the historical notion of the "Norman yoke," an exceptional piece on the meaning of "Englishness," and three good summary updates on the status of research into King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Glastonbury as Avalon. "Manuscripts and Mysteries" is a fascinating series of paleographical and bibliological essays on John Leland's visit to the library of Glastonbury Abbey on the eve of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, a re-examination of the authenticity of Asser's life of King Alfred, a reconstitution of the lost "Life of Athelstan," and an investigation of the peregrinations of a little psalter now in the British Library. "Landscapes and People" covers the artifactual side of English history, with the stories of the last bowl-turner in England (using pre-Conquest technology well into the 20th century), Tinsley Wood in South Yorkshire as the possibly location of the key Battle of Brunanburh, Bury Barton in north Devon as a probable surviving Roman/Anglo-Saxon farmstead, the resistance by the villagers of Peatling Magna in 1265 against the king following the Battle of Evesham (the peasants took the king's Marshal to court!), the story of Bede's tenure at Jarrow and what has happened to the site since, and a thoroughly fascinating genealogical story involving the exact origins of the ex-slaves of Barbuda. To anyone with the slightest interest in English medieval history and society, this book will be a rich and very satisfying experience. REVIEW: Michael Wood is a rare historian; one who loves books, land, and people. Erudite, enthusiastic, plangent and moving, "In Search of England" is a life-changing history for anyone who reads it. Wood obviously loves Roman Britain, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval as well, although the book also draws connections reaching into early modern, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. So the whole continuum is there. The book falls into three sections. First; "Myth and History". Wood excavates the popularity of icons such as King Arthur, sifting the evidence to pin them down in real time. The sociology is interesting, particularly in the case of Robin Hood ("Merrie Englande"). Second; "Manuscripts and Mysteries". Wearing his learning lightly, Wood shows the fascination of books, tracing one little book on its journey all the way back to Northern Italy. Wood revels in the tales of John Leland, antiquarian to Henry VIII; of Bishop Asser, who wrote the biography of Alfred the Great; and of a possible biography of King Athelstan, Alfred's grandson. Third; "Landscapes and People". I first regarded this section with some dread. How was it going to hold my interest, with such local emphasis? But each chapter, with each place subtly differentiated, sheds a fascinating light on England. And in each, Wood does take a journey, justifying the subtitle of his book; "Journeys into the English Past". He explores a craftsman ("The Last Bowl-Turner of England"); and a wood where Athelstan defeated the Vikings in 937 A.D. ("Tinsley Wood"). "A Devon House" is all about continuity of occupancy. "Peatling Magna" shows a village community becoming politicized in 1265. "Jarrow and English History" deals with the beginnings of English historical writings under the Venerable Bede. Best is last. The Epilogue: "An English Family", shows both multiculturalism and patriotism off to their best effect, bringing things bang up to date with an incredible twist on your expectations as a reader. Yes, it helps if you know English history. If you don't, read this book with a date chart or search some of the people and places mentioned above on the Web first. And when you read this book, prepare to feel uplifted and humbled, and privileged to be on this planet, Earth. Wood will immediately take his place on your list of ideal drinking companions. REVIEW: Although academics may dismiss Wood's populist histories both in print and on TV, he has a rare knack of connecting history with the daily life of us common folk and that alone makes him worth reading. This 1999 work follows up on his other "In Search of" (Dark Ages, Trojan War, Alexander the Great, First Civilizations, Domesday) books. Essentially the series excavates legends and myths, some famous, some obscure, and relates a story about finding or visiting the site of the original. In this one, Wood investigates the last wooden bowl turner in England, tracks a millenium old continuously used farmstead, the long argued site of Athelstan's 937 victory, Bede's church at Jarrow. Fifteen in all, and all supplemented with judiciously chosen artwork. A wonderful winter's night read in the classic sense of a soft chair, warm fire, nice drink, and favorite pet. With the place all to yourself, this one can take you there. REVIEW: Michael Wood has such a tremendous enthusiasm for history and books, it is impossible not to swept along by his joy. If you had not seen his television series, you might picture him as a hunched over academic scrounging through his books. No, he is a very energetic outdoorsy type with a real charm and flair for history. I read this book after reading his work on the Trojan War and Alexander the Great. Both are fine books, particularly his amazing quest in the footsteps of Alexander. This work is a far better book, more detailed and more personal. He ranges over thousands of years of English history and enjoys bouncing ideas through time and space. Wood is at his best when his describes the joy of old books and the historical treasure they contain. The pain of libraries being destroyed are very real in Wood's work. The book is collection of largely unrelated essays are based on the title of H.V Morton's travel books. I enjoyed immensely his item on Morton and the story behind his stories. The essay on an old English wood is one of the best pieces of historical detective work I have read; all the better in that he does not answer the question he sets out with. The essays do not jell as a group into a systematic view of English history. They are the work of a highly gifted story teller who enjoys the practice and art of history.< ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: History of Ancient Britain: Britain (or more accurately, Great Britain) is the name of the largest of the British Isles, which lie off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The name is probably Celtic and derives from a word meaning 'white'; this is usually assumed to be a reference to the famous white Cliffs of Dover, which any new arrival to the country by sea can hardly miss. The first mention of the island was by the Greek navigator Pytheas, who explored the island's coastline, circa 325 B.C. During the early Neolithic Age (circa 4400 B.C. – 3300 B.C.), many long barrows were constructed on the island, many of which can still be seen today. In the late Neolithic (circa 2900 B.C. – 2200 B.C.), large stone circles called henges appeared, the most famous of which is Stonehenge. Before Roman occupation the island was inhabited by a diverse number of tribes that are generally believed to be of Celtic origin, collectively known as Britons. The Romans knew the island as Britannia. It enters recorded history in the military reports of Julius Caesar, who crossed to the island from Gaul (France) in both 55 and 54 B.C. The Romans invaded the island in 43 A.D., on the orders of emperor Claudius, who crossed over to oversee the entry of his general, Aulus Plautius, into Camulodunum (Colchester), the capital of the most warlike tribe, the Catuvellauni. Plautius invaded with four legions and auxiliary troops, an army amounting to some 40,000. Due to the survival of the Agricola, a biography of his father-in-law written by the historian Tacitus (105 A.D.), we know much about the first four decades of Roman occupation, but literary evidence is scarce thereafter; happily there is plentiful, if occasionally mystifying archaeological evidence. Subsequent Roman emperors made forays into Scotland, although northern Britain was never conquered; they left behind the great fortifications, Hadrian's Wall (circa 120 A.D.) and the Antonine Wall (142 -155 A.D.), much of which can still be visited today. Britain was always heavily fortified and was a base from which Roman governors occasionally made attempts to seize power in the Empire (Clodius Albinus in 196 A.D., Constantine in 306 A.D.). At the end of the 4th century A.D., the Roman presence in Britain was threatened by "barbarian" forces. The Picts (from present-day Scotland) and the Scoti (from Ireland) were raiding the coast, while the Saxons and the Angles from northern Germany were invading southern and eastern Britain. By 410 A.D. the Roman army had withdrawn. After struggles with the Britons, the Angles and the Saxons emerged as victors and established themselves as rulers in much of Britain during the Dark Ages (circa 450 -800 A.D.). [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Bronze Age Celts: The ancient Celts were various population groups living in several parts of Europe north of the Mediterranean region from the Late Bronze Age onwards. Given the name Celt by ancient writers, these tribes often migrated and so eventually occupied territories from Portugal to Turkey. Although diverse tribes the ancient Celts spoke the same language and maintained the same artistic tradition which is characterised by the use of idiosyncratic flowing lines and forms. Celtic languages are still spoken today in parts of the British Isles and northern France. Ancient writers gave the name Celts to various population groups living across central Europe inland from the Mediterranean coastal areas. Most scholars agree that the Celtic culture first appeared in the Late Bronze Age in the area of the upper Danube sometime around the 13th century B.C. These early Celts were known as the ‘Urnfield people’ and they probably spoke a proto-Celtic language. By the 8th century B.C., iron had replaced bronze-working and the cultural group is then referred to by scholars as the ‘Hallstatt culture’. Spain saw a similar development with tribes using iron weapons. The Hallstatt culture declined by the 5th century B.C., perhaps due to internal political tensions and economic difficulties. The next phase of Celtic development was carried out by a group known as the La Tène culture. Iron Age Britains: The people of Iron Age Britain were physically very similar to many modern Europeans and there is no reason to suppose that all Iron Age Britons had the same hair color, eye color or skin complexion. Iron Age Britons spoke one or more Celtic language, which probably spread to Britain through trade and contacts between people rather than by the invasion of large numbers of Celtic peoples into Britain. Currently, there is no evidence for such an invasion at any time in the Iron Age. The Romans called the people of Iron Age Britain 'Britons' and the island of Britain 'Britannia', that is, 'land of the Britons'. The Britons had many ways of life in common with other peoples living in western Europe, who the Romans called Celts or Gauls. There was trade between peoples in Britain and western Europe, and also probably marriages. Nevertheless, the peoples who spoke Celtic languages in different parts of Europe at this time were diverse. From studies of the skeletons of Iron Age Britons we know that the average woman was 1.5 meters (5 foot 2 inches) in height, the smallest known was 1.4 meters (4 foot 9 inches) tall, and the tallest 1.7 meters (5 foot 7 inches). The average man was 1.69 meters (5 foot 6 inches) in height, the smallest known was 1.6 meters (5 foot 2 inches) tall and the tallest was 1.8 meters (5 foot 11 inches). There are few human skeletons from Iron Age Britain, but there is evidence for differences in height and health between people living in different parts of the country. People in East Yorkshire living about 400-100 BC were taller than people from Hampshire. [British Museum]. The History of Provincial Roman Britannia: Britannia was the Roman province which encompassed much of the present-day British Isles. During their occupation of Britain the Romans built an extensive network of roads which continued to be used in later centuries and many are still followed today. The Romans also built water supply, sanitation and sewage systems. Many of Britain's major cities, such as London (Londinium), Manchester (Mamucium) and York (Eburacum) were founded by the Romans. Roman Britannia’s trade was principally directed across the Southern North Sea and Eastern Channel, focusing on the narrow Strait of Dover, the most important ports being London and Richborough. By the third century, Britain's economy was diverse and well established, with commerce extending into the non-Romanized north. Imports to Britain included coinage, pottery from southern, central and eastern Gaul, as well as various other wares from Gaul and the Rhine provinces; olive oil from southern Spain in amphorae; wine from Gaul in amphorae and barrels; salted fish products from the western Mediterranean and Brittany in barrels and amphorae; preserved olives from southern Spain in amphorae; glass; and some agricultural products. Britain’s exports are harder to determine based on archaeological evidence, but certainly would have included silver, gold, lead, iron and copper. Other exports probably included agricultural products, oysters and salt. As well Roman Britain exported massive amounts of grain to the continent during the fourth century. The Druids, the Celtic priestly caste who were believed to originate in Britain, were outlawed by the Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD), though they vainly tried to defend their sacred groves from destruction by the Romans. Nonetheless under Roman rule the Britons continued to worship native Celtic deities. Worship of the Roman Emperor was also widespread, especially at military sites. The founding of a Roman temple to Claudius at Camulodunum was one of the impositions that led to the revolt of Boudica (see details below). Eastern cults such as Mithraism also grew in popularity in the period prior to the fall of Roman Britain. The Temple of Mithras is one example of the popularity of mystery religions amongst the rich urban classes, and temples to Mithras also existed in military settings at Vindobala on Hadrian's Wall and at Segontium in Roman Wales (the Caernarfon Mithraeum). Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 313. Theodosius I made Christianity the state religion of the empire in 391, and by the fifth century it was well established in Roman Britannia. Archaeological evidence for Christian communities in Britannia begins to appear in the third and fourth centuries. The remains of what appear to be small timber churches are located at Lincoln and Silchester, and baptismal fonts have been found at Icklingham and the Saxon Shore Fort at Richborough. A Roman Christian graveyard exists at the same site in Icklingham. A possible Roman church and associated burial ground was also discovered at Butt Road on the south-west outskirts of Colchester during the construction of the new police station there, overlying an earlier pagan cemetery. The Water Newton Treasure is a hoard of Christian silver church plate from the early fourth century, and the Roman villas at Lullingstone and Hinton St. Mary contained Christian wall paintings and mosaics respectively. Even before the conquest by Rome, Iron Age Britain had already established cultural and economic links with continental Europe. The Romans introduced new developments in agriculture, urbanization, industry and architecture. Even though the Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) paid a visit while Britain was being conquered and was honored with the honorific title “Britannicus” (“Conqueror of Britain”), beyond the first few decades after the initial invasion, Roman historians generally mention Britannia only in passing. Thus, most knowledge of Roman Britain is from archaeological investigations, and the epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an Emperor of Rome, such as Hadrian (117-138 AD) and Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD). Though Julius Caesar conducted the first Roman campaigns in Britain in 55 and 54 BC, the conquest of Britain did not begin until 43 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. At its apex in 160 AD Roman Britain encompassed the southern three-quarters of the island of Great Britain, and there were about 53,000 Roman Legionary Soldiers based in Britain. Around the year 197 AD Rome divided Britannia into two provinces, Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior; and then they were in turn further subdivided sometime after 305 AD during the reforms of Diocletian (284-305 AD). For much of the later period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and often came under the control of imperial usurpers and pretenders to the Roman Emperorship (including “Constantine the Great”). With the steady decline of the Western Roman Empire, Roman officials departed from Britain around the year 410 AD, which began the sub-Roman period (the fifth and sixth centuries), but the legacy of the Roman Empire was felt for centuries in Britain. Britannia was first invaded by Julius Caesar in 55 BC, and the Roman conquest of the island began in 43 AD, leading to the establishment of the Roman province known as Britannia. The Romans never successfully conquered the entire island, eventually building Hadrian's Wall as a boundary with Caledonia, which covered roughly the territory of modern Scotland. A southern part of what is now Scotland was occupied by the Romans for about 20 years in the mid-second century, pushing the Celtic Picts to the north of the Antonine Wall. People living in the Roman province of Britannia were called Britanni, or Britons. Ireland, inhabited by the “Scoti”, was never invaded and was called Hibernia. Thule, an island "six days' sail north of Britain, and “near the frozen sea" (probably Iceland) was also never invaded by the Romans. Julius Caesar had believed that the Celtic Tribes of Britain had been helping Gallic resistance during Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. Caesar’s first expedition to Britain was a short-lived military failure, more reconnaissance than invasion, but was a political success. In his second invasion, Caesar took with him a substantially larger force and proceeded to coerce many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute, and the Romans installed a new king friendly to Rome as a client. Caesar had conquered no territory and had left behind no troops, but had established clients on the island and had brought Britain into Rome's sphere of political influence. Caesar’s heir (and adoptive son) Octavius Augustus planned invasions of Britain early in his reign, but circumstances were never conducive, and the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. It is not known how many Roman legions were sent to participate in the invasion of Britain; only one legion commanded by the future emperor Vespasian verifiably took part. However three additional legions were known to have been on the island during the Boudican Revolt (60-61 AD), and were probably there since the initial invasion. However only one legion is likely to have stayed in Britain, in residence at Eburacum (York) in 71 AD, and mentioned on a building inscription there dated 108AD. That legion was eventually transferred to Judaea, and was destroyed during the Bar Kochba Revolt of the Jews. The invasion of Britain saw the legions get off to a rapid start, winning two victories; first on the river Medway, the second on the Thames. They then halted at the Thames and sent for reinforcements, including artillery and elephants. After capturing the south of the island, the Romans turned their attention to what is now Wales. The inhabitants were resolutely opposed to Roman incursions, and the ensuing conflict occupied the Roman Legions for several decades. After several decades of sparring with the resident Celtic tribes, often times on the losing end of guerilla warfare, the Romans lured the Celts into a set-piece battle, and won a conclusive victory. In 60–61 AD while the Roman Governor was campaigning to the north in Wales, the southeast of Britain rose in revolt under the leadership of Queen Boudica shortly after Boudica’s husband (the king) had died. The Romans had seized his lands, and flogged and raped both Boudica as well as her daughters. In the revolt, Boudica’s forces destroyed the Roman colony at Camulodunum (Colchester) and routed the Roman legionnaires sent in relief. London and Verulamium (St. Albans) also fell, Boudica’s forced butchering an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 Romans. Shortly thereafter two legions, still vastly outnumbered, defeated Boudica’s rebellious forces in a set-piece battle. The Emperor Nero had actually considered withdrawing Roman forces from Britain altogether. After being distracted by a series of civil wars in 69 AD between a number of contenders for the emperorship of Rome, the Romans ultimately extended Roman rule to all of South Wales, and initiated exploitation of the mineral resources, such as the gold mines at Dolaucothi. For the next 15 years the Romans continued to conquer more of the island, eventually defeating the Caledonians in northern Scotland in 84 AD. For much of the remaining history of Roman Britain, a large number of soldiers were garrisoned on the island. This required that the emperor station a trusted senior man as governor of the province. As a result, many future emperors served as governors or legates in Roman Britannia, including Vespasian, Pertinax, and Gordian I. Some of the most important sources for this era are the writing tablets from the fort at Vindolanda in Northumberland, mostly dating to 90-110 AD. These tablets provide vivid evidence for the operation of a Roman fort at the edge of the Roman Empire, where officers' wives maintained polite society while merchants, transporters, and military personnel kept the fort operational and supplied. Around 105 there appears to have been a serious setback at the hands of the tribes of the Picts of Alba. Several Roman forts were destroyed by fire, archaeological evidence revealing human remains and damaged armor. There is also circumstantial evidence that auxiliary reinforcements were sent from Germany, and an unnamed British war of the period is mentioned on the gravestone of a tribune of Cyrene. A new crisis occurred at the beginning of Hadrian's reign (in about 117 AD). In response, when Hadrian reached Britannia on his famous tour of the Roman provinces around 120 AD, he directed an extensive defensive wall, known to posterity as “Hadrian's Wall” separating Roman Britannia from the “barbarian” lands to the north. Archaeological evidence indicates considerable political instability in Scotland during the first half of the second century. During the reign of Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) the Hadrianic border was briefly extended north where the Antonine Wall was built around 142 AD following the military reoccupation of the Scottish lowlands, but by 163 or 164 AD it was abandoned, though the Romans did not entirely withdraw from Scotland until about 180 AD. One of the continuing problems posed by Roman Britain for the broader empire was that in order to maintain security the province required the presence of three legions. However command of these forces provided a ready made power base for many usurpers to the throne of Rome. However to reassign the legions elsewhere would leave Roman Britannia defenseless against uprisings by the native Celtic tribes and against invasion by the Picts and Scots. One such usurper to the throne of Rome was Clodius Albinus, who was the governor of Roman Britain. During a period of turmoil following the murder of a Roman Emperor in 193AD (the “Year of Five Emperors”), Albinus was acclaimed emperor by the legions in Roman Britain and in Hispania (Roman Spain and Portugal). During the civil war which ensued Albinus was defeated in 194 AD by the forces of Septimius Severus. Of archaeological significance is that during the civil war Albinus had ordered the construction of a defensive wall around Londinium. These walls were approximately 20 feet (6 m) high, remains of which still exist. At the conclusion of the civil war, Severus tried to solve the problem of powerful rebellious governors in Britain usurping Rome’s power by dividing the province into Upper Britain and Lower Britain. (Lower) Britannia Superior had as its center of commerce and government in Londinium, with the governor residing within the city. Britannia Superior encompassed all of what is now southern England as well as Wales and East Anglia. Britannia Inferior to the north had its capital at Eboracum, or modern York, and was governed by a praetorian legate in command of a single legion stationed in the city. After his accession in A.D. 193, Severus took special interest in refortifying the northern border in Britannia, and in 208 he relocated in Eboracum to oversee the military campaigns to pacify the northern tribes. However during the reign of his successor (of Commodus, his son), the defenses along the northern border of the empire in Britannia fell into neglect and disrepair. The division of Roman Britannia kept the potential for rebellion in check for almost a century. A string of forts were built along the coast of southern Britain to control piracy; and over the following hundred years they increased in number, becoming the Saxon Shore Forts. In order to subdue the native Celtic Tribes in the north, from 208 through 211 AD, Severus lead about 20,000 troops in an invasion of Caledonia (north of Hadrian’s Wall). However Severus was unable to maneuver these indigenous forces into the set-piece battle scenario where the legions so excelled, the “barbarians” preferring to engage in guerilla warfare. During the middle of the 3rd century, the (continental) Roman Empire was convulsed by barbarian invasions, rebellions and new imperial usurpers, and in 259 a “Gallic Empire” was established when Postumus rebelled against Gallienus. Roman Britannia was part of this until 274 when Aurelian reunited the empire. Rome had to again send in its legions to subdue yet another rebellion by the legions of Roman Britain in the 270’s, and yet again Britannia’s legions rebelled in the late 280’s. In 293 AD the Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus launched an offensive, besieging the rebels' port at Boulogne and cutting it off from naval assistance, and eventually crushed the rebellion after a landing near Southampton. Constantius arrived in London to receive the victory and chose to divide the province further, into four provinces (each with its own governor) so as to improve administrative efficiencies. A year later the reforms of the Emperor Diocletian added a fifth subdivision, meaning that the province now had five officers, each with command of only a small fraction of the legions. Constantius Chlorus returned to Roman Britain in 306 AD and launched yet another invasion against northern Britain’s “barbarian” tribes. From fragmentary historical sources it seems he reached the far north of Britain and won a great battle in early summer before returning south to York. Constantius died in York shortly thereafter; his son, Constantine I assumed his duties in Britannia and used the legionary forces he inherited as the starting point of his march to the imperial throne. A general assault of Saxons, Scoti and Attacotti, combined with apparent dissension in the garrison on Hadrian's Wall, left Roman Britain prostrate in 367 AD. This crisis came to be known as “the Barbarian Conspiracy”. Another imperial usurper, Magnus Maximus revolted against Rome in 383, and crossed the English Channel. Maximus held much of the western empire, and fought a successful campaign against the Picts and Scots around 384. However his continental exploits stripped troops from Roman Britannia, and legionary forts Chester and elsewhere were abandoned triggering raids and incursions into North Wales by the Irish. The Empire's military resources were struggling after the catastrophic Battle of Adrianople in 378, whereat the Goths inflicted a devastating defeat on legionary forces which many historians believe initiated the eventual collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Around 396 AD there were increasing barbarian incursions into Britain. A Roman expedition restored peace around 399 AD, but then even more legionary forces were withdrawn from Roman Britannia to assist in the war against the Visigoths and their leader Alaric I. The legions remaining in Roman Britannia again rebelled and, after elevating two disappointing usurpers, chose a soldier, Constantine III, to become emperor in 407 AD. Shortly thereafter Constantine III crossed to Gaul with an army and was defeated by the Roman Emperor of the West, Honorius. It is unclear how many troops remained in or ever returned to Roman Britannia, but evidence suggests it was very few, if any at all. It is not clear whether Rome even reappointed a new commander-in-chief for Roman Britain. With the higher levels of the military and civil government gone, administration and justice fell to municipal authorities, and small warlords gradually emerged all over Britain, still aspiring to Roman ideals and conventions, eventually transforming into the kingdoms that formed in the post-Roman period. Thus the beginning of the fifth century witnessed widespread economic decline. The entire Roman Empire had seen dramatic decline over the second through the fourth centuries as a result of plague, warfare with “barbarian” invaders, and constant civil wars. However the decline became quite marked at the onset of the fifth century in Roman Britannia. Germanic migration into Roman Britannia plunged the country into a series of wars starting in the 440’s that eventually led to the Saxon occupation of Lowland Britain by 600. Around this time many Britons fled to Brittany in France (hence the name “Brittany”). Archaeological evidence points to fewer urban houses, an end to new public building, abandonment of many public buildings or their conversion to commercial use (such as the basilica at Silchester), and conversion of urban areas to agricultural use, leading to the de-urbanization of Roman Britain. However many urban centers such as Verulamium, Canterbury, Cirencester, Wroxeter, Winchester and Gloucester, remained active during the 5th and 6th centuries, surrounded by large farming estates. One telltale sign of the fall is the fact that coins minted after 378 AD are very rare, indicating a likely combination of economic decline, diminishing numbers of troops, problems with the payment of soldiers and officials, and instability during periods of usurpation. Lower-denomination (copper) coins were particularly rare after 402, although minted silver and gold coins from hoards indicate they were still present in the province even if they were not being spent. By 407 there were no new Roman coins going into circulation, and by 430 it is likely that coinage as a medium of exchange had been abandoned. The mass production of pottery, glass, and metal housewares probably ended a decade or two previously. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests that Roman Britannia came under increasing pressure from barbarian attack on all sides, and troops were too few to mount an effective defense. It was not until the tenth century that Britain really began the process of re-urbanization. Anglo-Saxon Britain: The Anglo-Saxons were a people who inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. They comprise people from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe, their descendants, and indigenous British groups who adopted some aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture and language. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period in Britain between about 450 and 1066, after their initial settlement and up until the Norman conquest. The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including regional government of shires and hundreds. During this period, Christianity was established and there was a flowering of literature and language. Charters and law were also established. The term Anglo-Saxon is popularly used for the language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England and eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. In scholarly use, it is more commonly called Old English. The history of the Anglo-Saxons is the history of a cultural identity. It developed from divergent groups in association with the people's adoption of Christianity, and was integral to the establishment of various kingdoms. Threatened by extended Danish invasions and military occupation of eastern England, this identity was re-established; it dominated until after the Norman Conquest. The visible Anglo-Saxon culture can be seen in the material culture of buildings, dress styles, illuminated texts and grave goods. Behind the symbolic nature of these cultural emblems, there are strong elements of tribal and lordship ties. The elite declared themselves as kings who developed burhs, and identified their roles and peoples in Biblical terms. Above all, as Helena Hamerow has observed, "local and extended kin groups remained...the essential unit of production throughout the Anglo-Saxon period." The effects persist in the 21st century as, according to a study published in March 2015, the genetic make up of British populations today shows divisions of the tribal political units of the early Anglo-Saxon period. The early Anglo-Saxon period covers the history of medieval Britain that starts from the end of Roman rule. It is a period widely known in European history as the Migration Period, also the Völkerwanderung ("migration of peoples" in German). This was a period of intensified human migration in Europe from about 400 to 800. The migrants were Germanic tribes such as the Goths, Vandals, Angles, Saxons, Lombards, Suebi, Frisii and Franks; they were later pushed westwards by the Huns, Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Alans. By the year 400, southern Britain – that is Britain below Hadrian's Wall – was a peripheral part of the western Roman Empire, occasionally lost to rebellion or invasion, but until then always eventually recovered. Around 410, Britain slipped beyond direct imperial control into a phase which has generally been termed "sub-Roman". The migrations according to Bede, who wrote some 300 years after the event; there is archeological evidence that the settlers in England came from many of these continental locations. The traditional narrative of this period is one of decline and fall, invasion and migration; however, the archAeologist Heinrich Härke stated in 2011: "It is now widely accepted that the Anglo-Saxons were not just transplanted Germanic invaders and settlers from the Continent, but the outcome of insular interactions and changes. Writing in about 540 Gildas mentions that, sometime in the 5th century, a council of leaders in Britain agreed that some land in the east of southern Britain would be given to the Saxons on the basis of a treaty, a foedus, by which the Saxons would defend the Britons against attacks from the Picts and Scoti in exchange for food supplies. The most contemporaneous textual evidence is the Chronica Gallica of 452 which records for the year 441: "The British provinces, which to this time had suffered various defeats and misfortunes, are reduced to Saxon rule." This is an earlier date than that of 451 for the "coming of the Saxons" used by Bede in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, written around 731. It has been argued that Bede misinterpreted his (scanty) sources, and that the chronological references in the Historia Britonnum yield a plausible date of around 428. Gildas recounts how a war broke out between the Saxons and the local population – Higham calls it the "War of the Saxon Federates" – which ended shortly after the siege at 'Mons Badonicus'. The Saxons go back to "their eastern home". Gildas calls the peace a "grievous divorce with the barbarians". The price of peace, Nick Higham argues, is a better treaty for the Saxons, giving them the ability to receive tribute from people across the lowlands of Britain. The archAeological evidence agrees with this earlier timescale. In particular, the work of Catherine Hills and Sam Lucy on the evidence of Spong Hill has moved the chronology for the settlement earlier than 450, with a significant number of items now in phases before Bede's date. This vision of the Anglo-Saxons exercising extensive political and military power at an early date remains contested. The most developed vision of a continuation in sub-Roman Britain, with control over its own political and military destiny for well over a century, is that of Kenneth Dark, who suggests that the sub-Roman elite survived in culture, politics and military power up to about 570. However, Nick Higham seems to agree with Bede, who identified three phases of settlement: an exploration phase, when mercenaries came to protect the resident population; a migration phase, which was substantial as implied by the statement that Anglus was deserted; and an establishment phase, in which Anglo-Saxons started to control areas, implied in Bede's statement about the origins of the tribes. Scholars have not reached consensus on the number of migrants who entered Britain in this period. Heinrich Härke suggests that the figure is around 100,000, based on the molecular evidence. But, archAeologists such as Christine Hills and Richard Hodges suggest the number is nearer 20,000. By around 500 the Anglo-Saxon migrants were established in southern and eastern Britain. What happened to the indigenous Brittonic people is also subject to question. Heinrich Härke and Richard Coates point out that they are invisible archaeologically and linguistically. But based on a fairly high Anglo-Saxon figure (200,000) and a low Brythonic one (800,000), Brythonic people are likely to have outnumbered Anglo-Saxons by at least four to one. The interpretation of such figures is that while "culturally, the later Anglo-Saxons and English did emerge as remarkably un-British...their genetic, biological make-up is none the less likely to have been substantially, indeed predominantly, British". The development of Anglo-Saxon culture is described by two processes. One is similar to culture changes observed in Russia, North Africa and parts of the Islamic world, where a powerful minority culture becomes, over a rather short period, adopted by a settled majority. The second process is explained through incentives. Nick Higham summarized in this way: "As Bede later implied, language was a key indicator of ethnicity in early England. In circumstances where freedom at law, acceptance with the kindred, access to patronage, and the use and possession of weapons were all exclusive to those who could claim Germanic descent, then speaking Old English without Latin or Brittonic inflection had considerable value. By the middle of the 6th century, some Brythonic people in the lowlands of Britain had moved across the sea to form Brittany, and some had moved west, but the majority were abandoning their past language and culture and adopting the new culture of the Anglo-Saxons. As they adopted this language and culture, the barriers began to dissolve between peoples, who had earlier lived parallel lives. The archAeological evidence shows considerable continuity in the system of landscape and local governance, which was inherited from the indigenous community. There is evidence for a fusion of culture in this early period. Brythonic names appear in the lists of Anglo-Saxon elite. The Wessex royal line was traditionally founded by a man named Cerdic, an undoubtedly Celtic name ultimately derived from Caratacus. This may indicate that Cerdic was a native Briton, and that his dynasty became anglicised over time. A number of Cerdic's alleged descendants also possessed Celtic names, including the 'Bretwalda' Ceawlin. The last man in this dynasty to have a Brythonic name was King CAedwalla, who died as late as 689. In the last half of the 6th century, four structures contributed to the development of society; they were the position and freedoms of the ceorl, the smaller tribal areas coalescing into larger kingdoms, the elite developing from warriors to kings, and Irish monasticism developing under Finnian (who had consulted Gildas) and his pupil Columba. The Anglo-Saxon farms of this period are often falsely supposed to be "peasant farms". However, a ceorl, who was the lowest ranking freeman in early Anglo-Saxon society, was not a peasant but an arms-owning male with the support of a kindred, access to law and the wergild; situated at the apex of an extended household working at least one hide of land. The farmer had freedom and rights over lands, with provision of a rent or duty to an overlord who provided only slight lordly input. Most of this land was common outfield arable land (of an outfield-infield system) that provided individuals with the means to build a basis of kinship and group cultural ties. The Tribal Hidage lists thirty-five peoples, or tribes, with assessments in hides, which may have originally been defined as the area of land sufficient to maintain one family. The assessments in the Hidage reflect the relative size of the provinces. Although varying in size, all thirty-five peoples of the Tribal Hidage were of the same status, in that they were areas which were ruled by their own elite family (or royal houses), and so were assessed independently for payment of tribute. By the end of the sixth century, larger kingdoms had become established on the south or east coasts. They include the provinces of the Jutes of Hampshire and Wight, the South Saxons, Kent, the East Saxons, East Angles, Lindsey and (north of the Humber) Deira and Bernicia. Several of these kingdoms may have had as their initial focus a territory based on a former Roman civitas. By the end of the sixth century, the leaders of these communities were styling themselves kings, though it should not be assumed that all of them were Germanic in origin. The Bretwalda concept is taken as evidence of a number of early Anglo-Saxon elite families. What Bede seems to imply in his Bretwalda is the ability of leaders to extract tribute, overawe and/or protect the small regions, which may well have been relatively short-lived in any one instance. Ostensibly "Anglo-Saxon" dynasties variously replaced one another in this role in a discontinuous but influential and potent roll call of warrior elites. Importantly, whatever their origin or whenever they flourished, these dynasties established their claim to lordship through their links to extended kin ties. As Helen Peake jokingly points out, "they all just happened to be related back to Woden". The process from warrior to cyning – Old English for king – is described in Beowulf (as translated by Seamus Heaney): "There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes, a wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes. This terror of the hall-troops had come far. A foundling to start with, he would flourish later on. As his powers waxed and his worth was proved. In the end each clan on the outlying coasts. Beyond the whale-road had to yield to him. And begin to pay tribute. That was one good king. In 565, Columba, a monk from Ireland who studied at the monastic school of Moville under St. Finnian, reached Iona as a self-imposed exile. The influence of the monastery of Iona would grow into what Peter Brown has described as an "unusually extensive spiritual empire," which "stretched from western Scotland deep to the southwest into the heart of Ireland and, to the southeast, it reached down throughout northern Britain, through the influence of its sister monastery Lindisfarne." In June 597 Columba died. At this time, Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet and proceeded to King Aethelberht's main town of Canterbury. He had been the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead the Gregorian mission to Britain to Christianise the Kingdom of Kent from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism. Kent was probably chosen because Aethelberht had married a Christian princess, Bertha, daughter of Charibert I the King of Paris, who was expected to exert some influence over her husband. Aethelberht was converted to Christianity, churches were established, and wider-scale conversion to Christianity began in the kingdom. Aethelberht's law for Kent, the earliest written code in any Germanic language, instituted a complex system of fines. Kent was rich, with strong trade ties to the continent, and Aethelberht may have instituted royal control over trade. For the first time following the Anglo-Saxon invasion, coins began circulating in Kent during his reign. In 635 Aidan, an Irish monk from Iona chose the Isle of Lindisfarne to establish a monastery and close to King Oswald's main fortress of Bamburgh. He had been at the monastery in Iona when Oswald asked to be sent a mission to Christianise the Kingdom of Northumbria from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism. Oswald had probably chosen Iona because after his father had been killed he had fled into south-west Scotland and had encountered Christianity, and had returned determined to make Northumbria Christian. Aidan achieved great success in spreading the Christian faith, and since Aidan could not speak English and Oswald had learned Irish during his exile, Oswald acted as Aidan's interpreter when the latter was preaching. Later, Northumberland's patron saint, Saint Cuthbert, was an abbot of the monastery, and then Bishop of Lindisfarne. An anonymous life of Cuthbert written at Lindisfarne is the oldest extant piece of English historical writing, and in his memory a gospel (known as the St Cuthbert Gospel) was placed in his coffin. The decorated leather bookbinding is the oldest intact European binding. In 664, the Synod of Whitby was convened and established Roman practice (in style of tonsure and dates of Easter) as the norm in Northumbria, and thus "brought the Northumbrian church into the mainstream of Roman culture." The episcopal seat of Northumbria was transferred from Lindisfarne to York. Wilfrid, chief advocate for the Roman position, later became Bishop of Northumbria, while Colmán and the Ionan supporters, who did not change their practices, withdrew to Iona. By 660 the political map of Lowland Britain had developed with smaller territories coalescing into kingdoms, from this time larger kingdoms started dominating the smaller kingdoms. The development of kingdoms, with a particular king being recognised as an overlord, developed out of an early loose structure that, Higham believes, is linked back to the original feodus. The traditional name for this period is the Heptarchy, which has not been used by scholars since the early 20th century as it gives the impression of a single political structure and does not afford the "opportunity to treat the history of any one kingdom as a whole". Simon Keynes suggests that the 8th and 9th century was period of economic and social flourishing which created stability both below the Thames and above the Humber. Many areas flourished and their influence was felt across the continent, however in between the Humber and Thames, one political entity grew in influence and power and to the East these developments in Britain attracted attention. Middle-lowland Britain was known as the place of the Mierce, the border or frontier folk, in Latin Mercia. Mercia was a diverse area of tribal groups, as shown by the Tribal Hidage; the peoples were a mixture of Brythonic speaking peoples and "Anglo-Saxon" pioneers and their early leaders had Brythonic names, such as Penda. Although Penda does not appear in Bede's list of great overlords it would appear from what Bede says elsewhere that he was dominant over the southern kingdoms. At the time of the battle of the river WinwAed, thirty duces regii (royal generals) fought on his behalf. Although there are many gaps in the evidence, it is clear that the seventh-century Mercian kings were formidable rulers who were able to exercise a wide-ranging overlordship from their Midland base. Mercian military success was the basis of their power; it succeeded not only 106 kings and kingdoms by winning set-piece battles, but by ruthlessly ravaging any area foolish enough to withhold tribute. There are a number of casual references scattered throughout the Bede's history to this aspect of Mercian military policy. Penda is found ravaging Northumbria as far north as Bamburgh and only a miraculous intervention from Aidan prevents the complete destruction of the settlement. In 676 Aethelred conducted a similar ravaging in Kent and caused such damage in the Rochester diocese that two successive bishops gave up their position because of lack of funds. In these accounts there is a rare glimpse of the realities of early Anglo-Saxon overlordship and how a widespread overlordship could be established in a relatively short period. By the middle of the 8th century, other kingdoms of southern Britain were also affected by Mercian expansionism. The East Saxons seem to have lost control of London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire to Aethelbald, although the East Saxon homelands do not seem to have been affected, and the East Saxon dynasty continued into the ninth century. The Mercian influence and reputation reached its peak when, in the late 8th century, the most powerful European ruler of the age, the Frankish king Charlemagne, recognised the Mercian King Offa's power and accordingly treated him with respect, even if this could have been just flattery. MichAel Drout calls the period between about 660–793 the "Golden Age", when learning flourishes with a renaissance in classical knowledge. The growth and popularity of monasticism was not an entirely internal development, with influence from the continent shaping Anglo-Saxon monastic life. In 669 Theodore, a Greek-speaking monk originally from Tarsus in Asia Minor, arrived in Britain to become the eighth Archbishop of Canterbury. He was joined the following year by his colleague Hadrian, a Latin-speaking African by origin and former abbot of a monastery in Campania (near Naples). One of their first tasks at Canterbury was the establishment of a school; and according to Bede (writing some sixty years later), they soon "attracted a crowd of students into whose minds they daily poured the streams of wholesome learning". As evidence of their teaching, Bede reports that some of their students, who survived to his own day were as fluent in Greek and Latin as in their native language. Bede does not mention Aldhelm in this connection; but we know from a letter addressed by Aldhelm to Hadrian that he too must be numbered among their students. Aldhelm wrote in elaborate and grandiloquent and very difficult Latin, which became the dominant style for centuries. MichAel Drout states "Aldhelm wrote Latin hexameters better than anyone before in England (and possibly better than anyone since, or at least up until Milton). His work showed that scholars in England, at the very edge of Europe, could be as learned and sophisticated as any writers in Europe." During this period, the wealth and power of the monasteries increased as elite families, possibly out of power, turned to monastic life. Anglo-Saxon monasticism developed the unusual institution of the "double monastery", a house of monks and a house of nuns, living next to each other, sharing a church but never mixing, and living separate lives of celibacy. These double monasteries were presided over by abbesses, some of the most powerful and influential women in Europe. Double monasteries which were built on strategic sites near rivers and coasts, accumulated immense wealth and power over multiple generations (their inheritances were not divided) and became centers of art and learning. While Aldhelm was doing his work in Malmesbury, far from him, up in the North of England, Bede was writing a large quantity of books, gaining a reputation in Europe and showing that the English could write history and theology, and do astronomical computation (for the dates of Easter, among other things). The 9th century saw the rise of Wessex, from the foundations laid by King Egbert in the first quarter of the century to the achievements of King Alfred the Great in its closing decades. The outlines of the story are told in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, though the annals represent a West Saxon point of view. On the day of Egbert's succession to the kingdom of Wessex, in 802, a Mercian ealdorman from the province of the Hwicce had crossed the border at Kempsford, with the intention of mounting a raid into northern Wiltshire; the Mercian force was met by the local ealdorman, "and the people of Wiltshire had the victory". In 829 Egbert went on, the chronicler reports, to conquer "the kingdom of the Mercians and everything south of the Humber". It was at this point that the chronicler chose to attach Egbert's name to Bede's list of seven overlords, adding that "he was the eighth king who was Bretwalda". Simon Keynes suggests Egbert's foundation of a 'bipartite' kingdom is crucial as it stretched across southern England, and it created a working alliance between the West Saxon dynasty and the rulers of the Mercians. In 860 the eastern and western parts of the southern kingdom were united by agreement between the surviving sons of King Aethelwulf, though the union was not maintained without some opposition from within the dynasty; and in the late 870s King Alfred gained the submission of the Mercians under their ruler Aethelred, who in other circumstances might have been styled a king, but who under the Alfredian regime was regarded as the 'ealdorman' of his people. The wealth of the monasteries and the success of Anglo-Saxon society attracted the attention of people from continental Europe, mostly Danes and Norwegians. Due to the plundering raids that followed, the raiders attracted the name Viking – from the Old Norse víkingr meaning an expedition – which soon became used for the raiding activity or piracy reported in western Europe. In 793, Lindisfarne was raided and while this was not the first raid of its type it was the most prominent. A year later Jarrow, the monastery where Bede wrote, was attacked; in 795 Iona; and in 804 the nunnery at Lyminge Kent was granted refuge inside the walls of Canterbury. Sometime around 800, a Reeve from Portland in Wessex was killed when he mistook some raiders for ordinary traders. Viking raids continued until in 850, then the Chronicle says: "The heathen for the first time remained over the winter". The fleet does not appear to have stayed long in England, but it started a trend which others subsequently followed. In particular, the army which arrived in 865 remained over many winters, and part of it later settled what became known as the Danelaw. This was the "Great Army", a term used by the Chronicle in England and by Adrevald of Fleury on the Continent. The invaders were able not only to exploit the feuds between and within the various kingdoms, but to appoint puppet kings, Ceolwulf in Mercia in 873, 'a foolish king's thane' (ASC), and perhaps others in Northumbria in 867 and East Anglia in 870. The third phase was an era of settlement; however, the 'Great Army' went wherever it could find the richest pickings, crossing the Channel when faced with resolute opposition, as in England in 878, or with famine, as on the Continent in 892. By this stage the Vikings were assuming ever increasing importance as catalysts of social and political change. They constituted the common enemy, making the English the more conscious of a national identity which overrode deeper distinctions; they could be perceived as an instrument of divine punishment for the people's sins, raising awareness of a collective Christian identity; and by 'conquering' the kingdoms of the East Angles, the Northumbrians and the Mercians they created a vacuum in the leadership of the English people. Danish settlement continued in Mercia in 877 and East Anglia in 879—80 and 896. The rest of the army meanwhile continued to harry and plunder on both sides of the Channel, with new recruits evidently arriving to swell its ranks, for it clearly continued to be a formidable fighting force. At first, Alfred responded by the offer of repeated tribute payments. However, after a decisive victory at Edington in 878, Alfred offered vigorous opposition. He established a chain of fortresses across the south of England, reorganized the army, "so that always half its men were at home, and half out on service, except for those men who were to garrison the burhs", and in 896 ordered a new type of craft to be built which could oppose the Viking longships in shallow coastal waters. When the Vikings returned from the Continent in 892, they found they could no longer roam the country at will, for wherever they went they were opposed by a local army. After four years, the Scandinavians therefore split up, some to settle in Northumbria and East Anglia, the remainder to try their luck again on the Continent. More important to Alfred than his military and political victories were his religion, his love of learning, and his spread of writing throughout England. Simon Keynes suggests Alfred's work laid the foundations for what really makes England unique in all of medieval Europe from around 800 until 1066. What is also unique is that we can discover some of this in Alfred's own words. Thinking about how learning and culture had fallen since the last century, he wrote: "...So completely had wisdom fallen off in England that there were very few on this side of the Humber who could understand their rituals in English, or indeed could translate a letter from Latin into English; and I believe that there were not many beyond the Humber. There were so few of them that I indeed cannot think of a single one south of the Thames when I became king." Alfred knew that literature and learning, both in English and in Latin, were very important, but the state of learning was not good when Alfred came to the throne. Alfred saw kingship as a priestly office, a shepherd for his people. One book that was particularly valuable to him was Gregory the Great's Cura Pastoralis (Pastoral Care). This is a priest's guide on how to care for people. Alfred took this book as his own guide on how to be a good king to his people; hence, a good king to Alfred increases literacy. Alfred translated this book himself and explains in the preface: "...When I had learned it I translated it into English, just as I had understood it, and as I could most meaningfully render it. And I will send one to each bishopric in my kingdom, and in each will be an Aestel worth fifty mancuses. And I command in God's name that no man may take the Aestel from the book nor the book from the church. It is unknown how long there may be such learned bishops as, thanks to God, are nearly everywhere." What is presumed to be one of these "Aestel" (the word only appears in this one text) is the gold, rock crystal and enamel Alfred Jewel, discovered in 1693, which is assumed to have been fitted with a small rod and used as a pointer when reading. Alfred provided functional patronage, linked to a social programme of vernacular literacy in England, which was unprecedented. "Therefore it seems better to me, if it seems so to you, that we also translate certain books ...and bring it about ...if we have the peace, that all the youth of free men who now are in England, those who have the means that they may apply themselves to it, be set to learning, while they may not be set to any other use, until the time when they can well read English writings." This set in train a growth in charters, law, theology and learning. Alfred thus laid the foundation for the great accomplishments of the tenth century and did much to make the vernacular was more important than Latin in Anglo-Saxon culture. "I desired to live worthily as long as I lived, and to leave after my life, to the men who should come after me, the memory of me in good works." A framework for the momentous events of the 10th and 11th centuries is provided by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. However charters, law-codes and coins supply detailed information on various aspects of royal government, and the surviving works of Anglo-Latin and vernacular literature, as well as the numerous manuscripts written in the 10th century, testify in their different ways to the vitality of ecclesiastical culture. Yet as Simon Keynes suggests "it does not follow that the 10th century is better understood than more sparsely documented periods". During the course of the 10th century, the West Saxon kings extended their power first over Mercia, then into the southern Danelaw, and finally over Northumbria, thereby imposing a semblance of political unity on peoples, who nonetheless would remain conscious of their respective customs and their separate pasts. The prestige, and indeed the pretensions, of the monarchy increased, the institutions of government strengthened, and kings and their agents sought in various ways to establish social order. This process started with Edward the Elder – who with his sister, AethelflAed, Lady of the Mercians, initially, charters reveal, encouraged people to purchase estates from the Danes, thereby to reassert some degree of English influence in territory which had fallen under Danish control. David Dumville suggests that Edward may have extended this policy by rewarding his supporters with grants of land in the territories newly conquered from the Danes, and that any charters issued in respect of such grants have not survived. When AthelflAed died, Mercia was absorbed by Wessex. From that point on there was no contest for the throne, so the house of Wessex became the ruling house of England. Edward the Elder was succeeded by his son Aethelstan, who Simon Keynes calls the "towering figure in the landscape of the tenth century". His victory over a coalition of his enemies – Constantine, King of the Scots, Owain ap Dyfnwal, King of the Cumbrians, and Olaf Guthfrithson, King of Dublin – at the battle of Brunanburh, celebrated by a famous poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, opened the way for him to be hailed as the first king of England. Aethelstan's legislation shows how the king drove his officials to do their respective duties. He was uncompromising in his insistence on respect for the law. However this legislation also reveals the persistent difficulties which confronted the king and his councillors in bringing a troublesome people under some form of control. His claim to be "king of the English" was by no means widely recognised. The situation was complex: the Hiberno-Norse rulers of Dublin still coveted their interests in the Danish kingdom of York; terms had to be made with the Scots, who had the capacity not merely to interfere in Northumbrian affairs, but also to block a line of communication between Dublin and York; and the inhabitants of northern Northumbria were considered a law unto themselves. It was only after twenty years of crucial developments following Aethelstan's death in 939 that a unified kingdom of England began to assume its familiar shape. However, the major political problem for Edmund and Eadred, who succeeded Aethelstan, remained the difficulty of subjugating the north. In 959 Edgar is said to have "succeeded to the kingdom both in Wessex and in Mercia and in Northumbria, and he was then 16 years old" (ASC, version 'B', 'C'), and is called "the Peacemaker". By the early 970s, after a decade of Edgar's 'peace', it may have seemed that the kingdom of England was indeed made whole. In his formal address to the gathering at Winchester the king urged his bishops, abbots and abbesses "to be of one mind as regards monastic usage . . . lest differing ways of observing the customs of one Rule and one country should bring their holy conversation into disrepute". Athelstan's court had been an intellectual incubator. In that court were two young men named Dunstan and Aethelwold who were made priests, supposedly at the insistence of Athelstan, right at the end of his reign in 939. Between 970 and 973 a council was held, under the Aegis of Edgar, where a set of rules were devised that would be applicable throughout England. This put all the monks and nuns in England under one set of detailed customs for the first time. In 973, Edgar received a special second, 'imperial coronation' at Bath, and from this point England was ruled by Edgar under the strong influence of Dunstan, Athelwold, and Oswald, the Bishop of Worcester. The reign of King Aethelred the Unready witnessed the resumption of Viking raids on England, putting the country and its leadership under strains as severe as they were long sustained. Raids began on a relatively small scale in the 980s, but became far more serious in the 990s, and brought the people to their knees in 1009–12, when a large part of the country was devastated by the army of Thorkell the Tall. It remained for Swein Forkbeard, king of Denmark, to conquer the kingdom of England in 1013–14, and (after Aethelred's restoration) for his son Cnut to achieve the same in 1015–16. The tale of these years incorporated in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle must be read in its own right, and set beside other material which reflects in one way or another on the conduct of government and warfare during Aethelred's reign. It is this evidence which is the basis for Simon Keynes's view that the king lacked the strength, judgement and resolve to give adequate leadership to his people in a time of grave national crisis; who soon found out that he could rely on little but the treachery of his military commanders; and who, throughout his reign, tasted nothing but the ignominy of defeat. The raids exposed tensions and weaknesses which went deep into the fabric of the late Anglo-Saxon state and it is apparent that events proceeded against a background more complex than the chronicler probably knew. It seems, for example, that the death of Bishop Aethelwold in 984 had precipitated further reaction against certain ecclesiastical interests; that by 993 the king had come to regret the error of his ways, leading to a period when the internal affairs of the kingdom appear to have prospered. The increasingly difficult times brought on by the Viking attacks are reflected in both Aelfric's and Wulfstan's works, but most notably in Wulfstan's fierce rhetoric in the Sermo Lupi ad Anglos, dated to 1014. Malcolm Godden suggests that ordinary people saw the return of the Vikings, as the imminent "expectation of the apocalypse", and this was given voice in Aelfric and Wulfstan writings, which is similar to that of Gildas and Bede. Raids were signs of God punishing his people, Aelfric refers to people adopting the customs of the Danish and exhorts people not to abandon the native customs on behalf of the Danish ones, and then requests a 'brother Edward', to try to put an end to a 'shameful habit' of drinking and eating in the outhouse, which some of the countrywomen practised at beer parties. In April 1016 Aethelred died of illness, leaving his son and successor Edmund Ironside to defend the country. The final struggles were complicated by internal dissension, and especially by the treacherous acts of Ealdorman Eadric of Mercia, who opportunistically changed sides to Cnut's party. After the defeat of the English in the battle of Assandun in October 1016, Edmund and Cnut agreed to divide the kingdom so that Edmund would rule Wessex and Cnut Mercia, but Edmund died soon after his defeat in November 1016, making it possible for Cnut to seize power over all England. In the 11th century, there were three conquests and some Anglo-Saxon people would live through it: one in the aftermath of the conquest of Cnut in 1016; the second after the unsuccessful attempt of battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066; the third after that of William of Normandy in 1066. The consequences of each conquest can only be assessed with hindsight. In 1016, no-one was to know that whatever cultural ramifications were felt then, they would be subsumed half a century later; and in 1066 there was nothing to predict that the effects of William's conquest would be any greater or more lasting than those of Cnut's. In this period and beyond the Anglo-Saxon culture is changing. Politically and chronologically, the texts of this period are not 'Anglo-Saxon'; linguistically, those written in English (as opposed to Latin or French, the other official written languages of the period) are moving away from the late West Saxon standard that is called 'Old English'. Yet neither are they 'Middle English'; moreover, as Treharne explains, for around three quarters of this period, "there is barely any 'original' writing in English at all". These factors have led to a gap in scholarship implying a discontinuity either side of the Norman Conquest, however this assumption is being challenged. At first sight, there would seem little to debate. Cnut appears to have adopted wholeheartedly the traditional role of Anglo-Saxon kingship. However an examination of the laws, homilies, wills, and charters dating from this period suggests that as a result of widespread aristocratic death and the fact that Cnut did not systematically introduce a new landholding class, major and permanent alterations occurred in the Saxon social and political structures. Eric John has remarked that for Cnut "the simple difficulty of exercising so wide and so unstable an empire made it necessary to practise a delegation of authority against every tradition of English kingship". The disappearance of the aristocratic families which had traditionally played an active role in the governance of the realm, coupled with Cnut's choice of thegnly advisors, put an end to the balanced relationship between monarchy and aristocracy so carefully forged by the West Saxon Kings. Edward became king in 1042, and given his upbringing might have been considered a Norman by those who lived across the English Channel. Following Cnut's reforms, excessive power was concentrated in the hands of the rival houses of Leofric of Mercia and Godwine of Wessex. Problems also came for Edward from the resentment caused by the king's introduction of Norman friends. A crisis arose in 1051 when Godwine defied the king's order to punish the men of Dover, who had resisted an attempt by Eustace of Boulogne to quarter his men on them by force. The support of Earl Leofric and Earl Siward enabled Edward to secure the outlawry of Godwine and his sons; and William of Normandy paid Edward a visit during which Edward may have promised William succession to the English throne, although this Norman claim may have been mere propaganda. Godwine and his sons came back the following year with a strong force, and the magnates were not prepared to engage them in civil war but forced the king to make terms. Some unpopular Normans were driven out, including Archbishop Robert, whose archbishopric was given to Stigand; this act supplied an excuse for the Papal support of William's cause. The fall of England and the Norman Conquest is a multi-generational, multi-family succession problem caused in great part by Athelred's incompetence. By the time William from Normandy, sensing an opportunity, landed his invading force in 1066, the elite of Anglo-Saxon England had changed, although much of the culture and society had stayed the same. Then came William, the Earl of Normandy, into Pevensey on the evening of St.MichAel's mass, and soon as his men were ready, they built a fortress at Hasting's port. This was told to King Harold, and he gathered then a great army and come towards them at the Hoary Apple Tree, and William came upon him unawares before his folk were ready. But the king nevertheless withstood him very strongly with fighting with those men who would follow him, and there was a great slaughter on either side. Then Harald the King was slain, and Leofwine the Earl, his brother, and Gyrth, and many good men, and the Frenchmen held the place of slaughter. Following the conquest, the Anglo-Saxon nobility were either exiled or joined the ranks of the peasantry. It has been estimated that only about 8 per cent of the land was under Anglo-Saxon control by 1087. Many Anglo-Saxon nobles fled to Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia. The Byzantine Empire became a popular destination for many Anglo-Saxon soldiers, as the Byzantines were in need of mercenaries. The Anglo-Saxons became the predominant element in the elite Varangian Guard, hitherto a largely North Germanic unit, from which the emperor's bodyguard was drawn and continued to serve the empire until the early 15th century. However, the population of England at home remained largely Anglo-Saxon; for them, little changed immediately except that their Anglo-Saxon lord was replaced by a Norman lord. The chronicler Orderic Vitalis (1075 – about 1142), himself the product of an Anglo-Norman marriage, wrote: "And so the English groaned aloud for their lost liberty and plotted ceaselessly to find some way of shaking off a yoke that was so intolerable and unaccustomed".] The inhabitants of the North and Scotland never warmed to the Normans following the Harrying of the North (1069–1070), where William, according to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle utterly "ravaged and laid waste that shire". Many Anglo-Saxon people needed to learn Norman French to communicate with their rulers, but it is clear that among themselves they kept speaking Old English, which meant that England was in an interesting tri-lingual situation: Anglo-Saxon for the common people, Latin for the Church, and Norman French for the administrators, the nobility, and the law courts. In this time, and due to the cultural shock of the Conquest, Anglo-Saxon began to change very rapidly, and by 1200 or so, it was no longer Anglo-Saxon English, but what scholars call early Middle English. But this language had deep roots in Anglo-Saxon, which was being spoken a lot later than 1066. Research in the early twentieth century, and still continuing today, has shown that a form of Anglo-Saxon was still being spoken, and not merely among uneducated peasants, into the thirteenth century in the West Midlands. This was J.R.R. Tolkien's major scholarly discovery when he studied a group of texts written in early Middle English called the Katherine Group, because they include the Life of St. Katherine (also, the Life of St. Margaret, the Life and the Passion of St. Juliana, Ancrene Wisse, and Hali Meithhad—these last two teaching how to be a good anchoress and arguing for the goodness of virginity). Tolkien noticed that a subtle distinction preserved in these texts indicated that Old English had continued to be spoken far longer than anyone had supposed. In Old English there is a distinction between two different kinds of verbs. The Anglo-Saxons had always been defined very closely to the language, now this language gradually changed, and although some people (like the famous scribe known as the Tremulous Hand of Worcester) could read Old English in the thirteenth century. Soon afterwards, it became impossible for people to read Old English, and the texts became useless. The precious Exeter Book, for example, seems to have been used to press gold leaf and at one point had a pot of fish-based glue sitting on top of it. For Michael Drout this symbolizes the end of the Anglo-Saxons.[Wikipedia]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Eastern Europe and Central Asia several times a year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient/antique jewelry and gemstones, a reflection of our academic backgrounds. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia antique gemstones are commonly dismounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them originally crafted a century or more ago. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: NEW and unread albeit with very mild shelfwear to covers. Condition entirely consistent with otherwise new stock from a traditional brick and mortar bookstore. See detailed condition description below., Publisher: University of California (2001), Format: Illustrated softcover, Length: 352 pages, Dimensions: 9½ x 6¼ x 1 inches; 1¼ pounds

PicClick Insights - England Middle Ages Anglo-Saxon Viking Norman Holy Grail King Athelstan Domesday PicClick Exclusive

  •  Popularity - 1 watcher, 0.0 new watchers per day, 222 days for sale on eBay. Normal amount watching. 0 sold, 1 available.
  •  Best Price -
  •  Seller - 5,285+ items sold. 0% negative feedback. Great seller with very good positive feedback and over 50 ratings.

People Also Loved PicClick Exclusive