The Scandinavian Impact on Southern England, c. 800c. 1100
Author: Ryan Lavelle,Simon Roffey
Publisher: Oxbow Books
Category: Social Science
There have been many studies of the Scandinavians in Britain, but this is the first collection of essays to be devoted solely to their engagement with Wessex. New work on the early Middle Ages, not least the excavations of mass graves associated with the Viking Age in Dorset and Oxford, drew attention to the gaps in our understanding of the wider impact of Scandinavians in areas of Britain not traditionally associated with them. Here, a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to the problems of their study is presented. While there may not have been the same degree of impact, discernible particularly in place-names and archaeology, as in those areas of Britain which had substantial influxes of Scandinavian settlers, Wessex was a major theater of the Viking wars in the reigns of Alfred and Æthelred Unræd. Two major topics, the Viking wars and the Danish landowning elite, figure strongly in this collection but are shown not to be the sole reasons for the presence of Danes, or items associated with them, in Wessex. Multidisciplinary approaches evoke Vikings and Danes not just through the written record, but through their impact on real and imaginary landscapes and via the objects they owned or produced. The papers raise wider questions too, such as when did aggressive Vikings morph into more acceptable Danes, and what issues of identity were there for natives and incomers in a province whose founders were believed to have also come from North Sea areas, if not from parts of Denmark itself? Readers can continue for themselves aspects of these broader debates that will be stimulated by this fascinating and significant series of studies by both established scholars and new researchers.
Author: Levi Roach
Publisher: Yale University Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
divAn imaginative reassessment of Æthelred "the Unready," one of medieval England’s most maligned kings and a major Anglo-Saxon figure The Anglo-Saxon king Æthelred "the Unready" (978–1016) has
Author: Timothy Bolton
Publisher: Yale University Press
A seminal biography of the underappreciated eleventh-century Scandinavian warlord-turned-Anglo-Saxon monarch who united the English and Danish crowns to forge a North Sea empire Historian Timothy Bolton offers a fascinating reappraisal of one of the most misunderstood of the Anglo-Saxon kings: Cnut, the powerful Danish warlord who conquered England and created a North Sea empire in the eleventh century. This seminal biography draws from a wealth of written and archaeological sources to provide the most detailed accounting to date of the life and accomplishments of a remarkable figure in European history, a forward-thinking warrior-turned-statesman who created a new Anglo-Danish regime through designed internationalism.
Scandinavian Jewellery in England
Author: Jane F. Kershaw
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Viking Identities is the first detailed archaeological study of Viking-Age Scandinavian-style female dress items from England. Based on primary archival and archaeological research, including the analysis of hundreds of recent metal-detector finds, it presents evidence for over 500 brooches and pendants worn by women in the late ninth and tenth centuries. Jane F. Kershaw argues that these finds add an entirely new dimension to the limited existing archaeological evidence for Scandinavian activity in the British Isles and make possible a substantial reassessment of the Viking settlements. Kershaw offers an interpretation of the significance of the jewellery in a broader, historical context. The jewellery highlights locations of settlement not commonly associated with the Vikings. In contrast to claims of high levels of cultural assimilation, the jewellery suggests that incoming groups maintained a distinct Scandinavian identity which was sometimes appropriated by the indigenous population. Kershaw also addresses one of the great unanswered questions in the study of Viking-Age settlements: what about the women? The interpretation of the jewellery challenges traditional perceptions of Viking conquest as an all-male affair and brings into focus a population group which has, until now, been almost invisible. Kershaw describes the objects and explores a number of themes related to their contemporary use, including their date, distribution, and function in costume. This body of material - unknown 30 years ago - is introduced to a public audience for the first time. Including many object images and maps, the study provides a practical guide to the identification of Scandinavian metalwork.
State Formation in Norway, c. 900-1350
Author: Sverre Bagge
Publisher: Museum Tusculanum Press
In this seminal work, Sverre Bagge provides a detailed account of Norwegian state formation in the period from c. 950 to 1350, widening his perspective to include a discussion of the emergence of the medieval state and state formation in the Middle Ages in general. The primary objective is to examine Norway as a case that may serve to illuminate some general problems of European state formation in the period, problems related both to the formation of the European system of independent kingdoms within a common cultural framework and to the inner development of these kingdoms.
The volume furthermore examines the changes that took place in the military, social-economical, ideological, legal and administrative fields between the first formation of the kingdom and the early fourteenth century which, according to common opinion, represents a peak in the development of a Norwegian state. The volume constitutes a vivid and compelling feat, offering a fresh and innovative approach to an important chapter in the history of Norway, while also casting new light on developments in the larger context of European history. Sverre Bagge
is Professor of Medieval History at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Bergen.
Author: John Blair
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
From the impact of the first monasteries in the seventh century, to the emergence of the local parochial system five hundred years later, the Church was a force for change in Anglo-Saxon society. It shaped culture and ideas, social and economic behaviour, and the organization of landscape and settlement. In this innovative study, John Blair brings together written, topographical, and archaeological evidence to build a multi-dimensional picture of what local churches and localcommunities meant to each other in early England.
Discourses of Life, Death and Afterlife
Author: Marilyn Dunn
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
This groundbreaking work treats the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons as a process of religious change and is the first to establish the importance of Christian doctrines and popular intuitions about death and the dead in the transition, focusing on the outbreak of epidemic disease between 664 and 687 as a crucial period for the survival of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. It analyzes Anglo-Saxon conceptions of the soul and afterlife as well as traditional mortuary rituals, re-interpreting archaeological evidence to argue that the change from furnished to unfurnished burial in the late seventh and early eighth century demonstrates the success of the church's attempts to counter popular fears that the plague was caused by the return of the dead to carry off the living. The study employs ethnographic comparisons and anthropological theory to further our understanding of pagan Anglo-Saxon deities, ritual and ritual practitioners, and also considers the challenges confronting the Anglo-Saxon church, as it faced not only popular attachment to traditional values and beliefs, but also gendered responses to, or syncretistic constructions of, Christianity.
Author: Henry Loyn
Drawing from recent archaeological and linguistic evidence, as well as more traditional literary and narrative sources, the author distinguishes between the initial phase of migrations in the ninth and tenth centuries, and the secondary period of settlement up to c. 1100 AD. He emphasizes, too, the differences in nature and intensity of the Viking impact on the societies that were slowly developing into the historic kingdoms of England and Scotland, and the more complex political structures of Wales and Ireland. Throughout the book, the effects of the Scandinavian invasions on Britain are set within the wider European context.
Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age
Author: John Baker,Stuart Brookes
Beyond the Burghal Hidage takes the study of Anglo-Saxon civil defence away from traditional historical and archaeological fields, and uses a groundbreaking interdisciplinary approach to examine warfare and public responses to organised violence through their impact on the landscape.
Author: N. J. Higham,Martin J. Ryan
Publisher: Boydell Press
An exploration of the landscape of Anglo-Saxon England, particularly through the prism of place-names and what they can reveal.
A Cultural Landscape Study
Author: Elizabeth FitzPatrick
Publisher: Boydell Press
An investigation of the places in the Irish landscape where open-air Gaelic royal inauguration assemblies were held from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.
Alfred, Charles the Bald, and Others
Author: Janet L. Nelson
The ideas and practices involved in early mediaeval royal family politics are the central theme of this collection of papers by Janet L. Nelson. She first examines King Alfred of Wessex (871-99) in the context of Anglo-Saxon conditions and in comparison with his Carolingian contemporaries. When tension and conflict within the royal family are highlighted, she argues that Alfred's talents and political thought emerge the more impressively. A second group of papers deals with the reign of Charles the Bald (840-77): his patronage of learning and his interest in Spanish martyrs are set in political context, while contemporary historiography is considered as a form of counsel and critique. The third section reflects Nelson's growing interest in the political importance and gendered roles of royal women. Consecration rites are analyzed as ritual expressions and factors in the shaping of the queenship, while two final papers also examine the making and unmaking of Frankish kings and princes.
Author: Philip de Souza,John France
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This is a major study of the ideas and practices involved in the making and breaking of peace treaties and truces from Classical Greece to the time of the Crusades. Leading specialists on war and peace in ancient and medieval history examine the creation of peace agreements, and explore the extent to which their terms could be manipulated to serve the interests of one side at the other's expense. The chapters discuss a wide range of uses to which treaties and other peace agreements were put by rulers and military commanders in pursuit of both individual and collective political aims. The book also considers the wider implications of these issues for our understanding of the nature of war and peace in the ancient and medieval periods. This broad-ranging account includes chapters on ancient Persia, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, Anglo-Saxon England and the Vikings.
The English Aristocracy 900-1066
Author: Ann Williams
Publisher: A&C Black
Ann Williams' important new book discusses the dynamics of English aristocratic society in a way that has not been explored before. She investigates the rewards and obligations of status including birth, wealth, the importance of public and royal service and the need to participate in local affairs, especially legal and administrative business. This period saw the birth of a 'lesser aristocracy', the ancestors of the English gentry, the power-house of society and politics in the late medieval and early modern periods. Going on to examine the obligations and rewards of lordship and the relations between lords and their men, Williams illustrates how status was displayed and covers the importance of the manorial house, which was at once a home, an estate centre and a symbol of authority and the insignia of rank in weaponry, clothing and personal adornment. The growing gap between the highest rank of society and the lowest, fuelled by underlying economic developments is also covered. In conclusion she considers some of the occupations which symbolized and perpetuated lordly power. Though the upper levels of aristocratic society were swept away by the Norman settlement, the 'lesser aristocracy' had a much higher rate of survival and it was this group who began the manorialization of English society, familiar from the late medieval period.
Towards a History of Reception for the Nowell Codex
Author: Simon C. Thomson
Publisher: Library of the Written Word
In Communal Creativity in the Making of the 'Beowulf' Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut's reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose. He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.
Author: David Ditchburn,Angus Mackay
Covering the period from the fall of the Roman Empire through to the beginnings of the Renaissance, this is an indispensable volume which brings the complex and colourful history of the Middle Ages to life. Key features: * geographical coverage extends to the broadest definition of Europe from the Atlantic coast to the Russian steppes * each map approaches a separate issue or series of events in Medieval history, whilst a commentary locates it in its broader context * as a body, the maps provide a vivid representation of the development of nations, peoples and social structures. With over 140 maps, expert commentaries and an extensive bibliography, this is the essential reference for those who are striving to understand the fundamental issues of this period.
Author: Michael D. J. Bintley,Thomas J. T. Williams
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Essays on the depiction of animals, birds and insects in early medieval material culture, from texts to carvings to the landscape itself.
From Vergil to Wiglaf
Author: Richard North
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
'The Origins of Beowulf' suggests that the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf was composed in the winter of 826-7 as a requiem for King Beornwulf of Mercia on behalf of Wiglaf, the ealdorman who succeeded him. This study combines detective work with literary analysis to form a case that no future investigation will be able to ignore.
Author: Juliana Dresvina,Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
This volume is an attempt to discuss the ways in which themes of authority and gender can be traced in the writing of chronicles and chronicle-like writings from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance. With major contributions by fourteen authors, each of them specialists in the field, this study spans full across the compass of medieval and early modern Europe, from England and Scandinavia, to Byzantium and the Crusader Kingdoms; embraces a variety of media and methods; and touches evidence from diverse branches of learning such as language and literature, history and art, to name just a few. This is an important collection which will be of the highest utility for students and scholars of language, literature, and history for many years to come.
The Last Viking Adventure
Author: Thomas J. T. Williams,Gilli Allan
Publisher: British Museum Publications Limited
Based on a true story, Harald's adventure takes him from a frightened teenager to wealthy and powerful warrior and finally, to a ruthless and tyrannical king, whose ambition leads him to a futile, yet glorious death at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066.