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					Medieval England

   In the Age

    Of Alfred

    And the

Norman Conquest
                 Medieval England
• The Viking attacks took on a different meaning and
  severity than on the European Continent.

• The Vikings actually conquered a number of Anglo-
  Saxon Kingdoms;

• Established themselves as Rulers, created large
  settlements in eastern and northern England;

• Even staged a second wave of raids more violent and
  dangerous then the first wave(if that is possible).
             Medieval England
• There are two visible trends in Anglo-Saxon
  history: Cultural and political.

• Culturally, the Monks especially Bede, the
  Abbott of Jarrow, and Alcuin of York were
  leading intellectuals of the day;

• We know of famous masterpieces of art in
  the form of Biblical illustrations, and
  intellectual written knowledge because of
  these Anglo-Saxons; Lindisfarne Gospels.
              Medieval England
Politically—we have the rise of the Kingdom of
  Mercia; important because it was the first unified
  control of the Anglo-Saxon society;

This control or unification took several forms:

Exact a tribute, forced unimpeded travel, and
 establish Mercia’s independence from other
 Anglo-Saxon principalities.

Most famous King of Mercia was Offa.
                Medieval England
• King Offa very unique;
• Considered equal to
  Charlemagne in power;

• Maintained close ties with
  the continent especially
  Charlemagne;

• Ruled from 757 to 796
  AD; built huge earthen
  dyke to keep out the Celts
                       Medieval England
• As the second wave of Viking
  raids intensified, this time the
  Viking armies settled forming
  permanent Danish villages;

• Also succeeded in destroying
  several Anglo-Saxon
  kingdoms;

• They would kill the Anglo-
  Saxon King and establish a
  Dane on the throne
                   Medieval England
• It appeared the Danes
  would conquer all of
  England;

• King Alfred of Wessex
  stood tall and stopped the
  Danish infiltration;

• He was Alfred the Great,
  but so was most everyone
  with a title, Constantine
  the Great, Alexander the
  Great, Gregory the Great,
  Charles the Great etc . . .
                    Medieval England
• However, Alfred was Great;
• 870AD Danes captured
  Mercia; then attacked Wessex;
• Aethelred and brother Alfred
  defeated the Danes;
• Danes regrouped drove Alfred
  into hiding;
• Alfred regrouped and beat the
  Danes rather severely, so bad
  that the Dane King accepted
  Christianity—ended Danish
  threat; divided England into
  two distinct zones
                   Danelaw and Wessex
• North and east of England was
  known as Danelaw—under the
  control of Danish Kings;

• Zone two was Kingdom of
  Wessex; Anglo-Saxons there
  accepted Alfred’s rule, better
  then the Danes;

• Alfred seemed the only person
  capable of defeating the
  Vikings
                 Alfred the Great
• To prepare for the probable Viking counter
  attack, Alfred fortified towns on the periphery
  and internally in his Kingdom;

• Vikings never could penetrate enough to defeat
  Alfred;

• He was also an intellectual, translated Latin
  books into English; promoted intellectual reform,
  hired scholars for his court; only literate English
  King until Henry VIII--
                 Medieval England
• After Alfred’s death,
  subsequent Kings
  determined to rid England
  of all Danish influence;

• This mean genocide
  against all Danish
  settlements;

• The issue was that
  everybody was fighting
  everybody
               Medieval England
• The Danes focused their time and energy on
  England;
• The Norwegians focused on Ireland;

• The Anglo-Saxons had to focus on the Danes and
  the Celts;

• The Norwegians tended to attack anyone in their
  way, even Danes if they refused to give ground.
• In the end the Anglo-Saxon rulers succeeded.
                Medieval England
• Succeeded just in time for a second wave of fierce
  Viking attacks at the end of the 10th century;

• Worse because they only focused on England;

• Norwegians and Danes allied—so larger more
  organized army;

• Anglo-Saxons forced to pay the Danegeld as did
  the Carolingian Rulers.
                      Medieval England
• Anglo-Saxon King Aethelred
  decided to pay the tribute, but
  he also formed an alliance with
  the Normans (a Viking
  heritage people) He married
  the Duke of Normandy’s
  daughter—this would
  enormous consequences later
  on;

• He also decided to massacre
  all Danish inhabitants left in
  England.
               Medieval England
• The alliance worked; the massacre backfired;

• It upset the Danes and the Norwegians;

• Re assaulted England driving the Anglo-Saxon
  Kings to Normandy into exile;

• They would return later, but only long enough to
  defeat the Norwegians and lose to the Normans.
     Consequences of Viking Raids
• Recall the first wave united England under
  the House of Wessex to fend off the
  Vikings and Danish influence;

• The second wave created an environment
  that drove the Anglo-Saxon kings out of
  England making England part of the
  Scandinavian Empire;

• Of course it opened the door for the
  Norman invasion about 50yrs later.
                 Anglo-Saxon Return
• The Dane empire fell apart rather quickly, the Anglo-
  Saxons returned quite peacefully;

• Anglo-Saxons however, had a very good run compared to
  other Barbarians; the Ostrogoths and Vandals never got
  out of the 6th century;

• The Visigoths made it to the 8th century before being
  conquered by the Empire of Islam—

• The Franks, well they never were subdued—they alone
  remained on the Continent—Anglo-Saxons also were in
  their final days.
                   William the Bastard
• 1066 Saxon King died with no
  heirs;
• King Harald Hardrata of
  Norway claimed rightful heir
  to the English throne;

• Duke of Normandy, William
  the Bastard also claimed the
  English Throne;

• Both had legitimate reasons—
  England prepared for attacks
  from both Norway and
  Normandy …
                 William the Bastard
• King Harold self-
  appointed king of the
  Anglo-Saxons prepared
  for war;
• Because of bad weather
  across the Channel, the
  Duke of Normandy was
  delayed;

• Norwegian King Harald
  arrived first-he was
  defeated buy the Anglo-
  Saxons; very costly
  victory, Stamford Bridge
                  William the Conqueror
• Harald had hoped to beat the
  Saxons then prepare against
  William;

• Unfortunately for King Harold
  of the Saxons, he was very
  much weakened and
  logistically not up to a fight
  with William;

• At the battle of Hastings,
  Harold almost won anyway
  until an arrow pierced his eye;
  William won the day.
                Norman Conquest
• William the Bastard traded his name in for a more
  appropriate moniker—the Conqueror;

• Normans descendants of Scandinavia, but no
  longer Pagan and French is their mother tongue;
  very much Christian; created a more Continental
  look for England—no longer looking toward
  Scandinavia;

• Would constantly become embroiled in European
  issues.
                Norman Conquest
• One huge influence aside from political and social
  issues, but language;

• No longer would the Anglo-Saxon language be
  spoken—Old English dies out;

• Middle English heavily influenced with French
  would come on the scene;

• And eventually the Queen’s English and
  American English we know today.
                      Conclusion
• Paradoxically, the Viking raids of the 7th, 8th and 9th
  centuries created the atmosphere for the final collapse
  and ending of the Carolingian European rule;

• In England it created a unified England and the second
  wave of attacks during the 10th century created a truly
  unified and powerful England under the control of the
  ex-Viking Normans.

• In a full circle, we have re-established the Anglican rule
  in England and America—of course with some Ottonian,
  Frankish, and Scandinavian flavors …

				
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posted:9/11/2012
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