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  1. Alfred the Great (alt. Ælfred 848/849 – 26 October 899) was King of the West Saxons from 871 to 886, and King of the Anglo-Saxons from 886 until his death in 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf and his first wife Osburh, who both died when Alfred was young.

    • 23 April 871 – c. 886
    • Osburh
    • Youth & Rise to Power
    • The Viking Wars
    • Alfred & The Burnt Cakes
    • The Battle of Eddington
    • Restoration, Reform, & Education
    • Efforts to Unite England

    Alfred was born in 849 CE, the son of King Aethelwulf of Wessex and his wife Osburh. At the age of four, his father sent him to Rome on pilgrimage, where he was confirmed in the faith by the Pope and, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was anointed as king. Although it is possible this ceremony took place, it seems unlikely as Alfred was the y...

    In 865 CE the Great Army of Vikings led by Halfdane and Ivar the Boneless invaded East Anglia and swiftly defeated any force sent against them. In 866 CE they took the cityof York, and in 867 CE they killed the Northumbrian kings Osbert and Aelle and consolidated their control of the region. In 868 CE they made constant raids throughout Mercia and ...

    It is during this period that the events related in the legends surrounding Alfred are said to have taken place. Although it is often assumed that these legends come from Asser's work, they are all later creations, c. 10th century CE. The most famous of these is the story of Alfred and the burnt cakes, which comes from The Life of St. Neot. It rela...

    Alfred remained in exile, hiding from the Vikings, for less than three months, during which time he seems to have been preparing for an offensive against the Vikings through a network of spies and chieftains who remained loyal to him. By March, according to Asser, he was waging a successful guerrilla waragainst the Danes. By May of 878 CE, he had a...

    The theory that Viking raids were the wrath of Godhad gone unchallenged since the Lindisfarne raid in 793 CE as there was no better available, and Alfred most certainly believed it. Following the Battle of Eddington, he went to work to resolve the underlying causes of the raids which, in his view, were the poor state of education, clerical learning...

    In 886 CE Alfred captured London in a stunning victory, and “all the English people that were not under subjection to the Danes submitted to him” (Keynes & Lapidge, 38). There may have been an official oath of loyalty to the king that the populace, or at least landowners, had to take, but even if there was not, it is clear that Alfred had united th...

    • Joshua J. Mark
    • Content Director
  2. As King of Wessex at the age of 21, Alfred (reigned 871-99) was a strongminded but highly strung battle veteran at the head of remaining resistance to the Vikings in southern England. In early 878, the Danes led by King Guthrum seized Chippenham in Wiltshire in a lightning strike and used it as a secure base from which to devastate Wessex.

  3. Apr 1, 2019 · Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, a defender against Viking invasion and a social reformer; just few of the reasons why he is the only English monarch to be known as “the Great”. Alfred was born in 849 and served as King of Wessex, a Saxon kingdom based in the southwest of modern day England, from 871 to his death on 26th October 899 AD.

  4. One of the most famous Anglo-Saxon kings was Alfred, one of the only kings in British history to be called 'Great'. His father was king of Wessex, but by the end of Alfred's reign his coins...

  5. Apr 1, 2020 · Alfred The Great's rise to power The Church of Rome wielded immense power and its influence extended to almost every aspect of Saxon life. It also had a near-monopoly on the acquisition of knowledge as its official language. Latin, could be read and spoken only by church officials and understood by a mere handful of Wessex clergy.

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