189 – What on earth is an English

This episode is going to be a little different from most episodes. We’re going to break from the main story briefly and talk in larger terms about what is going on in Eastern Britain, because I realized that my slavish attention to the main storyline has probably allowed you to miss something truly astounding. And really, it’s hard to see… Read more →


188 – Rebellion and Succession in the Kingdom of Wessex

Lets pick up right where left off last week, with Wessex exploding into rebellion as King AEthelwulf sought to return to Britain with his new Frankish child-bride, Queen Judith, and her recently blessed womb. This was no doubt surprising for King AEthelwulf. But I don’t think it should have been. He was following in the footsteps of Emperor Louis the… Read more →


187 – The Queen of Wessex: aka The Worst Midlife Crisis Ever

It’s Christmas day 854. King AEthelweard of East Anglia, a king who we know almost nothing about, is dead. The only evidence we really have that he was alive in the first place are his coins, and this is likely due to the fact that, throughout the Viking Age, succeeding bands of Scandinavian pyromaniacs destroyed the East Anglian written records.… Read more →


186 – Wessex: A story of Myth building, Opportunism, and Annexation

It is the year 852. Mercia had recently lost to a vikingr fleet reportedly 350 ships strong… and then the West Saxon Kings, AEthelwulf and his son AEthelstan, arrived with a massive contingent of warbands and showed them how they did it on the West Side. You’ll remember that, following their victory, it appears that the West Saxon sphere of… Read more →


185 – Building the House of Wessex

When we left off last time, we were taking a look at the problem facing Europe that no one wanted to talk about. And this wasn’t like plague of people mistaking tights for pants. In that situation, the only solution is to ignore it until it retreats back to the darkest recesses of fashion. The viking raids worked differently, ignoring… Read more →


184 – The Chaos of Bad Governance

When we left off last time we discussed the viking raids of Paris and Hamburg… though they were far more than the raids we’d seen in the last 40-50 years. Now we’re looking at fleets that number in the hundreds and we’re seeing the nobility on the continent, especially the Frankish nobility, hiring many of these men as mercenaries to… Read more →


183 – Ragnar’s Siege of Paris

This is a big event for Medieval Western Europe, and it doesn’t come out of nowhere. The surge of Northmen, and in particular the Danish attacks against Frankia, had a starting point. This wasn’t a simple matter of pagans picking a random point on the map and charging… the Vikingrs may have been motivated largely by money, but the Danish… Read more →