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145 – The Rise of King AEthelbald of Mercia

Ok, so we ended our last episode with the death of King Ceolred at a banquet. And he went out swinging… or at least gibbering and cursing the heavens. Let’s face it, Ceolred was a colorful character and really brought his A game right until the end. I mean, you really have to work hard to completely destroy Penda’s dynasty.… Read more →

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144 – King Ceolred: A Lunatic Running the Asylum

Ok, so recently we’ve chatted about some cultural matters and I’ve also given you a broad overview of the failed dynastic politics of Northumbria and where this is all headed. But we really didn’t cover too much of what was going on elsewhere. We hinted at it, but I’m sure you’re curious about the other heavy hitter in England. Mercia.… Read more →

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142 – The Failed Dynastic Politics of Mercia and Northumbria

As you might remember, Queen Osthryth has recently been murdered by the Mercian nobility and was buried at Bardney. And the murder might have happened because she was working to detach the Hwicce off from Mercian domination. And while we talked a little about that, I got a few questions about it so I thought we might talk a little… Read more →

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141 – King Aldfrith and St. Wilfrid

Ok, when we left off, Bishop Wilfrid was jilted out of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, and instead Abbot Beorhtwald became Archbishop Beorhtwald. So Wilfrid readjusted and made an attempt to reunify the Bishopric of York and then head it up. But King Aldfrith didn’t agree and, presumably because the Wilfrid wouldn’t let it drop, he banished Wilfrid out of Northumbria.… Read more →

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140 – Wilfrid: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Today’s episode will take place in the turbulent years from 686 to 692 and the main characters will be… Aldfrith – King of Mercia, son of Oswiu, brother of Ecgfrith, and scholarly dude. Wilfrid – Former Bishop of York, friend of the terrifying pagan king Caedwalla, and man you really don’t want to cross. and Aethelred – King of Mercia,… Read more →

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137 – Preaching in the Dark Ages

Today we’re going to cover the crazy environment that early Christian converts found themselves in during the Dark Ages, and some of the bizarre notions they might have gotten regarding their religion thanks to poor access, education, and stubborn attachment to old pagan traditions. Also: we learn why mothers don’t stuff their feverish daughters into ovens anymore. Seriously, that’s something… Read more →

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136 – The Power of Mercia

This episode will cover the years 678 to 685 and its major characters will be… King Ecgfrith of Northumbria, the man who brought down Wulfhere, was wielding supreme power in Northumbria and was arguably exercising quite a bit of power south of the Humber as well. King AEthelred of Mercia, son of Penda and brother of Wulfhere. And a frighteningly… Read more →