283 – The Kingdoms of the Foreigners

Imagine that you went from being a disfavored bastard with little power, to the most powerful English king that had ever existed, in the space of just a few years.

That you went from being functionally orphaned and shunted off to Mercia, to being so powerful that continental rulers were seeking your support and sending their children to your court… just to further tie their fortunes to you.

Having annexed Northumbria and obtaining the submission of Cumbria, Strathclyde, and Scotland… and having brokered marriages with major Frankish figures, while also obtaining foster children from powerful monarchs in the region… that’s the situation that King AEthelstan was in.

It was a meteoric rise.

Click here to be able to read the full rough transcript.

  5 Replies to “283 – The Kingdoms of the Foreigners”

  1. José Fernández-Blanco
    June 28, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Brilliant! It has so modern connotations that it isn’t hard to see your point. We (humans) are capable of rationalise the most irrational thoughts in order to justify the atrocities we commit against our own species.
    Well-done!

    • Christopher Young
      August 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Yes, that is the sadness of studying history … seeing the same sad cruelties repeated endlessly.Yuval Harari, the Isaeli medievalist recently (and deservedly!) risen to celebrity status, observed wryly not long ago, “never underestimate the stupidity of humans”.

  2. Kathie
    June 30, 2018 at 8:19 am

    History has great lessons to teach us, if we only pay attention. Thanks Jamie.

  3. Jan MacArthur
    July 3, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Thank you for that episode. Being Canadian I, and many of my friends, worry about the political situation in the US at the moment. We’re amazed and dismayed that no one seems to be doing anything to put a stop to the backward slide of rights and freedoms. How are folks are so easily bamboozled by a snake oil salesman. Why can’t they see? It’s Nazi Germany all over again. I’ve been through amusement, shock, anger, and frustration. Now I just despair. The politicians aren’t going to do anything so the only hope is that good folks will get out and vote.

    • Christopher Young
      August 11, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Jan, as a Yankee, I echo your sentiments completely!

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