320 – Æthelred: Our Wooden Wall

The Battle of Maldon was a catastrophe. The brave last stand of Ealdorman Byrhtnoth was never going to change that fact. He was the leading man of Essex and the second most powerful Ealdorman in England and now he was dead. And his Fyrd was defeated. To top it off, there are indications that, facing [...]

319 – The Battle of Maldon

Battles don’t appear out of thin air, not even in honor cultures. There’s a reason, a context, that develops long before soldiers or warriors enter a field prepared to do violence. And the Battle of Maldon comes with a lot of context. We left off in 988… and on that year, Archbishop Dunstan, who had [...]

318 – Æthelred: Chaos is a Ladder

By 984 the Regency council had been broken and a new inner circle of nobles had been elevated.  And this development was accompanied by a rapid series of changes at the highest levels of the kingdom. The political rivals of this new council were rapidly losing power, with titles (and even lands) of wealthy dynasties [...]

317 – Æthelred: A Culture of Corruption

At 16 years old, King AEthelred was considered fully grown by Anglo Saxon standards. And as a bonus graduation present, the powerful Bishop AEthelwold of Winchester… who appears to have been the defacto head of state while AEthelred was a child… had died. With his passing, the power of the old guard had been broken [...]

316 – Æthelred: The Old Guard

Before we get back to our story, I’ve been seeing your conversations online and it made me realize I need to clarify something.   Some of you took the discussion of AEthelred’s unflattering nickname, and how he caught hell for some things that were out of his control or part of the common culture, and [...]

315 – Æthelred: The Cracks in the Foundation

“Under AEthelred nothing was done; or, more truly, throughout his whole reign he left undone those things which he ought to have done, and he did those things he ought not to have done.”   That is the damning conclusion of  Edward Augustus Freeman, a Victorian historian, and epic beard grower.  

312 – King Edward

King Edgar is Dead… and in his place reigned his son, King Edward of England. And you’d think that we’d be referring to him as King Edward the First.  Or, if you wanted to fudge it a bit and give Edward the Elder some credit for forming the Kingdom of the Anglo Saxons… maybe King [...]