213 – Danegelds, Peace, and Shame

Last time we left off, Alfred… who we have been following since his earliest days, and whom we now know the most intimate details of, including the state of his butt (which was swollen) and the state of his libido (which apparently was also swollen)... well, by mid 871 his brother was dead and he [...]

212 – Alfred the Last AEtheling

It’s mid April of 871. For four long months, the House of Wessex has been battling against an invasion army of Danes who are holding the Royal Tun of Reading. Battle after battle had resulted in bruising defeats at the hands of these pagans. They had won against the Danes in Ashdown, true, but what [...]

211 – The Battles of Basing and Meretun

It’s January of 871, still… A tremendous amount has happened in the last fortnight, and the year had barely even begun. People tend to compress the past… especially periods they are unfamiliar with… into short blurbs. It’s why many people are completely willing to accept minute by minute accounts of World War II, but balk [...]

210 – The Battle of Ashdown

“God, in his goodness and justice so much offended by our sins, had thus worn down the lands and kingdoms of the Christians.” That’s a quote from Prudentius of Troyes, who was struggling to explain why the Franks met abysmal failure every time they fought the Scandinavians. While that quote came from from across the [...]

209 – The Battle of Reading

When we left off, the Danes had occupied Reading, fortified it for several days, and then sent a detachment West along the river Kennet… In response, Ealdorman AEthelwulf of Berkshire had raised the local Fyrd, killed one of the Danish lords, and for the first time in a very long time, at Englefield, the West [...]

208 – The Battle of Englefield

When we left off the Great Heathen Army had conquered East Anglia, established their dominion, and then a good portion of it returned to their territory of Jorvik. However, not everyone returned north or stayed in East Anglia. Their leaders, Ivarr and Ubbe… brothers in battle and sons of Ragnarr, departed. Some accounts state that [...]

207 – Christianity in Early Danelaw

Here is part two to our story of religion and religious life at the age of the Great Heathen Army and the Danish invasion of Britain. Last episode, I told you about how the stories we’re often told - of violent atrocities committed against Christian spaces and against Christendom itself - didn’t actually originate from [...]

205 – Saint Edmund the Martyr

Last episode we ended with the engagement of Prince Alfred to Ealhswith, daughter of Ealdorman AEthelred Mucel of Mercia and descendant of King Coenwulf of Merica, and I briefly mentioned political implications of such a match. But there was a personal aspect to this as well. Not the marriage itself, though that was certainly personal… [...]

204 – Snottingham

At the end of last episode, the gates of Jorvik had opened and the Great Heathen Army marched forth. They were headed South, to the Kingdom of Mercia. Mercia makes sense for the Northmen. The leaders of the Great Army had already bolstered their northern border, through their puppet King Ecgberht. East Anglia had been [...]