Category: The Dark Ages

Learn about the rise of England, Scotland, and Wales in episodes of the British History Podcast that cover the so-called Dark Ages.

271 – How to Break a Kingdom in Six Months

For the last several years, the Anglo Saxons had been on a true war footing. AEthelflaed and Edward had been showing skill and audacity in the field, and it had paid dividends. Under their leadership, the Anglo Saxon kingdoms of the south had been taking the fight to the Danish controlled lands and were seizing massive portions of key territories.… Read more →

269 – The Western Front

Wessex and Mercia have had a busy decade. Both kingdoms militarized their borders, fought off invasion forces, and even took the offensive and marched into neighboring kingdoms. And even though the Chronicle is mysteriously tight lipped on all of these fights, it’s clear that way more than just construction work was going on at all of the burhs. There were… Read more →

268 – Viking Invasion

AEthelflaed, Lady of Mercia, and her brother, King Edward, had been bringing the fight to the Danes… they had been stretching their borders into Danish controlled lands and they haven’t just been on the offense… they’ve been winning. When an army was raised out of Leicester in 913 for the express purpose of countering the Mercian advance, AEthelflaed and the… Read more →

267 – The Southern Expansion

O potent elfleda! Maid, men’s terror! You did conquer nature’s self; worthy The name of man! More beauteous nature’s form of A woman; but your valour shall secure Man’s higher name. For name you only need Not sex to change: unconquerable queen, King rather, who such trophies have obtained! O virgin and virago both farewell! No caesar yet such triumphs… Read more →

266 – The Rise of AEthelflaed and the Breaking of Northumbria

The Battle of Tettenhall, as we discussed last episode, remains a mystery to us. We aren’t certain of the circumstances that started the battle, exactly where the battle took place, nor which Anglo Saxon leaders actually fought in it. But one thing scholars agree upon is that Mercia and Wessex won a resounding victory – and that this victory meant… Read more →

265 – The Battle of Tettenhall; and Zombies, maybe.

There is so much that the Chronicle hides from us after the death of Alfred. Edward’s apple seems to have fallen fairly far from the tree, because the record his court produces during his reign is spare even by Anglo Saxon standards. But even with all of its contradictory statements and black holes, the Chronicle couldn’t hide the fact that… Read more →

264 – The Lost Rebellion

In the year 909 we get an odd entry from the Chronicle. “This year St. Oswald’s body was removed from Bardney into Mercia.” It’s an weird entry that caps a very strange section of the Chronicle. In the seven year period from 902 to 909 we’ve got three blank years, two star gazing entries, one entry about Chester getting refurbished… Read more →