323 – AEthelred: Brotherhood of the Wolf

And we are back! Thank you all for being patient while the BHP went on a brief parental leave.  And speaking of things that are back… The Dowager Queen AElfthryth has returned to the King’s inner council following what looks like a political coup against AElfic of Hampshire and his faction. And just because it [...]

322 – Æthelred: We’re Absolutely Forked

Ealdorman AElfirc of Hampshire was out… and Ealdorman AEthelweard the Chronicler was in. He would now be the King’s chief councillor… and he would be supported by his son, AEthelmaer… the King’s uncle, High Reeve Ordwulf of Devon, and the King’s mother, AEthelthryth. And as for the King’s old council.  Well, with the exception of [...]

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 [...]