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Thursday, July 11, 2024
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Ancient British History

Welcome to the fascinating and mist-shrouded world of Ancient British History. The historian’s task is frustrating but exhilarating, deciphering old manuscripts, exploring Roman ruins, and following the trail of the elusive King Arthur. All these things are found herein–the columns explore Britain from the Bronze Age to the Norman Conquest. Come on and in and enjoy!

Ceorl: What’s in a Word?

When we hear the word churl today, we think of an oaf or a loathsome person, one who has little education or manners. The...

Aethelwulf’s Grand Experiment: A New Kind of Succession

Aethelwulf, King of Wessex, had a grand idea for how to solve the power struggle problem he had inherited from his predecessors: make his...

From Ironside to Son of Ironfist

Unlike his father, Edmund had a bit of fire in his belly. Not Unready, Edmund was, by contrast, Ready to defend his newly gotten...

A King Is Burnt to Death: What Caused It?

A curious entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle from 687 spurs this question: When is a king not in charge of his kingdom? The entry in...

Into the Void: The Emergence of Ambrosius and Arthur

So this is Britannia in the 400s: Romans gone, Saxons streaming in, Picts threatening in the north, Britons besieged. Vortigern is himself betrayed, not...

Stamford Bridge: The Final End of the Viking Threat

Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway, and the two were itching for a fight, with an eye toward gaining the throne of England. The...

Gildas: The Monk Who Began the Historical View

With the coming of the Battle of Badon Hill we have the first of our “official” historical sources for the period of Arthur’s life:...

Druids: The Iron Rulers of the Celts

Equally close-mouthed and mysterious, the Druids were some of the most powerful people the world has ever known. They held an iron grip on...

Celtic Influence on Arthurian History

Readers of Arthurian literature are no doubt familiar with the Celtic shimmerings throughout. Famous examples are the knights Kay (originally Cei) and Gawain (originally...

The Significance of the Hill-Fort: Military

Dotting the landscape of late Bronze Age and Iron Age Britain were the hill-forts, those bastions of defense, commerce, and society that helped define...