Alfred the Great (AD 849- 899) (reigned 871-899)
Embed Size (px)
Transcript of Alfred the Great (AD 849- 899) (reigned 871-899)
Alfred the Great(AD 849- 899) (reigned 871-899)
Alfreds ChildhoodAlfred was born in Wantage, Berkshire in 849 as the fifth son of Aethelwulf (Ethelwulf), King of Wessex and Osburh (Osburga), his queen. He was of the royal house of the Jutes of Wight. Alfred was born into England which was suffering from Danish attacks.
At the age of five Alfred was sent to Rome where he was received with honour by Pope Leo IV. The purpose of his visit is not known. Two years later Alfred went on pilgrimage to Rome again with his father who thought he was close to death. They returned to England after a year in Rome and also visited Charles the Bald, King of the Franks. In 858 Ethewulf died and Wessex was governed by his sons, Aethelbald, Aethelbert, and Aethelred, successively, until 871, when Alfred came to the throne.
Alfreds ReignIn 871 Aethelred was killed in battle at Ashdown. During the reigns of Aethelbald (855- 860) and Aethelbert (860- 866) nothing much is heard of Alfred. With the accession of his brother Aethelred I (866- 871) Alfreds public life began. In 868 Alfred married Ealswith, daughter of Aethelred. Alfred fought with his brother against the Danes to relieve Mercia from their pressure. Alfred became the King of Wessex.
Alfred did not want to go into battle, so he kept the peace by paying tribute to the Danes for four years.But in 876, the Vikings, under a new leader, Guthrum, slipped past him and attacked the lands of the Saxons.In 877 Alfred the Great blockaded them and the Danes whose fleet had been scattered by the storm had to submit and withdraw to Mercia. The next year another invasion took place. The Danes went on killing people and forced Alfred to flee to Somerset marshes.
The VikingsUsed fast mobile armiesRaided the coasts and inland waters of EnglandOvercame East Anglia and Mercia
Alfred:reorganised the army,created a series of fortifications,constructed a fleet of ships
In 878 the King won the Vikings at the Battle of Edington. As a result England became split in two: 1) The Danelaw 2) Land of the Saxons which now included West Mercia and Kent.
king Guthrum was converted to Christianity
By 886 he had captured the city of London and Welsh kings sought alliances with him. Soon afterward he was referred to as King of the English' .Alfred's charters and coinage referred to him as 'king of the English'
Alfred the Great was a wise kingStarted the ultimate unification of Anglo-Saxon Englandestablished a legal codepromoted educationsupported the artstranslated Latin books into Anglo-Saxontranslated Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoplewas patron of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle"Father of the English Navy"
Alfreds Importance Alfred increased the royal navy and a lot of ships were built in the Danish style to beat the Vikings. He built fortresses (burhs) all over Southern England to protect the country. Soon these places became the centres of trade and local goverment.
He also created the fyrd- the reguar army of the peasants. Alfred valued education. He thought that the illiteracy and the fall in religion was caused by the Vikings who destroyed the monasteries. To improve literacy he arranged the translation of many books from Latin into Anglo- Saxon. Alfred was the patron of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a patriotic history of the English. He also put down a definite body of the Anglo- Saxon law.
Alfred the Great died on the 26 October 899 at the age of 50 and was buried in Winchester. Alfred - alone of all the English kings and queens - is known as 'the Great'.
Winchester, the burial place of the West Saxon royal family