By John Baker, Stuart Brookes
Because the name indicates, past the Burghal Hidage takes the learn of Anglo-Saxon civil defence clear of conventional historic and archaeological fields, and makes use of a groundbreaking interdisciplinary method of research battle and public responses to organised violence via their effect at the panorama. through bringing jointly the facts from quite a lot of archaeological, onomastic and old resources, the authors may be able to reconstruct complicated strategic and armed forces landscapes, and to teach how very important exact wisdom of early medieval infrastructure and communications is to our figuring out of Anglo-Saxon preparedness for conflict, and to the situating of significant protective works inside their wider strategic context. the result's an important and far-reaching re-assessment of the evolution of past due Anglo-Saxon protecting arrangements.
Winner of the 2013 Verbruggen prize, given each year through De Re Militari society for for the easiest ebook on medieval army historical past.
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Additional info for Beyond the Burghal Hidage: Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age
It is in the later tenth century that many of the sophisticated apparatus of later West Saxon administration come more clearly into view. From the “hundred ordinance”, produced during or soon after the reign of King Edmund (939–46), we learn of the framework of local and regional government. This legislation presupposes that the kingdom was divided into shires, and below these, hundreds (wapentakes in some areas), served by a hundred court, or moot. g. Chadwick 1905, 228–62; Stenton 1971, 292–301; Loyn 1974; Wormald 1986; 1999).
The fate of Mercia has similarities with that of Northumbria, which the Vikings had also divided between themselves and a collaborator king (Abels 1998, 116–7). Wessex was granted a brief breathing space following the events of 871, while the Vikings defeated Mercia and consolidated their control of Northumbria, but in 875 anglo-saxon civil defence: theory & historical context 21 Alfred was again forced to confront the host. Late in 878, Wessex itself was temporarily occupied by Guthrum’s Viking army and Alfred driven into hiding.
G. Peddie 1989; 1999; Smyth 1995; Abels 1998). In one of the pre-eminent works on Anglo-Saxon England, Frank Stenton (1971) dedicated a chapter to “The Age of Alfred”, and Alfred’s prestige was also emphasized by Henry Loyn (1984), who singled him out from kings up to 871 and after 899. It is important nonetheless not to overstate the degree of English unity achieved under Alfred, and perhaps by the same token the extent to which military reforms were successfully completed by him. Of course, to argue that Mercia operated entirely independently of Wessex in the late ninth and early tenth centuries would be to ignore the sources.