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Aspects of the development of public assembly in the Danelaw

Aspects of the development of public assembly in the Danelaw

Turner, Sam

Assemblage, Issue 5 (2000)

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to investigate aspects of the development of public assembly in the Danelaw area of early medieval England using topographic, place-name and archaeological evidence for hundred and wapentake meeting-places. The article considers aspects of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of public assembly, and assesses the probable origins of the system. It then compares the system of meeting-places in the Danelaw with moot-sites in other areas of Anglo-Saxon England. The article attempts to outline topics such as the different functions of meeting-places and the changing rationale behind meeting-place locations. This leads to suggestions about the antiquity of the system of public administration in the Danelaw and the nature of Scandinavian settlement in eastern England.

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