The Anglo-Saxon Age: The Birth of England

martin wall anglo saxon england

Martin Wall takes us on a journey into a period that still remains mysterious, into regions and countries long forgotten, such as Mercia and Northumbria.

Making the Medieval Relevant: Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Studies on Disease and Disability

Dr. Christina Lee - Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Studies on Disease and Disability

A summary of a paper given by Professor Christina Lee at the University of Nottingham’s “Making the Medieval Relevant” Conference.

National-Ethnic Narratives in Eleventh-Century Literary Representations of Cnut

Matthew Paris's (early 13th-century) impression of the Battle of Assandun, depicting Edmund Ironside (left) and Cnut (right)

This article takes literary representations of Cnut, the Danish conqueror of England, as a case study of the construction of English identity in the eleventh century.

Recycling in Britain after the Fall of Rome’s Metal Economy

Photo by Jeff Kubina / Wikimedia Commons

In actual fact, the bulk of contemporary evidence — which happens to be material rather than textual — clearly argues that the people of fifth- and early sixth-century eastern Britain were much more involved in subsistence agriculture than warfare, and that most people during much of this period lived in highly circumscribed worlds in a ranked, rather than a steeply hierarchical, society

Monsters and the Exotic in Early Medieval England

Marvels of the East, opening, fol. 039v-040r, early twelfth century, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

The dominant literate culture of early medieval England – male, European, and Christian – often represented itself through comparison to exotic beings and monsters, in traditions developed from native mythologies, and Classical and Biblical sources.

Livestock and animal husbandry in early medieval England

12th century manuscript from England showing two pigs and a man with an axe - British Library MS Lansdowne 383   f. 8

Major themes in the zooarchaeological record regarding livestock and animal husbandry in England from the 5th to 11th Centuries AD are reviewed.

The Sense of Time in Anglo-Saxon England

Sundial at the Church of St John the Baptist, Pampisford, Cambridgeshire. Photo by Nige Brown / Flickr

Much has been written about how the Anglo- Saxons measured time, but relatively little about why, or in what circumstances. When did it seem important to note the year or the month, the day or the hour?

Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England

Jay Paul Gates

Jay Gates, Nicole Marafioti and Valerie Allen speak about Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England

Anglo Saxon House: A Reconstruction

anglo saxon house reconstruction

Four videos from on how trees were used in the Middle Ages

Senses of the Past: The Old English Vocabulary of History

Page from Beowulf, now at the British Library

How did the Anglo-Saxons think about history?

Bucks County Museum looking to acquire Lenborough Coin Hoard

lenborough hoard - photo courtesy British Museum

Late last year, over 5200 silver coins was found by a metal detectorist in England. Now, the public will get a taste of this hoard, when 21 coins go on a special exhibit at at Bucks County Museum.

Demon Possession in Anglo‐Saxon and Early Modern England: Continuity and Evolution in Social Context

A miniature in the British Library Yates Thomson MS 26, with Saint Cuthbert's hand healing a paralytic

Sometime between around 687 and 700, a distraught father brought his raving son, in a wagon, to the island of Lindisfarne, where the holy relics of Saint Cuthbert were kept.

Broaching the subject: the geometry of Anglo-Saxon composite brooches

milton north field brooch - Photo by Kotomi_ / Flickr

The glittering and gleaming artifacts that can be found in Anglo-Saxon archaeological sites capture the imagination, conjuring up images of a warrior culture that displayed its wealth through wearable objects.

Lughnasa and Lammas: Summer Holidays Lost and Found Again

John Linnell - The Harvest Cradle 1859

For centuries two holidays were celebrated by neighboring peoples on the same day. The people were the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons, and their holidays were Lughnasa and Lammas respectively.

An Eye for Odin? Divine Role-Playing in the Age of Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo helmet at the British Museum

This paper presents some new observations concerning the construction of the Sutton Hoo helmet, as a point of entry to a wider discussion of pre-Christian religious and ideological links across Scandinavia.

Landscape and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking Campaign of 1006

William Stukeley’s drawing of the Sanctuary and related topography in 1725 ,in  Abury, a Temple of the British Druids   (London, 1725 )

The last twenty-five years have seen huge advances made in the way that battlefields can be recorded and understood through archaeological techniques, but these methods have only recently been accepted as a useful complement to traditional military history.

Investigating ‘peasant conversion’ in Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England

A miniature in the British Library Yates Thomson MS 26, Bede's Prose Life of St Cuthbert, depicting Cuthbert's meeting with Boisil at Melrose

It is somewhat surprising that we find very little in the way of propaganda bent on stressing positive changes that Christianity could bring, propaganda of the kind that Bishop Daniel of Winchester scripted for Boniface in the oft-cited letter which he advised the missionary to lure converts by contrasting the economic prosperity of Christian communities with the backwardness of the non-Christian.

The Afterlife of the Dead: Reform in Attitude Towards Medieval Burials, Corpses and Bones

Rothwell Charnel Chapel. Photo courtesy of ITV.

The International Medieval Congress is taking place at the University of Leeds, I’m on hand this week to report on the conference. This blog post reports on my first session.

Eadgifu, Anglo-Saxon Queen

Anglo Saxon Lady (9th Century) - photo by Paul Walker / Flickr

What little historical records we have pertaining to Queen Eadgifu tell us she exercised considerable power.

Cuthbert, Guthlac and the Life of St Antony

st anthony

Christians far from Egypt have drawn inspiration from the Life of St Antony, including England’s two most popular pre-Conquest hermit saints

Chest burial: a middle Anglo-Saxon funerary rite from northern England

anglo saxon skeleton - photo UK Ministry of Defence / Flickr

Chest burials, in which the body is interred in a wooden chest with a hinged lid, are one of the most characteristic funerary practices of the middle Anglo-Saxon period in northern England.

Magic in Anglo-Saxon England

staffordshire horse

Magic was a regular part of daily life in pre-Christian Europe, as it was and still is in many other parts of the world. In this context, the term ‘magic’ is distinct from its modern usage which is better described as optical illusion.

From Alfred to Harold II: The Military Failure of the Late Anglo-Saxon State

Death of Harold Godwinson in the Battle of Hastings

Most historians now acknowledge that Hastings was indeed a close-run affair, won more by luck and perhaps generalship than because of fundamental structural or tactical differences in the forces or disparities in their military technologies.

A Face from Anglo-Saxon England

anglo saxon face - photo courtesy Lincolnshire County Council

The face of a man who lived nearly a thousand years ago in Anglo-Saxon England has been recreated by experts from the University of Dundee.

Fashion Old and New: Weaving and Tailoring in the Early Medieval and Early Modern Period

Anglo Saxon pin beater made of animal bone. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 400-800 AD. Courtesy of Cotswold Archaeology.

Fashion fan? Interested in medieval and early modern textiles? Then this was your session. 2 papers from opposite ends of the spectrum: Early Medieval weaving and Early Modern Tailoring.

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