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==Key Battles==
[[File:Battle of Ethandun memorial - - 367815.jpeg|left|thumbnail|Figure 2. Memorial to the Battle of Edington in Bratton Castle.]]
After the battle at York, several other key battles occur during the series. The first is the battle where Alfred's brother (Æthelred), who was the king of Wessex, dies, although the Anglo-Saxons are successful in temporarily halting the Danish advance. There is truth to Alfred's brother perhaps being injured and killed in battle as depicted in the series. Rather than the son of Æthelred taking power, it was Alfred that was chosen, something unexpected and discussed in the series, as he was seen as more fit to rule. This was done through the <i>witan</i>, which was a council that represented an early democratic selection process where they would chose who would rule as well as pass judgment on various affairs. The battle where Æthelred is fatally injured might be fictionalized or could be based on several battles where the Anglo-Saxons did have some success in limiting the Danish advances. Still, Wessex failed to stop the Danes completely and had to pay off the Danes for temporary peace. The show depicts the peace conference between King Alfred and Ubba. The character Ubba was a historical figure who did cause much trouble to the Anglo-Saxons.<ref>For more on Alfred, see: Smyth, A. P. (1995). <i>[ King Alfred the Great]</i>. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.</ref>
The next major encounter in the show was the Battle of Cynwit, which occurred in 878. The battle in the series depicts the Danes besieging Wessex's forces led by Odda the Elder. The Danish leader was Ubba, who was killed in the battle. The Danes had surrounded the Anglo-Saxon army on a hill and likely expected them to surrender, as they had little water, but the Wessex army attacked and were able to defeat Danish army. The Raven banner was taken by the Anglo-Saxon army and it was a major battle in which the Wessex king Alfred did not lead. In the series, the year of the battle is different and the credit for killing Ubba went to Uhtred. However, as shown in the series, it was an important battle for the Wessex kingdom and Odda was the likely leader of Wessex during the battle, where the Anglo-Saxons did, in fact, pull off a surprising victory. In effect, it is likely that the Anglo-Saxons were encamped on the hill during the real battle and made surprise attack on the Danes. This was a turning point as it now showed the Anglo-Saxons could fight major battles against the Danes and be victorious.<ref>For more on the Battle of Cynwit, see: Jones, G. (2001). <i>A History of the Vikings</i> (2nd ed). London ; New York: Oxford University Press, pg. 238.</ref>
The Danes also attacked in January 878 the town of Chippenham, which is where Alfred held his court at the time. The series diverges from reality and has the Danes attacking Winchester instead. The show had already established Winchester as the capital of Wessex and most likely sought to simplify the narrative instead of adding a new location for this battle. However, the attack did not occur there. The events, though, are generally accurate in that the Danes did attack in a surprising fashion at the height of winter, a period during when armies rested and did not launch invasions. Alfred was depicted as fleeing to the marshes of Somerset, where he was lucky to escape with his life. This was true and he did flee after the battle to hide from the Danes and he reorganized his forces in the swamps during the spring of that year.<ref>For more on Alfred's flight to the marshes of Somerset, see: Swanton, M. (Ed.). (2003). <i>[ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles]</i> (New ed., paperback rev. ed., 5. impr). London: Phoenix Press.</ref>
The next major encounter was the Battle of Edington (Figure 2), which pitted Guthrum of the Danes against Alfred. The Danes had likely assumed Alfred to be significantly weakened after being forced to flee. The battle was characterized by Alfred summoning his fyrds, or the popular army from different parts of his kingdom, that gathered to fight the Danes. This allowed Alfred to create a greater force and demonstrated he retained the loyalty of his ealdormen despite his earlier losses. Once again, the ability for the Saxons to muster a large force and launch an attack likely surprised the Danes. Egbert's stone was used as the meeting point for the fyrds in the series as well as in the chronicles describing the events. In effect, much of these events are true historically. The battle, unlike the series, involved an encounter of the armies where the Danes were driven into a fort and were besieged afterwards. In the series, the main battle is only depicted as a pitched encounter and the siege was not shown.  In both cases, after Dane leader Guthrum was defeated and baptized, as a condition of the peace, the Danes led their remaining army away. Eventually, the Danes formed another kingdom called Danelaw that represented areas where the Danes ruled for nearly another 100 years. This was based on a treaty with Alfred, where areas north of Wessex and in East Anglia represented Danelaw. For some years, there was peace between Wessex and the Danes. Alfred, after this time, build the boroughs, which were fortifications that helped protect Wessex. While relatively simple, these fortifications helped strengthen Wessex and made it more difficult for later Danish invasions. Although the invasions against Wessex continued, no serious threat ever occurred by Danish forces against Wessex.<ref>For more on the Battle of Edington, see: Hunter Blair, P. H., & Keynes, S. (2006). <i>[ An introduction to Anglo-Saxon EnglanEngland]</i>d (3. ed., repr). Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, pg. 111</ref> Arguably, this was the battle that may have prevented all of England falling to Danish hands in the 9th century.
==Historical Figures==

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