England and the Vikings

In the 60-ies of IX century. Vikings, mostly Danes, began to conquer Britain. They captured a significant territory in the north-east of the country and forced the Anglo-Saxons south. The subsequent advancement of the Normans in this direction was suspended under King Alfred the Great.

The king defeated the Danes and concluded a peace treaty with them, according to which Britain was divided into two parts. Alfred retained the south-western territory of the country centered in Wessex. And the Danes left the northeastern part of Britain, which was called Deno, that is, the “Region of Danish Law.”

Despite the signed peace agreement, Alfred intensively prepared for a new struggle: he built a fleet, powerful fortifications, created a professional army. The King tried to strengthen the system of public administration in various ways. The country was divided into counties. Alfred gave the order to collect all the ancient Anglo-Saxon laws, to study them and to reduce them with his decrees. So around 890 there was a set of laws “The truth of King Alfred.”

King Alfred made a lot of efforts for the development of education. He tirelessly studied himself and made others learn. In the fortieth year of his life he learned Latin and immediately began to dream of translating Latin works into Anglo-Saxon. Some texts the king translated himself. On his behalf, monasteries opened schools where the best teachers were taught. One of them, Bishop of Assyria, wrote a...life story of Alfred. To carry out an educational mission, monks from the continent were invited. It was King Alfred who ordered the writing of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

Successes in the fight against the Danes were consolidated by Alfred’s successors. In the first half of the X century. Anglo-Saxon kings gradually conquered the “Danish law area.” Finally, King Edgar annexed it to his possessions. Then the old name “Britain” was replaced by “England”, that is England.

In 1013, the Danes again captured England and reigned in it until 1042. King of England became the representative of the Anglo-Saxon dynasty, Edward the Confessor.

IX century. From the “Chronicle of the acts of Alfred the Great” Bishop Asserius

In court, he was an indefatigable seeker of truth, especially when it was about the poor…

He paid such attention to the court for the well-being of noble and ignorant persons… all wanted to seek the truth from the king… because everyone knew that there would not be the least opportunity to hide his evil intentions. The king was the most worthy investigator when passing sentences, as, indeed, in all other life circumstances. Almost all the processes that are being conducted in the state during his absence, he studied in detail, whatever sentences were passed… If he managed to notice in some of the verdicts at least the least untruth, he summoned judges and, either himself or through proxies, asked why they ruled the court unfairly…


England and the Vikings