By John Baker, Stuart Brookes
Because the name indicates, past the Burghal Hidage takes the learn of Anglo-Saxon civil defence clear of conventional ancient and archaeological fields, and makes use of a groundbreaking interdisciplinary method of learn struggle and public responses to organised violence via their influence at the panorama. through bringing jointly the proof from a variety of archaeological, onomastic and old resources, the authors may be able to reconstruct advanced strategic and army landscapes, and to teach how vital precise wisdom of early medieval infrastructure and communications is to our knowing of Anglo-Saxon preparedness for conflict, and to the situating of significant protecting works inside of their wider strategic context. the result's an important and far-reaching second look of the evolution of past due Anglo-Saxon protecting arrangements.
Winner of the 2013 Verbruggen prize, given every year by way of De Re Militari society for for the simplest publication on medieval army heritage.
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Extra resources for Beyond the Burghal Hidage: Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age
In a model of eloquent simplicity, warfare is not simply seen as a device for explaining state formation, but also provides a way of understanding the social context of change, in which political developments led to economic evolution. What it fails to explain, is the simultaneous emergence of territoriality, citizenship, and nationalism; concepts of collective action and group identity of the kind predicted by Giddens (1985). This growth of a common sense of civil identity is dependent on the development of effective internal communications (Deutsch 1966); ways of spreading and promoting cultural unity.
In Wessex, between the autumns of 870 and 871, Æthelred I and his brother Alfred (who succeeded him during the course of the year) fought a series of battles to hold off the Vikings. Victories such as Ashdown notwithstanding, they were unable decisively to defeat the Viking army, and Alfred was compelled finally to make peace with them, perhaps by buying them off (Stenton 1971, 250). The Mercians also made peace with the host in the following year, but it was not long before their king Burgred was deposed, replaced by a candidate with Viking backing, and his kingdom divided up.
It should not be forgotten that only a decade or so had passed since the last invasion of Wessex; the threat must still have seemed very real. The following chapters will 9 This was at the limit of Alfred’s sphere by the terms of his treaty with Guthrum, and an area he is unlikely to have held uninterrupted in anything other than nominal terms (Davis 1982). 26 chapter one attempt to shed light on the changing strategic policy of the House of Wessex, and to place their recorded actions within a landscape context.
Beyond the Burghal Hidage: Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age by John Baker, Stuart Brookes