King Alfred the Great Facts and Legends Wintersemester 2010/11 15/02/2011 Proseminar: Sprache und Kultur der Angelsachsen Dozentin: Ulrike Krischke Referentinnen: Julia Reich, Lina Rohde Outline The life of King Alfred the Great Life Reign Did King Alfred write anything? Writings
Reason Facts Outlook Life 849 Birth at Wantage, in Berkshire 3 Life 853 lfred was sent to Rome 855 Father took him on a trip to Rome again 865 elred succeeded on hisbrothers lfredbecame a seasonedwarrior
865 Great Heathen Army arrived in East Anglia 868 lfreds marriage to Ealswi 871 lfred lead troops against the Vikings in the Battle of Ashdown 871 Death of elred 4 Reign 871 lfred became King of Wessex 871 Battle at Wilton 871 - 878 Further Invasions 878 Surprise attack on lfred
878 Battle of Edington 5 Reign 878 Treaty of Wedmore: England is divided Period of peace 899 lfred died 6 Reign Achievements
System of defensive forts Permanent forces in reserve Improved ships New military tactics
Aggressive policy towards Vikings Offering of overlordship& protection King of all the English 7 Writings
Did Alfred write anything? (Godden, M. 2005) 8 Writings Regula pastoralisby Gregory the Great De consolationephilosophiaeby Boethius Soliloquiaby St. Augustine First fifty Psalms (Alfredslawcodeandhis will) 9 Reason
reieldran, esstwarholdon, helufodonwsdm, ondurthonehebegatonwelanondslfdon. Hrmonmggetgesonhiorasw, acwhim ne cunnonfterspyrigean. Ondformwhabbangerforltengeonewelangeonewsd
m, formewnoldontmsporemidremdeonltan. (King Alfred to BishopWaerferth. 890) Our forefathers who before us held these places, loved wisdom, and through it they obtained wisdom, and left it to us. Here may we still see their footprints, but we cannot follow them up and therefore have we lost both wealth and wisdom, since we would not incline our hearts to their example. (Morning,A. Steele,R.1900. 10p. 2) Reason Formyncbetre, gifowswync, twacsumebc, enedeearfostaseneallummonnumtwiotonne, tw on tgeode
ondgedn, wenden eweallegecnwanmgen, swwsweaemagonmidGodesfultume, gifwstilnessehabba, tteeallsogioguenis on
Angelcynnefroramonna, raespdahbbenthembefolanmgen, sentliornungaofste, hwleehetnnreerrenote ne mgen, oonefirstehewelcunnenEngliscgewritrdan. Lremonsianfurur on Ldengeodeemonfurorlranwilleondtherranhded nwille. 11
Reason  it seems well to me, if ye think so, for us also to translate the books most needful for all men to know into the speech which all men know, and, as we are well able if we have peace, to make all the youth in England of free men rich enough to devote themselves to it, to learn while they are unfit for other occupation till they are well able to read English writing: and let those be afterwards taught Latin who are to continue learning and be promoted to higher rank. (Morning,A. Steele,R.1900. p. 4) 12 Facts written in Alfreds name and voice
BUT it was quite common during that time to write in other peoples name in all four books there is either a preface or an epilogue which point to Alfred as the author  the four books  share a consistent 13 Facts Asser did not mention the king translating these texts in the biography Alfred did not learn Latin until he was 39(!) years old the nature of the texts almost requires a good knowledge of Latin
14 Outlook Alfred Jewel Found in 1693 Old English inscription: Alfred ordered me to be made sent to every diocese in Alfreds kingdom with his translation of Regulapastoralis 15 Bibliography
Bately, J. 2003. The Alfredian Canon Revisited. Alfred the Great Papers from the Eleventh Centebery Conference. Ed. T. Reuter. Aldershot: VT. 107-20 Frantzen, Allen J. 1986. King Alfred. Boston: Twayne Publishers. Godden, Malcolm. 2007. Did King Alfred write anything. Medium Aevum 76, 1-23 Keynes, Simon. 1984. Alfred the Great: Assers Life of King Alfred the Great and Other Contemporary Sources. New York: Penguin Lapidge, Michael. 2008. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford: Blackwell Steel Robert & Morning Alexander. 1900. Kings Letters form the Days of Alfred to the Coming of the Tutors. London: The De La More Press, 1-4 16
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