The Origins of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms

Published
  • London ; New York : Leicester University Press 1989
Physical description
xii, 300 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
ISBN
  • 0718513177
  • 9780718513177
  • 0718513673
  • 9780718513672
Notes
  • Based on papers presented at a conference held in Oxford on 12-14 Dec. 1986 under the auspices of its Dept. for External Studies.
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 237-288) and index.
Contents
  • Pt. 1. -- In search of the origins of Anglo-SAxon kingdoms -- Early medieval kingships in the British Isles -- Origins of barbarian kingdoms: the continental evidence -- Pt. 2. -- Creation and early structure of the kingdom of Kent -- Kingdom of the South SAxons: the origins -- Jutes of Hampshire and Wight and the origins of Wessex -- Frithuwold's kingdom and the origins of Surrey -- Middle Saxons -- Essex, East Anglia and the expansion of Mercia in the South-East Midlands -- Kingship and material culture in early Anglo-Saxon East Anglia -- Formation of the Mercian kingdom -- Defining the Magonæte -- Early history of western Mercia -- Lindsey -- Origins of Northumbria: some aspects of the British background -- Pt. 3. -- Tribal Hidage: an introduction to its texts and their history -- Chertsey resting-place list and the enshrinement of Frithuwold.
Subject
Related item
Genre
  • Aufsatzsammlung.
  • Conference papers and proceedings.
  • History.
  • text
Language
  • English

Summary

  • Fourteen contributors discuss how and why kingship originated and offer some general explanations of the process of state formation during the period 5th to 7th century. The editor leads (3-27) with 'In search of the origins of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms', focusing first on the Hwicce but then noting a 'knock-out competition' over three-four centuries, finally won by the West Saxons. Thomas Charles-Edwards (28-39) takes 'Early medieval kingships in the British Isles' as his topic, contrasting Ireland and England in 7th-8th centuries and discussing food renders and dynasties. A Continental perspective is supplied by Edward James (40-52) in 'The origins of barbarian kingdoms: the continental evidence', showing that kingship was a flexible concept embracing tribal kings, warrior kings, and Germanic Roman officials. The second part of the volume takes English regions in turn. Nicholas Brooks (55-74) deals with 'The creation and early structure of the kingdom of Kent', the Anglo-Saxon kingdom and its administrative divisions. Martin Welch (75-83) takes 'The kingdom of the South Saxons: the origins', seeing the 5th century S Downs settlement as the core area. 'The Jutes of Hampshire and Wight and the origins of Wessex' are Barbara Yorke's topic (84-96) while John Blair (97-107, and appendix on 231-6) discusses 'Frithuwold's kingdom and the origins of Surrey'. 'The Middle Saxons' come next, from Keith Bailey (108-22) covering the Middlesex-Hertfordshire-London area. 'Essex, Middle Anglia and the expansion of Mercia in the south-east Midlands' is examined by David Dumville (123-40). Martin Carver (141-58) incorporates fresh evidence from Sutton Hoo and Spong Hill in his examination of 'Kingship and material culture in early Anglo-Saxon East Anglia', while 'The formation of the Mercian kingdom' is the subject of Nicholas Brooks (159-70). Kate Pretty (171-83) looks at the Hereford-Worcester region in 'Defining the Magonsaete', and Margaret Gelling (184-201) uses place-name evidence to examine 'The early history of western Mercia'. 'Lindsey' is covered by Bruce Eagles (202-12), and David Dumville's second paper (213-22) is on 'The origins of Northumbria: some aspects of the British background'. He also contributes an appendix (225-30) on 'The Tribal Hidage: an introduction to its texts and their history', holding out hope that textual enquiry will continue to improve our understanding.

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