Bede recognizes that he is pagan but seems to gloat over his victory over Britons. Depicted as someone who was too early to have been contacted by A-S Christianity.Osteological analysis of the skeletal assemblage from Heronbridge near Chester has provided a glimpse into thelast moments of those individuals interred in the mass grave. The small group of skeletal remains included twomen, one of whom was middle aged, while the other was a young man, in his early twenties. The older mansuffered from joint degeneration of the spine and shoulders and ruptured intervertebral discs, as well as from theeffects of repetitive muscular injury, which can probably be attributed to hard physical work. It is possible thata kick in the shins, an ulcer, or varicose veins had caused slight inflammation of his left leg. Poor oral hygienehad caused deterioration of his dental health. This included plaque concretions, cavities, receding gums and apus-releasing abscess.Skeleton 2, the younger man, had been generally healthy, although he had suffered a probable episode of irondeficiency during childhood. He also suffered from shortening of the femoral necks or uncertain cause, whichwould have produced no symptoms. His dental health was good in comparison to his counterpart.Unusually, the cause of death of these two men was clearly apparent. Both had died from a series of bladeinjuries, which were concentrated on the heads. Skeleton 1 had received four skull blade injuries, as well as adefence injury to the right thumb and a stab wound, which had penetrated the abdomen and entered his spine.Skeleton 2, on the other hand, had received five blade wounds to the skull and face.
642 The Battle of Maserfield (or Maserfeld, "marsh (border) field"; Welsh: MaesCogwy), was fought on 5 August 641 or 642, between the Anglo-Saxon kings Oswald of Northumbria and Penda of Mercia, ending in Oswald's defeat, death, and dismemberment. The battle was also known as Cogwy to the Welsh, with their countrymen from Pengwern participating in the battle (according to the CanuHeledd), probably as allies of the Mercians.
Warrior 2Good health 18-25 five blows to the head
Anglo-Saxon, AD 616-40Minted in London, Kingdom of Kent, EnglandThe earliest coin with the name of an English kingAfter the Romans withdrew from Britain in the early fifth century AD, no coins were struck in Britain for nearly 200 years. Roman coins and coins of various Germanic kingdoms apparently circulated to some extent. Around AD 600, or a few years earlier, coins began to be issued in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Kent. Kent had close ties across the English Channel with the kingdom of the Franks, and the earliest Anglo-Saxon coins mostly imitate Roman or Frankish gold coins.The earliest Anglo-Saxon coins do not carry the name of a ruler, and it was only in the eighth century that the use of a ruler's name became common on Anglo-Saxon coins. However, a handful of coins are known in the name of Eadbald of Kent (reigned AD 616-40). Eadbald was converted to Christianity in the middle of his reign, and the Christian symbol of the cross and globe on both sides of the coins probably indicates that they date from the latter part of the reign. The legend on the front reads AVDVARLD [or AVDVABLD] REGES ('Of King Eadbald'), while the back appears to have a blundered version of a moneyer's name and the name of the mint of London.A pseudo-imperial tremissis of Merovingian France.The legends are blundered, but that on the obverse is probably a corrupt form of D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG, indicating the prototype was a tremissis of the Byzantine emperor, Justinian I (527-565). The reverse legend is a shortened and corrupt version of VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM. The rendering of the legends below is approximate, with letters actually being blundered and retrograde in several cases.A gold tremissis of Merovingian France.The mint and issuer of the coin are uncertain. It is possible that 'EPI' at the end of obverse inscription may indicate an episcopal issue.570-670
Anglo-SaxonShilling(Thrymsa)State: England Reign/Issue Authority: Denomination: Shilling (Thrymsa) Classification: Two Emperors type Mint: Uncertain Moneyer: Issue Date: Circa AD 650 - 670 Metal: Pale gold Weight (grams): 1.2g Diameter (mm): 14mm max. Obverse Description: Diademed bust right. Obverse Legend: Pseudo legend Reverse Description: Stylised figure of Victory above two busts. Reverse Legend: gold solidus of Emperor Magnus Maximus (383-88)
Diademed bust right, with cross in front. R: Coiled wolf with curled tongue facing right.Silver sceat of series K, London (?), c. 710-20.Over the course of the 7th century, the gold content of Anglo-Saxon and Frankish tremisses deteriorated until, in the 660s, they were often only 10-20% pure. Around this point, there was a major shift from debased gold to Silver in Merovingian Frankia. However, within a few years of c. 675 very large silver coinages were being struck in southeastern England as well. A few issues, such as those inscribed with the runic name Pada and the Latin Vanimundus, exist in both debased gold and silver, presumably spanning the changeover. The new silver coins are similar to the later tremisses in terms of size and weight: small (typically 10-12mm in diameter), thick and usually weighing 1–1.3g. Because of the references in the law-codes mentioned above, these new silver pieces have been known to numismatists as sceattas since the 17th century. Contemporary terminology is uncertain, though it is likely that these coins were known as peningas (pennies), just like their later broader equivalents. Silver pennies of roughly this weight (1–1.6g) were to remain the sole unit of English currency until the 13th century, with the exception of rare silver halfpennies and even rarer gold coins.
Beckett also presents some unusual documentary evidence of contacts between Muslims and Anglo-Saxon England. This includes a single gold dinar of Offa, king of Mercia, now held in the British Museum (obverse featured on the front cover of the dust-jacket though nowhere else in the book). The dinar contains garbled Arabic inscriptions on the obverse and reverse apparently in imitation of the Muslim "shahadah" or statement of faith found on contemporary coins from the Middle East. Beckett compares this unique coin with other gold dinars uncovered in Sussex, London, and Oxford, and silver dirhem hoards brought to England and Ireland through raids and settlers from Scandinavia.Comparative Literature Studies 42.3 (2005) 232-234 Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of the Islamic World. By Katharine Scarfe Beckett. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. viii+276 pp. $65.00.There remains, therefore, but the fourth proposition to consider, and here we find ourselves on much surer ground. We have already seen that Offa had made a vow that he would pay 365 gold pieces every year to the Pope, and that probably, in consideration of the faithful fulfilment of that vow, the occupant of the pontifical throne had bestowed an Archbishop upon Mercia. The exact date of Offa’s vow we do not know, but it may fairly be presumed that he made it to the two papal legates, George and Theophylact, who visited him in 786.The date upon Offa’s coin now becomes extremely important.The coin bears the date Hegira 157, equivalent to 774 of the Christian era. This date does not, however, prove that Offa’s coin was struck in that year (twelve years prior to the visit of the legates); but as the piece is manifestly a copy of an Arabic dinar of that year (Hegira 157), made by a person who did not understand Arabic (otherwise, why did he place the words OFFA REX in an inverted position to the Arabic characters), all that the date, 157 Hegira, demonstrates is that Offa’s coin was struck in, or, what is more probable, subsequently to the year 774 of the Christian era.What appears to us to be the most probable origin of this coin is that when Offa made his vow, the question arose as to what was to be the size and weight of each of the 365 ‘gold pieces.’ In reply to such a query on the part of the king, who would naturally desire to know the exact extent of his liability, what would be more natural for one of the legates to hand Offa a coin, and say, ‘365 gold pieces like this’?Arabic coins were well known at Rome. Countless pilgrims from the Holy Land passed through the Eternal City on their return from Palestine, many of whom laid offerings at the foot of the papal throne. It is fair to presume that amongst such offerings so made, that Arabic gold coins, then in free circulation in Syria, would be included, and high ecclesiastics, such as the legates, would easily become possessed of the same, and might preserve them as curiosities; or it may have been that, seeing that the Arab dinar was of a known weight and quality of gold, one of those coins was especially brought to England to fix thereby the standard and quality of ‘the gold pieces’ to be paid as tribute by Offa.If such was the case, and Offa so received a sample coin, the Mercian king, according to the almost slavish superstitions of that period, would naturally desire to scrupulously perform his vow to the very letter, and to accomplish this object he would have the sample coin faithfully imitated and struck in his own mint, and stamped in addition with his own name and title, ‘OFFA REX,’ in order that no question could thereafter arise as to the exact fulfilment of the vow in regard to the species of coin promised, or as to the identity of the sender of the contribution. That Offa did keep his promise is certain, for in the papal letter sent in 798 by Pope Leo III to Offa’s successor, King Coenwulf, requesting that monarch to continue the donation, it is distinctly so stated.  It may, therefore, be reasonably presumed that Offa’s coin was struck about 787, and was one of the 365 gold pieces sent to Rome in pursuance of his vow.It is significant to know that this particular coin – so far as we know, the only one now extant – was purchased by a certain Duke de Blacas, an enthusiastic numismatist, in Rome, about a century ago.No similar coin has been found in England. All this goes to show that the coin was not struck to be put into circulation in England, but was coined for a special purpose, such probably being the payment by Offa of the promised tribute to Rome.If such be the case, then what bitter irony, unconsciously, accompanied the gift! One of the claims of the Head of the Catholic Christian is that he is the ‘Apostle of God,’ and the ‘Vice-regent of Christ upon the earth.’ Yet, here to his teeth his faithful servitor, Offa, sends as a tribute 365 golden coins, on each of which is plainly stated: There is but One Allah, the Only God, the True, and Muhammad is His Prophet!Well might Cowper write the lines:‘God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform’
The only English examples are the coins in the name of Cynethryth, wife of king Offa of Mercia (AD 757-96).The coins show a bust loosely copied from Roman designs, with the name of the moneyer who issued the coins on one side, while the other side has the inscription CENE&ETH;RY&ETH; REGINA ('Queen Cynethryth'), with an M for Mercia in the middle. The coins may indicate that Cynethryth had real political power alongside her husband, or they may have been struck specially for gifts to the Church from Cynethryth. The most likely explanation is that Offa knew that some Roman emperors had issued coins in the names of their wives, and was trying to act like an emperor himself. We know from other sources that he had a high opinion of his own importance.
The battle of EllendunA map of England during Egbert's reignIt was also in 825 that one of the most important battles in Anglo-Saxon history took place, when Egbert defeated Beornwulf of Mercia at Ellendun—now Wroughton, near Swindon. This battle marked the end of the Mercian domination of southern England. The Chronicle tells how Egbert followed up his victory: "Then he sent his son Æthelwulf from the army, and Ealhstan, his bishop, and Wulfheard, his ealdorman, to Kent with a great troop." Æthelwulf drove Baldred, the king of Kent, north over the Thames, and according to the Chronicle, the men of Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex then all submitted to Æthelwulf "because earlier they were wrongly forced away from his relatives." This may refer to Offa's interventions in Kent at the time Egbert's father Ealhmund became king; if so, the chronicler's remark may also indicate Ealhmund had connections elsewhere in southeast England.
Æthelwulf ring: Laverstock, Wiltshire, AD 828-58 Æthelswith ring: Aberford, West YorkshireEach engraved with the name of an Anglo-Saxon rulerThe two rings have similar inscriptions which identify them with the royal house of Wessex. As a result, they are often considered as a pair. However, they in fact come from different places, are of different date and are likely to have been made by different goldsmiths.The oldest and largest of the rings was found in 1780 in a cart-rut which probably accounts for its squashed appearance. It has an almost triangular bezel, which depicts a stylized plant motif between two birds. Below this main decoration is a rectangular panel carrying an inscription which can be read as 'Æthelwulf Rex' (King Æthelwulf). The hoop of the ring is wide and flat and is decorated with a quatrefoil and interlaced knot design.The second ring, ploughed up in 1870, has a circular bezel with a beaded frame and contains a cruciform (cross-shaped) design filled with leaf motifs. Within a central circle is a charming four-legged animal with a halo and the letters A and D which stand for 'Agnus Dei' (Lamb of God).This ring has the name of King Æthelwulf's daughter, 'Æthelswith Regina' (Queen Æthelswith), scratched into the back of the bezel. The hoop is plain and terminates in flattened shoulders decorated with further animals.The ornament on both rings is inlaid with niello to make it stand out. Although both show signs of wear, it is unlikely that they were worn by the King and Queen, but were probably royal gifts or symbols of office.
7. F2012 Rise of Wessex
The Vikings Plunder then Settle Wessex Before Alfred
Summary: Video – Viking Invasions• Changing fortunes of English kingdoms – Northumbria predominates in 7th century – Mercia expands power in 8th century, particularly under Offa – Mercia declines after death of Offa in 799; Wessex which was previously disorganized consolidated by Ecgbehrt (Egbert), his son, Aethelwulf and grandson, Alfred
Summary: Video – Viking Invasions790s: Scattershot raids on monasteries andchurches840s: Larger invading fleets850s: Fleets no longer return to homelands butoverwinter and resume raids the following spring865: Great Army raids London and YorkCaptures territory in all kingdoms but WessexDanelaw – territory of Danes
Heptarchy• Expansion by moving against British• Consolidation by subjugation of less powerful members• Some notes on religion and children
Battle for Chester 613• Æthelfrith, unites Northumbria• Britons (kingdom of Powys) supported by monks of Bangor• Victory for Northumbria – “1,200 monks won the crown of martyrdom”
Casualties, Mass grave at Heronbridge• Warrior 1 – Age 36-45 – Spinal damage from heavy lifting – Four healed depression fractures – Hand injury – Three sword blows to the head• Warrior 2 – 18-25 – Five head wounds
Laws of Ine – Keeping the Sabbath• If a slave works on Sunday by his lords command, he shall become free, and the lord shall pay a fine of 30 shillings.• If, however, the slave works without the cognisance of his master, he shall undergo the lash or pay the fine in lieu thereof.• If, however, a freeman works on that day, except by his lords command, he shall be reduced to slavery, or [pay a fine of] 60 shillings. A priest shall pay a double fine.
Laws of Ine (~690) - Children• Child of 10 may be accessory to theft (later raised to age 12)• Money given for maintenance of foundlings• No compensation given a man for an illegitimate child he has not acknowledged
Heptarchy• Three major powers: Northumbria, Mercia and later Wessex• New mark of prestige – coinage• New instrument for trade - coinage
Gold tremissis (shilling) of Eadbald of Kent, ~630