Two Ninth‐Century Writers

T. M. Charles-Edwards

in Wales and the Britons, 350-1064

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780198217312
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744778 | DOI:

Series: History of Wales

Two Ninth‐Century Writers

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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In the early‐ninth century the Historia Brittonum gives us some idea of how a North‐Welsh cleric might see the history of his people and its relations with neighbouring peoples and with the Romans. It was not a history of the Britons in the author's own lifetime or the recent past but of the period running up to the battle of Nechtanesmere. In the late‐ninth century a Welsh bishop, Asser, who came from St Davids, joined the household of Alfred, king of the West Saxons, a few years after his great victory against the Vikings. Asser wrote a Life of King Alfred, influenced by the model of Einhard's Life of Charlemagne but very different from it in important and revealing ways. Both texts reveal intellectual links between the Welsh, their neighbours in the British Isles, and the Continent.

Keywords: Historia Brittonum; Merfyn Frych; Asser; Alfred; Sedulius Scottus; Welsh scholarship

Chapter.  16132 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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