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Æthelstan

(894—939) king of England


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King of the Anglo-Saxons (924/5–27), king of the English (927–939), son of Edward ‘the Elder’, and grandson of Alfred the Great. Most famously commemorated in the OE poem ‘The Battle of Brunanburh’ in which his army defeats the combined forces of the Scots, Picts, and Norse, Æthelstan is regarded now and was regarded in his own time as the king of all England as reflected in charters and coins, the latter of which declare him ‘king of the whole of Britain’. He achieved great success in international diplomatic affairs, at least four of his half-sisters marrying into noble families on the continent, and he was an important book and relic collector. The major source of information for his life and reign is William of Malmesbury’s Gesta regum Anglorum.

From The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


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