Book 2, Chapter 2, 597 AD to 827 AD – Invasion of the Northmen
Before narrating the progress and condition of the country under Egbert and his successors, it is needful to introduce upon the scene another set of actors who played an important part in the national drama, and to whom frequent references will have to be made nearly down to the time of the Norman conquest. It has been remarked that the northern parts of Europe were infested with predatory maritime tribes, who made sudden and fierce descents upon neighbouring countries for the purposes of plunder and rapine.
Among these were the Danes or Northmen, who in 787 made their first attack upon Britain, and who occasioned the Anglo-Saxons much trouble and warfare for upwards of two hundred years. Strictly speaking, these piratical hordes came from the peninsula of Jutland, from Sweden, and from the countries bordering upon and the islands in the Baltic, as well as from the district peculiar to the Danes. Northmen was the name usually given to them at the time and for many years subsequently. Their first attacks resembled those which had been made by the Saxons themselves, three hundred years before, for they came in detached bands, independent of each other, landing where they could, and committing great depredations.
Not only Britain, but France, Spain, and the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, were scenes of their exploits, and by the middle of the ninth century, their name had become a sound of terror. Originally, these Northmen came of the same Teutonic stock as the Saxons, and it is a remarkable fact that the three successive invasions and conquests by the Saxons, the Danes, and Normans, though spread over a period of more than six hundred years, were all accomplished by branches of the same great Teutonic family, but in the long process of time the various offshoots had come to present marked differences in character, habits, and religion, while in physical appearance, language and other things they retained a resemblance.
Chapter 2, Ethelbert of Kent
Chapter 2, Kings Alfred and Ethelbald
Chapter 2, King Egbert
Chapter 2, Invasion of the Northmen
Invasion of the Northmen
Categories: Book 2