Book 2, Chapter 5, 878 AD to 901 AD – Alfred’s Educational Efforts
When the king’s wise severity afterwards compelled them to study reading and literature, or to be degraded, they lamented that in their youth they had not been instructed, they thought their children happy who could be taught the liberal arts, and mourned their own misfortune, who had not learnt in their youth, because in advanced life they felt themselves too old to acquire what Alfred’s commands imposed as a duty. The suggestions contained in this interesting and remarkable document were soon carried into effect. It was not possible at once to supply all the proposed translations, but the king lost no time in establishing schools, requiring that the children of every freeman should acquire the arts of reading and writing. Those who were intended for public employments were to be instructed also in the Latin language.
Among the means which the king devised to remedy this deplorable state of things was the invitation of learned men to settle in the country. The names of some of these have occurred in the extracts just given, but the account left by Asser of the circumstances connected with his settlement in the country, and of the commencement of a friendship between Alfred and himself, alike so beneficial and so honourable on both sides, is sufficiently interesting to warrant quotation.
Chapter 5, Alfred’s Fortifications
Chapter 5, Revolt in the Danelagh
Chapter 5, Alfred’s Educational Efforts
Chapter 5, Alfred’s Industry and Zeal
Chapter 5, Saxon Laws
Chapter 5, Summary of Alfred’s Character
Categories: Book 2