Anglo Saxon England Podcast

Anglo Saxon England Podcast

United Kingdom

This is the story of how a new country and culture emerged from the chaos of the Dark Ages; and the story of the period that laid the foundations of modern England.


21 His Years were full of Glory  

Athelstan was a dynamic and effective ruler, in war, law, and diplomacy. As a war leader he established at least nominal overlordship of all Britain; his marriage alliances included the greatest of European rulers; and he increased the age of legal responsibility from 12 to 16.

19 Pillar of the Western People  

In 892, the vikings returned - and found a very different, much better prepared Wessex waiting for them. Until in 899, Alfred died to be succeeded by his Son, Edward, who would in the end turn the tables on the Vikings.

20 English Reconquest  

The story of a brother and a sister - Æthelflæd and Edward, and their bid to reclaim the lands of the Danelaw, the north and east of England being settled by the Danes

18 Reconstruction and Defence  

Alfred had earned Wessex and period of respite, between 878 and 892. In this time, Alfred laid the foundations not just for the defense against renewed invasions, but for the successes of the 10th century.

17 Alfred and the Fight for Survival  

Between 871 and 878, Wessex came close to extinction, as the Great Heathen Army, the Great Summer Army, and Guthrum the Dane came to conquer.

16 The Great Heathen Army  

Everything changed for Anglo Saxon England in 866; the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok came for conquest, not just treasure and slaves.

15 The Noble Wolf  

Æthelwolf hasn't always had the best press. None the less he laid the basis of an effective and well organised state centred on the traditional heartlands of Wessex, and one better placed to meet the Viking threat than other kingdoms.

14 Pirates from the North  

This week's installment in the History of England is about the Pirates of the north that changed the course of England's history - the Vikings.

13 Greater Wessex  

The death of Offa & his son led to the bloodletting normal when the succession was a bun fight. But this time round, it would have longer term consequences for the balance of power.

12 The Mercian Supremacy  

After Wulfhere, Aethelred and Aethelbald laid the foundations, a prince from the Hwicce, Offa, took Mercia to its greatest achievements.

11 The Rise of Mercia  

Pretty much a century in just one, fun-filled episode - 650 ish to 750 is. It's Mercia's turn - an increasingly integrated Mercia, growing in power. With yer Wulfhere's and Æthelbalds, Mercia's hegemony was held back only by Ine of Wessex and Wihtred of Kent.

10 Revival  

Towns had simply disappeared along with the post Roman economy by 500. But slowly by 600 there's tiny shoots of recovery discernible - so we talk about towns. And we have a hack at something a little tiny bit more literary, and talk of Continental Missionaries.

9 Conversion  

At the start of the 7th century England was a basically pagan country; by the end of it it was officially at least Christian. While no doubt many pagans still held on, Whitred of Kent's laws began to embed Christianity into the fabric of English kingdoms.

8 The Life and Times of Penda Part II  

Through much of the 7th Century, Penda increased the power and influence of the Mercians. He built his kingdom as a traditional warrior, tribal leader - defeating the Northumbrians, and East Anglians, raiding and gathering treasure, rewarding his followers; spreading his influence by marriage, exercising control by influence where he could, by force where he could not. In the long run, Penda was part of the past, rather than the future - the role of leadership was changing for those that called themselves king; the arts of peace and prosperity based around a geographical were called for now; the time of the tribal war leader bringing tribes together under his leadership was fading. That doesn't mean Penda didn't leave a legacy; he created a consolidated, powerful Mercian state that would dominate the 8th century, and England until the Vikings arrived to shake everything up.

7 The Life and Times of Penda Part I  

7th Century England was inherently unstable, populated by a patchwork of communities, petty kingdoms successful and less so. Into this pagan mix also comes the lure of Christianity again. Meanwhile, in central England a pagan warrior called Penda became king, probably in 626.

6 Founding Kingdoms  

It's difficult to know how much to believe of the stories relayed in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle about the formation of the early kingdoms - do they simply reflect the history they wished they'd had? Plus, was Arthur a legend or reality?

5 Building a New World  

What kind of society had arrived in Roman Britain? How how did societies and communities form and become the kingdoms before the days of the Heptarchy.

4 Adventus Saxonum  

The traditional story of the arrival of the Anglo Saxons is one of death and destruction, and the catastrophic and complete replacement of a British population by a new Germanic race within a generation. But there are other theories too - much more peaceful, much more gradual. 

3 Change and Calamity  

This is the story of late antique Britain. How in the 3rd to 5th centuries, Britain went through two waves of economic dislocation and transformation, that changed the face of British society. 

2 Chronicles and Arguments  

This week is about the people who kept a written record of the Anglo Saxon age, and what later generations thought about the Anglo Saxons.  

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