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Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


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Old November 24th, 2017, 11:24 PM   #41

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I do wonder though: why did Aethelred think that ordering the massacre of Danes would be a good thing? I mean, he had already resorted to paying Danegeld to prevent Danish attacks on England and from 997 to 1001 Danes attacked England every year and were bought off, so why would Aethelred do something that would clearly provoke the Danes? Especially since he wouldn't be able to even kill all the Danes in England.
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Old November 25th, 2017, 01:37 PM   #42

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The Danes were hated by the English , their devastation ,piracy and slaving raids were not forgotten
to some extend Aetheled gave a free rein to a widespread feeling
several instance of Danes settlement suppression occurred in northern England too
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Old December 18th, 2017, 05:09 PM   #43

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I think the reality of it is more complex than he was incompetent, and not as good as Athelstan, Edmund, or his father Edgar the Peaceful.

Did he appear indecisive because he knew there were many traitors, and a lot more than Alfred, Athelstan, or Eadred would ever have faced when they battled the Norse?
How much significance do you allow for his bad timing, with respect to the end of the first thousand years of Christianity!? Cattle plagues, viking raids, youthful rashness or arrogance in the 980s. How much fate and destiny is there likely and about to happen, that will prophetically play out to some possible end without regard to Aethelred and his good intentions and better decisions !?
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Old December 18th, 2017, 10:18 PM   #44

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That is in a nutshell the conundrum of kingship pre-nation state
the King had two functions , symbolically demonstrated by the coronation apparatus later

the orb of power , his was to lead the army in battle against all foes ....and win !

the hand of justice , he had to protect his people honor ,rights and goods
having the exclusive right to kill one of his subject ,by his justice , under the law of the land

ultimately , success was the one metric to be measured against
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Old December 21st, 2017, 10:45 PM   #45

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Not long ago I was browsing trees at Ancestry.com and followed a line back to early Norman times in England. I noticed one wife was named Aethelreda or similar. Maybe the Aethelred dynasty continued on in her DNA after the fall of the Saxons to William-the-Comqueror? It may have been the Calvert family tree of Yorkshire, which includes Lord Baltimore.

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Old December 30th, 2017, 11:34 PM   #46

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Not long ago I was browsing trees at Ancestry.com and followed a line back to early Norman times in England. I noticed one wife was named Aethelreda or similar. Maybe the Aethelred dynasty continued on in her DNA after the fall of the Saxons to William-the-Comqueror? It may have been the Calvert family tree of Yorkshire, which includes Lord Baltimore.
Norman nobles married Anglo-Saxon women occasionally, some of whom were descended from or related to Anglo-Saxon kings. Henry I married an English woman, and he encouraged his nobles to do so.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 11:43 PM   #47

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How much significance do you allow for his bad timing, with respect to the end of the first thousand years of Christianity!? Cattle plagues, viking raids, youthful rashness or arrogance in the 980s. How much fate and destiny is there likely and about to happen, that will prophetically play out to some possible end without regard to Aethelred and his good intentions and better decisions !?
good history is about revising ideas. The Chronicle that depicts his reign was written by an Anglo-Saxon, who obviously saw his people getting defeated. He wouldn't have been that objective. I see Athelred like a Ted Heath or Gordon Brown. Somebody in a bad situation, who made some bad decisions, but with the best intentions. Ted Heath had industrial problems to handle, and Brown had serious economic issues, but they did the best they could. They were not like Blair, or MacMillan, who had relatively benign situations to govern in, at least commence office in.

Athelstan was a great king, but then couldn't have formed England without his father and aunt's works. Edgar couldn't have been a good king without the work of his uncles (Athelstan and Eadred) and his father (Edmund) in defeating the Norse, Jorvik, and Celts.

So it is more complex to say "athelred was bad and that is that".
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Old December 31st, 2017, 03:07 PM   #48
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So it is more complex to say "athelred was bad and that is that".
I'm sure if Aethelred had it to do it all over again, he would have been ready.
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Old January 1st, 2018, 04:28 AM   #49

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good history is about revising ideas. The Chronicle that depicts his reign was written by an Anglo-Saxon, who obviously saw his people getting defeated. He wouldn't have been that objective. I see Athelred like a Ted Heath or Gordon Brown. Somebody in a bad situation, who made some bad decisions, but with the best intentions. Ted Heath had industrial problems to handle, and Brown had serious economic issues, but they did the best they could. They were not like Blair, or MacMillan, who had relatively benign situations to govern in, at least commence office in.

Athelstan was a great king, but then couldn't have formed England without his father and aunt's works. Edgar couldn't have been a good king without the work of his uncles (Athelstan and Eadred) and his father (Edmund) in defeating the Norse, Jorvik, and Celts.

So it is more complex to say "athelred was bad and that is that".
Why pay the danegeld? Why not just muster an army of the English speaking peoples of Britain, and hit back at the invaders. He did that once most famously when it all went calamitously pear shaped, sure. But his bad council was surely that he persevered with a strategy of appeasement! A peaceful idea that enough of those close to him assumed (or gambled) was the right thing to do.
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