britain & ireland Viking settlement
‘A prey to pagan people’?
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Although Viking raiders and settlers ventured into England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, their archaeological footprint varied greatly from region to region. Carly Hilts explores the evidence as set out in a comprehensive book recently published by the British Museum.
In AD 793, the Anglo-Saxon monk Alcuin was enjoying meteoric success at the Frankish court of Charlemagne, well on his way to becoming one of the most influential ecclesiasts of his age. Despite this personal triumph, however, he was aware that something was terribly wrong in his home kingdom of Northumbria. Alarming reports had reached the Continent, speaking of a savage attack on the tiny island monastery of Lindisfarne. Foreign warriors had burned the community’s buildings, and slaughtered its brothers. In consternation, Alcuin wrote to his king, Ethelred:
The Viking impact on Britain and Ireland A ll images
Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered… Behold the church of St Cuthbert spattered with the blood of the priests of God, despoiled of all its ornaments: a place more venerable than all in Britain is given as a prey to pagan people.
To the inhabitants of 8th-century Britain, the sudden arrival of these marauding strangers
current archaeology | www.archaeology.co.uk
January 2014 |
January 2015 |