Category Archives: 9th Century History

Information about life and warfare in Britain in the 9th century A.D.

DAS in 2016 / Britain in 876

In 2014 we followed the events of 874, building up to King Burhred being driven out of Mercia by a coalition of Viking leaders and Ceolwulf ascending to the throne of Mercia as a Viking puppet king. However, in exchange the Vikings lost their unifying leader, Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Ragnarsson. In 2015 we looked at […]

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DAS in 2015 / Britain in 875

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 875 records that: This year went the Great Army from Repton; and Halfdan advanced with some of the army against the Northumbrians, and fixed his winter-quarters by the river Tine. The army then subdued that land, and oft invaded the Picts and the Strathclydwallians. Meanwhile the three kings, Guthrum, Oskytel, and […]

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Anglo-Saxon Names

Anglo-Saxon Women’s Names The Anglo-Saxons’ use of vovels is notoriously unreliable; a, e, and i are interchangable with each other and with ae, ea, ei, eo, i, o, y and so on. Therefore, some of the following names may be, in fact, duplicated as far as the Anglo-Saxon’s would have been concerend, but different to […]

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DAS in 2014/874

The last DAS event of 2013, Flaunden, was set in 872, when the Vikings fell on London and forced the Mercians to make peace. Forces of King Burhred of Mercia and King Alfred of Wessex (the Cilternsaete and the Sumorsaete) were helping rescue refugees streaming out of London, saving them from marauding bands of Vikings […]

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Viking Names

It is interesting that DAS has been around for thirty five years and despite there being few restrictions on names, the same Viking names get regularly recycled. A look at sources reveals a baffling amount of new to us names and components. What can we use? Whilst there are many names in use in Scandinavia […]

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Most Saxons and Vikings wore the standard woollen overtunics that we all know and love, however this was not a universal style. This article will examine the evidence we have for four different styles of coats- the early Germanic “warrior jacket”, the two cuts of Eastern Viking kaftans and finally the female coat. Obviously kaftans […]

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Viking Religion

In the Beginning there was nothing but an abyss in space; no golden sand, no crashing waves, no nourishing soil nor a blade of grass and no sky to cover it all. Many ages passed and there gradually existed a place of clouds and shodows, called Niflheim, to the north of the abyss and from […]

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Origins of the Runes The origins of the runic shapes themselves are from the bronze age and were ideographs used by their priest or magicians. They were abstract graphic expressions of the innermost contents of their religious and magical teachings. The origins of the runic systems we know today are from the folklore of the […]

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As most people in the DAS will have noticed by now, I tend to enjoy the occasional board game during the evening’s banquet. Much, it could be said, as fish enjoy the occasional swim. I have decided therefore, to write up rules for some of the more common games from our period, thus allowing me […]

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ANGLO-SAXON ART presents itself in their metalwork, jewellery, manuscripts and sculpture and the influence of the Celts, Christianity and the Vikings, all contributed towards the differing styles. Quoit-Brooch Style Found chiefly in Kent and the south-east, the crouching quadruped is seen in profile while the double contoured body is covered with a fur detail of […]

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As a former follower of Aelfric the Picky, I aspire to perfect representations of kit and costume. Being also though very much a fan of DAS’s informality and inclusivity I do not hold with rigid rules and regulations on what you must/must not have (or how much you must spend) to participate. I err on […]

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Food and Drink

Some years ago I helped to compile an article on Anglo-Saxon food, for a DASmag. Since then, new research has been done on the subject of the diet of Dark Age Man, and Ann Hagen has recently published A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food – Processing and consumption. In truth, little more is revealed on the […]

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The Homestead

Agriculture The land would be ploughed using an ard that cuts a groove in the soil but does not turn the furrow, therefore the field would sometimes be cross-ploughed. Smaller fields would be worked with hoes, picks or dug with spades. The plough with iron blade and mould-board that turns a proper furrow, was not […]

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Class System

Saxon The family was extremely important in Anglo-Saxon society; women took their social rank from their father, or their husband after marriage. The family was a large group of cousins, aunts, uncles etc, a clan rather than a family in the modern sense. If wergeld was due, it was shared by the kindred, whether paying […]

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Politics Timeline 973-919

793 Vikings plunder monastery of Lindisfarne. 795 First recorded Viking raids on Scotland and Ireland. 800 The Oseberg Viking longship is buried about this time. 825 Mercians defeated by Egbert of Wessex at Wroughton who annexes Kent, Essex, Surrey and Sussex. 835 Danish raid on Kent. 841 Viking settlers found the city of Dublin in […]

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