Did the Anglo-Saxons discover Planet Nine?

From The Sun:

While NASA grapples with the mysteries of Planet Nine using modern telescopes and high-tech probes, two researchers are taking a trip back in time to find the missing world.

The duo from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland are looking to Anglo-Saxons for clues of the super-earth’s existence and they’re sharing their findings with the public.

Medievalist Marilina Cesario and astronomer Pedro Lacerda are scouring a wealth of ancient tapestries and scrolls from the Dark Ages looking for evidence of a ninth planet in our solar system and whether it was mentioned in any type of historical record.

Read more…

Archaeologists discover ancient Anglo-Saxon Island

From Fox News:

Experts in the U.K. have discovered the remains of an Anglo-Saxon island, which they are touting as a site of huge archaeological importance…

…The amazing Lincolnshire discovery was sparked by Graham Vickers, a local man with a metal detector who unearthed a silver stylus from a disturbed plough field. Vickers reported the find to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which encourages the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public.The ornate writing tool, which dates back to the 8th century, was the first of a number of items found at the site.

Read the full article.

Exeter Castle

Exeter Castle, also known as Rougemont Castle, was originally no more than a defensive city wall built by the Romans and later repaired by King Athelstan around 928 AD.

After the Norman Conquest of England, the city of Exeter —  like many other cities at this time — rebelled against William the Conqueror. In 1068, William laid siege to the city, which lasted eighteen days before surrendering. William then ordered construction of the castle within the city walls. Baldwin FitzGibert managed the construction of the castle, which was placed at the highest norther angle of the Roman city wall on a volcanic outcrop. The large stone gatehouse still survives, a testament to the Anglo-Saxon masons who likely built it on William’s orders.

Additional reading:

I also wrote a short piece based in the city of Exeter, called Exeter Burning. It doesn’t include the castle but instead centers around the cathedral.

*image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license, author Juan J. Martinez

The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England


The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England

By Marc Morris

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Pegasus; 1 edition (December 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605986518

Overview:

A riveting and authoritative history of the single most important event in English history: the Norman Conquest.An upstart French duke who sets out to conquer the most powerful and unified kingdom in Christendom. An invasion force on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans. One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought.This new history explains why the Norman Conquest was the most significant cultural and military episode in English history. Assessing the original evidence at every turn, Marc Morris goes beyond the familiar outline to explain why England was at once so powerful and yet so vulnerable to William the Conqueror’s attack; why the Normans, in some respects less sophisticated, possessed the military cutting edge; how William’s hopes of a united Anglo-Norman realm unraveled, dashed by English rebellions, Viking invasions, and the insatiable demands of his fellow conquerors.

Rating on Amazon: 4.5 stars (178 reviews)

Gildas

St. Gildas was a monk who chronicled the history of the British isles from the time near the end of the Roman era to the coming of the Saxons. He lived approximately from 500 – 570 AD. His most famous work is the De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain). It is an important piece of writing as it is one of few contemporary writings of the period surrounding sub-Roman Britain. I have linked to the translation of the document below:

On the Ruin of Britain

Cast Set for BBC & Carnival’s ‘Game Of Thrones’-Style epic ‘The Last Kingdom’

I’m excited by this. Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Series is one of my favorite historical fiction series. The Last Kingdom is the first installment. Other books in the series include: The Pale Horseman, The Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, and The Pagan Lord.

An international cast has been firmed up as shooting begins on The Last Kingdom, BBC America, BBC Two and Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films’ Game Of Thrones-esque epic series. Set in the 9th century, the eight-part historical drama is an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling series of books The Saxon Stories, with Stephen Butchard penning the transfer.

Read more…

Morcar, Earl of Northumbria

Morcar was the Earl of Northumbria from 1065-1066. He was the son of Ælfgar (earl of Mercia) and brother of Eadwine (or Edwin), earl of Mercia. He was the grandson of Leofric and Godiva. Morcar rose to power at the appointment of the thegns in York due to the tyrannical rule of Tostig, the brother of Harold Godiwnson and son of Earl Godwin of Wessex. Tostig was an incapable leader, and Harold banished him due to the surmounting pressure of the thegns, and he officially appointed Morcar as Earl of Northumbria.

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

They then sent after Morkar, son of Earl Elgar, and chose him for their earl.  He went south with all the shire, and with Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, till he came to Northampton; where his brother Edwin came to meet him with the men that were in his earldom.  Many Britons also came with him.  Harold also there met them; on whom they imposed an errand to King Edward, sending also messengers with him, and requesting that they might have Morcar for their earl.

Tostig later returned with Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, to challenge Morcar and his brother Edwin. Tostig and Harald defeated the two brothers at Fulford on September 20, 1066.

And Morcar the earl, and Edwin the earl, fought against them; and the king of the Norwegians had the victory.  And it was made known to King Harold how it there was done, and had happened; and he came there with a great army of English men, and met him at Stanfordbridge, and slew him and the earl Tosty, and boldly overcame all the army.

Harold Godwinson, then King Harold of England following Edward the Confessor’s death earlier in the year, raced north to protect his earls, defeating Tostig and Harald at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on September 28. After the battle, Harold immediately marched south to meet the invading forces of William of Normandy. Edwin and Morcar were both reluctant to join Harold, and instead went to London after the battle in most likely an attempt to seek the English throne for themselves. Eventually, they agreed to the Witan’s decision to elect Edgar the Etheling as king, though Edgar was never officially crowned as such. Duke William, instead, was crowned King of England, and both Edwin and Morcar submitted to his rule.

And the while, William the earl landed at Hastings, on St. Michael’s-day: and Harold came from the north, and fought against him before all his army had come up: and there he fell, and his two brothers, Girth and Leofwin; and William subdued this land.

From 1067-1068, Edwin and Morcar and Edgar the Etheling lived in Normandy as hostages of William. When they were finally allowed to return to the earldoms in England, they fomented rebellion against William. The Duke of Normandy eventually crushed their rebellion. Edwin’s own men betrayed and killed him. William captured Morcar, imprisoning him in Normandy for a second time.

In 1087, William released Morcar, who returned to England with William Rufus. Rufus imprisoned Morcar at Winchester, where he supposedly died.