Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred & Other Contemporary Sources Summary & Study Guide

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Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred & Other Contemporary Sources Summary & Study Guide Description

Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred & Other Contemporary Sources Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Alfred the Great (849 - 899) was the King of Wessex from 871 through 899. He is most famous for being the king who, while hiding with a herdsman, let some cakes burn while he was deep in despondency. However, throughout British history he has been famous for other important accomplishments.

During his reign, Alfred tried to follow kings in the past who were both effective defenders of their kingdoms and who ruled with wisdom. He led a variety of kingdoms, including the English kingdoms of Mercia, Northumbria, and East Anglia, against Viking invasions of England that persisted throughout his life and thereafter. He also fought to revive the practice of the Christian religion in his kingdom and fought to translate and disseminate Christian writings in order to revive learning in England that he regarded as having been lost since the fall of Roman Britain.

Alfred is the only English king to be known as "the Great." Alfred is also widely renowned for having harmonized his kingdom's legal structure and improving its military defenses such that it could repel Viking invaders. He also set the stage for the unification of England by uniting other small kingdoms with his in Wessex which laid the groundwork and institutional framework for future unification. He is also responsible for the restoration of London and its return to English rule after a period of Viking control. Alfred is often regarded as the founder of the British Navy and is also known for his attempts to design a naval fleet that could repel the Vikings.

King Alfred was a deeply religious man who attended divine services and masses regularly and prayed each days. He learned to read and translated a variety of Latin documents himself, including the psalter, or the book of Old Testament psalms. He also financed the building of several monasteries and summoned a number of monks and priests to teach him and his children. One of these monks was a Welsh priest named Asser. Asser is most famous for his The Life of King Alfred, written in 893, which is one of the first biographies of a ruler in English history. It is also the source of most of contemporary historians' knowledge of Alfred's life and rule.

The book, Alfred the Great, contains an introduction that explains the details of Alfred's life. It also includes the entirely of Asser's Life of King Alfred. Along with this work, the editors print and translate a number of other documents that inform historians about Alfred's life and person. For instance, they include the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a list of historical events from 888 to 900 that concern Alfred. They also include extracts from his writings and a variety of miscellaneous sources. The book is full of extensive notes and includes two appendices, the first of which analyzes the famous "burning of the cakes" story about Alfred and the second which analyzes the "Alfred Jewel," a piece of fine jewelry that Alfred likely commissioned.

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This section contains 491 words
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