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Battle of Brunanburh

From Academic Kids

The Battle of Brunanburh was a West Saxon victory in 937 by the army of king Athelstan and his brother Edmund over the combined armies of Olaf III Guthfrithson, Viking king of Dublin, Constantine, king of Scotland and King Owain of Strathclyde.

This poorly recalled battle is actually one of the most important in British history since Athelstan's crushing defeat of the combined Norse-Celtic force facing him irrevocably confirmed England as an Anglo-Saxon kingdom, forcing the Celtic kingdoms to consolidate in the fringe positions they occupy today. The battle, one of the bloodiest of the period, saw the death of five British kings and seven earls on the Celtic side and numerous Saxon casualties including two of Athelstan's cousins Alfric and Athelwin and a prominent Saxon bishop.

The location of Brunanburh has not yet been definitively identified though possible sites in Northumbria have been suggested as well as Bromborough in Cheshire.

Our chief sources for the details of the battle come from the Anglo-Saxon poem of the same name, the writings of Anglo-Norman historian William of Malmesbury, the Annals of Tigernach, the Brut y Tywysogion and Icelandic sagas such as the Saga of Eigil Skallagrimson, who fought for Athelstan.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the event as follows:

937:
Here, King Athelstan, leader of warriors,
ring-giver of men, and also his brother,
the aetheling Edmund, struck life-long glory
in strife around 'Brunanburh'no:Slaget ved Brunanburh

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