The Age of Chronicles and Sagas

Ref: C2342609

This course will look at the state of Britain during the early 10th century, when mainland England was divided between the two cultures of Anglo-Saxon and Danish origin. We will look carefully at the interaction between the two, and consider the evidence for the character of society in both regions, before going on to look at the way that King Alfred's heirs began a reunification of the whole of England, and the methods used to promote it. We will also consider the key features of the "renewed" Scots and Welsh kingdoms as they emerged from the Viking Age, as well as relevant elements of Irish history and their significance for the maintenance of a Norse Northumbrian dynasty. The course will conclude with an examination of the critical reign of King Athelstan and its achievements by the 930s culminating in the great battle of Brunanburh. We will look at the battle's significance in promoting a united England as well as discrete kingdoms of Scotland and of the Welsh.

Course aim

How did the kingdom of Wessex and Danelaw co-exist in the early 900s? This course will look at that era, and consider reasons why that period not only gave the English nation its unique identity, but also that of the Scots and Welsh kingdoms as well.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify at least 2 key features in the reorganization of Anglo-Saxon England under King Alfred & his successors.
  • Provide an outline of key features of rural and urban life under Danelaw.
  • Make some written assessment of the reunification of England from 906 - 937 AD.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The Anglo-Saxon World, Nicholas Higham (Yale University Press 2013) Vikings & the Danelaw, ed. James Graham-Campbell (Oxbow Books 2016)

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Age of Chronicles and Sagas

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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