The Age of Chronicles and Sagas

Ref: C2342853

This course will trace the growth and development of the various Anglo-Saxon, Scots and Welsh kingdoms during the early 10th century, and how these kingdoms interacted with each other in the wake of the establishment of Danelaw. We will go on to look at the recovery of Wessex in the later years of king Alfred before making some observations on the character of Danelaw. Some analysis will also be made of the further Norse colonisation of Ireland and Scotland, and the consequent emergence of an independent Scotland. We will then go on to look at the efforts of king Edward the Elder and Aethelflaed of Mercia to overthrow Danelaw and begin a reunification of England. We ill conclude with a detailed analysis of the "imperial" reign of king Athelstan and the victory of Brunanburh. We will use early Chronicles and Norse sagas in order to create a picture of the culture of the British Isles during the Dark Ages and assess the value of such evidence.

Course aim

The course aims to provide an analysis of the early 10th century AD across the British Isles, in the wake of the first phases of colonisation by Norse peoples and the establishment of the Danelaw, culminating in the reunification of England.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Describe at least 3 key features of the character of the "English revival" begun by king Alfred in the early 10th century
  • Describe a basic outline of the nature of Danelaw
  • Give at least 2 examples of English operations against Danelaw 911-920 AD
  • Explain, giving at least 2 examples, the importance of the events of 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

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • "In Search of the Dark Ages" Michael Wood, BBC Books 2006 "England During the Dark Ages" John Green, Didactic Press 2013

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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