By the way, if we are thinking of naming the bridge after a Welsh King, it should be Hywel Dda, because he was the king who commuted most regularly across the Severn to the Court of Aethelstan
of Wessex in the 10th century.
Alfred the Great's grandson Aethelstan
, arguably the first King of all the English, was a legal reformer.
(155) Abels, supra note 22, at 274; see also Morris, supra note 23, at 18 (stating that records show the Reeve of London led Londoners in pursuit of thieves during the reign of King Aethelstan
in the early tenth century).
"The roof-tree of the honour of the Western World" is how the compiler of the Annals of Ulster described King AEthelstan
when recording his death in 939, and others of his contemporaries understood his importance very well; an anonymous poet praised AEthelstan
's kingdom as "ista perfecta Saxonia" (this completed England), and the individual at Exeter who, in the eleventh century, copied out a list of AEthelstan
's relic bequests to the cathedral knew that he had "ruled England 'singly, which before him many kings had shared between them.'"
Others include the translation of technical terms in law-codes, and multilingualism in the Court of King AEthelstan
. There is also an essay on how social network theory can help to explain linguistic change in the transition from Old to Middle English.
: The First King of England, by Sarah Foot.
Very similar was AEthelstan
, who fought against Olaf, and defeated his army and put Olaf himself to flight, and he dwelled in peace afterwards with his people.
Terms from the semantic field of usefulness are recurrently used, as demonstrated by the description of Alfred's reign as "useful" (Salas 1846: 13); Dunstan's job is reportedly not "barren" (Salas 1846: 16); Edward's (Aethelstan
's brother) reign proves "fruitless" (Salas 1846: 15) and Edward Martyr's reign is said to have disappeared without a trace (Salas 1846: 18).
In Michael Wood's interpretation, the great reforms of AEthelstan
's reign reflected the king's own decisions and values, but they were implemented by those who had received their formation in Alfred's court.
In a charter dated 934, Edward's son AEthelstan
is referred to as 'king and governor of all this island of Britain'.
They have heard of King Edgar and King Aethelstan
; Winchester, so important in the Anglo-Saxon period, retains for some of them a symbolic significance outweighing its political position in the later Middle Ages; they have a sense that all that is good about English law (some of which happens to be Anglo-Saxon in origin) must be ancient; and a greatly romanticized version of the battle of Brunanburh complete with obligatory giant crops up in Guy of Warwick as just one of the many sensational events of that narrative.
31 What was the original name of the Danish rival of Alfred the Great who became a king in East Anglia after being baptised - with Alfred as godfather - under the name Aethelstan