1 Jul, 2010 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the reign of King Athelstan.Athelstan, the grandson of Alfred the Great, came to the throne of Wessex in 925. A few years later he unified the kingdoms of England, and a decade after that defeated the Scots and styled himself King of all Britain. As well as being a brilliant military commander, Athelstan was a legal reformer whose new laws forever changed the way crime was dealt with in England. Unlike his predecessors, he pursued a foreign policy, seeking alliances with powerful rulers abroad. And unusually for an Anglo-Saxon king, we know what he looked like: he’s the earliest English monarch whose portrait survives.

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  • Sarah Foot 6 episodes
    Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Christ Church, Oxford
  • John Hines 6 episodes
    Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University
  • Richard Gameson 6 episodes
    Professor of the History of the Book at Durham University

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Auto-category: 942.01 (Anglo-Saxon England)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In his Chronicle of the English King, written in the 12th century, the historian William of Mawnsbury says of one monarch, the firm opinion among the English remains that no one more just or more learned ever governed the kingdom.