Download A History of the British Isles by Jeremy Black (auth.) PDF

By Jeremy Black (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333662822

ISBN-13: 9780333662823

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They ruled between the Humber and the Forth in eastern Britain and the Mersey and the Ayr on the west, and were at times treated as overlords by the rulers of Mercia, Wessex, Strathclyde and the Pict and Scottish territories. Northumbrian power was contested by Penda of Mercia (632-54). Defeat at the hands of Mercia (678) and the Picts (685) brought Northumbrian hegemony to an end. It was replaced by that of Mercia, especially under Offa (757-96). He controlled such formerly independent kingdoms as Essex, Lindsey, East Anglia, Kent and Sussex.

THE GROWTH OF WESSEX Having stopped the Danes, Alfred went onto the offensive, capturing London in 886, and sought to strengthen Wessex. He built a fleet, created a more effective system of military recruitment and constructed a system of burhs (fortified towns). These policies helped Alfred to defeat further Danish attacks in 892-6. At the same time resistance to the Norwegians increased in Ireland. They were increasingly confined to their bases and were driven from Dublin in 902 although they regained control there in 914.

Town life continued in the Roman settlement in Caerleon and, possibly, Carmarthen, and Roman estate units may have continued to function in south-east Wales. Rome continued to cast a shadow over Wales, both politically and culturally, but the Roman system collapsed. Wales ceased to be part of a major empire and instead became an assortment of political units focusing on the largely tribal leadership of locally powerful warlords. Trade links by sea remained important in postRoman Wales, and the same routes served both for the expansion of Christianity there, and for settlement from Ireland.

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