Course Code
HIST 0400
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

This course covers the period from end of Roman Britain in early fifth century, to the Norman Conquest of 1066. For much of this era the written sources are slim (if intriguing and hugely suggestive), and in recent years a great deal has been learnt from reading them with archaeology and material culture. Notions of England and Englishness, as a cultural and political entity, developed from a series of social, economic and religious factors.  Notable among these were the conversion to Christianity, and the impact of Scandinavian raiding and settlement.

 Sample Topics

  • Catastrophe, Collapse, Continuity: the End of Roman Britain
  • Converting the English: Bede and history
  • Splitting Skulls and Heroic Drinking? Kingship and Hegemony
  • The Viking Impact
  • Alfred: Wisdom, Resistance and Greatness
  • Making England: the Triumph of Wessex?
  • Reforming the Church
  • The Last Century of England?

Introductory Reading

  • Beowulf  (many translations)
  • Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People. (many translations)
  • Asser, Life of King Alfred – the best translation is in Keynes, S., & Lapidge, M. (trans.), Alfred the Great. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1983