Nonfiction 3

Battles of the Dark Ages: British Battlefields AD 410 to by Peter Marren

By Peter Marren

Britain used to be a spot of clash at nighttime a while, among the departure of the Romans and the Norman Conquest. Clashes of allegiance, festival for territory and assets, and extreme rivalries one of the warlords and kings gave upward thrust to common outbreaks of scuffling with. This used to be the time of mythical army leaders, like Arthur, Alfred and Canute, and of actually hundreds and hundreds of battles. during this interesting ebook, Peter Marren investigates this careworn period of struggle, appears for the truth in the back of the myths, and makes use of the ideas of contemporary scholarship to teach how battles have been fought in that brutal age, the place they have been fought, and why.

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There is no evidence that South Cadbury was attacked, but the Chronicle's Seoroburh and Beranburh were both fortified places which can be securely identified with the elaborate hill-forts at Old Sarum near Salisbury and Barbury Castle on the Ridgeway south of Swindon. Seoroburh or Saerobyrig was later Normanized as Sarum, and became 'Old Sarum' after the inhabitants moved from the windy hilltop into the valley and built a new city at Salisbury. Seoroburh had been the Roman town of Sorviodunum, and lay at the conjunction of the Roman roads from Winchester, Silchester and Dorchester.

In 687, Kent was ravaged by a sub-king called Mul. The men of Kent managed to turn the tables and corner him in a house, which they set fire to. Mul and twelve of his men died in the flames. Mul's brother Caedwalla swore vengeance and harried the kingdom of Kent, burning and slaying without mercy. Caedwalla's wrath was finally appeased by a payment of 'thirty thousands' as wer-geld for the dead Mul. It sounds rather unfair that the Kentishmen should be made to pay up after having their lands ravaged twice over, but it did at least draw a line under the affair.

Probably better than even, especially if your side won, or at least held its ground. We do not have reliable figures of the dead, wounded or missing for any Dark Age battle, but there is no reason to suppose that casualties were routinely higher than in later times. Dark Age weapons were less deadly than massed Welsh longbows or powder weapons. One way of surviving was running away. The larger part of most armies was levies, whose loyalties extended beyond their lord to their homes, families and farms.

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