Alfred the Great - Essay

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  • Topic: Alfred the Great, Wessex, Mercia
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Alfred the Great

Alfred the Great ruled between the years of 871- 899. He was a son born to Aethelwulf, King of Wessex and his queen, Osburga, in 849 in Wantage, Berkshire London. He was born of the royal house of the Jutes of Wight. He was the fourth son born and had one younger sister. He became king only after each of his older brothers had ruled for some time. When he did rule he ruled at a time that they were battling the Vikings. In his period of ruling he defended the Vikings and became the dominate ruler of England.

Alfred the Great was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons”. He was a king who encouraged education and improved his kingdoms legal system and military system. King Alfred's education as a child was important to his reign. He did not have a formal education and learned to read and write only after he became king in 871, but he did receive great instruction throughout his life. At the age of four, Alfred went to see Pope Leo IV in Rome for instruction. The Pope later adopted King Alfred as his spiritual son. Most of the Pope's instruction to Alfred was concentrated on Christianity and not the liberal arts. This instruction was well giving for his future role as he would spend most of his reign defending the Christian Anglo-Saxons The word great was given to Alfred because of his great leadership of a king and of a leader of the military defeat. Although Alfred's greatest achievement during his reign was the defeat of the Danes, he also had other accomplishments. He pushed for better education and helped make learning important in the lives of the people of his land. This was necessary during his reign because education had declined due to the fact that the Danes were looting the monasteries and churches which were the center of education. Alfred believed that learning "makes life more rewarding and enjoyable;...the worst thing of all is ignorance. He also kept the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and...
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