31a Anglo Saxon Questions – Church Conversion and Economy

Chris and Matt sent some interesting questions that take us back to Anglo Saxon England. So here's a free, supplementary episode. We talk about:

  • How much did daily life really change when Anglo Saxon kingdoms converted to Christianity?
  • What differences did the Norman Church bring to Anglo Saxon England?
  • How did Alfred and Aethelred keep raising all those armies?
  • How did Aethelred keep raising all that silver and gold for Danegeld?

31a Anglo Saxon Questions – Church conversion and Economy



5 thoughts on “31a Anglo Saxon Questions – Church Conversion and Economy

  1. What a surprise and honor to discover that you set aside time in your podcast to address one of my questions among others! It was absolutely delightful. I should have mentioned that the answer you wrote in reply to one of my earlier comments, when I first brought up the question, was plenty good already, and satisfied everything I was originally wondering on the matter; to find the answer discussed in the recording and at such depth and length was a real treat.
    And I apologize for my loquacious behavior on your site – one too many verbs spoils the conversation – ha!
    Keep up the wonderful work!

  2. Hi – I think it was in this, or another recent episode, that you speculated on just how much the population of Britain had changed during all the invasions. Here’s an interesting bit from “Before the Dawn”, a recent book by Nicholas Wade which looks at history through the lens of genetics:
    The true bearers of English heritage, the textbooks imply, are the Anglo-Saxons…The defeated Celtic inhabitants of Britain are assumed to have been pushed back into the hinterlands of Wales and Scotland…
    But a survey of British Y chromosomes shows that the Y chromosomes characteristic of Celtic speakers, far from having disappeared, are carried by a large proportion of the male population of Britain. Nowhere does the indigenous population seem to have been wiped out, either by the Anglo-Saxons who invaded from Denmark and northern Germany in the sixth and seventh centuries AD, or by the Danish and Norwegian Vikings who arrived in the ninth and tenth centuries.

  3. Hi Sara – thanks for mentioning the book; I had a quick look at it on Amazon, and it looks good, I may buy it. Francis Pryor’s book ‘Britain AD’ has a similar view that there’s no way that all the Britons are pushed to the margins. The more I read, the more convinced I am that this is the case, that plenty of Britons remain to be slaves, or married or even assimilated – afterall, I think Cerdic was probably a Briton. But I do think that the Anglo Saxon movement completely replaced the culture – and that’s unlike any of the others, whether the Romans, Normans, Vikings or however. Anyway, thanks for the note.

  4. Great questions, and thank you for the answers. The questions about the ever-increasing Danegeld was often on my mind during the Anglo-Saxon period, and I also wondered if there was so much money to pay off the Vikings, why didn’t they simply beef up their army and fight them back next time? You touched upon the answer to that question, but I think it will bother me for a while. Thank you again for the wonderful podcast.

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