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The Court of King Alfred

Episode 14 of 30

Professor Dame Jinty Nelson discusses how the court of King Alfred was run and how he rewarded his thegns - or local government administrators - for their faithful service.

This major new series rediscovers the Anglo-Saxons through vivid portraits of thirty individuals - women as well as men, famous and humble - portraits of thirty key figures from the era 550-1066 written and presented by leading historians, archaeologists and enthusiasts in the field.

In today's essay Professor Jinty Nelson details how the court of King Alfred was run and how he rewarded his thegns, or local government administers forfor their faithful service.

The Anglo-Saxons are somewhat out of fashion, yet the half millennium between the creation of the English nation in around 550 and the Norman Conquest in 1066 was a formative one.

Contributors include Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney on the Beowulf bard, the departing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on the first Archbishop of Canterbury, St Augustine; Michael Wood on King Alfred; Martin Carver on Raedwald; Richard Gameson on Eadfrith the Scribe; Helena Hamerow on the peasant-farmer; Geoffrey Robertson QC on the law-makers.

Producer: Mohini Patel.

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15 minutes

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