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Title: Warfare and authority in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle c.891-924
Author: Konshuh , Courtnay
Awarding Body: University of Winchester
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2014
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This PhD thesis explores the representation of warfare in the earliest Anglo-Saxon Chronicle narratives, focusing on the Common Stock (to 891), and the first continuations which were produced during the reigns of King Alfred, King Edward, and Aethelflaed, Lady of the Mercians. As there was a major break in Chronicle-writing after the death of King Edward (924), this analysis focuses on the inception and initial stages of the text, with some forward-looking comments on the later reflexes. Chronicle annals tend to focus on military events and as a result of their dry style, seem to present an objective view; for this reason, historians often use these annals as fact-mines for dates or quick summaries of events. While it has been accepted that Chronicle entries provide only a snapshot of the times, and chroniclers were selective in the events they chose to record, the overarching goals of each narrative section will be examined in order to determine to what extend these accurately depict events. This thesis looks at the representation of warfare in the above-named sections, placing the battles and fortification-building described into their historical, literary and archaeological context. A close analysis of language and formulations used show that each set of annals was composed under specific circumstances, and the narrative reflects the current ruler’s goals, legitimating the rule and justifying policies, and encouraging subjects to follow these policies. By viewing the Chronicle texts in this light, one can look at the annals with a better awareness of their context of composition, drawing out new information about how warfare was conducted, the depiction of authority, and the persuasive purposes of the Chronicle.
Supervisor: Lavelle, Ryan ; Yorke, Barbara ; Esser-Miles, Carolin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available