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Thread: Dating the Siege of Lindisfarne

  1. #1
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    Dating the Siege of Lindisfarne

    For the possible interest of some:

    Dating the Siege of Lindisfarne
    Revised Version (May 2019)
    by and © Adrian C Grant, May 2019


    This revised version mostly expands and corrects the discussion of the succession and family relationships of the early Anglian kings of Bernicia; the emendations have a marginal bearing only on the general proposition regarding the dating of the siege.
    Contradictory evidence in the oldest sources has led to the assumption that the siege of Lindisfarne, during which Urien, King of Rheged, was murdered, took place in the late 590s. So too the Battle of Alt Clud Ford is normally assigned a date from 574 to c590. This paper reassesses the sources and proposes a date in the late 540s for both events, resolving, inter alia, problems regarding the time frame for the lives of “king” Arthur and his contemporaries.


    The early kings of Bernicia
    Donald Henson

    I argue for a redating of the early Kings of Bernicia; dating the origin of the kingdom nearly 30 years later than its traditional foundation date, and setting the reign of Ęželfriš into its dynastic context.

    Bernicia was one of a series of kingdoms that emerged from the aftermath of Roman rule in Britain. Centred on the North Sea coast around Bamburgh and Lindisfarne, it was well placed to dominate both Tynedale and Tweeddale. The name ‘Bernicia’ is of Celtic linguistic origin, probably denoting the land of the mountain passes, i.e. the valleys crossing the northern Pennines and Cheviots . In spite of its native British name, Bernicia first emerges into the light of history as an Anglo-Saxon rather than British entity. The Anglian kings of Bernicia were major players in the political dramas of the late sixth century in northern England, and would become the dominant kingly family of a greater Northumbria ….
    Last edited by JMcB; 05-20-2019 at 09:34 PM.
    Paper Trail: 42.25% English, 31.25% Scottish, 12.5% Irish, 6.25% German, 6.25% Italian & 1.5% French. Or: 86% British Isles, 6.25% German, 6.25% Italian & 1.5% French.
    LDNA(c): 86.3% British Isles (48.6% English, 37.7% Scottish & Irish), 7.8% NW Germanic, 5.9% Europe South (Aegean 3.4%, Tuscany 1.3%, Sardinia 1.1%)
    BigY 700: I1-Z140 >I-F2642 >Y1966 >Y3649 >A13241 >Y3647 >A13248 (circa 620 AD) >A13242/YSEQ (circa 765 AD) >FT80854 (circa 1650 AD).

  2. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to JMcB For This Useful Post:

     deadly77 (05-21-2019),  etrusco (05-21-2019),  Garimund (05-21-2019),  Jessie (05-22-2019),  JonikW (05-20-2019),  Lirio100 (05-21-2019),  MikeWhalen (05-20-2019),  Phoebe Watts (05-21-2019),  Ruderico (05-20-2019),  [email protected] (05-21-2019),  spruithean (05-20-2019)

  3. #2
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    These are rather good reads, and it is definitely from a fresh perspective which definitely helps line things up better in terms of the disagreements in the historical accounts of this region of Britain. It was nice to see a consideration of a probable marriage between the Anglian nobility and the British nobility. It definitely ties in with the seemingly large British population in Bernicia, it also may bring some form of credit to the semi-mythical Bernician royal ancestor "Bearnoch". It definitely seems that Bernicia had an Anglian ruling elite with a larger Brittonic speaking population. Perhaps this may be part of why there was more involvement with Bernicia and Northumbria in the north of Britain? I mean besides the obvious ties that the children of Aethelfrith had to the Gaels in Dįl Riata and the Picts.

  4. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to spruithean For This Useful Post:

     Jessie (05-22-2019),  JMcB (05-21-2019),  JonikW (05-21-2019),  Phoebe Watts (05-21-2019),  [email protected] (05-21-2019)

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