1999 marked the eleven-hundredth anniversary of the death of Alfred the Great, and to mark this event, two international conferences were held to re-evaluate and contextualise Alfred's achievements and the developments of his reign. This volume includes papers given at both events and provides substantial assessments, by leading scholars, of issues of source-criticism, of the large corpus of Old English literature associated with Alfred and of developments in government and society in late ninth-century England. It also explores how Alfred and his kingdom related to the wider geo-political and cultural situation in the British isles and continental Europe, and closes with a substantial survey of the uses and shifts in Alfred's reputation in the centuries following his death. This substantial and wide ranging volume will become a standard reference work for anyone interested in Old English literature or Anglo-Saxon history, and will set the pattern of future scholarly debate.
Contents: Foreword; Introduction: Placing King Alfred, James Campbell; The sources: Asser's reading, Michael Lapidge; Ælfredian arithmetic, Asserian architectonics, David Howlett; The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the idea of Rome in Alfredian literature, Susan Irvine; Ã†dificia nova: treasures of Alfred's reign, Leslie Webster; Alfredian literature: The Alfredian canon revisited: a hundred years on, Janet Bately; The form and function of the preface in the poetry and prose of Alfred's reign, Allen J. Frantzen; The player king: identification and self-representation in King Alfred's writings, Malcolm Godden; Alfredian government and society: Alfredian government: the west Saxon inheritance, Nicholas Brooks; The power of the written word: Alfredian England 871-899, Simon Keynes; Alfred's coinage reforms in context, Mark Blackburn; The origin of Alfred's urban policies, David Hill; Alfred and London, Derek Keene; Succession and inheritance: a gendered perspective on Alfred's family history, Pauline Stafford; What 'Great heathen army'? Alfred the Great, the Micel Hæþen Here and the Viking threat, Richard Abels; Alfred's new longships, Edwin and Joyce Gifford; Alfred and contemporary rulership: Alfred's Carolingian contemporaries, Janet L. Nelson; Alfred the Great and Arnulf of Carinthia: a comparison, Anton Scharer; Alfred's contemporaries: Irish, Welsh, Scots and Breton, Wendy Davies; The ruler as instructor, pastor and wise: Leo VI of Byzantium and Symeon of Bulgaria, Jonathan Shepard; Alfred as icon: Alfredism: the use and abuse of King Alfred's reputation in later centuries, Barbara Yorke.