Saxons and Vikings: the Danelaw
a day school by David Beard MA, FSA
Wednesday, 4 November 2015
When King Alfred defeated Guthrum's Viking army at Edington in 878, the resulting peace treaty divided the country into two along a line that ran from London to Bedford and then up to Chester. The Vikings' share of the country became known as the Danelaw.
During the tenth century, towns in the Danelaw such as York, Chester and the 'Five Boroughs' of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford developed into great trading centres with far-flung connections through the Baltic, and on through Russia to Constantinople with its connections to the Silk Road.
But just how Danish was the Danelaw? This day school looks at recent evidence from archaeology, documentary history, place-names, personal names, regional dialects and DNA studies to examine the Danelaw and its role in late Anglo-Saxon England.