Monday, May 21, 2012

Early Medieval Day School

Two visitors at the Court of King Alfred:
The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan.
David Beard M.A. Saturday, 7th July 2012

In the late ninth century, two Scandinavian seafarers visited the court of the West Saxon king, Alfred.  One of these seafarers was called Ohthere, the other’s name was Wulfstan.

Despite the fact that King Alfred had spent much of his adult life fighting Scandinavian invaders, he made these visitors welcome, plied them with questions about their lives and their homelands, and incorporated a written version of their accounts into his translation of Orosius’ world history.

These accounts are remarkable for their straightforward, to-the-point approach, and they constitute the most important, contemporary description of Viking Age seafaring.

This day school looks at the written accounts and compares them with the archaeological information to give an account of settlement, ships and seafaring in Viking Age Scandinavia.