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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