Posts Tagged ‘Anglo-Saxon’
The Battle of Maserfield was fought on this day – August 5th 642 (possibly 641) between the Kingdom of Northumbria under King Oswald on one side and an alliance between King Penda of Mercia and welsh allies, possibly from Gwynedd and Powys.
Maserfield was the old name for the area and probably meant ‘marshy field’ (perhaps a description of where the battle took place. But that is not what it is called today. The site of the battle is usually identified with Oswestry on the Welsh borders. What does that name mean and how was it reached? Read on to find out.
(an article by Richard Denning)
The Norse and Anglo Saxons looked at the world in a way very different to the mythology that was developed by the Greeks and Romans. Most of the constellations in our night sky have derived their modern names from the Greek myths. Yet the ancestors of those of us from England and Scandinavia had totally different names for the shapes formed by the stars above us. The English kept only very scanty written records before they converted to Christianity and at the same time came into greater contact with the Roman Catholic world. That world changed dramatically many aspects of our culture and this applies to the stars as to other areas of life. Thus by the time the English are writing things down in Alfred the Great’s era, they had abandoned the former names and stories. The Norse- Viking world is different. Written documents survive in greater numbers and because the Norse peoples did not convert until much later (even as late as the 12th century) their names for stars and constellations survive. The English shared a common mythology so we can assume that these same names – or very similar is what the English also used. Read the rest of this entry »