The Age of AEthelred 'the Unready': Context (HIH3118)

30 credits

The reign of King Æthelred ‘the Unready’ (978–1016) was a turning point in English history. Although often seen as an age of decline and stagnation, it was also a dynamic period, witnessing the growth and development of governmental structures, the spread of monastic reform, and the production of important artistic and literary works. Elsewhere in Europe these decades saw the emergence of new kingdoms and national identities, the spread and development of church reform, the popularization of pilgrimage, and the development of the Peace of God. It was also an age of great social and economic change: new practices of lordship emerged, trade expanded, and cities grew. This module seeks to use the reign of King Æthelred as a prism through which to view these developments, placing English experiences within their broader continental context. The Context module will introduce students to events and developments in the ‘Age of Æthelred’, while the co-requisite Sources module will introduce them to a range of sources for the period.