, Æthelstan was a noted collector of relics, and while this was a common practice at the time, he was marked out by the scale of his collection and the refinement of its contents. In 934 he invaded Scotland and forced Constantine II to submit to him, but Æthelstan's rule was resented by the Scots and Vikings, and in 937 they invaded England.  Medieval Latin scholar Michael Lapidge and historian Michael Wood see this as designating Æthelstan as a potential heir at a time when the claim of Alfred's nephew, Æthelwold, to the throne represented a threat to the succession of Alfred's direct line, but historian Janet Nelson suggests that it should be seen in the context of conflict between Alfred and Edward in the 890s, and might reflect an intention to divide the realm between his son and his grandson after his death. William did not know her name, but traditions first recorded at.  In his biography of Æthelred, Levi Roach commented: Memory of Æthelstan then declined until it was revived by William of Malmesbury, who took a special interest in him as the one king who had chosen to be buried in his own house.  Æthelstan's reign built upon his grandfather's ecclesiastical programme, consolidating the local ecclesiastical revival and laying the foundation for the monastic reform movement later in the century.. Oswald had become a popular saint by the early 10th century (his life is explored in this feature on the battle of Heavenfield). In the view of historian John Blair, the reputation is probably well-founded, but "These waters are muddied by Æthelstan's almost folkloric reputation as a founder, which made him a favourite hero of later origin-myths.  Alfred Smyth describes it as "the greatest battle in Anglo-Saxon history", but he also states that its consequences beyond Æthelstan's reign have been overstated. You can unsubscribe at any time. That dream would be achieved by Edward’s eldest son Aethelstan who succeeded as King when Edward died in 924. One of the most notable scholars at Æthelstan's court was Israel the Grammarian, who may have been a Breton. [b], The coronation of Æthelstan took place on 4 September 925 at Kingston upon Thames, perhaps due to its symbolic location on the border between Wessex and Mercia. , In 933 Edwin was drowned in a shipwreck in the North Sea.  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in Æthelstan's reign is principally devoted to military events, and it is largely silent apart from recording his most important victories. Æthelstan gave extensive aid to Breton clergy who had fled Brittany following its conquest by the Vikings in 919. Examples were minted in Wessex, York, and English Mercia (in Mercia bearing the title "Rex Saxorum"), but not in East Anglia or the Danelaw. The twelfth-century chronicler Symeon of Durham said that Æthelstan ordered Edwin to be drowned, but this is generally dismissed by historians. , Chronicle sources for the life of Æthelstan are limited, and the first biography, by Sarah Foot, was only published in 2011. Harvard Reference for this page:: Heather …  Southern kings had never ruled the north, and his usurpation was met with outrage by the Northumbrians, who had always resisted southern control. He made a confraternity agreement with the clergy of Dol Cathedral in Brittany, who were then in exile in central France, and they sent him the relics of Breton saints, apparently hoping for his patronage. His bones were lost during the Reformation, but he is commemorated by an empty fifteenth-century tomb. , He also sought to build ties with continental churches. Mercia acknowledged Æthelstan as king, and Wessex may have chosen Ælfweard. " However, while he was a generous donor to monasteries, he did not give land for new ones or attempt to revive the ones in the north and east destroyed by Viking attacks. After that he witnessed fairly regularly until his resignation in 931, but was listed in a lower position than entitled by his seniority.  He was renowned in his own day for his piety and promotion of sacred learning. Wood also suggests that Æthelstan may have been the first English king to be groomed from childhood as an intellectual, and that John was probably his tutor.
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