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Osprey Warrior 5 : Anglo-Saxon Thegn 449-1066 AD

The collapse of Roman rule in Britain was not so much a sudden catastrophe as a long and drawn-out decline. The 'Celtic' Britons, who had been 'civilised' during centuries of Roman domination, retreated gradually to the highland areas of Wales, Cornwall and the south-west of Scotland. Control of the fertile eastern lowlands was lost to warriors of Germanic origin who migrated from the Continent. These Germanic conquerors have become known to history as the 'Anglo-Saxons'. They were to dominate the lowland zone of Britain (basically 'England' - to which they gave their name), until their final defeat at Hastings in 1066. In this book, Mark Harrison sets out to give an insight into the typical Anglo-Saxon warrior of this period - the thegn - how he was dressed and armed, how he lived, and how he fought. In pursuing this aim, a range of well-respected sources are used, including, the Exeter Book, Tacitus and the Maldon Poem. The recruitment and organisation of the fyrd (militia), the hearthweru (household troops) and, later, the huscarles of the Anglo-Viking kings are studied, as are the equipment and weapons of the thegn. The everyday lives of these warrior-nobles are also examined, using valuable evidence from Beowulf, the first poem surviving in the English language. Finally life on campaign and the thegn in battle are also looked at, investigating such important aspects of these subjects as muster, logistics and tactics such as the 'shield-wall'. A comprehensive text by Mark Harrison with illustrations by Gerry Embleton.

    Contents
  • Origins of the Anglo-Saxons
  • Chronology
  • Who Were the Thegns?
  • Recruitment and Organisation
  • Equipment of the Thegn
  • Clothing
  • Everyday Life
  • On Campaign
  • The Thegn in Battle
  • Museums
  • Collecting
  • Re-Enactment
  • Bibliography
  • Glossary

 

Osprey Warrior


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