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Alfred The Great King, Saint, and all around good guy.

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1 Alfred The Great King, Saint, and all around good guy

2 The Life of a “Great”  Born around  Born in what is now Wantage, Oxfordshire.  He was anointed by Pope Leo IV as king at only age 5.  Mother was Queen Osburga.  He had three older brothers.  He loved to learn.

3 The Life Continued  It is believed that Alfred had Crohn’s Disease.  Though his statues depict him as a great warrior, it is believed that he was more intellectual than physically strong.

4 His Reign as King  Alfred the Great to the throne in 871, after the death of his brother Ethelred.  As soon as he assumed the throne he suffered military defeat at the hands of the Danes.  After a treacherous betrayal of treaty, the Danes nearly killed King Alfred in the winter of 878. This is when he was forced to retreat into the swamp.

5 His Military  Alfred was great king. He is known for making military and political restorations  He learned from his defeats that the existing strategies were not effective against the Danes, driving him to make changes.  At the center of his restructuring was his system of fortresses, or burhs. These were strategically placed throughout the kingdom.

6 His Politics  In order for his military strategy to work he needed support. In order to accomplish this he took restructured existing regulations that required landowners to do “fortress work.”  This was nothing new, just a reinstatement of past procedure.

7 Naval Aspirations  In 896 Alfred tried his hand at naval design.  Though this is not classified as the birth of the English fleet, it was a great help in fighting the Danes.

8 Legal Reform  In the late 880’s, early 890’s, Alfred issued a law code of his own laws and those of a seventh century king.  Though it was an honorable attempt, his law code was a hodgepodge and sometimes contradicted existing law that he left in place.

9 His Death  Alfred died on October 26 th, 901 according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  There is some debate over the exact year, doubts exist about the recorded date of his death.  His remains have been lost over the centuries and we have no concrete idea where he was laid to rest.

10 A Prayer about the Great  O Sovereign Lord, who didst bring thy servant Alfred to a Troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: Awake in us also, we beseech thee, a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world, and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

11 Family connections 


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