The Reign of Aethelwulf, King of Wessex: Between Realm and Religion

July 29, 2019 - General
Medieval knight. Credit: rudall30 / Adobe Stock

The early history of England includes all kinds of different cultures and remarkable figures. And one of the crucial parts of the history of this country belongs to the Anglo-Saxon era. Filled with generations of kings who ruled over several small kingdoms, the England of this age was a land of strife, ambition, and the rattling of swords. But one man stood out – a king of Wessex – as a pious, calculated leader, and a father of legendary figures. He was called Aethelwulf – the Noble Wolf – and today’s story is all about him.

Lengthy and eventful, Aethelwulf’s reign is a topic of much debate among historians today. For some too lenient and pious, and for others a practical, competent ruler, Aethelwulf certainly had his ups and downs, all of which served to pave the way for his son – the legendary Alfred the Great.

In His Father’s Steps: The Early Life of King Aethelwulf

The early history of the kings of Wessex is for the most part clouded, with names available, but the histories behind them largely lost. In that period, Anglo-Saxon England consisted of several smaller kingdoms, which were mostly in conflict with one another and vying for influence over the whole of England. Aethelwulf’s father was Egbert, the King of Wessex who ruled from 802 until 839. Before seizing the throne of Wessex, Egbert lived in exile, in the Frankish court of King Charlemagne.

Source: origins

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