The British Heroic Age

In January I published a broad history of the British Isles from the Late Roman Period (367) until the Synod of Whitby (664).  I suppose a short description is that it’s a summary of all my work and the updated findings of scholars from Leslie Alcock’s Arthur’s Britain in 1971.  One of the points of the book was to make the period more accessible to the general public, something I’ll admit that my work as well as the work of other scholars has not managed over the last forty-one years.

A second objective was to synthesize the many progresses that have been made during that time in literature, manuscripts, archaeology, society, and culture.  In the process I generated a few new ideas, like that British political units were disrupted down to the local level in the early fifth century and slowly absorbed each other until they became the size we know them as in the later period.  That Germanic units didn’t develop into primitive kingships until their expansion was blocked by British military strength.

Mainly though, accessibility was my main concern.  To that end I attached a chronology, a list of histories and literatures along with their dates of composition and known biases, and brief bios of the major religions including the fertility cults I outlined in my work.  I really do hope all this adds a little dimension to a period I have enjoyed exploring so much.

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