Kingship and Maritime Power in 10th-Century England

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Ships and seafaring were intrinsic to early English cultures, identifiable in the origin story of the adventus Saxonum, in the material cultures of 6th- to 10th-century England, and in later portrayals of good kingship. However, effective control of the sea only became critical to Anglo-Saxon kings in the 10th century, serving to legitimate their authority and demonstrate both power and prestige. Using a combination of historical texts and archaeological evidence, this article examines the intersection of kingship and sea-power in 10th-century England, both as practical necessity and cultural symbol of legitimate kingly authority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-340
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nautical Archaeology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Early Medieval England
  • boat burial
  • English Kingship
  • Medieval
  • North Sea
  • Viking Age


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