The suspect recording of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

This counter-history of the 9th century tale of King Alfred and the Viking Danes is based upon the content of a 300 word peace treaty, believed to have been written shortly after the confrontation between Alfred and Guthrum (mis-spelt by the Wessex scribe) at Ethandune in 878. The two leaders agreed to divide the lands under their control using the line of Watling Street – a Roman road. The map shows how this divided the land equally.

However, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (believed to have been compiled under Alfred’s supervision) the ‘fight’ at Ethandune ends somewhat inconclusively and with much magnanimity on Alfred’s part. The true validity of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is thereby called into serious question; is it at all likely that Alfred would have agreed to an equal division of lands if he had been so successful?

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