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FABIUS ETHELWERD THE CHRONICLE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO A.D. 975

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FABIUS ETHELWERD
THE CHRONICLE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO A.D. 975
page 31



A.D. 878.] KING OF THE DANES BAPTIZED. 31 barbarians renew their fraud and offer peace : hostages were given, more than were demanded, to the effect that they would withdraw out of the territories of king Alfred ; and they did so. They devastate the kingdom of the Mercians and drive out all the free men. They erect their huts in the town of Gloucester. A. 878. At the end of that year therefore this foul mob broke the compact which they had before solemnly made with the Western Angles, and they take up their winter-quarters at Chippenham. The people were everywhere unable to resist : some of them were driven by the impious wretches over the sea into Gaul. King Alfred was at this time straitened more than was becoming. Ethelnoth also duke of Somerset lived with a narrow retinue in a certain wood, and they built a strong-hold in the island of Athelingay,* which seems to have been situated in a marsh. But the aforesaid king fought daily battles against the barbarians, having with him the province of Somerset only ; no others assisted him, except the servants who made use of the king's pastures. In the same year arrived Halfdene brother of the tyrant Hingwar with thirty galleys, in the western parts of the Angles, and besieged Odda duke of Devon in a certain casfie, and war was stirred up on all sides. The king of the barbarians fell, and eighty decada with him. At last the Danes obtain the victory. Meanwhile, after the Easterf of that year, king Alfred fought against the army that was in Chippenham, at a place called Ethandune,J and they obtain the victory. But after the decision of the battle, the barbarians promise peace, ask a truce, give hostages, and bind themselves by oath: their king submits to be baptized, and Alfred the king receives h\m from the laver in the marshy isle of Alney.§ Duke Ethelnoth also purified the same at a place called Wedmore, and king Alfred there bestowed upon him magnificent honors. * Athelney, no longer an island is situated near Borough-bridge in Somersetshire. + Easter Daj was the 23rd of March in the year 878. ΐ Heddington. & Some suppose that this is Aller near Athelingay, or Athelney; but Athelney itself is called Alney by the common people: it is therefore more likely that Athelingay and Alney were the same place, as they are at present


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