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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 430



A.D . 871 . BATTLE BETWEEN T M PAGANS AND CHBISTIANS. 42 1 SfogUfcltJ, that is to say, the Field of the Angles, where the two armies fought vigorously, till a count of the pagans being destroyed with the greater part of his army, gave the rest a reason for flying. And so when the Christians had gained the victory, four days afterwards, Ethelred, the king, and his brother Alfred, collected an army and came to Beading, slaying and overthrowing whatever pagans they found outside of the citadel. At last, the pagans sallying out of all the gates at once, engaged in battle with all their strength, and fighting long and bravely, they slew count Eadulf, and put the Christians to flight, at which disaster the Christians were greatly alarmed, and again met to give them battle four days afterwards, in the place which is called feeóóeloune, that is to say, the Mount of the Ash, having assembled all .the forces which they could collect. But the pagans divided themselves into two battalions, arranging in one the two kings, Bascai and Halden, and in the other all the generals with their subjects. And the Christians seeing this, divided their army in like manner into two bodies, giving one to king Ethelred, and the other to his brother Alfred. And king Ethelred was in hie tent hearing mass, and, as his men were constantly urging him to come forth to battle, he affirmed resolutely that he would not move till the priest had finished the mass ; and this faith o f the Christian king availed him much on that day. There was on the field of battle a very low tree, around which the hostile armies met with great shouts. And when they had fought for a long time with great courage on both sides, the pagans, in accordance with the judgment of God, not being able to withstand the onset of the Christians, after the greater part of their army had been slain, betook themselves to an ignominious flight. There the two kings of the pagans, Bascai and Halden, were slain, and they, and many thousands more who were slain with them, descended to hell, to be tormented in everlasting flames. But on the other side, where the general and the dukes were, against whom Alfred, the brother of die king, was fighting, there were slain these generals, the elder and the younger Sidrac, Osbern, Frank, and Harold, with innumerable others, and the whole army of the pagans fleeing all the following day and night, were routed and scattered over the whole plain of Hesseldune. Fourteen days afterwards, king Ethelred and his brother Alfred came together a second tune with united forces to Basing, intending to give


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