People and Places
Aidan: *Ireland - d. Aug. 31, 651, Bamburgh, Northumberland. apostle, monastic founder of Lindisfarne (Holy Island),.
Aidan was a monk at Iona, an island near Scotland, when King Oswald of Northumbria called for him to become the bishop of the newly converted Northumbrians, a diocese given up by Paulinus. Consecrated in 635, Aidan, the first Irish bishop of Northumbria, settled on Lindisfarne, where he established his church, monastery, and see near the royal stronghold of Bamburgh. Lindisfarne flourished as a leading ecclesiastical centre until the Viking invasions began in 793.
From Lindisfarne, Aidan evangelized northern England. He founded churches, monasteries, and, on Lindisfarne, a school for the training of ministers, among whom were Chad (first bishop of Lichfield), his brother Cedd (who converted the East Saxons), and Eata, abbot of Melrose. The Anglo-Saxon historian and theologian Bede praised Aidan for his learning, charity, and simplicity of life.
Aldfrith (died 14 December 704 or 705) sometimes Aldfrid, Aldfridus (Latin), or Flann Fína mac Ossu (Classical Irish) was king of Northumbria from 685 until his death. He is described by early writers such as Bede, Alcuin and Stephen of Ripon as a man of great learning, and some of his works, as well as letters written to him, survive. His reign was relatively peaceful, marred only by disputes with Bishop Wilfrid, a major figure in the early Northumbrian church.
Aldfrith was born on an uncertain date to Oswiu of Northumbria and an Irish princess named Fín. Oswiu later became King of Northumbria; he died in 670 and was succeeded by his son Ecgfrith. Aldfrith was educated for a career in the church and became a scholar. However, in 685, when Ecgfrith was killed at the battle of Nechtansmere, Aldfrith was recalled to Northumbria, reportedly from the Hebridean island of Iona, and became king.
In his early-eighth-century account of Aldfrith's reign, Bede states that he "ably restored the shattered fortunes of the kingdom, though within smaller boundaries". His reign saw the creation of works of Hiberno-Saxon art such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Codex Amiatinus, and is often seen as the start of Northumbria's golden age.
Adopted from Wikipedia
Bamburgh is a large village on the coast of Northumberland, England. It is notable for two reasons: the imposing Bamburgh Castle, overlooking the beach, seat of the former Kings of Northumbria, and at present owned by the Armstrong family.
Bamburgh Castle, then called Din Guardi, was the capital of the British kingdom of Bryneich between about 420AD and 547. In 547 the castle was taken by the invading Angles led by Ida son of Eoppa and was renamed Bebbanburgh by one of his successors. From then onwards the castle became the capital of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia until it merged with it's southern neighbour, Deira, in 634. After the two realms united as Northumbria the capital was moved to York. (Adopted from Wikipedia)
Bede (Latin Beda), also known as Saint Bede or, more commonly (though misleadingly), the Venerable Bede (ca. 672 or 673 – May 27, 735), was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Wearmouth, today part of Sunderland, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow. Bede became known as Venerable Bede soon after his death, but this was not linked to consideration for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. His scholarship and importance to Catholicism were recognised in 1899 when he was declared a Doctor of the Church as St Bede The Venerable.
He is well known as an author and scholar, whose best-known work, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History of the English People) gained him the title "The father of English history". Bede wrote on many other topics, from music and metrics to Scripture commentaries.
He is the only Englishman (and only the second Briton - also the Scot Richard of St. Victor) in Dante's Paradise (Paradiso' X.130), mentioned among theologians and doctors of the church in the same canto as Richard of St.-Victor and Isidore of Seville. He is also the only English Doctor of the Church. (adopted from Wikipedia)
Bangor has a long and varied history, from the Bronze Age people whose swords were discovered in 1949 or the Viking burial found on Ballyholme beach, to the Victorian pleasure seekers who travelled on the new railway from Belfast to take in the sea air. The town has been the site of a monastery renowned throughout Europe for its learning and scholarship, the victim of violent Viking raids in the 8th and 9th centuries, and the new home of Scottish and English planters during the Plantation of Ulster. The town has prospered as an important port, a centre of cotton production, and a Victorian and Edwardian holiday resort. Today it is a large retail centre and a commuter town for Belfast, though the remnants of the town's varied past still shape its modern form.
The ascetic life of prayer and fasting were the attractions of Bangor. However, as time progressed, Bangor also became a famed seat of learning and education. There was a saying in Europe at the time that if a man knew Greek he was bound to be an Irishman, largely due to the influence of Bangor. The monastery further became a missions-sending community. Even to this day missionary societies are based in the town. Bangor Monks appear throughout medieval literature as a force for good.
In 580, a Bangor monk named Mirin took Christianity to Paisley, where he died “full of miracles and holiness”. In 590, the fiery Colombanus, one of Comgall’s leaders, set out from Bangor with twelve other brothers, including Gall who planted monasteries throughout Switzerland. In Burgundy he established a severe monastic rule at Luxeuil which mirrored that of Bangor. From there he went to Bobbio in Italy and established the house which became one of the largest and finest monasteries in Europe. Colombanus died in 615, but by 700 AD, one hundred additional monasteries had been planted throughout France, Germany and Switzerland. Other famed missionary monks who went out from Bangor include Molua, Findchua and Luanus.
Adopted from Wikipedia
Benedict Biscop(c. 628 - 690), also known as Biscop Baducing, English churchman, was born of a good Northumbrian family and was for a time a thegn of King Oswiu.
He then went abroad and after a second journey to Rome (he made five altogether) lived as a monk at Lerins on the Mediterranean coast of France (665–667).
It was under his conduct that Theodore of Tarsus came from Rome to Canterbury in 669, and in the same year Benedict was appointed abbot of Ss. Peter and Paul's, Canterbury.
Five years later he built the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth, on land granted him by Ecgfrith of Northumbria, and endowed it with a library. A papal letter in 678 exempted the monastery from external control, and in 682 the King was so delighted at the success of St Peter's, he gave Benedict more land in Jarrow and urged him to build a second monastery. Benedict erected a sister foundation (St Paul) at Jarrow. He appointed Ceolfrid as the superior, who was to become Bede's mentor, who left Wearmouth with 20 monks including the young Bede to start the foundation in Jarrow. Bede tells us that he brought builders and glass-workers from Francia to erect the buildings in stone.
The chancel at St Paul's Jarrow – a direct survival from the 7th century when it was a free-standing chapel in the monastery.
His idea was to build a model monastery for England, sharing his knowledge of the experience of the Catholic Church in Europe. It was the first ecclesial building to be built in stone, and the use of glass was a novelty for many of the Saxons in 7th-century England. It eventually possessed what was a large library for the time – several hundred volumes – and it was here that Benedict's student St Bede wrote his famous works. The library became world-famous, and manuscripts that had been copied there became prized possessions throughout Europe.
He died on January 12, 690. In his life time he had seen the Church change from being divided between the Roman and Celtic Churches and threatened by a resurgent paganism, to becoming a strong united and growing Roman Catholic Church, united with the worldwide church. His monastery was the jewel in the crown,under the direct patronage of the Pope and ushered in a Golden Era for Christianity in England.
On March 24, 2004, the City of Sunderland adopted St Benedict Biscop as its patron saint.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedict_Biscop"
Cadwallon ap Cadfan(died 634) was the King of Gwynedd from around 625 until his death in battle. The son and successor of Cadfan ap Iago, he is best remembered as the King of the Britons who invaded and conquered Northumbria, defeating and killing its king, Edwin, prior to his own death in battle against Oswald of Bernicia. His conquest of Northumbria, which he held for a year or two after he died, made him the last Briton to hold substantial territory in eastern Britain until the rise of the Tudor dynasty. He was thereafter remembered as a national hero by the Britons and as a tyrant by the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria.
Whatever the case may be, Cadwallon was certainly affected by the ambitions of Edwin, King of Northumbria. Bede, writing about a century after Cadwallon's death, describes Edwin, the most powerful king in Britain, conquering the Brythonic kingdom of Elmet (what is now western Yorkshire) and ejecting its king, Cerdic. This opened the door to the Irish Sea, and Edwin successfully extended his rule to the "Mevanian Islands" – the Isle of Man and Anglesey. The Annales Cambriae says that Cadwallon was besieged at Glannauc (Priestholm, or Puffin Island), a small island off eastern Anglesey, and dates this to 629. Surviving Welsh poetry and the Welsh Triads portray Cadwallon as a heroic leader against Edwin. They refers to a battle at Digoll (Long Mountain) and mention that Cadwallon spent time in Ireland before returning to Britain to defeat Edwin.
In any case, Penda and Cadwallon together made war against the Northumbrians. A battle was fought at Hatfield Chase on October 12, 633 which ended in the defeat and death of Edwin and his son Osfrith. After this, the Kingdom of Northumbria fell into disarray, divided between its sub-kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia, but the war continued: according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, "Cadwallon and Penda went and did for the whole land of Northumbria". Bede says that Cadwallon was besieged by the new king of Deira, Osric, "in a strong town"; Cadwallon, however, "sallied out on a sudden with all his forces, by surprise, and destroyed him [Osric] and all his army."
The new king of Bernicia, Eanfrith, was also killed by Cadwallon when the former went to him in an attempt to negotiate peace. However, Cadwallon was defeated by an army under Eanfrith's brother, Oswald, at the Battle of Heavenfield, "though he had most numerous forces, which he boasted nothing could withstand". Cadwallon was killed at a place called "Denis's-brook".
from: Wikipedia (more on that therer)
Colman of Lindisfarne (c. 605–18 February 675) also known as Saint Colmán was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664. Colman resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First Ecumenical Council instead of his preferred Celtic method. After his resignation he retired to live on the island of Inishbofin in Galway where he founded a monastery.
Colman war wie seine Vorgänger ein irischer Mönch in Iona, bevor er ins Kloster Lindisfarne kam. Er lebte nicht nach der Regel des hl. Benedict, sondern nach der des hl. Columban von Iona. Auch war er ein überzeugter Verfechter des keltischen Ritus in der Kirche und behielt im Osterstreit die keltischen Traditionen seiner Kirche trotz der Eingriffe aus Rom bei.
664 berief König Oswiu von Northumbria die Synode von Whitby ein, die sich für den katholischen Ritus entschied. Colman legte darauf seine Ämter nieder und ging mit den Anhängern der iro-schottischen Tradition ins Kloster Iona nach Schottland. Colman nahm einige Knochen des Heiligen Aidan als Reliquien mit..
668 zog er sich mit einigen Glaubensbrüdern auf die Insel Inishbofin vor der irischen Westküste zurück, wo er ein Kloster gründete. Als es Streit zwischen den Mönchen gab, teilte er 671 das Kloster, indem die Schotten auf Inishbofin blieben und die Angeln in Mageo im County Mayo ein neues Kloster gründeten.
Colman starb am 18. Februar 675 oder 676 in der Abtei Mayo.
Quelle: Wikipedia (Engl. and Germ.)
Cuthbert (c. 634 – 20 March 687) was an Anglo-Saxon monk, bishop and hermit associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne in the Kingdom of Northumbria, at that time including, in modern terms, northern England as well as south-eastern Scotland as far as the Firth of Forth. Afterwards he became one of the most important medieval saints of England, a cult centred at Durham Cathedral. Cuthbert is regarded as the patron saint of northern England. His feast day is 20 March.
Origins: Cuthbert was of Northumbrian origin, probably from the neighbourhood of Dunbar at the mouth of the Firth of Forth in modern-day Scotland. While still a boy, employed as a shepherd, one night he had a vision of the soul of Aidan being carried to heaven by angels and thereupon went to the monastery of Old Melrose and became a monk (651). Soon afterwards, however, he became a soldier for several years. Saint Cuthbert was a second cousin of King Aldfrith of Northumbria (according to Irish genealogies), which may have been the reason for his proposal that Aldfrith should be crowned as monarch.
After his return to the monastery, his fame for piety, diligence, and obedience quickly grew. When Alchfrith, king of Deira, founded a new monastery at Ripon, Cuthbert became its praepositus hospitum or visitors' host. Cuthbert, however, returned to Melrose. Illness struck the monastery in 664 and while Cuthbert recovered, the prior died and Cuthbert was made prior in his place. He spent much time among the people, ministering to their spiritual needs, carrying out missionary journeys, preaching, and performing miracles.
After the Synod of Whitby, Cuthbert seems to have accepted the Roman customs, and his old abbot, Eata, called on him to introduce them at Lindisfarne. His asceticism was complemented by his charm and generosity to the poor, and his reputation for gifts of healing and insight led many people to consult him, gaining him the name of "Wonder Worker of Britain". He continued his missionary work, travelling the breadth of the country from Berwick to Galloway to carry out pastoral work and founding an oratory at Dull, Scotland complete with a large stone cross, and a little cell for himself, at a site which subsequently became a monastery then later the University of St Andrews. He is also said to have founded St Cuthbert's Church in Edinburgh.
Hermit's life: In 676 he adopted the solitary life and retired to a cave. After a time he settled on one of the Farne Islands, south of Lindisfarne, and gave himself more and more to austerities. At first he would receive visitors and wash their feet, but later he confined himself to his cell and opened the window only to give his blessing. While on the Farne Islands, he instituted special laws to protect the Eider ducks and other seabirds nesting on the islands; these may have been the first bird protection laws anywhere in the world. Consequently, eider ducks are often called cuddy ducks (Cuthbert's ducks) in modern Northumbrian dialects.
Election to the bishopric of Lindisfarne: In 684, Cuthbert was elected bishop of Lindisfarne, at a synod at Twyford (believed to be present-day Alnmouth), but was reluctant to leave his retirement and take up his charge; it was only after a visit from a large group, including king Ecgfrith, that he agreed to return and take up the duties of bishop. He was consecrated at York by Archbishop Theodore and six bishops, on 26 March 685. After Christmas, 686, however, he returned to his cell on Inner Farne Island (two miles from Bamburgh, Northumberland), which was where he eventually died on 20 March 687 AD. He was buried at Lindisfarne, and his remains later transferred to Durham Cathedral.
King Ecgfrith (Old English: Ecgfrið; c. 645–20 May 685) was the King of Northumbria from 670 until his death. He ruled over Northumbria when it was at the height of its power, but his reign ended with a disastrous defeat in which he lost his life.
Ecgfrith was the son of his predecessor as king, Oswiu of Northumbria. Bede tells us, in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, that Ecgfrith was held as a hostage "at the court of Queen Cynwise in the province of the Mercians" at the time of Penda of Mercia's invasion of Northumbria in 654 or 655. Penda was, however, defeated and killed by the Northumbrians under Oswiu in the Battle of Winwaed, a victory which greatly enhanced Northumbrian power.
Ecgfrith was made king of Deira, a sub-kingdom of Northumbria, in 664, and he became king of Northumbria following his father's death on 15 February 670. He had married Æthelthryth, the daughter of Anna of East Anglia, in 660; however, she took the veil shortly after Ecgfrith's accession, a step which possibly led to his long quarrel with Wilfrid, the Archbishop of York. Ecgfrith married a second wife, Eormenburg, before 678, the year in which he expelled Wilfrid from his kingdom. In 671 at the Battle of Two Rivers he put down an opportunistic rebellion by the Picts, stabilising Northumbrian control of the North of Britain for the next 14 years, and also created a new sub-kingdom in the north called Lothian. Ecgfrith went on, in 674, to defeat Wulfhere of Mercia, seizing the Kingdom of Lindsey. In 679, he fought a battle against the Mercians under Æthelred (who had married Ecgfrith's sister, Osthryth) on the river Trent. Ecgfrith's brother Ælfwine was killed in the battle, and the province of Lindsey was given up when peace was restored at the intervention of Theodore of Canterbury. In 684 Ecgfrith sent an expedition to Ireland under his general Berht, which seems to have been unsuccessful in the sense that no Irish land was conquered by the Northumbrians. But the expedition was successful in that Ecgfrith's men did manage to seize a large number of slaves and made off with a significant amount of plunder.
In 685, against the advice of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, he led a force against the Verturian Picts, who were led by his cousin Bridei mac Bili, but was lured by a feigned flight into their mountain fastnesses and slain at the Battle of Dun Nechtain (either at Dunnichen in Angus or Dunachton in Badenoch). This disastrous defeat severely weakened Northumbrian power in the north, and Bede dates the beginning of the decline of Northumbria from Ecgfrith's death. He was succeeded by his illegitimate half-brother, Aldfrith.
As well as his military activities, Ecgfrith appears to have been the earliest Northumbrian king, and perhaps the earliest Anglo-Saxon king, to have issued the silver penny, which became the mainstay of English coinage for centuries afterwards. Earlier Anglo-Saxon coins had been made, but these were rare, the most common being gold shillings or thrymsas, copied from Roman models. The pennies, or sceattas, were thick, cast in moulds, perhaps copied from Merovingian coins, and issued on a large scale.
(Adopted from Wikipedia)
Edwin: *585 - † Oct. 12, 633, Hatfield Chase, Eng. Anglo-Saxon king of Northumbria from 616 to 632. He was the most powerful English ruler of his day, widely acknowledged (except the king of Kent) as Bretwalda, overlord by all the other English and British rulers. Baptized in 627 he was the first Christian king of Northumbria parts of Wales.
Edwin, the son of King Ælle of Deira, one of the two Northumbrian kingdoms, fled (about
590) to Gwynedd, into exile, away from Æthelric, king of Bernicia, and (593) Æthelfrith, his son and Edwin’s later brother-in –law. In 616 King Raedwald of East Anglia defeated and killed Æthelfrith and installed Edwin on the Northumbrian throne. Edwin conquered and was recognized as except the king of Kent.
Edwin's conversion to Christianity resulted from his marriage to Æthelburh, Christian princess of Kent. She brought the Roman missionary Paulinus to Northumbria. He converted Edwin and many of his subjects in 627. In 632 the Christian King Cadwallon of Gwynedd and the Pagan King Penda of Mercia invaded Northumbria and killed Edwin in battle.
Paulinus and Aethelburh fled, and Northumbrian returned to the old pagan gods. The following year, Northumbria was united and ruled by Oswald, son of Æthelfrith. He brought Irish clergy (Aidan among others) to Northumbria and Holy Island (Lindisfarne). This established a conflict with the Roman Church.
Iona (Scottish Gaelic: Ì Chaluim Chille) is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination and a place for retreats. Its modern Gaelic name means "Iona of (Saint) Columba" (formerly anglicised "Icolmkill").
Iona was the site of a highly important monastery (see Iona Abbey) during the Early Middle Ages. According to tradition the monastery was founded in 563 by the monk Columba, also known as Colm Cille, who had been exiled from his native Ireland as a result of his involvement in the Battle of Cul Dreimhne. Columba and twelve companions went into exile on Iona, then part of the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata, and founded a monastery there. The monastery was hugely successful, and played a crucial role in the conversion to Christianity of the Picts of present-day Scotland in the late 6th century and of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria in 635. A large number of satellite institutions were founded, and Iona became the centre of one of the most important monastic systems in Great Britain and Ireland.
Iona quickly became a renowned center of learning, and its scriptorium produced highly important documents, likely including the original texts of the Iona Chronicle, thought to be the source for the early Irish annals. The monastery is often associated with the distinctive practices and traditions known as Celtic Christianity. In particular, Iona was a major supporter of the "Celtic" system for calculating the date of Easter during the time of the Easter controversy, which pitted supporters of the Celtic system against those favoring the "Roman" system used elsewhere in Western Christianity. The controversy weakened Iona's ties to Northumbria, which adopted the Roman system at the Synod of Whitby in 664, and to Pictland, which followed suit in the early 8th century. Iona itself did not adopt the Roman system until 715, according to the Anglo-Saxon historian Bede. Iona's prominence was further diminished over the next centuries as a result of Viking raids and the rise of other powerful monasteries in the system, such as the Abbey of Kells.
(Adopted from Wikipedia)
(Monk)Wearmouth-Jarrow Abbey is a twin-foundation English abbey located on the River Wear at Wearmouth and the River Tyne at Jarrow respectively, in the Kingdom of Northumbria (now in the metropolitan county Tyne and Wear). Its formal name is “The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Wearmouth-Jarrow.” The significance of Wearmouth-Jarrow is reflected in the candidate World Heritage Site status the monasteries have recently been awarded.
Foundation: The monastery was founded in 674 by Benedict Biscop, with the establishment of the monastery of St Peter's, Monkwearmouth on land given by Egfrid, King of Northumbria. His idea was to build a model monastery for England, sharing his knowledge of the experience of the Catholic Church in Europe in an area previously more influenced by Celtic Christianity from Melrose and Iona. A papal letter in 678 exempted the monastery from external control, and in 682 the King was so delighted at the success of St Peter's, he gave Benedict more land in Jarrow and urged him to build a second monastery. Benedict erected a sister foundation (St Paul) at Jarrow, appointing Ceolfrid as its superior, who left Wearmouth with 20 monks (including his protege the young Bede) to start the foundation in Jarrow.
Benedict brought workmen from France to build these churches in the Roman fashion (ie in stone), and furnished it with glass windows, pictures, service books and the library he had collected on his travels. Glassmaking and building in stone being unknown to England at the time, Biscop imported architects and glassmakers from Francia, modern France, who established a workshop at the Monkwearmouth site, re-establishing glassmaking in Britain (after its loss since the Romans' departure), as commemorated by the modern National Glass Centre which stands on a nearby site on the river Wear.
The two monasteries were so closely connected in their early history that they are often spoken of figuratively as one, despite being 7 miles apart. Benedict himself was the first abbot, and the monastery flourished under him and his successors Easterwin, St. Ceolfrid, and others, for two hundred years. Benedict, on leaving England for Rome in 686 established Ceolfrith as Abbot in Jarrow, and Eosterwine at Monkwearmouth but, before his death, stipulated that the two sites should function as 'one monastery in two places'.
(Adopted from Wikipedia)
Lindisfarne: The monastery of Lindisfarne was founded by Irish born Saint Aidan, who had been sent from Iona off the west coast of Scotland to Northumbria at the request of King Oswald around AD 635. It became the base for Christian evangelising in the North of England and also sent a successful mission to Mercia. Monks from the community of Iona settled on the island. Northumberland's patron saint, Saint Cuthbert, was a monk and later Abbot of the monastery, and his miracles and life are recorded by the Venerable Bede. Cuthbert later became Bishop of Lindisfarne.
At some point in the early 700s the famous illuminated manuscript known as the Lindisfarne Gospels, an illustrated Latin copy of the Gospels of Mark, Luke, Matthew and John, was probably made at Lindisfarne. Sometime in the second half of the tenth century a monk named Aldfrith added an Anglo-Saxon (Old English) gloss to the Latin text, producing the earliest surviving Old English copies of the Gospels. The Gospels were illustrated in an insular style containing a fusion of Celtic, Germanic and Roman elements; they were probably originally covered with a fine metal case made by a hermit called Billfrith. In 793 a Viking raid on Lindisfarne caused much consternation throughout the Christian west, and is now often taken as the beginning of the age of Viking raids. Eventually the monks fled the island (taking with them the body of St Cuthbert, which is now buried at the Cathedral in Durham). The bishopric was transferred to Durham in AD 1000. The Lindisfarne Gospels now reside in the British Library in London, somewhat to the annoyance of some Northumbrians. The priory was re-established in Norman times as a Benedictine house and continued until its suppression in 1536 under Henry VIII. It is now a ruin in the care of English Heritage, who also run a museum/visitor centre nearby. The neighbouring parish church (see below) is still in use.(Adopted from Wikipedia)
The Magi (μάγοι, magoi), also referred to as the (Three) Wise Men, (Three) Kings, or Kings from the East, were, according to Christian beliefs, a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of the Christian tradition.
The Gospel of Matthew, the only one of the four Canonical gospels to mention the Magi, states that they came "from the east" to worship the Christ, "born King of the Jews." Although the account does not tell how many they were, the three gifts led to a widespread assumption that they were three as well. In the East, the magi traditionally number twelve. Their identification as kings in later Christian writings is probably linked to Psalms 72:11, “May all kings fall down before him”.
The Magi are popularly referred to as wise men and kings. The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek μάγος magos, as used in the original Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew. Greek magos itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e. the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born, (see Yasna 33.7: "ýâ sruyê parê magâunô " = " so I can be heard beyond Magi "). The term refers to the priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars, and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic.
(Adopted from Wikipedia)
Northumbria is primarily the name of a petty kingdom of Angles, Danes and Norwegians which was formed in Great Britain at the beginning of the 7th century, and of the much smaller earldom which succeeded the kingdom. The name reflects that of the southern limit to the kingdom's territory, which was the River Humber, and in the 12th century writings of Henry of Huntingdon the kingdom was defined as one of the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.(Adopted from Wikipedia)
Northumbria was originally composed of the union of two independent kingdoms, Bernicia and Deira. Bernicia covered lands north of the Tees, whilst Deira corresponded roughly to modern-day Yorkshire. Bernicia and Deira were first united by Aethelfrith, a king of Bernicia who conquered Deira around the year 604. He was defeated and killed around the year 616 in battle at the River Idle by Raedwald of East Anglia, who installed Edwin, the son of Aella, a former king of Deira, as king.
Edwin, who accepted Christianity in 627, soon grew to become the most powerful king in England: he was recognized as Bretwalda and conquered Rheged, the Isle of Man and Gwynedd in northern Wales. He was, however, himself defeated by an alliance of the exiled king of Gwynedd, Cadwallon ap Cadfan and Penda, king of Mercia, at the Battle of Hatfield Chase in 633. (Adopted from Wikipedia)
Oswald (~*604 – †August 5, 642) was King of Northumbria from 634 until his death. He was the son of Æthelfrith of Bernicia and came to rule after spending a period in exile, defeating Gwynedd's king Cadwallon ap Cadfan, bringing the two Northumbrian kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira once again under a single ruler, and promoting the spread of Christianity in Northumbria. He was given a prominent and strongly positive assessment by the historian Bede, being considered by him as a saintly ruler. After eight years of rule, in which he was the most powerful ruler in Britain, he was killed in the battle of Maserfield. He is best remembered as a Christian saint and martyr.
Background, youth, and exile: Oswald's father Æthelfrith was a successful Bernician ruler who, after some years in power in Bernicia, also became king of Deira, and thus was the first to rule both of the kingdoms which would come to be considered the constituent kingdoms of Northumbria (Bernicia in the northern part and Deira in the southern part), although it is considered likely that the two would still have been considered quite distinct entities, even if they were ruled by the same king, at this time. Æthelfrith married a member of the Deiran royal line, Acha, and it was she who was the mother of Oswald, who was apparently born in or around the year 604, since Bede says that he was killed at the age of 38 in 642. (Adopted from Wikipedia)
Oswiu (c. 612 – 15 February 670), also known as Oswy or Oswig (Old English: Ōswīg), was a King of Bernicia. His father, Æthelfrith of Bernicia, was killed in battle, fighting against Rædwald, King of the East Angles and Edwin of Deira at the River Idle in 616. Along with his brothers and their supporters, Oswiu was then exiled until Edwin's death in 633.
Following the death of his brother Oswald, defeated by Penda at the Battle of Maserfield on 5 August 642, Oswiu became King of the Bernicians. He passed the next decade in obscurity as one of many kings subject to Penda. In 655 Penda invaded Bernicia, driving Oswiu before him. The details of the campaign are unclear, but at the Battle of the Winwæd Oswiu unexpectedly defeated and killed Penda. This victory was followed by Oswiu's short-lived imperium—he is traditionally counted as a Bretwalda—over much of Great Britain. He established himself as King of Mercia, setting up his son-in-law, Penda's son Peada as a subject king.
Oswiu's unchallenged domination of Britain lasted only a short time, ending when a revolt among the Mercians established Penda's son Wulfhere as their king. A negotiated settlement appears to have been preferred on both sides to prevent war. Divisions within the Northumbrian church led to the Synod of Whitby in 664, where Oswiu agreed to settle the Easter controversy by adopting the Roman dating. His later years were marred by conflict with his son Ealhfrith. Oswiu died in 670 and was succeeded by his son Ecgfrith.
From: Wikipedia (for more see there)
Paulinus,Saint (?-644) was the first bishop of York.
He was a monk at St. Andrew's Monastery in Rome, when, in 601, Pope Gregory I sent him to join Mellitus and others in the second group of missionaries to England. Writing in 731, Bede described Paulinus as "a tall figure, slightly bent, with black hair, a thin hooked nose, and an emaciated face" (Stenton, 1971, p. 116). He was in Kent until 625, when he was consecrated as bishop by Justus. He then accompanied Æthelberg, the sister of King Eadbald of Kent, to Northumbria where she was to marry King Edwin.
According to Bede, Paulinus eventually convinced Edwin to convert to Christianity, baptizing him and many of his followers in 627. With the support of Edwin, Paulinus greatly expanded the church in Northumbria. For example, during a stay with Edwin and Æthelberg at Yeavering, he worked incessently for 36 days to baptise new converts.
When Edwin was defeated and killed in battle in 633, Paulinus took the queen and her children to Kent, where he spent the remainder of his life as Bishop of Rochester. Edwin's defeat led immediately to a sharp decline of Christianity in Northumbria. Although Paulinus' deacon, James, remained in the North and struggled to rebuild the Roman mission, it was monks from the rival Celtic tradition who eventually re-established Christianity in the region.
< The festival of St. Paulinus is formally observed by English Roman Catholics on October 10, the anniversary of his death. Five ancient churches in England were dedicated to him, and there were cults of him at Canterbury and Rochester.
(Adopted from Wikipedia)
Penda († November 15, 6551) was a 7th-century King of Mercia, a kingdom in what is today the English Midlands. A pagan at a time when Christianity was taking hold in many of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Penda participated in the defeat of the powerful Northumbrian king Edwin at the Battle of Hatfield Chase in 633. Nine years later, he defeated and killed Edwin's eventual successor, Oswald, at the Battle of Maserfield; from this point he was probably the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon rulers of the time. He defeated the East Angles, drove the king of Wessex into exile for three years, and continued to wage war against the Bernicians of Northumbria. Thirteen years after Maserfield, he suffered a crushing defeat and was killed at the Battle of the Winwaed in the course of a final campaign against the Bernicians.
Ragnarök ("fate of the gods")in Norse mythology is the battle at the end of the world. It will be waged between the Æsir, led by Odin, and the various forces of the Jötnar, including Loki. Not only will most of the gods, giants and creatures involved perish in this apocalyptic conflagration, but almost everything in the universe will be torn asunder.
In Viking warrior societies, dying in battle is the highest honor a man can attain. One earns an afterlife in Hel by dying in bed. One earns a place in Valhalla by dying, with honor, in battle. This is carried over into the worship of a pantheon in which the gods themselves will one day die in battle at Ragnarök. Exactly what will happen, who will fight whom, and the fates of the participants in this battle are well known to the Norse peoples from the sagas and skaldic poetry. The Völuspá — prophecy of the völva (sybil), the first lay of the Poetic Edda, dating from about the year 1000 AD — spans the history of the old gods, from the beginning of time to Ragnarök, in 65 stanzas. The Prose Edda, put in writing some two centuries later by Snorri Sturluson, describes in detail what takes place before, during, and after the battle. (Adopted from Wikipedia)
Romulus and Remus' according to Plutarch descend from prince Aeneas, fugitive from Troy after its destruction by the Achaeans. Their maternal grandfather is his descendant Numitor, who inherits the kingship of Alba Longa. Numitor’s brother Amulius inherits its treasury, including the gold brought by Aeneas from Troy. Amulius uses his control of the treasury to dethrone Numitor, but fears that Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, will bear children who could overthrow him. Amulius forces Rhea Silvia to perpetual virginity as a Vestal priestess, but she bears children anyway. In one variation of the story, Mars, god of war, seduces and impregnates her: in another, Amulius himself seduces her, and in yet another, Hercules.
The king sees his niece's pregnancy and confines her. She gives birth to twin boys of remarkable beauty; her uncle orders her death and theirs. One account holds that he has Rhea buried alive – the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy – and orders the death of the twins by exposure; both means would avoid his direct blood-guilt. In another, he has Rhea and her twins thrown into the River Tiber. In every version, a servant is charged with the deed of killing the twins, but cannot bring himself to harm them. He places them in a basket and leaves it on the banks of the Tiber. The river rises in flood and carries the twins downstream, unharmed.
The river deity Tiberinus makes the basket catch in the roots of a fig tree that grows in the Velabrum swamp at the base of the Palatine Hill. The twins are found and suckled by a she-wolf (Lupa) and fed by a woodpecker (Picus). A shepherd of Amulius named Faustulus discovers them and takes them to his hut, where he and his wife Acca Larentia raise them as their own children. Faustulus discovers Romulus and Remus with the she-wolf and woodpecker. Their mother Rhea Silvia and the river-god Tiberinus witness the moment.
According to the legend, Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill. A "foul suspicion" arises that the Senate weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus.
(Adopted from Wikipedia)
The term thegn (or thane or thayn in Shakespearean English), from OE þegn, ðegn "servant, attendant, retainer", is commonly used to describe either an aristocratic retainer of a king or nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England, or as a class term, the majority of the aristocracy below the ranks of ealdormen and high-reeves. It is also the term for an early medieval Scandinavian class of retainers.
Old English þeg(e)n "servant, attendant, retainer" is cognate with Old High German degan and Old Norse þegn ("thane, franklin, freeman, man"). The thegn had a military significance, and its usual Latin translation was miles, meaning soldier, although minister was often used. Joseph Bosworth describes a thegn as "one engaged in a king's or a queen's service, whether in the household or in the country," and adds, "the word in this case seems gradually to acquire a technical meaning, and to become a term denoting a class, containing, however, several degrees."
But, like all other words of the kind, the word thegn was slowly changing its meaning, and, as William Stubbs says (Constitutional History, vol. i.), "the very name, like that of the gesith, has different senses in different ages and kingdoms, but the original idea of military service runs through all the meanings of thegn, as that of personal association is traceable in all the applications of gesith." After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, William the Conqueror replaced the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy with Normans and the new Norman French ruling class replaced the Anglo-Saxon terminology with Norman French. In this process, king's thegns became barons, and thegns appear to have been merged in the class of knights.
(Adopted from Wikipedia)
Titus (* 39 – † 81) was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. Prior to becoming Emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judaea during the First Jewish-Roman War. In 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple.
As emperor, he is best known for completing the Colosseum and for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by two disasters, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a fire in Rome in 80. After barely two years in office, Titus died of a fever on 13 September 81. He was deified by the Roman Senate and succeeded by his younger brother Domitian.
Jerusalem was sacked (70) and much of the population killed or dispersed. Josephus claims that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish. 97,000 were captured and enslaved, including Simon Bar Giora and John of Gischala. Many fled to areas around the Mediterranean. Titus reportedly refused to accept a wreath of victory, as he claimed that he had not won the victory on his own, but had been the vehicle through which their God had manifested his wrath against his people. (Adopted from Wikipedia)
Wayland the Smith In Germanic and Norse mythology, Wayland the Smith (Old English: Wēland; Old Norse: Völundr, Velentr; Old High German: Wiolant; Proto-Germanic: *Wēlandaz, from *Wēla-nandaz, lit. "battle-brave") is a legendary master blacksmith. In Old Norse sources, Völundr appears in Völundarkviða, a poem in the Poetic Edda, and in Þiðrekssaga, and his legend is also depicted on the Ardre image stone VIII. In Old English sources, he appears in Deor, Waldere and in Beowulf and the legend is depicted on the Franks Casket. He is mentioned in the German poems about Dietrich von Bern as the Father of Witige.
Weyland had two brothers, Egil and Slagfiðr. In one version of the myth, the three brothers lived with three Valkyries: Ölrún, Hervör alvitr and Hlaðguðr svanhvít. After nine years, the Valkyries left their lovers. Egil and Slagfiðr followed, never to return. In another version, Weyland married the swan maiden Hervör, and they had a son, Heime, but Hervör later left Weyland. In both versions, his love left him with a ring. In the former myth, he forged seven hundred duplicates of this ring.
At a later point in time, he was captured in his sleep by King Niðhad in Nerike who ordered him hamstrung and imprisoned on the island of Sævarstöð. There he was forced to forge items for the king. Weyland's wife's ring was given to the king's daughter, Bodvild. Nidud wore Weyland's sword.
In revenge, Weyland killed the king's sons when they visited him in secret, fashioned goblets from their skulls, jewels from their eyes, and a brooch from their teeth. He sent the goblets to the king, the jewels to the queen and the brooch to the king's daughter. When Bodvild took her ring to him to be mended, he took the ring and raped her, fathering a son and escaping on wings he made. Weyland (Völund) made the magic sword Gram (also named Balmung and Nothung) and the magic ring that Thorsten retrieved.
More from the thesis Becker, Franks Casket: Wielandsage
Yeavering According to Book 2 Chapter 14 of the Ecclesiastical History of the Venerable Bede (680-735), in the year 627 Bishop Paulinus accompanied the Northumbrian king Edwin and his queen Aethelburh to their royal villa (the Latin term is villa regia), Adgefrin, where Paulinus spent 36 days preaching and baptising converts in the nearby River Glen. The placename Gefrin, which is a Brittonic name meaning ‘hill of the goats’, survives as the modern Yeavering. (Adopted from Wikipedia)