A question about King Alfred?
Why is King Alfred regarded so highly in English history? Do you think he deserves such a high regard? Why or why not?
- el ÁguilaLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
King Alfred was the first King of England; he started the Royal Navy; he improved the legal system and encouraged education; and repelled Viking attacks against England.
- 1 decade ago
He was largely responsible for the existence of England itself. when the Danes invaded britain, they had taken almost all of the land besides a few small marshlands where Alfred based himself, before turning the tide and slowly driving them out of what became England. His work was later continued by his son Edward the Aethling, daughter Aethelflaed and his grandson Athelstan leading to the formation of England.
In addition he also promoted learning and religion throughout the country, insisting that all of his military officers were literate so that he could send written orders - quite revolutionary at the time. although many criticised his piety, there was nought but respect for him and his cunning mind. it is well thought that if Alfred did not do what he did, then we would be living in Daneland now (or some such similar).
I'd recommend reading Bernard Cornwell's books set in that time (the first is called The Last Kingdom), they document the period well, and are also just generally a very good read.
- RagnarLv 61 decade ago
It was King Alfred who turned the tide against the Vikings. He fortified Wessex and the remnant of Mercia from Viking incursions by building a chain of fortified towns, or Burghs along the frontier with the Danelaw. He then organised a naval fleet to take on the Vikings at sea.
He was not the first King of England, but he was the first to proclaim himself King of the Anglo-Saxons. The first King of England was Alfreds grandson, Athelstan in 927. He completed the reconquest of the Danelaw that was started by King Alfred.
Beyond fighting the Vikings, Alfred codified laws, and translated religious and scholarly literature from Latin into Old English. He promoted education, believing that every free born man should be literate.
He earned his epithet as "the Great"