1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Æthelweard

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ÆTHELWEARD (ETHELWARD.) Anglo-Saxon historian, was the great-grandson of Æthelred, the brother of Alfred and ealdorman or earl of the western provinces (i.e. probably of the whole of Wessex). He first signs as dux or ealdorman in 973, and continues to sign until 998, about which time his death must have taken place. In the year 991 he was associated with archbishop Sigeric in the conclusion of a peace with the victorious Danes from Maldon, and in 994 he was sent with Bishop Ælfheah (Alphege) of Winchester to make peace with Olaf at Andover. Æthelweard was the author of a Latin Chronicle extending to the year 975. Up to the year 892 he is largely dependent on the Saxon Chronicle, with a few details of his own; later he is largely independent of it. Æthelweard gave himself the bombastic title "Patricius Consul Quaestor Ethelwerdus," and unfortunately this title is only too characteristic of the man. His narrative is highly rhetorical, and as he at the same time attempts more than Tacitean brevity his narrative is often very obscure. Æthelweard was the friend and patron of Ælfric the grammarian.

AUTHORITIES[edit]

Primary:

  • The Saxon Chronicle, 994 E;
  • Birch, Cartularium Saxonicum;
  • A.S. Laws (ed. Liebermann), pp. 220-224;
  • Fabii Ethelwerdi Chron., Mon. Hist. Brit. 449-454.

Secondary:

  • Plummer, Saxon Chronicle, vol. ii. p. ci.;
  • Napier and Stevenson, Crawford Charters, pp. 118-120;
  • D.N.B., s.v.
(A. Mw.)