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113 – Religious Ambitions: The Rise of Oswald (and Others)

113 – Religious Ambitions: The Rise of Oswald (and Others)

When we last left off, Oswald son of AEthelfrith and Acha, defeated and killed Cadwallon of Gwynedd at the battle of Heavenfield. The defeat was a serious blow for the Northern Welsh kingdom. In fact, in the praise poem written about Cadwallon, we see the first use of the term which would become the modern name for the Wales… Cymru. The land of the western Cumbrogi…or comrades. I love the fact that the term appears at this point in the...

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112 – The Battle of Heavenfield

112 – The Battle of Heavenfield

Edwin was dead… Eanfrith was dead… Only Osric, Oswald, and Oswiu were left to stand against King Cadwallon and his Welsh army. Everything was coming to a head… and at the Battle of Heavenfield, the future of Northumbria would be decided. —- The year was 633 or 634, and the tide was turning against Northumbria for the first time in as long as anyone could probably remember. AEthelfrith’s victory at the Battle of...

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111 – Edwin: What Goes Around Comes Around

111 – Edwin: What Goes Around Comes Around

That’s something I’ve heard my entire life. When I was younger and picked on at school my father would sometimes say “Don’t worry, Jamie, what goes around comes around.” The problem with that bit of advice is that it requires a sense of fairness in the world that isn’t always there… not to mention a tremendous amount of patience that is short supply when you’re a small awkward kid being picked on and simply want some sort of justice. But...

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110 – Mercia: A New Contender Enters the Ring

110 – Mercia: A New Contender Enters the Ring

Ok, last episode, we jumped forward a little to take the story of East Anglia to the point where Sigebehrt took the throne… but lets go back about 3 years… to 628 (ish)… and look at what is going on in Mercia. Mercia, the Midland kingdom, has been a bit of a backwater in our story so far but it’s about to get more important very soon. So we really should chat a bit about it. So Mercia… what exactly are we talking about here? Some of you...

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109 – Edwin’s Ambitions

109 – Edwin’s Ambitions

When we last left Edwin, Bishop Paulinus finally had his prize.  He convinced the great King of Northumbria… the Bretwalda!… Edwin…  to abandon his gods and convert to Christianity.  It had been a long hard road for the Bishop.  Failed assassinations, war, marriage, magical visions, and some pretty astoundingly rude arguments regarding the weather had all been brought to bear in order to get this King to convert.  But at last he was...

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108 – The Christmas Special

108 – The Christmas Special

Ever since I was a kid in Catholic school, I’ve been somewhat fascinated by the date of Christmas.  I often wondered where it came from, given that it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, and (as the feast is celebrating the birth of Jesus) it seemed rather odd to set the date so close to midwinter given the fact that the middle east gets pretty nippy in Winter and the story of the Nativity takes place pretty much outside… with lambs and...

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107 – Edwin’s Conversion

107 – Edwin’s Conversion

Ok, so when we left off, Bishop Paulinus thought he was about to get Edwin to convert… but then Edwin pulled a bait and switch, and said that god hadn’t jumped through enough hoops yet.  And that he wanted to speak with his council and then deliberate privately before making a decision. Now Edwin was slick.  He built political ties on the island.  He also tied himself across the channel with the Merovingians, as his children with...

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