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Category: Publications
Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests
in Northern Britain AD550-850
Kings and Warriors cover (click for enlarged image)
Kings and Warriors cover
Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests Illustration I.1
Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests Illustration I6
Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests Illustration 108
Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests Illustration II.6
Part #:



Table of Contents

Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests presents a rich and vigorous picture of the ‘Heroic Age' in Northern Britain in the years between AD 550 and 850.

The work grew out of Professor Alcock's Rhind Lectures of 1988-89 and represents a distillation of the themes that had informed his thinking through decades of teaching, excavation and research. These range over the political, religious and economic structures of society; the nature of warfare, its weaponry and forces; the physical structures of society-forts, halls, houses and churches-and finally, the arts, crafts and more peaceful pursuits of the age.

Geographically the volume reaches from the top of the Scottish mainland across  Northumbria to the Tees, embracing the lands of Pict, Scot, Briton and Angle. Its settings range from great royal halls, filled with feasting, drinking, poetry and music to the bloody arenas of battle; from defended hilltops, ringed with fortifications, to peaceful centres of religion and learning where the great gospel books that characterise the age were produced. It looks in detail at the objects of the age, particularly the jewellery and weaponry, examining both the objects themselves and their social significance.  The larger objects, the great sculptured stones of the period, are a further feature, as is that major development which prompted so much, the introduction of Christianity.

Though centered on Northern Britain, Professor Alcock ranges widely, calling on the battle poetry of the Cymry, the annals of the Irish, and the art of the Anglo-Saxons to enhance and enlarge his themes. History and archaeology are interwoven to create a picture of this Early Historic period which is as elaborate, meticulously crafted and full of information as one of the great manuscripts themselves.          


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