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Episode 339             Episode 341
Episode 340

Æthelstan A
Tue, 2018-Apr-10 00:34 UTC
Length - 2:40

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Tuesday, 10 April 2018 is Æthelstan A.

"Æthelstan A" () is the name given by historians to an unknown scribe who drafted charters (or diplomas), by which the king made grants of land, for King Æthelstan of England between 928 and 935. They are an important source for historians as they provide far more information than other charters of the period, showing the date and place of the grant, and having an unusually long list of witnesses, including Welsh kings and occasionally kings of Scotland and Strathclyde.

The "Æthelstan A" charters commence shortly after King Æthelstan conquered Northumbria in 927, making him the first king to rule the whole of England. The diplomas give the king titles such as "King of the English" and "King of the Whole of Britain", and this is seen by historians as part of a rhetoric which reflected his master's claim for a new status, higher than previous West Saxon kings.

The diplomas are written in elaborate Latin known as the hermeneutic style, which became dominant in Anglo-Latin literature from the mid-tenth century and a hallmark of the English Benedictine Reform. Scholars vary widely in their views of his style, which has been described as "pretentious" and "almost impenetrable", but also as "poetic" and "as enduringly fascinating as it is complex".

"Æthelstan A" ceased to draft charters after 935, and his successors returned to a simpler style, suggesting that he was working on his own rather than being a member of a royal scriptorium.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:34 UTC on Tuesday, 10 April 2018.

For the full current version of the article, search Wikipedia for Æthelstan A.

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