The Old English word Æþeling means 'child of a noble family' - prince, in effect. Modern historians often use the term 'throne-worthy' to refer to those athelings of the royal house who were eligible for kingship. There was no automatic rule of primogeniture - a king's successor did not need to be his eldest son, and indeed was not necessarily his son at all. Thus, in the 9th century, King Athelwulf had five sons, four of whom became king in turn: Athelstan (d.

Silverdale Hoard

Friday, December 16, 2011

This really is the year of Viking silver hoards. After the excitement of the Barrow hoard, now there is the aptly named Silverdale hoard. A familiar-looking collection of armrings, hacksilver, ingots and coins, from circa 900 - with the surprise of a coin of Airdeconut. Is this another unknown ruler of York, to add to Siefridus and Cnut?