Skip to main content

IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1707: The Anglo-Welsh Frontier in the Middle Ages, III

Thursday 9 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Liverpool Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Liverpool / Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies, University of Manchester / Department of History & Archaeology, University of Chester
Organiser:Marios Costambeys, Department of History, University of Liverpool
Moderator/Chair:Marios Costambeys, Department of History, University of Liverpool
Paper 1707-aThe Culture of the Anglo-Welsh Frontier in Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica
(Language: English)
Lindy Brady, Department of English, University of Mississippi
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Latin, Local History
Paper 1707-bSaints' Cults and Irish Influence in North-East Wales
(Language: English)
Fiona Edmonds, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Celtic, Local History
Paper 1707-cThe Mercians, the North-West, and the Anglo-Welsh Frontier, 900-950
(Language: English)
Charles Insley, John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Local History

Paper -a argues that Bede's animosity towards the Britons has obscured cultural commonalities among those living along the frontier and that careful reading simultaneously reveals the genesis of a hybrid Anglo-Welsh culture shared between Mercia and Gwynedd in the seventh century. More than just a fleeting military alliance between elites, it involved a shared style of warfare, political structure, and understanding of kinship networks that unite the frontier in opposition to other newly Christian Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The paper shows how this perspective informs several significant early Welsh poems and Cambro-Latin texts. Paper -b explores the cult of a saint known as Cwyfien or Cwyfan in the cantref of Tegeingl, arguing for his identity with St Cóemgen of Glendalough in Ireland. It also investigates the cult of St Ffraid or Brigit in north-east Wales, the Wirral and Chester, showing how its spread there reflects Gaelic-Scandinavian influence, which also influenced sculptural styles in the area. Paper -c seeks to place the concept of the 'March' at the heart of a discussion of the Mercians, arguing that we should understand the 'march' that defined the Mercians in wider terms than simply the frontier with Wales or Northumbria, and especially in relation to the overall political and economic dynamics of the Irish Sea World.