ground within the
walter de lacy
wider context of western Europeanpolitical thought or action, but it was
a watershed in English politics.20 The young King Henry III had been
commended into the safekeeping of his father’s most trusted magnates
and the legate, and they had immediately taken steps to limit his rule and
deprive him of the form of kingship that his grandfather, uncle and father
Winning the war: 1216–17
The royalist barons of the regency council may have wielded considerable
power in their redefinition of English kingship that autumn
missions and raiding activities that transformed the entire Europeanpolitical landscape. The British Isles, even though they had been settled by descendants of shared Germanic ancestors, were no exception. In 793, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ,
terrible portents came about over the land of Northumbria, and miserably frightened the people: these were immense flashes of lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air. A great famine immediately followed theses signs; and a little after that in the same year on 8 January the raiding of heathen men
additional meanings that remained available in Europeanpolitical thinking for
Hincmar of Reims, De raptu, PL 125, cols 1017B–C.
The rhetoric of election
many centuries to come, and could serve as a basis for providential concepts
of modern nationalism.
Research for this article was supported by the Austrian Research Fund (FWF)
in the Wittgenstein Prize project ‘Ethnic processes in Early Medieval Europe’
(2005–10) and in the SFB ‘VISCOM’ F42-G18. A first version of this paper
was discussed in January 2010 at a workshop in Hawarden, UK, in the
to southern, Catholic Europe. Still another two centuries on, Denmark’s resistance to helping Britain contain Napoleon’s activities enabled Britain to reshape Europeanpolitics by shelling Copenhagen and, following Napoleon’s 1815 exile to St Helena, by presuming to undertake the partially punitive transference of Norway from Danish to Swedish control.
For their part, early modern Danish and Swedish political concerns largely concentrated not on Britain but on the German-speaking territories and on the formation of local political states. Indeed, if the creation
history of Iceland, though possessing little importance in its relation to the political events of other nations, is nevertheless curious and interesting in many of its features.’ Despite the severities of the climate, the seclusion of the people, and the island’s literal marginalisation in Europeanpolitics, the community there ‘has preserved, through the progress of nearly a thousand years, an enlightened system of internal policy, an exalted character in all religious and social duties, liberal methods of education, and the culture of even the more refined branches