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Series: Artes Liberales
Author: Lindy Brady

The Welsh borderlands were a distinctive territory where two peoples came together throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. It was here that men skilled at law drew up the Dunsate Agreement, to solve the impending problems with cattle theft. This book explores what sets the Dunsate Agreement apart from other Anglo-Saxon law codes grappling with cattle theft, highlighting that creators of this document, and the community that it concerns, included both Anglo-Saxons and Welsh. It argues that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle represents the military culture of the Welsh borderlands in a distinctive way which aligns its inhabitants with outlaws. The book articulates a discernible culture in the Welsh borderlands prior to 1066. Bede's The Historia Ecclesiastica has long been interpreted as a narrative of Anglo/British strife. His rancour towards the pagan Mercians provides substantial information about the life of Penda of Mercia, whose entire reign over this borderlands kingdom was defined by consistent political and military unity with Welsh rulers. Expanding on the mixed culture, the book examines the various Latin and Old English Lives of the popular Anglo-Saxon saint, Guthlac of Crowland. Vernacular literary tradition reveals a group of Old English riddles that link the 'dark Welsh' to agricultural labour through the cattle they herd, and who have long been understood to show the Welsh as slaves. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is frequently cited as a paradigm of Anglo/Welsh antagonism. The book reveals that the impact of the Norman Conquest on the Anglo-Welsh border region was much greater than previously realised.

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The Dunsoete Agreement and daily life in the Welsh borderlands
Lindy Brady

1 •• Introduction: the Dunsæte Agreement and daily life in the Welsh borderlands Sometime in late Anglo-Saxon England, a territory called the Dunsæte was having problems with cattle theft. Men skilled at law from within this community sat down together and drew up a document outlining an agreement that addressed the situation. They thought about what ought to happen in a variety of circumstances. If a man sees the tracks of his stolen cattle leave his own property and cross into his neighbour’s land, who is responsible for following the trail and trying to

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
Lindy Brady

winter pastures and summer highland pastures meet, would be a natural location of such early drove roads. Moreover, textual evidence for this practice along the Welsh borderlands during the Anglo-Saxon period may exist in the form of the Dunsæte Agreement discussed in the Introduction.96 While earlier I considered what this text might tell us about the laws of the Welsh borderlands, the content of the Dunsæte Agreement – namely, its focus on cattle theft— and its location on the lower River Wye along the Welsh borderlands also shed light on the cattle trade in the

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
Lindy Brady

Welsh borderlands in the early Anglo-Saxon period were a region both united by rejection of Anglo-Saxon Christianity and its ensuing cultural shifts and increasingly defined in opposition to it. Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica, while written from the external perspective of 23 Writing the Welsh borderlands Christian Northumbria, is our earliest surviving source for the history of the Welsh borderlands. Like the Dunsæte Agreement, the Historia Ecclesiastica provides an important window into life in this region during one moment in the Anglo-Saxon period, and the

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England