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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.

Lindy Brady

3 •• The Welsh borderlands in the Lives of St Guthlac1 Chapter Two argued that Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica depicts a mixed Anglo-Welsh culture in the Welsh borderlands in the seventh century. This chapter extends this argument into the eighth century through an examination of the various Latin and Old English Lives of the popular Anglo-Saxon saint, Guthlac of Crowland (d. 715). Guthlac’s Mercian youth and later career as a hermit in the Fens link him indelibly to two of Britain’s most geographically ambiguous spaces, and I argue that the group of AngloSaxon

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England
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The Dunsoete Agreement and daily life in the Welsh borderlands
Lindy Brady

ethnic division between Anglo-Saxons and Britons. Several early Welsh poems reflect the same perspective from the west: the borderlands not as a site of strife, but as a nexus of Anglo-Welsh culture. The book’s third chapter moves forward in time to an eighth-century setting and shifts from history to hagiography, focusing on a corpus of Old English and Latin works about the popular Anglo-Saxon saint Guthlac of Crowland (673–714) whose Mercian youth and later career as a hermit in the Fens of eastern England link him indelibly to two of Britain’s most nebulous

in Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England