What Were The Main Achievements, Both Short Term And Long Term, Of Offa (B.757 796) And Alfred The Great (B.849 899)?

867 words - 4 pages

Both Offa of Mercia and Alfred the Great have left their imprints on the history of the English people - despite years of turmoil and darkness - leaving behind rays of enlightenment and civilized progress. Offa of Mercia (757-796), a contemporary of Charlemagne (768-814), is credited with introducing the silver penny to England. The silver penny of 793-796AD was "minted in Canterbury by the moneyer Baba". For about two centuries before Offa's reign, the main currency/coinage were smaller coins, replicas of Roman/Byzantine coins with Celtic-Germanic symbols. King Offa changed all that - the coins became heavier and larger. So, in a way, Offa's penny became the symbol of English currency. ...view middle of the document...

The materials for English diplomatic history begin with the letters which passed between the two kings". These skills also proved useful in re-establishing a good relationship/ties with the papal authority in Rome, in renewing the old friendship between England and Rome. But, most of all, he was intent on securing "ecclesiastical independence of Mercia" . He succeeded in setting up an independent archbishopric of Lichfield, thereby ending the control of the hostile archbishop of Canterbury over the churches in Mercia.Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (871-899), was successful in warding off many Danish invasions. "So far as is known, King Alfred was the first English ruler to plan an ordered scheme of national defence" . He set up a system of national defense by fortifying English towns. He made London "a national centre of resistance to enemies from every quarter" . He showed great foresight, skill and execution - using his ships to fight off coastal raids and his army to safeguard his territories. He was also very diplomatic; fostering friendly relations with Mercia and Wales ensured their military support. He finally brought about peace with the Danes; acceptance of his over-lordship brought English peoples closer to what can be considered the unification of England. Alfred the Great encouraged education and learning:"...all free-born youth of England who could be...

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