Cosmas of Prague
Cosmas of Prague was a priest and historian born in a noble family in Bohemia. Between 1075 and 1081, he studied in Liège. After his return to Bohemia, he became a priest and married Božetěcha, with whom he had a son. In 1086, Cosmas was appointed prebendary of a prestigious position; as prebendary he travelled through Europe on official matters. His magnum opus, written in Latin, is called Chronica Boemorum; the Chronica is divided into three books: The first book, completed in 1119, starts with the creation of the world and ends in the year 1038. It describes the legendary foundation of the Bohemian state by the oldest Bohemians around the year 600, Duchess Libuše and the foundation of Přemyslid dynasty by her marriage with Přemysl, old bloody wars, Duke Bořivoj and the introduction of Christianity in Bohemia, Saint Wenceslaus and his grandmother Saint Ludmila, reign of the three Boleslavs, the life of Saint Adalbert and bloody wars after year 1000; the second book describes Bohemian history for the years 1038–1092.
The book starts with the heroic deeds of Duke Břetislav, known as the "Bohemian Achilles", for example with his victory over Poland. The Chronica describes the long and great reign of King Vratislav, known as a forceful ruler but a brave and good man. There is a reflection on his wars in Italy; the third book starts with a description of the time of instability and bloody civil wars after Vratislav's death between years 1092 and 1109. The Chronica ends with the reign of Vladislav between 1109 and 1125; the same year, 1125, Cosmas died. The continuation of Cosmas's chroncicle was followed by Cosmas's Followers, a group of chroniclers who wrote about the proceeding years. Cosmas of Prague. Wolverton, Lisa, ed; the chronicle of the Czechs. Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America Press. ISBN 9780813215709. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Media related to Cosmas of Prague at Wikimedia Commons Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cosmas". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Chronica Boemorum — the chronicle accessible on-line at Monumenta Germaniae Historica Cosmas biography English translation of the chronicle by Lisa Wolverton published by Catholic University of America Press
Mlada was a Benedictine abbess and founder of the first monastery in Bohemia. In 965, she undertook a diplomatic trip to Rome to advocate the formation of the Diocese of Prague. Mlada was the youngest daughter of the Bohemian prince Boleslav I; the 12th-century Chronica Boemorum by Cosmas of Prague describes her as an educated woman. In the years 965 to 969, she was sent by her father to Rome to meet with Pope John XIII and request permission for the establishment of a separate diocese for Bohemia and Moravia; the negotiations were difficult. Bohemia was part of the Diocese of Regensburg and Bishop Michael refused to forego the revenue from Czech churches during his lifetime; the approval for the breakup of the diocese was only granted by his successor, Wolfgang of Regensburg. Mlada returned to Prague; the ecclesiastical permission was followed by secular negotiations. After the meeting of the Reichstag in Quedlinburg in March 973, approval for the foundation of the diocese was secured, but it took until 976 for Dětmar to be ordained as the first Bishop of Prague.
Another result of Mlada's diplomatic mission was permission to found a monastery in Prague. During her stay in Rome, she entered the Order of Saint Benedict, adopted the religious name Maria, was ordained as abbess, thus she was able to lead the newly formed Abbey at St. George's Church in Prague Castle, the first congregation in Bohemia, she held this office until her death. Contemporary sources report neither the death date of Mlada; the oft-cited claim that she died on 9 February 994 can be traced to the Jesuit Georgio Crugerio and dates from 1669, based on the oral tradition of the monastery. The Benedictines of the Monastery of St. George have not been able to secure an official status as "Saint" or "Blessed" for their founder, therefore referred to as "Venerable", her grave is located in the Mary Chapel of the former Monastery of Saint George, but archaeological investigations have been unable to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the person buried there is indeed Abbess Mlada. Cosmas of Prague, Chronica Boemorum.
Edition by Berthold Bretholz, Berlin 1923, MGH SS Rer. Germ. N. S. Jiří Sláma. "Výkladový heslář vybraných historických osob, míst a reálií". In: Rostislav Nový, Jiří Sláma, Jana Zachová: Slavníkovci ve středověkém písemnictví. Prague, Vyšehrad 1987. Petr Sommer. "Kaple Panny Marie v klášteře sv. Jiří na Pražském hradě a začátky české sakrální architektury". In: Přemyslovský stát kolem roku 1000: na pamět knížete Boleslava II. Prague, Nakl. Lidové Noviny, 2000. ISBN 80-7106-272-3
The Lutici were a federation of West Slavic Polabian tribes, who between the 10th and 12th centuries lived in what is now northeastern Germany. Four tribes made up the core of the federation: the Redarians, Circipanians and Tollensians. At least in part, the Lutici were a continuation of the Veleti. In contrast to the former and the neighboring peoples, the Lutici were not led by a Christian monarch or duke, rather power was asserted through consensus formed in central assemblies of the social elites, the Lutici worshipped nature and several deities; the political and religious center was Radgosc. The Lutici were first recorded by written sources in the context of the uprising of 983, by which they annilihated the rule of the Holy Roman Empire in the Billung and Northern Marches. Hostilities continued until 997. Thereafter, tensions with the empire eased, in 1003 the Lutici entered an alliance with the emperor against duke Boleslaw I of Poland. However, by 1033 the alliance broke apart, a German-Lutician war broke out that lasted until 1035, when the Lutici became tributaries of the empire again, but otherwise retained their independence.
A civil war between the core tribes began the decline of the Lutici in 1056/57. The neighboring Obodrites subdued the northwestern faction. In 1066, the Lutici succeeded in stirring up a revolt against the Obodrite elites, in the course of which John, the bishop of Mecklenburg, was captured and sacrificed at Radgosc; as a consequence, the bishop of Halberstadt and the emperor sacked and destroyed Radgosc in subsequent campaigns, its role as the leading pagan cult site was taken over by the Swantewit temple at Arkona. Another civil war in the 1070s led to a further decline of the Lutician federation, who were unable to resist conquests and looting by their neighbors in the following decades. During the first half of the 12th century, the settlement area of the Lutici was partitioned between Obodrite principalities, the Duchy of Mecklenburg, the re-constituted Northern March, which became the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Duchy of Pomerania; the Lutici were converted to Christianity, in the 13th century were assimilated by German settlers and became part of the German people during the Ostsiedlung.
At least in part, the Lutici were a continuation of the Veleti, who are referred to by sources of the late 8th and first half of the 9th centuries as having inhabited the same region, according to the Bavarian Geographer were organized in four tribes. Whether the Lutici were ethnically identical with the Veleti remains unproven. Contemporary chronicles sometimes connect the Lutici to the Veleti, e.g. Adam von Bremen refers to them as "Leuticios, qui alio nomine Wilzi dicuntur", Helmold von Bosau says "Hii quatuor populi a fortidudine Wilzi sive Lutici appellantur." Modern scholarship sometimes refers to both entities by a double name, e.g. "Wilzen-Lutizen" in German or "Wieleci-Lucice" in Polish. In the second half of the 9th century, the Veleti disappeared from written records. Lutician tribes first appear in written records after this gap: the Redarii were mentioned first in 928 by Widukind of Corvey, who listed them in the context of Slavic tribes subdued by Henry I. Incidentally, this list contains the first mention of the Veleti after beforementioned gap, the Redarians are listed as a separate entity from the Veleti.
In 955, the Tollensians and Circipanians are first mentioned in the annals of St. Gallen in addition to the Veleti, in the context of the Battle of Recknitz; this co-listing of Veleti with Redarians, Tollensians and/or Circipanians was however not repeated in subsequent records, e.g. the Ottonian documents do not mention the Veleti at all, while referencing Redarians, Tollensians and other tribes in the respective area. Furthermore, there are only few mentions of the Veleti in 10th-century sources: in addition to beforementioned records, the Veleti are referenced only in the annals of St. Gallen in 995 and in the annals of Quedlinburg in 995 and 997. According to Fritze, this reflects the uncertain nomenclature after the Veleti's decline, at least as a political entity, in the mid-9th century. A variant of the designation "Lutici" was first recorded in the annals of Hildesheim in 991, starting in eastern Saxony, this name was adopted by other chroniclers; the first mention of the Kessinians is an entry in Adam von Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, referring to the year of 1056.
The Lutici were a federation of several smaller tribes between the Warnow and Mildenitz in the west, the Havel in the south and the Oder in the east, with the core formed by four tribes: Redarians, Tolensians and Circipanians. Within the federation, power was asserted by representatives of the clans and settlement communities; the highest political institution of both Veleti and Lutici was the assembly of the free, yet in contrast to the Veleti who were led by a prince, the Lutici were a "tribe without a ruler", meaning political power was asserted via discourse in an assembly. This type of government had its roots in the Veleti period: since the mid-9th century, no Veleti princes or kings are recorded, archaeology has revealed that in this period, many small strongholds were built in the area, in part on the ruins of the earlier, large strongholds. During the Lutician assemblies, decisions were made based on consensus, once a decision had been made it was enforced by "severe punishment" of any violations.
The Vršovci were a Czech noble family in the Duchy of Bohemia. First noted; the Vršovci were the third most powerful political force in newly Christianized Bohemia, after the reigning Přemyslids and the contending Slavníks. They were active in Bohemian conflicts with Poland and the Kings and Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, in the intermittent internal conflicts common for feudally fragmented regimes of that time; the Vršovci possessed such towns as Litoměřice. They had consanguinity with the Přemyslidi and cooperated with them; some historians supposed that, unlike their opponents, the other two leading families of Bohemia, the Vršovci could have retained some pagan beliefs in the 10th century. The etymology of the clan name is still a subject of dispute. One version claims its origin to be Czech "fishnet" i.e. "Vrša", while another opinion would have it derived from "Vrsa/Vrsvs", Latin for "female bear/bear". The Vršovci, Přemyslids and Slavníki took part in cruel power struggles that occurred in Bohemia on the turn of the first millennium.
Vršovci and Přemyslids led by Boleslav II the Pious, fought with the rival princely clan of Slavniki. On September 28, 995 they conquered the Slavníki. Among the victims were four or five brothers of future catholic saint Adalbert bishop of Prague. According to the legends the saint was impulsive, he damned the murderers. However, as some legend says the saint know how to moderate "the horse of his anger" in order to not "deviate from a bright way of the eternal life" so he escaped from Bohemia to Hungary and Poland legend says that he predicted the prosecution of Vršovci. In 1003, when the Vršovci tried to dethrone Boleslav III the Red; when the expatriated duke returned to Bohemia with the support of Duke Bolesław I the Brave of Poland, he ordered a massacre of the Vršovci at Vyšehrad. According to Thietmar of Merseburg, Boleslav slashed to death his son-in-law with his own sword during Lent. In 1108 the Vršovci came into disfavour again, were massacred by hostile Přemyslids—namely Svatopluk.
Many nobles were executed on Petřín Hill. The history of the family is unclear; the same source suggests that it could have happened that some of them escaped to Kingdom of Poland and acted from there yet in 1100. One of two versions by Kasper Niesiecki says that some of them were amiably accepted in 1108 by the King Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland, who granted them lands in Rawa Voivodship. If the second is true, it could be that some of Vršovci, in the midst of nobility referred to as Oksza and Rawicz bearers participated in the Battle of Grunwald. In the historical records among 50 Polish "banners" is one under the Rawicz coat of arms led by Christian of Ostrów, castellan of Kraków a war councillor and one of the seven chief members of King Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland's general headquarters. Derslaw of Wlostow, of the arms Oksza, served as a scout and on the field of battle, Peter of Wlostow of the arms Oksza, one of the knights selected by the Poles to initiate the battle. In addition, one of the Rawicz bearers, Christian of Goworzici, is marked for his military valour in the Battle of Koronowo, shortly after that of Grunwald.
Oksza knights participated at Koronowo Dobko Oksza and Jan Rey of Naglowic. For the most famous Oksza bearer, see: Mikołaj Rej z Nagłowic. In 1994–97, Mikołaj Rej's descendant and namesake, Nicholas Andrew Rey, served as American ambassador to Poland. Thietmar of Merseburg. Chronicon. Chronica Boëmorum. Annales seu cronici incliti regni Poloniae. Orbis Polonus. Kraków, 1641. V.2. 70–72 and 335–342. Orbis Polonus. Kraków, 1642. V.2. 581–602. Herbarz, VIII, 97–99. Biblioteka Polska. Herby rycerstwa polskiego. Blätter aus der altböhmischen Genealogie. Slavnikiden /Die Vrsovcen /Die Herren von Lichtenburg. Damböck, 2005. ISBN 3-900589-45-3. Emilian von Zernicki-Szeliga. Die Polnischen-Stammwappen, Hamburg 1900, 58–59. Kopal, Petr. Neznámý známý rod. Pokus o genealogii Vršovců. Sborník archivních prací 2001/1, 3–84
The Ottonian dynasty was a Saxon dynasty of German monarchs, named after three of its kings and Holy Roman Emperors named Otto its first Emperor Otto I. It is known as the Saxon dynasty after the family's origin in the German stem duchy of Saxony; the family itself is sometimes known as the Liudolfings, after its earliest known member Count Liudolf and one of its primary leading-names. The Ottonian rulers were successors of the Germanic king Conrad I, the only Germanic king to rule in East Francia after the Carolingian dynasty and before this dynasty. In the 9th century, the Saxon count Liudolf held large estates on the Leine river west of the Harz mountain range and in the adjacent Eichsfeld territory of Thuringia, his ancestors acted as ministeriales in the Saxon stem duchy, incorporated into the Carolingian Empire after the Saxon Wars of Charlemagne. Liudolf married a member of the Frankish House of Billung. About 852 the couple together with Bishop Altfrid of Hildesheim founded Brunshausen Abbey, relocated to Gandersheim, rose to a family monastery and burial ground.
Liudolf held the high social position of a Saxon dux, documented by the marriage of his daughter Liutgard with Louis the Younger, son of the Carolingian king Louis the German in 869. Liudolf's sons Bruno and Otto the Illustrious ruled over large parts of Saxon Eastphalia, Otto acted as lay abbot of the Imperial abbey of Hersfeld with large estates in Thuringia, he married a daughter of the Babenberg duke Henry of Franconia. Otto accompanied King Arnulf on his 894 campaign to Italy. According to the Saxon chronicler Widukind of Corvey, Otto upon the death of the last Carolingian king Louis the Child in 911 was a candidate for the East Frankish crown, which however passed to the Franconian duke Conrad I. Upon Otto's death in 912, his son Henry. Henry had married Matilda of Ringelheim, a descendant of the legendary Saxon ruler Widukind and heiress to extended estates in Westphalia; the Ottonian rulers of East Francia, the German kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire were: Henry the Fowler, Duke of Saxony from 912, King of East Francia from 919 until 936 Otto I, the Great, Duke of Saxony and King of East Francia from 936, King of Italy from 951, Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until 973 Otto II, co-ruler from 961, Holy Roman Emperor from 967, sole ruler from 973 until 983 Otto III, King of the Romans from 983, Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until 1002 Henry II, the Saint, Duke of Bavaria from 995, King of the Romans from 1002, King of Italy from 1004, Holy Roman Emperor from 1014 until 1024 Although never Emperor, Henry the Fowler was arguably the founder of the imperial dynasty.
While East Francia under the rule of the last Carolingian kings was ravaged by Hungarian invasions, he was chosen to be primus inter pares among the German dukes. Elected Rex Francorum in May 919, Henry abandoned the claim to dominate the whole disintegrating Carolingian Empire and, unlike his predecessor Conrad I, succeeded in gaining the support of the Franconian, Bavarian and Lotharingian dukes. In 933 he led a German army to victory over the Hungarian forces at the Battle of Riade and campaigned both the land of the Polabian Slavs and the Duchy of Bohemia; because he had assimilated so much power through his conquest, he was able to transfer power to his second son Otto I. Otto I, Duke of Saxony upon the death of his father in 936, was elected king within a few weeks, he continued the work of unifying all of the German tribes into a single kingdom expanding the powers of the king at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, he installed members of his own family to the kingdom's most important duchies.
This, did not prevent his relatives from entering into civil war: both Otto's brother Duke Henry of Bavaria and his son Duke Liudolf of Swabia revolted against his rule. Otto was able to suppress their uprisings, in consequence, the various dukes, co-equals with the king, were reduced into royal subjects under the king's authority, his decisive victory over the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955 ended the Hungarian invasions of Europe and secured his hold over his kingdom. The defeat of the pagan Magyars earned King Otto the reputation as the savior of Christendom and the epithet "the Great", he transformed the Church in Germany into a kind of proprietary church and major royal power base to which he donated charity and for the creation of which his family was responsible. By 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy, a troublesome inheritance that none wanted, extended his kingdom's borders to the north and south. In control of much of central and southern Europe, the patronage of Otto and his immediate successors caused a limited cultural renaissance of the arts and architecture.
He confirmed the 754 Donation of Pepin and, with recourse to the concept of translatio imperii in succession of Charlemagne, proceeded to Rome to have himself crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII in 962. He reached a settlement with the Byzantine emperor John I Tzimiskes by marrying his son and heir Otto II to John's niece Theophanu. In 968 he established the Archbishopric of Magdeburg at his long-time residence. Co-ruler with his father since 961 and crowned emperor in 967, Otto II ascended the throne at the age of 18. By excluding the Bavarian line of Ottonians from the line of succession, he strengthened Imperial authority and secured his own son's
Quedlinburg is a town situated just north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994, the castle and old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Quedlinburg has a population of more than 24,000; the town was the capital of the district of Quedlinburg until 2007. Several locations in the town are designated stops along a scenic holiday route, the Romanesque Road; the town of Quedlinburg is known to have existed since at least the early 9th century, when there was a settlement known as Gross Orden on the eastern bank of the River Bode. It was first mentioned as a town in 922 as part of a donation by King Henry the Fowler; the records of this donation were held by the abbey of Corvey. According to legend, Henry had been offered the German crown at Quedlinburg in 919 by Franconian nobles, giving rise to the town being called the "cradle of the German Reich". After Henry's death in 936, his widow Saint Matilda founded a religious community for women on the castle hill, where daughters of the higher nobility were educated.
The main task of this collegiate foundation, Quedlinburg Abbey, was to pray for the memory of King Henry and the rulers who came after him. The Annals of Quedlinburg were compiled there; the first abbess was a granddaughter of King Henry and St. Matilda; the Quedlinburg castle complex, founded by King Henry I and built up by Emperor Otto I in 936, was an imperial Pfalz of the Saxon emperors. The Pfalz, including the male convent, was in the valley, where today the Roman Catholic Church of St. Wiperti is situated, while the women's convent was located on the castle hill. In 973, shortly before the death of Emperor Otto I, a Reichstag was held at the imperial court in which Mieszko, duke of Polans, Boleslav, duke of Bohemia, as well as numerous other nobles from as far away as Byzantium and Bulgaria, gathered to pay homage to the emperor. On the occasion, Otto the Great introduced his new daughter-in-law Theophanu, a Byzantine princess whose marriage to Otto II brought hope for recognition and continued peace between the rulers of the Eastern and Western empires.
In 994, Otto III granted the right of market and coining, established the first market place to the north of the castle hill. The town became a member of the Hanseatic League in 1426. Quedlinburg Abbey disputed the independence of the town, which sought the aid of the Bishopric of Halberstadt. In 1477, Abbess Hedwig, aided by her brothers Ernest and Albert, broke the resistance of the town and expelled the bishop's forces. Quedlinburg was forced to leave the Hanseatic League and was subsequently protected by the Electorate of Saxony. Both town and abbey converted to Lutheranism in 1539 during the Protestant Reformation. In 1697, Elector Frederick Augustus I of Saxony sold his rights to Quedlinburg to Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg for 240,000 thalers. Quedlinburg Abbey contested Brandenburg-Prussia's claims throughout the 18th century, however; the abbey was secularized in 1802 during the German Mediatisation, Quedlinburg passed to the Kingdom of Prussia as part of the Principality of Quedlinburg.
Part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia from 1807–13, it was included within the new Prussian Province of Saxony in 1815. In all this time, ladies ruled Quedlinburg as abbesses without "taking the veil"; the last of these ladies was a Swedish princess, an early fighter for women's rights, Sofia Albertina. During the Nazi regime, the memory of Henry I became a sort of cult, as Heinrich Himmler saw himself as the reincarnation of the "most German of all German" rulers; the collegiate church and castle were to be turned into a shrine for Nazi Germany. The Nazi Party tried to create a new religion; the cathedral was closed during the war. The local crematory was kept busy burning the victims of the Langenstein-Zwieberge concentration camp. Georg Ay was local party chief from 1931 until the end of the war. Liberation in 1945 brought back the Protestant bishop and the church bells, the Nazi-style eagle was taken down from the tower. During the last months of World War II, the United States military had occupied Quedlinburg.
In the 1980s, upon the death of one of the US military men, the theft of medieval art from Quedlinburg came to light. Quedlinburg was administered within Bezirk Halle while part of the Communist East Germany from 1949 to 1990, it became part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt upon German reunification in 1990. During Quedlinburg's Communist era, restoration specialists from Poland were called in during the 1980s to carry out repairs on the old architecture. Today, Quedlinburg is a center of restoration of Fachwerk houses; the town is located north of the Harz mountains, about 123 m above NHN. The nearest mountains reach 181 m above NHN; the largest part of the town is located in the western part of the Bode river valley. This river comes from the Harz mountains and flows into the river Saale, a tributary of the river Elbe; the municipal area of Quedlinburg is 120.42 square kilometres. Before the incorporation of the two municipalities of Gernrode and Bad Suderode in January 2014 it was only 78.14 square kilometres.
Quedlinburg has a oceanic climate resulting from prevailing westerlies, blowing from the high-pressure area in the central Atlantic towards Scandinavia. Snowfall occurs every winter. January and February are the coldest months of the year, with an average temperature of 0.5 °C and 1.5 °C. July and August are the hottest months, with an average temperature of 17 °C and 18 °C; the average annual precipitation is close t
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 927, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were united by Æthelstan. In 1016, the kingdom became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway; the Norman conquest of England in 1066 led to the transfer of the English capital city and chief royal residence from the Anglo-Saxon one at Winchester to Westminster, the City of London established itself as England's largest and principal commercial centre. Histories of the kingdom of England from the Norman conquest of 1066 conventionally distinguish periods named after successive ruling dynasties: Norman 1066–1154, Plantagenet 1154–1485, Tudor 1485–1603 and Stuart 1603–1714. Dynastically, all English monarchs after 1066 claim descent from the Normans; the completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown.
Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. From the 1340s the kings of England laid claim to the crown of France, but after the Hundred Years' War and the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses in 1455, the English were no longer in any position to pursue their French claims and lost all their land on the continent, except for Calais. After the turmoils of the Wars of the Roses, the Tudor dynasty ruled during the English Renaissance and again extended English monarchical power beyond England proper, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in 1542. Henry VIII oversaw the English Reformation, his daughter Elizabeth I the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, meanwhile establishing England as a great power and laying the foundations of the British Empire by claiming possessions in the New World. From the accession of James VI and I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland.
Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into civil war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament; this concept became established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its successor state the United Kingdom, functioned in effect as a constitutional monarchy. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain; the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning "land of the English", by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the purported homeland of the Angles; the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period. The Latin name was Anglorum terra, the Old French and Anglo-Norman one Angleterre.
By the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for monarchs from Æthelstan until John was Rex Anglorum. Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first to call himself "King of England". In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with occasional use of Rex Anglie. From John's reign onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Regina Anglie. In 1604 James I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, adopted the title King of Great Britain; the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the gradual unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy: East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex and Wessex; the Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, native Anglo-Saxon life in general. The English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, a high king over the other kings. The decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful, it absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825. The kings of Wessex became dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore making Egbert the first king to reign over a united England. In 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he regarded as a turning point in his reign; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that "all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred." Asser added that "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly... and made it habitable once more." Alfred's "restoration"