Reign of Aldfrith ends today

14 Dec 2020  Mon

Aldfrith was king of Northumbria reigning from 685 until his death. He is described by early writers as a man of great learning. Some of his works and some letters written to him survive. His reign was relatively peaceful, marred only by disputes with Bishop Wilfrid, a major figure in the early Northumbrian church.

Aldfrith was born to Oswiu of Northumbria and an Irish princess named Fin. Oswiu later became King of Northumbria; he died in 670 and was succeeded by his son Ecgfrith. Aldfrith was educated for a career in the church and became a scholar. However, in 685, when Ecgfrith was killed at the battle of Nechtansmere, Aldfrith was recalled to Northumbria, reportedly from the Hebridean island of Iona, and became king.

In his early-8th-century account of Aldfrith's reign, Bede states that he "ably restored the shattered fortunes of the kingdom, though within smaller boundaries". His reign saw the creation of works of Hiberno-Saxon art such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Codex Amiatinus, and is often seen as the start of Northumbria's golden age.

Depicted here is a silver coin of Aldfrith of Northumbria (686–705). The obverse of a coin depicts pellet-in-annulet, on the other hand, the reverse of a coin depicts Lion with forked tail standing left.

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