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Encyclopedia > Byrhtnoth

Byrhtnoth (Byrhtno■, also spelled Byrhtno­, Byrihtno­, Brihtno■, Beorhtno■, Beorhtno­, Baeorhtno­), Anglo-Saxon name, composed of beorht 'bright' and noth 'courage'. Name of the leader of the Anglo-Saxon defence force in the Battle of Maldon in 991.




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The Battle of Maldon (1586 words)
A great deal of critical discussion of the poem in the past fifty years or so has been devoted to arguing whether the poem views Byrhtnoth as blameworthy for his action.
Tolkien argued that this meant that Byrhtnoth should have yielded no land at all to the Vikings.
Probably Byrhtnoth's chief residence; possibly Maldon itself (Gordon).
Battle of Maldon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1057 words)
A source from the 12th century, Liber Eliensis, written by the monks at Ely, suggests that Byrhtnoth had only a few men to command: "he was neither shaken by the small number of his men, nor fearful of the multitude of the enemy".
Another argument is that the poem is an elegy on a terrible loss and that the monastic author pinpoints the cause of the defeat in the commander's sin of pride.
The death of Byrhtnoth, an ealdorman of Essex, was recorded in four versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
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