Timelines to Visualize History

A Project by the Department of Medieval English Literature and Historical Linguistics, University of Düsseldorf

Begin End Event Description Keywords Related Events
600 850

Heptarchy

From the 7th to the 9th century, there was no political unity in England and the changing overlordship divided the land in to seven kingdoms. These kingdoms were Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Wessex, Sussex and Kent.

There was yet no political unity in England and there was a changing overlordship in Britain. From the end of the 7th to the 9th centuries, there were seven kingdoms in England and the term heptarchy, deriving from the greek hepta meaning "seven" and arkho "to rule", refers to this period. These seven kingdoms were Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Wessex, Sussex and Kent.

The kings of Northumbria claimed overlordship in the 7th century, which is called 'The Golden Age' of Northumbrian culture and rule. In the course of the 8th century, Mercia extended its dominion to the south; the reign of the well known King Offa (757-796), who cultivated relationship with Charlemagne, may be called the climax of the history of Mercian supremacy.

Wessex acquired an outstanding position of its own from the early 9th century to the middle of the tenth, when the West Saxon kings were accepted as kings of England; the first and one of the most famous at that was King Alfred (the Great) whose reign was connected with a new threat of invasion: the Viking raids began to trouble Western Europe and England as well.
History, Old English Period, Political, Kings + Rulers