Wessex

(redirected from West Saxon)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to West Saxon: Mercia

Wessex

(wĕs`ĭks), one of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in England. It may have been settled as early as 495 by Saxons under CerdicCerdic
, d. 534, traditional founder of the kingdom of Wessex. A Saxon, he and his son Cynric landed on the southern coast of England in 495. Little is certain about him except that later West Saxon kings traced their descent from him through his son Cynric and his grandson Ceawlin.
..... Click the link for more information.
, who is reputed to have landed in Hampshire. Cerdic's grandson, Ceawlin (560–93), annexed scattered Saxon settlements in the Chiltern Hills and drove the Celts from the region between the upper Thames valley and the lower Severn. But Ceawlin himself was finally expelled from Wessex, and until the end of the 8th cent. the country was overshadowed successively by Kent, Northumbria, and Mercia. King Cædwalla (reigned 685–88) conducted several successful campaigns; and his successor IneIne
, king of Wessex (688–726). In 694 he forced the people of Kent to pay compensation for the murder of a kinsman, and he extended his sway over Sussex and Surrey and probably over Devon.
..... Click the link for more information.
 consolidated the western expansion through Somerset and exacted tribute from Kent. After Ine's death, however, the kingdom relapsed into anarchy. EgbertEgbert,
d. 839, king of Wessex (802–39). His name also appears as Ecgberht. He was descended from Cerdic and was apparently an unsuccessful aspirant for the crown of Wessex against Beohtric (reigned 786–802).
..... Click the link for more information.
 (802–39) became overlord of all England, but his successors were forced to relinquish many of his gains and to concentrate on defending their lands against the invading Danes. With the reign of AlfredAlfred,
849–99, king of Wessex (871–99), sometimes called Alfred the Great, b. Wantage, Berkshire. Early Life

The youngest son of King Æthelwulf, he was sent in 853 to Rome, where the pope gave him the title of Roman consul.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (871–99) and the halting of the Danes, the history of Wessex becomes that of England. In the 10th cent., Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edmund, and Edred gradually acquired firm control over all England, including the Danelaw. This unity ended, however, after the quiet reign of Edgar (959–75), for ÆthelredÆthelred,
965?–1016, king of England (978–1016), called Æthelred the Unready [Old Eng. unrœd=without counsel]. He was the son of Edgar and the half-brother of Edward the Martyr, whom he succeeded.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (978–1016) could offer no effective resistance to the invading Vikings. Canute established Danish rule in 1016. The end of his line caused the recall of Edward the Confessor (1042–66), last of the Wessex line of Alfred. In the novels of Thomas Hardy, Wessex is used to mean the SW counties of England, mainly Dorsetshire.

Wessex

 

an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by the Saxons at the beginning of the sixth century, during the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain. In 740, Wessex came under the dominance of Mercia. In 825, Egbert, the king of Wessex, defeated the Mercians and united under his rule an extensive area of the land thereafter known as England. At the end of the ninth century, however, King Alfred the Great, after a fierce struggle with the Scandinavians, was forced to conclude a treaty dividing the country; the southwest, including Wessex, remained under his rule. In historical literature, Alfred’s reign marks the end of the history of Wessex and the beginning of English history.

Wessex

1
Earl of. See Edward (sense 2)

Wessex

2
1. an Anglo-Saxon kingdom in S and SW England that became the most powerful English kingdom by the 10th century ad
2. 
a. (in Thomas Hardy's works) the southwestern counties of England, esp Dorset
b. (as modifier): Wessex Poems
References in periodicals archive ?
850--c.950), more specifically Early West Saxon AElfred's Boethius, Cura Pastoralis, and Orosius), and six of which (taking in some 300,000 words) represent Late Old English (c.
There was the Beowulf poem which, though not written down in its West Saxon form until several hundred years after the first settlers, bears proof of people now in Britain with a folk memory rooted deeply in events that took place on and around the Swedish mainland in the centuries leading up to the Anglo-Saxon invasions; the language of the poem itself, even at the late stage of writing, contains words still more recognizable in modern Swedish, than in modern English.
With the gradual ascendancy and conquests of Wessex in the 9th and 10th centuries, the king of the West Saxons became the king of the Angelcynn, Angeltheode, or English (Angligenarum, gentisAngligenae, Anglorum), and the tribal kings came to an end.
Perhaps a more likely explanation is that a poet from this area who generally used the conventional forms of the late West Saxon standard orthographic system deviated from the norms of good spelling (as he understood them) and was attracted (probably unconsciously) to non-standard local spellings when representing the words of people he knew to be, or had a particular interest in representing as, local.(7) If so, this clustering of non-West Saxon spellings strengthens rather than diminishes the case for an area of origin for the poem in Essex or the south-east.
A West Saxon by birth and descent, a West Mercian by upbringing and speech he and his people forged England.
They discuss such topics as the polysemy of over in late Middle English verb-particle combinations, word order in West Saxon prose, and information structure and polysynthesis.
Northumbrian Lindisfarne and Rushworth 2, Mercian Rushworth 1, and West Saxon versions in two manuscripts--MSS CCCC 140 and CUL Ii.
Far fewer silver pennies tend to be present from the age of King Offa, towards the end of the eighth century, or the successful West Saxon kings of the earlier ninth century.
More effort in medieval studies goes into manuscript than into language study, and this field is represented by Roy Michael Liuzza's investigation into the audience of the West Saxon Gospels.
Because Latin in corresponds to both in and on in Old English and because on is frequently used in West Saxon in contrast with Anglian in, I expected to find geliefan on in most West Saxon materials and geliefan in especially in glosses.
6 Here the Leiden Riddle departs from the West Saxon version in translating Aldhelm's last line: Ni anoeghn ic me aerighfaerae eghsan brogum | dheh dhi numen siae niudlicae ob coerum ('Nor do I fear, with terror of peril, the arrow-flight, though it be seized eagerly from quivers') (Smith, Three Northumbrian Poems, 46).
Assumptions that a historical Arthur led Welsh resistance to the West Saxon advance from the middle Thames are based on a conflation of two early chroniclers, Gildas and Nennius, and on the Annales Cambriae ("Cambrian Annals") of the late 10th century.