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Author Topic: Mercenaries in Anglo-Saxon warfare  (Read 4574 times)

Æðelstān

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Mercenaries in Anglo-Saxon warfare
« on: December 28, 2014, 05:29:02 PM »
Hello,
I noticed that a post that was similar to this came up several years ago, but it hadn't really expanded much. I wanted to talk about mercenaries in AS warfare. Regarding Mercenaries, what I mean is that these people are people who are paid to fight, but can fight for anyone and don't have to. Not like in the Fyrd when people were forced to fight and had to pay X amount of money as a forfeit according to Ine's laws: "If a nobleman who holds land neglects military service, he shall pay 120 shillings and forfeit his land; a nobleman who holds no land shall pay 60 shillings; a commoner shall pay a fine of 30 shillings for neglecting military service.". I have heard that Icelandic mercenaries fought for King Æðelstān in the battle of Brunanburh as it says in Egil's Saga about Egil (who was Norwegian but lived in Iceland I believe, correct me if I am wrong) went and fought in a battle that has been identified as Brunanburh. What I wanted to know was really where mercenaries came from, I know there were Danes as they fought in the Battle of Hastings, but I was wondering where else. I suspect, from different kingdoms of England and Frisia and I suspect there may have been Franks as well, as I believe King Egbert was assisted by the Franks, but I don't believe they were mercenaries as such.
Thank You
Æðelstān