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Patterns of Power in Early Wales$
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Wendy Davies

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198201533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198201533.001.0001

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(p.9) 2. Concepts
Patterns of Power in Early Wales

Wendy Davies

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the concepts of power in use in sixth- to eleventh-century Wales, and ideas about it. It describes a great variety of ruler terms and examines they ways in which they are used in the early middle ages. The notions of rule and rulers existed in early medieval Wales from the terms available for rulers and from their context of use. The use of the word rex or ‘king’ is predominant, and where rex is not used, the numerically significant exceptions are of two types: first, dux in the singular, ‘duke’ or ‘leader’, is used specifically to designate English royal officers and also some other people with a military following; the second type of alternative Latin usage involves worlds like seniores, meliores, and optimates, in the plural, ‘elders’ or ‘worthies’.

Keywords:   power, rulers, rex, king, dux, duke, leader, seniors, meliores, optimates

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