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The Age of ConquestWales 1063-1415$
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R. R. Davies

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208785

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208785.001.0001

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Wales and the Welsh

Wales and the Welsh

(p.3) Chapter 1 Wales and the Welsh
The Age of Conquest

R. R. Davies

Oxford University Press

The history of Wales during the medieval period is the subject of this book. It behooves one, therefore, at the outset, to ask two fundamental questions: what was Wales? and how meaningful is it to discuss its history as that of a single country and a single people? The answer to the first of these questions is rather less straightforward than might be expected. The sea, of course, provided a natural frontier for Wales to the north, south, and west. Even on its eastern, landward side certain natural boundaries seemed to demarcate clearly the extent of the country in places: the Dee estuary in the north, the Severn valley for a few miles near Buttington, and above all in the south-east the river Wye, which King Athelstan (according to William of Malmesbury) had designated as the boundary between his kingdom and that of the Welsh in the early tenth century.

Keywords:   medieval period, Wales, natural frontier, Dee estuary, Severn valley, Buttington, river Wye, King Athelstan, Welsh

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