University of Leicester
2016_DaSilva_RR_PhD.pdf (5.97 MB)

The Aristocracy of Northumbria in the Long Eighth-Century: Production, Circulation, Consumption

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posted on 2017-07-04, 14:39 authored by Renato Rodrigues da Silva
The current thesis is a study of the Northumbrian aristocracy during the Anglo-Saxon period. The main goal of the thesis is to analyse the aristocracy as the ruling social class, trying to understand it with a holistic approach. Therefore, the decision for focusing on production, circulation and consumption is an attempt to cover as many aspects of the aristocratic life as possible. Also, the option for having the three dimensions mentioned on the title of the thesis is to highlight the Marxist perspective from which the thesis is derived. In order to understand the aristocracy as a class, the thesis focused both on the inter-class (mainly with the peasantry) and on the intra-class relations of the ruling class. As the current thesis is a question orientated thesis, the body of evidence used is diverse and heterogeneous. The main written sources used are the Durham Liber Vitae; Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica, Epistola Bede ad Ecgbertvm episcopvm, Historia Abbatvm; Stephen’s Vita sancti Wilfrithi; Æthelwulf's De abbatibus; Symeon of Durham Historia Regum. The main archaeological sources are the sites of Flixborough, West Heslerton and Sherburn; the Coppergate Helmet; Northumbrian coinage; the Bed burial at Loftus, Street House; the stone grave markers of Street House and the namestones of Hartlepool. The main conclusion of the thesis is that the crisis that ended Northumbria as a kingdom was the product of the historical contradictions of the devices of reproduction of the ruling class. The thesis was sponsored by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior).



Story, Joanna; Dyer, Christopher

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Historical Studies

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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