Although usually overshadowed by his grandfather, Alfred the Great, Athelstan was an important Saxon King who consolidated the Saxon Kingdom, brought almost all of England under his control, pushed the Celts back to the borders of Wales and Scotland, and forged important alliances with other Scandinavian and European kingdoms. He is most famous for his victory at the Battle of Brunaburh, where he and his brother Edmund stood against the combined army of their Danish and Scottish enemies. As the Saxon kingdom expanded to gain predominance over most of England, the Celtic and Nordic princes resisted him. By soundly defeating them all in a single blow, Athelstan assured the continuing predominance of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, at a time when, had he failed to hold his realm together, the tenuous unity of the Wessex kingdom may have collapsed.
Athelstan is also notable for marrying off all of his sisters to European and Scandinavian royalty, and serving as foster-father to Hakon, son of Harald Fairhair of Norway. In these ways the Saxon kingdom forged ties and alliances with all of Europe, and the tradition of marrying royalty into foreign royal houses became established.
|Birth of Athelstan|
|Death of Alfred the Great|
|Death of Edward the Elder, Athelstan ascends to the throne.|
|Becomes foster-father of Hakon.|
|Takes over the Danish kingdom of Northumbrian.|
|Obtains submission of Celtic Wales.|
|Destroys the Danish fort at York, and annexed the region to his kingdom.|
|Provided for Hakon of Norway ships to overthrow his half-brother Erik.|
|Invaded Scotland to drive back the Scottish Celts.|
|Athelstan defeats the combined armies of Danes, Scots and Welshmen at Brunaburh.|
|Dies at Gloucester.|
|Children of Kings in||A Child's Book of Warriors by William Canton|
|How King Athelstan Fought at Brunanburgh in||Stories from English History by Alfred J. Church|
|Harald Fairhair in||Stories of the Vikings by Mary MacGregor|
in A Child's Book of Warriors
Carrying Prince Hakon in his arms, Hauk stepped before the King.
in Stories of the Vikings
|United small and scattered tribes of Norway into a kingdom at the bidding of his wife Gyda.|
|Father of Athelstan and son of Alfred the Great. Reigned 899-824|
|Danish-Gallic prince of the Irish Sea and Western Scotland.|
|King of the Scots.|