cnut

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What the English alphabet used to look like

A new video from Tom Scott, who you may remember from his previous series of linguistics videos, on the evolution of the English alphabet from this:

ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVXYZ&⁊ǷÞÐÆ

to this:

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

I had to double-check what he said about eth (Ð,ð) and thorn (Þ,þ) being interchangeable for voiceless and voiced versions of the same sound, since I’d assumed that since /ð/ is voiced in the IPA it also was in Old English, but I’m happy to say he’s right! 

More on Old English, including sample texts (Beowulf, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Charter of Cnut) at Wikipedia

This is Cnut the Great (c. 985 or 995 – 12 November 1035), also known as Canute, king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden. Henry of Huntingdon, the 12th-century chronicler, tells how Cnut set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes. Yet “continuing to rise as usual [the tide] dashed over his feet and legs without respect to his royal person. Then the king leapt backwards, saying: “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.” He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again “to the honour of God the almighty King”.

This map shows the possessions of the Scandinavian king Cnut the Great (995-1035 AD). The empire that he reigned over, which included  nearly all of England, Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden, was the only time in known history that there has been a true ‘North Sea Empire’, a term attributed by historians to refer to Cnut’s realms. 

I also apologise to any dyslexics who have misread hisname ;-)

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Cruden Bay celebrates 11th century battle

Cruden Bay ( In gaelic Croch Dan-The slaughter of the Danes) The battle, which  was fought in 1012 saw Malcolm II, King of Scots meet a Viking army under the generalship of Cnut, son of Sven Forkbeard of Denmark. After a long and bloody fight, the Danes agreed to withdraw, the dead were buried and the first chapel was established in the area, dedicated to St Olaf of Norway.  The  photos are of the re-enactment of a long ship burial in Cruden Bay this year to celebrate 1000 years since the battle.Malcolm II, recognised as one of Scotland’s most accomplished Dark Age kings, was the grandfather of both Kings Duncan and Macbeth of Shakespearean fame.

This coin was pressed in England during the reign of Canute the Great (also Cnut or Knut), who reigned as king over Denmark, Norway, England, and sections of Sweden during his lifetime. The text “CNUT REX ANGLORUM” means “Canute, King of the English” in Latin.

Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, was related to Cnut by marriage. 

Cnut is known as Knud den Store in Danish and Swedish, Cnut se Micela in Anglo-Saxon, and Knútr inn ríki in Old Norse. 

"There was a man named Cnut, one of the great Viking kings of the 11th century. He wanted his subjects to be aware of his limitations, so he led them down to the sea and he commanded that the tide roll out. It didn’t. Who gave us the notion Presidents rule the economy like a play toy, that we can do anything more than talk it up, or smooth over the rough spots?"