Bertha of Kent or Saint Aldeberge (539–c.612), queen of Kent. 

Perhaps the most well known of all the pre-Conquest queens, Bertha played a crucial role in the establishment of Christianity in England. She was the daughter of the Christian king, Charibert I of Paris, who insisted that she be free to practise her own religion when she married the pagan king, Æthelbert of Kent.

Bertha crossed the Channel with her chaplain, Bishop Liuthard, and the pair converted an old Roman building into a chapel. She discussed her beliefs with her husband, ensuring that he welcomed the pope’s missionary, St Augustine, when he arrived in 597. She also corresponded directly with the pope, with the pontiff flattering her with comparisons to Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine. She was canonized for her in establishment christianity during this period in Engliash history.

Anglo-Saxon records indicate that Saint Bertha had two children: Eadbald of Kent, and Æthelburg of Kent. Bertha and Æthelbert were buried together inside a Christian church in England’s first Christian kingdom.



The best known Celtic Kingdom

Perhaps the best known kingdom was Dalriada. Originating in Antrim, at its height in the 6th and 7th centuries AD it covered a large part of south-western Scotland and what is today County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

The kingdom disappeared by the time of the Viking invasions.

Perhaps Dalriada’ greatest claim to fame is its association with Saint Columba who was instrumental in spreading Christianity to northern Britain.

The famous book of Kells may well have been produced by Dalriadan monks.
ltic Culture

Celts were organised tribally. At the head of the tribe was the king.

Society was divided into three classes:

the warrior aristocracy
the intellectuals composed of druids, poets, etc.
and everyone else
Women were known for their beauty and there is some evidence where they could wield substantial authority (nothing strange here!).

There is both literary and archaeological confirmation that some women became warriors.

Warfare was common. The soldiers carried a long sword and sometimes a round or hexagonal shield.

Trading was common and abundant among the Celtic tribes with an ancient system of roads transversing the areas of occupation of the main tribes.

Lastly, they wore a long sleeved shirts and trousers which the Romans called braccae.

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