[Daily article] April 10: Æthelstan A

Æthelstan A is the name given by historians to an unknown scribe who
drafted charters (example pictured) for land grants made by King
Æthelstan of England between 928 and 935. Providing far more
information than other charters of the period, they contain the date and
place of the grants and an unusually long list of witnesses, including
kings of Wales and occasionally Scotland and Strathclyde. The charters
commence shortly after Æthelstan conquered Northumbria in 927, making
him the first king to rule the whole of England. They give him titles
such as “King of the English” and “King of the Whole of Britain”,
reflecting his claim to a higher status than previous West Saxon kings.
The charters are written in the elaborate hermeneutic style of Latin, a
hallmark of the English Benedictine Reform; the style became dominant in
Anglo-Latin literature in the mid-tenth century. The scribe stopped
drafting charters after 935, and his successors returned to a simpler
style, suggesting that he was working on his own rather than as a member
of a royal scriptorium.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


Mount Tambora in Indonesia began one of the most violent
volcanic eruptions in recorded history, killing at least 71,000 people,
and affecting worldwide temperatures for the next two years.


Big Ben, the bell in the Palace of Westminster’s clock tower in
London, was cast after the original bell had cracked during testing.


The Holocaust: Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler escaped from
Auschwitz; their report was one of the earliest and most detailed
descriptions of the mass killings in the camp.


Nagorno-Karabakh War: At least 40 Armenian civilians were
massacred in Maraga, Azerbaijan.


Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo announced that he had
suspended the constitution and assumed all governance in the country
after it was ruled that the government of Prime Minister Frank
Bainimarama was illegal.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. (regarded by some as nonstandard) To qualify a statement with a caveat
or proviso.
2. (law) To lodge a formal notice of interest in land under a Torrens land-
title system.
3. (law, dated) To issue a notice requesting that proceedings be suspended.
4. (obsolete) To warn or caution against some event.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The true barbarian is he who thinks every thing barbarous but his
own tastes and prejudices.  
–William Hazlitt

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