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Edington, battle of

Edington, battle of, 878. After the disaster at Chippenham in January 878, Alfred was reduced for some months to guerrilla warfare from the marshes around Athelney. By May he was ready to attack again and encountered Guthrum's Danes at Edington, near Westbury on the Wiltshire downs. The decisive victory of the Wessex levies forced Guthrum to sue for peace and give hostages. ‘Never before’, wrote Asser proudly, ‘had they made peace with any one on such terms.’ The site of the battle has been disputed and it is sometimes called Ethandun.

J. A. Cannon

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