Institute for Name-Studies

Josh Neal receives AHRC Midlands3Cities PhD funding

Essex and the Danelaw: the place-name evidence in context

Congratulations to Josh Neal, who will be beginning a PhD project next academic year funded by the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. In Josh’s words:

“This project will investigate the status of Essex as part of the Danelaw and the extent of Scandinavian influence within the county, using place-names as historical evidence where traditional textual evidence is limited.

Essex is traditionally considered as part of the Danelaw, following the treaty between Alfred, King of Wessex, and Guthrum, the Viking leader. Contemporary texts are Wessex-focused and sparse, but may suggest a less clearcut situation: the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, for example, tells us that Edward the Elder expelled the Danes from Colchester in AD 917.

The county’s place-names, on the other hand, are ubiquitous and, although complex evidence, provide the opportunity to assess the level of Scandinavian influence. This project will not only analyse major place-names across the county, but also examine field- and minor names (before AD 1350) within case study areas.”


Posted on Thursday 8th June 2017

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