The witan functioned as the privy council of the Anglo-Saxon kings. The proto-parliamentary model of the witan was exalted in English nationalistic discourse of the eighteenth century, but the actual extent of their political power remains uncertain – not unlike the historical community today. This list features other blogs in the online community on medieval history in its various shapes and forms. A summarised version of this list can also be found on the left sidebar.
The Heroic Age: http://www.heroicage.org/index.php
A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe:
Jonathan Jarrett is an early medievalist whose research scatters across Western Europe, from the Picts in Scotland to the Iberian Peninsula. Excellently erudite without compromising on the unmissable British sense of humour.
Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic:
The Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic in the University of Cambridge runs blog alongside their official website. The blog discusses new developments in their areas of interest, such as recent research projects and conference reports.
Bones Don’t Lie:
Bones Don’t Lie, or BDL, is maintained by Katy, who is a current PhD student at Michigan State University. She specialises in the study of mortuary and bioarchaeology, an area which has piqued my interest since I was first exposed to the scientific analysis of Anglo-Saxon burials in my undergrad years.
Named after the site of King Oswald of Northumbria’s triumph over Caedwallon, Heavenfield is maintained by Michelle, who writes extensively about early medieval England and Ireland in various areas. Probably closest to this blog in terms of content and subject interest.
Historian on the Edge:
The self-proclaimed ‘enfant terrible’ of history with an ‘off-beat sense of humor’, the Historian on the Edge teaches at ‘Poppleton University’ in the North of England – a place close to my heart for various reasons. A great resource for primary sources on early medieval Europe and good humour all round.
Medieval History Geek:
A ‘medieval halfway house’ between scholarly erudition and curious casual interest in medieval Europe, The Medieval History Geek is an extremely readable blog on a smattering of subjects from across the period. Much appreciated for the humility of posting a list of ‘Amateur Tips’ to help an early researcher like me.
Due to my interest in demons (purely academic, of course), Prof Karen Jolly has appeared in a fair number of my readings. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that she also has an academic blog! One of the intellectual trailblazers in the field of medieval magic, and one whose coattails I am not ashamed to cling onto.
In an ideal world, everyone who wants to pursue a PhD would simply trot off to the nearest institution and do it. Unfortunately, an ideal world this is not. For that reason, I recommend Robert’s blog – not only as a mark of camaraderie with a fellow scholar-to-be, but also for his broad, interdisciplinary approach to early medieval Britain.