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Activities of the Great Army

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The Activities of the Great Army in England
865 to 878

The ‘Great Army’ is the name given to the Viking force under the leadership of Halfdan and Ivar that was active in England from 866 to 878

The Name comes from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, which refer to a great heathen army (mycel hæþen here) coming to England. This website shows the progress of the Great Army in England using entries from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and explanatory maps.

It has been noticed that in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles the date at which a new year began can vary, as the modern custom of starting the year on 1 January was not universally used at that time. The entry for 1091 in Manuscript E begins at Christmas and continues through the year. Some other entries, such as 1044 in Manuscript C, begin the year on 25 March, while for some other entries the year begins in September.

Where appropriate on this website, the year of entry has been followed by the actual year. For example: anno 867 (actually 866).

The text of the Chronicles used here is taken from the Online Medieval and Classical Library. You can find the complete text here...

The arrival of the Great Army is recorded under the entry for 866 in Manuscripts A, D and E; and under the entry for 867 in Manuscripts B and C.