Category: 9th Century

Categories: Time Periods

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Ninth Century CE, i.e. 801 to 900


Britain continued to endure a great Viking influx during the 9th century, extending from the previous century. The kingdoms of the Heptarchy were gradually conquered by Danes, who installed and puppeteered Anglo-Saxon rulers in each kingdom. Invasion was carried by a huge military known as the Great Heathen Army, supposedly led by:

  • Ivar the Boneless,
  • Halfdan Ragnarsson
  • and Guthrum.

In 865, the Great Heathen Army first arrived in East Anglia. After conquering that kingdom, they captured York (Jorvik), and set up the kingdom of Jorvik. The Danes went on to subjugate the kingdom of Northumbria, and take all but the western portion of Mercia. Heptarchy was the only remaining kingdom of Wessex.

Alfred the Great maintained Wessex. He pushed back the Viking incursions, and relieved neighboring kingdoms from the Danish threat, following his victory at the Battle of Ethandun in 878. He re-established Anglo-Saxon rule over the western half of Mercia. The introduction of Danelaw divided Mercia in half, giving control of the eastern portion to the Danes.


Affected by Viking expansion across the North Sea, extensive raids were carried out along the Iris coast. This resulted in permanent settlements, like Dublin in 841. West coast monasteries were targeted for their rich loot. During these raids, Vikings set up temporary camps, the Irish called longphorts. As such, this period of coastal raids is known as the longphort phase. after these particular types of settlements.

In the 9th century, Ireland was organized by tuatha, an amalgam of small kingdoms. At times, they grouped and ruled by a sole, provincial ruler. If a ruler's authority was maintained over a portion of these tuatha, he was sometimes granted the title of High King (see High King of Ireland).


Scotland also endured significant Viking incursions during this period. Vikings established themselves in coastal regions, usually in northern Scotland, and northern islands such as Orkney and Shetland.

Viking invasion and settlement contributed to collapse of Pictish kingdoms inhabiting most of Scotland. Not only were Pict realms destroyed or severely weakened, the Viking agenda may have caused the movement of Kenneth MacAlpin, king of Dál Riata.

The kingdom of Dál Riata was on the western coast of Scotland. According to the Annals of Ulster, it was destroyed by Viking incursions after the death of its previous king, Áed mac Boanta in 839. This may have led to Kenneth MacAlpin's eastern move to conquer remnants of the Pictish domain. In 843, MacAlpin became king of the Picts. Later kings were titled: King of Alba or King of Scots. (1)

Significant people

Adi Sankara
Alfonso III of Asturias, king of Asturias, Galicia and León.
Alfred the Great
Arnulf of Carinthia
Árpád, Grand Prince of the Magyars
Basil I the Macedonian (Βασίλειος Α') (811–886), ruled (867)–(886)
Boris I of Bulgaria
Empress Irene of Athens
Clement of Ohrid
Harald I of Norway
Harun al-Rashid
Krum, Khan of Bulgaria
Kenneth I of Scotland
Louis the Pious
Ordoño I of Asturias, King of Asturias
Pope Johanna
Simeon I of Bulgaria
Saints Cyril and Methodius

Person Profiles (37)


19 Sep 866 Constantinople - 11 May 912 photo


abt 844 France - aft 870 photo


abt 792 - 14 Dec 872 photo
Rome, Papal States - Jun 913 photo
abt 840 - 30 Jul 903 photo
- 17 Apr 858 photo
abt 806 Rome, Papal States - Apr 896 photo
Rome, Papal States - 27 Aug 827 photo
abt 816 Rome, Papal States - 04 Apr 896 photo
- 16 Dec 882 photo
Rome, Papal States - 25 Jan 844 photo
Rome, Papal States - 07 Sep 885 photo
abt 790 Rome, Papal States - 17 Jul 855 photo

D cont.

880 Rome, Papal States - 12 Feb 929 photo
Rome, Papal States - 816 photo
abt 800 Rome, Papal States - 13 Nov 867 photo
Rome, Papal States - 27 Jan 847 photo
- Feb 931 photo
abt 770 Rome, Papal States - 24 Jan 817 photo
Rome, Papal States - 14 Sep 891 photo
abt 840 Rome, Papal States - 898 photo
Rome, Papal States - 10 Oct 827 photo


abt 864 Flanders, Nord, France - 10 Sep 918 photo
837 Oost-Vlaanderen, Flanders, Belgium - 02 Jan 879 photo


Gallese, Italy - 15 May 884 photo
Gallese, Italy - 897 photo


Rome, Papal States - 11 Feb 824 photo
abt 850 Mercia, England - 05 Dec 902 photo


abt 975 Northumbria, England - 1016


Priapi, Ardea, Papal States - Sep 903 photo


860 - 14 Apr 911 photo


Sabina, Papal States - Mar 914 photo


Tivoli, Papal States - 900 photo
Tossignano, Papal States - 28 May 928 photo


849 Wantage, Berkshire, Wessex, England - 26 Oct 899 photo


Byzantium - May 899

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