Brunan burh
Morphological Analysis
Wordclass: Noun
Gender: Feminine
In the OE text, the length is:indicated by acute accentsindicated by macronsnot indicated.
Brunan burh
gen. Brunan burge; dat. Brunan byrig; f. Brunanburh, about five miles south-west of Durham, or on the plain between the river Tyne and the Browney, Dr. Guest properly writes 'round Brunanburh;' v. example 1; Brunæ castellum. [Brunan burh is a pure Anglo-Saxon word, and signifies the castle of Bruna, though in a charter of Athelstan, dated 978, the year after the battle, it is called Bruninga feld, the plain of the Brunings, or the descendants of Bruna, as -ing denotes, v. -ing,—'Acta est hæc præfata donatio anno ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi DCCCCXXXVIII, in quo anno bellum factum est in loco qui Bruninga feld dicitur, ubi Anglis victoria data est de cælo,' Th. Diplm. 186, 34-37; Cod. Dipl. 374; A.D. 938; Kmbl. ii. 210, 33-37. Brunanburh was written by Ingulf, in A.D. 1109, Brunford: Hunt. in 1148, Brumesburh, Brunesburih, Brunesburh, Bruneburh: Hovd. in 1204, Brunnanbyrg, Brumenburh; Brom. in 1330, Brunneburyh.] As the exact place cannot be determined by the name of any large town now existing, it is necessary to enter into the history of the battle, and thus ascertain its most probable locality.—Sihtric, king of Northumbria, which then extended from the Humber to the Frith of Forth [v. Angle], was son of Ingwar, and grandson of Ragnar Lodbrog. Sihtric was baptized and married Athelstan's sister in A.D. 925. He soon put away his wife, and renounced Christianity. Athelstan prepared to attack him for rejecting his sister, but Sihtric died, when Anlaf his son fled to Ireland, and Athelstan added Northumbria to his dominions. All the leaders of the Anglo-Danes and the Welsh were jealous of the increasing power of Athelstan, and combined against him. Anlaf, king of Dublin, commenced the fray by sailing from Ireland with 615 ships, containing about 100 men each, making more than 61,000 men: with this force he entered the Humber. He was joined by the Anglo-Danes, by the Welsh, and by Constantine, his father-in-law, the king of the Scots. Athelstan completely routed the immense army brought against him about Brunanburh, and became the first king of England. Alfred the Great was king over all the Anglo-Saxons, but by this complete victory Athelstan becamethe undisputed king over all England [Engla land, q. v.] — The locality of Brunanburh has not yet been determined. It appears to me, it must be north of Beverley, as Athelstan is reported by Ingulf to have visited the tomb of St. John at Beverley, and to have placed his dagger on the altar, making a vow that if victory was granted to him, he would redeem it at a worthy price. The credibility of this story has been questioned; but, whatever doubt may remain, it proves that in the time of Ingulf, A. D. 1109, there was a general impression that Athelstan marched north of Beverley to oppose his invaders, and that, after the victory in the north, on returning to the south, he redeemed his pledge at Beverley by granting many privileges. Anlaf, collecting the remnant of his conquered army, could have no difficulty in returning to his ships in the Humber, as he had to pass through the country of the Anglo-Danes, his friends, and subjects of his late father. — Now all this history indicates that Anlaf marched north to unite his army with that of his father-in-law, Constantine, king of the Scots. Athelstan followed him, and their forces met about Brunanburh. I think it was on the west of Durham. I am led to this conclusion by these facts relating to the battle, and by the Feodarium Prioratus Dunelmensis, published by the Surtees Society, vol. lviii, in 1872. There is a plain between the rivers Wear and Browney [Brunan eá], and west of Durham, well adapted for a great battle. We find, in the present day, east and west Brandon [Brunan dún] and Brandon castle, the property of Viscount Boyne. There is still the river Browney [Brunan eá]. In the Feod. Dunelmen. compiled about A. D. 1430, we find the name of a river, of persons, and of places mentioned on the west of Durham. We have 'Ultra aquam de Wer usque ad aquam de Brun,' pref. p. lv: p. 192, note. 'De Brune,' 192, 193, note: 194, note. 'Petro de Brandone,' p. 180, note. 'Petrus de Brandone,' 200, note. On looking at the map of the learned Bishop Gibson, in his Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 4to. 1692, I find he is of my opinion, that Brunanburh was north of Beverley. I cannot, however, discover why he places it to the north of Northumbria. For the reasons I have stated, I believe it was to the south-west of Lurham. — Dr. Guest, Master of Caius College, Cambridge, in his excellent work, A History of English Rhythms, 8vo. 1838, gives the following account of this battle, — 'In the year 937, was fought the battle of Brunanburh — a battle, that involved more important interests than any, that has ever yet been fought within this Island. It was indeed a battle between races. . . . Round the banner of Athelstan were ranged one hundred thousand Englishmen, and before them was the whole power of Scotland, of Wales, of Cumberland, and of Ireland under Anlaf, king of Dublin, led on by sixty thousand Northmen. The song, which celebrated the victory, is worthy of the effort that gained it. This song is found in all the copies of the Chronicle, but with considerable variations. Price collated three of them: The Dunstan MS. Tib. A. VI; the Abingdon, Tib. B. I; and the Worcester, Tib. B. IV. I have taken copies from all these MSS, and also from the Plegmund MS. in Ben'et Library. The Dunstan MS. appears to be by far the most correct transcript of the four. Price formed a text, so as best to suit the convenience of translation. The result might have been foreseen, and is such as little encourages imitation. I shall rather give the text, as it is found in one of these copies — the Dunstan MS. v. Chr. 937; Th. 200, col. 2. Not a word need be altered, to form either good sense or good poetry,' vol. ii. pp. 60, 61. In Mr. Earle's Chronicle, 8vo. 1865, p. 113, note x, are some excellent remarks on this song. — Dr. Guest has arranged the lines according to his system of Rhythm. I have arranged them according to the Anglo-Saxon punctuation, as in the article Beówulf. Dr. Guest's text is given within brackets, when the general orthography, or the word, seemed to require alteration
Hér, DCCCCXXXVII,Now, A. D. 937,
Æðelstán cing,Athelstan king,
eorla drihten,of earls the lord,
beorna beág-gifa,of barons the bracelet-[beigh-] giver,
and his bróðor eác,and his brother also [eke],
Eádmund æðeling,Edmund the prince [etheling],
ealdor langne tírelders a long train [tire]
geslógan æt sæcce [sake],slew in battle,
sweorda ecggum,with sword-edges,
embe Brunan burh.round Brunanburh.
Gst. Rthm. ii. 60, 26-62, 3.
Ðǽr læg secg manig,There lay many a soldier,
gárum forgrunden, —by the darts brought low, —
guman norþerne,northern men,
ofer scyld sceoten,over shield shot,
swylce Scyttisc eácso also [eke] the Scotchman's
wérig wígges sǽd. wretched war-spawn.
Gst. Rthm. ii. 64, 1-4.
Fífe lágonFive lay
on ðæm campstede —on that battle-field [war-stead]
ciningas geongeyouthful kings
sweordum aswefede;sword-silenced;
swilce seofone eácso also seven
eorlas Ánláfes,earls of Anlaf,
unrím herges —a host of the robber-band —
flotan and Scotta.shipmen and Scots.
Gst. Rthm. ii. 64, 14-18.
Gewitan him ðá NorþmenWent [gan] then the Northmen
nægled-cnearrum —in their nailed barks —
[dreórig daroða láf[the darts' sad leavings
on dynges mere]on the noisy sea]
ofer deóp wæter,over deep water,
Dyflen séceanDublin [Dyflen]
eft Iraland.Ireland [the land of the Ire] to seek once more.
Gst. Rthm. ii. 66, 19-22.
Ne wearþ wæl máreWas no greater carnage
on ðísum [ðys] églandeever yet,
ǽfre gyta, . . . within this island, . . .
syððan eástan, hidersince from the east, hither
Engle and Sexanup came
upp becóman.Angles and Saxons [Engle and Sexe].
Gst. Rthm. ii. 68, 10-15.
Hér, A. D. 937, Æðelstán cyning lǽdde fyrde to Brunan byrig in this year, A. D. 937, king Athelstan led an army to Brunanburh, Chr. 937; Th. 201, 25-27, col. 2.
Hér, A. D. 937, Æðelstán [Æðestan MS.] cing and Eádmund his bróðer lǽdde fyrde to Brunan byrig [MS. Brunan byri]; and ðár gefeht wið Ánláfe [MS. Anelaf]; and, Criste fultumegende, sige hæfde in this year, A. D. 937, king Athelstan and Edmund his brother led an army to Brunanburh: and there fought against Anlaf; and, Christ aiding, they had victory, Chr. 937; Erl. 113, 2-4.
This is a supplementary entry with editorial changes to an entry in the main volume of the dictionary. Look under the 'Possibly connected entries' below, or for the same headword in the list to the left.

A Combined List of Abbreviations.

Abbreviation not recognized. See:

A Combined List of Abbreviations.