Alfred the Great

Alfred The Great king of England, was born in 849, his parents being Ethelwulf, king of the West Saxons, and Asburga, his first wife. He mounted the throne in 871, and during the thirty years in which he held the reins of government he experienced the greatest vicissitudes of fortune. As king, he was a great benefactor of the Church; he built many monasteries and churches, and founded the University of Oxford, which has been, under God, through all ages, the main support of the true faith in that kingdom. He died Oct. 21 or 28, 901, being little over fifty years old. Besides drawing learned men to his court, Alfred himself was devoted to letters. He translated Boethius, De Consolatione (published by Cordale, London, 1829, 8vo). Several other works are attributed to Alfred; among them,

1. A Saxon Paraphrase of the History of Bede, given in the Cambridge edition of Bede's History (1722, fol.): —

2. Various Laws relating to the Church, contained in the same work (Appendix): —

3. A Saxon Translation of the Liber Pastoralis of St. Gregory (in MS. at Cambridge): —

4. The Psalter of David, partly translated into Saxon (printed at London, with the Latin text, in 1640, 4to): —

5. Anglo-Saxon Translation of Orosius (given at the end of Pauli's "Life of Alfred," in Bohn's Library). He is also said to have translated the Four Dialogues of St. Gregory, which are lost. — Powell, Life of Alfred the Great (Lond. 1634, 12mo); Cave, Hist. Lit. anno 871; Weisz, Geschschte Alfred's (Schaffhausen, 1852, 8vo); Pauli, Life of Alfred (Berl. 1851), trans. by Thorp (Lond. 1853, 12mo).

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