If you love watching  series you might have come across one called The Last Kingdom. This series  is set in the year 872 when many of the separate kingdoms of what is now known as England have fallen to the invading Danes, leaving Wessex standing alone and defiant under the command of King Alfred. The historical background and insight that the show provides you with is remarkable. While researching the most influential people in the history of the English language, King Alfred/ Alfred the Great came up and I was excited. One of the things that Alfred the Great is known for is that he set about to rebuild and foster the revival of learning, law and religion. He was a strong believer in educating people in vernacular English instead of Latin. In order to do so he personally translated important works into the English language including the Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Some people commemorate him for having single handedly saved the English language from the destruction of Vikings. At the time of his death Alfred the Great had raised the English language to a higher level than any other vernacular language in Europe. Even though the spelling at the time was different to what we now know as English, certain words in Alfred’s work still stick out. This leads me to question the future of English as a dominant language, had the Vikings succeeded in it’s destruction.  Based on the Viking’s reputation regarding education and literacy and plus their disinterest in capturing their own history I think that the language would have seen a lot more struggle and may even have faced possible premature extinction. Possibly never to become the acclaimed language that it is in this present day and age. Let alone travel to the distant shores of Africa.

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