King of England
Tomb of Athelstan
Reign2 August 924–27 October 939
Bornc. 894
BirthplaceWessex, England
Died27 October 939
Place of deathGloucester, England
SuccessorEdmund I
Britain in Athelstan's time

Athelstan or Æthelstan, (893/4–27 October 939), called the Glorious, was the first King of England.[1][2] He reigned from 924 to 939. He was the son of King Edward the Elder. Athelstan's reign is sometimes overlooked but it was of great importance to political developments in the 10th century.

Athelstan was the son of Edward the Elder, and grandson of Alfred the Great. His father succeeded, after some difficulty, to the Kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons formed by Alfred. His father had also been the King of Mercia. When Edward died Athelstan quickly became King of Mercia but he was not immediately accepted as King of England. His brother, Ælfweard, had more support in England but died soon after Edward. This made it easier for Athelstan to become king.

For Athelstan it was very important to have many allies. A year after his crowning he married one of his sisters to the Viking King of Northumbria, Sithric.[3] However, Sithric died only a year later, and Athelstan seized Northumbria. This move made him king of more land than any other before him, roughly the same as modern England. Historical records indicate that the other rulers in Great Britain accepted him as king at Bamburgh around this time.[2]

Athelstan died at Gloucester in 939 and was succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund I.

  • references


  1. Short Athelstan biography on the BBC History website
  2. 2.0 2.1 Higham, Kingdom of Northumbria, pp. 186–190; Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, pp. 339–340; Woolf, Pictland to Alba, pp.148–151; Swanton, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, pp. 105 & 107, Ms. D, s.a. 925, 926, Ms. E, F, s.a. 927.
Other Languages
العربية: أثيلستان
تۆرکجه: اتلستن
Bân-lâm-gú: Æthelstan
беларуская: Этэльстан
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Этэльстан
български: Етелстан
català: Etelstan
čeština: Ethelstan
Cymraeg: Athelstan
eesti: Athelstan
English: Æthelstan
español: Athelstan
Esperanto: Adelstano
فارسی: اتلستن
français: Æthelstan
한국어: 애설스탠
հայերեն: Էթելսթան
हिन्दी: ऍथलस्टैन
Bahasa Indonesia: Ethelstan
ქართული: ათელსტანი
latviešu: Etelstans
Lëtzebuergesch: Athelstan
lietuvių: Atelstanas
norsk nynorsk: Adalstein av England
polski: Athelstan
română: Athelstan
русский: Этельстан
Scots: Athelstan
slovenčina: Athelstan
српски / srpski: Етелстан Сјајни
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ethelstan Sjajni
suomi: Athelstan
Türkçe: Athelstan
українська: Етельстан