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Dr Ryan Lavelle gained his first degree at Royal Holloway, University of London, and an MA in Medieval Studies at the University of York. He studied for a PhD at Winchester, which he was awarded in 2002. He is currently Reader in Early Medieval History and Convenor of the Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology. Until August 2018 he is the acting Faculty Postgraduate Research Degrees Coordinator.

Areas of expertise

Late Anglo-Saxon political history, especially Wessex



  • Cnut, The North Sea King. Penguin Monarchs Series.
  • Danes in Wessex, the Scandinavian impact on southern England ca 800 - 1100. Edited with Simon Roffey. (Oxford: Oxbow 2015)
  • Alfred's Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age, Warfare in History series (Woodbridge: Boydell 2010)
  • Royal Estates in Anglo-Saxon Wessex: Land, Politics and Family Strategies, British Archaeological Reports British Series 439 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2007)
  • Aethelred II: King of the English, 978 – 1016 (Stroud: Tempus, 2002; revised edition published by the History Press, 2008)
  • Fortifications in Wessex, c.800 – 1066 (Oxford: Osprey, 2003) [64-page booklet]


  • ‘Sous la lumière d’Alfred le Grand ou dans l’obscurité des Vikings? Quelques problèmes et possibilités dans la périodisation de l’histoire anglaise “pre-Conquest”’, in J.-F. Dunyach (ed.) Les âges de Britannia. Repenser l'histoire des mondes britanniques (Moyen Âge-XXIe siècle) (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, forthcoming, 2015)
  • (with Simon Roffey) ‘West Saxons and Danes: negotiating identities in the Early Middle Ages’, in R. Lavelle and S. Roffey (eds) Danes in Wessex: the Scandinavian impact on Southern England, c.800 – c.1100. (Oxford: Oxbow, forthcoming June 2015)
  • ‘Law, death and peacemaking in the “Second Viking Age”: an Ealdorman, his King, and some “Danes” in Wessex’, in R. Lavelle and S. Roffey (eds) Danes in Wessex: the Scandinavian Impact on Southern England, c.800 – c.1100. (Oxford: Oxbow, forthcoming June 2015)
  • ‘Anglo-Saxonists, Æthelred II and a Rolling Millennium — 1978 – 2014, and beyond’, in B. Carella and L. S. Chardonnens (eds), Unræd: intellectual thought and rule in Æthelredian England, special issue of English Studies 95 (2014), 721–32
  • ‘Royal Control and the disposition of estates in tenth-century England: reflections on the Charters of King Eadwig (955 – 959)’, Haskins Society Journal 23 (2014), 23–49
  • ‘Ine 70.1 and royal provision in Anglo-Saxon Wessex’, in G. Owen-Crocker and B. W. Schneider (eds), Kingship, legislation and power in Anglo-Saxon England, publications of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2013), pp 259–73
  • ‘Representing authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle: submission, rebellion and the limits of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, c.899 – 1065’, in J. Dresvina and N. Sparks (eds), Authority and gender in Medieval and Renaissance Chronicles (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012), pp 62–101
  • ‘Campagnes et stratégies des armées anglo-saxonnes pendant l'époque viking’, Médiévales 63 (autumn 2012), 123–44 (Translation, with modifications, of Chapter 5 of Alfred's Wars)
  • ‘Geographies of power in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Royal Estates of Wessex’, in A.D. Jorgensen (ed.), Reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Language, Literature, History, Studies in the Early Middle Ages 23 (Turnhout: Brepols 2010), 187-219
  • ‘The politics of rebellion: The Ætheling Æthelwold and West Saxon Royal Succession, 899-902’, in P. Skinner (ed.), Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: the Legacy of Timothy Reuter, Studies in the Early Middle Ages 22 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2010), 51-80
  • ‘A Territorial Landscape: The Late Anglo-Saxon and Post-Conquest Estates', in B. Cunliffe, The Danebury Environs Roman Programme, Volume 1: Overview (Oxford: Institute of Archaeology, 2008), 133-57
  • ‘The King's Wife and Family Property Strategies: Late Anglo-Saxon Wessex, 871-1066’, Anglo-Norman Studies 29 (2007), 84-99
  • ‘The Use and Abuse of Hostages in Later Anglo-Saxon England’, Early Medieval Europe 13.3 (2006), 269-96 Link available via Blackwell synergy website; please email for a pdf copy.
  • ‘Why Grateley? Reflections on Anglo-Saxon Kingship in a Hampshire Landscape’, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 60 (2005), 154-69
  • ‘All the King’s Men? Land and Royal Service in Eleventh-Century Wessex’, Southern History 26 (2004), 1-37
  • ‘Review Article: Documenting Winchester’s Minsters’, Southern History 26 (2004), 141-50
  • ‘The “Farm of One Night” and the Organisation of Royal Estates in Late Anglo-Saxon Wessex’, Haskins Society Journal 14 (2005 for 2003), 53-82
  • ‘Towards a Political Contextualization of Peacemaking and Peace Agreements in Anglo-Saxon England’, in D. Wolfthal (ed.), Peace and Negotiation: Strategies for Coexistence in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 4 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000), 39-55

Other publications

  • (with Simon Roffey) ‘Introduction: Danes in Wessex’, in R. Lavelle and S. Roffey (eds) Danes in Wessex: the Scandinavian impact on Southern England, c.800 – c.1100. (Oxford: Oxbow, 2015)
  • (with Elton O. S. Medeiros) ‘Entrevista: Estudos Anglo-Saxônicos’, Brathair 12:2 (2012), 149–54.
  • 'The Dark Side of the Anglo-Saxons’, BBC History Magazine 2012, No. 13 (Christmas 2012), 21
  • ‘Fighting the Vikings’, BBC History Magazine 12:1 (January 2011), 22-28.
  • Entries on works concerning King Æthelred II, Earl Godwine of Wessex, King Edward the Martyr and a review of general works on Anglo-Saxon England for D. Loades (ed.), Reader’s Guide to British History (New York and London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003)
  • ‘Ethnic Cleansing in Anglo-Saxon England’ (on the St Brice’s Day Massacre, 1002), BBC History Magazine 3:11 (November 2002), 42-4
  • ‘The Bayeux Tapestry: Images of Battle in the Eleventh Century’, Osprey Military Journal 4:3 (2002), 7-10
  • ‘Æthelwold of Wessex: “King of the Pagans”’, Osprey Military Journal 2:6 (2000), 15-24
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