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Alfred the Great

King of Wessex (r.871-99). His main achievement was the successful defense of the kingdom against the Vikings; he defeated Guthrum at Edington in 878, laying the foundation for a unified English kingdom. Alfred's success was underpinned by reform of Anglo-Saxon military resources and the building of defensive fortifications. In his last decade he devoted himself to a revival of learning by importing scholars to his court.

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