Date of Award


Document Type



College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Thesis Advisor

Gregory Bell

Committee Member

Josephine Koster

Committee Member

Jason H. Silverman


Vikings, Conquests of England, Anglo-Saxon, Heathen invasion, Early Medieval, Danegeld


In the year 865 CE, a coalition of Viking forces combined to form an army aimed at the conquest and settlement of England. Known as The Great Heathen Army, these Vikings managed to capture most of the territory that today constitutes England with the notable exception of the English kingdom of Wessex. And so, despite many successes, they failed to conquer all of English territory. Though these events, which transpired throughout the 860s and 870s, are well documented, the Viking perspective is rarely taken into account and there has yet to have been an argument that pinpoints how and why the Great Army was defeated. The purpose of this thesis will be to determine why the great army failed in their attempt to conquer all of the lands that belonged to the Anglo-Saxons.