Alfred the Great

(849-Oct. 26, 899). Saxon king and patron of the church. He was born in Wantage, Berkshire, England. He became King of Wessex in 871, and spent most of his time fighting the invading Danes. He was able to halt their invasion and secure the southern part of England for the English. Alfred defeated the Danish leader Guthrum in 878 and persuaded him to be baptized as a Christian. He and other scholars translated such Latin works as the "Dialogues" and "Pastoral Rule" of Pope Gregory the Great, the "Consolations" of Boethius, the "History" of Orosius, and the "Soliloquies" of Augustine. Alfred is remembered primarily for promoting ecclesiastical reform and for the revival of learning. He alone, of all the English rulers, has been called "the Great." Alfred died in Winchester. He is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Oct. 26.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.