and the king usually rewarded the warriors’ services with treasures. As we read in the text, king Harold was the one to succeed Edward. He was Edward’s brother-in-law and son of Earl Godwin, the most influential nobleman of the kingdom. Harold “met with little quiet” during his reign because he faced two threats. His half- brother Earl Tostig, whom he had previously dispossessed and driven out of the country, was supported by the Viking king Hardrada and planning his revenge. At the same time, William of Normandy was getting ready to invade the country. He was
Edward’s cousin, to whom Harold had been obliged to swear an oath recognising him as rightful heir of the English throne after being taken prisoner, an oath he had not respected. Earl Tostig and Hardrada were defeated by king Harold at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in September 1066, which ended the Viking menace in England for good. Right after, in
October 1066, William of Normandy “the Conqueror” defeated the English army at the Battle of Hastings. The poet refers to him as “that William bastard”, as he writes from
the Saxon point of view. The Battle of Hastings and the events that preceded it can be
seen in the work known as the Bayeux Tapestry, made soon after the Norman Conquest.
This is a very important date, that marks the beginning of the Norman conquest and of the Medieval Period for the English, most historians agree.
Another important event of 1066 collected in the annals entry is the appearance of the
comet star Halley, which cyclically crosses the sky every 67 years. For the Saxons, it
was a mysterious object which unchained wonder and superstitions. It is also
remarkable how the dates are expressed in a co-existence of the Roman calendar
(calendas) and Christian calendar.