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Name: Joshua Neal

PhD: Place-names.

Thesis Title: Essex and the Danelaw: the place-name evidence in context.


Thesis Description:

This thesis will investigate the status of Essex as part of the Danelaw and the extent of Scandinavian influence within the county, using place-names as historical evidence where traditional textual evidence is limited.

Essex is traditionally considered as part of the Danelaw following the treaty between Alfred, King of Wessex, and Guthrum, the 'Viking' leader. Contemporary texts are Wessex-focused and sparse, but may suggest a less clearcut situation: the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, for example, tells us that Edward the Elder expelled the Danes from Colchester in AD 917.

The county's place-names, on the other hand, are ubiquitous and, although complex evidence, provide the opportunity to assess the level of Scandinavian influence. This project will not only analyse major place-names across the county, but also examine field- and minor names (before AD 1350) within case-study areas.


Supervisors and Institution(s): Dr Jayne Carroll (University of Nottingham); Dr John Baker (University of Nottingham)


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