Offa was a king in Mercia mediaeval England. Offa got the throne after a civil war which started with the assassination of Aethelbald. Offa also defeated his competitor, Beornred. He consolidated the territory of Midland and took control over Kent and Sussex, however, it was not easy for him to keep his power over those regions – he could only do that because Kent and Sussex were unstable regions at that time.

By 780, he was able to gain control over the whole southern part of England. He got into conflict with the Church, especially with Jaenberth, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The result of his fight eventually led to the division of the archdiocese of Canterbury and a new archdiocese was founded in Lichfield. This way, Offa could gain some control over the church too and could promote his son, Ecgfrith.

He could however never gain power over Northumbria. To balance this, he gave his daughter, Aelfflaed to the Northumbrian king, Aethelred 1 in 792. His son, Ecgfrith successfully followed him and reigned until another king, Coenwulf got the power.

Photo: North, J.J

VOCABULARY

assassination – merénylet

consolidate – megerősít

archdiocese – érsekség

reign – uralkodik

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