Origin of AthelstanMiddle English from Old English ætheling from æthele, noble
895?-940; king of the Mercians & West Saxons (925-940): assumed the title of king of England: grandson of Alfred the Great
King of Mercia and Wessex (924?-939) who was the first Saxon ruler to establish his authority over all of England.
- 4 In Anglo-Saxon times Athelstan appears to have been the first monarch who enacted regulations for the mints.'
- In 1540 Leland, without sufficient reason, credits Athelstan with the bestowal of such privileges as it then enjoyed, and describes it as a parish full of fishermen and Irishmen.
- (1837) of the Monasteries of the Levant; the most recent in English is Athelstan Riley's Athos (1887).
- As Stubbs says " the thegn seems to be primarily the warrior gesith " - the gesithas forming the chosen band of companions (comites) of the German chiefs (principes) noticed by Tacitus - " he is probably the gesith who had a particular military duty in his master's service "; and he adds that from the reign of Athelstan " the gesith is lost sight of except very occasionally, the more important class having become thegns, and the lesser sort sinking into the rank of mere servants of the king."
- When William of Malmesbury describes the knighting of Athelstan by his grandfather Alfred the Great, that is, his investiture " with a purple garment set with gems and a Saxon sword with a golden sheath," there is no hint of any religious observance.