Oswald of Northumbria

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Definition

Oswald of Northumbria (c. 604 - c. 642 CE) was a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon king and saint. He came to power in Northumbria c. 633 or 634 CE following his victory over Cadwallon ap Cadfan, King of Gwynedd. Oswald ruled over the Northumbrian kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira but also exerted significant authority over parts of modern-day England, Wales, and Scotland. Oswald's reign is praised by the Northumbrian historian Bede, writing in the 8th century CE; he is one of the heroes of Bede's influential work, the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People). Oswald vigorously spread Christianity in his kingdom and beyond. C. 642 CE, he was killed at the Battle of Maserfield against the Mercian king Penda. Following his death, Oswald was revered as a saint and martyr. His relics were venerated and a cult formed in England and on the Continent which thrived in the Middle Ages.

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