source of trouble. But he brought his Bretwaldaship to a good end by inflicting a crushing defeat on them at Hingston Down, hard by the Tamar, probably in 836, and died ere the year was out, leaving the ever-growing problem to his son AEthelwulf.
Influence of viking sea-power.
The cause of the sudden outpouring of the Scandinavian deluge upon the lands of Christendom at this particular date is one of the puzzles of history. So far as memory ran, the peoples beyond the North Sea had been seafaring races addicted to piracy. Even Tacitus mentions their fleets. Yet since the 5th century they had been restricting their operations to their own shores, and are barely heard of in the chronicles of their southern neighbours. It seems most probable that the actual cause of their sudden activity was the conquest of the Saxons by Charles the Great, and his subsequent advance into the peninsula of Denmark. The emperor seemed to be threatening the independence of the North, and in terror and resentment the S