Concerning the Conversation of the Middle Angles and the Last Great Pagan Prince, Penda of Mercia
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Fledgling Christianity in early English societies had a mutually empowering effect that at once offered Rome an avenue to restore its ecclesiastic primacy (otherwise obsolete in the nominally christian continental kingdoms) while providing significant cultural clout to burgeoning English kingdoms. That Penda, King of Mercia, saw no need for this extraneous bulwark in his successful career suggests that his strength of person and administration was well under control without need for foreign aid. That it was the last raises questions about the socio-political climate of seventh century England and why the Mercian kingdom was the last to convert, which may be addressed through informed speculation that considers the sparse contemporary source material for this time period. The following work is a model of a critical edition collection of “contemporary sources” that explores the effects of classical Christianity upon pagan Germanic cultures in Britain while simultaneously exploring the power of oral and recorded history.