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King Offa’s Border Policy

October 12th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was reading about the border policies of King Offa, the Anglo-Saxon king of Mercia. He made no attempt to conquer Wales. Instead, he built Offa’s Dyke, a boundary-marking ridge, and every few years he raided Wales. (Click here to read

  1. Abdun
    June 16th, 2009 at 13:03 | #1


    King Offa of Mercia.

    (Northern England)

    King Offa came to the throne after a period of civil war and ruled Mercia (meaning: land of the border people) for 39 years (757 – 796 AD). He was a clever statesman, politician and organiser, being fair and kind-hearted in everything that he did. The wealth and security created by the people of Mercia with Offa’s custodianship, had great influence, socially and culturally, throughout their land.

    Mercia was split into seven small sub-region, and each of these was split again into many, many even smaller sub-regions. Each one functioned independently, local autonomy for each small sub-region, with King Offa as the King, but not the Christian King concept, the Islamic Caliph (custodian) concept.

    This is detailed in the ‘Tribal Hidage’ document established within Offa‘s reign, it presents the Islamic structure of small autonomous communities, the word ‘Hidage’ means unit, and describes a tribal unit.

    If you go back to 54 BC modern archaeology suggests, the population of Britons at the time could have numbered as many as ten million. Caesar himself remarks that the population of Britain was huge, so the population of king Offa’s era would have been extensive.

    The system of allodial land rights (also an Islamic concept, but not exclusively) was in use throughout Mercia before William the Bastard arrived in 1066 AD.

    The law system of Mercia under King Offa, was completely free of any influence of Roman law, it was based on the original laws of the ancient tribes that settled Britain, those that migrated over from the Continent, already possessing an elaborate and developed legal system. In general, if a crime was committed then there was a victim, and it was up to the victim – or the victim’s family – or the community the family existed within, to seek justice. This is a form of natural law, as expressed within the Qur’an.

    The Jesuit historians contend that the people of Powys (a region of Wales), beginning in the 8th century fought with their Anglo-Saxon neighbours to the east, but the Welsh were able to thwart attempted invasions. Logically this can not be supported, if this was the case why would King Offa have built a defensive dyke.

    A massive bank and ditch was constructed, and survives today as a potent symbol of the ancient origins of both nations, the dyke was built as a defensible (if not heavily defended) earthwork specifically erected against the belligerent 8th century kingdom of Powys, it ran 64 miles when originally constructed.

    The question should be why did the people of Cymru (Wales), only attack Mercia during Offa’s reign?

    I contend the sovereign powers subjugating the welsh peoples were Christian, the vessels of the Roman Catholic empire, and it was through these insidious forces of manipulation, that conflict was generated between these neighbours, so leading to the dykes construction.

    During this same historical era from 711 AD, the people of Spain began to live Muslim, after 45 year (756 AD) of guidance from the Muslims of Damascus, the indigenous people established self administration.

    Rest of the article at:



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