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Published on May 20, 2012
Alfred successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by his death had become the dominant ruler in England. He is the only English monarch to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons". Details of his life are described in a work by the 10th century Welsh scholar and bishop Asser. Alfred was a learned and merciful man who encouraged education and improved his kingdom's legal system and military structure.