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Taking the throne after the death of his brother Æthelred, Alfred spent several years dealing with Viking invasions.After a decisive victory in the Battle of Edington in 878 Alfred made an agreement with the Vikings, creating what was known as Danelaw in the North of England.Details of Alfred's life are described in a work by the 9th-century Welsh scholar and bishop Asser.Alfred had a reputation as a learned and merciful man of a gracious and level-headed nature who encouraged education, proposing that primary education be taught in English rather than Latin, and improved his kingdom's legal system, military structure, and his people's quality of life., "elf counsel" or "wise elf"; 849 – 26 October 899) was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf of Wessex.He is one of only two English monarchs to be given the epithet "the Great", the other being the Scandinavian Cnut the Great.He was also the first King of the West Saxons to style himself "King of the Anglo-Saxons".

Alfred was troubled by health problems throughout his life.

The Danes arrived in his homeland at the end of 870, and nine engagements were fought in the following year, with varying outcomes, though the places and dates of two of these battles have not been recorded.