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Why was King Alfred concerned with literacy and learning It is clear that literacy and learning played an important role in the life of King Alfred In his biography of the king Asser tells us that from an early age Alfred showed an aptitude for book learning which was encouraged by his mother The reason why Alfred developed this interest from an early age was probably the fact that he was the youngest child of his family and so it was probably expected that he would become a clergyman rather than king and so could focus on more intellectual training needed for work in the Church Although the reasons that he developed a personal love of learning in his younger years are clear this does not explain why he put so much emphasis on the literacy and learning of his subjects in later years One of the ways in which Alfred encouraged literacy and learning was having a number of key ecclesiastical works translated from Latin into English One of the main reasons for Alfreds huge concern for literacy and learning was his sincere belief that the Viking raids on his kingdom were a punishment from God because the people had abandoned religious learning Alfred did a lot to strengthen Englands military position by building a huge network of burhs and by making sure that there was always an equal balance of men working the land and doing military service However he felt that these military preparations were merely a temporary solution to the problem In the long term the King believed that the Vikings would only be stopped when God had been appeased There are clear indications that in the time of Alfred there was a lack of new manuscripts being created It is also evident that very few people were educated enough to read Latin and even fewer to write it Alfred believed that this lack
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