What is the history of the epithet "the Great"?
Who was the first to have it applied to them?
Who gets to decide?
Which countries/periods in history have the most?
From what i know of Alfred, he got his place in history because he excelled at defense?
How rare is it to be militarily recognized like that, for defense?
I can only think of like Gotthard Heinrici in WWII..
>but guise what's important here is that "the Great" is clearly deeply misogynistic
I mean Elizabeth the First wasn't called "thre great"
Who the first king of "England" is disputed.
Some historians would say Æthelstan, who was Alfred's Grandson. The Kingdom of Mercia also controlled most of England at some points like The Kingdom Of Wessex did (Where all these kings come from).
Back then, in most cultures, before we had this fixed names bullshit, you had the following names
and when you're some noble/public figure,
This included shit like "the great" or in Roman "Praenomen." Which is the name of your achievement attached to your full name (i.e. Scipio "Africanus" = Scipio "victor in Africa." or "Gaius Ceasar Germanicus" = Victor in Germania)
Nowadays, only the Chinese do this via their nicknames. Chink nicknames are unique because rather than the shortening of your name, instead its your family name/given name + adjective (i.e. = Fatty Wu. Furious Ming, or something)
I think 'the Great' includes all instances of a ruler being named some random superlative in his native language that gets translated into English as the Great, thus creating an illusion of continuity that doesn't go back that far in English itself.
It probably comes from the Greek concept of Megas/Megali, and all earlier examples have been retroactively understood by us as another 'the Great.'
It isn't disputed, Alfred is considered an important figure, but he was a King of Wessex. Æthelstan was the one who truly cemented Wessex's control over the other parts of lowland Britain and formally declared himself king of the English.
>Who was the first to have it applied to them?
Off the top of my head? Probably Cyrus.
Egyptians and Hittites didn't really have epithets (Ramesses II was called the Great long after he died). Their acheivements were typically incorporated into their titles.
Don't know enough of Assyrians/Sumerian/Babylonians to say one way or the other.
He also created much of the english state itself, the laws, founded fortified towns everywhere that still define England to this day, he started a system of education along the same lines as Charlemagne did in Francia.
In pretty much every way you could be "great", he's the best monarch England ever had.