There Once Was An Arrow That Hit an Eye

Harold Godwinson.jpg.opt252x314o0,0s252x314

Harold Godwinson, pictured above, was born around 1022 in Wessex, England and became the last of the Anglo Saxon English Kings.  He died at the Battle of Hastings (Southeast English Coast) on October 14, 1066 at the hands of Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror.  How did Harold die?  One of his injuries in battle is pictured below on the famous Bayeux Tapestry, a 70 meter-long embroidered cloth commissioned in the 1070s and containing a visual record of some fifty historical scenes:

Tapisserie de Bayeux - Scène 57 : La mort d'Harold

The inscription reads Harold Rex Interfectus Est, which means “Harold the King is Killed.”  That’s Harold under the word “Harold.”  Look closely at his head and you’ll notice the following embroidered details:

Harold_arrow,_Bayeux_tapestry_detail

At the Battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066, King Harold of England was shot in the eye by an arrow and died in battle shortly thereafter, leaving his Anglo Saxon forces without a leader.  Two months after the battle, in London, William the Conqueror was crowned the first Norman King of England.  Under the Normans, the English elite were dispossessed of their lands and a feudal approach to governing the state was introduced, including the erection of a network of castles.  Additionally, eventual English words with French origins began to enter the English language, such as money, parachute, fork, beef, lake, stupid, lion, bicycle, and tennis.