The seven kingdoms of England (7-8c) before the *Viking invasions, i.e. Wessex, Mercia, Kent, East Anglia, Essex, Sussex, Northumbria, of which Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria vied for supremacy. [< Gr. hepta = seven + arkhia = government]

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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  • Heptarchy — • By the term heptarchy is understood that complexus of seven kingdoms, into which, roughly speaking, Anglo Saxon Britain was divided for nearly three centuries, until at last the supremacy, about the year 829, fell definitely and finally into… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Heptarchy — (Greek: polytonic|ἑπτά + ἀρχή seven + realm ) is a collective name applied to the Anglo Saxon ancient kingdoms of south, east, and central Great Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages which eventually unified into Angle land… …   Wikipedia

  • heptarchy — [hep′tär kē, hep′tär΄kē] n. pl. heptarchies [ HEPT(A) + ARCHY] government by seven rulers the Heptarchy a term used by historians for: 1. Obs. the supposed confederacy of seven Anglo Saxon kingdoms 2. the kingdoms of Anglo Saxon England before… …   English World dictionary

  • Heptarchy — Hep tarch*y, n. [Hepta + archy: cf. F. heptarchie.] A government by seven persons; also, a country under seven rulers. [1913 Webster] Note: The word is most commonly applied to England, when it was divided into seven kingdoms; as, the Saxon… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Heptarchy —    A term, literally meaning seven kingdoms, used in Anglo Saxon history to describe the political structure of early medieval England. The term is derived from remarks made by Bede concerning the nature of the political organization of England… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Heptarchy — Seven Kingdoms of the Heptarchy Names given to the seven pre Viking Kingdoms of England. Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, Kent, East Anglia, Essex and Sussex …   Medieval glossary

  • heptarchy — /heptarkiy/ A government exercised by seven persons, or a nation divided into seven governments. In the year 560, seven different monarchies had been formed in England by the German tribes, namely, that of Kent by the Jutes; those of Sussex,… …   Black's law dictionary

  • heptarchy — noun Date: 1576 a hypothetical confederacy of seven Anglo Saxon kingdoms of the seventh and eighth centuries …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • heptarchy — heptarch, heptarchist, n. heptarchic, heptarchical, heptarchal, adj. /hep tahr kee/, n., pl. heptarchies. 1. (often cap.) the seven principal concurrent Anglo Saxon kingdoms supposed to have existed in the 7th and 8th centuries. 2. government by… …   Universalium

  • heptarchy — noun a) government by seven people b) A state governed by seven people, or an association of seven states (as in Anglo Saxon Britain) …   Wiktionary

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