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King Alfred, who was born in 849, succeeded to the throne after the deaths of his three elder brothers, and ruled Wessex from 871 until his death in 899. During his reign he successfully defended Wessex from multiple Viking invasions, and became the only king to ever be styled with the epithet “The Great.” Interestingly, he was also the first King of Wessex to present himself as the King of the Anglo-Saxons.