The Oxford Companion to British History

By John Cannon | Go to book overview


ice hockey was pioneered by McGill University in 1880 and spread rapidly throughout Canada and the USA. A small English league was formed in 1903 and the first Scottish game was played in 1908. A British Ice Hockey Association was formed in 1914 and the sport was introduced into the Olympics in 1920.


Iceni. British tribe and civitas. The tribal coinage, which carries the name ECEN or ECENI, suggests that the tribe were restricted in their geographical extent to Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Their first appearance in written history is probably in Caesar's account of his British expeditions, where he refers to a tribe called the Cenimagni. They appear to have been a wealthy and powerful tribe in the 1st and 2nd cents. BC, for from their territory come the finest hoards of gold torcs found in Iron Age Britain. Other hoards of elaborately decorated bronze chariot fittings also point to a love of conspicuous display by the nobles of the Iceni. This wealth may well have continued through the period of the Roman occupation, for some of the finest hoards of Roman gold- and silverware have also been found in or close to Icenian territory. Initially their contacts with the Roman invaders were not unfriendly, and the Icenian king Prasutagus became a client-king of Rome. On his death, however, his kingdom was incorporated into the Roman province and this, and other alleged abuses, led to the Icenian revolt, led by Prasutagus' widow *Boudicca. No doubt this set back plans for the Iceni to be given self-governing status as a civitas, but eventually that was accorded the tribe and their capital was established at *Caistor St Edmund (Venta Icenorum). Strangely, despite the tribe's apparent wealth, the town remained unusually small (under 35 acres) and poorly developed for a civitas-capital.


ice-skating in its simplest form dates back many centuries, with skates made out of animal bones. It became fashionable in the 18th cent. and a London Skating Club was founded in 1842. Speed skating held its first international competition at Hamburg in 1885 and was admitted to the Olympics in 1924. Ice rinks were built in large numbers after one was opened in Manchester in 1877. Figure skating had its first world championship at St Petersburg in 1896 and pair skating in 1908. The popularity of the sport was much increased by Sonja Henie of Norway, who won ten consecutive world championships for figure skating between 1927 and 1936 and appeared in a number of films. In the 1980s Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean achieved vast popularity, winning world, Olympic, and European ice-dance titles in 1984 before turning professional.


Icknield Way. A trackway which runs from the central Thames, through the Chilterns, and northwards to the Wash near Hunstanton. Though claims are made for a prehistoric origin, it is doubtful that such long-distance trackways existed, at least as a single entity, until the Iron Age at the earliest. At Baldock, the Icknield Way was certainly being formalized in the early 1st cent. AD by the digging of side ditches, but an earlier Iron Age date may be claimed from the dikes which cut across its line in the Chilterns.


iconoclasm. Image-destruction has been a constant possibility in Christian history, for while for some artistic expression in sculpture, painting, or stained glass expresses the soaring upthrust of the soul to the divine, for others it is a distraction, 'obnoxious lumber' to be abhorred and discarded. For John of Damascus, what the written word was to the lettered 'the icon is to the unlettered'. The Byzantine iconoclastic controversy (7th-9th cents.), driven by the astringent impact of Monophysitism, Manicheism, and Islam, created widespread devastation and led many to retreat, for instance, to the caves of Cappadocia. Medieval Cistercians, preferring their own stark abbeys, abhorred contemporary Cluniac embellishment. The 16th-cent. Reformation unleashed another iconoclastic trail of destruction, approved by Zwingli, though himself a lover of art and music, but shocking to Luther. Though Calvin was no extreme iconoclast, his followers wreaked havoc in 16th-cent. France and Scotland and 17th-cent. England, where in the Cromwellian period much of her heritage of medieval stained glass and statues was destroyed and wall-paintings whitewashed. Bible and sermon replaced imagery.


Ida (d. c. 559), king of Bernicia (c. 547c. 559). Founder of the *Bernician royal house from whom all subsequent Bernician and, after the reign of *Oswui, Northumbrian kings with genealogies surviving claimed descent. One written tradition records that his grandfather Oesa was the first of the family to come to Britain. *Bede believed that Ida came to the throne in 547 and ruled twelve years. His calculation appears to have been made by working backwards through a regnal list, but it is not certain that all the early Bernician


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The Oxford Companion to British History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Ppreace vii
  • Contributors ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Note to the Reader xii
  • A 1
  • B 71
  • C 149
  • D 273
  • E 318
  • F 363
  • G 399
  • H 445
  • I 503
  • J 523
  • K 541
  • L 553
  • M 602
  • N 666
  • O 701
  • P 717
  • Q 782
  • R 785
  • S 831
  • T 907
  • U 941
  • V 951
  • W 960
  • Y 1008
  • Z 1015
  • Subject Index 1034


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