Athelstan (died 939). King of Wessex 924-939. The son of Edward the Elder and grandson of Alfred the Great, he was probably born around 900. In addition to being King of Wessex, he had effective control over Mercia, and a series of campaigns (including the great Battle of Brunanburh) gave him dominion over most of England and much of Wales. But he died without a son, leaving the kingdom to a half-brother, Edmund, who could not consolidate all of his victories. Nonetheless Athelstan's reign was a time of both military and cultural success.