For two hundred years the English people were at war with the Danes who came from Denmark and the Northmen who came from Scandinavia. King Alfred when he was a boy of sixteen took part in the battles with the enemies. At twenty he became king of Wessex and began to prepare for the defence of the country. He built a feet of ships and fortifications on the coasts. The small kingdoms were united to fignt against the invaders. After the victory over the Danes, King Alfred did much for his people. He opened schools, asked scholars to translate into English the best works of world literature and worked out the English code. The English people named him Alfred the Great.