Conversion and Colonization in Anglo-Saxon England 0866983635, 9780866983631

Contents: Introduction / Nicholas Howe and Catherine E. Karkov -- From British to English Christianity : deconstructing

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Conversion and Colonization in Anglo-Saxon England
 0866983635, 9780866983631

Table of contents :
Table of Contents
List of Figures
From British to English Christianity: Deconstructing Bede’s Interpretation of the Conversion
High Style and Borrowed Finery: The Strood Mount, the Long Wittenham Stoup, and the Boss Hall Brooch as Complex Responses to Continental Visual Culture
Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England
A Map of the Universe: Geography and Cosmology in the Program of Alfred the Great
“Old Names of Kings or Shadows”: Reading Documentary Lists
Colonization and Conversion in Cynewulf’s Elene
Making Women Visible: An Adaptation of the Regularis Concordia in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS. 201
Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics: Benedictine Propaganda in the Exeter Book
End Time and the Date of Voluspa: Two Models of Conversion

Citation preview

C onversion and C olonization in

A nglo-S axon E ngland


e d ie v a l a n d



exts a n d


o lu m e

e n a is s a n c e


d ie s


Essays in A nglo-Saxon Studies Volume 2

C onversion and C olonization in

A nglo-S axon E ngland

E dited by

Catherine E . Karkov and tNicholas Howe

ACM RS (A rizon a C enter for M edieval and R enaissance Studies) Tem pe, A rizon a


© C opyrigh t 2 0 0 6 A rizon a B oard o f R egents for A rizon a State U niversity

Library o f Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Conversion and colonization in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d / edited by C atherine E . K arkov and N icholas H ow e. p. cm . — (M edieval and R enaissance texts and studies ; v. 318) Includes bibliographical references and index. IS B N -1 3 :978-0-86698-363-1 (acid-free paper) IS B N -1 0 :0-86698-363-5 (acid-free paper) 1. C ivilization , A n glo-Saxon . 2 . A n glo-Saxon s—So cial conditions. 3. A n gloSaxons—So cial life and custom s. 4. G reat B ritain —H istory—A n glo-Saxon period, 449-1066. 5. E ngland—C ivilization —T o 1066. 6. E ngland—So cial life and custom s—T o 1066. I. Karkov, C atherine E ., 1956- . II. H ow e, N icholas. D A 152.C 698 2 0 0 6 942.01—dc22 2006024997

oo This book is m ade to last. It is set in A dobe C aslon Pro, sm yth-sew n and printed on acid-free paper to library specifications. Printed in the U nited States o f A m erica

T able of C ontents Abbreviations List ofFigures Introduction C atherine E . K arkov and N icholas H owe From B ritish to E n glish C h ristian ity: D econ structing B ede’s Interpretation o f the Conversion N icholas B rooks, U niversity o f Birm ingham

vit ix xi 1

H igh Style and Borrow ed Finery: The Strood M ount, the L o n g W ittenham Stoup, and the B o ss H a ll Brooch as C om plex R esponses to C ontinental V isual C ulture C arol N euman de Vegvar, O hio W esleyan U niversity


C h an gin g Faces: Leprosy in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d C hristina L ee , U niversity o f N ottingham


A M ap o f the U niverse: G eography and C osm ology in the Program o f A lfred the G reat N icole G uenther D iscenza , U niversity o f South F lorid a


“O ld N am es o f K in gs or Shadow s”: R eadin g D ocum entary L ists J acqueline S todnick , U niversity o f T exas at A rlin gton


C olonization and Conversion in C y n ew u lf s Elene H eide E stes , M onm outh U niversity


M ak in g W om en V isible: A n A daptation o f the Regularis Concordia in C am bridge, C orpus C h risti C ollege M S . 201 J oyce H ill , U niversity o f L eed s


A rchitectural M etaphors and C h ristological Im agery in the A dvent Lyrics: Benedictine Propaganda in the E xeter Book? M ercedes S alvador, U niversidad de Sev illa


E nd T im e and the D ate o f Vqluspâ: Tw o M odels o f Conversion R ichard N orth , U niversity C o llege, London




A bbreviations A SE

Anglo-Saxon England


A n glo-Saxon Poetic R ecords


Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History


B ritish A rchaeological R eports


B ritish L ibrary


Bibliothèque N ationale


C oun cil for B ritish A rchaeology


C am bridge, C orpus C h risti C ollege


D om esday B ook


E arly E n glish M anuscripts in Facsim ile


E arly E n glish T ext Society


H enry Bradshaw Society


Journal ofEnglish and Germanic Philology


M onum enta G erm aniae H istorica


Old English Newsletter Patrologia Graeca, ed. J . P, M ign e (P aris, 1857-1887) Patrologia Latina, ed. J . P. M ign e (P aris, 1 8 4 4 -6 5 ); Supplem ental series ed. A . H am m on and L . G uillaum in (P aris, 1958-1974)

L ist of F igures F ig . 1.1.

T h e Provinces and M etropolitan C ities o f Fourth-C entury Britain

F ig . 1.2.

B ede’s E n glan d , after H ill and Jackson

F ig. 1.3.

"P agan A n glo-Saxon ” C em eteries o f the F ifth and Sixth C en tu ries, after H in es


F ig. 1.4.

E ccles-nam es in E n glan d and southern Scotlan d, after C am eron and Barrow


F ig. 1.5.

T h e E ccles B uckle, from A . P. D etsicas and S . C . H aw kes


F ig. 1.6.

E arly C hurches in Lin coln , after M orris and Jo n es


F ig. 1.7.

Fourth-century B asilica at C olchester H ouse, London, after Sankey


F ig. 1.8.

A n E arly C ath ed ral G roup in R ochester? after H . M . Taylor and W . H . S t J . H ope


F ig. 1.9.

T h e D evelopm ent o f the P re-C onquest C ath ed ral at Canterbury, after B lockley


F ig. 1.10. Successive C ry pts o f C anterbury C ath ed ral, after W illis, W oodm an, and Blockley

3 9


F ig. 2.1.

Stoup from G rave 93, L o n g W ittenham (B erkshire) (B ritish M useum )


F ig. 2 .2 .

M ount from drin kin g horn or cylindrical vessel, from Strood (K ent) (N ation al M useum s and G alleries on M erseyside, Liverpool M useum , M ayer C ollection)


F ig. 2 .3 .

Ew er from G rave 319, Lavoye (A isne) (Saint-G erm ain-en-Laye, M usée des A ntiquités N ation ales)


F ig. 2 .4 .

D um m y buckle from M ound 1, Sutton H oo (Su ffo lk ), d etail o f dum m y tongue-plate and loop (B ritish M useum )


F ig. 2.5.

Scabbard bosses from M ound 1, Sutton H oo (Suffolk) (B ritish M useum )




F ig. 2 .6 . C om posite d isc brooch from grave 205, K in gston D ow n (K ent) (N ation al M useum s and G alleries on M erseyside, Liverpool M useum )


F ig. 2.7.


C om posite disc brooch from grave 93, B o ss H all, Ipsw ich (Suffolk) (Ipsw ich C ooperative Society, Ipsw ich M useum s)

F ig. 2 .8 . C om posite disc brooch from M onkton (K ent) (O xford, A shm olean M useum o f A rt and A rchaeology)


A ndré du Saussay, Panoplia sacerdotalis: seu de venerando


F ig. 2.9.

sacerdotum habitu:forumque multiplia munere ac officio in ecclesia libriX IV (P aris, 1653), plate opposite p. 2 0 0 : “C alix S . E lig ii* Photo: Vincent M assa, K elly & M assa Photography, Lester, PA , by perm ission o f Ryan M em orial Library, S t. C h arles Borrom eo Sem inary, W ynnew ood, PA Fig. 2.10. P air o f bird-shaped sadiile mounts from A p a h id a ll (C luj) (Bucharest, N ational M useum )


F ig. 3.1.


London, B L , M S . C otton T iberiu s A .iii, fol. 2v. By perm ission o f the B ritish Library

F ig . 3 .2 . O xford, S t. Joh n 's C o llege, M S . 2 8 , fol. 2r. By perm ission o f the President and scholars o f S t. Joh n the B ap tist C ollege in the U niversity o f O xford


F ig . 3.3. London, B L , M S . A d d. 49598, fol. 9v. By perm ission o f the B ritish L ibrary


F ig . 3.4.

London, B L , M S . C otton V espasian A .v iii, fol. 2v. By perm ission o f the B ritish L ibrary


F ig . 3.5.

O xford, B odleian Library, M S . A uct. F .4,32, fol. lr . By perm ission o f the B odleian L ibrary


I ntroduction C atherine £ . K arkov and N icholas H owe

L ik e any fam iliar term , "A nglo-Saxon E n glan d ” obscures as much as it illum i­ nates. I f it usefully design ates a period th at has custom arily been dated betw een A .D . 600 and 1100 and th at features am ong its fam iliar nam es B ede, A lfred , A lcu in , Beow ulf, and W ulfstan, the term also elides questions about cultural d i­ versity and identity, gender differences, and lin gu istic variation. M oreover, one m ust also ask how far can — or should — the designation “A nglo-Saxon E n g ­ lan d” be extended to the m argins o f the island, w hether those m argins be set in term s o f religion , ethnicity, geography, lan guage, or any other single factor? W hile “A nglo-Saxon E n glan d ” or a derived form frequently appears in the titles o f jou rn als and books as w ell as a professional society in order to identify som e shared ground o f scholarly interests, th at practice does not in itse lf m ean that there is any com m only accepted definition for the term . Indeed, one o f the rem arkable developm ents in the field over the last tw enty years or so is the grow ing aw areness that there are many different A nglo-Saxon E nglands to be studied and, correspondingly, th at there are no m aster narratives or paradigm s that can account for all o f them w ith equal success. R ather than evidence for disciplinary confusion or loss o f certainty, th is scholarly develop­ m ent should be taken as a healthy reaction again st earlier m odels o f A n glo-Saxon E ngland that posited an unchanging or otherw ise hom ogenous culture populated it w ould seem largely, i f not exclusively, by m ales o f the w arrior class. W ithout denying necessary filiation s o f history, religion, language and geography, these new visions o f A n glo-Saxon E ngland are notable for their greater alertness to the presence o f differences in local conditions, chronological periods, and cultural circum stances. In the process, these new approaches have also reinterpreted or reconceptualized som e very fam iliar aspects o f A nglo-Saxon E ngland, such as conversion and colonization. A n glo-Saxon ists have, o f course, long acknow ledged that colonization and conversion m ade for profound social changes in B ritain . T h e scholarly literature on the legacy o f R om an colonization or on the m issionary w ork o f A ugustin e and h is fellow m onks on the island is valuable and w ell established. M ore recently, though, one can w itness a sh ift am ong scholars to consider not sim ply the events



and practical consequences o f colonization and conversion but also the ways in w hich these events were understood and recorded by later generations o f A n gloSaxons. In th at regard, colonization and conversion em erge as processes th at also left their m ark on the intellectual and herm eneutic practices o f the A n glo-Sax­ ons, that provided them w ith m odels for interpreting the nature o f their experi­ ence. C olonization and conversion should not be read as identical or inseparable processes, but they do share certain features th at provide a rationale for lin kin g them closely, as do many o f the studies in th is volum e. R arely developm ents that happen overnight or at a precisely datable m o­ m ent, conversion and colonization are m ore typically long-term processes th at move at variable rates across groups and areas o f a population. W hile we may th in k o f them as notew orthy because they achieve dem onstrable ends — that a people acknow ledges the authority o f an outside pow er or accepts a new reli­ gion — th at retrospect obscures the m ore necessary point th at they are not to be apprehended w ithin a single m om ent. T h at such dates as 410, for the w ithdraw al o f R om an legions from B ritain , or 597, for the arrival o f A ugustin e in Canter­ bury, have deep resonances w ithin insular history should not obscure the fre t th at they are chronological conveniences and not accurate m easures for the dura­ tion o f such events: the w ithdraw al o f legions and the arrival o f m issionaries alike had both a long pre-history and an even longer post-history w ithin B ritish and E n glish culture. T h at th is should have been so clearly true o f both conversion and colonization explains in no sm all m easure their value as interpretive concepts for addressing cultural variation. P ut another way, conversion and colonization in the E n glan d o f the A n glo-Saxon period were often localized phenom ena th at registered them selves at different m om ents, in different places, and in different form s o f cultural production. C orrespondingly, the surviving evidence for these processes takes a stunningly w ide range o f form s, as one can see from the studies included in th is volum e: m anuscripts, place-nam es, jew elry, the diseased bones o f the dead, literary and h istorical texts in various lan guages, m aps, m etaphors, lists, and the like. T h is evidence also show s quite extraordinary variation across tim e and place: som e o f the visu al m aterials, for instance, are early and found chiefly below the H um ber w hile the textual evidence crosses generic boundar­ ies o f histories, lists, poem s, serm ons, and m onastic rules, and the extant traces o f disease are scattered am ong burial sites th at have been dug by archaeologists often w ith very different purposes in m ind. T aken as a group, these studies dem ­ onstrate th at traces o f conversion and colonization — both as processes th at af­ fected the A n glo-Saxon s and in turn as the A n glo-Saxon s becam e their agents in later centuries — can be found across the extant historical record. T here are lim its, however, th at com e w ith treating colonization and conver­ sion as identical processes or synonym ous term s. M ost im m ediately, each has its own prim ary sphere o f activity: colonization is a political process th at im poses the



wall o f the im perial center on a newly-conquered region; conversion is the (seem ­ ingly) voluntary process by which individuals and peoples accept a new faith. T h ese descriptive statem ents m ay be true about the prim ary effects o f coloniza­ tion and conversion in A nglo-Saxon E ngland and elsew here; but the h istorical record dem onstrates as w ell th at new political affiliation s are often accom panied by changes o f religion, and new religions often bring w ith them sh ifts in political allegiances, especially as elites are redefined through the choice o f religious belief. A n d som etim es, try as one m ight to keep them apart, the relations between politi­ cal colonization and religious conversion becom e blurred yet further by historical or geographical factors, as when the sam e center or capital city becom es the source from which em anated the im petus for both colonization and conversion. Such, over m any centuries, w as the role played by Rom e and its attendant language, L atin , in B ritain and later in E ngland. S till, there is reason to m aintain som e sense o f separation betw een coloni­ zation and conversion i f only to explore usefu l distin ction s betw een the political and the religious. In th at regard, one m ight note th at the D anelaw resulted from a political settlem ent th at allow ed for the cultural and lin gu istic colonization o f the northern regions o f A n glo-Saxon E n glan d but did not entail a consequent change o f religious b e lie f in that sam e region. O r, to com plicate m atters, one can th in k o f the D anelaw as a colonized area in w hich em erged possibilities o f religious conversion, though paradoxically (or so it m ight seem at first glance) am ong the new ly-settled Scandinavian populations rather than the long-resi­ dent A n glo-Saxon ones. O r, to cast the D anelaw as a borderland in the term s o f post-colonial theory, it can be seen as a zone o f cultural hybridity or m ingling in which diverse populations and their related but not identical lan guages cam e into m utual play. T h e value o f such thought-experim ents lies not in som e d is­ play o f theoretical legerdem ain but rather in reinforcing the distin ction s betw een colonization and conversion — and yet also in acknow ledging the lim its o f these sam e distin ction s. T h at colonization and conversion offer pow erful interpretive concepts for studying A nglo-Saxon E n glan d tells us som ething necessary about th at culture as w ell as our own. T h e grow th o f post-colonial studies as an academ ic discipline over the last generation has certainly influenced the study o f m edieval E urope in general as w ell as that o f pre-C onquest E ngland in particular.1 T h e studies in this volum e bear the m ark o f th at influence in broad term s, though each in its own

1 A m ong the many recent volumes devoted to the m edieval and the post-colonial, one m ight cite The Postcolonial M iddle Ages, ed. Jeffrey Jerom e Cohen (N ew York, 2000); PostcolonialM oves: M edieval to M odem, ed. Patricia C lare Ingham and M ichelle R . W ar­ ren (N ew York, 2003); and PostcolonialApproaches to the European M iddle Ages, ed. A nanya J . K abir and Deanne W illiam s (Cam bridge, 2005).

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way brings into question the presentist assum ptions and values that often m ark the m ore theorized versions o f post-colonial studies. M ost com pellin g^, the stud­ ies in th is volum e dem onstrate that relations o f pow er — religious, ideological, econom ic, to cite the m ost obvious — do not conform to any one universally applicable parad igm . U nderlying the dynam ics o f colonization and conversion, indeed enabling each as a practical m atter, is the w ork o f translation, both in the strict sense o f converting text from one language to another (in A nglo-Saxon E ngland m ost of­ ten L atin to O ld E n glish , but also betw een O ld E n glish and various Scandinavian languages) and also in the m ore expansive sense o f sh iftin g cultural know ledge, beliefe, and even objects betw een groups. T ranslation m ay often begin as a mat­ ter o f lin guistic interchange, but it rarely i f ever occurs w ithout bringing into play or con flict other form s o f influence, borrow ing, and com m ingling. So present is the w ork o f translation in these studies that as editors we thought for a m om ent o f adding th at term to the volum e’s title but refrained from doing so lest we turn it into a list. It w ould be better, we thought, to identify translation as a m echanism or m ethod th at frequently underlay the work o f conversion and colonization. A s a lin guistic interchange, translation enabled the spread o f L atin texts — to cite the m ost obvious case — across the vernacular cultures o f E ngland in ways th at can be traced at the level o f explicit statem ents but also o f im plicit ideological con­ cepts. O ther acts o f translation occurred across less m arked lin guistic borders, as when O ld E n glish texts circulated elsewhere in the north o f E urope or Iceland. Iden tifyin g translation as fundam ental to colonization and conversion has the added benefit o f suggestin g th at these processes were not one-w ay flow s o f cultural pow er and influence from external and presum ably m ore pow erful or prestigious sources but rather offered at least the possibility th at the converted and colonized d id som etim es speak back to those who had converted and colo­ nized them . T h at process o f speakin g back, or o f seein g translation as an act th at affected the source text or culture, appears throughout these studies. W henever one o f the contributors addresses or even alludes in p assin g to the influence th at A n glo-Saxon w riters had in their turn on the R om an C hurch, for instance, or to the conversions accom plished by A n glo-Saxon m issionaries on the peoples o f northw est E urope, then we can w itness the w orkings o f th is larger form o f translation. T racin g th is kind o f translation, especially in our current state o f know ledge, does not alw ays yield as satisfyin g a case as tracin g an O ld E n glish w ork to its L atin origin al can provide; som etim es it m eans retying on possible al­ lusions, d istan t echoes, stylistic resonances. B u t in doing so, it also holds out the opportunity o f allow ing one to adduce a w ide range o f evidence and interpretive paradigm s. I f the process o f cultural translation is often less susceptible o f p ro o f or even o f vivid dem onstration than is th at o f textu al translation, its effects are often m ore w idespread and d iffu sed. T h at is to say, they can be m ore culturally



central. R eadin g A n glo-Saxon texts and artifacts as responses to the w ork o f col­ onization and conversion also adds, we w ould su ggest, a kind o f deep history to the ways in w hich these processes are theorized in our contem porary discourse. T h o se accustom ed to th in kin g o f E n glish as the language o f colonial agents or Protestant m issionaries in A sia and A frica over the last several centuries, for ex­ am ple, m ight fin d it startlin g to learn th at it w as not alw ays the language o f the dom inant population. T h ere are, in other w ords, form s o f historical understand­ in g th at can help us to translate betw een the m edieval and the m odem in ways th at w ill enlarge and com plicate the theoretical paradigm s o f post-colonialism . R eadin g through the studies in th is volum e, as they move chronologically from the early conversions o f the B ritish and E n glish through the late period o f A n glo-Saxon and Scandinavian cross-influence, one sees a healthy m istrust o f any m aster narrative or gran d interpretive generalization about A n glo-Saxon E n glan d. W hether explicitly or im plicitly, these studies argue again st any evo­ cation o f cultural hom ogeneity, however convenient, to explain early and late, northern and southern, m ale and fem ale, clerical or secular — or any other bina­ ry one m ight offer. In stead , these chapters show a careful attention to the contin­ gencies o f tim e and place, w hich is another w ay o f saying th at each w orks w ithin the particular lim its o f evidence about A n glo-Saxon E n glan d available to us in the early tw enty-first century. T hroughout th is volum e one encounters refer­ ences to dam aged or incom plete m anuscripts, yet-to-be excavated archaeological sites, contested chronologies, broken or blocked channels o f cultural influence and transm ission. A conscious understanding o f the lim its o f our evidence, such as the authors o f these chapters reveal, is not sim ply the sign o f good scholarship. It is also a m eans to articulate possible directions for future study, for testin g those lim its to iden tify ways o f overcom ing them . T h e papers th at follow are organized so th at they m ove from the conversion o f the A n glo-Saxon s and w ritten accounts o f it, to the use o f A n glo-Saxon texts and ideologies in the conversion o f other peoples. R ather than the m ovem ent o f arm ies and nations, conversion and colonization becom e in th is schem a the w ork o f texts, objects, and the social practices o f everyday life. A rtistic style, textu al translation, the treatm ent o f disease, the com pilation and recording o f a list, have ju st as much to tell us as the w ritten accounts o f m igrations, battles, invasions, and royal or ecclesiastical synods. T h ey also help to fill in som e o f the silences o f the w ritten record, and to rem ind us th at there are no m aster narratives aside from those which later scholarship has, often unw ittingly, constructed. It is the sm all picture — the surviving B ritish place-nam e, the non-princely burial, the m anu­ script m arginalia — th at tim e and again provides a necessary counterpoint to the narratives constructed around B ede, Sutton H oo, or the Regularis Concordia. In h is "From B ritish to E n glish C h ristian ity: D econ structing B ede’s Inter­ pretation o f the Conversion,” N icholas B rooks rem inds us th at C h ristian ity had



arrived in B ritain four centuries before the arrival o f S t. A ugustin e in 597, the date traditionally seen by m any scholars as the beginning o f a C h ristian E ngland. B rooks goes on to ask a series o f questions about our interpretation o f both th is date and the sources: “H ave we been too ready to accept B ede’s concept o f a sepa­ rate E n glish ethnic identity and his reluctance to recognize the contribution o f B ritish C h ristian s to E n glish C h ristian ity?” C an we rethink the “apparently un­ bridgeable hiatus betw een B ritish and A n glo-Saxon C h ristian ity?” B rooks em ­ phasizes th at B ede’s account o f the conversion is both politically m otivated and based on a lim ited set o f sources, prim arily those origin atin g in the east o f E n g­ land. Evidence from m aterial culture, place-nam es, and B ritish inscriptions su g­ gests that the picture w as far m ore com plicated than the w ritten sources reveal, and th at at least in som e places B ritish C h ristian ity d id contribute sign ifican tly to the developm ent o f E n glish C h ristian ity. H e looks specifically at the evidence provided by Eccles place-nam es, the location o f B ritish and A n glo-Saxon episco­ pal churches, and the archaeology associated w ith each. H e concludes that “ i f we are to avoid approaching the conversion o f the A n glo-Saxon s w ith unduly B edan spectacles,” we m ust allow for and iden tify the regional differences underlying the territories th at eventually cam e to be know n as “E n glish .” C arol N eum an de Vegvar also asks us to reexam ine som e received m ono­ lithic scenarios o f the conversion period, th is tim e from an art historical and ar­ chaeological perspective which focuses on the conversion o f artistic techniques as deliberate cultural statem ents. In “H igh Style and Borrow ed Finery: T h e Strood M ount, the L o n g W ittenham Stoup, and the B o ss H all Brooch as Com plex R e­ sponses to C ontinental V isual C ulture,” she questions our reliance on certain high-status burials such as Sutton H oo (or now Prittlew ell) for our understanding o f the relationship between Frankish and Southum brian culture during the con­ version period. In particular, she questions the con flictin g all-or-nothing m od­ els o f either K entish dom ination by M erovingian France, or Kentish resistance to a Frankish axis o f power. H ow does consideration o f a range o f “converted” grave-goods from som e o f the less prestigious Southum brian cem eteries alter the picture? L ik e B rooks, she provides evidence that a more nuanced reading which reveals sh iftin g and variable attitudes tow ards continental culture is necessary, concluding that the issue is ultim ately one not only o f “the politics o f centers or politically identifiable units but also o f the self-projections, am bitions, and desires o f individuals, fam ilies, and com m unities w ith their own agendas.” T h e m aterial record, like the w ritten one, provides us w ith no one narrative fram ew ork for the processes o f either conversion or colonization. In her “C h an gin g Faces: L eprosy in A nglo-Saxon E ngland,” C h ristin a L ee exam ines the evidence o f burials, the treatm ent o f the diseased and disabled prior to death, and literature in order to ask w hether the conversion to C h ristian ity led to changes in the ways in w hich people w ith illnesses were treated. W ere the d is-


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eased and disabled considered “lesser hum an beings” and were they excluded from society either before or after the conversion to C hristianity? D id new ideologies carry w ith them new social ideals as w ell as practices? Skeletal rem ains, she notes, show th at skilled physicians were available throughout the period, even to the pagan A n glo-Saxon s, w hile burial evidence show s that attitudes tow ards the bod­ ies o f the diseased did vary over tim e. D u rin g the conversion period, the higherstatus burials o f som e lepers reveal th at the disease w as no im pedim ent to prestige burial — at least for som e individuals. H owever, the establishm ent o f a strong C h ristian church changed th in gs, as becom es particularly evident in the w ake o f the tenth-century reform w ith its eschatological outlook. In later A nglo-Saxon cem eteries, the graves o f lepers were often separated from those o f the non-infected population, and th is practice is likely to m irror changin g attitudes tow ards the diseased in general. L ee draw s on the w ritings o f religious authors such as Æ lfric to support her fin din gs, for they saw physical disease as a sign o f m oral disease, and thus classed lepers am ong the sin ful and despised. Conversion and translation intersect in N icole G uenther D iscenza’s paper, “A M ap o f the U niverse: G eography and C osm ology in the Program o f A lfred the G reat,” as it explores the conversion o f classical texts to new texts v ia tran s­ lation. T ranslation in th is context also does political w ork by helping to further A lfred ’s own agenda, itse lf centered on the tw in foci o f E n glan d and R om e. A s she em phasizes, th is is an area in w hich textu al culture and lived experience could be at odds w ith each other. For classical and early C h ristian authors, Rom e and Jerusalem were the tw in centers o f the w orld, w hile E n glan d and the B ritish Isles were confined to its edges. Som e o f the texts translated during the reign o f A lfred — Orosius or som e o f the P salm s, for exam ple— either m arginalize or are silent about E n glan d , w hile others — such as the C hronicle or the O ld E n glish B ede, texts w ritten by E n glish authors — re-center it. S till others, such as the Soliloquies, m ap an internal geography th at is free from any specificity o f external tim e or place. T h e program as a w hole, however, serves to convert a m arginalized E n glan d into a m ore central place, albeit one th at can never replace Rom e. A s alm ost all the papers in th is volume em phasize, texts are pow erful tools in the process o f colonization or conversion, be they works o f translation, history, fiction , hagiography, prose, poetry, or even lists. In her “‘O ld N am es o f K in gs or Shadow s’: R eading D ocum entary L ists,” Jacqueline Stodnick explores the ways in which certain A n glo-Saxon lists served as a m eans o f colonizing history and land, and o f sim ultaneously d efin in g E n glish identity. Stodnick addresses questions surrounding the copying, perception, and function o f docum entary lists by focus­ in g on one particular collection contained in the eleventh-century m anuscript London, B L , C otton T iberius B.v, fols. 19v-24r. T h ese folios contain lists o f the popes, the seventy-tw o disciples o f C h rist, Rom an em perors, patriarchs, A ngloSaxon bishops, the W est Saxon kings, the A n glian royal genealogies and regnal



lists, the kings o f W essex, the abbots o f G lastonbury, and A rchbishop Sigeric’s Rom an itinerary. L ik e A lfred ’s translations, these texts reach out to expand the area defined as E ngland, both w ithin the island that bears th at nam e and beyond it to C h ristian Rom e. Stodn ick situates th is m aterial both w ithin its m anuscript context and in relation to related lists contained in other m anuscripts. She con­ tends that the desire o f the m odem reader to "reconstruct” a fram ew ork o f m ean­ ing for such decontextualized lists w as also felt by the A n glo-Saxon s, and w as in fact a structural elem ent o f the list form at. In reading the lists a fundam ental historical sam eness is created for E n glan d’s once separate kingdom s, giving "E n g ­ land” the appearance o f a politically, historically, and religiously unified entity. H eide E stes also deals w ith the intersection o f A n glo-Saxon historical pro­ cesses in her "C olon ization and Conversion in C y n ew u lfs Elene.” M any o f the texts discussed in the previous tw o papers sought in various w ays to connect contem porary A n glo-Saxon E n glan d w ith the w orld o f early C h ristian R om e, but th is w ork is m uch m ore explicitly a p art o f Elene. In the poem , C onstantine’s R om e provides a parallel to tenth-century E n glan d, a parallel w hich is achieved in p art through C y n ew u lfs conversion/translation o f h is L atin sources, an ap­ propriation th at w as m ade easier for the A n glo-Saxon s by their b e lie f th at C on ­ stantine had been born in B ritain . In th is paper E stes reads the poem in the con­ text o f A n glo-Saxon relations w ith the D an es, both generally and through the use o f very specific them es and m otifs. In a close analysis o f the language used to describe the people and events in the poem , she establishes th at the victories o f C onstantine and H elen, especially over the Jew s, provide the m oral ju stificatio n and historical precedent for the stru ggles o f A n glo-Saxon kin gs and queens both in battle again st the D an es and in their efforts to reclaim the lands the foreign­ ers had settled. G ender is also an issue for the narrative w orld o f the poem and the lived experience o f its readers who w itnessed the rise to power o f a series o f politically active queens as adept at prom oting reform as H elen had been at pro­ m oting conversion. C olonization as it relates to both gender and the religious life in tenth-cen­ tury E ngland is also at the heart o f Joyce H ill’s “M ak in g W om en V isible: A n A daptation o f the Regularis Concordia in C am bridge, C orpus C h rist C ollege M S . 201.” T h e very title o f the text, Regularis Concordia Anglicae nationis monachorum sanctimoniaiumque, and the m iniature o f K in g E d g ar seated betw een Sain ts D unstan andÆ thelw old that prefaces one o f its earliest surviving exem plars, proclaim that th is is a work o f national im portance w hich sim ultaneously strives to cre­ ate a particular im age o f nation. It is first and forem ost a text w ritten for a m ale m onastic com m unity, and introduced in the London, B L , C otton T iberius A .iii m anuscript as the product, or voice, o f a united king and church. A s a text w ritten by and for a w ell-established m ale institution, it w ould have presented problem s for wom en who w ished to follow its provisions. For th is reason, H ill focuses on



the fragm entary copy preserved in the eleventh-century m anuscript C am bridge, C orpus C h risti C ollege 201, part A , an O ld E n glish translation o f the L atin orig­ in al th at provides the only surviving evidence o f adjustm ents for women religious. W hile we know nothing about where or for whom the translation w as m ade, H ill points out th at we can establish som e things about the translator and the probable transm ission o f the text. T h e conversion o f the text for use by fem ale readers is, however, not system atic and displays som e aw kw ardness in gram m ar and syntax. Even so, it provides, she states, “strikin g exam ples’* o f women’s “conversion” and “colonization” o f an essentially m ale text. M ercedes Salvador opens her paper, “A rch itectural M etaphors and C h ristological Im agery in the A dvent L y rics: Benedictine Propaganda in the E xeter B ook” w ith the story o f the conversion o f the m onk E ad sige as narrated in the 7 ranslatio et miracula S. Switbuni, a story th at has at its heart one o f the m ajor concerns o f the m onastic reform : the unification o f the church. T h em atic and stylistic com ponents o f the A dvent L yrics, she argues, m ay have been understood by contem porary readers as rem iniscent o f the role o f K in g E d gar, Sain t Sw ithun, and the leadin g reform ers as harbingers o f unity, restoration, and peace. S al­ vador focuses her argum ent around tw o interrelated sets o f im ages: architectural m etaphors and C h ristological im ages o f the Shepherd, the P riest, and the K ing. W hile the date o f the A dvent Lyrics (and the E xeter B ook as a whole) rem ains controversial, Salvador sees their reform ist m otifs as evidence for their com po­ sition under the auspices o f the reform ers, and thus as evidence for their likely com position in the late tenth or early eleventh century. T h e fin al paper in the volum e, R ichard N o rth ’s “E n d T im e and the D ate o f Vçluspd'. Tw o M odels o f Conversion,” m oves us beyond the territory o f the A n ­ glo-Saxon s to Iceland, and traces o f A n glo-Saxon and continental influence in its culture o f conversion. H e dem onstrates th at the poem , usually considered a heathen text, reveals traces o f m illen nial C h ristian influence. Two com peting techniques o f conversion are at w ork here, one inclusive and synchronistic, the other exclusive and eschatological, and their com bination w ithin th is single w ork m ight have as much to tell us about the larger process o f C h ristian ization in Ice­ land as it does about the possible date o f the poem ’s com position. Conversion and colonization are term s frequently applied to periods o f origin , new eras brought about by the adoption, peaceful or not, o f a new religion or the institution o f a new order o f authority. Yet, as the papers in th is volum e show n, they also have to do w ith endings and survivals, those th in gs th at survive con­ version, those th in gs that are post-colonial. W e began th is introduction w ith a b rief consideration o f the problem o f d efin in g “A n glo-Saxon E n glan d,” and we w ould like to return to that problem here at its end. A s R ichard N orth ’s paper in particular m akes clear, the culture th at we iden tify as A n glo-Saxon w as never



confined to the B ritish Isles. O rigin atin g as a product o f the conversion and col* onization o f parts o f sub-R om an B ritain , it m oved out to convert and colonize other geographical and cultural areas. T h e fact th at it also lived on w ell beyond the usual term inal dates o f 1100 or 1066 has also been the subject o f num erous recent stu d ies.2 Even in the post-C on quest period, the borders o f A n glo-Saxon E n glan d rem ain hard to define. T here is perhaps no one scholar w hose w ork has dealt so consistently w ith issues o f w hat constituted “E n glan d ” or “A n glo-Saxon E n glan d ” — and the relationship betw een the tw o — as Patrick W orm ald. In h is m any publications he taught us to question the origin s o f the E n glish church and state, the constituent elem ents o f political, religious, or ethnic identity, and the m odels we use to iden tify and define cultures o f power. A bove all, he showed us the ways in w hich the political institutions and form s o f legislation created by the A n glo-Saxon kin gs developed into those o f later m edieval and m odem E n g ­ land. T h ey m ay have undergone repeated conversions, colonizations, and tran s­ lations o f their own, but they did live on. Conversion and Colonization in AngloSaxon England is dedicated to Patrick W orm ald, not only a brillian t scholar, but also a devoted teacher and generous friend, who w as to have w ritten the preface to th is volum e. T here are perhaps no tw o scholars w hose w ork has dealt so consistently w ith issues o f w hat constituted “E n glan d ” or “A nglo-Saxon E n glan d ” in term s o f its people and its law s, or in term s o f its geography, its landscape, and its m ythm ak­ in g as Patrick W orm ald and N ich olas H ow e. In his m any publications P atrick taught us to question the origin s o f the E n glish church and state, the constitu­ ent elem ents o f political, religious, or ethnic identity, and the m odels we use to identify and define cultures o f pow er; w hile N ick taught us to look w ith new eyes at A n glo-Saxon E n glan d as a physical place in landscapes both real and im ag­ ined. Conversion and Colonization in Anglo-Saxon England is dedicated join tly to Patrick W orm ald, who w as to have w ritten the preface to th is volum e, and to N ich olas H ow e, who d id not live to see its publication. T h ey w ill both be deeply m issed.

2 See for exam ple, Patrick W orm ald, The M aking o f English L aw : K ing A lfred to the Twelfth Century., vol. 1, Legislation and its Lim its (O xford, 1999); idem, "Engla Lond: T h e M aking o f an Allegiance,'nJo u rn al o f H istorical Sociology 7 (1994): 1-24 (repr. in idem , L e­ g a l Culture in the E arly M edieval West: Law as Text, Im age and Experience [London, 1999], 359-82); R ew riting O ld English in the Twelfth Century, ed. M ary Swan and Elaine Treham e (Cam bridge, 2 0 00); R . R . D avies, The F irst English Em pire: Power and Identities in the B ritish Isles 1093-1343 (O xford, 2 0 00); L ois L . Huneycutt, M atilda o f Scotland; A Study in M edieval Queensbip (W oodbridge, 2003).

F rom B ritish to E nglish C h ristianity : D econstructing B ede ’s I nterpretation of the C onversion N icholas B rooks

T h e early histories o f B ritish and o f E nglish C h ristianity have been seen as two separate subjects. In 1997 the 1400th anniversary o f the arrival o f the m ission o f St. A ugustine in Canterbury in the year 597 to convert the pagan E nglish w as held to com m em orate the beginning o f E nglish C h ristianity and o f the E nglish church’s continuous history as an established religion. Thereby the interpretation o f its early historian, Bede, w as accepted. But the C h ristian faith had o f course already reached Britain at least four centuries before that date and could indeed claim to have been an established religion for more than 280 years by that tim e. In interpreting 597 have we too readily accepted Bede’s concept o f a separate E nglish ethnic identity and his reluctance to recognize the contribution o f British C h ristians to E nglish C hristianity? T h at is the fundam ental question that underlies th is paper.

I. Romano-BritishChristianity A fter m ore than a century o f persecution , C h ristian fortun es throughout the Rom an Em pire had been transform ed by C onstantine’s victory over M axentius in the battle o f the M ilvian Bridge in 312. C onstantine and Licinius’s M ilan rescript o f the follow ing year extended to M axim inus’s form er dom ain the general religious toleration that they had already established throughout their territories. B ut the rescript went on to place great em phasis on the restitution o f confiscated C h ris­ tian properties and buildings, both to individuals and com m unities.1 T hereafter

1 For the G reek text o f the m isnam ed "E d ict,” see Eusebius, EcclesiasticalH istory, ed. and trans. John Ernest Leonard O ulton (London, 1927), 10.5, 2 .4 4 4 -5 2 ; for the Latin text, see Lactantius, D e mortibuspersecutorum, ed. and trans. John L . Creed, O xford E ar­ ly C hristian Texts (O xford, 1984), chap. 4 8 ,7 0 -7 2 .



C h ristianity had rapidly becom e the “established” religion o f the Rom an w orld, and episcopal sees had been either newly set up, or else consolidated, in the civitates throughout the Em pire. In Britain Rom an cities — som ewhat artificial creations that were perhaps al­ ready in decay2— proved an uncertain ground for the establishm ent o f the C h rist­ ian religion. T h e delegations from B ritish provinces to the C oun cils o f A rles (314), N icaea (325), Serdica (343), and A rim inium (359/360) were sm all, and som e had need o f conciliar or im perial finan cial support. C h ristianity in Britain, as throughout the Em pire, w as, however, organized on the basis o f the Rom an tow ns, and seem s to have becom e sufficiently pow erful there to bring a rapid end to urban pagan tem ples and, in London, to pagan offerings at London B ridge.3 B ut the urban C h ristian com m unities may have been predom inantly draw n from a very lim ited upper class, the highly Rom anized British elite. T h e town w alls, the C h ristian chapels and C h ristian m osaics in a num ber o f B ritish Rom an villas, and the splendor o f som e C h ristian silver hoards buried in the late fourth or early fifth century point to the w ealth but also to the insecurity o f this B ritish elite.4 T here is every reason to expect that m etropolitan sees w ill have been established in the four or five provincial capitals o f fourth-century B ritain: London, York, Lincoln, Cirencester, and, for a b rief tim e, possibly C arlisle (fig. l .l ) .5 Sim ilarly we should

2 The view that British Roman towns were already in decay in the fourth century de­ rives from the numismatic record. See Richard Reece, "Town and Country: T he End o f Roman Britain,” WorldArchaeology 12 (1980): 77-92. Nonetheless British towns received m assive investment in town w alls enclosing huge enceintes in the fourth century, whereas in G aul only lim ited citadels were enclosed. See Stephen Johnson, “Late Roman Urban D efenses in Europe,” in Roman Urban Defences in the West, ed. John M aloney and Brian Hobley, C B A Research Report 51 (London, 1983), 69-76. 3 For the closure o f urban pagan tem ples, see N eil Faulkner, The Decline and F a ll o f Roman B ritain (Stroud, 2000), 127; for the dram atic decline o f offerings at London Bridge in the second quarter o f the fourth century, see M ichael Rhodes, “T he Roman C oinage from London Bridge,” B ritan nia 22 (1991): 179-90, and the far more rounded discussion in Bruce W atson, Trevor Brigham , and Tony D yson, London Bridge: 2000 Years o f a R iver Crossing (London, 2001), 36-37. 4 For differing interpretations o f the role o f C hristianity in Roman Britain, see Charles Thom as, C hristianity in Roman B ritain toA .D . 500 (London, 1981); M artin H enig, R eli­ gion in Roman B ritain (London, 1984), 214-16; Faulkner, Decline andFaU o f Roman B rit­ ain , 116-20,127-28; D avid Petts, Christianity in Roman B ritain (Stroud, 2003). 5John C . M ann, “T he A dm inistration o f Roman Britain,” Antiquity 35 (1961): 3 162 0 ; M ark W . C . H assall, “Britain in the N otifia,” in Aspects ofthe N otifia D ignitatum , ed. Roger G oodbum and Philip Bartholomew, B A R , suppl. ser. 15 (O xford, 1976), 103-18; A . Sim on Esm onde Cleary, The Ending o fRoman B ritain (London, 1989), 47-48.

From British to English Christianity


presum e that bishoprics w ill have been established in m ost, perhaps in all, o f the m «A «-capitals, for exam ple at Canterbury (.Durovemum Cantiacorum) and W in­ chester (Venta Belgarum), in the course o f the fourth century.

Fig. 1.1. T h e Provinces and M etropolitan C ities o f Fourth-Century Britain (London and York had been provincial centers since the second century. Probably from Diocletian’s reign and certainly by 312-314 the two British provinces had been divided to make four. It is uncertain whether the prov­ ince o f Valentia was a further subdivision in the north after 367 or a renam­ ing o f an existing province. A ll boundaries are conjectural and schematic.)



II. T he Break in Christian Memory In no m etropolitan or diocesan see can we trace a continuous episcopal history from Rom an tim es through to the A nglo-Saxon period. Both the R om ano-British and the British histories o f these sees are lost to us. T h is hiatus in C h ristian tradi­ tion is explained by som e as reflecting a failure o f C h ristianity to establish itse lf as securely in Rom an Britain as it had elsewhere in the W est in the later fourth cen­ tury.6 O thers w ould rather attribute the m em ory loss to C hristianity’s association w ith B ritish m ilitary and political failures from the m id-fifth century in the face o f pagan G erm anic invaders who had their own w ar-gods and their own distinctive culture. By 597 four or five generations o f pagan A nglo-Saxon rule in eastern and southern Britain may have sufficed to destroy the m em ory o f the C h ristian B rit­ ish past there.78A third option m ight be that the British traditions o f the church o f Canterbury, as o f other cult centers, were to be deliberately forgotten after 597 in a program o f cultural and ethnic am nesia during the seventh and eighth centuries. Rom an authority thenceforth m ight be associated, not w ith m em ories o f R om an B ritain, but w ith the assertion o f a com m on E nglish identity.1 W hich o f these rival explanations, or what m ixture o f them , can account for the apparently unbridge­ able hiatus between British and A nglo-Saxon C hristianity? T h at is the question that underlies th is paper’s reassessm ent o f som e fam iliar and som e not so fam iliar evidence. Is it possible to rethink the issues free from the constraints which our sources seek to im pose or at least w ith a better understanding o f them ?

III. Bede’s Interpretation W h at is certainly clear is th at our received account o f E n glish C h ristian ity as the product o f the Rom an m issions o f A ugustin e, M ellitus, and B irinus and o f the Irish m ission o f A idan o f Iona at Lin disfarne is an elaborate construct. It is the

6 W illiam H . C . Frend, "Pagans, C hristians and the Barbarian Conspiracy o f A .D . 367 in Rom an Britain,” B ritan nia 23 (1992): 111-23; idem, "Rom an Britain: A Failed Prom ise?” in The Cross Goes North, ed. M artin Carver (W oodbridge, 2003), 79-91; Thom as, C hristianity in Roman B ritain , 265 and fig. 48; Dorothy W atts, Religion in L ate Roman B ritain : Forces o f Change (London, 1998). 7John N oel L . M yres, The English Settlements (O xford, 1986); Frank M erry Stenton, A nglo-Saxon England, 3rd ed. (O xford, 1971), 1 8 ,6 4 . 8 N icholas P. Brooks, "Canterbury, Rome and the Construction o f English Identity,” in E arly M edieval Rome and the C hristian West: Essays in Honour o f D onald A . Bullough, ed. Ju lia M . H . Sm ith (Leiden, 2000), 221-46; idem , “Canterbury and Rome: T he Lim ­ its and M yth o f rom anitas,” Settim ane di stu d i. . . sull'alto medievo 49 (2002): 797-832. See also Brian W ard-Perkins, “W hy D id the A nglo-Saxons N ot Becom e M ore British?” English H istorical Review 15 (2000): 513-32.

From British to English Christianity


w ork o f one o f the greatest teachers o f the early M iddle A ges, nam ely the N or­ thum brian m onk B ede, who w as w riting in the m onastery o f Jarrow . H e com ­ pleted the EcclesiasticalHistory o fthe English People in or around the year 731, and one o f its essential them es is that there had been no B ritish involvement in the conversion o f the A nglo-Saxons.9 Bede had draw n extensively upon the rhetorical denunciation o f B ritish sinfulness in the De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae o f the sixth-century B ritish (i.e. W elsh) m onk G ild as.10 Bede utilized G ild as’s w arnings to his countrym en to conclude that the conquest o f m ost o f B ritain by pagan Saxones had indeed been divine retribution for the Britons’ sins. For B ede, the failure o f the Britons to preach the word o f G od to the A nglo-Saxons “who inhabited B ritain w ith them ” {H E 1.22) w as one further indication o f B ritish inadequacies. H e had no intention o f portraying the grow th o f the E n glish diocesan and epis­ copal hierarchy as a peaceful developm ent from the B ritish past. O n the contrary, E n glish control o f low land B ritain w as ju stified precisely because the C h ristian Britons had shown them selves unw orthy o f holding the land. In addition to the denunciations o f their own historiens (G ild as), Bede could adduce the Britons’ per­ sistence in ecclesiastical error in h is own day in rejecting C atholic practice w ith regard to the date o f E aster and to the form o f the m onastic tonsure. Bede depicted the E n glish after their conversion as, by contrast, a godly peo­ ple, who cultivated their lin k s w ith R om e and prided them selves on their R om an rectitude in m atters o f ecclesiastical controversy. Bede w as, o f course, not alone in the eighth century in ju stify in g A n glo-Saxon ethnic lan d-takin g and in in­ sistin g upon C ath olic orthodoxy. Very m uch the sam e attitudes and enm ities can be found, for exam ple, in A ldhelm ’s letter to K in g G erain t o f D um nonia or in Stephen o f R ipon’s account o f the endow m ent o f W ilfrid ’s church at R ipon w ith the lands o f B ritish churches expropriated by N orthum brian E n glish kin gs.11 It w as also for th is reason th at pre-C on quest E n glish churches largely chose to re­ m em ber E n glish sain ts, w hose relics they preserved, and also E n glish rulers and founders, w hose tom bs they honored.12 T h u s C anterbury scarcely developed the

9 Bede, H istoria Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, ed. and trans. Bertram Colgrave and R . A . B . M ynors (O xford, 1969) (hereafter cited as Bede, H E ). 10 G ildas, The Ruin o f B ritain , ed. and trans. M ichael W interbottom (London, 1978). For recent reassessm ents, see G ildas: Hew Approaches, ed. D avid N . D um ville and M ichael Lapidge (W oodbridge, 1984), and N icholas J . H igham , The English Conquest: G ildas an d B ritain in the F ifth Century (M anchester, 1994). 11 A ldhelm , Opera omnia, ed. R udolf Ehw ald, M G H , Auctores A ntiquissim i 15 (Berlin, 1919), 4 8 0 -8 6 ; Aldhelm: The Prose Works, ed. M ichael Lapidge and M ichael Herren (Ipsw ich, 1979), 1 4 0 -4 3 ,1 5 5 -6 0 ; Stephanus, V itasancti W ilfridi, chap.17, in The L ife o f Bishop W ilfrid by Eddius Stephanus, ed. Bertram Colgrave (Cam bridge, 1927), 36. 12 K arl H einrich Krüger, Königsgrabkirchen der Franken, Angelsachsen und L an ­ gobarden bis zu r M itte des 8. Jahrhunderts (M unich, 1971); D onald A . Bullough, “Burial, Com m unity and B elief in the Early M edieval W est,” in Ideal and R eality in Frankish



cult o f A ugu stin e, but instead honored the tom bs o f the early archbishops and o f the kin gs o f K ent equally, w hile Lin disfarn e preferred its E n glish sain t, C uth bert, to its Irish founder, A idan . H ere, and in a host o f other churches, E n glish com m unities were involved in preserving E n glish m em ories in a com m on pro­ gram o f E n glish ethnogenesis. A lthough his subject w as the ecclesiastical history o f the E n glish , Bede de­ voted seventeen chapters o f h is first book to the history o f C h ristian ity in R om an B ritain (H E 1.4-21). M o st o f these chapters have, I suspect, been seldom read by m odern scholars, since Bede w as here con flatin g known w ritten sources and is not h im self a prim ary authority. T h ey have certainly occasioned no scholarly de­ bate, even though they have m uch to tell us o f B ede’s own purposes. H e needed to explain to his E n glish readers th at the B ritons had been C h ristian before the A n glo-Saxon s, and his account w as necessarily sensitive. It had to avoid lending credence to B ritish claim s to rule areas that had since passed to A n glo-Saxon control. For exam ple, tales o f em inent or saintly B ritish bishops o f London or o f York m ight have risked being so utilized. Viewed as a w hole, the agenda o f B ede’s account o f B ritish C h ristian ity seem s clear. Its em phasis is, on the one hand, on R om an im perial and papal authority as the source o f legitim acy, and on the other on B ritish sinfulness and heresy. T h u s Bede begins by recounting the reception o f the C h ristian faith into B ritain by m eans o f a supposed m ission sent by Pope Eleutherius (A .D . 174-180) to the m ythical B ritish kin g Lu cius. A fter L u cius’s tim e the faith is sim ply said to have been preserved in peace until the tim es o f the Em peror D iocletian (H E 1.4). A fter a chapter on the rule o f the E m peror Sever­ us (H E 1.5), he describes (H E 1 .6 -7 ) the persecutions o f B ritish C h ristian s, in particular the m artyrdom o f St. A lban at V erulam ium , though he also m entions those o f A aron and Ju liu s at C aerleon. A fter tellin g o f a furth er period o f peace, he goes on to stress the B ritish connections o f C onstantius and H elen, o f their son, the Em peror C onstantine, and o f his w ork in spreading and d efin in g the C h ristian faith , particularly through the C oun cil o f N icaea (1.8). H e next re­ cords the grow th o f the heresy o f the B riton, P elagius, and then the sack o f Rom e *8 and A nglo-Saxon Society: Studies Presented to J . M . W allace-H adrill, ed. Patrick W ormald (O xford, 1983), 177-201; A lan Thacker, “In G regory’s Shadow,” in S t Augustine an d the Conversion o f England, ed. Richard G am eson (Stroud, 1999), 374-90; Catherine C ubitt, “Universal and L ocal Saints in A nglo-Saxon England,” and John Blair, “A Saint for Ev­ ery M inster: L ocal C ults in A nglo-Saxon England,” in Local Saints and Local Churches in the E arly M edieval West, ed. A lan Thacker and Richard Sharpe (O xford, 2002), 423-53, 455-94. Church dedications, and in particular the churches and wells o f St. H elen, are a separate issue. G raham Jones, “H oly W ells and the C u lt o f St. H elen,” Landscape H istory 8 (1986): 59-74, shows some o f the difficulties o f distinguishing the mother o f Constan­ tine from sim ilarly named figures o f myth and folklore and o f producing any distribu­ tions that are chronologically coherent.

From British to English Christianity


by the G oth s (1.9) and the abandonm ent o f B ritain by the R om ans (1.10-12). H e records a m ission by P alladius sent to the Irish in A .D . 431 by Pope C elestin e (1.13), but sign ifican tly he has nothing at all to say here (or indeed later in his book) o f the B ritish m issionary P atrick. T h en he returns to the sins o f the B rit­ ons (1.14) and to the tw o m issions to B ritain o f S t. G erm anus, bishop o f A ux­ erre, to com bat the P elagian heresy in B ritain (1.17-21). F in ally he em phasizes B ritish unw orthiness as transm itters o f the faith as evidenced by their failure to preach to the people o f the "Saxon s or E n glish ” (1.22). From B ede’s presentation the reader m ight therefore conclude th at B ritish C h ristian ity before the seventh century had been both devoid o f any m issionary agenda and in constant need o f doctrinal correction from Rom e.

IV. Bede’s View o f the English Conversion W hen Bede turns to the m issions to the E n glish (gens Angloruni), h is account is alm ost solely one o f m issionary w ork at the courts o f A n glo-Saxon kin gs.13 T h e presum ption appears to be th at w hat w as necessary to establish C h ristian ity w as to convert the kin g and h is E n glish follow ers at court. I f a bishop could be first established under royal protection in the king’s household and thereafter in a convenient see, the construction o f m onasteries and churches, where C h ristian cult could be m aintained, w ould follow in due course. T h is is not an account o f a “bottom -up” conversion w ith C h ristian groups (whether o f B ritish or A n gloSaxon origin) gradually converting their m asters and being strengthened in their faith through the hard path o f persecution and m artyrdom . It is rather portrayed as a top-dow n process whereby a gens, com prising the king and h is com panions (comités), who form the arm y or “folk,” together take the political and religious decision to accept C h ristian ity either from the continent or from a neighboring A n glo-Saxon kingdom . T h e ethnic agenda o f the process th at Bede describes is m ade clear in his account o f W ine (U in i), who as bishop o f the W est Saxons in 6 6 4 -6 6 5 found h im self the only consecrated E n glish bishop to survive the plague. W ine therefore sought assistance from tw o B ritish bishops in the conse­ cration o f C h ad , whom K in g O sw iu had selected to be h is N orthum brian bishop at York.14 Sadly, we are not told where these tw o bishops had com e from , nor w hether (nor for how long) their B ritish C h ristian com m unities m ay have had contact w ith the W est Saxons. B u t the participation o f these bishops in the con­ secration cerem ony w as itse lf enough to ensure th at C h ad ’s elevation w as to be

13 Barbara Yorke, “T h e Reception o f C hristianity by A nglo-Saxon Royal C ourts,” in S t Augustine an d the Conversion, ed. G am eson, 152-73. 14 For W ine’s career, see Bede, H E 3.7; for his consecration o f C had, 3.28.



unacceptable both at Rom e and at Canterbury, when the hierarchy w as eventu­ ally re-established there in M ay 669 w ith the arrival o f T heodore. T h at result, however, w as not so m uch the product o f R om an or o f C anterbury policy as o f their response to the determ ined opposition o f C h ad 's D eiran-sponsored rival W ilfrid , who had gone to G au l for consecration in the absence o f sufficien t E n g­ lish bishops. B ede’s view point — though he w as a m onk who had renounced w hatever stan din g his own fam ily’s origin s m ight have carried — is that o f the E n glish ru lin g class and o f th is orthodox hierarchy.15 In the Ecclesiastical History he is not evidently concerned w ith the faith o f the rural underclass. T h e unw ritten as­ sum ption is either that peasants w ill follow the exam ple o f their lords, or perhaps th at the beliefs o f rustics are irrelevant to the ecclesiastical history o f the gensAnglorum, o f w hich they form ed no part. Elsew here, o f course, in a fam ous episode in his prose Vita sancti Cuthberti, Bede did show aw areness o f the pastoral needs o f a lower social group. H e tells us how in the heart o f B ernicia, on the Tyne es­ tuary, the local peasants resented the m onks’ prohibition o f their old pagan rites and failure to provide instruction in the practices o f the new cult. T h ey rejected the youthful C uthbert’s attem pt to intercede on the m onks’ beh alf, until they were sham ed when his prayers calm ed the river’s dangerously rough w aters. E arly m insters evidently had d ifficu lty in organizing regular and system atic pastoral care for the rural laity.16 T h e m ap o f all the places recorded in B ede’s History (fig. 1.2) brings out very clearly another feature o f his interpretation, namely ju st how eastern is Bede’s con­ ception o f the E nglish people whose ecclesiastical history he w as recounting.17 H e does describe the establishm ent o f a see under E nglish rule at W hithorn {H E 3.4),

15 It is at least curious that the name Beda is already found in “Bernicia” as one o f the two A laisiagae (household gods or goddesses?) in an early third-century inscription form­ ing the left-hand o f two inscribed jam bs o f an arched doorway to a shrine from Chapel H ill, H ousesteads. It is now in Chesters M useum : see Robin G eorge Collingw ood and Richard Pearson W right, Roman Inscriptions o f B ritain , I (O xford, 1965), no. 1593: “D E O / M A R T I / T H IN G S O / E T D U A BU S / A L A ISIA G IS / B E D E E T F IM M IL E N E E T N (um ini) A U G (usti) G E R /M (an i) C IV E S T U /IH A N T I / V(otum ) S(olverunt) L(ibentes) M (erito).” T he Germ an cives Thihanti are understood to be from the district o f Twenthe, in the province o f Over-Yssel, H olland, and the right-hand inscription (no. 1594) identifies them as form ing a detachment o f Frisians {Uctmeus F risioru m ) and dates the shrine to the reign o f Severus Alexander (222-235). I owe my knowledge o f these inscriptions to D r. Richard M orris. Beda is the hypocoristic or pet form o f dithem atic G erm anic names beginning Bado-, B adu-, Beado-, etc. 16 Bede, Vita sancti Cuthberti, ed. Bertram C olgrave, in Two L ives o f S t Cuthbert (Cam bridge, 1941), chap. 3 ,1 6 0 -6 4 . 17 D avid H ill, A tlas < f Anglo-Saxon England (O xford, 1971), 30 (no. 41).

From British to English Christianity


F ig . 1.2. Bede’s E ngland, after H ill and Jackson. (A ll the places and rivers mentioned by Bede are shown, but not the names o f peoples or groups; and Caeileon (quoted from G ildas) is also excluded. T he sites o f major battles around the Northum brian kingdom are shown. T he shaded westerly areas are K . Jackson’s areas II and III, where an increasing proportion o f the rivernames are C eltic [see p. 13].)

and S t. C uthbert’s v isit to C arlisle and the herm itage o f C uthbert’s friend H ereberct in Derw entw ater and he records C uthbert’s cult at the Cum berland m onas­ tery o fD acre under its E nglish abbot Suidberct {H E 4 .2 9 ,3 2 ). But otherw ise Bede



has no E nglish church history at all to relate w est o f the Pennines. In w estern N or­ thum bria he therefore only know s about a narrow corridor, m ore or less alon g H adrian’s W all from the Tyne valley to the E den valley and to the shores o f the Solway. H e know s nothing o f other territories on the B ritish frontier, nam ely w estern M ercia or w estern W essex. T h is reflects the predom inantly eastern con­ centration not only o f h is contacts and sources in B ernicia and D eira, but also o f m ost o f his southern inform ants: A bbot A lbinus o f Canterbury, N othhelm the priest o f L ondon, and A bbot E si o f E ast A n glia. B ishop D an iel o f W inchester w as as far w est as h is southern inform ants extended.18 W hether by design or by accident, it is a fact o f crucial im portance th at B ede’s inform ation w as com ing from sources that were m uch m ore eastern than the “people” w hose ecclesiastical history he w as w riting.

V. English Settlement and Identity W e may note, however, that the churches and sites whose stories form the founda­ tion o f the Ecclesiastical History cover the sam e area o f lowland Britain as the socalled “pagan A nglo-Saxon cem eteries,” particularly those which m ay be assigned to the fifth and the first three quarters o f the sixth century (fig. 1.3).19 O f course we have been taught in the last tw enty-five years not to regard those crem ated or buried in such cem eteries as necessarily all com prising G erm anic im m igrants and their descendants.20 Proclaim ed ethnic identity is indeed unlikely to have coincid­ ed w ith biological descent or w ith burial practice. T here rem ain w ide differences between those archaeologists who consider that item s or assem blages o f m aterial

18H E , preface (ed. Colgrave and Mynors), 2 -6 ; D avid P. Kirby, “Bede’s Native Sources for the H istoria E cclesiastical Bulletin ofthe John Rylands Library 48 (1966): 341-71. 19John H ines, “Philology, A rchaeology and the aduentus Saxonum uelAnglorum in Britain,” in B ritain 4 0 0 -6 0 0 : Language and H istory, ed. A lfred Bam m esberger and A l­ fred W ollm an (H eidelberg, 1990), 17-36 has a series o f m aps o f fundam ental value. T hey are updated in John H ines, “T he A nglian M igration in British H istorical Research,” Stu­ dien zu r Sacbsenfbrscbung 11 (1999): 155-65. 20 A nglo-Saxon Cemeteries, ed. Philip Rahtz, T ania D ickinson, and Lorna W atts, B A R Brit. Ser. 82 (O xford, 1980); C hris J. A rnold, An Archaeology ofthe Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms (London, 1988); A nglo-Saxon Cemeteries: A R eappraisal, ed. Edw ard Southworth (Stroud, 1990); N icholas H igham , Rome, B ritain and the A nglo-Saxons (London, 1992), 152-88; M artin W elch, English H eritage Book o f Anglo-Saxon England (London, 1992), 54-107; Sam Lucy, The Anglo-Saxon Way o f D eath (Stroud, 2000), 10-1 5 ,1 7 0 -8 1 ; Howard W illiam s, “Rem ains o f Pagan Saxondom ? — T he Study o f A nglo-Saxon C re­ mation R ites,” in B u rial in E arly M edieval England and Wales, ed. Sam Lucy and Andrew Reynolds (London, 2002), 47-71.

From British to English Christianity

F ig. 1.3 “Pagan A nglo-Saxon” C em eteries o f the F ifth and Sixth C enturies, after H ines. (N o distinction is made among cremation, in­ humation, or mixed-rite cemeteries and only those in use before ca. 575 are shown. T he cemetery distribution has been kindly provided by Professor J . H ines. T he shading [as in fig. 2] represents Jackson’s areas II and III o f the survival o f C eltic river-names.




culture found in the cem eteries can allow groups o f m igrants to be identified and those who regard such attem pts as invalid from the start.21 But these fifth - and sixth-century cem eteries were certainty new, unlike so many contem porary cem­ eteries on the continent.22 T h ey should perhaps be considered the product o f a so­ ciety organized along new lines, and adopting or im posing new places o f burial, as w ell as rites and artifacts (i.e. pottery and m etalwork) that are clearly broadly characteristic o f the continental G erm anic world. In other w ords the cem eteries, whether w illingly or by compulsion, represent an identity statement. T hey are a dec­ laration o f allegiance to a G erm anic rather than to a British or to a Rom an culture. O f course many o f the kinsfolk o f those crem ated or inhum ed in these cem eteries m ay have had little choice in the m atter, given the realities o f local power. B ut it is surely still reasonable to see these cem eteries (despite the occasional penannular brooch, hanging bow l, or crouched burial) as representing one elem ent in the “col­ lective am nesia” concerning the B ritish past o f lowland Britain and in the adoption o f an A nglo-Saxon identity. B u rial and com m em oration o f the dead are, o f course, pre-em inently occasions for reinforcing fam ily and com m unity identity. For this reason the obsessive concern o f so much m odern archaeological scholarship to show that factors other than ethnicity influence the form and the content o f indi­ vidual burials seem s to be in danger o f throw ing out the baby w ith the bathwater.

V I. Bede's Response: Ignorance or Suppression o f the British Role? B ede, as we have seen, w as profoundly ignorant o f ultra-Pennine N orthum bria and had no inform ant from M ercia or from w estern W essex. H e d id know that A ldhelm had been abbot o f M alm esbury before being consecrated as bishop in 21 For recent arguments identifying groups o f migrants, see M artin W elch, Early AngloSaxon Sussex, B A R Brit. Ser. 112 (O xford, 1983); John H ines, Clasps, Hektespenner, Agraffen: Anglo-Scandinavian Clasps o f Classes A -C o f the 3rd to 6,h Centim es: Typology, D iffusion and Function (Stockholm, 1993); idem, “The Becom ing o f the English: Identity, M aterial Cul­ ture and Language in Early Anglo-Saxon England,” A SSA H 7 (1994): 50-59, here 52-54; Helen Hamerow, “M igration Theory and the Anglo-Saxon Identity Crisis,” in M igrations and Invasions in Archaeological Explanation, ed. John Chapman and eadem, B A R Int. Ser. 664 (Oxford, 1997), 33-44. Those reluctant to identify ethnic groups include C . J. Arnold, Roman B ritain to Saxon England (London, 1984), 120-41; H igham , Rome, B ritain and the Anglo-Saxons, 152-88; Guy H alsall, Early M edieval Cemeteries:An Introduction to B u rialA r­ chaeology in the Post-Roman West (Glasgow, 1995), 56-61; Lucy, Anglo-Saxon Way o fDeath, 13-15,155-84. For a general and highly critical interpretation o f the problems o f relating ar­ chaeological data to ethnicity, see Sian Jones, TheArchaeology o f Ethnicity (London, 1997). 22 D etailed com parisons o f English and continental cemeteries are still regrettably rare. But see Sally Craw ford, “Britons, A nglo-Saxons and the G erm anic Burial Rite,” in M igrations and Invasions, ed. Chapm an and Hamerow, 45-72.

From British to English Christianity


705, but not apparently the location o f A ldhelm ’s see at Sherborne (H E 5.18). H e w as also totally ignorant o f the history o f the see and territory o f the M agonsæ te (H ereford?) and largely ignorant o f th at o f the H w icce, w hich we can place at W orcester (H E 4 .2 3 ,5 .2 3 ). Yet it is in exactly these w est m idland a re a s— where Bede w as ignorant — th at we are beginnin g to fin d evidence for continuities be­ tw een the B ritish and A n glo-Saxon churches and perhaps for B ritish contribu­ tions to the E n glish church.23 In w estern W essex too the evidence o f the B ritish C h ristian inscriptions from W areham (D orset) or o f possible B ritish C h ristian antecedents at Sherborne and elsewhere su ggests th at the transition from B ritish to E n glish C h ristian ity took m ore from B ritish C h ristian ity than B ede’s onetrack account o f m issions to pagan A n glo-Saxon courts m ight su ggest.24 It is, o f course, a m oot point w hether, i f B ede had had w estern inform ants to tell o f the w ork o f B ritish C h ristian s, he w ould have suppressed that know ledge. For de­ spite h is extensive N orthum brian contacts B ede tells us nothing o f claim s that B ritons participated in the conversion o f E dw in nor th at K in g O sw iu o f N or­ thum bria (6 4 2 -6 7 1 ) had had a B ritish w ife, R ieinm elth.2S It is also notew orthy th at those areas where B ede fails to tell us o f the estab­ lishm ent o f A n glo-Saxon bishoprics and m onasteries are exactly those where we have evidence for the greatest survival o f B rittonic speakers (fig. 2 ). Indeed, they coincide in p art w ith “region 3” in Kenneth Jackson ’s fam ous m ap o f the survival o f C eltic river-nam es in B ritain .26 In other w ords, Bede tells us least about the areas where B ritish influence w as greatest and where A n glo-Saxon C h ristian rule took over from B ritish C h ristian control w ith only a short — or even w ith no — intervening pagan period. B ede’s interpretative m odel for the conversion is perhaps one th at applies better to the areas o f prim ary A n glo-Saxon settle­ m ent, where we m ay suppose th at G erm anic paganism had been m ost firm ly es­ tablished. T h ere is surely an instructive contrast betw een, on the one hand, the 23 Patrick Sim s-W illiam s, Religion an d Literature in Western England, 6 0 0 -8 0 0 (Cam bridge, 1990), 5 4 -8 5 ; Steven R. B assett, “Church and D iocese in the W est M id­ lands: T he Transition from British to A nglo-Saxon C ontrol,” in Pastoral Care before the Parish, ed. John B lair and Richard Sharpe (Leicester, 1992), 1 3 -4 0 ; idem , “Churches in W orcester Before and A fter the Conversion o f the A nglo-Saxons ” A ntiquariesJo u rn al 69 (1989): 225-35; idem, “How the W est was W on,” A SSA H 11 (2000): 107-18. 24 Barbara Yorke, Wessex in the E arly M iddle Ages (Leicester, 1995), 149-80; Susan Pearce, Devon an d Cornw all in the E arly M iddle Ages (London, 2004), 135-96. 25 For Rieinm elth, daughter o f Royth, son o f Run, see H istoria Brittonum , chap. 56 in Nennius, B ritish H istory an d the WelshA nnals, ed. John M orris (London, 1980); for the inclusion o f R xgnm eld in the Durham Liber Vitae, see N ora K . Chadw ick, “T he Conver­ sion o f N orthum bria: A Com parison o f the Sources,” and Kenneth H . Jackson, “On the Northern British Section in Nennius,” in Celt an d Saxon, ed. N ora K . Chadw ick (C am ­ bridge, 1971), 138-66 (here 158-59) and 1-59 (here 2 1 ,4 2 ,5 0 ,5 6 ). 26 Kenneth H . Jackson, Language and H istory in Early B ritain (Edinburgh, 1953), 220.



law codes o f K in g Æ thelberht and o f later K entish kin gs and, on the other, the law s o f K in g Ine o f the W est Saxons. T h e seventh-century K entish kings seem to have felt no need to enact provisions for any B ritish subjects, w hereas K in g Ine’s code m akes provision for B ritish landow ners, w ho are assign ed wergilds and com ­ pensations o f h a lf the value o f W est Saxons o f equivalent statu s.27 T h e pressures for acculturation, influencin g B ritons to adopt a com m on E n glish identity, were therefore strong, w hether we interpret them prim arily as fin an cial and legal or as m ilitary — involving the right to bear arm s and to participate fully in a w arrior society. W h at seem s clear is th at the process had progressed very m uch less far in the w estern areas, ignored by B ede, than it had in the south and the east. Two topics seem to offer particularly valuable controls for testing Bede's inter­ pretation o f the relationship o f B ritish and A nglo-Saxon C h ristianity: the “Eccles” place-nam es and the sites o f the episcopal churches o f B ritish and early A ngloSaxon C hristianity. B oth seem to be fields where a reassessm ent o f the current sit­ uation is needed before the opportunities for further investigations are taken up.

V II. Eccles Nam es T h e pioneering w ork o f Kenneth C am eron, G eoffrey Barrow , and M argaret G ellin g in the late 1960s and early 1970s underlies current understanding o f the E ccles place-nam es (fig. 1.4). T h ey were form ed from the Prim itive W elsh w ord *eglis (m odern W elsh eglwys), a loanw ord from L atin ecclesia, indicating a church o f B ritish C h ristian s.28 E ccles takes its place alongside other L atin loanw ords

27 Frederick Levi Attenborough, Law s o f the E arliest English K ings (Cam bridge, 1922). For alternative interpretations, see Lou is Alexander, “T he L egal Status o f the N ative Britons in Late Seventh-Century W essex as Reflected in the Lawcode o f Ine,” H askins Society Jo u rn al 7 (1995): 31-38, and Paul Barnwell, “Britons and W arriors in Post-Rom an South-East England,” A SSA H 12 (2003): 1 -8 , here 3 -4 . 28 Kenneth Cam eron, “Eccles in English Place-Nam es,” in C hristianity in B ritain 300—700, ed. M aurice Barley and Richard Patrick Crosland H anson (Leicester, 1968), 177-92; G eoffrey W. S. Barrow, The Kingdom o f the Scots (Edinburgh, 1973), 7-68, here 6 0 -6 4 ; M argaret G elling, Signposts to the P ast (London, 1978), 82-83, 96-99. See also Thom as, C hristianity in Roman B ritain to A .D . 5 0 0 ,262—66; and for detailed local stud­ ies, see M argaret L . Faull, “Phosphate A nalysis and Three Possible Dark-Age Ecclesias­ tical Sites in Yorkshire,” Landscape H istory 2 (1980): 21-38; D enise Kenyon, The O rigins o f Lancashire (M anchester, 1991), 95-96; and Tom W illiam son, The O rigins o f Norfolk (M anchester, 1995), 5 5 ,7 1 ,1 4 8 , who however m istakenly supposes that the N orfolk E ccles-nam es m ight have derived fiom Icel and the Ickneild Way. A . W ard, “Church A r­ chaeology 410-597: T he Problem o f Continuity,” Archaeologia C antiana 124 (2004): 37595, here 376-77, hazards a bizarre case for deriving Eccles (Kent) directly from Greek.

From British to English Christianity


F ig . 1.4 . E cd es-n am es in E n glan d an d south ern Sco tlan d , after C am eron and Barrow . (T h e sh adin g again represents Jack son ’s ar­ eas II and III in the survival o f C eltic river-nam es, but h is analysis did not extend into Scotlan d , so the su ggested boundary betw een them in Scotlan d is conjectural.)

found in E n glish place-nam es, such as junta, campus, and uicus in su ggestin g a degree o f continuity either from the Rom an or from the B ritish and sub-R om an landscape. E ccles-nam es seem to refer to a church buildin g (or to a C h ristian com m unity) w hich had been distinctive in its local context. T h ey occur either in simplex form (E ccles) or com pounded w ith an O ld E n glish su ffix (-tun, -halb, -feld, and -leak) — E cd e sto n , E c d e sh a ll, E cclesfield and E cd esley , etc. T h e




distribution o f E cd es-n am es is instructive. T h e single K entish exam ple and the tw o in N orfolk form a group o f three uncom pounded nam es, which are likely to be very early loans because these are areas o f prim ary A n glo-Saxon settlem ent, w hich were in G erm anic hands from the m id -fifth century. B ut an extensive blank area in E ast Y orkshire, Lin colnsh ire, the E ast M id lan d s, the T h am es val­ ley, and eastern W essex separates these three from the other E n glish E cclesnam es. H ere there were early pagan A n glo-Saxon cem eteries in plenty but no E cd es-n am es. T h e m ain concentrations o f E cd es-n am es rather occur in areas further w est, where there are in fact few or no pagan A n glo-Saxon cem eteries. T h ey occur in Staffordsh ire, L an cash ire, H erefordshire, and the W est R id in g o f Yorkshire, and in southern and eastern Scotland. T h at is to say, the E cd es-n am es are found in exactly those "m arch” areas o f w estern and northern N orthum bria and o f w estern M ercia where we have seen B ede’s inform ation to be thinn est and B ritish influence to have been greatest. I f these place-nam es denote churches or C h ristian com m unities established before the A n glo-Saxon takeover, then they m ust have been established in (or before) the early seventh century. It is instructive that many o f these nam es — such as E cd esh all in Stafford­ shire and m ost o f the Lancashire exam ples — survived as the nam es o f settlem ents w ith parish churches. Indeed, many o f the parishes have features which suggest that they had been early m edieval “minster^” or "m other-churches.” E aglesfield, near Cockerm outh in C um bria, where the church adjoins a sub-Rom an (and prob­ ably C hristian) cemetery, is another that d early hints that we m ay be looking at B ritish churches which m aintained ecclesiastical im portance subsequent^ through A nglo-Saxon and m edieval tim es. System atic topographical studies o f the E cd esnam es and o f the local parochial and m inster-church network are urgently needed to test this hypothesis.29 O n the face o f it, however, the E cdes-n am es o f northern and western England would appear to indicate churches where {pace Bede) Britons had indeed preached to the E nglish , or at least to those who cam e to think o f them ­ selves as E nglish, whatever their biological ancestry m ay have been. T h e tw o N orfolk places nam ed E c d e s and the one K entish exam ple are ex­ ceptional in lying in areas o f prim ary A n glo-Saxon settlem ent. M argaret G ell­ in g has suggested that their isolation from the bulk o f the E cd es-n am es m ight m ean th at these three place-nam es alone had been taken into E n glish usage d i­ rectly from L atin speakers, rather than from Prim itive W elsh.30 Ju st how late that borrow ing (whether directly from L atin ecclesia or rather from Prim itive

29 D r. Lloyd R . Lain g has pointed out to me that the original churchyard at Ecdeston (Cheshire) was oval, which strongly suggests that it was an im portant early British church. It had also formerly possessed a pre-Conquest cross-shaft o f ninth- or tenth-century date. See Lloyd and Jennifer Lain g, The D ark Ages o f West Cheshire (Cheshire, 1986), 20-30. 30 G elling, Signposts to the P ast, 82-83.

From British to English Christianity


W elsh *eglês) could have been w ill depend upon how lon g either L atin or Brittonic speech is considered to have rem ained in use alongside O ld E n glish in K ent and in N orfolk. B u t these three nam es are certainly a potential challenge to the B edan m odel o f B ritish -E n glish relations, i f they are held to im ply the survival o f R om ano-B ritish or B ritish churches through the period o f pagan A n glo-Sax­ on dom inance. H ere it is im portant to observe th at the tw o N orfolk exam ples did becom e m edieval parish churches, w hile the K entish E ccles did not. E c d e s in K ent indeed seem s to have had no A n glo-Saxon or m edieval church, neither a m inster nor even any private church. W e sh all see, however, that it did have an early C h ristian cem etery. T h e possibility therefore arises th at in K ent the nam e survived as the nam e o f a settlem ent, but no longer indicated a continuing C h ristian com m unity or building. T h e place-nam e m ay have becom e effectively divorced from its etym ological m eaning, and som e support m ight be found for Bede’s m odel in th is area o f prim ary E n glish settlem ent. T h e N orfolk exam ples, however, m ight indicate the survival o f tw o churches o f R om ano-B ritish or B rit­ ish (?fourth- or fifth-century) origin . O therw ise we w ould need to conclude that they both survived as the nam es o f sign ifican t settlem ents, w hich were coinci­ dentally later to give birth to sign ifican t new E n glish churches. E ach o f these eastern Eccles-nam es therefore needs detailed local topographi­ cal and archaeological study ju st as much as the w estern exam ples. A s an exam ple o f their potential we may consider here the K entish E ccles, which lies in the M ed­ way valley between Rochester and M aidstone and in the parish o f Aylesford. T here have been extensive excavations there which m ay challenge current perceptions o f this place-nam e. In fifteen annual seasons between 1962 and 1976 the late A lan D etsicas excavated a substantial Rom an villa at E ccles that had been occupied be­ tween the second and fourth centuries. W hen the excavations reached the villa’s south-eastern com er, they encountered a substantial cem etery which post-dated the villa and contained 203 inhum ation burials, predom inantly aligned W -E , and m ostly w ithout grave-goods. Ju st tw enty-four o f the graves were m odestly fu r­ nished; the total assem blage com prised three spearheads, seventeen knives, five buckles, two shears, tw o penannular brooches, one chatelaine, tw o m odest rings o f bronze and iron, and tw o spiral-headed pins. T h e site had very little stratification and few o f the grave-goods are at all closely datable, let alone ethnically diagnostic. A few graves w ere, however, aligned N -S and these seem to have been the earliest, at least in their im m ediate stratigraphic location. A frill report is still aw aited and m ust now be in doubt follow ing the excavator’s recent death; but R achel Shaw has produced an invaluable interim assessm ent.31 It is particularly unfortunate, how­

31 Rachel Shaw, “T he A nglo-Saxon Cem etery at Eccles: A Prelim inary Report," Arcbaeologia C antiana 114 (1994): 165-88. T he key finds for dating purposes were illus­ trated and discussed in A lan P. Detsicas and Sonia C . Hawkes, “Finds from the Anglo-Saxon



ever, th at an area o f p its, post-h oles, an d g u llie s adjacent to the cem etery, w hich w as first interpreted as a w ooden church, still rem ain s unplanned and w ith out any defin itive in terpretation. T w o o f the N -S graves (nos. L 5 6 an d K 19) are stratigrap h ically the earliest graves in th eir im m ediate vicin ity an d have plausibly been id en tified as “ founders’ graves” o f the w hole cem etery. O ne (K 1 9 ) is d istin gu ish ed [fig. 1.5] by a fin e bronze buckle decorated w ith sim ple G erm an ic “ Style I I ” inter­ lacin g an im als engraved upon a cross-h atch ed background. B u t the m ain elem ent o f the design is provided by a detachable applied ban d ru n n in g aroun d the edge

F ig . 1.5. T h e E c d e s B u ck le, from A . P. D etsicas and S. C . H aw kes. (B ronze buckle from grave K 19, w ith (left) view s o f the top, side and back; and (right) o f the dism em bered portions o f the buckle’s superstructure. D raw ing by M arion C ox; © Society o f A ntiquaries o f Lon don.)

Cem etery at E ccles, Kent,” A ntiquaries Jo u rn al 53 (1973): 281-86. D etsicas’s annual interim reports on the Eccles excavations are in Archaeologia C antiana from 1962, and the reports on the cemetery are found in 86 (1971): 31-35; 87 (1972): 108-10; 88 (1973): 78; 89 (1974): 44.

From British to English Christianity


and dividing the body o f the buckle w ith an elongated cross w ith stylised anim al head term inals. N orm ally hidden, because on the reverse o f the buckle, is a large salm on-like fish . D espite the alignm ent o f this grave, the buckle itse lf may have been designed to have specific, though not too assertive, C h ristian sym bolism . I f th is grave w as one o f the first bu rials, then, as Sonia C hadw ick H aw kes suggested, the E c d e s cem etery should probably be regarded as a so-called "fin alphase” A n glo-Saxon cem etery extending from the seventh century perhaps into the eighth or beyond.32 M o st o f the graves are likely to have been those o f C h ris­ tian s; they were dug alongside the ruins o f a R om an villa th at had passed out o f occupation by the end o f the fourth century. T h e cem etery lies w ithin a quarterm ile o f the m edieval m anor and m odern ham let o f E ccles, w hich m ay itse lf per­ petuate the dw elling-place o f the v illa’s rural w orkers.33 T h e archaeological re­ cord m ight su ggest th at the "founders’ graves” were o f A n glo-Saxon lords whose allegiance to C h ristian ity w as lukew arm at best. W e m ay surely w onder whether the bulk o f the graves were o f C h ristian s o f B ritish descent, w hether or not they had com e to th ink o f them selves as E n glish by the seventh century. Should we seek to relate the cem etery and the putative but unpublished w ooden build in g or church to the place-nam e? C o u ld the E cd es-n am e here have been coined in the seventh century? O r m ust we suppose th at the location o f th is cem etery beside the center o f R om ano-B ritish authority is accidental and irrelevant? In the present state o f know ledge, it is all too easy to let conjecture rip. C ould the eglës rather refer to som e unexcavated corner o f the ruined v illa where the de­ scendants o f its B ritish servile and peasant cultivators m ay have m aintained som e im poverished C h ristian w orship? C o u ld th is cem etery represent a m odest A n glicization o f a continuing B ritish C h ristian com m unity at E ccles? T h ese and m any other questions can be asked about the survival o f popular religion from R om an tim es. B u t they cannot yet be answ ered. W h at is clear is that a m ajor research study o f all the E ccles-nam es is an urgent desideratum . In K ent it needs to be backed by fu ll m icrobiological (D N A ) analysis o f the E ccles skeletons and by a program to secure high-accuracy radiocarbon dates for them . O nly then m ight we hope to know about the dates, the ethnicity, or the beliefs o f those buried in the place nam ed E ccles. O nly by such m ethods m ight we determ ine the extent o f any B ritish contribution to A n glo-Saxon C h ristianity. 32 D etsicas and H awkes, "Fin ds from Eccles,” 281-86. "Final-phase” cemeteries were the last "pagan A nglo-Saxon cem eteries,” often extending beyond the conversion and containing C hristian burials. For an im portant reassessm ent o f the term which has led some to avoid its use, see Andy Boddington, "M odes o f B urial, Settlem ent and W or­ ship: T he Final Phase Reviewed,” in A nglo-Saxon Cemeteries, ed. Southworth, 177-99. 33 In D om esday Book Eccles was a sm all manor held by R a lf fitz Turold from O do o f Bayeux. It was assessed at 3 yokes and had 7 villeins, 14 bordars, and 1 slave, and in 1086 was worth £4 (D B , i.7b).



Continuity o f Cathedral and Church Sites? I f the E c d e s place-nam es m ay be places where B ritish churches were transferred to A n glo-Saxon use or possession , then we need to ask w hether archaeological excavation and topographical research can give us any evidence o f A n glo-Saxon cathedrals succeeding to m ajor B ritish churches. O r is the evidence rather one o f a total separation betw een the tw o churches, as B ede’s History m ight lead us to suppose? Before em barking on th is survey, we need, however, to rem em ber the influence th at Bede has had on historical interpretation and therefore on the questions w ith w hich archaeologists have approached their investigations. In som e cases it m ay be th at the evidence has not been sought and therefore not found. C ertain ly we cannot point in B ritain to any excavations beneath a m edi­ eval cathedral on the scale o f those at G eneva, w hich revealed four or five ear­ lier churches o f C arolin gian , M erovingian, B urgundian and late antique d ate.34 C ath ed ral archaeology in B ritain has not had the resources o f the Sw iss banking system at its disp osal! W e m ay conveniently begin by listin g those R om an w alled settlem ents that becam e A n glo-Saxon sees: Canterbury, R ochester, London, W inchester, D orchester upon T h am es, W orcester, Dummoc, Leicester, and perhaps Lincoln and York. Som e o f these m ust be discarded for lack o f current evidence. A t York, despite the splendid exam ple o f the excavations beneath the N orm an M in ster and a generation o f w ork by the York A rchaeological T ru st, we can identify nei­ ther the cathedral church o f A lcuin’s day nor any Rom an or B ritish church in any p art o f the city.35 A t W inchester excavation has revealed the early and tiny A n glo-Saxon cathedral church, founded in the early 660s (not in 6 48), w hich rem ained w ith little change until 971. B u t no trace has been found o f the city’s R om an episcopal church in that vicinity, or indeed anywhere in the tow n.36 A t

34 Charles Bonnet, Lesfouilles de l ’ancien groupe épiscopale de Genève, 1976-1993 (G e­ neva, 1993), 22-71. 35 D avid Philips and Brenda H ey wood, Excavations a t York M inster, 1, From Roman Fortress to Norman Cathedral (London, 1995); Richard M orris, “A lcuin, York and the alm a sophia? in The Anglo-Saxon Church: Papers in Honour o f H . M . Taylor, ed. L . A . S. Butler and R . K . M orris, C B A R es. Rep. 60 (London, 1986), 80-89. 36 M artin Biddle, “W inchester: T he Development o f an Early Capital,” in Vor- und Frühformen der europäischen Stadt im M ittelalter,; ed. H erbert Jankuhn, W alter Schlesinger, and H eiko Steuer (G öttingen, 1973), 229-61; idem, “Excavations at W inchester: Interim Reports,” in A ntiquariesJou rn al 45 (1965): 2 3 0 -6 4 ; 47 (1967): 251-79; 48 (1968): 2 5 0 -8 ; 49 (1969): 295-329; Barbara Yorke, “T he Foundation o f the O ld M inster and the Status o f W inchester in the 7th and 8th Centuries,” Proceedings o f the Hampshire F ield Club 38 (1982): 75-84. T he traditional date o f648 for the foundation o f W inchester cathedral is an error o f A nglo-Saxon Chronicle ‘F ’, m isinterpreting Bede’s chronological indications.

From British to English Christianity


L eicester (Ratae Coritanorum) neither any R om ano-B ritish church nor the ca­ thedral o f the short-lived A n glo-Saxon bishopric (737-ca. 877) has yet been lo­ cated. N o com pelling case can be m ade there for the A n glo-Saxon see either at S t. N icholas’s, sited in relation to the R om an bath-com plex, or at S t. M ary-deC astro .37 A t W orcester the early A n glo-Saxon cathedral church o f S t. Peter has still not been detected, nor have we any plan o f O sw ald’s tenth-century m onastic church o f S t. M ary, despite the recognition o f elem ents o f pre-C on quest stone­ w ork in the fabric o f the N orm an cathedral and cloister. T h e suggestion th at the town’s parish church o f S t. H elen m ay preserve the site o f an im portant B rit­ ish church38 rem ains an exciting possibility w aiting to be tested by excavation. B u t to my m ind the claim that th is w as a B ritish cathedral is endangered by the tendentious nature o f the early evidence, nam ely the record o f S t. W ulfstan’s supposed synod o f 1092, w hich appears to be an elaborate m id-tw elfth-century forgery. T h e sm all R om an in dustrial settlem ent o f W orcester w as never a R o­ m an civitas-capital and is unlikely to have been the site o f a R om an see, what­ ever developm ents there m ay have been there in the post-R om an centuries under B ritish rule. Fin ally at the E a st A n glian see o f Dommuc, or Dommucae ciuitas as it w as term ed in 8 0 3 ,39 we can neither iden tify its R om an site nor locate either an A n glo-Saxon or a R om ano-B ritish cathedral. A ll are likely to have been lo st to coastal erosion. T h is leaves us w ith four sees where there w ould seem to be som e potential for investigating w hether there w as a h iatus or continuity from the R o­ m ano-B ritish to the A n glo-Saxon cathedrals: Lin coln , London, R ochester, and C anterbury itself. Lin coln m ay be considered first. A s we have already seen, it w ould have been the site o f a m etropolitan see (for the province o f F lavia C aesariensis) from the tim e o f the C oun cil o f A rles in 314. I f its fourth-century Rom an m etropolitan cathedral had been in the town’s upper fortress, it has not yet been located. Som e

37 For St. Nicholas’s and St. M ary’s, see articles by John Blair in The Blackw ellEncyclo­ paedia o f Anglo-Saxon England, ed. M ichael Lapidge et al. (O xford, 1999), 281,396-98. 38 Steven R. B assett, “Church and D iocese in the W est M idlands: T he Transition from British to A nglo-Saxon Control,” in P astoral Care before the Parish, ed. B lair and Sharpe, 13-4 0 , here 2 0 -6 . For the 1092 forgery, see Ju lia S. Barrow, “How the Tw elfthcentury M onks o f W orcester Perceived their Past,” in The Perception ofthe P ast in TkoelfthCentury Europe, ed. Paul M agdalino (London, 1992), 53-74. For the C hristian topogra­ phy o f W orcester, see now N igel Baker and Richard H olt, Urban Growth an d the M edieval Church (A ldershot, 2004), 127-37,139-95. 39W alter de G . Birch, Cartularium Saxonicum (London, 1885-1893) [hereafter cited as B C S ], no. 312. For the interpretation o f the place-nam e, see Richard C oates, uDom noc/Dommoc, Dunwich and Felixtow e,” in Richard C oates and Andrew Breeze, Celtic Voices, English Places: Studies o f the Celtic Im pact on Place-Nam es in England (Stam ford, 2000), 2 3 4 -4 0 .



portions o f a rem arkable fourth-century aisled buildin g, aligned east-w est w ith an eastern apse, have, however, been excavated in the insula beside the central crossroads o f the lower colonia, in Flaxengate (fig. 1.6). I f th is were not sim ­ ply a rather gran d tow n-house, it m ight have been, as C h arles T h om as conjec­ tured,40 an urban basilica: perhaps indeed the m issin g Rom an cathedral or else a church erected in honor o f a local m artyr’s cult in the less heavily occupied lower w alled tow n. In the upper fortress the tiny church o f St. Paul-in-the-B ail did have a central location, in the heart o f the Rom an forum . T h e earliest structure here, a prom inent tom b w ithin a rectangular stone foundation, m ay m ost plau­ sibly be iden tified as a very late Rom an cella memoriae. T h e first church on this site — built o f tim ber w ith a sim ple rectangular nave and an eastern apse — is certainly w itness to a concern to establish som e relationship to the Rom an past. T h e datin g evidence su ggests th at it should be iden tified as a fifth - or sixth-cen­ tury B ritish church. It therefore cannot have been “the stone church o f rem ark­ able w orkm anship” built by Paulinus in the 620s and used for the consecration o f A rchbishop H onorius (ca. 630), w hich, after the collapse o f the northern R om an m ission in 633, w as the base for the continued m inistry o f Jam es the deacon.41 I f the Lin coln archaeologists are correct, however, it w ould be a crucial exam ple o f a sub-R om an B ritish church developing into a m edieval urban parish church. B u t at the diocesan level S t. P aul’s is o f uncertain im portance. W e cannot know w hether its prom inent site im plies th at it had had sub-R om an or B ritish episco­ p al functions. B u t when an A n glo-Saxon see w as established for the sub-king­ dom o f Lin dsey it does not seem to have been in the upper colonia, but rather at (the still unidentified Rom an site o f) Syddensis ciuitas or Sidnacester.42 T h e lo­ cation o f the A n glo-Saxon cathedral o f L in dsey and its relation to any R om an structures therefore necessarily rem ain uncertain.

40 Thom as, C hristianity in Roman B ritain , 168-69 and figs. 24 and 37; subsequent excavation has not established the basilican plan or ecclesiastical function. See M ichael J. Jones, “T he Latter D ays o f Roman Lincoln,” in Pre-Viking Lindsey, ed. A lan Vince (L in ­ coln, 1993), 14-28, here 16. 41 Bede, H E 2.16. M ichael J. Jones, “A rchaeology in Lincoln,” in M edievalA rt and Architecture a t Lincoln Cathedral (London, 1986), 1 -8 ; Steven R . B assett, “Lincoln and the A nglo-Saxon See o f Lindsey,” A SE 18 (1989): 1-32; Pre-Viking Lindsey, ed. Vince; M ichael J . Jones, “St Paul-in-the-Bail, Lincoln,” in Churches B u ilt in Ancient Tim es: Re­ cent Studies in E arly C hristian Archaeology, ed. Kenneth Painter (London, 1994), 325-47. 42 T he see is named as Syddensis ciuitas in B C S 312 and is rendered as Sidnacestrensis by W illiam o f M alm esbury, Gesta pontificum Anglorum , ed. N icholas E . S. A . H am ilton, Rolls Series (London, 1870), 16. It is Syddena in The Chronicle o f John o f Worcester, 2 , ed. Reginald R . D arlington and Patrick M cG urk (O xford, 1995), 136. For the problems o f identification, see B assett, “Lincoln and the A nglo-Saxon See o f Lindsey.” It is possible that Sidnacester was an alternative English name for Lincoln.

From British to English Christianity


F ig. 1.6. E arly Churches in Lincoln, after M orris and Jones. (A : Fragm ent o f a basilical building in Flaxengate, at the main crossroads o f the lower Roman city [after Thom as]. Note that the building could plausibly be reconstructed up to 50% shorter. B : Foundation trenches o f early structures, tomb and o f the [timber?] apsidal church beneath St. Paul-in-the B ail, shown in relation to the courtyard o f the Roman forum.)



London presents a not d issim ilar case. T h e efforts o f the M useum o f London A rchaeology Service are transform ing our picture o f Rom an and A nglo-Saxon London. B ut the location o f the Rom an m etropolitan cathedral rem ains uncer­ tain since there has been no archaeological investigation beneath W ren’s baroque cathedral o f St. Paul’s and its m edieval predecessor. T h at prom inent site near the w est end o f the Rom an town is surely crucial for establishing w hether or not there w as any lin k betw een the A nglo-Saxon bishopric established by M ellitus in 604 (and re-established in the 660s) and the R om ano-B ritish C h ristian church. In 1992-1993, however, D avid Sankey excavated a site in the southeast o f the city at C olchester H ouse on Tow er H ill (fig. 1.7) and revealed the northeast com er ei­ ther o f a great fourth-century basilica or o f a great aisled granary or horreum. T h e analogy o f S t. Tecla’s in M ilan , one o f a num ber o f peripheral basilical churches w ith which that im perial city w as ringed during the age o f St. A m brose, togeth­ er w ith central location o f a w ell suggests that th is is indeed a fragm ent o f a late fourth-century basilica. B ut the conclusion th at it m ay therefore have been L on ­ don’s "R om an cathedral” is a w ild non sequitur. I f it is indeed a church, it w ould seem much m ore likely to have been, like St. Tecla’s, a basilica, constructed in an area beyond the m ain area o f urban settlem ent, to com m em orate a local m artyr. A s w ith the possible basilica at Flaxengate, Lincoln, neither the site nor any m ar­ tyr’s cult survived in use through the D ark A ges there. It m ay therefore w itness a hiatus in C h ristian history, but its evidence is very much less im portant than w ould be any from the m ain center o f London’s C h ristian ity at S t. P aul’s. Rochester provides som e interesting parallels and contrasts.43 Very little is yet known o f Rom an Durobrivae, except the location o f its w alls and o f the bridge over the M edway. It w as a tiny single-street town, fortified because o f the strategic im portance o f W atling Street and the M edw ay estuary. But Rochester w as not a civitas-capital and therefore is unlikely to have been the site o f a Rom an bishopric. T h e choice o f R ochester as the site o f a bishopric for Ju stu s in 604 reflected the needs and priorities o f the Rom an m ission and the availability o f land at the start o f the seventh century. It m ay not indicate any concern for continuity from British or R om ano-British C hristianity. N onetheless the foundations o f an early Kentish church, beneath the w est end o f the N orm an cathedral (fig. 1.8), plausibly identi­ fied by C anon Livett and W illiam St. Joh n H ope as Ju stu s’s tiny cathedral o f St. Andrew , have considerable interest. For beneath the south w all o f the N orm an nave were also recovered the footings o f a wide rectangular building w ith an east­ ern apse on a different alignm ent to those o f the probable Saxon cathedral. D espite

43 For the topography o f Rochester, see T im Tatton-Brown, “T he Towns o f Kent,” in Anglo-Saxon Towns o fSouthern England, ed. Jerem y H aslam (Chichester, 1984), 1-36, here 12-16, and Nicholas P. Brooks, “Rochester, A .D . 400-1066,” in Transactions o f the B ritish ArchaeologicalAssociation Conference a t Rochester, 2002 (London, 2006), 6-21.

From British to English Christianity


F ig. 1.7. Fourth-century B asilica at C olchester H ouse, London, after Sankey. (T he western extent o f the building has not been established. T he location sketch above shows the Roman w alls o f London. T he main area o f intra-m ural Roman occupation is shaded and the respective locations o f St. Paul’s and the newly excavated basilica, to the w est and east o f this area and o f the W albrook, are indicated.)

(or perhaps because o f) the prom inence given to these fragm ents by the Taylors in

Anglo-Saxon Architecture,M m edieval archaeologists and antiquarians have, I sus­ pect, hitherto tended to dism iss them as “Rom an,” w ithout considering whether4 44 H arold M . and Joan Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture, 3 vols. (Cam bridge, 19651978), 2:518-19.


0 0

30 10

60 20

W Fa*» 30 Metra*

F ig. 1.8. A n Early C athedral G roup in Rochester? after H . M . Taylor and W. H . St J . H ope. (The plans o f the present [Norm an and medieval] cathe­ dral and o f the fifteenth-century collegiate church o f St. Nicholas are shown in relation to mid-nineteenth-century housing and streets, to the surviving and known Roman and medieval townwalls, and to the plans o f the earlier buildings detected beneath the cathedral.)

From British to English Christianity


they are likely to have belonged to a secular or to an ecclesiastical building. T h e possibility that we have here in close proxim ity a R om ano-British church, an A n ­ glo-Saxon cathedral, and the N orm an cathedral o f Bishop G undulf, all on one sacred site, is surety w orth considering. Sadly, the wonderful opportunity for fundraising for w ork in Rochester presented by the year 2 0 0 4 , the 1400th anniversary o f the foundation o f the see o f Rochester, has been m issed. O ne w ould have hoped that local civic and institutional pride could have funded research excavations o f both these tiny and accessible sites, which are o f such im portance for understand­ in g our C h ristian heritage. O nce again, as all too often in the past, Rochester has been the im poverished neighbor o f the w ealthy Canterbury. A t Canterbury — as at Y ork — we can at least benefit from superb archaeo­ logical investigations beneath the present cathedral, which have been fully and prom ptly published to a very high standard.45 T h ese revealed extensive footings o f the pre-C onquest cathedral and its various A n glo-Saxon extensions, beneath the G oth ic and Rom anesque nave o f the present cathedral. T h e excavators were able to identify fragm ents o f the w est end o f an early K entish church and enabled a splendid reconstruction o f the pre-conquest cathedral to be essayed (fig. 1.9). B ut unfortunately the 1990 C ath edrals M easure (which set up the C ath edrals’ Fabric C om m ission and the national system o f cathedral archaeological consultants) also restricted excavation to the depth o f any new w ork for a cathedral’s needs th at the C om m ission approved. A t C anterbury th is involved in stallin g a new heating sys­ tem and a new floor. A s a result, it w as im possible to pursue the crucial research questions raised by the excavations. In particular, excavations were not perm itted to locate the east end o f th is cathedral. W e desperately need to test w hether the statem ent — recorded by Bede in the early eighth century on the basis o f infor­ m ation provided direct from C an terbury— th at A ugustine “recovered” a Rom an church for his cathedral o f St. Saviour’s is accurate. T h e site for such an investi­ gation — beneath the floor o f the cathedral’s “N orm an” crypt — is evident (fig. 1.10). W e m ust hope th at the D ean and C hapter and their Fabric A dvisory C om ­ m ittee can devise a pressing ecclesiastical need to remove and replace the hor­ rible nineteenth-century concrete floor o f th is crypt. T h e relative levels suggest that beneath the crypt archaeologists w ould im m ediately encounter Rom an levels. T here surety we m ight expect to fin d A ugustine’s church “built by the w ork o f the Rom an faith fu l” as Bede had been inform ed. U ntil that work is undertaken, it seem s w isest to trust B ede’s Kentish inform ant, A bbot A lbinus o f St. Peter and St. Paul, and the detailed account by the C h rist C hurch m onk Eadm er o f the church that he had known as a boy novice. T h ese w itnesses o f the actual building seem

45 Kevin Blockley, M argaret Spades, and T im Tatton-Brown, Canterbury Cathedral N ave:Archaeology, H istory and Architecture (Canterbury, 1997); for a different interpretation, see Brooks, “Canterbury and Rome: T he Lim its and M yth o f rom anitas,” 807-9 and tab.V.



S Projected foundations •f n u t building phase

F ig . 1.9. T h e D evelopm ent o f the P ie-C o n q u est C ath ed ral at C anterbury, after Blockley. (Isom etric reconstruction o f the three m ain phases in the cath edral’s early de­ velopm ent: A : the suggested cathedral o f5 9 7 -c a . 8 00. B : the cathedral as rebuilt in the early 9th or m id-10,h century. C : the cathedral as it existed in 1066. T h e recon­ structions derive from the 1993 excavations in the cathedral nave and are based, by perm ission, on fig . 35 o f Blockley, Sp ark s, and T atton Brow n, Canterbury C athedral N av e: Archaeology, H istory an d A rchitecture. © T h e D ean and C hapter o f C anterbury C ath ed ral and C anterbury A rch aeological T ru st L td .)

more likely to have had accurate inform ation than archaeologists w ith current interpretative m odels, who have been prevented from investigating the relevant parts o f the building! A fter all, A lbinus o f C anterbury did inform Bede that his own church o f St. Peter and S t. Paul, outside the city w alls, had been newly built by K ingÆ thelberht. H e had no evident m otive to claim a false Rom an origin for


From British to English Christianity


. »« 1

v.;*. 0



«Ô O





29 m.



liait of

L ia fru C i crypt




Raatn atraata Ron an NPartage occupation lovait


F ig. 1.10. Successive C rypts o f Canterbury C athedral, after W illis, W oodman, and Blockley. (A : Black shading represents the crypt o f Archbishop Anselm and prior E m u lf [1093-1107]; the lighter shading the eastward extension beneath W illiam the Englishm an’s Trinity Chapel o f ca. 1180. D otted lines represent the earlier eastward lim it o f Lanfhm c’s cathedral and the rectangular chapel at the east end o f Anselm ’s crypt. B : Section showing the relation o f the present floor levels o f the cathedral’s crypt, crossing, and nave to Roman occupation levels excavated beneath the nave. N ote that the crypt passage shown here is the central passage into Lanfranc’s crypt [rather than the aisle entrances o f Anselm ’s crypt].)



C h rist Church, i f it too had been newly built. O ur expectation m ust therefore be that A ugustine did indeed recover a Rom an church for his cathedral, and that at C h rist Church we m ay one day have an exam ple where the topography o f R o­ m ano-British C h ristian ity directly influenced that o f the E n glish church. O nly excavation m ight be able to establish w hether there had been true continuity o f C h ristian cult there or merely the re-use o f ruinous Rom an buildings. T here is no more im portant site in B ritain for understanding our C h ristian roots and testin g the validity o f the interpretation o f E n glish history that Bede has left us.

Conclusion T h e surveys o f E ccles place-nam es and o f urban church and cathedral sites at­ tem pted here has produced a surprisingly consistent picture, though one that could yet be radically changed by one or tw o m ajor new excavations. T h e earliest E ccles-nam es in Kent and N orfolk raise the possibility o f som e early incorpora­ tion o f com m unities o f B ritish C h ristian s into the em erging settlem ent landscape. Likew ise it is the eastern sites o f Canterbury, Rochester, and perhaps Lincoln that seem to offer the best potential for continuous C h ristian cult from Rom an tim es. (Sadly, coastal erosion in E ast A n glia has deprived us o f evidence at Dommuc.) B ut in a huge tract o f E ngland from Yorkshire and the E ast M idlan ds to eastern W essex pagan A nglo-Saxon settlem ent w ould seem to have caused an effective hiatus in C h ristian cult. T here we fin d neither Eccles-nam es nor archaeological hints o f C h ristian continuity. A t m ost there w as som e lim ited A nglo-Saxon re­ vival o f R om anism am ong ruined sites. O nly in w estern N orthum bria, the W est M idlan d s, and w estern W essex do we encounter hints o f an effective transition from B ritish to A nglo-Saxon C hristianity. H ere Bede’s determ ined silence is m ost unconvincing and his analysis o f B ritish neglect utterly unhelpful. W e should rec­ ognize the ecclesiastical pressures that led to Bede’s negative im age o f the Britons and the political influence in the sam e direction — an inheritance from the N or­ thum brians’ bitter w ars w ith Cadw allon o f G w ynedd and from their suppression o f B ritish kingdom s in the north. I f we are to avoid approaching the conversion o f the A nglo-Saxons w ith unduly B edan spectacles, we therefore need to allow for much greater regional differences w ithin the territories that cam e to be “E n glish .’’ T h e definition and refinem ent o f these variations should be the task o f the next generation o f archaeologists and historians.46

46 Sec now John Blair, The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (O xford, 2005). In preparing this paper, I have been greatly assisted by guidance and critical advice from my colleagues Professor Christopher J . W ickham , D r. Steven Bassett, and D r. Sim on Esm onde Cleary, and also from the late Patrick W ormald. They have helped me improve the argum ent, but are not responsible for the interpretation offered or for any m istakes com m itted.

H igh S tyle and B orrowed F inery : T he S trood M ount, the L ong W ittenham S toup, and th e B oss H all B rooch as C omplex R esponses to C ontinental Visual C ulture C arol N euman de Vegvar

Publications o f the early 1990s on Southum brian reception o f continental visu al culture required the reader to im agine a thought-w orld in w hich im itation or re­ jection o f im ported objects or art form s entailed a sort o f all-or-nothing discourse o f political connectivity.1 In th is context the possession and local im itation o f im ­ ported objects cam e to be considered an index o f cultural colonization, a m easure o f the degree to w hich the A n glo-Saxon elites who ow ned and displayed such objects felt them selves to be clients o f a Frankish foreign power. A lon g w ith the richest jew elry from K ent, frequently referenced as im itatin g Frankish m odels, the m ortuary assem blage in M ound 1 at Sutton H oo loom ed large in th is d is­ cussion, although it has been subject to variable interpretation. In 1992 M artin

1 T he author thanks those who have helped her with this paper Leslie W ebster (British M useum) for her commentary at the 2003 ISA S conference on various aspects o f the entire paper; Angela Evans (British M useum) for her advice on A nglo-Saxon garnet jewelry and kind assistance with obtaining an im age o f the Boss H all brooch; C hris Scull (English H er­ itage) for access to and permission to cite a draft o f his site report on the Boss H all brooch and for sharing his insights on the brooch; Charles Little (M etropolitan M useum o f A rt) for his help with the Vermand m aterial; Cynthia C etlin and Jonathan Quick (both O hio W es­ leyan University) for their guidance on technical issues concerning cloisonné; Salty D um ­ mer (Ipswich M useums), Richard Edgecum e (Victoria and A lbert M useum), A rthur M acG regor (Ashm olean M useum ), and Todd W ilm ot (Ryan M em orial Library, St. Charles Borrom eo Sem inary) for access to objects; Roger W hite (University o f Birm ingham ) for perm ission to use the drawing o f the Strood mount; and Niam h W hitfield (M orley College) for her help with museum contacts and, together with Adrian W hitfield, for their gracious hospitality. Any oversights or errors remaining are the responsibility o f the author.



C arver read M ound 1 as displaying an E ast A n glian strategy o f resistance to Frankish cultural and political influence by the adaptation o f Scandinavian ma­ terial culture, in opposition to K entish capitulation to Frankish preem inence.2 A t alm ost the sam e tim e, in 1991, Ian W ood focused on different objects in the sam e assem blage, interpreting them as echoing and accepting Frankish cultural hege­ mony.3 It is tim e to consider w hether and how we should broaden and redefine these scenarios o f an all-or-nothing relationship to Francia where the K entish court is seen as a w holly ow ned subsidiary o f the M erovingian realm , and Sutton H oo’s m essage as expressing acceptance o f or resistance to the K en tish /Fran kish axis o f power. T h e assem blage in M ound 1 at Sutton H oo reflects only the high­ est stratum o f society, and in only one venue. T h e discussion m ay be enhanced by lookin g at exam ples o f im ported grave-goods from other sites in Southum bria, across a broader segm ent o f the social spectrum and a w ider chronological span; th is paper is intended to su ggest som e directions for such inquiry. T ak in g Ian H odder’s understanding o f the intentionality o f artifacts as a m ethodological startin g point, a m ore nuanced reading o f som e aspects o f A n glo-Saxon visu al culture m ay be possible, as indicating sh iftin g and variable attitudes tow ard the continent over tim e. T h e evidence seem s to su ggest that continental connections, w hile o f great im portance in the developm ent o f A n glo-Saxon m aterial culture, play out differently in different periods and circum stances; in other w ords, that receptivity is specific to m ore individualized contexts,4 and th at perceptions o f colonialism , both by the A n glo-Saxon s them selves and by m odern interpreters o f their age, are subjective and highly variable. I begin w ith tw o fin d s from early A n glo-Saxon E n glan d th at reflect con­ nections to Francia, objects th at m ay serve as an index o f early lin ks to m ainland culture w ithout having produced a discourse o f identification through local im i­ tation. T h e L o n g W ittenham stoup (L on don , B ritish M useum ) (fig. 2 .1), and the Strood m ount (N ation al M useum s and G alleries on M erseyside, Liverpool M useum , M ayer C ollection) (fig. 2 .2 ) started their careers in late R om an or Frankish G au l probably as ecclesiastical vessels but were deposited in putatively secular graves in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d , where they were not otherw ise locally copied or im itated.

2M artin Carver, “Ideology and A llegiance in E ast A nglia,” in Sutton Hoo: F ifty Years A fter; ed. Robert T . Farrell and C arol Neum an de Vegvar (O xford, O H , 1992), 173-82. 3 Ian W ood, “T he Franks and Sutton H oo,” in People and Places in Northern E u ­ rope 500-1600: Essays in Honour o f Peter Sawyer, ed. idem and N iels Lund (W oodbridge, 1991), 1-14. 4 Sam Lucy, The Anglo-Saxon Way o f D eath: B u rial R ites in E arly England (Stroud,


High Style and Borrowed Finery


F ig. 2.1. Stoup from G rave 93, L o n g W ittenham (B erkshire) (B ritish M useum ). Draw ­ ing from Reginald A llender Sm ith, B ritish M useum Guide to Anglo-Saxon A ntiquities (London, 1923; repr. Ipsw ich, 1993), fig. 78. Above is a lateral view o f the vessel; below, a planarized view o f its additional three stam ped plates: the W edding at C ana; C hrist H ealing the Blind M an; C h rist with Zaccheus in the Tree or the A gony in the G arden.



ip sâ /i

F ig. 2 .2 . M ount from drin kin g horn or cylindrical vessel, from Strood (K ent) (N ation al M useum s and G alleries on M erseyside, L iv­ erpool M useum , M ayer C ollection). D raw ing from W hite, “Scrap or Substitute,” fig. 11. T h e draw ing shows a lateral view o f the cy­ lindrical m ount (above) and a planarized view (below) show ing the repeated stam ped m otif o f enthroned individual flanked by standing figures, along with a diagram o f the suspension ring and its mount. By perm ission.

f e i

High Style and Borrowed Finery


C. R oach Sm ith, E . T . L eed s, and Vera Evison saw the Strood m ount as orna­ m enting a cylindrical w ooden vessel.5 Evison saw its parallels m ostly in Frankish caskets w ith pagan and later C h ristian scenes applied in m etalw ork to their ex­ teriors. She cites as the closest parallel the casket w ith C h ristian scenes from the fourth-century cem etery at Verm and (A isne).6 A nother strongly sim ilar object is the tapered w ooden vessel w ith O ld and N ew Testam ent scenes in origin ally gild ­ ed copper alloy overlay, excavated in 1878 from W orm s-W iesoppenheim G rave 1 (W orm s, M useum im A n d reasstift), which w as originally a cylindrical casket but has been restored as a beaker since excavation.7 In contrast to Sm ith , L eed s, and E vison, G eorge Baldw in Brow n, T . D . K endrick, and R oger W hite considered the Strood m ount a drinking-horn fittin g, in which case the closest structural parallels w ould be w ide rim m ounts such as that from grave H 15 at H olyw ell Row, W est Suffolk (C am bridge, M useum o f A rchaeology and A nthropology).8 C h ristian m otifs are not com m on on surviving horn fittin g s, but a cross w ith

5 Charles Roach Sm ith, Collectanea A ntiqua, vol. 2 (London, 1852), 159, pi. xxxvi; Edw ard Thurlow L eeds, E arly A nglo-Saxon A rt and Archaeology (O xford, 1936), 14-15; Vera I. Evison, The Fifth-C entury Invasions South o f the Thames (London, 1965), 23. See also Jean M . C ook, E arly A nglo-Saxon Buckets: A Corpus o f Copper A lloy- andiron-bound, Stave-built Vessels (O xford, 2004), 69. 6O n the Vermand box, see also G eorge Baldw in Brown, Saxon A rt and Industry in the Pagan Period, vol. 3 o f The A rts in E arly England (London, 1915), 116; G eorges Chenet, “L a tombe 319 et la buire chrétienne du cim etière mérovingien de Lavoye (M euse),” Préhistoire 4 (1935): 34-116, here 101-4, fig. 31. T he present location o f this casket is un­ known; Ju les Pilloy, Études sur d'anciens lieux de sépultures dans l'Aisne, 2 (Saint-Q uentin and Paris, 1895), 212, suggests that the m etal plates with im ages that had originally cov­ ered the lost wood body o f the casket remained in private hands after excavation. It was one o f a cluster o f seven sim ilar sm all caskets with locks, probably jew el boxes, excavated from late antique cem eteries at Vermand and A bbeville. 7 Brown, Saxon A rt, 116; A lfried W ieczorek, “Pressblech eines Kästchens m it altund neutestamentlichen Szenen,” in D ie Franken Wegbereiter Europas Vor 1500Jahren: König Chlodwig und seine Erben, ed. idem , Patrick Périn, Karin von W elck, and W ilfried M enghin (M annheim and M ainz, 1996), 2 :9 3 0 , no. 14. 8 Brown, Saxon A rt, 115-16; T . D . Kendrick, personal communication quoted in Chenet, “L a tombe,” 94; Roger H . W hite, “Scrap or Substitute: Roman M aterial in A n­ glo-Saxon G raves,” in A nglo-Saxon Cemeteries: A R eappraisal, ed. Edm und Southworth (Stroud, 1990), 125-52, here 141; idem, Roman and Celtic Objects from Anglo-Saxon G raves: A Catalogue and an Interpretation o f their Use, B A R Brit. Ser. 191 (O xford, 1988), 121; Thom as Charles Lethbridge, Recent Excavations in Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries in Cam­ bridgeshire an d Suffolk: A Report (Cam bridge, 1931), 12, no. 15, and fig. 141. John Yonge Akerm an, “Report on Researches in an A nglo-Saxon Cem etery at L on g W ittcnham , Berkshire, in 1859,” Archaeologia 38 (1860-1861): 327-52, here 350, was unsure whether the Strood mount was from a horn or from a box.



interlace design w as m ounted below a sim ple rim m ount on a fragm entary drink­ in g horn, probably from Ireland, found at Fasteraunet in N oid-T ion delag (Trond­ heim , N o iges T eknisk-N aturvitenskapelige U niversitet V itenskapsm useet).’ T h e question o f the local m anufacture or im portation o f the vessel to w hich the Strood m ount w as attached m ust rem ain open, but i f it ornam ented a horn rather than a casket the parallels are entirety from A nglo-Saxon sites, as m etal fittin gs for drinkin g horns have not been identified in M erovingian Francia. T h e Strood m ount w as found in a solitary grave o f A n glo-Saxon date adja­ cent to a Rom an cem etery near the m outh o f the M edw ay in K ent; the grave w as a high -status inhum ation w ith sw ord, shield b o ss, spear, and knife. A lso found were a shield-on-tongue buckle and shoe-shaped rivets parallelin g late fifth - or sixth-century Frankish types.*101T h e copper alloy m ount is em bossed w ith a vinescroll border at its base and stam ped along the m edian o f the strip w ith a repeated scene, probably C h ristian . T h e stam ping is irregular and the clarity o f the im ­ age blurred by pressure and abrasion, so th at any reading o f the im age m ust be phrased in term s o f possibilities rather than certainties. T h e im age is centered on a frontally seated nim bed figu re flan ked by tw o sm aller stan din g figu res, also haloed. A bove the figu re at left is a cross; above the figu re at right is a bird hold­ in g a ring-like object, possibly a w reath, in its beak. T h e central figu re m ay be holding an infant across its lap. I f so, the figu re is probably an enthroned V irgin and C h ild parallelin g those on the reliquary-coffin o f S t. C uthbert (D urham , L ibrary o f the D ean and C hapter) and in the B ook o f K ells (D ublin , T rin ity C ollege L ibrary M S . 58, fol. 7v).n I f the “ch ild ” is instead to be read as a fold o f drapery, then the im age m ay represent C h rist as teacher or an enthroned C h rist flan ked by sain ts.12 T h is scene w as evidently applied w ith a die, repeating eight

’ Johannes B ee, “A n Ornam ented C eltic Bronze O bject, Found in a N orw egian Grave,” Bergens Museums Aarbok 14 (1924-1925): 3-25 here 26, fig. 15; Jan Pedersen, B ritish A ntiquities o f the Viking Period, Found in N ow ay, pt. 5 o f Viking A ntiquities in G reat B ritain and Ireland, ed. H aakon Shetelig (O slo, 1940), 74, no. 103, and fig. 83; Egon W arners, Insularer Metallschmuck in fVikingerzeit/ichen Gräbern Nordeuropas: Unter­ suchungen zu r skandinavischen Westexpansion (Neum ünster, 1985), 116, list 4 , no. 5. T h e mount was found in a ninth-century woman’s grave. 10W hite, Roman an d Celtic Objects, 121; Evison, Fifth-C entury Invasions, 34. Evison suggests that some may be dated as early as 450-525. 11 For the coffin-reliquary o f St. Cuthbert, see E rnst Kitzinger, “T he C offin -R eli­ quary,” in The Relics o f St. Cuthbert, ed. C . F. Battiscom be (O xford, 1956), pi. X ; also J. M . Cronyn and C.V. H orie, St. Cuthberfs C offin: The H istory, Technology and Conserva­ tion (D urham , 1985), 2 , pi. 1. For the im age o f the Virgin and C hild with A ngels in the Book o f K ells, see C arol Farr, The Book ofK ells, Its Function and Audience (London and Toronto, 1997), 144-45, pi. V. 12Brown, Saxon A rt, 116, identifies the figure as C h rist as teacher.

High Style and Borrowed Finery


tim es and crudely overlapping so th at the lateral figu re o f one scene is som etim es overstam ped on the opposing lateral figu re o f the next, and the colum n separat­ in g the im prints som etim es appears to be a tree supporting the bird or a sta ff or crozier held by the figu re at right. T h e m ount also has a suspension rin g attached to it w ith a riveted strap loop. E vison iden tified the Strood m ount as from a late fourth-century produc­ tion center in N orthern France, earlier and closer to R om an w ork than the L o n g W ittenham stoup, w hile G eorges C henet dated it earlier based on parallels to C on stan tin ian im agery.13 How ever, any m em ories o f classicizin g artistic fin esse the w orkshop tradition behind the m anufacture o f the die m ay have possessed are undercut both by the crudity w ith w hich the stam p has been applied to the m etal strip and the rough w orkm anship o f the strip’s re-use: the strap m ount for the suspension rin g is riveted on directly over the central figu re in one stam ping, w ith one o f the rivets partially through that figu re’s face. W hatever statu s the scene m ay have had when and wherever the die w as m ade w as not entirely pre­ served in the stam ping process, and even less so in the re-use o f th is bit o f copper alloy on the vessel on w hich it w as found. T h is sh ift o f attitude m ay result from the transition to secondary use on the Strood object w hich, w hatever its intended function, w as found in a secular grave, not in an ecclesiastical settin g where the im agery w ould perhaps have retained m ore o f its origin al iconographie gravitas and visu al integrity, although an am uletic function for C h ristian im agery in th is secondary and secular context cannot be ruled out. W hile Brow n w as undecided as to w hether the occupant o f the Strood grave w as a pagan A n glo-Saxon who had acquired the object in Francia or a fallen raider from the continent, current scholarly consensus posits th at grave-goods cannot be construed as indices o f the religion and ethnicity o f the occupants o f graves.14 How ever, the crudeness w ith w hich the strip is attached to the vessel su ggests th at th is process o f recycling happened in a venue where not only the m eaning o f the scenes w as obscure but also the social value o f the associations o f th is strip o f m etal w as relatively low. T h e L o n g W ittenham stoup w as more clearly im ported in its present form . T h e stoup w as found in grave 93 o f the A nglo-Saxon m ixed-use cem etery at L o n g W ittenham , Berkshire, on the right bank o f the T h am es.15 G rave 93 w as the inhum ation o f a young boy, the whole grave 3 feet 8 inches long, w ith the body’s head to the w est, m ore strictly aligned than the other graves in the cem ­ etery, where children are generally buried north-south. In addition to the stoup, the grave contained a copper alloy cauldron w ith triangular lugs, an iron knife,

13Evison, Fifth-C entury Invasions, 34; Chenet, “L a tombe,” 92. 14 Brown, Saxon A rt, 116. For the issue o f grave-goods and ethnicity, see Lucy, The A nglo-Saxon Way o f D eath, 173-78. lsAkerm an, “Report,” 3 3 1 ,3 3 5 ,3 4 5 .



and a spear w ith its point tow ard the feet. A kerm an considered the placem ent o f the spear sym ptom atically Frankish, and Evison identified the triangular lugged cauldron as typical o f those from the N am ur region.16 T h e stoup, a cylindrical w ooden vessel about 15 centim eters in height and 10.5 centim eters in diam eter, w as constructed w ith hoops and staves as are Frankish n onfigural buckets and their A n glo-Saxon counterparts; four such buckets, probably local products, w ere found in other graves at L o n g W ittenham .17T h e stoup w as covered on its exte­ rior w ith four stam p-em bossed copper alloy plates: three o f these display respec­ tively the W edding at C an a, C h rist H ealin g the Blind M an , and a scene w hich G eorges C henet identified as C h rist w ith Zaccheus in the T ree but w hich may al­ ternatively be read as the A gony in the G arden .18T h e fourth panel shows a ch ristogram flan ked by alpha and om ega and surrounded by a nim bus or w reath. A ll four closely parallel the stam ped bronze plates attached to the ewer from the early sixth-century M erovingian princely grave (grave 319) at Lavoye (A isne) (fig. 2 .3 ), a site on the A ire R iver near B ar-le-D uc, about a hundred m iles to the south o f the N am ur region (Saint-G erm ain-en-Laye, M usée des A ntiquités N ation ales).19 Even the beaded edgin g o f scenes is sim ilar, suggestin g th at both sets o f plates are the product o f the sam e w orkshop although not necessarily at the sam e m om ent. Evison hypothesized that the boy in grave 93 at L o n g W ittenham m ay have been "straigh t from the vicinity o f N am ur.”20A ncestral or fam ilial diplom atic ties to the N am ur area are o f course possible, although here as elsewhere the ethnicity o f the deceased is indeterm inable. H owever, the grave is not isolated but rather part o f a large com m unity cem etery o f 127 graves, and the grave-goods, cauldron, bucket, spear, and knife are object types found in A n glo-Saxon prestige burials; what­ ever the boy’s fam ily connections, he w as assim ilated in death into the local social landscape. H ere, as also at Strood and Lavoye, the secular assim ilates the sacred, as vessels w ith C h ristian scenes are placed in secular graves. T h e Lavoye ewer and the L o n g W ittenham stoup m ay origin ally have had liturgical functions: the L a ­ voye ewer m ay have served as an aquam anile for liturgical hand-w ashing or a cru­ et for eucharistie w ine, and the L o n g W ittenham stoup m ay have begun its career as a container for holy water, although I w ould not jo in A kerm an in contending th at it continued that role in the grave; its sim ilarity to other A nglo-Saxon and continental buckets used as grave-goods suggests th at the stoup shared the sam e “ Akerm an, “Report," 351; Evison, Fifth-C entury Invasions, 32. 17Graves 2 5 ,2 6 ,8 2 ,9 1 ; Akerm an, “Report," 3 3 9 ,3 4 4 ,3 4 5 . “ Chenet, “L a tom be,” 87-89. 19Chenet, “L a tombe,” 91 and passim ; René Joffroy, L e Cim etière de Lavoye: Nécro­ fo ie M érovingienne (Paris, 1974), 86, pl. 32; see also A lain D ierkens, “D ie Taufe C hlod­ w igs,” in D ie Franken Wegbereiter, ed. W ieczorek, Périn, von W elck, and M enghin, 1: 189, Abb. 137. 20 Evison, Fifth-C entury Invasions, 32.

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F ig . 2 .3 . Ew er from G rave 319, Lavoye (A isn e) (S ain t-G erm ain -en -L ay e, M u sée d es A n tiq u ités N atio n ales) w ith stam ped plates o f b ib lical scen es. Photo: Réunion des M usées N ation aux / A rt R esource, N Y .



contextual function.21 W h at has been im ported is an object, w hether individually or as part o f an assem blage, but its role in burial practice m erges it w ith regional custom , and perhaps only secondarily prestige by linkage to the origin al function and cultural m ilieu o f the stoup. T here is in th is process o f assim ilation a sense that the m eanings o f such objects are flu id , and that an ornam ented im ported ob­ je c t m ay rem ain an index o f social connections w hile changing its function and context. T h is w ould be even more the case for the Strood m ount, particularly i f it found its way to the grave as a rim m ount for a drinkin g horn. A lthough the Strood m ount and the L o n g W ittenham stoup are im ports from Francia and the graves in w hich they are found dem onstrate other affin ities to the continent, there is no evidence that these isolated im ports becam e m odels for local w ork, although northern Frankish buckets w ith n onfigural em bossed arcade-and-dot ornam ent were im ported and im itated in southern E ngland in the sam e period as the L o n g W ittenham stoup.22 T h e figu rai objects, both the stoup and the Strood m ount, were placed in graves w ith assem blages otherw ise reflectin g local practice, where they may have served as m arkers o f prestige i f not necessarily religious affiliation , but their rarity indicates neither a substan tial dem and for im ports nor any evi­ dence o f imitatio Frankiae in local patterns o f production. B y contrast, in later Southum brian m etalw ork, local sm iths im itate w ith vari­ able success w hat m ay have been perceived as im ported techniques to create the effect o f a high-prestige im port in a local product. T h e com posite disc brooches reflect a w idespread and highly successful south A nglo-Saxon adaptation, initially and predom inantly in Kent, o f both an object type and a technique o f ornam en­ tation, garnet cloisonné, that were Frankish in im m ediate origin .23 H ere for the m ost part the garnets are inlaid on a flat surface and three-dim ensional relief is achieved by layering o f concentric fla t levels, like a w edding cake.24 Such planar­ ity in design, typical o f the vast m ajority o f early m edieval garnet cloisonné both on the continent and in A nglo-Saxon E ngland, takes advantage o f the tendency o f som e types o f garnets to shear in flat planes or in shards that can be reduced to pla­ nar form s.25 M ounting fla t slivers o f garn et on a dom ical or otherw ise com plexly or tightly curved surface not only is m ore d ifficu lt than their use in fla t cloisonné

21Akerm an, “Report,” 336. 22 Evison, Fifth-C entury Invasions, 22. 23Helen G eake, The Use o f Grave-Goods in Conversion-Period England, c. 600-c. 850, B A R Brit. Ser. 261 (O xford, 1997), 120. 24 Elizabeth Coatsw orth and M ichael Pinder, The A rt o f the Anglo-Saxon Goldsmith: Fine M etalwork in A nglo-Saxon England: Its Practice an d Practitioners (W oodbridge, 2002), 174, fig. 27, an exploded diagram o f the Kingston com posite disc brooch. 25 M avis Bim son, “D ark-A ge G arnet C utting,” A SSA H 4 (1985): 125-28; B irgit A rrhenius, M erovingian G arnet Jew ellery: Emergence and Social Im plications (Stockholm , 1985), 30-31; and Coatsw orth and Pinder, A rt o fthe A nglo-Saxon Goldsmith, 143-45.

High Style and Borrowed Finery


but also requires a slightly but critically different range o f techniques.26 A m ong the Sutton H oo fin d s, garnet cloisonné on a three-dim ensional form is m ost eas­ ily achieved by applying the garnets to the flat surface o f an inclined plane that is part o f a geom etric solid, as for exam ple on the Sutton H oo sword pyram ids.27 T h is process is technically identical to fla t work. Sutton H oo M ound 1, however, also contained exam ples o f garnet cloisonné on surfaces that curve in one spatial dim ension only, usually a section o f a cylinder. Exam ples include the gently bowed plates o f the Sutton H oo shoulder clasps, the tongue-plate o f the dum m y buckle (fig. 2 .4 ), and the concave lateral ridge planes o f the Sutton H oo sword pom m el; these parallel continental garnetw ork on curved surfaces.28 O n other objects or parts o f objects from Sutton H oo w ith m ore tightly curved cylindrical surfaces, such as on the hinge o f the T -shaped m ount or strap divider, the raised cylinders on the bar adjacent to the hinges o f the purse lid , and the loop o f the dum m y buck­ le, tiny garnets in honeycomb cloisonné accom m odate the curvature o f the sur­ face. A m ong A nglo-Saxon fin ds to date, th is particularly fine honeycomb garnet cloisonné is found only on products o f the Sutton H oo w orkshop.29

26 Professors Cynthia C etlin and Jonathan Q uick, D epartm ent o f Fine A rts, O hio W esleyan University, personal communication. 27 Rupert L . S. Bruce-M itford, The Sutton Hoo Sh ip-B urial (London, 1978), 2 :3 0 0 2 ,3 0 5 -6 , figs. 227-228, pis. 21a, 22e: pyram ids from M ound 1; M artin Carver, Sutton Hoo: B u rial Ground o f K ingsf (London, 1998), pi. V I: pyram ids from M ound 17. These are paralleled on the continent both in visual aspect and in hollow construction by Frank­ ish polyhedral earrings: example include those from the Frankish woman’s grave un­ der Cologne Cathedral (see M ichael M üller-W ille, “Königtum und A del im Spiegel der G rabfunde,” in D ie Franken Wegbereiter, ed. W ieczorek, Périn, von W elck, and M enghin, 1: 206-21, Abb. 153); from the M erovingian cemetery at Trivières (H ainaut), Tr. 290 (M orlanwelz, M usée royale de M ariem ont); see also Patrick Périn, “A spects o f Late M erovingian Costum e in the M organ Collection,” in From A ttila to Charlem agne; A rts o f the E arly M edieval Period in the M etropolitan Museum o f A rt, ed. Katharine Reynolds Brown, D afydd K idd, and Charles T . L ittle (N ew York, 2000), 242-67, here 244. On a larger scale, the sword-belt buckle from Sutton H oo M ound 17 (B ritish M useum) shows garnet cloisonné on several different inclined planes: see Carver, B u rial, pi. V I. T he au­ thor thanks A ngela Evans for bringing this buckle to her attention. 28 Bruce-M itford, Sutton Hoo, vol. 2: shoulder clasps: 523-35, figs. 3 8 6 ,3 9 2 , pi. 15; sword pommel: 2 8 8 -9 2 ,3 0 3 -4 , figs. 2 2 0 ,433d; dummy buckle: 473-81, figs. 341-342, 346. Bruce-M itford (304) suggests that the sword pom m el garnetwork is distinct from the rest o f the Sutton H oo pieces and “compatible both with an earlier date and with ori­ gins outside E ast A nglia.” H is juxtaposition o f the pommel from H ög Edsten, Bohuslän, Sweden (fig. 230) im plies that he may have considered the pommel a possible im port; see also fig. 95 (pommel from Vallstenarum , G otland, now Gustavianum , U ppsala). For other continental parallels, see text below. 29 Bruce-M itford, Sutton Hoo, vol. 2: T-shaped mount (strap distributor): 468-69, fig. 335b; purse lid bar cylinders: figs. 361c, 362a.



F ig . 2 .4 . D um m y buckle from M ound 1, Sutton H oo (Suffolk ), detail o f dum m y tongue-plate and loop (B ritish M useum ) show ing application o f garn et cloisonné on curved surfaces. Photo: © Copyright T h e T rustees o f T h e British M useum .

High Style and Borrowed Finery


O ne technique o f garn et cloisonné rarely found on a large scale in E n glan d is the application o f garn ets to a com plexly curved surface such as a dom e, that is, to a surface th at curves in m ultiple directions sim ultaneously. D om ical cloi­ sonné in E n glan d is usually restricted to the tiny scale o f bosses used to ornam ent larger objects. Perhaps the fin est o f these are the Sutton H oo scabbard bosses (fig. 2 .5 ), where step-cut garn ets and their fo il backings are floated in deep hol­ low settin gs w hich extend all the way through the thickness o f the dom e to the base plate; here the pressure o f the cloison cell w alls is sufficien t to hold the gar­ nets in place w ithout cem ent.30 T h e sam e technique w as used for the large boss m ounted on the Sutton H oo dum m y buckle, although the cloison design there is sim pler.31 A cloisonné boss using step-cut stones is also used as the centerpiece o f the K in gston com posite d isc brooch (N ation al M useum s and G alleries on M er­ seyside, Liverpool M useum ) (fig. 2 .6 ).32 O ther d isc brooches, such as the plated brooch from K in g’s F ield , Faversham (B ritish M useum ) and the Sarre II com ­ posite brooch, called the A m herst Brooch (O xford, A shm olean M useum ), avoid th is level o f am bition, as does the buckle from Taplow (B ucks) (B ritish M u­ seum ), by optin g for less ch allenging design s for their central bosses w ith larger and m ore sim ply cut ston es.33 O ther com posite disc brooches have center bosses o f carved w hite shell, som etim es surm ounted by a single fla t or cabochon garn et; in the later brooches w ith copper alloy cloisons the shell is held in place by a cage o f reeded fla t m etal strip s w hich M ichael Pinder has term ed “crow n arches.”34 A pplying flat garnets in cloisons over any three-dim ensionally curved surface raises technical issues th at w ould be exacerbated not only by the com plex curva­ ture o f a dom e, as opposed to the un idirection al slope o f a cylinder, but also by larger scale where these inherent problem s w ould be m ore apparent to the viewer. T h e use o f cem ent in the application o f the stones, com m on in A n glo-Saxon and continental cloisonné in th is period , could have fille d any gap s betw een the

30Bruce-M itford, Sutton Hoo, vol. 2 ,2 9 4 -9 7 ,3 0 4 -5 , figs. 222-223, pi. 21c. 31 See note 28. 32 Cathy H aith, “32 (a-c) Grave group (selection); K ingston Dow n, Kent, grave 205,” in The M aking o f England: A nglo-Saxon A rt and Culture A .D . 6 00-900 , ed. L eslie W ebster and Janet Backhouse (London, 1991), 50-51; Ronald Jessup, A nglo-Saxon Jew el­ lery (Aylesbury, 1974), 72-75, no. 20. 33 Richard Avent, A nglo-Saxon G arnet In laid D isc and Composite Brooches, B A R Brit. Ser. 2 (O xford, 1975), K ing’s Field, Faversham: 37, no. 147, pi. 50; Sarre II/A m herst: 47, no. 178, pi. 67; and see also Jessup, Anglo-Saxon Jew ellery. K ing’s Field, Faversham : 68-69, pi. 16.2; A m herst: Jessup, A nglo-Saxon Jew ellery, 70-72, pi. 18; Taplow buckle: 8 4 -8 5 , pi. 25.1 34 Coatsw orth and Pinder, A rt o f the A nglo-Saxon Goldsmith, 149; M ichael Pinder, “A nglo-Saxon G arnet Cloisonné Com posite D isc Brooches: Som e A spects o f T heir C onstruction,” Jo u rn al o f the B ritish ArchaeologicalAssociation 148 (1995): 6 -2 8 , here 11.



Fig. 2.5. Scabbard bosses from Mound 1, Sutton H oo (Suffolk) (British Museum), showing an unusually elaborate variation o f garnet cloisonné construction on a domical boss. Photo: © Copyright The Trustees o f The British Museum.

underside o f a flat stone and its bedding and helped it adhere to a curved sur­ face. But on a dom ical surface, the flatness o f individual slabs o f garnet would have created a faceting effect which would have countered the curvature o f the object itself unless the garnets were kept quite sm all and juxtaposed in a pattern designed to m inim ize the angularity o f the junctions between stones. B rigit Arrhenius posited that many o f the garnets applied to jew elry in early m edi­ eval western Europe were probably cut to standardized templet shapes in a few specialty w orkshops, and that in the sixth century some garnets were im ported precut into E ngland, m ost probably from Francia, in a range o f shapes to suit local dem and.3S However, by the seventh century, garnetw ork production had

“ Arrhenius, M erovingian GarnetJewellery, 98.

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Fig. 2.6. Com posite disc brooch from grave 205, Kingston Down (Kent) (N ational M useum s and G alleries on M erseyside, Liverpool M useum ). The garnet cloisonné here is domical only in the central boss, and planar elsewhere. Photo: National Museums Liverpool.

dropped o ff on the continent and high-level garn et cloisonné production centers in K ent and at the w orkshop th at produced the personal ornam ents in Sutton H oo M ound 1 probably had in-house sp ecialists who cut garn ets to order in the requisite range o f sh apes.36 In these circum stances an A n glo-Saxon goldsm ith w ishing to apply garn ets to a com plexly curved surface w ould have had three

36Bimson, “Dark-Age Garnet Cutting,” 127; Pinder, “Anglo-Saxon Brooches,” 8.



choices. I f h is level o f proficiency at cloisonné processes w as high enough and h is shop included a lapidary w ith the necessary garn et-cu ttin g sk ills he could attem pt an innovative solution u sin g specially cut ston es, as d id the artisan s who produced the Sutton H oo and K in gston D ow n bosses. A lternatively, a sm ith attem ptin g a dom ical d esign , or h is patron, could try to obtain garn ets in sm all rounded shapes th at m ight be easier to apply to a dom ed surface, but these m ight be d ifficu lt to procure in a m arket where m ost tem plate gem cut­ tin g w as probably oriented to fla t cloisonné usin g particularly favored shapes o f garn ets.37A s garn et cloisonné production gradually w ent out o f style tow ard the m iddle o f the seventh century, th is m arket probably declined and fin ally disappeared, reducing and ultim ately elim in atin g the option o f usin g ready-cut stones. T h e fin al option w ould be to assem ble a su fficien t num ber o f ston es, possibly as provided by the patron in the form o f old jew elry or available in the craftsm an ’s own repository o f scraps left over from repair jo b s, and cut these dow n to appropriate shapes and to a sm all enough scale not to co n flict w ith the curvature o f the object surface.38 G arn et cu ttin g is a sk illed craft and not in tuitive, so such an attem pt at on-the-job train in g to reshape stones w ould be both costly and w astefu l.39 Further, to achieve a truly sm ooth effect on a curved or dom ical surface, the surface o f the fin ish ed cloisonné w ould require sk illed grin d in g and polish in g after the stones were placed in the cells.40 So the tran si­ tion in cloisonné from fla t to dom ical surfaces is neither easy nor obvious from the craftsm an ’s view point, especially not i f previous experience were lim ited to seein g a fin ish ed exam ple o f dom ical cloisonné, or even m ore so, h earing the effect described by a patron who had seen an exam ple and w anted som ething sim ilar. O ne A n glo-Saxon exam ple that m akes a brave attem pt at th is d ifficu lt tran­ sition is the com posite brooch from grave 93 at B o ss H all, on the w estern edge o f Ipsw ich in Su ffolk (Ipsw ich C o-operative Society, Ipsw ich M useum s) (fig. 2 .7 ).41 T h e brooch w as found in a high-echelon w om an’s grave datin g at earliest

37Bim son, “D ark-A ge G arnet C utting,” 127; “the spread o f standard shapes such as the early heart-shaped garnets suggests central m anufacture.” 38Coatsw orth and Pinder, A rt o f the Anglo-Saxon Goldsmith, 147. 39Bim son, “D ark-A ge G arnet C utting,” 127: “At the other end o f the spectrum we find the reshaping o f broken garnets by the m ost crude chipping techniques without any attem pt to straighten or repolish the edges, which can only have been carried out by craftsm en who had no knowledge o f gem cutting.” 40 Coatsw orth and Pinder, A rt o f the Anglo-Saxon Goldsmith, 148 note evidence o f such finishing on the pendant from O ld W estgate Farm , Canterbury, Kent (Canterbury C ity M useum s) and the cross from Burton Pidsea, H oldem ess, H um berside (O xford, Ashm olean M useum ). 41 Pinder, “A nglo-Saxon Brooches,” 21.

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Fig. 2.7. Com posite disc brooch from grave 93, Boss H all, Ipswich (Suffolk) (Ipswich Cooperative Society, Ipswich M useum s). Photo: Niamh W hitfield, by permission.

to the late seventh century, sign ifican tly later than the other graves in the cem ­ etery.42 T h e brooch w as probably deposited in a leather pouch at the w om an’s neck, along w ith four circular gold pendants w ith central settin gs o f garn et or red glass im itatin g garn et, one irregular cabochon garn et pendant, and one oval pen­ dant o f red glass, a regal solidus o f Sigebert III (6 3 4 -6 5 6 ) m ounted as a pendant, a Prim ary Series B sceat dated ca. 690, several glass beads and silver biconical

42 Christopher Scull and Alex Bayliss, “Radiocarbon Dating and Anglo-Saxon Graves," in Völker an Nord- und Ostsee und die Franken:Akten des 48. Sachsensymposiums in Mannheim vom 7. bis 11. September 1997, ed. Uta von Freeden, Ursula Koch, and Alfried Wieczorek (Bonn, 1999), 39-50, here 48.



spacers, and a silver cosm etic set.43 T h e grave has been dated on the evidence o f the sceat to the last decade o f the seventh century.44* T h e B o ss H a ll com posite brooch, seven centim eters in diam eter, w as clearly a high-prestige object, as indicated by the garn et cloisons applied not only to al­ m ost the entire front o f the brooch but also to the pinhead on the back. A m ong the com posite d isc brooches such hidden ornam entation, for the delectation o f the w earer alone, is shared only by the K in gston brooch, the m ost lavish brooch in the entire series.43 T h e B o ss H a ll brooch does share w ith m any o f the other m ajor com posite brooches a typical cruciform layout o f a central boss surrounded by four secondary bosses; betw een the secondary bosses trian gular gold fields filled w ith filigree loops also form a bright cross again st the darker field o f gar­ nets. A n gela E vans has noted th at the cross m o tif on the B o ss H a ll brooch is expressed w ith sufficien t care to serve as a m arker o f religious identity; L eslie W ebster has em phasized the subtlety w ith w hich the cross m o tif is integrated into the layout o f the brooch as a whole and the prestige th at such sophistication o f design and stru cturin g o f m eaning m ay have im plied.46 T h e B o ss H a ll brooch w as not new at burial but show s sign s o f w ear and re­ p air, one or m ore owners o f th is brooch wore and displayed it rather than keeping it concealed and safe in storage, despite its fin al burial in a leather bag. O ne o f the secondary bosses is a replacem ent. T h e central boss w as origin ally divided by four crow n arches, o f w hich one w as lo st and replaced in silver before burial. T h e rim consists o f a coarsely-reeded strip o f very th in m etal; where m ost such reeded rim s are striated on the front and fla t on the back and can be up to 11 m illim eters w ide, the B o ss H a ll rim is narrow er than usual and corrugated, w ith the back as the negative o f the front, and w as patched, possibly to cover a tear.47 T h e extent and variety o f repairs to the brooch suggests th at it m ay be sign ifican tly earlier than the grave in w hich it w as deposited, and that it m ay have been an heirloom , w orn by m ore than one generation before deposition. T h e B o ss H a ll com posite brooch has been dated close to, i f not at the end of, the sequence o f A nglo-Saxon com posite d isc brooches. T h e use here o f sm all 43A ngela C . Evans, “33 (a-i): Grave group, Grave 93, B oss H all cemetery, Ipsw ich, Suffolk,” in M atin g o f England, ed. W ebster and Backhouse, 51-53, here 52. Evans notes that silver cosm etic sets are found in a number o f high-end women’s graves in Kent such as K ingston Down graves 7 and 142; A nglian examples are less common but do occur, as in grave 39 at G arton Station, E ast Yorkshire. 44 Scull and Bayliss, “Radiocarbon D ating,” 48. 43 H aith, “32 (a-c),” 50. 46 Evans, “33 (a-e),” 52-53; L eslie W ebster, “Encrypted Visions: Style and Sense in the A nglo-Saxon M inor A rts, A .D . 400-900,” in A nglo-Saxon Styles, ed. Catherine E . Karkov and G eorge H ardin Brown (Albany, 2003), 11-30, here 17. 47Coatsw orth and Pinder, A rt o f the A nglo-Saxon Goldsmith, 1 1 8 ,1 2 4 ,2 4 3 .

H ig h S ty le

a n d B o r r o w e d F in e r y


garn ets in copper alloy cloison s form in g sim ple cells over broader areas o f the face o f the brooch is sym ptom atic o f late date in com posite brooches.48 T h e other brooches usually positioned late in the series are the tw o from N orth Field, M ilton, A bingdon, O xfordshire (O xford, A shm olean M useum ; and London, Victoria and A lbert M useum ); the two from Faversham , Kent (A shm olean; and C am bridge, Fitzw illiam M useum ); the brooch from M onkton, Kent (Ashm olean) (fig. 2 .8 );

Fig. 2.8. Com posite disc brooch from M onkton (Kent) (O xford, Ashm olean M useum o f A rt and Archaeology). Photo: Ashmolean M useum, Oxford.

48Chris Scull, Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries at Boss H all and Buttermarket, for Medieval Archaeology Monograph, forthcoming.

, Society



and the lo st com posite brooch from H uggin’s F ield s, M ilton R egis, K ent.49 T h e layout o f the B o ss H all brooch, w ith the arm s o f the cross indicated by trian gular areas o f filigree on gold ground between w ider areas o f gam etw ork, echoes but in­ verts the layout o f the M ilton R egis and M onkton brooches, where the cross arm s are triangles o f gam etw ork between areas o f filigree, and the M ilton N orth Field brooches where the cross arm s are rectangular strips o f gam etw ork.50 O n the B o ss H all brooch as on the M ilton/A shm olean, Faversham , M ilton R egis, and M onkton exam ples, the surrounds o f the secondary bosses invade the outer gam etw ork border.51 T h ese com m onalities su ggest that the m aker o f the B o ss H all brooch w as not unfam iliar w ith the designs o f other brooches o f th is type. C hristopher Scu ll has pointed out that the range o f gold fineness in the vari­ ous com ponents o f the B o ss H a ll brooch m ay reflect a late date o f production, reflectin g the generally declining availability o f high-quality gold in E ngland tow ard the m iddle o f the seventh century.52 A lthough he acknow ledges that the com plexities o f d atin g ornam ental m etalw ork on the basis o f gold fineness should not be underestim ated, Scu ll’s consideration o f range rather than any specific up­ per- or low er-end fineness as a date indicator has considerable m erit.53 T o th is reading m ight be added the sense that the presence o f such a range o f fineness

49Avent, A nglo-Saxon Brooches'. 49, no. 182: M ilton N orth Field, Abingdon (O xford, Ashm olean M useum ); 49, no. 183: M ilton N orth Field, Abingdon (London, Victoria and A lbert M useum ); 44, no. 170: Faversham , Kent: (Ashm olean); 48-4 9 , no. 181: Fa­ versham , Kent (Cam bridge, Fltzw illiam M useum ); 43, no. 172: M onkton, Kent (A sh­ m olean); 44, no. 171: H uggin’s Fields, M ilton R egis, Kent, called the Vallance Brooch (formerly Dover M useum , stolen 1967). To these should be added the com posite disc brooch excavated by the A O C A rchaeological Group in A ugust 2000 in Floral Street, London and now on exhibit at the M useum o f London (made available by N ational Farm ers Union M utual, the Royal Ballet School, and Salm on Developments P L C ). T h is brooch was found in a woman’s grave, like the B oss H all brooch enclosed in a bag or con­ tainer on the chest along with other jewelry, in this case beads and rings. 50T he Floral Street com posite disc brooch likew ise has triangular cross-arm s o f garnetwork. T ania D ickinson’s observation (“M aterial Culture as Social Expression: T he C ase o f Saxon Saucer Brooches with Running Spiral D ecoration,” Studien zur Sacbsenforschung 7 [1991]: 39-70) that the design o f saucer brooches with cast and applied spiral decoration follow “rules” that are flexible enough to encourage creativity seem s to apply to these late com posite disc brooches as well. 51 Sonia Chadw ick H awkes, “T he M onkton Brooch,” A ntiquaries Jou rn al 54 (1974): 24 4 -5 6 , here 252-53. 52 Scull, Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries. 53 Sonia Chadwick Hawkes, J. M . M errick, and D . M . M etcalf, “X -Ray Fluorescent Analysis o f Som e D ark A ge C oins and Jewellery,” Archaeometry 9 (1966): 98-138, here 120; P. D . C . Brown and F. Schweizer, “X -Ray Fluorescent Analysis o f A nglo Saxon Jew ­ ellery,” Archaeometry 15 (1973): 175-92, here 181-83; G eake, Use o f Grave-Goods, 10.

High Style and Borrowed Finery


in different parts o f the brooch indicates recycling in an environm ent o f scarcity, w ith fragm ents o f m etalw ork either from the craftsm an’s collection o f scraps or provided by the patron in the form o f old jew elry being reused for different com ­ ponents o f the new piece. Such fru gality in the application o f resources o f fine m etal is also seen in the M onkton brooch, where the back plate show s com pass m arks and rivet holes th at su ggest that it w as cut down and reused from an ear­ lier and sign ifican tly larger piece.54 T h e recycling o f m aterials also places the B o ss H all brooch later rather than earlier in the date range o f the com posite disc brooches, as gold becam e progressively less available for jew elry production in E n glan d from the earlier to the later seventh century.55 In other aspects, however, the B o ss H a ll brooch distin guish es itse lf from the rest o f the brooches in th is group. T h e rough edges o f the garn ets su ggest th at they, like the gold , have been recycled, cut dow n by som eone unfam iliar w ith fin e stone-cutting. T h ey are crudely cut in very sm all approxim ately sem icircu­ lar shapes; their edges are rough and chipped like glass cut w ith grazin g shears. T h is is not the case for a ll the late com posite brooches; although the stones o f the M ilton N orth F ield and M onkton brooches are sm all, they are cleanly cut and neatly applied to the brooch surfaces as part o f harm onious and restrained de­ sign s.56 By contrast, the B o ss H all brooch lacks the finesse o f design and crafts­ m anship o f the other late d isc brooches. N onetheless, the B o ss H a ll brooch im ­ presses in itially by its darkly glitterin g opulence and by the sheer num ber o f tiny garn ets overlaying alm ost its entire surface. T h e intention seem s to be to create a hybrid o f tw o earlier tradition s o f m etalsm ithing: the A n glo-Saxon com posite d isc brooches, w hich as a series have their origin and core in K ent, and the allover garnetw ork found in the high-end jew elry from Sutton H oo and elsewhere in E ast A n glia, an encounter perhaps facilitated by the possible extension out­ side K ent o f com posite disc brooch production in its last phases. T h e B o ss H all brooch is poised betw een these tw o tradition s and participates fully in neither; it is a hybrid, and as tradition s go a nonstarter. A m bitious intention is not m atched here by sk ill, a discrepancy th at E vans has attributed to a late w orkshop faltering in its ability to recapitulate the p ast.57 How ever, perhaps the lack o f fin esse here is due not to a w orkshop in decline, but to a sm ith attem pting the unfam iliar. T h e B o ss H a ll brooch attem pts not only to harm onize tw o m utually d istin ct re­ gion al traditions but to com bine them w ith an anom alous third design element: this brooch is unique am ong known exam ples o f A nglo-Saxon sm ithcraft in its 54H awkes, "M onkton,” 248 and fig. 2. 55Hawkes, M errick, and M etcalf, "X -R ay A nalysis,” 101,117. 56 Hawkes, "M onkton,” 251: the M onkton brooch may also show some reuse o f stones but without the rough reshaping seen at Boss H all. 57 Evans, "33 (a-e),” 53. Scull, Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries, suggests a date at the end o f the com posite brooch series, ca. 6 4 0 -6 6 0 , probably after 650.



application o f garn et cloisonné to a dom ical surface larger than a decorative b o ss, on the com parably large scale o f a com posite d isc brooch. W h at is the associa­ tive freight o f th is third elem ent? W hy perhaps has the patron requested th at a sm ith undertake the attem pt to incorporate it along w ith tw o regional tradition s o f h igh -status jew elry into one highly challenging and im pressive piece, even at the risk o f exceeding the craftsm an’s range o f sk ills? A t first glance the parallelism s to the K entish com posite brooches and to the Sutton H oo garnetw ork su ggest th at the patron o f the B o ss H all brooch sought statu s by displaying an object w ith lin k s to the prem ier A n glo-Saxon centers o f the early seventh century, K ent and E ast A n glia, although at som e degree o f chronological and geographical rem ove, where an actual piece from one o f those venues w as not available. In the in itial site report, Joh n N ew m an proposed that the grave reflects a second rank o f nobility in E a st A n glia, outside the im m e­ diate m ilieu o f the court th at had given rise to the Sutton H oo jew elry.S8 H ow ­ ever, Bede and other historical sources for the period provide only the vaguest sense o f the stratification o f the ru lin g class in seventh-century E ast A n glia, let alone w hat levels o f display were considered appropriate to each stratum . Since no sum ptuary law s are known for th is environm ent such as are preserved for later m edieval and R enaissance contexts, it is im possible to know w hat w ould have been considered appropriate for the secondary and provincial rank o f nobles N ew m an su ggests, were it possible to be certain th at such a group w as clearly de­ fin ed at the tim e. Scu ll m ore plausibly su ggests a m ilieu o f patronage by a social stratum equivalent to but later than the Sutton H oo court, equally interested in the display o f identity and prestige but separated by tim e rather than distance from th at w ellspring o f innovation and inspiration in sm ith craft.59 B ut the de­ cision to produce and display a brooch w ith garn ets overlying a dom ical surface su ggests a broader range o f contacts and sources. O ne possible source o f inspiration is M erovingian Francia. T h e B o ss H a ll brooch is unique am ong the A n glo-Saxon com posite d isc brooches in th at the garn et surround o f the central boss is raised into a dom e rather than lying fla t as is the case for the other surviving exam ples.60 T h e dom ed area supporting the central boss w as m ade separately and let into a socket, indicating th at th is area required particular attention in the production process.61 In th is the B o ss H a ll

S8John Newm an, “T he A nglo-Saxon Cem etery at B oss H all, Ipsw ich," Sutton Hoo Research Committee Bulletin 8 (1993): 32-36, repr. in M artin O. H . Carver, ed., Sutton Hoo Research Committee Bulletins 1983-1993 (W oodbridge, 1993), 35. 59Scull, A nglo-Saxon Cemeteries. 60 The K ingston brooch hais a dom ical surround, but it is made up o f white shell rather than cloisonné. 61 Pinder, “A nglo-Saxon Brooches,” 21.

H igh Style an d Borrowed Finery


brooch parallels a category o f M erovingian filigree d isc brooches (T hiem e Type 1.2) where the dom e is ornam ented w ith w ire filigree and som etim es w ith in­ dividual garn ets in trian gular or round cloisons, but these are not tightly ju x ta­ posed into a continuous field o f garn et cloisonné as on the B o ss H a ll brooch.62 In Francia, parallels can also be found for continuous-field garn et cloisonné ap­ plied to spatially curved surfaces, particularly to cylinders or other shapes curved spatially in one dim ension, in the ornam entation o f h igh -status ecclesiastical objects. T h e surface o f the lo st E ligiu s C h alice, m ade for C h elles in the early seventh century, w as divided vertically into sections covered w ith honeycom bed garn et cloisonné; as suggested by the m odeling o f the left side o f the cup in A n ­ dré du Saussay’s 1793 draw ing (fig. 2 .9 ), these sections were possibly hem icylinders rather than fla t fle e ts.63 Sim ilarly, the T h euderigus reliquary (S t. M aurice d ’A gaune, V alais, Treasury) has garn et cloisonné on its cylindrical ridge pole, although here the garn ets are alm ost random in shape.64 T h e Franks applied m any o f the sam e ornam ental techniques to secular m etalw ork as to ecclesiasti­ cal objects, but garn et cloisonné on Frankish secular objects is usually applied to a fla t or sim ply sloped or broadly curved plane.65 So although garn ets are applied

62Périn, “A spects o f Late M erovingian Costum e,” 24 6 -4 7 ; figs. 21.15-21.17,21.2021.22; Bettina Thiem e, “Filigranscheibenfibeln der M erowingerzeit aus D eutschland,” Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission 59 (1978): 381-500, here 415-17 and pl. 3 -5 ; M üller-W ille, “Königtum ,” 215, A bb. 153. A sim ilar design is seen in the sad­ dle mounts from Krefeld-G ellep Grave 1782 (K refeld, M useum Burg Linn); Karin von W elck and A lfried W ieczorek, “D ie A usbreitung der fränkischen H errschaft in den Rheinlanden,”in D ie Franken Wegbereiter, ed. W ieczorek, Périn, von W elck, and M enghin, 2 :8 9 2 -9 0 2 , at 900, no. 8.ii. 63 Helm ut Roth, “Kunst der M erovingerzeit,” in D ie Franken Wegbereiter, ed. W iec­ zorek, Périn, von W elck, and M enghin, 2 :6 2 9 -3 9 , here 631, Abb. 496. André du Saussay, Panoplia sacerdotalis: seu de venerando sacerdotum habitu:forum que m ultiplia munere ac officio in eedesia lib ri X IV (Paris, 1653), plate opposite p. 200: “C alix S. E ligii.” T h is engraving was produced before the cup was melted down along with other antiquities in the eigh­ teenth century by order o f the Revolutionary Com m ittee’s A rt Com m ission. E ligius, to whom the cup is traditionally ascribed, was bom in 586; Audoin describes his work for the courts o f Chlothar II (584-629) and D agobert I (coregent from 622-623) (Roth, “Kunst,” 631). Peter Lasko, The Kingdom o f the Franks: N orth- WestEurope Before Charlemagne (Lon­ don and New York, 1971), 93, expresses doubt that this cup served as a chalice. 64 Roth, “Kunst,” 632, Abb. 498. T h is silver chasse is entirely covered with garnets and other m aterials inlaid in gold cloisons. 65 Roth “Kunst,” 632, stresses the m eiger o f techniques from personal ornam ent w ith an ecclesiastical m aterial culture o f Rom an origin, along w ith the uniform ity o f art in the M erovingian world, with half-free craftsm en working for the courts. Exam ples o f Frankish garnet cloisonné over a surface curved or sloped in one spatial dim ension include the fifth-century scabbard m ounts o f the spatha (tw o-edged sword) o f C hilderic,



Fig. 2.9. André du Saussay, PanopHasacerdotaJis:seu de venerandosacerdotum habitu:forumque m ultiplia mutiere ac officio in ecclesia lib riX IV (Paris, 1653), plate opposite p. 200: “Caüx S. Eligii.” The shading o f the vertical cloisonné sections indicates that they are hemicylindrical rather than planar. Photo: Vincent M assa, Kelly & M assa Photography, Lester, PA, by permission o f Ryan M emorial Library, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, PA.

H igh Style and Borrowed Finery


to cylinders in Frankish ecclesiastical m etalw ork, there are no extant exam ples o f Frankish dom ical continuous cloisonné to parallel the B o ss H a ll brooch. T ruly dom ical garn et cloisonné on a scale analogous to the B o ss H a ll brooch is found only much furth er afield , as on the eagle fibulae from the D om agnano T reasure, part o f a w om an’s jew elry assem blage o f about 500 from O strogoth ic Italy.*66 H ere however the sm ith has artfu lly assem bled rhom boidal, trian gular, and oth­ er geom etric shapes rather than rounded form s to cover dom ical bosses, a larger version o f the solution used in the Sutton H oo scabbard bosses. Rounded shapes in dom ical garn et cloisonné, as on the B o ss H a ll brooch, are found on the bird­ shaped saddle m ounts from A pah ida II, a fifth -cen tury G ep id ch ieftain’s grave near C luj in R um ania (B ucharest, M uzeul N ation al de Istorie a Rom aniei) (fig. 2.10).67 H ere sem icircular cloisons sim ulate feathers on the dom ical torsos. B irgit A rrhenius has pointed out that such feather- or scale-like inlays are ultim ately based on E gy p tian and Sum erian enam elw ork design s, and that when garn ets

discovered at Tournai in 1653, destroyed in 1831 but known through the seventeenthcentury colored draw ings in Jean Jacques C h iflet, A nastasis Childerici I. Francorum ré­ g is sive thesaurus sepulchralis Tom aci Neruiorum essossus et commentario illustratus (Ant­ werp, 1655), 2 04; see U rsula Koch, K arin von W elck, and A lfried W ieczorek, “D as G rab des Frankenkönigs Childerich I,” in D ie Franken Wegbereiter, ed. W ieczorek, Périn, von W elck, and M enghin, 2: 879-84, here 881-83; also bow fibulae from the aristocratic woman’s tom b under Cologne Cathedral (M üller-W ille, “Königtum ,” 217, Abb. 154). A rare example o f Frankish dom ical garnet cloisonné is found in a pinhead .9 cm in diam ­ eter from Grave 9 at N iedenstein-Kirchberg (Schw alm -Eder-Kreis) (K assel, H essisches Landesm useum ): see U rsula Koch, Karin von W elck, and A lfried W ieczorek, “D ie frän­ kische Expansion in rechtrheinische G ebiete,” in D ie Franken Wegbereiter, 2: 902-21, here 918, no. 24.b. 66 W ilfried M enghin, “T he D om agnano Treasure,” in From A ttila to Charlemagne, ed. Brown, K idd, and L ittle, 132-39, figs. 1 2 .2 ,1 2 .4 . T hese late fifth - to early sixth-cen­ tury O strogothic eagle fibulae, 12 cm. in length with dom ical central bosses, were found in 1893 at D om agnano in San M arino. One fibula has been in the Germ anisches N a­ tionalm useum , Nurem berg, since 1898; the other is in a private collection in New York. T hese fibulae were part o f a woman’s jew elry set; although eagle brooches are widely found in G othic graves in Italy, France, and Spain, they are rarely part o f women’s assem ­ blages. Raised central bosses covered with garnet cloisonné are not uncommon am ong the eagle fibulae; the D om agnano exam ples are, however, significantly larger than m ost eagle fibulae and their central bosses are comparable in scale to the dom ical center o f the B oss H all brooch. 67K urt H oredt and D um itru Protase, “D as zweite Fürstengrab von A pahida (Sieben­ bürgen),” Germ ania 50 (1972): 174-220; Rodica M arghitu, “4.8 M ännergrab II von A pa­ hida, Bez. Cluj/K lausenburg, Siebenbürgen/Transylvanien, Rum änien,” in D as G old der Barbarenfürsten: Schätze aus Prunkgräbem der 5. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. zwischen Kaukasus und G allien, ed. A lfried W ieczorek and Patrick Périn (Stuttgart, 2001), 147-55.



F ig. 2.10. P air o f bird-shaped saddle m ounts from A pahida II (C luj) (B ucharest, N ation al M useum ). The torsos o f the birds are dom ical; the heads, wings and legs are flat. Photo: M uzeul National de Istorie a Romaniei (Romanian National H istory M useum ). are applied in th is way they are generally cut by hand, rather than by wheel as are the geom etric and step-cut exam ples.68

68 Arrhenius, Merovingian Garnet Jewellery, 58. This approach is very widespread in Egyptian Middle and New Kingdom ornamental metalwork, notably on pectorals where it is used to simulate the textures of the wings of birds and scarabs and the manes o f griffins and apes, and as a decorative motif in its own right. For examples of the use of this technique for applying inlay over a domical surface, see Alix Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptian Jewellery (London, 1971), pis. X X V IIA , L , LIVA, LVTA. Fig. 53 shows this technique applied to the hoop o f an earring, a portable medium without the culture-specific religious imagery o f the pectorals that may have provided a conduit for this technique to extend beyond Egypt.

H igh Style and Borrowed Finery


By the m iddle decades o f the seventh century, im ported exam ples o f such scale inlay were probably available in E n glan d via the continental connections o f the church and the courts, as is evident from the application o f the sam e technique to the tongue shield o f the m id-seventh century silver buckle from C rundale, Kent (L on don , B ritish M useum ).69 T h at m id-seventh-century A n ­ glo-Saxon m etalsm iths were lookin g to a w ider range o f m odels for garn et cloi­ sonné design s m ay also be seen on the M onkton brooch. H ere Son ia H aw kes noted th at the design o f alternating trian gles used for the outer border is rare in the A n glo-Saxon context and suggested th at th is design , first introduced to cen­ tral E urope by the H uns, m ay have com e into E n glan d from V isigothic Sp ain .70 W h ile the earlier K entish com posite d isc brooches clearly borrow from Frank­ ish gam etw ork design s, the M onkton and B o ss H a ll brooches m ay look to a far broader geographic range for their m odels. H elen G eake’s w ork on A n glo-Saxon grave-goods o f the conversion period has pointed up the extent to w hich grave-goods deposited in A n glo-Saxon E n g­ land after 6 0 0 dem onstrate a sh ift o f interest in m aterial culture increasingly tow ard the heartland o f the Rom an E m pire, including the Byzantine east. She proposes th at th is sh ift be understood as concom itant in itially w ith the devel­ opm ent o f kin gsh ip and later w ith the conversion o f the A n glo-Saxon s and the iden tification o f the church w ith Rom e and its M editerranean em pire. T h is in­ corporates both a renascence o f associations w ith the R om an p ast and the de­ velopm ent o f stron g trade connections to the contem porary Byzantine w orld, connections th at appear to be direct rather than channeled through the Frank­ ish E m pire, w hich w as in fluen tial for the m ajority o f the population prim arily in K ent, although elsewhere the high est echelons o f society m aintained and d is­ played their Frankish connections as w ell.71 A case in point is the range o f fin ds in the recently excavated princely cham ber tom b at Prittlew ell (E ssex) where tw o Frankish trem isses were found alon g w ith tw o "C o p tic” vessels, a lidded flagon ornam ented at the neck w ith a m edallion show ing a ridin g sain t or em peror and a bronze bow l, both from the Byzantine w orld, and a foldin g stool possibly from either Lom bard Italy or A sia M inor.72 T h e B o ss H a ll brooch m ay dem onstrate

69Cathy H aith, “6 Buckle, Crundale, Kent,” in M aking o f England, ed. W ebster and Backhouse, 2 4 ; and Bruce-M itford, Sutton Hoo, 2: 561, 560-33, here 561, figs. 4 1 2 414. 70Hawkes, “M onkton,” 252. 71G eake, Use o f Grave-Goods, 1 0 8 -9 ,1 2 3 -3 6 , here 130-31. 72 “Prittlew ell: Treasures o f a K ing o f E ssex,” Current Archaeology 190 (16, no. 10) (2004): 430-36; Ian Blair, L iz Barham , and Lyn Blackm ore, “M y Lord E ssex,” B ritish Archaeology 76 (M ay, 2004): 11-17. The gold foil crosses have late seventh- or eighth-century Lom bard and Alam anic parallels (M useum o f London Archaeology Service, The Prittle­ w ell Prince: The Discovery o fa Rich Anglo-Saxon B u rial in Essex [London, 2004], 28).



a sim ilar m essage o f prestige through affiliatio n , not as an im port itse lf but as a local product incorporating an im ported design idea. It com bines a d isc brooch w ith raised center, echoing Frankish filigree brooches, w ith a scale or feather­ like cloisonné pattern o f tiny garn ets paralleled in and possibly echoing eastern E urope; here these form s blend w ith tw o h igh -status regional tradition s: the com posite d isc brooches o f K ent and the all-over garnetw ork o f the E ast A n ­ glian court. T h at the sm ith stru ggled w ith the production process indicates th at the B o ss H a ll brooch w as not business as usual but an unusual com m ission for a patron w ith an agenda. T h e deploym ent o f these m utually alien techniques, de­ spite their obvious d ifficu lties for the unfortunate sm ith given the jo b o f incorpo­ ratin g them into one object, w ould iden tify the w earer as a person o f exotic and thereby sophisticated tastes, as p art o f the w ealthy and w ell-traveled elite, part o f the class w hose authority stem m ed at least in part from their self-identification w ith the fu ll array o f pow er structures on the continent, p ast and present. In the sam e grave assem blage, the single regal solidus o f Sigebert III, provided w ith a loop for display as a pendant, is probably intended to send a sim ilar m essage o f elite connectedness to the continent rather than to serve as an index o f w ealth or ethnic identity. T h ere is a certain poignant, w ish ful quality about the B o ss H a ll brooch th at is not present earlier in the L o n g W ittenham stoup or the Strood m ount. T h e latter m ay also be about im ported rarities conferring prestige, a sensibility o f connection at a distance. B u t by its rough im itation o f the prestige display o f earlier generations both at A n glo-Saxon elite centers and on the continent, the B o ss H a ll brooch looks w ith desire to elite contexts th at were neither w ell known nor truly accessible. It betrays a kind o f provincial or colonial an gst played out in unconvincing em ulation, not o f one antique high-prestige tradition but an un­ easy recom bination o f three or four strands o f early m edieval m etalw orking. T h e overw helm ingly sum ptuous effect o f dark glitter unsuccessfully attem pts to sub­ stitute for finesse in production; the am bitions o f the patron have far exceeded the abilities o f the craftsm an . Yet th is object outlasted its origin al ow ner and w as w orn at length , repaired and patched, and fin ally buried a generation or tw o later, enclosed in a leather b ag perhaps as a keepsake or fam ily heirloom . T h is is m ore than the politics o f accom m odation or resistance, as hypothesized respec­ tively by W ood and C arver for Sutton H oo. It su ggests th at continental im ports, w hether actual objects or design concepts, were understood and expressed in different w ays over tim e in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d, and th at ultim ately the is­ sue is not only the politics o f centers or politically identifiable units but also the self-projections, am bitions, and desires o f individuals, fam ilies, and com m unities w ith their own agendas.

C hanging Faces : L eprosy in A nglo -S axon E ngland C hristina L ee

In the popular view o f the M iddle A ges, people lived short and uncom fortable lives. N o m atter how m any contradictory conclusions are deduced by the academ ic com m unity from evidence such as skeletal rem ains, which seem to indicate a size­ able elderly population,1 care for the sick and evidence for rearing children w ith disabilities, m odem m edia seem to be hooked on the titillatin g im age o f the socalled D ark A ges as a period o f squalor and adversity. In th is “barbaric” society it is taken as self-evident that the diseased and disabled were treated as lesser hum an beings or even excluded; these ideas may be supported by the superficial study o f som e diseases, as, for exam ple, leprosy, a disease that is very m uch associated w ith the E uropean M iddle A ges. H asty conclusions could be drawn from that fact that by the tw elfth century lepers were apparently organized in special com m unities and even gu ild s, which enjoyed certain privileges as w ell as being separated from society. However, should we not ask whether th is segregation w as com pulsory or w hether other factors m ay have played a decisive role in the “seclusion” o f lepers?

'T h e aging o f adult skeletal rem ains is notoriously difficult, since there are very few bone changes after the age o f 25. Currently, paleopathologists work with a number o f different factors which focus m ainly on age-related decay, including teeth abrasion and changes in the bone, such as the occurrence o f arthritis or brittleness o f bones. D ifferent methods have given different results. M odem research takes into consideration that ag­ ing is influenced by a number o f factors (genetic predisposition, occupation, and lifestyle can all influence the process). Traditionally skeletons have been aged by com parisons with modern pathology (where the age was known), which may be m isleading, since few m odem people w ill have been exposed to the nutritional and occupational hazards o f A nglo-Saxon populations: Andrew Cham berlain, “Problems and Prospects in Paleodemography,” in Human Osteology in Archaeology and Forensic Science, ed. M argaret C ox and Sim on M ays (London, 2000), 101-15, here 105-7. For a more skeptical look see John H ines, “L ies, D am ned L ies, and a curriculum vitae: Reflections on Statistics and the Pop­ ulations o f Early A nglo-Saxon Inhum ation Cem eteries,” in B u rial in E arly M edievalE n g­ land and Wales, ed. Sam Lucy and Andrew Reynolds (London, 2002), 88-102, here 101.



It should be noted, for exam ple, that m edieval leper orders often attracted rich patrons, and evidence from the skeletal rem ains from leper hospitals has shown that a sizeable num ber o f healthy people were buried in their churchyards, w hich could equally suggest that life as a leper could be fairly com fortable. Lepers and leprosy in the post-C onquest period have been studied by a num­ ber o f sch o lars,2 but m uch less is know n about the treatm ent o f lepers in the A n glo-Saxon period. Leprosy, however, is a good contender for an exam ination o f attitudes tow ards disease in early m edieval B ritain , since it features in litera­ ture, and, as evidence from the exam ination o f excavated skeletal rem ains has show n, occurred throughout the A n glo-Saxon period, albeit in fairly sm all num­ bers. For the purpose o f th is essay I w ill take a num ber o f different approaches in order to exam ine possible attitudes tow ards lepers in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d. I w ill first use evidence from grave archaeology and com pare the burials o f lepers, in both pagan and C h ristian contexts, w ith those o f non-diseased populations, and question w hether there are any apparent differences. I w ill then consider de­ scriptions o f lepers in textu al and lin guistic sources. H ith erto there has been no w hole-scale exam ination o f A n glo-Saxon atti­ tudes tow ards d isease, although m edicine and m edical textbooks o f the period have been exam ined in d etail.3 T h e existence o f such books is an indicator that diseased people were cared for in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d, but they tell us little about the statu s or life o f the infected person. It is necessary to ask w hat attitudes tow ards diseased people are evident from the period, and w hether the conversion to C h ristian ity led to any changes in the treatm ent o f the sick. It is an often over­ looked fact th at throughout the M iddle A ges m edical aid and care were available to the w ider public, adm inistered by m en and wom en o f the church who were trained in a m onastic, and therefore C h ristian environm ent. W hile there seem s to be som e evidence for independent physicians, such as C ynefrith who d iag­ nosed the cancerous tum or o f the seventh-century sain t Æ th elthryth, and who

2 See, for exam ple, Saul Brody, The D isease o f the Soul: Leprosy in M edieval L itera­ ture (Ithaca, N Y , 1974), and Peter Richards, The M edieval Leper and H is Northern H eirs (W oodbridge, 2000). 3 M ost recent publications are M alcolm Cam eron, A nglo-Saxon M edicine (C am ­ bridge, 1993); Edw ard Pettit, A nglo-Saxon Remedies, Charms, and Prayers from B ritish Library M s. H arley 585: The Lacnunga, 2 vols. (Lew iston and Lam peter, 2001). C harlotte Roberts, one o f the preeminent paleopathologists working on leprosy, has recently de­ plored that “no'collective studies anywhere in the world have been undertaken charting the development and frequency o f the disease (incorporating unpublished work), the age and sex distribution o f leprous sufferers, and their sta tu s. . . ”. She is referring m ainly to late m edieval burials, but this could be extended to the A nglo-Saxon period as well: “In­ fectious D isease and Biocultural Perspective: Past, Present and Future W ork in Britain,” in Human Osteology, ed. C ox and M ays, 145-62, here 150.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


also seem s to have been present at her autopsy,4 there is not m uch evidence for a w idespread alternative to the hospitals o f m onastic foundations. N evertheless, evidence from skeletal rem ains show s that even the pagan A n glo-Saxon s m ust have had som e skilled physicians, who could set bones and even use trepanning w ith great success, and we should assum e th at local healers and leeches existed throughout the period.5 I f diseased people were cared for in m onastic foundations, it should be con­ sidered th at the view s o f the church had an im pact on the attitudes tow ards the sick and the way in w hich treatm ent w as offered. A ny exam ination o f disease in m edieval texts m ust m ake allow ances for the fact th at som e depictions m ay not be based entirely on indigenous sentim ents, but m ay m irror other sources, such as hagiographies, w hich were translated into O ld E n glish . T h ese sources m ay not be prim arily concerned w ith the pathological aspects o f d isease, but m ay treat ill­ ness as an allegory for spiritu al health. It is therefore necessary to look tow ards addition al evidence i f we w ant to have a broader understanding o f how diseased people were treated by their contem poraries.6 A ddition al evidence for the treatm ent o f diseased people from the pagan to the C h ristian period m ay com e from the exam ination o f skeletal rem ains, w hich give an indication o f the existence, frequency, and possible treatm ent o f illn esses in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d.7 D eath rituals m ust be approached w ith caution, since they m ay reflect only certain aspects o f a person's life and m ay override w hatever other identities th is person m ay have had in life. T h e display o f the dead in the grave is now regarded as an expression o f social identity, as w ell as a ritual. G rave archaeology has given us indications o f the spatial arrangem ents o f com m uni­ ties o f the dead: for exam ple, burial w ith certain objects m ay identify a person as belonging to a certain kin-group, w hich m ay be supported by physical features, such as W orm ian bones (tiny bone grow th alon g the cranial suture lin es), w hich

*Æ lfric’s Lives o f Sain ts, ed. and trans. W . W . Skeat, E E T S o.s. 76 and 82 (London, 1966), 1:436-38. 5T he skeletal rem ains from various sites show great variation in m edical skills: C al­ vin W elk, “T he Results o f ‘Bone Settin g’ in A nglo-Saxon Tim es,” M edical and Biological Illustration 24 (1974): 215-20. 6 A n as yet untapped source o f inform ation is place-nam e evidence. For exam ple, the name o f the Northam ptonshire town o f C otterstock, which in its earliest form in the Domesday Book (1086) is given as Codestocbe, may refer to “a hospital or building for sufferers o f pestilence” if the first element is derived from O ld English copu, “disease.” However, other interpretations have suggested a derivation from O ld English corper-stoc, “a place o f gathering”: J. E . B . Gover, A llen M awer, and Frank M erry Stenton, The PlaceNam es o f Northamptonshire (Cam bridge, 1933), 2 0 0 .1 would like to thank D r. Paul C avill from the English Place N am e Society for this inform ation. 7Unfortunately, only a m inority o f diseases leaves a signature on the bones.



can be genetic in origin .8 O nce such kin groups have been iden tified, it is p o s­ sible to observe w hether related individuals were buried close to one another and w hether there are differences in the burial position or grave-goods. From the ob­ jects in the grave the im portance th at w as afforded to the dead person can be as­ sessed. N evertheless, the social stratification o f skeletal m aterial from m edieval cem eteries rem ains com plex. For exam ple, pagan A n glo-Saxon burial grounds contain only sm all num bers o f children’s graves, and it is assum ed that their bod­ ies were disposed o f elsew here.9 A dditionally, certain individuals m ay have been excluded from C h ristian burial grounds o f post-conversion cem eteries for reli­ gious reasons. O thers m ay have chosen to be buried in a special place, such as a m onastic foundation.10 U nderstanding the social stratification is even m ore d if­ ficu lt in the post-conversion period, since the custom o f placin g objects in graves, w hich allow the datin g o f the burial, w as gradually given up during the seventh and eighth centuries. Leprosy, or H ansen’s D isease, is an infectious disease caused by the Myco­ bacterium leprae, and is contracted via a pulm onary route through droplet infec­ tion and possibly also skin contact.11 T h e bacterium seem s to thrive in conditions below 3 7* C , and the incubation period can be quite long, lastin g betw een three and five years. T h e period o f latency can be up to forty years. L eprosy develops in tw o m ajor form s from an interm ediate state. O ne is leprom atous leprosy, which is fetal and m anifests itse lf in lesions on the skin and eventual loss o f nerve sen­ sations, especially in the hands and feet, w ith an addition al infection o f the pal­ ate and the nose, and blindness. T h e ulceration o f the flesh and the subsequent necrosis results in a repugnant sm ell. T h e second form o f leprosy is the so-called tuberculoid leprosy, which can produce skin lesions and paralysis o f the face, as w ell as an ulceration o f the extrem ities and gradual destruction o f tissue. W heth­ er an individual contracts a m ilder or the m ore serious form depends on their im ­ mune system (which in turn is largely governed by their genetically determ ined

8T he exact reason for the form ation o f W orm ian bones is unknown. T he frequency o f their occurrence varies between populations (apparently they occur alm ost twice as often on Chinese than on A nglo-Saxon skulls) and sim ilar patterns can help to identify fam ily groups. However, it should be noted that suggestions have been made that a high number o f W orm ian bones may point to a mental disability. For exam ple, high am ounts o f W ormian bones have been observed in children diagnosed with Trisom y 21 (Down’s Syndrom e), am ongst other congenital diseases: Philippe Jeanty, Sandra R . Silva, and Cheryl Turner, “Prenatal D iagnosis o f W ormian "bones? Jo u rn al o f Ultrasound M edicine 19 (2000): 863-69. 9 Sally Craw ford, ChUdbood in Anglo-Saxon England (Stroud, 1999), 14-32. 10 Sim on M ays, The Archaeology o f Human Bones (London and New York, 1998), 25. 11 Roberts, “Infectious D isease in Biocultural Perspective: Past, Present and Future W ork in Britain,” 150.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


H L A type)12 and the degree o f exposure to the species o f the Mycobacterium}3 A person w ith high resistance m ay have contracted leprosy, but w ill not develop bone changes th at are archaeologically detectable.14 Scientists are not sure how and why the disease spreads. Factors such as a poor diet, unhealthy living conditions, and genetic dispositions have all been d is­ cussed.15 It is believed th at leprosy origin ated in In d ia and w as first brought to E urope by the troops o f A lexander the G reat,16and w as m ost likely spread through trade connections. Som e archaeologists have suggested th at its occurrence in the B ritish Isles m ay have been a less welcome byproduct o f C hristianization. H ow ­ ever, the earliest confirm ed case o f leprosy in B ritain has been dated to the fourth century at the Rom an cem etery o f Poundbury, D orset.17 T h e individual involved w as not a native o f the B ritish Isles, as exam inations o f the skeletal rem ains have show n, and m ost likely brought the disease w ith him from elsewhere. T here may have been earlier cases, but they are disputed am ongst paleopathologists. A rchae­ ologically, leprosy is very hard to detect. A telltale sign o f the disease on skeletal rem ains is the disfigurem ent o f the bones o f the hands or feet, but these bones are usually the first to decay. A dditionally, the Mycobacterium leprae is a first cousin o f the tuberculosis organism and many o f the early disease characteristics are sim i­ lar, which m akes detection d iffic u lt.18 T h e criteria for the identification o f lep­ rosy on skeletal rem ains go back to the w ork o f V ilhelm M eller-C h ristensen , who exam ined the osteological evidence from a D an ish leper cem etery.19 A ccording to 12T he H L A type determ ines the blood group o f an individual. 13 A ngela G em aey and D avid M innikin, “Chem ical M ethods in Paleopathology,” in Human Osteology, ed. C ox and M ays, 239-53, here 248. 14 Roberts, “Infectious D isease,” 150. 15 H erbert Covey, “People with Leprosy (H ansen’s D isease) during the M iddle A ges,” Social Science Jo u rn al 38 (2001): 315-21, here 316. T he D N A o f m edieval lep­ ers has recently been studied by M ichael Taylor, Stephanie W iddison, Ivor Brown, and D ouglas Young, “A M ediaeval C ase o f Leprom atous Leprosy from 13th-1 4 ,h Century Orkney, Scotland,” Jo u rn al o fArchaeological Science 27 (2000): 1133-38. 16 Keith M anchester and Charlotte Roberts, "T h e Paleopathology o f Leprosy in Britain: A Review,” WorldArchaeology 21 (1989): 265-72, here 266. They state that the earliest written record which describes human leprosy is the sixth-century B .C . Susbruta Sam hita. See also Johannes Anderson, who writes that the Byzantine writer O ribasios claim ed that Alexander brought the disease with him : Studies in the M ediaeval D iagnosis o f Leprosy in Denmark (Copenhagen, 1969), 45. 17 R . Reader, “New Evidence for the A ntiquity o f Leprosy in Early Britain,” Jo u rn al o f Archaeological Science 1 (1974): 205-7. 18 It has been suggested that the sudden drop in leprosy cases in the fourteenth cen­ tury was the result o f a rise in T B . T he exposure to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis seems to increase the im m unological resistance to leprosy: G ernaey and M innikin, “Chem ical M ethods,” 248.



M eller-C h ristensen, leprosy can be diagn osed only when there are visible in flam ­ m atory changes o f the hands and feet, together w ith m arked periostitis o f the lower leg,1920 plus changes in the alveolar bone o f the palate. Such a strict catalogue is problem atic for the A nglo-Saxon period where m any skeletons are incom plete because o f decay, and therefore only a handful o f cases have undoubtedly been identified as lepers.21 N evertheless, it is obvious from the scarcity o f sym ptom atic bone changes that there is no evidence for a m ass epidem ic, in contrast to fin d s from the tw elfth and thirteenth centuries.22 Recently the genetic code for Myco­ bacterium leprae has been identified, suggestin g that future excavation m il possi­ bly detect leprous individuals m ore easily.23 T here are som e further problem s for the com parison o f individuals identified as infected w ith leprosy w ith those o f other burials, even after the disease has been clearly identified. T here is still no uniform way o f recording archaeological data, and the detail in which a site can be reported often depends on the funds available for publication. N ot all cem etery excavations have had a paleopathologist at hand (though it is now a regular practice), and in som e cases reports focus on only cer­ tain burials. For exam ple, a seventh-century leper inhum ation from E c d e s, K ent, which w as exam ined by K eith M anchester, is described as an individual case study and not placed w ithin a w ider grave context.24 M anchester reports that th is w as the inhum ation o f a 25-30-year-old m ale, who had extensive cribra orbitalia (pitting o f the eye-sockets) and evidence o f enam el hypoplasia (pits or furrow s in the tooth

19 H is work was the first research in the paleopathology o f m edieval leprosy, and evidence from burials exam ined earlier may have been m isdiagnosed: Vilhelm M ollerChristensen, “Evidence for Leprosy in Early Peoples,” in D iseases in A ntiquity, ed. D on Brothwell and A . T . Sandison (Springfield, IL , 1967), 295-306. 20 Periostitis is an infection o f the thin outer membrane that covers the bones and is very common in A nglo-Saxon skeletons (more than those o f any other period in Eng­ land). It may be caused by a number o f things, including a heavy kick on the shin. 21 Charlotte Roberts lists only eighteen cases from post-Rom an Britain and A ngloSaxon England, and alm ost h alf o f them seem to come from pre-Christian burial grounds: “T he Antiquity o f Leprosy in Britain: T he Skeletal Evidence,” in The P ast and Presence o f Leprosy:Archaeological, H istorical, Paleopathologualand C linicalApproaches, ed. eadem, M ary Lew is, and Keith M anchester, B A R Int. Ser. 1054 (O xford, 2002), 213-21, here 214. 22 Roberts and M anchester, Archaeology o f D isease, 148. 23 Taylor et al., “ Leprosy from Orkney,” 1137. 24 T he m ulti-period site at E cd es was excavated over a number o f years by A lan D etsicas and is published in a number o f reports in Archaeologica C antiana 1963-1973. M anchester does not give the grave number or grave context o f the burial, which m akes it very hard to identify: “A Leprous Skeleton o f the 7th Century from E ccles, Kent and the Present Evidence o f Leprosy in Early Britain,” Jo u rn al o f Archaeological Science 8 (1981): 205-9, esp. 206.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


enam el), w hich indicates either m alnutrition or severe ill-health in childhood. T h e relation o f A nglo-Saxon leper burials to non-diseased inhum ations can also be com plicated through an unclear chronology at m ulti-period sites. T h e densely packed cem etery o f C annington, Som erset, contained burials from prehistory right up to the eighth century. T h ree skeletons have been identified as being those o f lepers, and four others show possible signs o f the disease.25 O f the three identifiable leper graves, only G 159, the inhum ation o f a young woman at the crowded east­ ern part o f the cemetery, can be attributed to the A nglo-Saxon period. T h is grave contains no goods, and the datin g has been done on the basis o f burial sequences at th is part o f the site. L ike so many pagan grave fields, C annington w as no longer com plete when excavated, having been partly destroyed by quarrying, so that the relation o f G 159 to the others rem ains tentative. T h e first exam ple o f a m ore com prehensive picture is a possible group o f lep­ ers from Cem etery A at B eckford, H ereford and W orcester, dated to the fifth to early seventh centuries. T here were tw o cem eteries at B eckford, w hich were only about 6 0 0 m eters apart. It has been suggested th at cem etery A w as the restin g place o f a leadin g fam ily or kin group.26 W hile bone preservation is good in C em ­ etery A , the skeletal rem ains o f C em etery B , according to C alvin W ells, are too decayed to see clear patterns o f pathology. T h e population at B eckford showed evidence o f a physically active and strenuous life, and the m edial life-sp an w as m uch lower than at other com parable sites. O ne sixth-century burial at B eckford A (G 8) has been clearly iden tified as th at o f a leper. It contained the rem ains o f a robust m ale, about 1.82 m eters ta ll, who w as buried w ith a spearhead, an ironbound bucket, a knife, and som e iron and bronze fragm ents. Buckets are classed as h igh -status objects, since their occurrence in graves is relatively rare.27 T h e B eckford leper w as not a healthy m an. Sligh t spina b ifid a and acute degeneration o f the intervertebral d isks had led to spin al deform ities and so, apart from lep­ rosy, th is m an suffered excruciating back pain . H is burial position at the eastern fringe o f the cem etery m ay su ggest som e kind o f spatial separation, but it should be noted th at the other burials w ith buckets, and therefore possibly also o f high statu s, also occur on the frin ges o f the cem etery. T h e tw o other possible leper burials at B eckford were also placed at the eastern side o f the cem etery. T h ese are

25 D on Brothwell et al., “Leprosy (with an Exam ination o f the Skeletal Rem ains by Keith M anchester),” in Cannington Cemetery: Excavations 1962-3 o f Prehistoric, Roman, Post-Rom an, and L ater Features a t Cannington Park Q uarry, near Bridgew ater, Somerset, ed. Philip R ahtz, Sue H irst, and Susan W right (London, 2000), 225-36, here 225-26. 26 Two A nglo-Saxon Cemeteries a t Beckford, H ereford and Worcester, ed. Vera Evison and Prue H ill, C B A Research Report 103 (York, 1996), 38. 27 There are two more burials with buckets at Beckford in cemetery B , G 10 and G 81. G 10 was possibly a fem ale adult lying on her side, and G 81 a m ale adult.



the inhum ations o f an approxim ately 30-year-old w om an (G A l l ) and a m iddleaged m an (G A 2 2 ). It has been suggested that a fam ily connection exists be­ tween the m an buried in G 8 and the w om an in G i l . G A l l and G A 2 2 were adjacent to the grave o f a child (G AS and G A 10), which m ay indicate furth er fam ily m em bers. B oth graves were furnished: the w om an in G A l l w as buried w ith gild ed bronze brooches and the m an in G A 2 2 w as given a shield and spear, indications that both held respected position s in their society.28 It appears th at for these individuals disease w as no im pedim ent to status in death. A t the A nglo-Saxon cem etery o f B arrington, E d ix H ill, C am bridgeshire (dated to A .D . 5 0 0 -6 5 0 ), the body o f a young w om an shows all the indicators o f leprosy. T h is m ay not have been the cause o f death, but her disfigurem ent w ould have been clearly visible when she died since her face and extrem ities showed ad­ vanced degeneration o f the bones. T h e m ost strik in g feature o f her burial is th at she w as laid out on a bed, which w as then lowered into the grave. B ed burials are extrem ely rare, but at E d ix H ill there were tw o.29 A lon g w ith ship funerals and other unusual practices, they appear to indicate the resting place o f an im portant m em ber o f the com m unity. T h e burial o f th is leprous wom an in G 18 has been dated to the seventh century and is am ong a group o f other highly-furnished in­ hum ations, so that th is m ay be the resting place o f a leading fam ily. H er gravegoods confirm her high statu s: a w eaving sw ord, adapted from a real w eapon, a bucket, a possible box containing a num ber o f artifacts, and silver rings from w hat may have been a necklace. T h u s it appears that she had the burial o f a princess, despite her disease. T here is another possible case ofleprosy at E d ix H ill, in G 93, which is situated at the w estern fringe o f the excavated area. H ere the leprom atous deform ations are not as far advanced and do not fu lfil the strict criteria estab­ lished by M oller-C hristensen. H owever, th is m iddle-aged wom an too w as buried w ith a range o f grave-goods. Two possible leper inhum ations were found at W or­ thy Park, Kingsw orthy, H am pshire (G 2 0 and G 57),30 but here the deform ation is not very far advanced, so that the leprosy m ay not have been obvious to those who buried the bodies. Interestingly, both graves are unfurnished, and appear in a corridor o f dense inhum ations in the m iddle o f the excavated cem etery,31 many o f

28 See also Burwell, Grave 111, dated to the seventh century by T . C . Lethbridge, which is unusually big. Herefacies leprosa is clearly visible: Vilhelm M oller-Christensen and D . R. H ughes, “Early C ases o f Leprosy in Britain,” M an 62 (1962): 177-79, here 178. 29 Bed burials have so far been found at only six sites. They are predom inantly fem ale inhum ations and often contain a rich array o f goods. 30 C alvin W ells, G uy G rainger, Bernhard D enston, and Sonia Chadw ick H awkes, “T he Inhum ations and Crem ations,” in The A nglo-Saxon Cemetery a t Worthy Park, K ings­ worthy, near Winchester, Hampshire, ed. Sonia Chadwick Hawkes and G uy G rainger (Ox­ ford, 2003), 153-89. Unfortunately, no dating sequences for the site are given.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


which seem to be o f people w ith som e form o f physical im pairm ent, m ostly as the result o f heavy physical labor. H owever, th is part o f the cem etery does not seem to be evidence for a deliberate separation o f diseased people; it rather appears to be a plot which contains m any unfurnished inhum ations, and m ay indicate an area reserved for the poor or servants o f the com m unity.3132 W hile it appears th at at pagan A n glo-Saxon cem eteries statu s negates any adverse associations th at the disease m ay have had, the picture is different at post-conversion sites. Recently the skeletal rem ains from the N orw ich cem etery o f S t. Joh n the B ap tist have been re-exam ined, using a new m ethod w hich takes radiocarbon dates from stable isotopes o f the carbon com ponents in bone col­ lagen .33 T h is m ethod allow s for a m uch m ore accurate d atin g than tradition al techniques, such as dendrochronology, or by usin g debris from the soil. T h e cem ­ etery o f St. Joh n the B ap tist is unusual, since its northern side contains a large num ber o f diseased people, including thirty-five lepers. From the results o f the stable isotope analysis, it becam e evident that they are not N orm an, as previously assum ed,34 but are m ost likely late A n glo-Saxon inhum ations. D u rin g th is pe­ riod the cem etery o f S t. Joh n the B ap tist w as situated outside the city gates, ad­ jacen t to one o f the m ain roads approaching from the south.35 T h e burial ground contained a disproportionately high num ber o f leper graves, as w ell as the skel­ etal rem ains o f individuals w ith various other diseases. T h e high num ber o f in­ hum ations o f people who had suffered from leprosy at th is site, som e o f w hich were iden tified as m em bers o f fam ily grou ps,36 m ay be evidence that leper colo­ nies existed in the late A n glo-Saxon period. D espite the fact that leper hospitals have been recorded since the seventh century in continental E urope (the oldest were at M etz, Verdun, and M aastrich t), it is assum ed th at no such institution ex­ isted in E n glan d before the C onquest. How ever, the evidence from S t. Joh n the B ap tist su ggests th at lepers in the late A n glo-Saxon period were already segre­

31 A gain, this site is obscured by subsequent building activity and only a part o f the cemetery could be excavated. 32 W e should observe that G 57 is adjacent to G 45, an inhumation o f a young male who had either polio or a birth defect, and who nevertheless was buried with a spear, which suggests a respected position in life. 33 A . Bayliss, E . Shepherd Popescu, N . Beavan-A thfield, C . Bronk Ram sey, G . C ook, and A . Locker, “T he Potential Significance o f D ietary O ffsets for the Interpre­ tation o f Radiocarbon D ates: A n A rchaeologically Significant Exam ple from M edieval Norw ich," Jou rn al o f Archaeological Science 31 (2004): 563-75. 34 Sue Anderson, "Leprosy in a M edieval Churchyard in Norw ich,” in Current and Recent Research in Osteoarchaeology: Proceedings ofthe 3rd M eeting o f the Osteoarchaeological Research Group, ed. eadem (O xford, 1998), 31-37, here 31, and esp. 36. 35 Bayliss et al., "Potential Significance,” 568. 36 Anderson, "Leprosy in a M edieval Churchyard,” 36.



gated into special com m unities, w hich, at least in death, were placed outside the city g ates.37 There are also a few A nglo-Saxon leper burials at the N ortham ptonshire cem ­ etery o f R aunds Fum ells, which w as in use to the m id-tenth to the m id-tw elfth centuries. T h ese graves appear to be at the outer fringes o f the graveyard.38 T h e first possible leper inhum ation at th is site w as G 5256, which w as the body o f a 25-35-year-old m ale who w as buried during the first phase o f the cem etery at w hat w as then the southernm ost boundary o f graves. A nother possible leper burial w as G 5178, which contained the inhum ation o f a m ature m ale. T h is grave w as un­ usual, since it w as positioned near the so-called “eavesdrop” burials (used in cases where baptism m ay be needed), close to the south side o f the first church, an area which contained m ainly infant inhum ations. T h is grave w as m arked w ith a large stone at the foot-end. U sually, proxim ity to a church is seen as a privilege, since it allow s the dead to be close to the altar and the host, sym bols o f the resurrection o f the dead. However, here the closeness o f infant burials and the proxim ity o f anoth­ er unusual body (a m an w ith cranial cuts) m ay indicate that this inhum ation, which appears to be the last in th is phase, w as part o f a series o f atypical interm ents.39 T o the right o f this grave is another bizarre inhum ation o f a person w ith cranial cuts. T h e cuts appear to have been perform ed post-m ortem , and we can only guess why th is person w as thus m utilated.40 T h e second leper burial at R aunds F u m ells is th at o f G 5 046, a young m ale w hose face and extrem ities had been destroyed by leprosy. T h e body w as buried at the southernm ost boundary o f the cem etery. T h e datin g sequence at R aunds is not quite clear, but th is seem s to have been an eleventh-century inhum ation. T h is is not the only diseased burial at the frin ges, since G 5218, w hich contained a person w ith progressive poliom yelitis, who had a foreshortened right leg and arm and w as also afflicted w ith tuberculosis, is situated at the northernm ost boundary o f the cem etery.41 T h e evidence from R aunds Furnells and S t. Joh n the B ap tist su ggests that by late A n glo-Saxon E n glan d lepers and people w ith

37T h is division o f lepers from the non-leprous also occurs in contemporary cemeter­ ies in Lund, Sweden. O f the 43 lepers found in the Lund excavation, nearly all o f them were buried near the cemetery o f Trinitas W ooden Church (dated 990-1100) or Kattesund (1050-1100). In both cemeteries all cases o f leprosy (bar one) occur in the outer zones: Caroline A rcini, H ealth an d D isease in E arly Lund: O steo-fatbological Studies o f 3 ,3 0 5 Individuals Buried in the Area o f Lund 990-1536 (Lund, 1999), 118-21. 38 F. Powell, “T he H um an Rem ains,” in Raunds Fum ells: TheAnglo-Saxon Church and Churchyard, ed. Andy Boddington (London, 1996), 113-24, here 123, and microfiche. 39 Boddington, ed., Raunds Fum ells, 55. 40 Powell, “H um an Rem ains,” 123. 41Victoria Thom pson does not think that these inhumations show discrim ination to­ wards the diseased, and interprets some o f the literary sources cited in this essay differently.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England

contagious disease were buried away from the non-infected population. H ow ev­ er, they were still buried in w hat appears to be com m on ground, m aking distin c­ tions betw een diseased and non-diseased populations less visible than they are in the later m edieval period when leper burials are associated w ith leper hospitals. T h e spatial separation o f lepers and the non-infected population in late A n ­ glo-Saxon cem eteries m ay m irror changes in attitudes tow ards the treatm ent o f the diseased in general. For evidence o f such changin g view s we m ust turn to literature, w hich is not as straightforw ard as it m ight seem . L eprosy features in a num ber o f A n glo-Saxon prose texts, but the question rem ains what exactly w as referred to when term s for the disease were em ployed. T h ere is a confusin g ar­ ray o f vocabulary th at seem s to refer to leprosy in O ld E n glish , as I w ill show, w hich m ay be the result o f either lin gu istic variation or translations from d ifferent sources. T h e L atin term for leprosy is usually rendered lepra, w hich occurs in a num ber o f biblical passages. R eferences to lepra by classical or biblical w rit­ ers, however, do not describe leprosy, but a variety o f skin diseases. G reek lepros, “rough and scaly,” translates the H ebrew w ord za'rat.42 T h e term lepra is used variously by m edical w riters such as H ippocrates, but not to describe leprosy.4243 Sim ilarly, the descriptions o f lepra in Leviticu s 13 and 14 describe a curable skin condition, w hich can be detected w ithin seven days and is m ainly concerned w ith hair loss and pu stu les, w hich is certainly not leprosy.4445It appears th at the term s elephas or elephantiasis were used by G reek w riters to portray the leprom atous form o f leprosy. O ne o f the in fluen tial sources for A n glo-Saxon literature is the seventh-cen­ tury w riter Isidore o f Seville, who describes a num ber o f d iseases th at are “appar­ ent on the surface o f the body” in h is Etymologies.*5Isidore differentiates betw een scabies and lepra. T h e latter, in h is definition, m anifests itse lf in the roughness o f scaly skin , and takes its nam e from the changin g color o f the skin, w hich can vary am ong black, w hite, and red. Lepra is prim arily diagn osed through the exam ination o f skin color and texture, w hereas a third disease, elrfantiacus, is Thom pson cautions that we should look at other possibilities for the exclusion o f people with a disability, rather than autom atically assum e that it was the disability itself that ex­ cluded them: D eath an d D ying in L ate Anglo-Saxon England (W oodbridge, 2004), 1 2 2 23. W hile I share her concern about the often hasty and unsubstantiated claim s that are made from observations o f graves and skeletal rem ains, I do think that the position o f the Raunds lepers is different from that o f other burials. 42 G ilbert Lew is, “A Lesson from Leviticus: Leprosy,” M an 22 (1987): 593-612, here 596. 43 Anderson, Studies in the M ediaeval D iagnosis o f Leprosy in Denm ark, 18. 44 Lew is, “A Lesson,” 596. 45 “D e m orbis qui in superficie corporis videntur: Scabies et lepra”: Isidori H ispalensis Episcopi Etym ologiarum sive originvm lib ri X X , ed. W . M . Lindsay (O xford, 1911), 4 .8 :1 0 -1 2 .


described as a disease w hich results in hardened skin sim ilar to th at o f an el­ ephant. It is not clear from Isidore’s description w hich o f the three diseases re­ fers to leprosy, though tw o o f them , lepra and elefantiacus, show sym ptom s th at m ay occur w ith the disease. A m ong the first sign s o f an infection w ith leprosy are reddish-brow n skin lesions. T h ese may have been featured when the disease w as depicted in m anuscript illum inations. W hile there are no pictorial depic­ tions o f lepers in B ritain from the pre-C on quest period,46 im ages in continental m anuscripts generally show people covered in pu stu les, as in an illustration in a ninth-century gospel book from C oblenz (D ü sseld orf, Lan desbildstelle, M S . C o d . B . 113, fol. 5r), w hich show s C h rist h ealing a leper girded in a loincloth and w ith his alm s horn strapped to h is side inside a w alled city,47 w hile another enters through gates. T h e caption next to the m an reads “leprosus.” A sim ilar depiction o f a “leper” appears in the gospel book o f O tto III (M unich, Bayerische Staats­ bibliothek, M S . L atin 4453, fol. 97v), produced 9 9 8 -1001.48 It is debatable how accurately m edieval physicians could identify early form s o f leprosy, which can appear sim ilar to other skin problem s and infectious d is­ eases.49 Even i f they could form a correct d iagn osis, it appears that the definition o f what constitutes leprosy w as m ade by priests, not physicians, on the basis o f biblical references. T h e exam ple o f C h rist’s m iracles as a healer (and in particu­ lar the curing o f leprosy) w as understood by church fathers and m edieval w riters as a sign that spiritual health and bodily w ell-being were connected. C h ristianity introduced the m oral obligation o f care for the sick.50 C assiodorus (ca. 485-589) m akes healing and the study o f m edical w riters part o f the m onastic m inistry in his Institutiones, w ritten for the m onastic com m unity at Vivarium .51 T h e interest o f religious w riters in disease is founded on a long tradition o f caring for the sick, which w as coupled w ith biblical exam ples o f m inistering to outbreaks o f infectious illnesses. It is generally assum ed th at ideas o f exclusion or segregation o f lepers by m edieval w riters is based on Leviticus 13 and 14, where G od tells M oses and A aron how to detect and isolate a “leper.” T h is d ifficu lt passage, which seem s to describe not one disease, but a variety o f different ailm ents,52 com m ands the priest

46 The earliest English depiction o ffacies leprosa is thought to be from the north aisle o f the A ngel C hoir at Lincoln C athedral: D avid M arcom be, The Leper Knights (W oodbridge, 2003), 138-39. 47 Such horns led to the name o f hom igbruoder [“horned brother”] in the O ld H igh Germ an G ospel translation o f O tfried and Tatian. 48 Brody, D isease o f the Soul, pis. 5 ,6 . 49 M anchester and Roberts claim that evidence from m edieval leprosia suggests that the diagnosis was accurate in m ost cases: “Paleopathology o f Leprosy,” 267. 50 D aniel W . Am undsen, M edicine, Society and F aith in the Ancient an d M edieval Worlds (Baltim ore, M D , 1996), 13. A lso R . Stark, The R ise o f C hristianity (Princeton, N J, 1996). 51 C assiodorus, Institutiones, ed. R . A . B . M ynors (O xford, 1961), 1146.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


to decide whether a person should be isolated from the com m unity and when they can be readm itted. A n glo-Saxon law codes have no provision for lepers, though, as we have seen from archaeological evidence, there m ust have been cases during the period. W hether th is is an accident o f preservation, or w hether care for the leprous w as indeed left to the church, rem ains to be seen.5253 A t the sam e tim e there is, however, grow ing concern about the treatm ent o f lepers in continental law s, both clerical and secular, which eventually culm inates in the exclusion o f lepers from churches and cem eteries by a decree o f the T h ird Lateran C ouncil in 1179.54 T h e procedure o f segregation as suggested in the w rit De leproso amovendo forced lepers to under­ go a ritual funeral after w hich they were declared as “dead to the w orld, but alive to G o d .” It is debatable how stringently these m easures were adhered to,55 but we know that at least by the end o f the tw elfth century lepers in E ngland were orga­ nized in special com m unities, which were sustained by charitable bequests, such as the leprosarium at Sherburne, D urham , which w as founded in 1181.56 How ever, C hurch injunctions concerning lepers go as for back as the C oun­ cil o f O rleans (A .D . 549), w hich curbed the social intercourse o f lepers w ith non­ lepers.57 In 583 the C oun cil o f Lyon forbade beggin g and in 643 the Lan gobardic law code known as the Edictus Rothari declared the leper “dead to the w orld.”58 T h e first adm onition given to an E n glish cleric regarding leprosy w as the advice from Pope G regory II to B oniface in 726 to allow lepers to take com m union,

52 Elinor Lieber, “O ld Testam ent ‘Leprosy’, C ontagion and Sin," in Contagion: Per­ spectivesfrom Pre-M odem Societies, ed. Lawrence Conrad and D om inik W ujastyk (Aidershot, 2000), 99-136. 53 It is interesting to note that Scandinavian evidence shows that only the m ost se­ verely disfigured people were segregated: Charlotte Roberts, “T he Paleopathology o f Leprosy in Britain,” World Archaeology 21 (1989): 265-72, here 267. Leprosy spread to Scandinavia from A nglo-Saxon England and one o f the earliest laws which mentions a special status for lepers is the tenth-century N orw egian Gulapingslög, which forbids lep­ ers to become part o f a m ilitary organization: “N u seal eigi leidangr géra firi lfk p ri menn alla” : Norges Garnie Love in d til 1387, ed. Rudolph Keyser and P. A . M unch (C hristiana [O slo], 1846), 1:9 7 . 54 Brody, D isease o f the Soul, 64. Incidentally the Council sought to protect the plight o f lepers. T h e im pact o f their removal from the community was also discussed at the C ouncils o f W estm inster in 1175 and 1200: Friedrich M erzbacher, “D ie Leprösen im kanonischen Recht,” Zeitschrift der Savign y-Stiftu n gfû r Rechtsgeschichte: kanonische Ab­ teilung 84 (1967): 27-45, here 29-31. 55 Brody, D isease o f the Soul, 63. 56M erzbacher, “D ie Leprösen im kanonischen Recht,” 30. 57 G . K eil, “A ussatz” in Lexikon des M ittelalters, ed. Robert Autry et al., 10 vols. (M unich and Zurich, 1977-1999), 1:1251. 58 Reallexikon dergermanischen Altertumskunde, ed. Johnnes H oops, 4 vols. (Strassburg, 1911-19), 1:505.



provided they were C h ristian s, but otherw ise to hinder them from takin g m eals w ith non-lepers.S9 W e w ould assum e th at som e o f the Frankish population s u f­ fered from leprosy, since it w as m ade grounds for a divorce by K in g Pippin III in 757,60 w hile Charlem agne ordered th at lepers were not to interact w ith the noninfected population.61 R ecently Françoise O livier T ouati has heavily criticized scholarly perceptions o f the exclusion o f lepers from m edieval society, which she regards as a m anifestation o f m odern prejudice tow ards the “prim itive” M id d le A ges.62 She w rites that the notion o f the separation o f lepers from society on the basis o f L evitical rules is “nonsense,” and supported by historians who do not re­ alize th at in the eyes o f m edieval theologians the O ld T estam ent w as superseded by the N ew T estam ent.63 T ouati’s cautionary note is not unfounded. “Leprosy” sign ifies a number o f very different things in m edieval literature, as I w ill show below, and can denote heresy as w ell as the com passion o f C h rist tow ards the afflicted from the early m edieval period onwards. O ne thing, however, is certain: the leprous are different from other people, and they are m ade different by their disease. T h e “sliding” o f the leprous to the fringes o f society that Touati observes in the thirteenth century w as prepared for by a long history o f interpretation o f the disease as “visible sin.”6465 “Leprosy” in A n glo-Saxon literature occurs prim arily in religious w ritin gs, such as hom ilies and hagiography, w hich were often influenced by non-indigenous sources, and also in leechbooks. T here is only one m ention o f the disease in O ld E n glish poetry, in the anonym ous life o f St. A ndrew , w hich is based on a now lost L atin version o f the apocryphal Acta Andreae apud anthropopbagos.bS Before turn in g to the interpretations o f “leprosy” in A n glo-Saxon literature, it seem s usefu l to look at the vocabulary w hich appears in the various genres. T h e

59 Brirfe des Bonifatius: W illibalds Leben des Bonifatius nebst einigen zeitgenössischen Dokumenten, ed. and trans. Reinhard Rau (D arm stadt, 1968), 92: “Leprosis autem, si fi­ dèles C hristiani fuerint, dom inici corporis et sanguinis participatio tributur; cum sanis autem convivia celebrare negentur.” 60 C apitula Regum Francorum, ed. A lfred Boretius, M G H (Hanover, 1883), 1 ,39. 61 “ D e leprosis: ut se non interm isseant alio populo,” in C apitula Regum Francorum , ed. Boretius, 64. 62Françoise Touati, “Contagion and Leprosy: M yth, Ideas and Evolution in M edieval M inds and Societies,” in Contagion, ed. Conrad and W ujastyk, 179-201, here 180-81. 63 Touati, “Contagion and Leprosy,” 181-85. 64 Touati, “Contagion and Leprosy,” 201. 65Andreas and the Fates oftheApostles, ed. Kenneth Brooks (O xford, 1961), line 579, in a passage that refers to the m iracles o f C hrist: “Sealde he dumbum gesprec, deafe gehyrdon, healtum ond hreofum hyge blissode da J>e lim seoce lange wæron, werige wanhale,

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


earliest reference to the occurrence o f lepra in A n glo-Saxon E n glan d in a w rit­ ten source appears to be from the vita o f the seventh-century Irish m issionary St. Fursey.66 A lm ost contem poraneous is the use o f the L atin term lepra in num ber 94 o f A ldhelm ’s Enigmata, where he refers to ebulus, “w allw ort,” as a relief for the "terrible leprosy.”67 T h e eighth-century Leiden G lossary glosses lepra as ulcus, "ulcer” or uncus, "hooked,” and leprositas as morbo regio, "royal d isease,” w hich is not very helpful.6869 T h e m ultiplicity o f term s, and consequent d ifficu lties o f deciding precisely w hich disease is referred to, is even m ore apparent in the O ld E n glish glosses to L atin texts and Bible translations into the vernacular. T h e G osp els o f M atthew , M ark , and Luke all tell o f C h rist’s h ealing o f lepers. In the tenth-century gloss to the L in d isfam e G osp els, leprosi, "lepers,” glosses breafl and lepra is referred to as hreofl or riof7.69 Hreofl (w ith spellin g variants briofol and hreofot) is generally used for tran slatin g the V ulgate’s lepra in m ost versions o f the O ld E n glish G ospels. How ever, it is apparent th at there is no consensus on the nature o f the disease. In the O ld E n glish translation o f B ede’s Historia Ecclesiastica, hreofl refers to sca­ bies, in an account o f the m iracles o f Joh n o f Beverley.70 O n the other hand, hreofan adl in the C am bridge C orpus C h risti m anuscript o f W æ rferth’s translation o f G regory’s Dialogues is used to render the morbo elephantino o f the origin al.71 Æ lfric uses the L atin elefantinus m orbus when he cites a passage from G regory’s

witum gebundene” ["he gave speech to the dumb, the d eaf had hearing, he made the m inds o f the lame and the lepers joyful, who had long been crippled, sick, chained by their torm ents”]. A ll translations are my own unless otherwise stated. 66 Fursey was in the service o f the E ast A nglian king Sigebert in 633, and built a m onastery at Burghcastle in Suffolk. D uring his tim e there it is said that the "debiles et claudos, cecos atque leprosos, vel etiam qui varias habeant iniurias” ["the crippled and lam e, the blind and leprous, as w ell as those who had various injuries”] came to him : Vita Virtutesque Fursei A bbatis Latinacensis, ed. Bruno Krusch, M G H , Scriptores Rerum M erovingicarum 4 (H anover and Leipzig, 1902), 441. 67 Aldhelmi Opera, ed. R udolf Ehw ald, M G H Auctores A ntiquissim i 15 (Berlin, 1919), 141. 68 John H . H essels, A L ate Eighth-Century L atin A nglo-Saxon Glossary Preserved in the Library o f Leiden U niversity (Cam bridge, 1906) 9, 36. It may however be based on a confusion o f Isidore’s description o f jaundice, which apparently can be cured by royal wine: Etym ologiae, 4.8 :14. 69 The Four Gospels in A nglo-Saxon, Northum brian, and O ld M ercian Versions, ed. W. W. Skeat, 4 vols. (Cam bridge, 1871-1874). 70 The O ld English Version o f Bede's Ecclesiastical H istory, ed. Thom as M iller, 2 vols., E E T S 9 5 ,9 6 ,1 1 0 (London, 1898), 2 :3 8 8 ; compare Bede’s EcclesiasticalH istory o f the Eng­ lish People, ed. and trans. Bertram Colgrave and R . A . B . M ynors (O xford, 1969), 5.2: "sed et scabiem tentam ac furfures habebat in capite.”



Dialogi, w hich extols one o f the m iracles o f St. B enedict, as a source. W æ rferth’s translation recounts the poor fortune o f A ntony’s servant who w as “g e a re d m id J>xre hreofan adle sw a f>xt him eallunga [>a h x r afeollan, ond seo hyd asw eoll sw a f>xt heo ne m ihte bedyglan J)Xt w eaxende w yrm s ond w idle” ["afflicted w ith leprosy, so that all o f his hair fell out, and his skin sw elled, so that it could not hide the grow ing o f pus and im purities”].7172 T h e origin al passage refers to morbo elephantino, and seem s to describe a condition w hich is indicated by h air loss and skin that grow s thick and sw ollen. N evertheless, the servant could be healed through the intercession o f S t. Benedict.73 Skin lesions are characteristic o f both form s o f leprosy, but it is generally the tuberculoid version o f the disease th at leads to the destruction o f follicles and sw eat glands. O ccasionally the term licdrowere, which m ay be translated literally as "som e­ one who suffers on his body,” is used to denote biblical lepers.74T h e glossing o f the word leprosus as licdrowere occurs in the Vocabulary ofÆlfric,75*and the term seem s to be a synonym for "leper,” which appears to be used m ainly in a religious con­ text. Æ lfric’s Grammar translates leprosus as either licdrowere or hreofligJ6 H e uses both term s indiscrim inately again in the Life o f St. Basil, where a m ass priest nam ed A nastasius hides a m an who is described as both licprowere and breoflian, in a locked cave.7778T h e m ost intriguing inform ation on this person is that he is unsprecendefdmean, "alm ost unable to speak.” Leprom atous leprosy affects the alveolar part o f the throat, which leads to profound changes in the voice and can result in the loss o f speech. In the glossary in London, B L , C otton C leopatra A .iii, L atin callosi ["thick-skinned” or "gnarled”] is referred to as breofe odde wearihte.79 O ne o f the sym ptom s o f leprosy is the loss o f sensation in the skin o f affected areas and,

71 Bischof W arferth von Worcesters Übersetzung der D ialoge Gregors des Großen, ed. H ans H echt (Leipzig, 1900-1907), 157. 72 Bischof W arfertb, ed. H echt, 157. 73 Gregory, D ialogi 2.26, P L 6 6 .1 8 3 . 74 See, for example, Luke 4:27, "And m anega licjjroweras w xron on israhel” ["and many lepers were in Israel”], which translates "et m ulti leprosi erant in israhel”: The Old English Version o f the Gospels, ed. Roy M . Liuzza, E E T S o.s. 304 (O xford, 1994), 1:107. 75Anglo-Saxon and O ld English Vocabularies, ed. Thom as W right and Richard W ülker, 2 vols. (D arm stadt, 1968), 1:1 6 2 . 1bÆ lfrics Grammatik und Glossar, ed. Juliu s Zupitza (Berlin, 1880), 305. 77Æ lfric's Lives o fSaints, 1 :7 8 : “H e hæfde ænne lic-ôrowere be-locen on anum clyfan egeslisce to-swollen and un-sprecende fom ean, and hine ôær afedde un-afunden o3 Jjæt” ["H e had a leper shut away in a cave, who was terribly swollen and alm ost speechless, and he had fed him there undiscovered until then”]. Basil can open the door o f the cave by the power o f his word and stays awake all night with "m id J>am wædlian hreoflian” ["the poor leper”]. 78 W right and W iilker, Anglo-Saxon and O ld English Vocabularies, 1: 375 line 20.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


because o f a w eakening o f m uscle tissue, fingers and feet becom e gnarled. It is pos­ sible that this term m ay refer to leprom atous leprosy. Such variation o f term inology also appears in A nglo-Saxon m edical texts. For exam ple, the tenth-century Bald's Leechbook lists the follow ing, a ll under one subject heading: Leechdom s again st the yflan bläu ["evil skin ailm ent”] and the hreofum lice ["leprous body”], the adedum lie ["deadened body”], and the miclan lie, which has been variously translated as elephantiasis (a hardening o f the skin) or erysipelas (a bacterial infection which discolors and lifts the skin).79 O ther skin ailm ents, such as shingles, have separate entries, and it is not quite clear w hether th is heading refers to a group o f related diseases or to one and the sam e affliction . M alcolm Cam eron has cautioned that hreofl does not always refer to true leprosy, but covers a variety o f skin d iseases.80 T h is is certainly the case in tw o o f the late A n glo-Saxon translations o f m edical texts, the Old English Herbarium and the Medicina de Quadrupedibus. In the Herbarium, hreofl translates eltfantiosis as w ell as lepra and leprosis,81 In the Medicina de Quadrupedibus, hreofl and tofleon "cov­ ered in rashes,” are both translations o f L atin peduclosus (pediculosis, a skin reac­ tion to lice infestation).82 Bald's Leechbook refers to hwite rießo, "w hite roughness,” w ith the cryptic definition pe mon on sufeme lepra het, "w hich is called leprosy in the south.”83 T h e O ld E nglish Lacnunga, a late tenth-century collection o f m edi­ cal rem edies, describes a m ixture for micclan lie and blece, and w hile the first may be an allusion to the sw elling o f the face associated w ith tuberculoid leprosy, the latter term usually refers to the discoloration o f the skin that occurs w ith psoria­ sis.84 M o st uses o f hreofla in A n glo-Saxon hom iletic w ritings are in the context o f the m iracles th at C h rist perform s for m ankind.85 A typical exam ple is Vercelli Homily IV .86 C h rist is here praised as the "blin dra m ana leoht 7 dum ra gesprec 7 deafra gehyrnes 7 hreofra claensung 7 healtra gan g” ["ligh t o f the blind and the speech o f the dum b and the hearing o f the d e a f and the lepers’ cleansing and the lam e people’s ability to w alk”].87 T h e h ealing o f the sick and the lam e, where hu­ m an physicians have failed , is evidently seen as a m ark o f great pow ers granted to


79 Leechdoms, Wortcunning and Starcraft o f E arly England, ed. O sw ald Cockayne, 3 vols., Rolls Series (London, 1864-1866), 2 :8 : Læcdomas wiÖpam yflan b lau . 80 Cam eron, A nglo-Saxon M edicine, 96. 81 The O ld English Herbarium and the M edicina de Quadrupedibus, ed. H erbert Jan de Vriend, E E T S o.s. 286 (O xford, 1984), 134,154. 82 D e Vriend, O ld English Herbarium , 256. 83 Cockayne, Leechdoms, 2 :228. 84 Pettit, The Lacnunga, 1:118. 85 Such as described in M atthew 8:3 and Luke 5:12. 84 The Vercelli Hom ilies, ed. D onald G . Scragg, E E T S o.s. 300 (O xford, 1992). 87 Scragg, Vercelli Hom ilies, 97.



sain ts. T h e curing o f lepers is a staple ingredient o f hagiography. Æ lfric describes the h ealing o f a leper through the pow ers o f S t. M artin , who heals the breofla wundorlice to-hroren, “the leper, w ondrously diseased,” on his w ay to P aris w ith a k iss.88 T h e characteristic o f th is leper is som eone who lives at the city gates and is a terrible sigh t to others. T h e leper m ay constitute Æ lfric’s idea o f the ultim ate outcast, since he has no one who m ay fetch him the bedstraw o f the sain t, or a letter from the holy m an, for a cure.89 W hether or not th is depiction is based on Æ lfric’s own experience, or influenced by non-indigenous sources, cannot be de­ term ined easily. H owever, the concept o f the leper as an outcast in need o f spiri­ tu al care, rather than bodily cure, m ay be based on a tradition w hich lin ks disease to penance, and w hich goes back to the understanding th at body and soul are connected. O ne influenced the other, and the body had to be protected from the desires o f the soul. Sickn ess, in the eyes o f w riters such as G regory the G reat and B ede, allow ed the afflicted an opportunity for redem ption through suffering.90 Leprosy cam e to be seen as the ultim ate suffering, a living purgatory endured for sin fu l living. In K in g A lfred ’s O ld E n glish translation o f G regory's Pastoral Care, leprosy is linked to lust: Donne bi dæm sceabbe swide ryhte sio hreofl getacnad dæt wohhæmed. A nd donne bid se lichoma hreof, donne se bryne )>e on dæm innode bid utaflihd to dære hyde. Swæ bid sio costung ærest on dæm mode 7 donne færed utweardes to dære hyde, oddæt hio utascied on weorc. Butan tweon g if dæt mod ær dæm w illan ne widbritt, se wilm dæs innodes utabirst 7 wierd to sceabbe 7 monega wunda utan wyrcd mid dæm won weorcum. [“T he scab o f leprosy is a type fornication. T he body is leprous when the in­ flam m ation o f the body spreads to the skin. T hus temptation is first in the mind and then it spreads to the skin until it bursts forth in actions. Doubt­ lessly, unless the mind oppose the desire beforehand, the internal inflam ­ mation breaks forth and becomes scab, causing many external sores with the perverse actions.”] 91 T h is translation by a kin g who suffered from a m ystery illn ess for m ost o f h is life, which he feared to be “leprosy or blindness,”92 from the w orks o f a pope who 88 Skeat, Æ lfric s Lives o f Saints, 2 :2 5 4 . 89 Skeat, Æ lfric’s Lives o f Saints, 2 :2 5 4 . 90Asm undsen, M edicine, Society, an d Faith , 188-89. 91 K ing A lfred’s West Saxon Version o f Gregory’s Pastoral Care, ed. and trans. H enry Sweet, E E T S o.s. 45 (London, 1871), 70. Both the C otton and H atton M SS contain this passage. 92 “Tim ebat enim lepram aut caedtatem ”: Asser’s L ife ofK in g A lfred an d the A nnals o f St Neots, ed. W illiam Stevenson (O xford, 1959), 55.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


suffered excruciating stom ach pain at tim es, draw s a clear connection betw een sufferin g and sin.91*93 G regory’s origin al text, however, does not use lepra, but re­ fers to a “scab”: Jugem vero habet scabiem, cui cam is petulantia sine cessatione dominatur. In scabie etenim fervor viscerum ad cutem trahitur per quam recte luxuria designatur, quia si cordis tentatio usque ad operationem prosilit, nimirum fervor intimus usque ad cutis scabiem prorumpit; et foris jam corpus sauciat, quia dum in cogitatione voluptas non reprimitur, etiam in actione dominatur. [“Those have permanent scabs who are overcome by wantonness o f the flesh without respite. Indeed, in the scab the violent inflam m ation o f the innermost organs is drawn to the skin; by which indulgence is rightly indi­ cated, since, if the heart’s temptation leaps forth into action, without doubt the secret intoxication breaks out all the way into scabs o f the skin: and it now wounds the body outwardly, because, while pleasure is not repressed in thought, it still dom inates in activity.”] 94 It is interesting that A lfred appears to m ake a connection between leprosy and lust. T h e idea that lepers were punished for sexual voraciousness features prom inently in the late m edieval period, based on a confusion o f leprosy and syphilis. Sym p­ tom s for both illnesses can look quite sim ilar in the early stages.95 It is not known i f this analogy appears anywhere else in A nglo-Saxon literature. T h e earliest ana­ logue com es from the w orks o f the second-century G reek w riter A retaios C appadox, who m ade a connection between sexual activity and a disease he nam es satyri­ asis and elephas, which appears to be an accurate description o f leprom atous leprosy. H e claim s that th is disease leads to an increase o f sexual appetite and perm anent erections.96 W hether either G regory or A lfred w as aware o f A retaios’s w ritings is debatable, but it seem s that their concepts o f scabies or hreofl as an indicator for m oral depravity prefigures much later attitudes tow ards leprosy. It is, however, apparent th at disease is interpreted by both G regory and A l­ fred as a failure o f the spirit, an early w arning system which allow s the victim to m ake am ends. G regory again m akes use o f leprosy as a m etaphor for inner

91 G regory him self mentions that he suffers from a disease o f the stom ach which causes him much pain: M oralia, prol. 5, P L 7 5 .5 1 5 ; ed. M . A driaen, C C S L 143 (Tum hout, 1979), 6. For an analysis o f K ing A lfred’s disease see D avid Pratt, “T he Illnesses o f A lfred the G reat,” A SE 30 (2001): 39-90. 94 Gregory, Cura Pastoralis, P L 77.25. 95 T he m ost prominent example may be Robert H enryson’s Testament o f Cresseid. 96 C arl G ottlob Kühn, Medicorum Graecorum opera quae extant: Aretaeus (Leipzig, 1828), 182; see also Andersen, Studies, 30-31.



depravity in the M oralia, where he com pares it to heresy.97 A biblical anteced­ ent for such an interpretation can be found in N um bers 12:10, where G o d pun­ ishes M iriam w ith a snow-white skin disease for opposing M oses’ m arriage to the C ushite w om an.98 G regory’s interpretation is close to th at o f Isidore o f S e ­ ville, who likens M iriam ’s opposition to the synagogue, w hich appears leprous on account o f slander and grum bling again st C h rist.99 Isidore states furth er th at the ten lepers healed by C h rist sign ify the various form s o f heretics,10010a them e taken up again by H rabanus M aurus in De Medicina.m G enerally, early C h ris­ tian w riters treat the L ev itical rules on leprosy as an allegory for sin and divine retribution.102 O rigen, for exam ple, describes in a hom ily on L eviticus the six types o f leprosy m entioned in L eviticus 13, and interprets leprosy o f the head as sign ifyin g those who do not accept C h rist as their head.103 TertuU ian claim s th at a leper is a person d efiled w ith sin .104 T h ese exegetical readings were known to O ld E n glish w riters, but am ong them , it is Æ lfric in particular who m akes use o f breofl and the hreofliga mentt as sym bols o f sin. In his hom ily on the third Sun­ day after Epiphany, Æ lfric uses the h ealing o f the lepers as described in M at­ thew 8:1-13 to underline that leprosy is a sym ptom o f the sin fu l m an, an out­ w ard sign o f inner depravity.105Æ lfric’s m ain source is H aym o o f A uxerre,106 but the description o f the various stages o f lepra is derived from L eviticus. Æ lfric uses the L ev itical directive which states that a priest should consider the fate o f the afflicted and rebukes those who think that they are virtuous enough to heal them selves. Subsequently, only an ordained m an is able to decide w hether a leper can be cured or w hether he is too degenerate to be saved. Even though leprosy is

97 Gregory, M oralia, P L 75.525. 98 See also the case o f U zziah, K ing o f Judah, who usurps the priesthood and is pun­ ished by leprosy: 2 Chronicles 26:16-23. "A llegoriae quaedam sacraescripturae, PL 83.109: “M aria, soror M oysi, synagogs spedem prxtulit, quæ leprosa propter detractionem et murmurarionem contra Christum existit.” 100 Isidore, Allegoriae, 127. 101 H rabanus, D eM edieina, PL 111. 502. 102 Isidore claim s that the leper cured by C h rist in M atthew 8 :1 -4 represents the hu­ man race defiled with sin: “Leprosus, quem Christus descendens de monte primum curavit, humanum indicat genus delicti contagio maculosum”: Isidore, Allegoriae, 150, P L 83.118. 103 In Origenis Opera Omnia, PG 12.492-508. 104TertuUian: a leper is a person defiled with sins: A dvenus M arcionem, P L 2.263— 556, esp. 4 0 3 -4 (comment on Luke 5:12-14). m Æ lfric's Catholic H om ilies: The F irst Series, ed. Peter Clem oes, E E T S s.s. 17 (O x­ ford, 1997), 242. 106 M alcolm G odden, Æ lfric’s Catholic H om ilies: Introduction, Commentary and Glos­ sary, E E T S s.s. 18 (O xford, 2000), 190-91. Godden thinks that Æ lfric was personally acquainted with lepers.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


used here in an allegorical sense when Æ lfric states th at “on gastlicum andgite getacnode )>es h reoflia m an eall m ancynn ]>e waes atelice h reoflig m id m islicum leahtrum on )>am inran menn” [“ In a spiritu al sense the leprous m an sign ifies all m ankind that is horribly leprous w ith various sins on the inside”] ,107 he neverthe­ less still draw s a literal correlation betw een leprosy and sin. In h is H om ily 27, De Natale S. Pauli, Æ lfric further declares “Jwet J?e he on licham an gejjrow ade J>aet drowad ]>es on h is saw le” [“w hat he suffered in h is body, he suffers in h is sou l”], in a com m entary on G iezi (G eh azi), the servant o f E lish a (2 K in gs 5 ), who is punished w ith lepra for h is avarice.108 N ot all o fÆ lfric’s depictions o f lepers are negative. T h e tendency o f patristic literature to see d isease as a punishm ent for transgression led to the attitude that the leper is equally cursed and blessed.109 A ttitu d es tow ards leprosy in m any cas­ es m irror those tow ards disability, w hich can range from punishm ent for trans­ gression to a blessing, since it w ill keep the sufferer from cardinal sins such as pride.110 In his hom ily for the second Sunday after P en tecostÆ lfric uses the leper as a sym bol for C h rist’s mercy.111 T here cannot be a m ore p itifu l im age o f a leper than in th is hom ily, where the outcast leper,fram mannumforsewen [“despised by m en”], has h is w ounds licked by dogs, and yet the leper w ith his stin kin g w ounds w ill becom e a mundbora [“guardian”] at the L a st Judgm ent.112Æ lfric rem inds his

107Æ ljric’s Catholic H om ilies, ed. Clem oes, 1 :2 4 2 . 108 Æ lfric’s Catholic H om ilies, ed. Clem oes, 1: 408. G iezi (G ehazi) is described as hreofla. 109 See for exam ple, Gregory, Cura Pastoralis, chap. 12 (P L 77.25-26, p. 69). 110 It seems that Æ lfric in particular sees disability as an opportunity for self-im ­ provement. 111 T he leper here is based on the beggar Lazarus o f Luke 16:20, and is the lesser o f C h rist’s brothers. H is soul is carried to heaven. n2Æ lfric’s Catholic Hom ilies, ed. Clem oes, no. 1 :2 3 ,3 6 7 -6 9 . See also Vercelli homily 22, which contains a contemplation o f what happens to the sinful soul after death. The homily, which according to D onald Scragg is based freely on Isidore’s Synonyma, gives a colorful picture o f the treatment o f the soul, which is that o f a leper, shunned, despised, and expelled: “Se halga Isodorus cwsed: Eaw la pæt sio sawl [hiofed bonne] hio o f dam lichom an anumen bid. E alle hie hie swa wundige hyrwad, 7 swa fuie stincende hie hie onscunad, 7 swa hreofe hie hie ascufad, 7 se lichom a lid on eordan isne genearwod 7 mid racentu[m] gedryd 7 mid bendum gebunden 7 m id fetrum gefæstnod, 7 pxre synfullan sawle ne beod b» tintrego gelytlode” [“T he holy Isidore said: A las, that the soul (lam ents when) she is taken away from the body. They all despise her as an ulcerous (person), and shun her as a foully stinking one, they expel her as a leper, and the body lies in the earth, confined with iron, and punished with fetters, and bound with bonds, and fastened with fetters, and the torments for the sinful soul w ill not dim inish”]: Vercelli Hom ilies, ed. Scragg, 370.



audience: “M an ega lazaras ge habbad nu liegende x t eow rum gatum . biddende eowre oferflow ednyssa: £>eah de hi syn w aclice gemuhte: )>eahhwx))ere hi beod e ft eowre |)ingeras wiö done xlm ih tigan ” [“many lazars you have now lying outside your gates, beggin g for your superfluity. T h ough they m ay seem poor, afterw ords they w ill intercede on your b eh alf w ith the A lm ighty”].113 M alcolm G odden h as pointed out th at th is hom ily, w hich is based on G regory, H aym o, and Sm aragdus and is a com m entary on L u ke 16, has replaced the origin al ulceribusplen us, “fu ll o f sores” o f L azaru s (L u ke 16:20) w ith the term lieprow ere, w hich can refer to a leper, as shown above.114 It is generally assum ed that the nam e o f "L azars” for lepers w as introduced through the C rusader order o f the K n ights o f S t. L azaru s o f Jerusalem , which w as founded as a religious com m unity for lepers and rose to much pow er in the H igh M iddle A ges. T h e nam e itse lf is based on a confusion betw een L azaru s the beggar (L u ke 1 6 :2 0 ) and Sim on the leper, w ho, after being healed, gave a banquet for C h rist (Joh n 12: 1-11). It seem s that Æ lfric already connects the biblical L azaru s, who is covered in sores, w ith leprosy, w hich is even today regarded as a “poor man’s disease,”11S since a life o f poverty can result in w eakened im m unity. W hile the evidence from early A n glo-Saxon cem eteries does not support such a generalization, it seem s that by the tim e o f Æ lfric lepers were forced to beg. It is likely th at the segregation o f lepers from society, and by extension the inability to w ork, led to the im age o f the leper as a beggar, w hich m ay have already been com m on in late A n glo-Saxon E ngland. W hile it is im ­ possible to draw conclusions about the general treatm ent o f lepers from religious texts, w hich were taken from a variety o f sources and interpret leprosy in an al­ legorical way, we should not forget th at hom ilies and serm ons were read from the pulpits o f churches to a general public and therefore had reason to use sym bols that could be w idely understood. L o ok in g at the evidence from burials, it appears th at som e fundam ental changes in the attitude tow ards lepers occurred during the A n glo-Saxon period. P re-C h ristian burial rites included lepers in the com m unity o f the dead, either because their status w as m ore im portant than the fact that they were d iseased , or because the early A n glo-Saxon s had little know ledge o f the d isease, or maybe be­ cause they were m ore tolerant in th is respect than their C h ristian successors. T h e advent o f C h ristian ity brought w ith it the differentiation o f lepers from other so­ cial groups, w hich is evident in the burials o f lepers at the frin ges o f cem eteries, or, as in the case o f the St. Joh n the B ap tist cem etery, in em erging com m unities o f the diseased, located outside the gates o f the city, but also in the literary depic­ tion o f leprosy and other skin ailm ents as diseases o f the soul, a visible sign o f sin.

Æ lfric’s Catholic Hom ilies, ed. Clem oes, 369. 114G odden, Æ lfric's Catholic H om ilies: Commentary, 190-91. 115M anchester, “Leprous Skeleton from E cd es,” 205.

Changing Faces: Leprosy in Anglo-Saxon England


T h e change o f attitude is vividly expressed in a passage from the Cbronicon Abbatiae Ramesiensis, which tells o f the fate o f B ishop Æ lfw eard, who presided over the see o f London but w as expelled from his m onastery after contracting leprosy, despite having multis pretiosarum ["m any treasures”] ,116 which he subsequently bequeathed to the abbey o f R am sey, where he died in 1044.117T h e Cbronicon lays the blam e for h is afflictio n on his previous act o f stealin g relics from the tom b o f S t. O sgith .118 D espite his being a capable leader, th is w as not enough to keep him in office or even allow him to rem ain part o f his com m unity.119 Joh n C ule has recently claim ed th at the w rit De Leproso amovendo w as in use in E n glan d before 1100.1201 have not yet found a reference to it from the A n glo-Saxon period, but the depiction o f lepers in Æ lfric’s w ritings as people who are socially inferior and who have to scrape together a living outside o f the com m unity cannot be based entirely on ju st h is hom iletic sources. It is unknow n w hether Æ lfric ever m et a leper in h is life , but his characterization o f the leprous and diseased in his texts as sin fu l and despised by society certainly foreshadow s attitudes tow ards leprosy prevalent in literature after the N orm an C onquest.121

116 Cbronicon A bbatiae Ram esiensis, ed. D unn M acray, Rolls Series (London, 1886), 157. 117 H e had formerly been trained at Ramsey. 118 M acray, ed., Cbronicon, 157. 119 T he W orcester (D ) version o f the A nglo-Saxon Chronicle records his death for 1045 and comments on his tim e as abbot o f Evesham : “[»act mynster wel gefordode [>a hwile }>e he pær wæs” ["the abbey was run well as long as he was there”] : The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, ed. G . P. Cubbin (Cam bridge, 1996), 6 :6 7 . 120John C ule, "T h e Stigm a o f Leprosy,” in P ast and Presence o f Leprosy, ed. Roberts et al., 149-54, here 151. 1211 would like to express my thanks to Elizabeth Popescu who readily answered questions on the Norw ich cemetery o f St. John the Baptist. I am also grateful to Judith Jesch and Richard M arsden for their helpful comments on an earlier draft o f this essay, to Catherine Karkov for her encouragement, and to T he British Academy.

A M ap of the U niverse : G eography and C osmology in the P rogram of A lfred the G reat N icole G uenther D iscenza

In early m edieval w orld m aps, B ritain occupies a sm all space near the edge o f the known w orld. In early w orld history, it plays little part. M any ninth-century A n glo-Saxon s on the street, or out in the field , m ight be unaw are o f their place in the w orld; as M aigaret B ridges w rites, aO f course the A n glo-Saxon s were no closer to experiencing cosm ic lim in ality than the A ntipodeans were ever able to experience w hat it w as like to be suspended upside dow n.”1 Som e few figu res — w riters such as A dam nân or B ede, religious who went on m issions to the C o n ti­ nent or carried on a correspondence across the C hannel, and traders who m ade trips overseas — m ight realize E n glan d ’s m arginal position. Yet A lfred the G reat’s late-ninth-century program o f education and transla­ tion w ould suddenly bring books rooted in the classical and late antique w orld to m ore people. T h is new audience, likely the future leaders o f the nation, w ould fin d E ngland relegated to the m argins i f it appeared at all. A n glo-Saxon s prob­ ably d id not yet th ink o f an “E n glan d ” perse, nor did they feel the unity that the program w ould help begin to construct, but w hether they thought o f them selves as M ercians, W est Saxons, or even A n glo-Saxon s, they w ould see very little o f them selves in m ost o f the program ’s texts. Perhaps most A n glo-Saxon s did not experience “cosm ic lim inality,” but for som e there m ust have been a dizzyin g m o­ m ent o f realizin g th at they were on the edge o f the known w orld.2 In bringing

1 M argaret Bridges, “O f M yths and M aps: T he A nglo-Saxon Cosm ographer’s Eu­ rope,” in W riting an d Culture, ed. B alz Engler (Tübingen, 1992), 69-84, here 72. 2 K ing A lfred him self would be aware from personal experience o f the great distance between W essex and Rome: see A sser, chaps. 8 and 11; the A nglo-Saxon Chronicle: A 853; and corresponding entries in other versions o f the Chronicle: A sser, A sset's L ife o f K ing A lfred together with the A nnals ofSain t Neots, ed. W illiam H enry Stevenson with in­ troductory article by D orothy W hitelock (O xford, 1959); and The Anglo-Saxon Chron­ icle: A Collaborative Edition, gen. eds. D avid D um ville and Sim on Keynes (Cam bridge,



readers o f englisc into dialogue w ith a broader L atin culture, A lfred ’s program paradoxically risked m aking the risin g new leaders o f w hat w as to becom e E n g ­ land feel in sign ifican t: som e o f the texts in the program w ould seem to under­ score the country’s distance from the heart o f culture, religion, and history. Yet surety th is m arginality w ould be contrary to the lived experience o f m ost readers, for whom the center m ight be wherever the kin g currently resided, the bounds o f their m onastery, or where their fam ilies held land. M any i f not m ost A n glo-Saxon s in the ninth century w ould have heard o f Rom e and the pope, and they w ould know som ething o f that great city’s political and religious history. In ­ deed, N icholas H ow e argu es, “the A n glo-Saxon s found an intellectual and spiri­ tu al patria that had Rom e as its capital.”*3 T h ough the best-educated A n glo-Sax­ ons m ay have found a spiritual hom e in R om e, for m ost people, even clerics and relatively learned laity, the w orld w as w hat w as around them . Rom e could seem far-o ff and m arginal, Jerusalem d istan t and exotic.4 Pierre Bourdieu w rites, Because the dispositions durably inculcated by objective conditions . . . en­ gender aspirations and practices objectively compatible with those objec­ tive requirements, the m ost improbable practices are excluded, either totally without exam ination, as unthinkable, or at the cost o f the double negation which inclines agents to make a virtue o f necessity, that is, to refuse what is anyway refused and to love the inevitable.5 A t the sam e tim e, w hat w as unthinkable to A n glo-Saxon s had already been w rit­ ten by R om ans and others. W h at happens when “dispositions durably inculcat­ ed ” by experience o f the A n glo-Saxon w orld suddenly collide w ith the expecta­ tions o f a M editerranean-centered, late antique disposition? T h e translators did not have as calculating a strategy as th is analysis m ight m ake it appear. T o speak o f translators’ “strategies” is not to endow the translators 1983- ). M y citations refer to the A Chronicle (ed. Jan et M . Batety, 1986) unless oth­ erwise specified. See also Sim on Keynes, “A nglo-Saxon Entries in the ‘Liber Vitae’ o f Brescia,” in A lfred the W ise: Studies in Honour o fJan et Bately on the Occasion o f her Sixtyfifth Birthday, ed. Jane Roberts and Janet L . N elson with M alcolm Godden (Cam bridge, 1997), 99-119, esp. 103, on the difficulties o f the journey. O n how Rome m ight have appeared to A nglo-Saxon visitors, see N icholas Howe, “Rome: C apital o f A nglo-Saxon England,” Jou rn al o f M edieval an d E arly M odem Studies 34 (2004): 147-72, esp. 159-61. 3 Howe, “Rome,” 148. 4 Howe argues that A lfred’s “pedagogical project was in effect a forced program o f m odernization that sought to reconnect the badly educated and peripheral A nglo-Saxons to the center o f Christian belief and culture”: “Rome,” 158. The “forced” nature o f the pro­ gram reflects the great distance between m ost Anglo-Saxon and Roman perspectives. s Pierre Bourdieu, Outline o f a Theory o f Practice, trans. Richard Nice (Cam bridge, 1977), 77.

A M ap o f the Universe


w ith a G od-like ability to escape their own dispositions, look down upon both readers and the w riters o f source texts below, and transfigure the texts into new form ations designed to attain a set end such as the unification and glorification o f “E ngland.”6 Instead, each translator w ould constantly m ediate between the world from which he (or she) cam e and the w orld o f L atin texts. Bourdieu explains “the econom y o f logic” w ith the term “‘polythesis’, the ‘confusion o f spheres’”: the sam e person or people can overlay tw o or more contra­ dictory m odels o f the w orld w ithout being troubled, because they need never put all schem es into practice sim ultaneously; only in our analysis do they coexist and hence contradict.7 T h u s the sam e texts th at recognize Rom e and Jerusalem as political, religious, and cultural centers, and E ngland as a backw ater, can also re­ draw the m ental m ap to provide a vision m ore centered on Angelcynn— and a m ap o f the universe in which E ngland, Rom e, and Jerusalem are all equally sm all. It is at ju st such m om ents o f cultural contact th at doxa, “th at w hich is taken for granted,” the conventional w isdom th at everyone know s, m ay be exposed as one way o f th in kin g am ong m any rather than the only possibility.8 Doxa is the conventional w isdom o f a society or group that has not (yet) com e into ques­ tion, as when m odern scientists still believed th at protons and neutrons were the sm allest particles o f m atter, or when society held particular assum ptions about women and w ork th at were overturned in the tw entieth century.9 In A lfred ’s program , A n glo-Saxon doxa m eets late antique M editerranean doxa. A s a result, neither can rem ain doxa. Yet polythesis allow s different and con flictin g view s o f the w orld and the universe to rem ain in tension in A lfred ’s program . T h e work­ in gs o f these different schem es provide insight into A n glo-Saxon dispositions

6 Kathleen D avis argues that we cannot “assum e A lfred’s ability to escape and ma­ nipulate his own ideological framework” in “N ational W riting in the N inth Century: A Rem inder for Postcolonial T hinking about the N ation,” Jo u rn al o f M edieval and E arly M odem Studies 28 (1998): 611-37, here 618. Bourdieu’s notions o f habitus and strategy prove valuable precisely because they do not require that A lfred and other translators es­ cape ideology, merely that they ‘play the gam e’ that they are already playing. A t the same tim e, the collision o f A nglo-Saxon and M editerranean conventional wisdom would make it im possible for doxa (for which see below) to rem ain; no one reading vastly different ac­ counts o f the world could continue to assum e that his or her own idea o f England and the Earth was the only possible viewpoint. N o one can fully escape his or her own ideol­ ogy, but reading and reflection could make A nglo-Saxon thinkers as well as modern ones more aware o f ideologies — and more able to respond flexibly to their own and others’. 7 Bourdieu, Outline, 110. For a fuller explanation with several exam ples o f contradic­ tory schemes am ong the Kabyle people, see Outline, 109-24. 8 Bourdieu, Outline, 168. 9 For doxa in modern societies, see Pierre Bourdieu, The Rules o f A rt: Genesis and Structure c f the Literary Field, trans. Susan Em anuel (Stanford, C A , 1996), esp. 165-66, 184-86.



and how they m ight accom m odate foreign m odes o f thought. A lfred and h is fel­ low w riters and translators drew upon three strategies to counter E n glan d ’s ap ­ parent m arginality: a recentering o f translated texts around A n glo-Saxon lived experience; a broader, cosm ological perspective that reduced the im portance o f earthly geography; and an em phasis on learning th at allow ed readers to tran ­ scend the lim itations o f physical place.

Living on the Edge T h e m arginality o f E ngland is im m ediately evident on w orld m aps. M o st m edieval m aps were not navigation aids but theological and political statem ents.10 T h e sim plest and m ost com m on m aps are called T O mappae mundi because they are round m aps divided by a T to show the three continents: a circle is divided in h a lf and then h a lf again , w ith A sia occupying h a lf and Europe and A frica each a quarter. M arcel D estom bes estim ates that this form m ade up 60% o f extant m e­ dieval mappae mundi}1 T h e E ast w as often although not always at the top, and Jerusalem often represented "the civilized center o f the E arth ” according to D avid W oodw ard, although the convention o f putting Jerusalem at the actual center o f the m ap w as not set until the early tw elfth century or later.1213T hough G reco-R o­ m an m odels (including som e m aps transm itted w ith O rosius’s Historia) did not center on Jerusalem , A dam nan described a colum n in the center o f Jerusalem as the center o f the w orld and Jerusalem as the "um bilicus terrae” ("navel o f the w orld”) in his De locis sanctisP M edieval m aps and w ritten descriptions tend to

10Anna-Dorothee von den Brincken, "Europa in der Kartographie des M ittelalters,” Archivfü r Kulturgeschichte 55 (1973): 289-304. 11 M arcel Destom bes, MappemondesA .D . 1200-1500, Catalogue préparé par la Com ­ m ission des C artes Anciennes de l’Union Géographique Internationale; Im ago M undi: A Review o f Early Cartography, Suppl. 4, M onumenta C artographies Vetustioris Aevi 1 (Am sterdam , 1964), 19; cited in Bridges, "O f M yths and M aps,” 80. 12 D avid W oodward, "M edieval M appae m undi” in The H istory o f Cartography vol. 1: Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, an d M edieval Europe an d the M editerranean, ed. J. B . H arley and idem (Chicago and London, 1987), 286-370, here 332; for the centering o f maps around Jerusalem , see von den Brincken, "Europa,” 294. N icholas Howe argues that for Bede, Jerusalem is central only in a spiritual and m etaphorical sense; Rome is the true center o f his world. See "An Angle on this Earth: Sense o f Place in A nglo-Saxon England,” Bulletin < f the John Rylands Library 82 (2000): 3-27 (a revised version o f his 1999 Toller Lecture, 10-11); and idem, “Rom e,” esp. 150-58. 13 Reference from W oodward, *M appae m undi} 340; quotation from Adam nän’s D e locis sanctis, ed. D enis M eehan (D ublin, 1958, repr. 1983), 56.27 (bk 1, chapter 11, sec. 4). A ll translations are my own unless otherwise specified.

A M ap o f the Universe


put east in a privileged position, “w hile the w estern and northern regions come last and least.”14 M edieval m aps alm ost invariably present the British Isles as sm all shapes at or near the edge o f the map. For instance, Rom e, Vatican City, Biblioteca A postolica Vaticana, lat. 6018, fols. 63v-64r, oddly places w est at the top, and labels two islands as if they were seas: “m are m ortuorum ” (“sea o f the dead”) and “oceanus occiduus” (“western ocean”).15 T hose islands ought to read “H ibernia” and “Britannia”; appar­ ently the cartographers here were w orking outside what they knew. T O mappae typ­ ically present Europe as one block and thus often om it the British Isles entirety.16 B ritish m apm akers som etim es represented the world a little differently. T h e earliest extant A nglo-Saxon mappa mundi, the C otton W orld M ap, dates to around 1050 and includes the B ritish Isles.17 T h e C otton W orld M ap is not tech­ nically a T O m ap but has been drawn in a rectangle that nearly fills the m anu­ script page. It m aintains roughly the sam e organization, however: A sia occupies the top half, A frica the lower right quadrant, and Europe the lower left. Britannia is d early labeled and relatively large, but very near the edge. T h e H ereford W orld M ap, drawn over tw o centuries later, retains much the sam e shape and still shunts B ritannia o ff into a corner, though the m ap w as d early produced in E ngland.18 O f course, A lfred ’s people w ould not have seen these particular m aps, but Evelyn E dson notes that Isidore’s De natura rerum w as often called Liber rotarum for its d iagram s, w hich included T O mappae mundi and other rotae or circular diagram s.19 Three works by Bede now extant in fifteen manuscripts contain mappae

14 Bridges, “O f M yths and M aps,” 71. 15 See Evelyn Edson, M apping Time and Space: How M edieval M apmakers Viewed Their World (London, 1997), 62-63. 16 See Woodward, “M appae m undi? 297-303,343-47, and 350-55 for some examples. 17 London, B L , C otton Tiberius B.v, fol. 56v. For a good color plate, see P. D . A . Harvey, M edievalM aps (Toronto, 1991), plate 19 (p. 26). See also Howe’s discussion, “A n A ngle on T h is Earth,” esp. 11-16. 18 For the Hereford W orld M ap, see P. D . A . Harvey, M appa M undi: The Hereford World M ap (Toronto, 1996); Naom i Reed K line, M aps o f M edieval Thought: The H erford Paradigm (W oodbridge, 2001); and Scott D . W estrem , The H erford M ap:A Transcription an d Translation o f the Legends with Commentary (Turnhout, 2001). 19 Evelyn Edson, ‘‘W orld M aps and Easter Tables: M edieval M aps in Context,” Imago M undi 48 (1996): 25-4 2 , here 27. For instance, the map from M unich, Bayerische Staats­ bibliothek, Clm 10058, fol. 154v, dates to the eleventh century; see Harvey, M edievalM aps, 22. For other examples o f late antique and medieval maps and rotae, sec Edson, M apping Time and Space; Harvey, M edieval M aps', The H istory f Cartography vol. 1, ed. Harley and W oodward; and Jam es Siebold, “Index o f Cartographic Im ages Illustrating M aps o f the Early M edieval Period 400-1300 A .D .,” Index o f Early M edieval M aps, 22 A pril 1998, w w w /M A PS/EM w ebpages/EM L.htm l, accessed 20 M ay 2005.



mundi: De temporum ratione, De temporibus, and De natura rerum.2021W hile w e cannot be certain that A lfred and his circle knew such illustrated m anuscripts, or even these w orks, Fontes Anglo-Saxonici su ggests De temporum ratione as a possible source for tw o lengthy passages in the O ld E n glish Martyrology, and De temporibus as a possible source for one briefer one.31 Later, Æ lfric certainly seem s to have m ade heavy use o f De temporum ratione and De natura rerum, and som e o f De temporibus.222 3A lfred h im self m ay have m ade use o f De natura rerum in h is Boethius; De natura m ay also have inform ed the O ld E n glish Orosius and th e Meters o fBoethius.22

20 See W oodward, “M appae m undi” 303. Ironically, “Bede him self seem s to have had a low opinion o f diagram s and tables”; the diagram s postdate Bede and were usually borrowed horn Isidore’s D e natura rerum: see Edson, M apping Time and S p aa, 66. Som e figures seem to be horn the Carolingian era, and a group circulated together with texts by Bede, Isidore, and others; for details, see Edson M apping Time an d Space, 66-71. Several m aps from tenth- through twelfth-century m anuscripts o f D e temporum ratione (hereafter D T R ) and D e natura rerum (hereafter D N R ) are listed, and a few im ages can be viewed, at Siebold’s website. D estom bes, Mappemondes, 35-36, lists fifteen manuscripts o f Bede’s works with maps ranging from the ninth to the tw elfth century: from the ninth century, M unich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, C lm . 210, fol. 132v (D T R ); Paris, B N , M S. N A L 1615 (Libri 90), fols. 135 and 170v (D e temporibus [hereafter D T \); Vienna, N ationalbib­ liothek, C od. 387, fol. 134 (D T R ); and W olfenbüttel, H erzog-A ugust-Bibliothek, C od. G uelf. 66 W eiss (C at. no. 4150), fol. 61v (D N R ). Tenth century: all at Paris, B N : M S . L at. 5239 (Reg. 5823), fol. 142 (D T ); M S. L at. 5543 (Reg. 5961), fol. 136v (D T ); N A L 456 (Libri 44), fol. 170 (D T R ). Eleventh century: London, B L , Cotton T ib. B.v (i), fols. 28v-29 (D N R ; im age at Siebold’s website, 201D , but listed as D T R ); O xford, Bodleian Library, Canon M ise. 560 (S .C . 20036), fol. 3 (D T ); Paris, B N , M S. L at. 7474 (Reg. 6582), fol. 84 (D T R ); Trier, Stadtbibliothek, C od. 1084, fol. 99 (D T R ). Twelfth cen­ tury: three in Paris, B N : M S. L at. 7418 A (R eg 4346-3-3a), fol. 15v (D T R ); M S. L at. 7419 (Reg. 6055-5), fol.16 (D N R ); M S. L at. 11130 (S .L . 272 bis), fol. 82 (D N R ; im age: Siebold 205Z ); and Rome, Vatican City, Biblioteca A postolica Vaticana, Vat. L at. 3123, fol. 112 (D N R ). 21 C hristine Rauer, “T he Sources o f the Anonymous O ld English M artyrology (C am ­ eron C .B .19),” 200 0 -2 0 0 2 . Fontes A nglo-Saxonici: World Wide Web Register, http://fbntes. A lso available on C D -R O M : version 1.1 (Oxford: 2002). 22 See Fontes for a variety ofÆ lfrician works, sourced by several contributors, which draw upon Bede’s D T R , D T , and D N R . 23 See Nicole Guenther D iscenza, “T he Sources o f K ing A lfred’s O ld English Ver­ sion o f Boethius’s D e consolatione philosophiae (Cam eron C .B .9.3),” 2001, Fontes; Rohini Jayatilaka, “T he Sources o f the O ld English Orosius, H istory against the P agans” (Cam eron C .B .9.2).” 2001-2002, Fontes; and D aniel C . A nlezark, "T he Sources o f the O ld English M eters o f Boethius (Cameron C .A .6),” 2002, Fontes.

A M ap o f the Universe


T h u s m anuscripts som etim es offered m aps o f the w orld. M any m ore w all m aps doubtless graced palaces, churches, and m onasteries than now survive.24 Even i f we cannot identify specific m aps, som e educated A n glo-Saxon s prob­ ably saw one or m ore m aps and w ould already be aware o f their islan d’s place in the w orld. T h u s, when those who could not read L atin gained learning from the A lfred ian translations, perhaps these m odels o f the earth m ight not com e as a com plete shock. W hile no m aps appear in extant copies o f A lfred ian texts, mappae mundi and related diagram s th at readers m ight see w ould only underscore the sense o f B ritannia as an island near the edge o f the w orld. Yet N icholas H ow e rightly rem inds us that “T h e surest way to m isunder­ stan d the deep engagem ent in these texts w ith geography and the ways it con­ stru cts culture is to transpose their sense o f place to a visu al, cartographic form th at seem s m ore fam iliar to us but which in truth largely charts the lim its o f our own geographic im agination.”25 Som e o f the audience o f A lfred ian translations w ould be fam iliar w ith m aps and d iagram s, but they too w ould read and hear other kinds o f accounts. T h ose un fam iliar w ith diagram s w ould approach geog­ raphy and cosm ology only in the less schem atic w ays, relying w holly on verbal descriptions. O ne o f the first translations associated w ith A lfred ’s program is the O ld E n glish Orosius. T h is text begins w ith a geography o f the w orld outlining the three continents. Ireland form s the boundary o f E urope (9.10 and 19.5); B ritan­ nia receives tw o m entions along the w ay in the geography derived from the L atin (12.19 and 1 8 .2 6 -2 7 ).26 T h en the translator gives m ore d etails about each con­ tinent: it lists m any place- and people-nam es, all from O rosius’s point o f view, som etim es expressed by “we” or “O rosius.” M any transitions include “we” or use the third person, givin g responsibility for the geography to O rosius and not the O ld E n glish translator. T h e d etails o f E urope include: “From J>ære ie D an ais w est o|> R in f>a ea, seo w ild o f |>æm beorge |)e m on A lp is hæ tt 7 irnd jxm ne norjjryhte on J)æs garsecges earm J>e J>æt lond uton ym blid }>e m on B ryttan ia hæ tt, 7 eft su|) od D onua f>a e a .. . . ” [“From the river D on w est u n til the river R hine, [E urope] runs from the

24 See W oodward, uM appae m undi” A ppendix 18.2 (359-68) for a list o f m ajor me­ dieval mappae mundi, some o f which are no longer extant. D estom bes, Mappemondes, offers a detailed catalogue o f m aps to 1500, though the title refers only to the period 1200-1500. 25 Howe, “A n Angle on T h is Earth,” 9. 26 The O ld English Orosius, ed. Janet M . Bately, E E T S s.$. 6 (London, 1980). Subse­ quent prim ary citations wall be parenthetical, in the form (page number.line number). For other written traditions m arginalizing England, such as Vergil’s first Eclogue and G ildas’s D e excidio Britanniae, see Howe, “An A ngle on T h is E arth,” esp. 9-10.



range w hich one calls the A lp s and runs then to the north and into the arm o f the sea which lies around th at land th at one calls B ritan n ia, and again south u n til the river D an u b e .. . 12.17-20].27 B ritain is nothing to w rite hom e about, an d the description at once returns to m ore central places like G reece and G erm an ia. T h en the Orosius goes into a num ber o f specifics th at are not from the L atin . A s Bately notes, it “seem s to describe the area as it w as known in the second h a lf o f the ninth century.”28 B ritain reappears in th is passage: Brittania J>æt igland, hit is norddeastlang, 7 hit is eahta hund m ila lang 7 twa hund m ila brad. Ponne is be Sudan him on odre healfe £>æs sx s earmes G allia Bellica, 7 on westhealfe on oJ>re healfe ]>xs sx s earmes is Ib xm ia )>xt igland, 7 on nordhealfe Orcadus f>xt igland. Igbernia, }>xt we Scotland hatad, hit is on xlce healfe ymbfangen mid garsecge, 7 for don )>e sio sunne )>xr gx d near on setl [>onne on odrum lande, ]>xr syndon lydran wedera )>onne on Brettannia. bonne be westannordan Ibernia is ]>xt ytemeste land ]>xt man h x t T h ila, 7 him is feawum mannum cud for dxre oferfyrre. (19.11-20) [“T h at island Britain extends to the northeast, and it is 800 m iles long and 200 miles broad. Then to the south o f it, on the other side o f the sea’s arm , is G allia Belgica, and on the west side, on the other side o f the sea’s arm , is that island H ibernia, and on the north side the island Orcades. H ibernia, which we call Ireland, is on each side surrounded by the sea, and because the sun sets nearer there than in other lands, the weather is milder there than in Britain. Then to the northwest o f H ibernia is that outerm ost land that men call T hule, and it is known to few because o f the excessive dis­ tance.”] Yet B ritain’s peoples are not listed , unlike those o f other parts o f E urope. T h e B ritish Isles, like T h u le, appear too d istan t to be known. T h e geography then turns to A frica. A fter the geographical introduction, the Orosius dives into history. Its fo­ cus, unsurprisingly, rem ains outside E n glan d: B ook I is largely biblical, involv­ in g m ainly A ssyria, E gy p t, and Israel; B ook II concerns the founding and early days o f R om e; III still centers on R om e, but it includes Lacedaem on and Persia and follow s the adventures o f A lexander the G reat for a tim e; IV and V develop

27 Translations (and any errors therein) are my own, but I am indebted to Janet Bately’s excellent G lossaries for the Orosius. For changes to the geographical perspective in the O E version, see Salvador Insa Sales, “T he Treatm ent o f Som e Spanish M atters in the O ld English Orosius,” R evista de la Sociedad Espanola de Lengua y Literatura Inglesa M edieval 9 (1999): 173-79. 28 Bately, Orosius, notes to 12.23, pp. 166-67.

A M ap o f the Universe


R om e, its w ars, and its foreign affairs. B ritain receives a few m entions totalin g less than tw o pages in Bately’s 156-page edition o f the text.29 T hroughout, O rosius’s them e o f four great em pires develops. A s put suc­ cinctly in one passage: A n w xs Babylonicum, paer Ninus ricsade. Pæt oder w xs Creca, pxr Alex­ ander ricsade. ï>ridda wæs Affricanum , )>ær Ptolome ricsedon. Se feorda is Romane, Jjc giet ricsiende sindon. Pas feower heafodricu sindon on feower endum J)yses m iddangeardes m id unasecgendlicre G odes tacnunge. (36.12-16) [“T he first was the Babylonian [empire], where Ninus ruled. T he second was Greek, where Alexander ruled. T he third was A frican, where Ptolemy ruled. T he fourth is Roman, which is yet ruling. These four empires are in the four ends o f this earth through the dispensation o f the ineffable G od.“] G o d has planned four em pires, one in each direction. T h e last o f these, R om e, is contem porary for O rosius; but, as M alcolm G odden w rites, the A n glo-Saxon s thought th at it too had fallen w ell before the ninth century.30 T h ere is no room for m ore em pires, and B ritain holds no interest for the first three and only sligh t interest for the fourth. T h e Orosius reduces B ritain to a speck, and one inhabited by B ritons. E n glan d does not exist in w orld geography, and the A n glo-Saxon s do not appear in th is w orld history. T h e Orosius’s presentation o f history m ust com e into con flict w ith the doxa o f its A n glo-Saxon audience’s perceptions o f history. O ther texts in the program show a world that seem s to lack England. T h e O ld E nglish Boethius contains a surprising degree o f geographical and historical detail, w ith over th irty place- and people-nam es.31 T h e history is alm ost purely classical,

29Julius C aesar’s conquest gets ten lines (126.1-10), the later battles o f Severus with the Piets and Scots m erit alm ost four (142.11-14), reference to Constantius gains Brittania a little over a page in the edition (147.3-148.9), and M axim ianus wins in another two lines (153.28-29). 30 M alcolm R. G odden, “T he A nglo-Saxons and the G oths: Rew riting the Sack o f Rom e,” A SE 31 (2002): 47-68, esp. 64. 31 A lfred copies several place names directly from the L atin: Creca (18.18; for “Lydorum” II pr. ii. 11), Pærsa (18.19), Æ tne (34.8), Etne (34.28), A fricanas (36.7, 37.6; for “Poenorum” II pr. vi. 11), Caucaseas (43.9), Pardum (43.12), Indeum (67.31), Tyle (67.32), Retie (115.16, an error for N eritii). M any form s o f “romana” and “rom anisc” oc­ cur. O ther names which A lfred m akes explicit where Boethius im plies them, or simply adds to the text, are: G otan (7.1), Sciddiu (7.1), Italia (7.3), Sicilia (7.4), A m ulinga (7.6), Constentinopolim (7.20), Ierusalem (11.18), Sicilia (34.9), Sicilia (34.29), Egyptum (36.29), N ilus (37.3), Trogiaburg (39.20), Sciddeas (43.10), N ensar (99.9), D eira (99.10), Babilonia (99.11), D racia (101.23), Creca (101.24), Leuita (102.30), Troiana (115.14),



from an account o f the G olden A ge (33.20-34.13) to many references to R om an em perors and a few to other M editerranean powers. N either E ngland nor A n gloSaxons ever appear. A t the sam e tim e, W aerferth’s Dialogues explores a much m ore lim ited geography: G regory the G reat wrote his source text explicitly to dem on­ strate that saints and m iracles can still be found in his d ay — in Italy.32 T h e Verse Preface to the Pastoral Care identifies G regory as "Rom e papa” ["pope at R om e,” 9.9] and "Rom w ara betest” ["best o f Rom ans,” 9.12], while alm ost a hundred m en­ tions o f two dozen different places and peoples in or near the H oly L an d fill the

Pastoral Care.33

Ijjacige (115.16), Wendelsse (115.22-23), Crecum (141.11), Lædenwarum (141.12-13). A ll these are from K ing A lfred's O ld English Version o f Boethius' D e Consolatione Philosophiae, ed. W alter John Sedgefield (O xford, 1899). See also Nicole Guenther D iscenza, The K ing’s English: Strategies ofTranslation in the O ld English Boethius (Albany, N Y, 2005), 15-19, for the Boethius’s treatment o f proper nouns. 32 Bischof W arferths von Worcester Übersetzung der D ialoge Gregors des Grossen, ed. H ans H echt (Leipzig, 1900-1907, repr. D arm stadt, 1965). 33T he best edition o f the Verse Preface as verse is in TheAnglo-Saxon M inor Poems, ed. E lliott Van Kirk Dobbie, A SP R 6 (New York, 1942), HO; I have cited both prose and verse from K ing A lfred's West-Saxon Version o f Gregory’s Pastoral Care, ed. H enry Sweet, E E T S o.s. 4 5 ,5 0 (London, 1871; repr. as 1 vol., O xford, 1996) for the sake o f convenience. See also Nicole Guenther D iscenza, "A lfred’s Verse Preface to the Pastoral Care and the C hain o f Authority,” Neophilologus 85 (2001): 625-33. W hile the many mentions o f scriptural figures or parties such as D avid, Saul, Solomon, the Pharisees, Paul, and many others put the minds o f readers o f the Pastoral Care firm ly in the Holy Land, specific places receive notice as well: Babylon (267.9,267.10), Babylonia (39.13); Canonea land (Canaan, 389.32); Corinctheum (211.1,323.11,371.18-19,395.12,425.31); Ebreas/ebreiscan (205.7,415.1516); E gipt (403.33,405.1,405.3); G alatas/G alatiscan/G alad (G alatians or G ilead and its inhabitants, depending on context; the form s seem interchangeable; 117.7,207.13,207.14, 367.3,367.5,367.8,367.14), G alileum (43.20); Gomorwara (Gom orrah, 427.33); H ierusalem (161.4,161.10,161.13,161.21,161.25,163.12,163.23,311.6-7,311.9,311.11,385.21, 385.22, 463.23); Idumeas (367.27); Israhel (39.2, 79.5, 79.6, 89.19, 89.21 ,1 1 3 .5 ,1 1 3 .9 , 153.22, 157.5, 257.17, 267.14, 267.17, 304.10, 387.26, 389.32, 423.13, 423.17); Iudea/ Iudeas (33.14,101.6,151.20,207.8,241.6,315.24,355.24,403.31,413.26,443.3,443.14); Kolosensum (Colossians, 311.25); Leuis kynn (tribe o f Levi, 353.14); Libano/Liuano (Lebanon, 65.24, 433.19, 433.24); M adianiten (353.19); Nazarensican (443.5, 443.23); Salonicensa (Thessalonians, 213.4); Sardis (445.20); Segor (Zoar, 397.33, 399.9, 399.13, 399.14, 399.15); Sidon (409.32, 409.34); Sodom an/Sodom e (Sodom , 397.33, 397.34, 399.9,399.14,427.28,427.29,427.33). A lfred also writes, “Gregorius lærde, se wæs odrum noman genemned Nanzanzenus” ("G regory taught, who was named by his other name Nazianzenus,” 173.16-17), but it is not at all clear that he recognizes the surname as a place name. In two places English is mentioned, but as a language, not a people: A lfred says "on Englisc” and supplies a translation or synonym for a word or name at 139.15 and 367.5.

A M ap o f the Universe


Finally, A lfred ’s prose rendering o f the first fifty Psalm s refers to seven­ teen different places and races in the H oly L an d , m entioned over eighty tim es.3435 M any o f these references are in the introductions to the P salm s: D avid ’s king­ dom appears in the introduction to P s. 7, and h is flig h t from Sau l into the w il­ derness in the introductions to 10, 35, and 38; direct references to A ssyria and the Babylonian captivity appear in seventeen introductions.” Several other spe­ cific h istorical figu res, peoples, tribes, and places appear in the introductions.36 T h e P salm s frequently refer to “Israele” or “Israhela”; G o d ’s holy m ountain or the m ountain Sion; M ount Liban us, C ad es, T arsus and C ilicia, H erm on, the R iver Jord an , and Tyre. T h e O ld E n glish text seem s to center G od and C h ristian h is­ tory in the H oly L an d , as m any early L atin descriptions and m aps did. A dam nân w rote h is De Ions sanctis based on the account o f B ishop A rcu lf, w ho gave both an oral description and som e m aps o f churches in Jerusalem ; Bede later adapted A dam n in ’s De locis sanctis h im self in the Historia Ecclesiastica. B oth , o f course, m ake Jerusalem central to C h ristian history. A lfred certainly knew B ede, but the O ld E n glish Martyrology goes further, draw ing several passages straigh t from A dam ­ nân.37 T h ou gh som e translations provide m ore rem inders o f E n glan d ’s m arginality than others, readers can never forget it.

34 K ing A lfred's O ld English Prose Translation o f the F irst F ifty Psalm s, ed. Patrick P. O ’N eill (Cam bridge, M A , 2001). Follow ing O ’N eill’s practice, I cite using the second, parenthetical set o f line numbers for ease o f m atching with the L atin text. A ssirie (Intro­ ductions to 1 2 ,1 3 ,2 5 ,2 8 ,2 9 ,3 3 ,4 5 ); Babilonia (Ints. 1 4 ,2 2 ,2 4 ,2 5 ,3 0 ,3 9 ,4 1 ,4 2 ,5 0 ); (tribe o f) Beniam in (Int. 45); C ades (28.8); C ilicia (47.8); Cyôpiscan (H ittite; Int. 50); Erm on (H erm on; 41.7); H ierusalem (Int. 14; 9.15, 45.5, 47.13); (River) Iordan (41.7); Israele (Ints. 1 4 ,2 2 ,2 5 , 41, 4 6 ,5 0 ; 13.7 (twice), 2 1 .4 ,2 1 .2 2 ,2 4 .2 2 ,4 0 .1 4 ,4 6 .2 , 49.7); Iude (tribe o f Judah; Int. 45; 47.12); Iudeas/Iudas (Ints. 2 ,4 ,5 ,1 0 -1 3 ,1 6 ,1 7 ,2 5 ,2 8 - 3 0 , 3 8 -4 3 ,4 5 ,4 6 ,4 9 ; 16.14,17.46,47.12); Libanus (2 8 .5 ,3 6 .3 5 ); Syon/Sion (2 .6 ,9 .1 2 ,1 3 .7 , 1 9 .3 ,4 7 .3 ,4 7 .1 2 ,4 7 .1 3 ,4 9 .2 ); Syria (Int 45); T arsit (T harsis, 47.8); Tyrig (Tyre, 44.13). For searches o f the Psalm s, I used O ’N eill’s G lossary o f Proper N am es (346-47) and the D ictionary o f O ld English Corpus online (; access restricted to subscribers). A ll other word searches and counts were perform ed with the online Corpus. 35 See above note for specifics. O ther references to difficulties, etc., such as “earfo}>um” (“difficulties”) in the introduction to 32, remind readers more obliquely o f such events as the Babylonian captivity. 36 Specific references include frequent mention o f D avid and Ezechias; M athathia and M achabeas under King Antiochus (Int. 43); Machaebeum (Int. 46); the tribes o f Judah and Benjam in, along with “Faccees, Rum eles suna, and R asses, Syria cyncges”, “cynincges geeam uncga Achats” (Int. 45); and Uriah being sent against the H ittites (Int. 50). 37 See Rauer, “T he Sources o f the Anonymous O ld English M artyrology.”



Recentering A t the sam e tim e, several A lfred ian texts engage in a strategy o f recentering readers on B ritan n ia, E n glan d, the land o f the A n glo-Saxon s. E ngland com es into focus, som etim es even in the very texts which m arginalize it.38 F irst an d forem ost, o f course, even as “the L atin ity o f [the source texts] w ould also have underscored the intellectual preem inence o f Rom e,” the act o f translation in to E n glish validates the vernacular and puts the A n glo-Saxon s into contact w ith a w orld culture.39 A geographical recentering takes place as w ell, the first strategy th at A lfred and h is fellow translators used to deal w ith E n glan d ’s insignificance to w orld history and geography. W hile the Orosius's tradition al geography places B ritannia at the very m ar­ gin , two inserted interview s suddenly change voice and orientation. A t the h eart o f the extended w orld geography, instead o f the usual “O rosius cw æô” [“O rosius said ”], we read, “O hthere sæ de his hlaforde, Æ lfrede cy n in g e .. . . ” [“O hthere said to his lord, K in g A lfred ___ ” 13.29], and a little later, “W ulfstan sæ d e .. . . ” [“W ulfstan said,” 16.21]. T h e interview s say nothing o f E n glan d itself, but the sh ifted view point m akes th at unnecessary: E n glan d becom es the center to w hich these explorers return after they have gone to more m arginal lands, and A lfred is their “lord.” Paradoxically, m entions o f the d istan t lands in the m ain narrative m ay also help bring E n glan d notionally closer to the rest o f E urope. In the Orosius, Persia, A ssyria, and lands even farther to the east take up much o f the text; the Boethius likew ise offers a w orld bounded by In dia and T h u le. T h ese places lie so d istan t as to m ake Francia and Rom e seem close, im plicitly pu ttin g W essex nearer the centers o f politics and religion than the texts explicitly allow. A t the sam e tim e, the Orosius relates A lexander’s trium phs in these far-o ff lands very m atter-offactly; places that in a text like Marvels ofthe East or Alexander's Letter to Aristo­ tle w ould be filled w ith w ondrous peoples and anim als are here sim ply the set­ tin gs for battles, and it is A lexander’s relatively conventional victories that excite adm iration.40 It is quite a b ig w orld out there, but the people and places are not

38 For the politics o f translation, see esp. D avis, “N ational W riting,” and eadem , “Performance o f Translation Theory in K ing A lfred’s N ational Literary Program ,” in M anuscript, N arrative, Lexicon: Essays on Literary and C ultural Transmission in Honor o f Whitney F . Bolton, ed. Robert Boenig and Kathleen D avis (Lew isburg, PA , 2000), 14970; and D iscenza, K ing's English. 39 Howe, “Rome,” 158. 40 T he major exception occurs at 68.24-27, with an extraordinarily cold river. For a key study o f such texts as Wonders o f the E ast, see Andy O rchard, Pride an d Prodigies: Studies in the M onsters o f the 'Beow ulf-M anuscript (Cam bridge, 1995).

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so alien. T h e distances can be traversed, and northerners like O hthere com e to E ngland to fin d w elcom e at court. D istan t lands can be understood. M oreover, at least one O rosius m anuscript counterbalanced the focus outside E n glan d w ith a focus inside E n glan d: London, B L , C otton T iberiu s B .i begins w ith the Orosius and ends w ith the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle C .41 T h e A n glo-Saxon s have their own history, w hich serves in th is m anuscript alm ost as a continuation o f the O ld E n glish Orosius. O ther texts do m ore to recenter readers’ w orld-view around the land o f the A n glo-Saxon s. W hile A lfred ’s Preface to the Pastoral Care show s a clear aw are­ ness o f the higher statu s o f L atin , A lfred in sists on using the englisc language, nam ed four tim es in the Preface and once in the Verse Preface, for readers in An­ gelcynn, a w ord he uses seven tim es in the Preface, though it w as a new term .42 In th is context, respect for L atin language and culture actually encourages respect for E n glish language and culture, because A lfred positions the A n glo-Saxon s as the heirs o f ancient culture, establishin g a genealogy o f authority, in w hich H e­ brew, G reek, and L atin culture culm inate in A n glo-Saxon :43 D a gem unde ic hu sio x w x s x re st on E breisc gediode fan den , ô c e ft, da hie C reacas geliornodon, da wendon hie hie on hiora agen gediode ealle, ôceac

41 For a fu ll description o f the m anuscript, see Katherine O ’Brien O ’Keeffe’s edition o f the C text in the Collaborative Edition, vol. 5 (2001), xv-lvi. 42 Angelcynn appears at 3.3, 3.4, 3.13, 5.10, 5.20, 7.10, 7.16. See Sarah Foot, “T he M aking o f Angelcynn: English Identity before the Norm an Conquest,” Transactions ofthe R oyal H istorical Society 6th ser. 6 (1996): 25-49, for the term. See also Patrick W ormald, “Bede, the Bretvialdas and the O rigins o f the Gens Anglorum,” in Ideal and R eality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Society: Studies Presented to j. M . W allace-Hadrill, ed. idem, with D onald Bullough and Roger C ollins (O xford, 1983), 99-129; and idem, *Engla Land: T he M aking o f an Allegiance,'"Journal o f H istorical Sociology 7 (1994): 1-24, esp. 10-18 on term s for the English and their sense o f identity from Bede on. Englisc appears in the Prose Preface at 3.15,7.18, 7.19, and 7.24; and in the Verse Preface at 9.13. A lfred also invokes the English language twice in the body o f the Pastoral Care, see note 33 above. 43 Kathleen D avis notes A lfred’s emphasis on following church tradition: Gregory is his source author, while Continental models such as Charlem agne worked very much in a church context as well (“Performance,” 151-54). D avis argues in “National W riting,” “A l­ fred never considers that the vernacular might be inappropriate or inferior, but suggests that Latin was retained only because ‘woldon d x t her by mara wisdom on fonde w xre by we ma gedeoda cuflon’ [they would have it that the more languages we knew, the greater would be wisdom in this land] (5/24-25). According to this formulation, translation is necessary, but it is not an unfortunate compromise. Rather, the English vernacular stands as one among many legitim ate lan gu ages. . . ” (615). Surety A lfred and his audience both recognized the superior status o f Latin; by not explicitly addressing or apologizing for the difference, how­ ever, A lfred avoids reinforcing it at the very moment he seeks to legitim ate English.



ealle odrc bec. ô ceft Lædenware swse sam e, siddan hie hie geliornodon, hie hie wendon ealla durh wise w ealhstodas on hiora agen gediode. Ond eac ealla oÔræ Cristnæ dioda sumne d x l hiora on hiora agen gediode wendon. (5.25-7.5) ["Then I recalled how the law was first written in Hebrew, and again, when the G reeks learned it, then they translated it all into their own language, and also all other books. A nd again, the Romans did the sam e: once they learned them, they translated them all through wise translators into their own language. A nd also all other Christian peoples translated some por­ tion o f them into their own language.”] T h e A n glo-Saxon s represent the culm ination o f H ebrew, G reek, and L atin cul­ ture. T h e Verse Preface’s description o f the Pastoral Care touches repeatedly on its Rom an origin s, but it also establishes the line o f transm ission: A ugustin e o f C anterbury brought it from R om e, from G regory h im self.44 M any readers m ust also have been aware o f Bede’s fam ous punning story o f G regory as the great con­ verter o f the A n gles, which appears both in Bede's L atin text (ed. C olgrave and M ynors, 132-34) and its O ld E n glish translation (12.1; O E Bede 9 6 .3 -9 8 .1 2 ).4S C olgrave and M ynors note in their edition th at the story appears to be a trad i­ tional oral tale; the audience w ould not necessarily have needed fam iliarity w ith Bede to know th at the author o f the L atin Pastoral Care had a special connection to the A n glo-Saxon s.46 T h e Preface sim ultaneously nods to the im portance o f Rom e and establishes the im portance oiAngelcynn. T ak in g a slightly different tack, the P salm s, for all their geographical speci­ ficity, invite the reader to identify directly w ith D avid. Introductions to m ost Psalm s list the circum stances under which any righteous m an m ight say these w ords. T h e Psalm s’ translation by A lfred also su ggests an identification betw een A lfred , the king beset by V ikin gs, and D avid, the future kin g beset by Sau l: despite the differences betw een the Israelites and the A n glo-Saxon s, and th eir respective kin gs, their circum stances seem parallel, and readers can bring one

44 See D iscenza, “A lfred’s Verse Preface.” 45 See Howe, “An Angle on T h is Earth,” for Bede’s treatment o f A ngli and later ap­ propriations o f it. 46 Bede's Ecclesiastical H istory o f the English People, ed. and trans. Bertram Colgrave and R. A . B . M ynors (O xford, 1969), 133n: “T h is story which Bede says is traditional is found in a shorter and slightly different form in the W hitby L ife. Both authors are prob­ ably quoting from different form s o f the oral tradition.” W ormald argues that G regory’s form ulation, transm itted through Canterbury and spread by Bede, helped form a single identity for the m ixture o f people as the A ngles, Saxons, Jutes, et al. converted to C hris­ tianity and established ecclesiastical hierarchies: “Bede, the Bretw aldas.”

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w orld-view to bear in interpreting both sets o f experiences.47 Even the Boethius m entions the G erm anic W eland the Sm ith in an otherw ise highly classical my­ thology (46.16-21). T h e Boethius, like the Franks C ask et and som e o f A lfred ’s coinage, fuses G erm anic and R om an traditions to underscore the A n glo-Saxon s’ continental heritage.48 T h u s E n glan d has m uch in com m on w ith Rom e and Israel. O f course, the texts m ost effective at recentering readers’ m ental geography are the tw o h isto­ ries o f and by the E n glish them selves: the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle and the O ld E n glish Bede. T h e C hronicle establishes an internal E n glish geography (D and E even start w ith a geographical preface before the first entry) w hile supplying a history com parable to the classical histories.49 Ju liu s C aesar’s conquest o f the island initiates all C hronicle entries; the birth o f C h rist follow s, w hile the Breten people are m entioned only sporadically (167,189, 381, 4 09), all in contexts linked to R om e.50 A fter 449 the A n glo-Saxon s take center stage, culm inating, in the first recension, in A lfred . Yet the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle is decidedly non-insular in som e w ays: entries tell o f the V ikin gs in Francia w hile they are not in the B ritish Isles; A lfred ’s dispatch o f m essengers w ith alm s to Rom e dem ­ onstrates close, regular ties to th is still-im portan t city and the im portance o f the

47 See N icholas Howe, M igration and M ythmaking in Anglo-Saxon England (New Haven, 1989) for the A nglo-Saxon self-identity as the heirs o f Israel. A lfred him self som etim es identifies with the narrators o f the dialogues he translates but often under­ scores their historical situatedness; see M alcolm R. G odden, “T he Player K ing: Identi­ fication and Self-Representation in K ing A lfred’s W ritings,” in A lfred the G reat: Papers from the Eleventh-Centenary Conferences, ed. Tim othy Reuter (A ldershot, 2003), 137-50. (For a very different reading o f A lfred’s self-representation that em phasizes identifica­ tion with his characters, see D avid Pratt, “T h e Illnesses o f K ing A lfred the G reat,” A SE 30 [2001]: 39-90.) Bourdieu would describe such identification as a relation o f homol­ ogy; see Outline, 86 and Rules o f A rt, esp. 161-66. 48 A lso like the Boethius, the Franks C asket treats im ages o f good and bad kingship, both Roman and G erm anic, as Catherine Karkov notes (personal com m unication, A ugust 2004). For detailed exam ination o f the Franks C asket, see Leslie W ebster, “T he Iconographie Program m e o f the Franks C asket,” in Northum bria's Golden Age, ed. Jane Hawkes and Susan M ills (Stroud, 1999), 227-46. In the sam e volume, Jam es L an g sug­ gests a connection between the Franks C asket and Psalm 68 and its exegesis: “T he Im ­ agery o f the Franks C asket: A nother Approach,” 247-55, and C arol Neuman de Vegvar discusses Roman and A nglo-Saxon versions o f a classical legend in “T he Travelling Tw ins: Romulus and Remus in A nglo-Saxon England,” 256-67. 49 See Jacqueline A nn Stodnick, “W riting Hom e: Place and N arrative in A ngloSaxon England” (Ph.D . diss., University o f Notre D am e, 2002), for detailed analysis o f geography in the C text o f the Chronicle. 50 M axim ianus was bom in Britain (A 381), the G oths’ sack o f Rome ended Roman rule in Britain (A 409), the Romans pulled out in 418, the Britons pleaded for help in 443.



idea o f Rom e in A lfred ian literature.51 T h e arrival o f m onks from Ireland in a boat and m ention o f the death o f the Irish scholar Sw ifneh (891) show a place and people even m ore rem ote than Angelcynn. T h e A n glo-Saxon s are not isolat­ ed, as O rosius’s L atin , and even much o f its O ld E n glish translation, seem to im ­ ply. Surely this representation o f history, centered on E n glan d, fits A n glo-Saxon dispositions m uch m ore com fortably than do classical histories. T h e O ld E n glish Bede also provides geography and history focused on B ri­ tannia.52 From the sources o f inform ation th at Bede lists to the dedication to K in g C eo lw u lf o f N orthum bria, the preface (both in L atin and in the O ld E n g­ lish translation) focuses on the land o f the A n glo-Saxon s.53 T h e Bede proper, lik e the L atin Historia Ecclesiastica, begins w ith the geography o f the island itself. A s in the C h ronicle, Ju liu s C aesar and other Rom an em perors appear at the begin ­ ning, but they have been selected according to their relevance to B ritain . T h e vast m ajority o f the action takes place w ithin E n glan d, at specific, often fam iliar locations, involving first B ritons, then A n glo-Saxon s. T h e texts follow s som e A n glo-Saxon s in exile or m ission to the continent as w ell, including kin gs w ho give it all up to die in Rom e in V.7 (C æ dw alla 4 6 8 -7 2 , O E 4 0 4 .1 6 -4 0 6 .8 ; Ine and others, 472, O E 4 0 6 .8 -1 7 ), show ing the distance to be great but not insur­ m ountable. E ngland is the new center o f th is history.54 T h e Bede m ay w ell have been translated after the C hronicle w as begun, and it m ay even have been tran s­ lated after A lfred ’s death, but it certainly continues the w ork o f h is program .55 T h u s som e o f the sam e texts that seem to m ake England m arginal geographi­ cally and historically also sh ift tem porarily to an A nglo-Saxon orientation, w hile tw o em phasize E ngland’s im portance. T h ese changes m ay seem obtrusive to 51 Susan Irvine, “T he A nglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Idea o f Rome in A lfredian L it­ erature,” in A lfred the G reat: Papersfrom the Eleventh-Centenary Conferences, 63-77. 52 T he O E version notably deletes docum entation, especially that from non-AngloSaxon writers; see Nicole Guenther D iscenza, “T he O ld English Bede and the Construc­ tion o f A nglo-Saxon Authority,” A SE 31 (2002): 69-80. 53 Bede's EcclesiasticalHistory, 2 -6 ; The Old English Version o fBede's E cclesiastical H istory o f the English People, ed. Thom as M iller, E E T S o.s. 9 5 -9 6 ,110-111 (London, 1890), 2.1-6.3. 54 Howe sees Bede’s treatment o f Rome and England’s m issionary activity as m aking Rome central: “Rome,” esp. 152, but the translation’s abridgem ents and deletions serve to make England more focal and Rome less prominent; see D iscenza, “O ld English Bede!’ 55 T he date o f the Bede is uncertain and Janet Bately argues that it may well be later; even if A lfred sponsored the translation, it may have been completed after his death. For Bately’s dating see “O ld English Prose Before and D uring the Reign o f A lfred,” A SE 17 (1988): 93-138, esp. 97-98 and 103-4. Dorothy W hitelock sum m arizes dating argu­ ments in “T he Prose o f A lfred’s Reign,” in Continuations an d Beginnings: Studies in O ld English Literature, ed. Eric G erald Stanley (London, 1966), 67-103; and eadem , “O ld English Bede,” Proceedings ofthe British Academy 48 (1962): 57-90, rem ains crucial for the study o f the text. Foot discusses the Bede as part o f A lfred’s program in some detail in “T he M aking o fAngelcynn” esp. 38-41.

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m odern readers who com pare the source texts and translations, but to vernacular readers m aking first contact w ith a larger w orld, for whom Angelcynn w as always already a central reference point, the sh ifts w ould probably be im perceptible.

Specks in the Universe Yet these geographical and historical strategies rem ain in constant tension w ith the program ’s cosm ological bent, w hich em phasizes the sm all size and b rief life o f the w orld and sh ifts attention to the larger universe and lastin g realm s.56 Such cosm ology sim ultaneously and equally dim inishes not only Angelcynn but Rom e and Jerusalem , a second strategy translators used. A s the geographical place o f E ngland w as graphically represented by m aps, so the place o f the earth in the universe w as graphically represented by figu res called rotae (or ‘wheels’). Isidore o f Seville produced m any o f these representing the w inds, zones o f the earth, and seasons. W hile Bourdieu w rites that different schem es can coexist because they come into practical use at different tim es and there is no “assem bling o f these m eanings in sim ultaneity,” 57 Isidore and others heap together circular diagram s w ith very different m eanings and som etim es d iz­ zying sh ifts o f view point. Two com m on Isidorean rotae show earth at the center o f the planets and the relationship between m icrocosm and m acrocosm . E arth may be central, but it occupies the center o f a sphere or d isk several tim es its own size.58 56 Bridges notes A ugustine’s sim ilar strategies, “problem atizing the representation o f geographical reality through diverting attention away from the map in favour o f moral­ izing allegorizations as well as through his replacement o f tribes and nations by commu­ nities o f believers”: “O f M yths and M aps,” 79. 57 Bourdieu, Outline, 110-12 and 123; quotation at 123. 58 For exam ples, see Edson, M apping Time an d Space, pis. 3.1-3.6 on pp. 41-45, and K line, M aps o f M edieval Thought, figs. 1.2-1.26, and her discussion in Chapter 1, “T he Cosm ological W heel,” 7-43. W oodward, “'M appae mundi,” gives exam ples o f an Isidorean rota (fig. 18.39, p. 337) and a diagram from Bede’s D e natura rerum that maps out the relations am ong the cardinal directions, the continents, the elements, the sea­ sons, and the properties o f m atter (18.38, p. 335). Cam bridge, Trinity C ollege 0 .3 .7 and Cam bridge, University Library K k.3.21 show rotae rather like Edson’s 3.1-3.4; these post-Conquest m anuscripts present Boethius’s D e consolatione philosophiae with glosses, and their diagram s illustrate the cosm ological meter (3 met. 9). O ther m icrocosm-mac­ rocosm diagram s m ight relate man to the whole universe, as does a somewhat eccentric representation from Byrhtferth’s Computus (O xford, St.Joh n ’s C ollege, M S. 17, fbl. 7v); a wonderful color plate can be found in Evelyn Edson and Em ilie Savage-Sm ith, M edieval Views o f the Cosmos: Picturing the Universe in the C hristian an d Islam ic M iddle Ages, with foreword by Terry Jones (O xford, 2004), fig. 11, p. 27; and Byrhtferth's Enchiridion, ed. Peter S. Baker and M ichael Lapidge, E E T S s.s. 177 (O xford, 1995), offers a clear dia­ gram with all the L atin inscriptions in A ppendix A , p. 374.



In a huge universe, E ngland, Rom e, and Jerusalem all becom e mere specks. T h e A lfredian texts, even w hile they m ake A nglo-Saxon E ngland a place o f im p or­ tance, sim ultaneously reduce the im portance o f place in the w orld to take a m ore m etaphysical stance. T h e Orosius m akes the point historically. W hile B ritain seem s m inor com ­ pared to the four great em pires G o d ordained, ju st how im portant are those em ­ pires? T h e text gives us the answ er: Seo ilce burg Babylonia, seo de m æst wæs 7 ærest ealra burga, seo is nu lx st 7 westaste. Nu seo burg swelc is, J>e ær wæs ealra weorca fæ stast 7 wunderlecast 7 m ærast, gelice 7 heo waere to bisene asteald eallum m iddangearde, 7 eac swelce heo se lf sprecende sie to eallum moncynne 7 cwe)>e: “Nu ic {>uss gehroren earn 7 aweg gewiten, hwæt, ge m agan on me ongietan 7 oncnawan bast ge nanuht mid eow nabbad festes ne stronges bætte burhwunigean mæge.” (43.33-44.6) [“T h at same city Babylon, which was the greatest and the first o f all cities, it is now the last and m ost desolate. A nd now the city is such, which before was the strongest and m ost wonderful and m ost fam ous o f all works, [that it is] ju st as if it were established as an example to all earth, and also as if she herself were speaking to all mankind and said, ‘Now I am thus fallen and departed away; look, you may understand and know in me that you have no fastness with you nor strength that can survive.’”] T h e text later d etails G o d ’s plan in having four em pires, and how long they last­ ed (1 32.24-133.28), but ultim ately w hat m atters is not the places but the salva­ tion o f G o d ’s people. Bede sim ilarly focuses not so m uch on E n glan d as a place, but on “historiae ecclesiasticae gentis A nglorum ” (“history o f the church o f the E n glish people,” 8, top o f the L atin table o f contents);59 the narrative centers on the conversion o f the A n glo-Saxon s and their adoption o f Rom an practice to assum e their place as G o d ’s people. O f the histories, only the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle has no overt salvific or providential drive, but rather a dynastic drive, as the first recension presents A lfred as the pinnacle o f A n glo-Saxon kingship. T h e C hronicle d oes, however, occasionally invoke the D eity, as the m iraculous healer o f Pope L e o

59 Literally, “the race o f the A ngles.” Stodnick argues that Bede uses the term both for all A nglo-Saxons and for Northum brians, and it is som etim es difficult to tell which he means (“W riting H om e,” 89-92). Com pare W orm ald, “Engla Land,” who argues that Bede’s use o f A ngli for A ngles, Saxons, and other ethnicities helped found a common English identity. Here Bede seems to use A ngli inclusively. (T he O ld English offers no equivalent term .)

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after h is m utilation in 797, and protector o f the A n glo-Saxon s in 896.60 T h e P salm s, w hile solidly grounded in the physical settin g o f the H oly L an d , unsur­ prisingly rem ind readers th at G o d ’s creation goes beyond earth w ith five m en­ tions o f angels, w hile P salm 48 concerns hell.61 T h e Pastoral Care m akes direct reference to heaven thirty-nine tim es and hell seven tim es.62 T h ese texts a ll con­ stru ct a greater cosm ology, m aking the space o f earth sm aller and o f secondary im portance. T h e Boethius offers a m ore com plete cosm ology than any o f the other texts. It situates the earth am ong the stars, nam ing constellations (B oeties, 126.8, and U rsa, 135.29) in passing. Frequent references to heaven, hell, angels, and devils reduce the entire earth to a “rondbeag on scelde” [“boss on the shield,” 4 1 .2 5 -6 0 ] o f the cosm os.63 W hile central, and not inconsequential, it is a sm all p art o f a much larger universe. Finally, in A lfred ’s fam ous extended m etaphor, G o d is the center o f a w agon w heel; to escape the effects o f Fortune, one m ust move up the spokes to H im (129.19-131.19). T h e im age o f an earth-centered universe that the rotae present is here replaced by a very sim ilar but G od-centered universe in w hich physical geography becom es alm ost irrelevant. W isdom also explains that much o f th is vast w orld is uninhabitable, and th at fam e does not travel widely.64 601 do not include the later addition to 890 that describes Plegm und as “gecoron o f G ode” in a hand o f the late eleventh or early tw elfth century; see Bately’s edition o f the A Chronicle, note 3 to the 890 annal and Introduction, p. xxxix. 61 Int. 33; 8 .6 ,3 3 .8 ,3 4 .5 , and 34.6. 62 T he Pastoral Care mentions angels as interm ediaries (or protectors) at 101.20, 2 5 1 .2 5 ,2 5 5 .2 4 ,2 5 7 .8 ,3 7 9 .1 6 ,3 9 9 .2 2 ,3 9 9 .3 0 ,4 0 5 .3 3 , and 445.35. Fallen angels appear at 111.23, 249.18, 301.18, 329.7, 357.16, and 359.1. O ther mentions o f angels include 261.12 (companions o f C h rist in heaven) and 385.14 (C h rist as teacher o f angels). There are 38 mentions o f heofen/heofn or hrfen/hefh: 33.13, 59.19-20, 67.15, 81.14, 85.7, 85.8, 99.8, 99.18, 99.23, 101.19, 125.20, 161.17, 169.6, 169.10, 195.18, 203.2, 222.23 (C ot­ ton; passage m issing from H atton), 233.20,249.15,2 5 5 .4 ,2 8 5 .1 6 ,3 2 1 .7 ,3 4 7 .2 5 ,3 5 1 .1 0 , 385.14, 393.35, 395.24, 397.16, 401.2, 403.3, 403.26, 411.12, 443.19, 443.27, 449.15, 449.35, 451.9, and 465.34-35. One mention o f neorxna vsong refers to an otherworldly paradise, 99.7 (two others refer to the G arden o f Eden). O ne additional mention o f heav­ en and hell is by im plication: 309.2-11 tells the story o f Lazarus and the rich man after their deaths without explicitly nam ing either heaven or hell. H ell appears explicitly at 3 3 .2 ,3 3 9 .3 ,3 9 1 .1 4 ,4 2 9 .2 4 ,4 2 9 .2 6 ,4 2 9 .2 8 , and 443.10. 63T he Boethius repeatedly proclaim s that G od is Creator and Ruler o f a great universe whose complex workings, controlled by H is love, are described especially in A lfred’s fa­ mous translation o f 3 met. 9 (79.10-82.17; but see also 48.21-50.7 ,5 7 .2 -8 ,9 2 .1 6 -9 3 .1 9 , 128.27-129.18,135.23-136.31). 64 See 41.19-43.26 and 43.27-44.27. M oreover, “Hwatt, ealle men hzfdon gelicne frum an, for pam hi ealle coman o f anum freder 7 o f anre meder, 7 ealle hi beod git gelice acennede” [“Look, all men have a sim ilar origin, for they all came from one father and one mother, and they are all born sim ilarly”: 69.17-19].



Transcending Geography I f fam e neither spreads far nor lasts long, and earth itse lf is but a sm all po in t in the universe, then E n glan d and Rom e fin d them selves in the sam e position . T h ose who can read o f the greatness o f Rom e and the H oly L an d — and, m ore im portantly, o f the divine truths m anifested there — are not m arginal but privi­ leged no m atter where they reside. T h e A n glo-Saxon s need not fear their lim in ality, but neither should they exult in their local power. T h e sh ift from physical geography to m ental and spiritual ground allow s E ngland to be a place o f learn­ in g too. Yet readers should recall th at their ancestors thought they w ould never lose L atin , as A lfred said in his Preface to the Pastoral Care (5 .2 2 -2 3 ). T h ou gh scholars rem ain uncertain how much learning had declined, and how much A l­ fred exaggerated for rhetorical effect, readers m ust recall th at E ngland has su f­ fered m uch in recent years, and could again lose riches and books.656L earn in g m ust be pursued to keep E n glan d on the m ap, so to speak. T h e im portance o f place can be recuperated through yet another m eans o f treatin g the tensions surrounding E n glan d. Even as Angelcynn claim s its place in the tradition o f learning, the texts present places th at sign ify sym bolically. R eal distance from these points is not im portant as long as the m ental distance can be closed by reading the sign ification correctly. C h an gin g from physical to men­ tal or figurative geography thus represents a third strategy for translators. G o d ’s tem ple and M ount Z ion in the P salm s are real historically and geographically, but they are sim ultaneously m etaphorical. T h e dual m eaning begins in the source texts, but A lfred extends the figurative im plications in the P salm s and the Pas­ toral Care. H is glossin g translation m ethod adds to or m akes explicit the P salm s’ figuration: . . . et statuit supra petram pedes meos et direxit gressus meos et inm isit in os meum canticum nouum hymnum D eo nostro [“and he set my feet upon a rock and directed my steps. A nd he put a new canticle into my mouth a song to our G od ”: 39.3 -4 ]60

65 For a review o f scholarship on the topic and a treatment o f recent evidence, see Sim on Keynes, “T he Power o f the W ritten W ord: A lfredian England 871-899,” in A l­ fre d the G reat: Papersfrom the Eleventh-Centenary Conferences, 175-97. Keynes does find evidence o f decline, but also some evidence for continuing traditions o f L atin literacy in M ercia and W essex from which A lfred could rebuild. 66 Q uotations from the L atin Psalm s are from L e psautier romain et les autres anciens psautiers latin s, ed. Robert W eber (Vatican City, 1953).

A M ap o f the Universe


becom es: A nd he asette mine fet on swide heanne stan (f>aet ys, on swyde heah setl and on swyde faestne anweald), and he gerihte mine stæpas, and sende on minne mud niwne sang (f>æt is, lofsang urum G ode). (39.3-4) [“And he set my feet on a very high stone (that is, on a very high seat and on a very strong power), and he steadied my steps, and sent into my mouth a new song (that is, a praise song for our G od).”]67 Som etim es when the tem ple is m entioned, it is d ifficu lt to tell w hether the refer­ ent is the earthly or the heavenly tem ple (2 6 .5 -6 ,4 7 .8 ); one so evokes the other, however, th at it hardly m atters. M ost o f the places nam ed in the Pastoral Care also carry m ore sym bolic reso­ nance than literal. Z ion is a real place, but th at is not alw ays its im port. W hile the text m akes frequent reference to real geographical places, m any o f those carry som e figurative w eight. Ten passages specify real places for an overw helm ingly figurative sense, as in: D u de w ilt godspellian Sion, astig ofer heane munt. D æ t is dætte se sceal, se de wile brucan dara godcundra dinga ôc dara hefonlicra lara, forlætan das niderlican ôcdas eordlecan weorc, fordam he bid gesewen standende on dam hrofe godcundra dinga. (81.12-16)68 [“You who would preach to Zion, ascend over the high mountain. T h at is, he who would enjoy the divine things and the heavenly lore m ust abandon the lowly and the earthly works, because he must be seen standing on the roof o f divine things.”] Several are purely figurative: “D in nosu is suelc [suel] se torr on Liu an o dæm m unte” [“Your nose is ju st as the tow er on M ount Libanus”: 6 5 .2 3 -2 4 ] is quoted to explain that a large nose m eans “gesceadw isnesse” [“discernm ent,” 6 5 .25; see also 433.19-29].69 A m etaphor for C h rist goes beyond the earthly: “sio sunne, dæt is C rist” [“the sun, that is C h rist”: 285.14].

67 For further exam ples, see Ps. 10:5 and 18:6. 68 See also 101.24-103.5,103.11-105.1,197.11-201.3,267.9-16,385.21-24,397.32399.31,403.29-405.10,415.13-417.1, and 427.26-429.2. 89 See also 311.7-13 and 367.2-22. Vaguer geographical references are to navigating at sea (59.1-7); the gold and stones o f the temple scattered in the street (133.8-135.20); and the inner city as a retreat from the world (385.4-9). A t least two passages have literal and figurative meaning so intertwined that it is hard to say which dominates: Ezekiel besieges a model o f Jerusalem , with a literal meaning for the city but a lesson about pride for teachers at



In th is figurative geography, Rom e and Jerusalem are not the only places th at signify. In closin g the Pastoral Care, G regory uses the im age o f being lost at sea as a hum ility topos; A lfred neatly translates it: D æ r ic hæbbe getaeht hwelc hierde bion sceal. T o dæm ic w æs gened m id dinre tæ lnesse, dæt ic nu hæbbe m anege m en gelæ d to dæm stæde fu llfrem ednesse on dæm scipe m ines m odes, & nu giet hw earfige m e se lf on dæm ydum m inra scylda. A c ic de bidde dæt du me on dæm scipgebroce disses andw eardan lifes sum bred geræ ce dinra gebeda, dæt ic m æge on sittan od ic to londe cum e, & aræ r me m id dære honda dinre geearnunga, fordæm de m e hæ fd gehefegad sio byrden m inra agenra scylda. (467.19-27) [“T h ere I have taught how a pastor m ust be. I w as com pelled to th is task by your reproof, th at I now have led m any men to the shore o f perfection in the ship o f m y m ind, and yet I m yself still toss in the w aves o f my gu ilt. B u t I pray you th at you offer me the board o f your prayers in the shipw reck o f th is present life, th at I m ay sit on it until I com e to lan d, and lift me w ith the hands o f your m erits, because the w eight o f m y own g u ilt so burdens m e.”]

E xtern al geography here becom es vague and non-specific; it exists merely to figu re internal space. W hether readers envision the M editerranean or the m uch closer N orth Sea, the result is the sam e. T h e focus o f the Pastoral Care itse lf on the ruler’s disposition and how he directs those is as applicable to A lfred ’s people as to G regory’s R om ans, and the copying o f the text indicates that his successors valued it as w ell.70 A lfred ’s tw o m ost introspective w orks also em phasize internal geography. T hough the Boethius is packed w ith historical and geographical references, those references illustrate other points, and its im agery sheds ligh t on inner space. T h at inferiority can be figu red as a library: ne me na ne lyst m id glase gew orhtra w aga ne heahsetla m id golde 7 m id gim m um gerenodra, ne boca m id golde aw ritenra m e sw a sw ide ne lyst sw a m e lyst on [>e rihtes w illan. N e sece ic no her [>a bec, ac [>æt dæt j)a bec forstent, dæ t is, J>in gew it. (1 1 .2 6 -3 0 )

161.2-165.23; Isaiah tells Sidon that the sea told it to be embarrassed at 409.31-411.1, and a complicated exegesis follows. W hen Jerusalem is said to be fornicating, the city’s inhabitants are literally meant, but so are all believers, ju st as fornication means not ju st sexual sin but worshipping false gods: 463.23-465.3. How literally one is to take Satan’s “Ic wille wyicean min setl on notddæle” [“I w ill build my seat in the northern part”: 111.24] is unclear. 70 Four o f the six extant m anuscripts are later copies; see N . R . Ker, Catalogue o f M anuscripts Containing A nglo-Saxon (O xford, repr. with supplement, 1990), item s 19, 3 0 ,8 7 , and 175.

A M ap o f the Universe


[“N or do w alls worked with glass please me, or high seats ornamented with gold and with gem s, nor do books written with gold please me as much as your right w ill pleases me. I do not seek here books, but what understands the books, that is, your mind.”] A n glo-Saxon libraries had declined over the previous years, but A lfred w as try­ in g to rebuild them in E n glan d.71 Surely the im age w ould be highly evocative even for A n glo-Saxon s who had never left their hom eland or even seen an elabo­ rate library. Sim ilarly, W isdom describes G o d as “ælces godes ægder ge h ro f ge flo r” [“both the ro o f and the floo r o f every go od ”: 1 1 0 .2 4 -2 5 ], an im age fam iliar to every A n glo-Saxon . T h e opening o f th is dialogue em phasizes the narrator’s physical settin g in an Italian prison, but by the end that settin g has been virtually forgotten — or transcended. T h e m ind m ust be freed to seek its heavenly hom eland, as W isdom repeat­ edly tells M od . T h is internal journey is often described as i f external (in a w ood, 1 0 0 .4 -6 ). T urn ing inw ard w ill lead the narrator outw ard and upw ard. A s the narrator recalls h im self m ore and m ore, W isdom encourages him : “J>u eart nu fulneah cum en in on da ceastre ]>ære sodan gesæ lde, }>e Jju lange ær ne m eahtest aredian” [“you are now very close to entering into the city o f the true good , to w hich you could not fin d the w ay a w hile before”: 9 6 .2 6 -2 8 ]. T h is hom eland becom es m ore clearly linked to heaven when W isdom offers: “ic sceal æ rest din m od gefederan, daet hit m æge h it de yd up ahebban ær don hit fleogan onginne on da heanesse, [>æt hit m æge h al 7 orsorh fleogan to h is earde, 7 forlæ tan ælce dara gedrefednesse de hit nu drowad” [“I m ust first feather your m ind th at it may the m ore easily rise up before it begins to fly into the heights, so that it m ay whole and untroubled fly to its land, and leave each o f those troubles w hich it now suf­ fers”: 1 0 4 .2 9 -3 3 ], and then begins to sin g about flyin g to th is hom eland. T h e Boethius, for all its detailed classical geography, grounds readers in th is world only to move them to a higher one — reached by goin g inside. T h e flig h t begins in the m ind, but later the whole being w ill m ake the actual tran sit, w hether from Rom e or from W essex. T h e Soliloquies take th is strategy even further, providing a purely m ental geography w hich begins w ith the im age o f a m an buildin g a house from lum ber provided by the w ood o f the Fathers (47.9-12); their books create the w alls and ceiling, rem iniscent o f the passage from the Boethius quoted above (1 1 0.22-25).72 T h ese w orks o f the Fathers w ill, A lfred hopes,

71 See Keynes, “T h e Power o f the W ritten W ord.” For more on the im age o f the library, see D iscenza, K ing’s English, 19-20. 72 Specifically A ugustine, Gregory, and Jerom e: K ing A lfred’s Version o f S t Augustine’s Soliloquies, ed. Thom as A . C arnicelli (Cam bridge, M A , 1969).

io 6


hure mines modes eagan to )>am ongelihte |> *t ic mage rihtne weig aiedian to {»am ecan hame, and to )>am ecan are, and to )>are ecan reste j>e us gehaten is Jmrh |>a halgan fæderas. sie swa. (48.1-3) [“indeed open my m ind’s eyes to the light that I may find the right way to that eternal home, and to that eternal honor, and to that eternal rest which is prom ised us through the holy fathers. L et it be so.”] T h e narrator’s w ishes are further detailed in an evocatively dom estic im age: he hine mote hwilum J)ar-on gerestan, and huntigan, and fuglian, and fiscian, and his on gehwilce wisan to |>ere lænan tilian, ægf>ær ge on se ge on lande, ofl jxme fyrst f>e he bodand and æce yrfe J>urh his hlafordes miltse geearnige. swa gedo se w eliga gifola, se de egder w ilt ge fnssa lxnena stoclife ge ]>ara ecena hama. Se de ægj>er gescop and ægderes w ilt, forgife me ]>set me to ædrum onhagige; ge her nytwyrde to beonne, ge huru J)ider to cumane. (48.6-12) [“H e m ight rest him self there som etim es, and hunt, and fowl, and fish , and in each way tend to the lease, both in the sea and on the land, until that time when through his lord’s mercy he win booldand and eternal inheritance. M ay the wealthy Giver make it so, H e who w ills both in this borrowed dwelling and the eternal homes. M ay H e who made both and w ills both grant that I may be suitable both to be useful here and indeed to come there.”] T h e forest is a library m etaphorically, and perhaps m ore literally in the wooden boards used as book covers. T h e exotic lands o f the Orosius and the Boethius are forgotten here in favor o f a hom e that needs no specification. T h e Soliloquies lack any historical context aside from the b rief m ention that A ugu stin e, B ishop o f C arth age, w rote th is book, and there is little context w ithin the text itself.73 T h e only other specific geographical reference appears near the end o f the text: to A ugustin e, Rom e is the greatest city, the center o f political and religious power, yet its history cannot be known by personal experience. Sign ificantly, that does not preclude any possibility o f know ledge about it (9 7 .5 -8 ). Rom e is im portant 73 “Agustinus, Cartaina bisceop, worhte twa bee,” literally, “two books”: 48.13. This metaphysical and epistemological investigation begins with an extraordinarily long prayer (50.10-56.9) which makes frequent reference to God as creator o f everything in this world and the next. Godden, “The Player King,” emphasizes Alfred’s distinction between him self as translator, and the narrators as historically situated characters, yet the sparseness o f particular geographical and historic references in the Soliloquies seems rather to allow readers to conflate Alfred and Augustine as narrators in a relation o f ho­ mology. For homology in world-views, see Bourdieu, Outline, 86 and Rules o f A rt, esp. 161-66; see also note 47 above.


A M ap o f the Universe

here not as the city itself, but for w hat the narrator can know about it and how he can know it. G eography and cosm ology figu re greater truths. A ll the physical settin gs, however concrete or abstract, are likew ise im ages. T h e sun becom es an im age o f G od (69.16-26). T h e view from a ship crossing the sea parallels how people learn (61.17-22). C om in g to the king’s hom e in m any different w ays, and the king having different residences, figu re G o d ’s heavenly hom e to which we a ll hope to com e (77.5-78.2). A discussion o f the effects o f ligh t from the sun, m oon, and stars on healthy and unhealthy eyes, and a later m ention o f the sun and clouds, lead to the m ind’s eye (78 .2 -1 7 and 9 2 .2 2 -9 3 .6 ). C lim bin g a sea c liff to look around — both below at the sea and back dow n at the land behind — illu strates reaching a new level o f understanding (78.17-23). H ere too the earthly body is a prison which we w ill leave (93.14-20). T h e im pli­ cations o f these m any and varied im ages alw ays point to the heavenly hom e, and explicit m ention o f angels (82.15-18, 85.18) underscores the interest o f the text. H ere all the geography and history th at m atter are m ental and spiritu al, and the settin gs appeal to E n glish readers.

Conclusions In follow ing A lfred ’s w ork into h is m ost d ifficu lt books, we m ay seem to have left B ritan n ia far behind. A n glo-Saxon readers, o f course, w ould not. R ead­ ers were continually pulled in different directions by the A lfred ian texts. E n g­ land was m arginal to m ost o f the w orld, as m aps and classical texts represented it. Yet A n glo-Saxon s’ own dispositions, w hich, as Bourdieu w ould argue, “give disproportionate w eight to early experiences,”74w ould tell them th at their people, be they W est Saxons, M ercians, or even transplanted Fran ks, could not be hang­ in g o ff the edge o f the w orld or entirely non-existent, as som e m aps and descrip­ tions seem to portray them . W hile A lfred ’s program o f translation brought A n glo-Saxon readers p e r­ haps som etim es uncom fortably close to a Rom e-centered view point, none o f the A lfred ian texts solely m arginalizes E n glan d. M ost o f the texts recenter them ­ selves, albeit som e only tem porarily, around B ritannia. A second tactic is to take an entirely different perspective, from w hich all o f earth is m arginal. Finally, place becom es m etaphor, w ith spiritual significance equally available to readers everywhere. T h e program as a whole redirects readers from a m arginalization o f E n g­ land, though not to replace Jerusalem , R om e, or Francia w ith W inchester, W es­ sex, or Angelcynn. R ealistically, such replacem ent could not succeed: everyone

74 Bourdieu, Outline., 78.

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knew o f these centers o f religion, power, and learning, and they rem ained d es­ tinations for pilgrim s and am bassadors. Spiritually, replacem ent w ould co n flict w ith the em phasis th at m ost A lfred ian texts placed on divine g ifts and responsi­ bilities. Yet the program also d id not encourage readers to accept classical view s o f the w orld; E n glan d ’s place m ay be m inor in the universe and in the fulln ess o f tim e, but in the here and now it m atters a great deal. A lfred ’s program encouraged a dual focus: on duties here in th is w orld, and the eventual destination o f one’s soul. For the m ost part, the texts move easily from one approach to another. T h e translators have been form ed by and in turn reproduce in texts a sense o f both personal responsibility for one’s own soul and social responsibility for one’s own w orld. D espite differences betw een the late antique w orld and the A n glo-Saxon one, hom ologies appear in the translations. Angelcynn can be as in sign ifican t and as central as Rom e. A ll E ngland needs are the tools o f learning and devoted m inds. T h e form er A lfred can provide; the lat­ ter, the audience m ust supply. A lfred sim ultaneously teaches his readers geogra­ phy and cosm ology and asks them to w ork w ith him to im prove E n glan d ’s place in the w orld through their efforts — and to w ork w ith G o d to secure their ow n and each other’s place in the next w orld.”

751 am grateful to many colleagues whose conversation, questions, and suggestions have helped me in w riting this piece and led me to other avenues o f investigation I hope to pursue shortly. I should mention especially Katherine O ’Brien O ’Keeffe and Jacque­ line Stodnick; Paul E . Szarm ach; Jim Siebold (who answered questions about his website and very generously sent me a C D -R O M containing much inform ation); two anonymous readers for this edited volume; and N icholas Howe and Catherine Karkov, whose com­ ments and references both when I gave a version o f this paper at the 2003 ISA S m eeting and when I subm itted it for this volume have been m ost helpful.

“O ld N ames of K ings or S hadows”: R eading D ocumentary L ists J acqueline S todnick

A s Kenneth Sisam described it in 1953, the process o f reading A nglo-Saxon doc­ um entary lists is fraught w ith readerly angst: “O ne soon becom es involved in a tangle o f possibilities, where the tem ptation to be over-ingenious is always pres­ ent, w ith the doubt whether tim e is w ell spent on these old nam es o f kings or shadow s.”1 A s Sisam m akes clear, what I am labeling “docum entary lists” are d if­ ficult texts to read because o f their lack o f context, a lack that the reader seem s anxiously com pelled to restore. T h ese texts consist sim ply o f nam es — o f bishops, kings, abbots, popes, patriarchs, places — w ritten serially either in vertical col­ um ns or in long lines across a m anuscript page, and w ith a bare m inim um of, or indeed w ith no, connective syntactical structure. A ppearing in many different ver­ sions and m anuscript contexts, these lists date from as early as the eighth century and continued to be copied and updated throughout the A nglo-Saxon period.2

1 Kenneth Sisam , “A nglo-Saxon Royal G enealogies,” Proceedings o f the B ritish Acad­ emy 39 (1953): 287-346, here 288. 2 For the textual history o f these lists, see D avid N . D um ville, “T he A nglian C ol­ lection o f Royal G enealogies and Regnal L ists,” A SE 5 (1976): 23-50; idem, “Kingship, G enealogies, and Regnal L ists,” in E arly M edievalKingship, ed. Peter H . Sawyer and Ian N . W ood (L eeds, 1977), 72-104; idem, “T he C atalogue Texts,” in An Eleventh-Century Anglo-Saxon Illustrated M iscellany ( Cotton Tiberius B .v P a rti), ed. Patrick M cG urk, idem, M alcolm R . G odden, and A nn Knock, E E M F 21 (Copenhagen, 1983), 55-58; idem, “T he W est Saxon G enealogical Regnal L ist: M anuscripts and Texts ” A nglia 104 (1986): 1-32; idem, “T he W est Saxon G enealogical Regnal L ist and the Chronology o f Early W essex,” P eritia 4 (1985): 21-66. D um ville was o f course building here on the work o f Sisam in “A nglo-Saxon Royal G enealogies,” which his own studies then superseded. For the episcopal lists see R. I. Page, “A nglo-Saxon Episcopal L ists, Parts I and II,” N otting­ ham M edieval Studies 9 (1965): 71-95; idem , “A nglo-Saxon Episcopal L ists, Part III,” Nottingham M edieval Studies 10 (1966): 2-24; and Sim on Keynes, “Episcopal L ists,” in The Blackw ell Encyclopaedia o f Anglo-Saxon England, ed. M ichael Lapidge et al. (O xford, 1999), 172-74.



W hile they presum ably had a prehistory as independent texts, these lists appear in A nglo-Saxon m anuscripts in collections, idiosyncratically com prised o f separate regnal lists for the old kingdom s com bined w ith ecclesiastical or territorial m ate­ rial. Even though identifying L atin rubrics precede m any o f these lists, the lack o f an explanatory or connective prose context m akes their purpose w ithin A n ­ glo-Saxon textual culture and their evident fascination for copyists frustratin gly opaque. W ere they intended to be read, or were they copied for reference purposes only? D id copyists (readers? users?) understand the m aterial in these lists? I f so , did they understand them only because they were able to “round out” their con­ text, as it w ere, by the m ental addition o f supplem ental inform ation? T h is paper w ill address these questions, and others d ealin g w ith the func­ tion o f these lists for their A n glo-Saxon readers, by exam ining one particular list collection: that contained in the eleventh-century m anuscript London, B L , C otton T iberius B .v fols. 19v-24r.3 Since we lack any specific discussion from the period o f the purpose or use o f th is type o f docum entary list collection, I w ill here reexam ine Sisam ’s in stin ct th at such lists draw in and tem pt their readers to m ake, as he put it, “over-ingenious” tangles o f interpretive possibility. In fact, I w ill su ggest here th at, rather than being m erely a tem ptation suffered by m odern readers o f these confusin g old texts, th is invitation to “reconstruct” a fram ew ork o f m eaning for these decontextualized lists o f nam es w as felt also by their A n ­ glo-Saxon users; and w as, in fact, a stru ctural com ponent o f the list collection form at. M ore than th at, I w ill argue that the form o f the list collection functions as an identificatory technology, structuring and producing a certain response in its reader. A n im portant com ponent o f my claim w ill be th at list-texts them selves exert an influence on their copyists, causing them to place form above content and display-value above use-value. In other w ords, I w ill argue th at the lists’ production o f know ledge about E n glan d is not effected through the historical relevance or accuracy o f the individual nam es contained in the lists them selves, but rather through the texts’ com bined ability literally to exhibit nationality as a com plex epistem ological construct. A s I w ill show, additions and deletions m ade in the tenth century to the core m aterial o f the list collection contained in T ib eri­ us B .v show a regularizin g im petus at w ork, and reveal a collection w hich invites its reader to recognize “E n glan d ” as a m ulti-faceted historical, ecclesiastical, and territorial category. T h e bringing together o f origin ally diverse item s w ithin the stan dardizing form o f the list “collection” therefore serves to generate a un ified, w hile still rich, historical identity for E ngland.

3 A facsim ile o f this m anuscript is available: An Eleventh-Century A nglo-Saxon Il­ lustrated M iscellany, ed. M cG urk et al. T he m anuscript is number 193 in N . R . Ker, C at­ alogue o f M anuscripts Containing A nglo-Saxon (O xford 1957; reissued with supplement, 1990), 255-56.

m Old Names o f Kings or Shadowsm : Reading Documentary Lists

h i

I. Documentary Listing: Tiberius B.v T iberiu s B .v is a sum ptuously illustrated m anuscript copied, according to its editor, probably at one tim e in the second quarter o f the eleventh century and at one place, although where exactly th is w as rem ains a m atter o f debate. T h e pres­ ence o f entries from the chronicle o f B attle A bbey running from the Incarnation to 1206 indicates th at the m anuscript w as at th is house by, as D avid D um ville argues, the early tw elfth century, but nothing is known for certain o f its earlier provenance.4 How ever, because the m anuscript is a costly production w ith three illum inated picture cycles, it is likely to have em erged from a m ajor scriptorium in the period. T h e pre-C on quest m aterial is copied by one scribe (although a second m akes b rief contributions) and consists largely o f com putus texts, such as tables for calculating annual dates o f litu rgical feasts, a m etrical calendar, the text o f Æ lfric’s De temporibus anni, and a selection o f astronom ical texts.5 L ik e m ost com putus m anuscripts, T iberiu s B .v contains an array o f m aterials relating to both tim e and space, including tw o m aps (a M acrobian zon al diagram and the fam ous A n glo-Saxon w orld m ap) along w ith texts like a bilin gual L atin and O ld E nglish version o f The Marvels o fthe East and Priscian’s translation o f D ionysius’s Periegesis, an account o f Rom e. Even though the scope o f the com putus w as broad (as Evelyn E dson com ­ m ents, it "attem pted to depict as a whole the m arvellous, m eaningful handiw ork o f an intelligent and beneficent G o d ”),6 editors and readers o f T iberius B .v seem reluctant to classify it unam biguously as a com putus collection — hence the more general title, An Anglo-Saxon Illustrated Miscellany, given to the facsim ile. T h is re­ luctance is perhaps due to the secular nature o f som e o f the item s w ithin the man­ uscript, w hich fit uncom fortably w ith the apparent aim and intended audience o f a com putus collection,7 or to the apparently careless and uncom prehending copying

4 T he chronicle sections have been rebound and are now fols. 238-41r o f London, B L , C otton N ero D .ii. See in particular Patrick M cG urk, "T h e H istory o f the M anu­ script,” 25-27, and D avid N . D um ville, "A N ote on the Post-Conquest A dditions,” 1046, in Illustrated M iscellany. For bibliography and a sum m ary o f the argum ents about the m anuscript’s origins, in which W inchester and C hrist Church, Canterbury dom inate, see D avid N . D um ville, “T he A nglian C ollection,” 27-28. 5 See Patrick M cG urk, "Contents o f the M anuscript,” 15-24, and “T he A stronom i­ cal Section,” 67-78, in Illustrated M iscellany. 6 Evelyn Edson, M apping Time and Space: How M edieval M apm akers Viewed their World (London, 1997), 96. 7 Its editors repeatedly describe Tiberius B.v as a "secular” manuscript (see Illustrated M iscellany, 15,66). For an argum ent that the world map shows more Roman features, like the borders o f provinces, than Christian sites see Catherine D elano-Sm ith and Roger J. P. K ain, English M aps: A H istory (Toronto, 1999), 34-35. T he map’s rectangular shape,



o f com putus m aterials, which suggests that use-value w as not the first aim o f the com piler.8 Patrick M cG urk proposes the follow ing general classification o f the texts w ithin T iberius B.v: geographical (The Marvels ofthe East, Sigerics R om an itinerary, the zonal m ap, the Periegesis, and the world m ap); scientific (com putistical m aterial,Æ lfric’s De temporibusanni, the Aratea [Cicero’s translation o f A ratus’s astronom ical text]); historical (the lists and genealogies); ecclesiastical (the calendar).9 H e offers no clear suggestion as to the m anuscript’s purpose, noting that “T iberius presents a not very clearly defined section o f know ledge.”10 N icho­ las H ow e, on the other hand, sees this lack o f definition as a consequence o f the m anuscript’s expansive approach, suggesting that T iberius is “a co llectio n . . . a m iscellan y. . . an encyclopedia o f the w orld,” in which the texts are “less valuable for their raw inform ation than for their ways o f know ing: specifically, for form s o f calculating and representing the earth and its inhabitants.”11 T h e fact that R obert C otton rearranged the m anuscript m akes it d ifficu lt to do more than generalize about its overall m eaning in th is way, since we know only w hat texts it com prised

relative accuracy, and the likely Roman provenance o f its exem plar cause these authors to set it aside from the tradition o f mappae mundi in England, the first unambiguous ex­ ample o f which they believe to have been produced in the late twelfth century. W hile I agree with their overall argument here, I do not think that the representation o f the mar­ vels o f the E ast on the map is an unambiguously mythological statement downplaying the Christian element, as the authors note. The wonders were very often included on later mappae mundi and, indeed, were a key part o f ecclesiastical discussions around the issues o f humanity, salvation, creation, and so on. Given the nature o f the material in this manu­ script overall, I am not sure that it fits comfortably into either o f the distinctions “secular” or “ecclesiastic.” A s N icholas Howe observes o f the m anuscript, “it is secular in addressing a lay audience, though much o f its material is religious in origin and nature” and, I would add, quite technical (N icholas Howe, “A n Angle on T h is Earth: Sense o f Place in A ngloSaxon England,” Bulletin o f theJohn Rylands Library 82 [2000]: 3 -2 2 , here 15). 8 Patrick M cG urk not only notes a lack o f order in the computus section o f Tiberius B.v, but also observes that the scribe has copied his m aterial uncomprehendingly and carelessly, repeating texts and dividing others in an unexpected way. M cG urk believes that the m aterial is in fact so unclear that a monk would need extra instruction to use it. H e writes, “ [t]hat it was carelessly copied and that its Easter tables were clearly out o f date says som ething about the habits and aim s o f the T iberius compiler and scribe” (“T he Com putus,” in Illustrated M iscellany, 51-55, here 55). Clearly these aim s did not include creating the m ost practically useful and current aid for calculating the date o f Easter. T h is knowledge was preserved (by someone who apparently did not understand it) for another reason. 9 Patrick M cG urk, “Conclusion,” in Illustrated M iscellany, 107-9, here 107. 10 M cG urk, “Conclusion,” 109. 11 Howe, “An A ngle on T h is Earth,” 15-16.

"Old Names o f Kings or Shadowsm : Reading Documentary Lists


and not their origin al order.12 However, as H ow e has observed, because even the m ost exotic texts in T iberius B .v are involved in a process o f “negotiating sim ilari­ ty and difference” in such a way that distant lands and custom s are shown to be “at once like and unlike those to be found on the island,” the m anuscript can in fact be seen as a lengthy attem pt to situate (geographically, religiously, ethnographically) and thereby define the E n glish land and people.13 P art o f th is m ediatory function is perform ed by the m anuscript's inclusion o f a particularly extensive collection o f list m aterial, differin g in several key re­ spects from its sources and com bining secular and ecclesiastical m aterial w ith both insular and “foreign” elem ents.14 T h e m aterial, contained on fols. 19v-24r, is a w ell-defined unit connected, according to Patrick M cG u rk, w ith the com ­ putus calendar and tables follow ing.15 Follow ing D um ville’s num bering o f item s, the list texts are ordered as follow s:16 1) 19v. C atalogue o f popes, num bered to C X I and entered in colum ns. N um ­ bers C X II to C X X II have been entered but are not follow ed by nam es. C ontinued on 23v. 2) 19v-20r. L ist o f seventy-tw o disciples o f C h rist, num bered I to L X X V II and organized in colum ns. 3) 20r. L ist o f Rom an em perors organized in colum ns.

12 Patrick M cG urk notes that “any reconstruction o f the gatherings can only be ex­ tremely tentative” (“Palaeography and Illum ination,” in Illustrated M iscellany, 28-39, here 28). Ker records the order that the folios were in when the m anuscript was catalogued in the sixteenth or seventeenth century (Catalogue, 256). 13 Howe, “A n A ngle on T h is E arth,” 14. M ary B . Cam pbell notes that m edieval travel accounts m ost commonly present difference in term s o f sim ilitude in this way, by describing the unknown in terms o f the fam iliar (M ary B . Cam pbell, The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel W riting, 400-1600 [Ithaca, N Y, 1988], 3). 14 N icholas Howe includes the list m aterial as numbers 2 (lists o f popes and bish­ ops), 3 (genealogies), and 4 (Sigeric’s itinerary) in his own brief list o f texts in Tiberius B.v which develop the theme o f sim ilarity and difference, and which negotiate the no­ tion o f “foreignness” in relation to England and the English (H ow e, “An A ngle on T h is Earth,” 14-15). A detailed analysis o f these texts, however, is beyond the aim o f his study here. T hus my own work on the lists is intended to supplement and extend his analysis in this area. 15 “It was the compiler’s deliberate intention to link this com putus-calendar with the genealogies, w ithÆ lfric’s D e TemporihusAnni, and with the other secular texts in Tiberius. It was not so linked in any other book” (M cG urk, “T he Com putus,” 53). 16 D um ville, “T he Catalogue Texts,” 55-57. T h is list o f the texts is largely abstracted from the inform ation given by D um ville (and also by M cG urk, “T he Contents,” 15-24), but also includes my own observations.



4) 20v-21r. L ist o f the patriarchs organized in colum ns. 5) 21v-22r. A nglo-Saxon bishop lists organized in colum ns and representing every E nglish see as they were in 990. U nique to th is version is the sin ­ glin g out o f the nam e “Sw iöun” w ith capitals and red decoration, and the epithet "D ei am icus” applied to A rchbishop Sigeric.17 6) 22r, col. 4. W est Saxon regnal list from C erdic toÆ th elred , organized in colum ns and providing length s o f reigns. H eaded “C C C C X C IIII,” the year in w hich the list begin s.1' 7) 22v-23r. A n glian collection o f royal genealogies and regnal lists, orga­ nized in colum ns and headed “Haec sunt genealogie per partes B rittan ie regum regnantium per diversa loca.”19 22v. (T op h alf). T h is page m ust be read in tw o halves horizontally. C o l. 1. D eiran genealogy. C o l. 2 . B em ician genealogy. C o l. 3. B em ician genealogy. 22v. (B ottom h alf). C o l. 1. N orthum brian regnal list. C o ls. 1 -2. M ercian regnal list. C o l. 3 -2 3 r col. 1. M ercian genealogies. 23r. C o l. 1. Lin dsey genealogies. K ent genealogies. C o ls. 1-2. E ast A n glian genealogies. 8) 23r cols. 2 -3 . R etrograde genealogy for the kin gs o f W essex from E d g ar back to A dam , entitled "H aec sunt genealogiae regum O ccidentalium Saxonum .”20 9) 23v. In the top left portion o f the page, alm ost m arginal, is a list o f nine­ teen abbots o f G lastonbury from H em gils to Æ lfw eard .21 17 E dited by Page, “A nglo-Saxon Episcopal L ists, Part III," 13-17. 18 Edited by D um ville, “T he W est Saxon G enealogical Regnal L ists,” 30-31. 19 Edited, with adm irable attention to replicating the m anuscript layout, by D um ­ ville, “T he A nglian C ollection,” 35-37. T h is collection is the sam e as that Sisam had named the “Vespasian Group.” 20 E dited by Thom as W right and Jam es O rchard H alliw ell, R eliquiae A ntiquar. Scrapsfrom Ancient M anuscripts, Illustratin g Chiefly E arly English Literature and the Eng­ lish Language (London, 1843; repr. New York, 1966), 2 :1 7 2 -7 3 . 21 Edited by J. A . Robinson, “T he Saxon A bbots o f Glastonbury,” in idem, Somerset H istorical Essays (London, 1921), 26-53, here 41-42.

*Old Names o f Kings or Shadows’: Reading Documentary Lists


10) 23v. W ritten in long lines across the rem ainder o f the page is a continua­ tion, after a thirty-year break, o f the list o f popes given on fol. 19v. E ntries here run from Joh n X (914-928) to Joh n X V (9 85-996). 11) 23v-24r, 5. A rchbishop Sigeric’s R om an itinerary o f A .D . 990, consist­ in g o f a list o f churches visited over tw o days in Rom e follow ed by, a f ­ ter a blank lin e, a list o f seventy-nine stations on the journey back to the C hannel coast.22 W hile the precise contours o f th is collection are unique to T iberiu s B.v, in­ dividual item s w ithin it have com plex textu al histories th at can be only partially reconstructed from the surviving m anuscript evidence. W h at becom es d e a r from th is evidence is th at, although several o f these texts are already em bedded w ithin collections in their earliest surviving versions, lin ks w ith related m aterial in other m anuscripts (such as the Historia Brittonum, the M oore M em oranda, and parts o f the Historia Ecclesiastica) indicate th at these item s had an existence as sepa­ rate texts before their incorporation w ithin list collections. Several scholars have dem onstrated th is fact m ore concretely. For instance, in a detailed study o f the textual history o f the episcopal m aterial (item 5 ), R . I. Page argues that, rather than draw ing solely on the Historia Ecclesiastica, the list com piler and Bede him ­ se lf were using earlier lists circulating individually or in collections that have not been preserved. A s Sim on Keynes notes, the core m aterial in the list o f popes could have been transm itted to E n glan d from Rom e in the eighth or ninth cen­ tury also in the form o f a separate list text, w hich then received additions in the later ninth century.23 T h e list o f the seventy-tw o disciples o f C h rist w as sim ilarly

22T he text has been m ost recently edited by Veronica Ortenberg, "Archbishop Siger­ ic’s Journey to Rome in 990,” A S E 19 (1990): 197-246, here 199-200. For identification o f the place-nam es see Francis P. M agoun Jr., “T he Rome o f Two Northern Pilgrim s: Archbishop Sigeric o f Canterbury and A bbot N ik olis o f M unkathvera,” H arvard Theo­ logicalReview 33 (1940): 267-89, and idem, “An English Pilgrim -D iary o f the Year 990,” M ediaeval Studies 2 (1940): 231-52. T he itinerary has been compared to a twelfth-cen­ tury O ld Icelandic pilgrim itinerary (preserved in a late fourteenth-century manuscript) by Joyce H ill in “Pilgrim Routes in Northern Italy,” Bollettino del Centro Interuniversitario Richerche su l *Viaggio in Ita lia ’ 5 (1984): 3 -2 2 . H ill notes here the brevity o f the English itinerary in com parison to the fuller and more personal O ld Icelandic pilgrim diary. 23 Professor Keynes makes this observation in an im portant study, exam ining the textual history and historiographical im port o f the list collection in London, B L , C ot­ ton Vespasian (“Between Bede and the Chronicle: B L C otton Vespasian, fols. 104-9,” in L atin Learning an d English Lore: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Literature fo r M ichael Lapidge, ed. Katherine O ’Brien O ’Keeffe and Andy O rchard, 2 vols. [Toronto, 2005], 1 :4 7 -6 7 ). I am m ost grateful to Professor Keynes for m aking this piece available to me before its publication.




introduced into E n glan d as a freestanding text, probably by A rchbishop T h e o ­ dore in the seventh century.34 It su ffices to note, therefore, th at the existence o f a w ide range o f sim ilar list m aterial, both in single instantiations and in collec­ tion s, indicates th at it w as com m on practice in the period to gather lists together into larger textual units even when, as in the com bination o f papal lists and gene­ alogies, the m aterial brought together w as conceptually quite different. W hat begins to becom e evident, and is particularly interesting, then, in trac­ in g the history o f these individual list texts, is this sw ift incorporation into col­ lections o f other list m aterial. T h e m anuscript evidence thus dem onstrates the antiquity not only o f the individual texts, but also o f the ongoing practice o f col­ lecting and m odifying them to which T iberius B.v contributes. H ow far back can we trace th is process? T h e age o f the item s at the core o f the list — the so-called "A nglian collection” (item 7), consisting o f genealogies for D eira, B em icia, M er­ cia, Lindsey, K ent, E ast A n glia, and W essex, and regnal lists for N orthum bria and M ercia, in addition to the lists o f popes, disciples, and E n glish bishops — has been established by D um ville. Preserved in three pre-C onquest m anuscripts, it represents “ [t]he earliest extant set o f E n glish royal genealogies,” d atin g in the oldest m anuscript to 805-814.2425 T h e fact that th is earliest version o f the A n glian collection, that in London, B L , C otton Vespasian, does not include the gene­ alogy for W essex nor the regnal lists for N orthum bria and M ercia present in later m anuscripts (such as T iberius B.v), encourages D um ville to posit that an origi­ nal version o f the collection including these item s w as com piled between 787 and 796.26 Vespasian either lost these regnal lists for N orthum bria and M ercia at som e point in its history, or it never included them and surviving later m anuscripts m ust have descended from the putative 787-796 origin al by a different route. S i­ mon Keynes, in an im portant analysis o f the V espasian collection, argues in contrast th at these N orthum brian and M ercian regnal lists could have been added to later versions o f the collection at a ninth- or tenth-century stage (at the sam e tim e that the additional W essex m aterial w as added and, possibly, the lists o f em ­ perors and patriarchs present in T iberius B.v), and provide insufficient evidence for the existence o f an eighth-century A nglian collection.27 W hether or not we posit a version o f the A nglian collection predating that preserved in V espasian

24 Keynes, “Between Bede and the Chronicle.” 25 D um ville, “T he A nglian Collection,” 24, 49-50. T he m anuscripts that contain the A nglian collection are London, B L , C otton Vespasian, fols. 104-109; Cam ­ bridge, C orpus C hristi C ollege 183; and Tiberius B.v itself. For a description o f the m anuscripts see D um ville, “T he A nglian C ollection,” 24-2 8 . For the list collection in B L Vespasian, Keynes, “Between Bede and the Chronicle” is indispensable. 26 D um ville, “T he A nglian C ollection,” 39-41. 27 Keynes, “Between Bede and the Chronicle”

‘ OldNames o f Kings or Shadows’: Reading Documentary Lists


B .vi, however, the surviving m anuscript w itnesses com pellingly dem onstrate that the practice o f collecting list m aterial together, and the existence o f th is collection in particular, were established at least by the early ninth century when V espasian B .vi w as copied. T h e netw ork o f relationships am ong surviving m anuscripts containing th is m aterial su ggests, in fact, th at the collection should be approached by scholars as analogous to the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle — th at is, as consisting o f differin g m anuscript versions (spanning a lengthy tim e period) that participate in and con­ tribute to a v irtu al and sin gular “text” understood to have coherence and identity (while not bein g identical w ith any o f its actualized constructs).28 R eadin g these list collections w ill thus, as T h om as B redehoft has recently articulated o f the endeavor o f interpreting the C hronicle, alw ays be a procedure im bricated w ith the determ ination o f their textual history.29 A n d , again like the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle, w hat becom es interesting are o f course the changes and idiosyncrasies o f the individual version in relation to all the others, changes which are inter­ preted by scholars as the inscription o f a particular historical configuration upon a pre-existing text; th at is, as revelatory o f a certain vision or aim prevalent at the m om ent o f com pilation or copying. T h e precise ways in w hich scholars have interpreted the relationship betw een changes in list collections and contem porary political concerns are instructive. For m any years, o f course, these kinds o f docum entary lists were seen to provide unm ediated inform ation about dynastic relationships and ecclesiastical succes­ sion, a tradition al view th at w as corrected in the late 1970s by D um ville’s exten­ sive studies o f such lists as propagandistic. For D um ville, changes in the form o f the lists are sign s either o f scribal m istakes or o f deliberate m anipulation in favor o f the ru lin g dynasty under the purview o f w hich the collection w as com posed. For exam ple, the fact that the pedigrees given in the A n glian collection for each o f the heptarchic kingdom s — B ernicia, D eira, Lindsey, M ercia, E ast A n glia, K ent, and W essex — all go back to W oden and are a ll o f equal length (regard­ less o f chronology) is, for D um ville, politically sign ifican t.30 W hatever the date

28 Thom as Bredehoft comments in his book-length study o f the A nglo-Saxon Chronicle that “the Chronicle was recognized to be som ething more than a single, co­ herent com position reflected (perhaps im perfectly) in various physical books. In short, the Chronicle was clearly understood to be a cultural document quite literally larger than any one o f its m anuscripts” (T extual H istories: Readings in the A nglo-Saxon Chronicle [Toronto, 2001], 7). 29 “T he Chronicle has always encouraged its readers to become readers o f textual history” (Bredehoft, Textual H istories, 147). 30 A s D um ville notes, he is here building on an observation originally made by Sisam (“A nglo-Saxon Royal G enealogies,” 327).




at which a particular line ends (and bearin g in m ind th at they proceed backw ards through tim e, th is is actually where the lists begin), their m ain lines all contain about fourteen entries back to W oden. D um ville argues th at, as the Saxon king­ dom s (W essex, E ssex , Sussex) had their own eponym ous god Seaxnet, the fact th at their genealogies g o back to W oden indicates th at, when the collection w as com piled in the eighth century, descent from W oden expresses an A nglian origin, or perhaps — more cau­ tiously — belief in an A nglian origin. W hen extended to non-Anglian peo­ ples, it reflects a political link: in this case, subjection to A nglian (N or­ thumbrian or M ercian) overlordship.31 For D um ville, such tactics o f regularizin g genealogies are part o f “the m anipu­ lative and system atic techniques” th at m ake them a form o f propaganda for the rulin g classes “to present the p ast (and, by im plication, the future) in term s o f their own history.”32 O ther idiosyncrasies o f the T iberius collection are interpreted, however, as the result o f scribal m isunderstanding. D um ville notes th at “ [ajlthough T is a beautifully produced m anuscript, our texts and the related docum ents give the im pression o f being very carelessly w ritten.”33 For exam ple, the fact th at fol. 22v m ust be read in tw o halves has resulted in a displacem ent o f colum ns w hich m akes eight early N orthum brian kings follow on from the M ercian kin g O ffa (item 7 ).34 In other lists, like th at o f the seventy-tw o disciples o f C h rist (which actu­ ally num bers seventy-seven), extra entries have appeared at som e stage through scribal m isreading (item 2 ).3S R eturnin g to the suspiciously uniform royal pedi­ grees, he observes that the Lin dsey line is only the sam e length as the others be­ cause it goes back beyond W oden, including another five ancestors who “property belong w ith the whole collection” since W oden is a shared ancestor o f all the dy­ n asties.36 D um ville explains th is situation as resulting from the fact th at, in the exem plar, all the pedigrees were probably set out in colum ns across a double page w ith the extra genealogy for W oden at the foot in such a position th at it applied

31 D um ville, “K ingship," 79. 32 D um ville, “Kingship,” 82, 83. O f course, by the ninth century W essex was the dom inant kingdom and yet it m aintained its genealogy back to W oden. D um ville ex­ plains this phenomenon as resulting either from the fact that the W est Saxons were now so powerful that they had no need to rewrite the genealogies or that they lacked the knowledge to do so. 33 D um ville, “T he A nglian C ollection,” 28. 34 D um ville, “T he A nglian Collection,” 28. 35 D um ville, “T he C atalogue Texts,” 55. 36 D um ville, “T he C atalogue Texts,” 90.

"Old Names o f Kings or Shadows'": Reading Documentary Lists


to a ll o f them . How ever, when the exem plar w as copied, the extra nam es were likely “in co rporated . . . into the shortest line for the sake o f sym m etry or into the line beneath w hich th is extension sat on the page.”37 For D um ville, th is phe­ nom enon is one o f the “contradictions or inconsistencies w h i c h . . . give us the opportunity to prise open the holes in the schem e”; it is the im perfection w hich reveals the deliberate m anipulation o f the rest.38 T h u s, in D um ville’s view point, all changes to the content o f the lists are read w ithin the context o f a deliberate m anipulative schem e — that is, either changes occur as p art o f a deliberate plan or they occur as a result o f m istakes th at ultim ately serve to identify the deliber­ ate m anipulations. Sim on K eynes, in his recent w ork on the list collection in V espasian B .vi, nuances the notion o f propagandistic change proposed by D avid D um ville. In a com pelling and careful reading, Keynes su ggests th at the particular form o f the A n glo-Saxon episcopal and regnal lists in V espasian B .vi represents an orthodox ninth-century view o f the E n glish church and o f kingship. In particular, Keynes notes that the inclusive and orderly nature o f the episcopal lists, along w ith the association o f the A n glian dynasties w ith W oden, both seem to be moves delib­ erately m ade by the com piler to exploit B edan notions o f the E n glish church and o f E n glish kingship. Preferring the view o f these lists as a “historical construct” d igestin g the m aterial o f the Historia Ecclesiastica rather than as a form o f royal propaganda, Keynes sensitively argues th at the V espasian B .vi collection as a whole (which includes along w ith the episcopal and regnal m aterial a m etrical calendar, the list o f popes, and the list o f disciples, am ong other texts) represents a careful attem pt to im pose order on the w orld and to provide a distin guished context for the A n glo-Saxon m aterial.39 W hile recent scholarship thus advances a m ore com plicated understanding o f the relation o f docum entary lists to their political m om ent, it seem s profitable to return to the particular collection in T iberius B .v (a later instantiation o f the m aterial in V espasian B .vi), in order to determ ine exactly how it m odifies th is ex­ istin g h istoriograph ical tradition and practice. By takin g a m ore reader-oriented approach to these list texts, moreover, it becom es possible more subtly to outline the boundary betw een accident and intention in the com pilation o f these lists, and to show how their historical m eaning is not only a result o f artfuln ess but is also, to a certain extent, fortuitous. T o clarify, although scholarship on the lists

37 D um ville, “T he C atalogue Texts,” 90. 38 D um ville, “T he C atalogue Texts,” 94. H e also observes that “It is knowledge o f the possible conventions, and exploitation o f the discrepancies in any such scheme, which allows us to make some headway against what may otherwise seem impenetrable lists o f names” (82). 39 Keynes, “Between Bede and the Chronicler



has moved away from a propaganda m odel heavily dependent on the notion o f m anipulation, there is nevertheless still an underlying tendency to stress com pilatory intent as sole arbiter o f m eaning and to discount the form o f the text itse lf as shaping its interpretation. A nd th is is not a sm all distin ction : focusing on the prim acy o f intent allow s docum entary lists only to reflect a pre-existing political or cultural conception, rather than to generate it. If, to re-orient the question, w e strategically read re-production o f list-texts as reception, w hat expectations were apparently set up and w hat pressures exerted by these texts upon their readers, causing them to read and change the texts in the way that they did?

IL L ist as Genre U nderstanding more about how lists w ork as texts, and the expectations th at they generate in their readers, involves bringing together the w ork o f a diverse group o f scholars who have addressed the topic.40 W hile these scholars w ould not

40 There is no self-identifying “school* o f scholarship on lists. I have therefore brought together in this essay the insights o f different scholars whose work addresses the list, or related form s, in various fields and tim e periods. These scholars would not, I think, recognize themselves as a group; their approaches and m ethodologies are, in many cases, very different. However, my synthesis o f their ideas about lists has been o f great assistance in defining and understanding the function o f the form in A nglo-Saxon England. T h is body o f scholarship includes M ichel Foucault, The Order o f Things: An Archaeology o f the Human Sciences (New York, 1970), esp. xv-xxiv; M artin Irvine, “M e­ dieval Textuality and the Archaeology o f Textual C ulture,* in Speaking Two Languages: Traditional D isciplines and Contemporary Theory in M edieval Studies, ed. A llen J. Frantzen (Albany, 1991), 181-210, and idem, The M aking o f Textual Culture: 'Gram m atical and L it­ erary Theory,, 350-1100 (Cam bridge, 1994); Stephen A . Barney, “Chaucer’s L ists,* in The Wisdom o f Poetry: Essays in E arly English Literature in Honor o f M orton W. Bloom field, ed. Larry D . Benson and Siegfried W enzel (K alam azoo, 1982), 189-223; Robert Belknap, “T he Literary L ist: A Survey o f its U ses and Deploym ents,* Literary Im agination: The Review o f the Association o f Literary Scholars and C ritics 2 (2000): 35-54; W illiam G ass, “A nd,* in Voicelust: Eight Contemporary Fiction Writers on Style, ed. A llen W ier and Don H endrie Jr. (Lincoln, N E , 1985), 101-25; Jack Goody, The Interface between the Written and the O ral (Cam bridge, 1987), and idem, The Domestication o f the Savage M ind (C am ­ bridge, 1977); N icholas Howe, The Old English Catalogue Poems (Copenhagen, 1985); W alter O ng, O rality and Literacy: The Technologizing o f the Word (London, 1982). D espite the prevalence o f lists in the A nglo-Saxon period itself, little scholarship has been directed towards the form in general. W ith the exception o f Howe’s The Old English Catalogue Poems, which investigates the origin o f the catalogue mode and exam­ ines its appearance in a number o f different texts, such work as has been completed on lists tends to be genre-specific, lim ited to passing comments in larger studies devoted to riddle or proverb collections. See, for example, Thom as A . Shippey, Poems o f Wisdom and

“Old Names o f Kings or Shadows*: Reading Documentary Lists


necessarily recognize them selves as a group, their com bined insights about the form su ggest th at list-texts are both accretive and regularizing: th at they serve to unify and thus su ggest, indeed produce, categories o f know ledge, and th at they do th is specifically by offering an interpretative challenge to the reader that pro­ vokes, in turn, a recognition and acknow ledgem ent o f the "m eaning” o f the list. T h e m ost elem entary form o f the list is o f course a sim ple series o f w ords linked together by one o f the follow ing: m inim al connectives ("and,” "or,” "either”); m arks o f punctuation such as, in the m odern graphic system , the com m a, colon, or sem icolon or, in m edieval tacts, the m edial point or punctus elevatus; or verti­ cal arrangem ent on the page in a colum n (which w as by no m eans as standard a form for the presentation o f lists in early m edieval culture as it is today). A s R obert Belknap defines it, the list is "a fram ew ork that holds separate and disparate item s together. M ore specifically, it is a form ally organized block o f inform ation that is com posed o f a set o f m em bers.”41 N icholas How e w rites o f the catalogue form that it is both "accretive” and "discontinuous” at the sam e tim e, qualities which are, however, equally evident in the sim ple list.42 In other w ords, each elem ent w ithin a list both stands alone and is also part o f a whole. M oreover, the presence o f item s w ithin th is whole produces a system o f conceptual relationships am ong them , since the form o f the list suggests that item s "belong” together in particular w ays: in th is respect, the list is a form "in w hich an array o f constituent units co­ heres w ith specific relations generated by specific forces o f attraction.”43T h e con­ stitution o f th is whole is characteristically flu id since item s can easily be added or rem oved: the list is "a plastic, flexible structure” w ith a potentially endless form .44 T h u s the structure o f the list offers possibilities for and even encourages expan­ sion and accretion o f additional elem ents. Conversely, item s can also easily be lost, dropped, or replaced. T h is flexible character o f lists is especially prevalent in listtexts like the collection in T iberius B .v which consists of, in Jack G oody's w ords, decontextualized lists — that is, lists consisting o f item s o f inform ation arranged serially and rem oved from a situation o f action.45 Learning in O ld English (Cam bridge, 1976); Elaine Tuttle H ansen, The Solomon Complex: Reading Wisdom in O ld English Poetry (Toronto, 1988); Carolyne Larrington, A Store o f Common Sense: Gnomic Theme and Style in O ld Icelandic an d O ld English Wisdom Poetry (O xford, 1993); and Paul C avill, M axim s in O ld English Poetry (Cam bridge, 1999). 41 Belknap, “T he Literary L ist,” 35. 42 Howe, O ld English Catalogue Poems, 27. 43 Belknap, “T he Literary L ist,” 35. 44 Belknap, “T he Literary L ist,” 35. Howe, O ld English Catalogue Poems, 28, notes the endless form o f catalogues but, again, this observation is equally applicable to lists. 45 For exam ple, while giving directions to a place you have visited involves recalling and oiganizing inform ation in a context o f experience, rearranging the names o f these places according to alphabetical order in a list removes them from this context (Goody, The Interface, 175-90).



O ng, G oody, and other orality-literacy theorists have investigated how d if ­ ferent "ways o f m anaging knowledge ," such as lists, are not obvious and inevitable but are central to any understanding o f hum an identity.46 G oody asserts that "th e sh ift from utterance to text led to sign ifican t developm ents o f a sort that m igh t be loosely referred to as a change in consciousness," profoundly altering social life and ways o f view ing the w orld.47 T h e relevance o f much o f this w ork, therefore, expands greatly beyond its initial concentration on a diachronic sh ift from orality to literacy (which often in practice necessitated gathering synchronic evidence from contem porary oral cultures); th is theoretical discipline in fact both provides a m ethodology for reading texts as socially transform ative and also dem onstrates exactly how certain w ritten form s engineer particular m odes o f thought.48 L ists

46 O ng, O rality, 1. Much scholarly work loosely grouped in the field o f museum stud­ ies comes to very sim ilar conclusions about the cultural functions o f collecting as those drawn by orality-literacy theorists about list-com piling, even though the two fields arrive at these conclusions via different approaches. The great majority o f what can be labeled “museum theory” concentrates, for obvious reasons, on post-eighteenth-century Europe and develops a Foucauldian methodology to explain the ways that the emergent modem museum participates within and with other contemporary technologies (see, for example, Tony Bennett, The Birth ofthe Museum: History, Theory, Politics [New York, 1995]). W hile museum and collection theory often moves to historicize modem developments through an examination o f medieval relic collections or other “talism anic” objects (see, for example, Susan Pearce, Museums, Objects and Collections:A C ultural Study [W ashington, D C , 1992], 4 3 -4 6 ; Werner Muensterberger, Collecting: An Unruly Passion [Princeton, 1994], 29-31), its focus is the function o f objects for the alienated subject under capitalism and its con­ clusions must therefore be applied only with care to early medieval culture. However, the attention given within museum studies to the cultural function o f display, the role o f look­ ing, the relationship between object and text, between past and present, to name but a few significant themes o f the discipline, have fascinating relevance to Anglo-Saxon textual cul­ ture. Although I w ill be exploring this topic more extensively elsewhere, I should note the great relevance to my argument here o f Susan Stewart’s work on collections in On Longing: N arratives o f the M iniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection (Baltim ore, 1984), esp. 150-69. Stewart’s M arxist and psychoanalytical approach subtly engages with and explains the individual and social roles o f collecting objects. M any o f the conclusions she draws here echo my own in this piece, especially her attention to the ways that the “collection replaces origin with classification, thereby m aking temporality a spatial and material phenomenon” (153) and her observation, following Baudrillard, that “because o f the collection’s seriality, a ‘form al’ interest always replaces a ‘real’ interest in collected objects” (154). 47 Goody, The Dom estication, 75. 48 W ithin A nglo-Saxon studies, o f course, scholarly works concentrating on what are labeled “orality-literacy” phenomena have revealed the extreme complexity o f relationships between oral and literate culture, especially as these m anifest themselves in manuscript texts. In fact, a perception o f the orality/literacy shift as diachronic and decisive has been

'O ld Names o f Kings or Shadows'VReading Documentary Lists


are an im portant com ponent o f th is scholarly field, where they are treated as for­ m ative o f social and econom ic structures rather than as products o f these struc­ tures: G oody w rites o f lists that these w ritten form s were not simply by-products o f the interaction between w riting and, say, the economy, fillin g some hitherto hidden 'need’, b u t . . . they represented a significant change not only in the nature o f transactions, but also in the 'modes o f thought’ that accompanied them, at least if we in­ terpret ‘modes o f thought’ in terms o f the form al, cognitive and linguistic operations which this new technology o f the intellect opened up.49 It is precisely through their conservatism th at lists "open up” new "cognitive and lin gu istic operations.” Because lists at the sam e tim e pare dow n inform ation to a bare m inim um , rem oving extraneous syntax and d etail, and also gather data together into a series, they enforce and strengthen relationships betw een item s. In other w ords, classification is a product o f the list rather than a pre-conceived system w hich the list m erely form alizes and represents: "T h e ordering involved in w ritten lists seem s to prom ote a feed-back effect th at reacts upon the d efin i­ tion o f categories, in som e contexts, by m aking them m ore visible.”50 T h e effect is one, as G oody describes it, o f concretization or reification: the list, by includ­ in g and excluding certain inform ation, brings a concept into being and solid ifies it, or m akes it "th in g-like.” It is evident here that th is procedure does not sim ply result from the way in which inform ation is "fed into” the list by its com piler or w riter; it is not, in other w ords, an author-controlled effect, w hich w ould neces­ sitate the pre-existence o f the categories to be exem plified in the list, but a prod­ uct o f the form itself.51 In stead, when they are put into w riting, lists "acquire a generalized, decontextualized authority” o f their own and begin to generate their own system s o f categorization.52 For th is reason, even w hile a list m ay not appear to have an order, to have been com piled alm ost by accident and w ithout thought, it cannot help but system atize: "L ists have subjects. T h ey are possessive. L ists are lists of.”53

effectively deconstructed by recent work on this topic. See, to name one prominent ex­ ample, Katherine O ’Brien O ’K eeffe, Visible Song: TransitionalLiteracy in O ld English Verse (Cam bridge, 1990). 49 Goody, The Dom estication, 81. 50 Goody, The Interface, 182. 51 A s G oody notes elsewhere, "T h e arrangem ent o f words (or 'things’) in a list is it­ se lf a mode o f classifying, o f defining a ‘sem antic field’, since it includes some item s and excludes others” (The Dom estication, 103). 52 Goody, The Interface, 116. 53 G ass, “A nd,” 118.



R esistan t as his w ork is to the progressivist m odel underlying m uch orality-literacy theory, M ichel Foucault’s w ork on system s o f know ledge su ggests sim ilar conclusions about the function o f lists. In fact, as he represents it, it w as a m om ent o f list-readin g th at provoked his m editation on the social nature o f know ledge in The Order of Things. H e describes how he w as reduced to laughter by reading one o f B orges’s lists, said to be given in a C h inese encyclopedia, in which it is written that ‘anim als are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumer­ able, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (1) et cetera, (m) having ju st broken the water pitcher, (n) that horn a long way o ff look like flies’.545 Foucault’s laughter, however, is uneasy since the catalogue brings him up short again st a way o f th in kin g so different from our own as to be incom prehensible: he w rites th at the passage, shattered. . . all the fam iliar landm arks o f my thought — our thought, the thought that bears the stam p o f our age and our geography — breaking up all the ordered surfaces and all the planes with which we are accustomed to tame the profusion o f existing T h e problem w ith B orges’s taxonom y is not th at it deals in strange and im ­ probable juxtaposition s, but that it rem oves any conceptual com m on ground on w hich these item s could m eet. T h e fact that one o f the categories, anim als “in­ cluded in the present classification ,” subsum es all the others destabilizes the “re­ lation o f container to contained” and m akes it im possible to conceive o f the space that could hold them all.56 It is th is that m akes Foucault’s laughter uneasy: the fear o f the “heterodite,” or the state in w hich “th ings are ‘laid ’, ‘placed’, ‘a r ­ ranged’ in sites so very different from one another that it is im possible to fin d a place o f residence for them , to define a com m on locus beneath them all.”57 Foucault’s discussion o f lists in The Order of Things encourages us to read all lists (and not ju st lists o f place-nam es) as bein g at one level about place. H is problem w ith B orges’s catalogue, as he explain s, is caused by its defiance o f the 54 Foucault, The Order o f Things, xv. Foucault does not provide a bibliographical ref­ erence for the passage, drawn from Borges’s essay, “T he A nalytical Language o f John W ilkins.” Robert Belknap also includes this passage in his personal “A -L ist o f L ists,” quoted in Peter M onaghan, “Literary L ists are (1) Interesting (2) Im portant (3) Every­ where,” Chronicle o f H igher Education, 28 Septem ber 20 0 1 ,2 8 -2 9 , here 29. 55 Foucault, The Order o f Things, xv. 56 Foucault, The Order o f Things, xvii. 57 Foucault, The Order o f Things, xvii-xviii.

“Old Names o f Kings or Shadows“: Reading Documentary Lists


com m on faculty o f lists to produce an im agined place in w hich their item s co­ exist. H e describes how lists achieve th is by brin gin g together th eir different elem ents: the mere act o f enumeration that heaps them all together has a power o f enchantment all its o w n . . . startling though their propinquity may be, it is nevertheless warranted by that and, by that in, by that on whose solidity provides proof o f the possibility o f juxtaposition.58 A s Foucault show s, lists m ake places by collecting together diverse item s into a whole: the form o f the list generates a conceptual site in w hich the individual item s belong together. A n d th is site is provided w ith a certain kind o f solidity through the syntax, "th at and . . . th at in . . . th at on? o f the list itself. Foucault alerts us to the w ays in w hich com piling and reading lists is a cul­ tu ral practice serving to define "a ll the fam iliar landm arks o f . . . oar thought, the thought that bears the stam p o f our age and our geography.”59 In other w ords, Foucault's confusion in reading B orges’s list m akes visible the organizing concep­ tu al param eters and structures o f his own w orld: the fact th at he cannot "th in k ” the list forces him to confront and question the underlying system aticity o f his own perceptions. T h e m om ent o f reading the list is thus one o f recognition that cultures are constituted through conventional structures th at organize and au­ thorize know ledge in certain w ays, and condition the thinkability o f concepts. T h ese structures, w hich produce them selves as "n atural” and "self-evident,” d if­ fer from place to place and betw een tim es; they are “our thought, the thought that bears the stam p o f our age and our geography.”60 T h e practice o f com piling and reading lists exercises and replicates these structures, and therefore functions both to create and to define the group (social, ethnic, religious) usin g the lists.

III. D efining Subjects K now ing a little m ore about the effect o f decontextualized lists allow s us to explain certain aspects o f the T iberius B .v collection and how it m ight have been read during the A n glo-Saxon period. T h e first, som ew hat obvious, point to be m ade is that exam ples o f m iscopying (such as the m isplaced N orthum brian kings or the "extra” disciples), even i f they were inherited from the exemplar, illus­ trate that the A nglo-Saxons experienced the sam e kinds o f "problem s” in reading

58 Foucault, The Order o f Things, xvi. 59 Foucault, The Order o f Things, xv. 60 Foucault, The Order o f Things, xv.



decontextualized lists as do m odem com m entators. In other w ords, the fact th at the inform ation has no broader context or explanation m ade, and m akes, for in ­ terpretative d ifficu lties, and thus “m istakes.” B u t because these lists were copied, regardless o f obvious m isunderstanding, suggests th at they had assum ed w hat Jack G oody nam es a “decontextualized authority” o f their own, which w as op­ erating as the source o f their value and, to a certain extent, determ ining changes m ade by scribes. U nsurprisingly, when we consider the nature o f lists as a form , these changes tend to take the form o f addition or deletion o f elem ents (or in­ deed extra texts). A lso bearin g in m ind the nature o f list-texts, we w ould expect these changes to w ork in the service o f focusing and concretizing a category o f understanding or a concept: an im agined locus or site o f connection betw een the individual texts in the collection. D eterm inin g the subject o f the T iberiu s col­ lection (since it is not explicitly stated) is a w riterly act for the reader, an act th at effectively erases the difference betw een “intentional” and “accidental” changes th at have been m ade to the collection being read. In order to begin to dem onstrate som e o f these points m ore concretely, I w ant to return to the oft-noted regular length o f the genealogies in the T ib eriu s collection. W hether or not th is phenom enon is the residue o f a p ro p ag an d ists or an accidental change, it su ggests a propensity in A n glo-Saxon scribal practice, not only to bring list-texts together, but also to regularize the shape o f lists w ith­ in collections. Sisam noticed th is factor in his 1953 study, where he explained the regular length o f the heptarchic genealogies in the collection as the result o f a procedure o f standardization that had occurred when the lists, in an earlier m anifestation, were set out in table form at: T he chance agreement in length o f two or three im portant lines, such as the Kentish and the M ercian, would establish a normal length for the col­ umns. Because any irregularity is unpleasingly conspicuous where the col­ umns stand side by side, and perhaps because there seemed to be a certain fitness in having the sam e number o f generations in each trunk line, others o f the original collection were made to conform . . . Trunk pedigrees incor­ porated later, or recorded elsewhere in im itation o f the standard collection, would be made to match them. T hus a rigid form was im posed on m aterials still comparatively fluid .61 T h u s the regular length o f the genealogies is as much a condition o f the list-form itself, w hich encourages the arrangem ent o f text in sym m etrical relationships, as it is, in D um ville’s term s, a p ro p agan d iste alteration. It w as the w ritten form itself, rather than overtly partisan or national feelin gs, that suggested the appro­ priateness o f bringing individual lists together; o f adding or deletin g item s; and 61 Sisam , “A nglo-Saxon Royal G enealogies,” 328.

'O ld Names o f Kings or Shadows': Reading Documentary Lists


o f regularizin g the lists’ overall shape.62 T h e effect o f th is regularization, how­ ever, can ultim ately be ideological, since it serves to enhance the im pression o f un ified m eaning w ithin the lists. T h e fact that the genealogies, for instance, are all o f a sim ilar length reinforces a sense o f their fundam ental hom ogeneity: th at they participate in an underlying m eaning th at the reader m ust discover. A nd w hat the hom ogeneity in the form o f the texts strongly su ggests is a correspond­ in g hom ogeneity in the regnal trajectories that they represent; or, in other w ords, a fundam ental sam eness in the historical background o f E n glan d ’s once-separate kingdom s. A s m ight now be becom ing obvious, the T iberius collection essentially w orks to cem ent the sense o f both national inclusiveness and d ign ification th at Sim on Keynes has iden tified as characteristic o f the earlier version o f the collection in V espasian B .vi.63 T o m ake th is point, though, it is necessary first to review how the lists in T iberius B .v d iffer from other related collections. Even though T ib eri­ us is an eleventh-century m anuscript, its list collection m anifests a set o f changes m ade probably in the m id- and then the late tenth century. T o begin w ith, w hile it is custom ary for the A n glian collection (item 7 in my list above) to be accom ­ panied by episcopal and papal lists, in T iberius B .v the genealogical core o f the A n glian m aterial has been sandw iched betw een addition al W est Saxon records. T h e first p art o f these consists o f a regnal list (item 6) providing reign length s for the W est Saxon kin gs from C erdic to Æ thelred. A s D um ville notes, th is list is an abstract o f the so-called “W est Saxon G en ealogical R egn al L ist,” w hich pref­ aces the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle.64 T h e A n glian collection is then follow ed by a lengthier genealogy from E d g ar back to A dam “prim us hom o” (item 8). B oth

62 T he “m istakes” in the A nglian collection illustrate perfectly that the lists have as­ sumed their own decontextualized authority. Sisam finds that “transm ission was careless throughout A nglo-Saxon tim es” across both the W est-Saxon and A nglian genealogies, which were not “preserved with ritual precision” (“A nglo-Saxon Royal G enealogies,” 325). T hus the authority and value o f the list are not felt to be contained in its content. Even if the m istakes were present in the exemplar, they are repeated unrecognized or un­ questioned by the Tiberius scribe; if this scribe inserted the m istakes, it is only because he was copying a text valued for the authority o f its form and not because it was a historical source for the individual nam es. T he authority o f the list as a written form also produces the regularization o f content in the list: it is more im portant that the lists assum e a regu­ lar shape than that their content remain “true” to an original. T he preservation o f the W essex genealogy from W oden, even after W essex had assum ed power and could have “updated” the list by inserting their own eponymous god Seaxnet in place o f W oden, also shows that the list has assum ed an authorizing value. 63 Keynes, “Between Bede and the Chronicler 64 D um ville, “T he C atalogue Texts,” 56. See also idem, “T he W est Saxon G enea­ logical Regnal L ist.”



o f these lists were likely com piled during the reign o f E d g ar (9 59-975); D u m ville dates the latter m ore specifically to 969.6S T h at the only non-genealogical inform ation included in th is list is a reference to In geld ’s founding o f G lasto n ­ bury abbey, along w ith the fact that it is follow ed by a unique list o f the abbots o f that house (item 9 ), encourages D um ville to assign a G lastonbury origin to th is portion. A fter the abbot list appear another tw o item s unique to T iberius B .v (item s 10 and 11), nam ely a continuation o f the earlier list o f popes and A rch ­ bishop Sigeric’s Rom an itinerary o f A .D . 990. T h ese tw o texts seem to indicate another stage o f com pilation: D um ville su ggests that both were added in 990, at w hich tim e the episcopal lists (item 5) were also updated and the nam e o f the current archbishop, Sigeric, singled out w ith the epithet “D ei am icus,” unique to th is version o f the list.66 T h e itinerary, prized as the only com plete record o f an A n glo-Saxon pilgrim ’s journey to R om e, consists o f a catalogue o f tw enty-three churches visited by the archbishop over tw o days in Rom e and a list o f seventynine stopping places on the journey back to the C hannel coast. T h e particular augm entation o f the collection which is represented by T ib eri­ us B .v can be seen to crystallize the concept already suggested by the A n glian collection, nam ely an idea o f “E n glan d ” as a u n ified political, historical, and ecclesiastical entity, by m eans o f additions particularly resonant to a tenth-cen­ tury context (when the substantial revisions to the collection were perform ed). T o begin w ith the dynastic m aterial, the core o f the earlier collection had con­ sisted o f genealogical m aterial for all the heptarchic kingdom s (item 7) and thus had enforced a notion o f shared history. In T iberiu s B.v, however, th is sugges­ tion is cem ented by the inclusion o f extra W est Saxon lists (item s 6 and 8). T h is new m aterial encircles the older A n glian collection (item 7 ), incorporating these northern-oriented lists w ithin W est Saxon history ju st as these territories had been subsum ed under the control o f W essex. A t the sam e tim e, the com bination o f dynastic m aterial (regnal lists and genealogies) w ith the list o f R om an em per­ ors in T iberius B .v is redolent o f other tenth-century im perializing rhetoric, such as the use o f expansive L atin ate titles for the m onarch in certain charters.67 In the case o f the bishop lists, the provision in the A nglian collection o f bish­ op lists for every E nglish see already suggested ecclesiastical comprehensiveness 65 D um ville, “T he A nglian Collection,” 43 and n. 1. 66 D um ville, “T he A nglian C ollection," 44. 67 See H . R . Loyn’s analysis o f the im perial titles used by the tenth-century A ngloSaxon kings, in which he aim s to discover if they are “ fact” or “rhetoric” (“T he Im perial Style o f the Tenth Century A nglo-Saxon K ings,” H istory 40 [1955]: 111-15). Particularly useful is Eric John, “ ‘O rbis Britanniae’ and the A nglo-Saxon K ings,” in idem , O rbis B ritanniae (Leicester, 1966), 1-63. Sim ilar im perializing rhetoric is suggested by the state­ ment that “all the kings in this island” subm itted to Æ pelstan made in annal 926 o f the D -text o f the A nglo-Saxon Chronicle.

‘ Old Names o f Kings or Shadows’: Reading Documentary Lists


(item 5) w hile, through the association o f th is insular m aterial w ith the list o f the disciples o f C h rist and the papal list (item s 1 and 2 ), also contextualizing E nglish ecclesiastical identity in relation to salvation history and Rom an C hristianity. T h is earlier collection, then, already evoked a spatio-tem poral network in which E n g­ land w as defined as a part o f Rom an Christendom and the A nglo-Saxons were connected linearly in tim e to C h rist. T h ese links w ith scriptural history are rein­ forced in T iberius B .v by the genealogical tract connecting the kings o f W essex back to C h rist and A dam (item 8). A t the sam e tim e the vision o f E ngland as a part o f Rom an Christendom , suggested by the juxtaposition o f E nglish episcopal lists w ith the papal list (item s 1 and 5), is forcefully accentuated in T iberius B .v by the addition o f the list o f G lastonbury abbots im m ediate^ before a continuation o f the list o f popes (item s 9 and 10). T h e fin al item o f the collection in T iberius B.v, the itinerary o f Archbishop Sigeric’s journey to R om e, literalizes this juxtaposition o f Rom an and E nglish ecclesiastical authority by bringing an E nglish archbishop into Rom e itself: in other w ords, where the positioning o f the episcopal and papal lists m etaphorically produces E ngland as a part o f the Rom an church, both historically and adm inistratively Sigeric’s itinerary links Rom e to England geographically.68 T h e unique property o f the list form at allow s the E nglish m aterial (item s 5 and 7) to be both a part o f and apart from the papal and disciple lists at the sam e tim e, producing E ngland both from w ithout as a com ponent o f w ider C h ristian geogra­ phy and history, and from w ithin as a consistent entity w ith its own unique tradi­ tions and regions. A nd not the least significant effect o f this juxtaposition o f lists is, as Keynes notes, to aggrandize the particularly A nglo-Saxon m aterial; an effect th at is created through the form al equivalence o f the texts them selves.69 M eaning in the list collection as a whole is produced through the organiza­ tion o f the item s, the juxtaposition o f which is suggestive o f interpretive affin i­ ties and relationships. W hile th is effect is achieved m ost obviously through the juxtaposition o f lists, the m ost im portant structural principle o f the collection in T iberius B .v is the envelope pattem .70 A t the center o f th is pattern is the A nglian

681 am grateful for the observation made by N icholas Howe, during the discussion o f this paper at the 2003 ISA S conference, that Sigeric’s itinerary begins in Rome and ends at the Channel coast, thus bringing the archbishop home to England. W hile this does not make a substantial difference to my argum ent, it does reinforce the notion that England is the center and subject o f this list collection. 69 Keynes, “Between Bede and the Chronicle.” 70 For description o f envelope patterns in O ld English poetry, see Adeline Courtney Bartlett, The Larger RhetoricalPatterns in Old English Poetry (New York, 1935), 9-29; John D. Niles, “Ring Composition and the Structure o f Beowulf? Publications o fthe Modem Language Association 94 (1979): 924-35; and Constance B . H ieatt, “O n Envelope Patterns (Ancient and — Relatively— M odem) and Nonce Formulas,” in Comparative Research on O ral Tradi­ tions:A M em orialfor M ilman Parry, ed. John M iles Foley (Columbus, O H , 1985), 245-58.



collection o f royal genealogies, surrounded on both sides by them atically-associ­ ated m aterial radiatin g outw ards, as it w ere, in concentric circles: directly preced­ in g and follow ing the northern genealogies are lists relating to W essex; o f these tw o lists, the genealogical tract m atches the earlier list o f the disciples o f C h rist in linkin g the A nglo-Saxons to biblical history; and the bishop lists for all the E n glish sees are reflected in the list o f the abbots o f G lastonbury. T h is principle o f envelopm ent is literalized by the papal list, which breaks o ff in the first h a lf o f the collection on 19v and is then continued on the other side o f the genealogies on 23v. Finally, the collection begins and ends in Rom e, startin g w ith the papal list and ending w ith Sigeric’s itinerary. R eading the collection in th is way as an extended envelope pattern places E ngland at its center in the core o f regnal m ate­ rial from the E nglish kingdom s. A gain , E ngland is produced here internally, by m eans o f the insular lists at the center o f the pattern, w hile it is also contextual­ ized externally through the surrounding lists relating it to biblical history and R o­ m an C hristianity.71 T h e decontextualized m ode o f presentation o f the lists in T iberius B .v is w hat m akes them at the sam e tim e sim ple to read but d ifficu lt to understand, since the reader receives no interpretive instruction. T h is lack o f context is, o f course, part o f the way in w hich lists involve and engage the reader by inviting them to reconstruct a context; to becom e, as Sisam put it, entangled in the pos­ sibilities o f m eaning.72 T h e arrangem ent o f the lists in T iberius B .v su ggests such a context, as I dem onstrated above, through the associative lin ks that are pro­ duced betw een item s. T h is m ethod o f understanding the functioning o f the lists fits com fortably w ithin A n glo-Saxon reading practices in general. A s K atherine O ’Brien O ’K eeffe has dem onstrated, vernacular m anuscripts in the period lacked many o f the visu al cues o f distinctive layout and punctuation w hich assist us as

71 Reading the list collection in this way shows how it fits in conceptually with other item s in Tiberius B.v that serve to define Englishness, as these have recently been inter­ preted by N icholas Howe and M artin Foys in particular, but also more generally with A nglo-Saxon textual practices, which often work to incorporate the A nglo-Saxons with­ in world or C hristian history— for exam ple, the Ohthere and W ulfstan interpolations in the O ld English Orosius, or the representation o f the A nglo-Saxons as the new Israelites in Bede’s Ecclesiastical H istory. 72 For an interesting analysis o f this principle as it works in G erald o f W ales’s Itin erarium Kam briae see M onika O tter, Inventiones: Fiction and R eferentiality in TwelfthCentury English H istorical W riting (Chapel H ill, N C , 1996), 129-55. O tter argues here that the paratactic structure o f this itinerary text opens up horizontal levels o f them atic affiliation between episodes, through which G erald is able to make im plicit political comments. T he juxtaposed nature o f the narrative, however, requires the reader to par­ ticipate in the text by engaging in a “process o f association, cross-reference, and ‘sortingout”’ (140).

■Old Names o f Kings or Shadowsm : Reading Documentary Lists

*3 *

m odern readers in recognizing and processing text.73 T h e fact th at O ld E n glish texts often lack titles and it is som etim es unclear where they begin and end m eant that readers had to participate extensively in the text in order to read it: O ’Brien O ’K eeffe show s how texts w ith few graphic sign als gu id in g interpretation caused scribes to m ake “form ulaic” guesses as part o f the reading process. A t the sam e tim e, the prevalence o f essentially spatial structures like the envelope pattern and interlace in both poetry and prose indicates th at readers were attuned to the w ays in which contiguity and juxtaposition could be m eaningful. R eadin g the T iberius list collection in th is way allow s us to see it as brings in g to fruition m eanings suggested by earlier versions o f the collection, such as that in V espasian B .vi, and th at m ust therefore have exerted a pow erful historio­ graphical im perative on contem porary readers — at the very least those who felt com pelled to preserve and to augm ent the collection. U nderstanding the decontextualized authority o f lists can also perhaps shed ligh t on the relation o f th is collection to the rest o f the m anuscript th at contains it. Since the “m istaken” changes m ade to the T iberius lists su ggest th at the scribe understood little more than the casual m odern reader about the particularities o f w hat he w as copying, it seem s th at (at least by the eleventh century) the significance o f the m aterial w as m ore iconic than it w as specific. In other w ords, the list collection in T iberius B .v seem s to be m ore im portant for w hat it displays than for the d etails it gives. A n d, as I have argued above, w hat it displays is an im agined locus — th at is, the concept o f “E n glan d ” as a m ultilayered territorial, historical, and ecclesiastical category. G iven the apparent practical uselessness o f som e o f the other m aterials in the m anuscript, such as the com putus texts, we have to w onder i f other por­ tions m ight share th is largely iconic function. R ather than being preserved as a container for inform ation, the m anuscript (and the lists it contains) seem s pri­ m arily to have been valued by its A n glo-Saxon users for its transform ation o f text into d isp lay — and the representation it is thus able to perform o f know ledge, o f history, and o f place.

73 O ’Brien O ’Keeffe, Visible Song, 4-5.

C olonization and C onversion in C ynewulf’s E l e n e H eide E stes

C y n ew u lfs Elene, a poem about H elen’s discovery in Jerusalem o f the T rue C ro ss, is uniquely preserved in the Vercelli book, a m anuscript o f the late tenth century, along w ith another o f C y n ew u lfs poem s, The Fates o f the Apostles. C y n ew u lfs other tw o poem s, Christ I and Juliana, are preserved in the E xeter B ook. B oth m anuscripts are dated on paleographical and codicological grounds to the sec­ ond h a lf o f the tenth century; the E xeter B ook w as probably w ritten quite near 1000, Vercelli perhaps som ew hat earlier.1 H istory records several m en nam ed C yn ew ulf during the A n glo-Saxon period, but the author o f the poem s has not been convincingly associated w ith any o f them ,2 and the dates assigned to the w orks bearin g C y n ew u lfs signature have ranged from 750 to 1000. Scholarly consensus has generally settled on a ninth-century date.3 H owever, it h as recently been argued th at textual d etails concerning the poem s and their sources indicate that C yn ew ulf com posed them in the tenth century. In addition, historical par­ ticulars suggested by the language o f Elene and the changes m ade to the L atin source o f th at poem evoke events specifically o f the early part o f the century.

1 The Vercelli Book, ed. G eorge Philip K rapp, A SP R 2 (N ew York, 1932), xvi; The Exeter Book, ed. G eorge Philip Krapp and E lliott van K irk D obbie, A SP R 3 (N ew York, 1936), x. N . R . Ker, Catalogue c f M anuscripts Containing A nglo-Saxon (O xford, 1957; repr. 1990), 15 3 ,4 6 0 ; and H elm ut G neuss, H andlist o f A nglo-Saxon M anuscripts:A L ist o f M anuscripts and M anuscript Fragm ents W ritten or Owned in England up to 1100 (Tem pe, A Z , 2001), 5 4 ,1 4 , concur with K rapp and Dobbie’s dates for the m anuscripts. 2 E arl R . Anderson, Cynewulf: Style, Structure and Theme in H is Poetry (Rutherford, N J, 1983), 17; A lexandra H ennessey O lsen, Speech, Song, and Poetic C raft: The A rtistry o f the Cynew ulfCanon (N ew York, 1984), 24; and R. D . Fulk, “Cynew ulf: Canon, D ialect, and D ate,” in Cynewulf: Basic Readings, ed. Robert E . Bjork (N ew York, 1996), 16. 3 P. O . E . G radon argues for an early ninth-century date in Cynew ulfs 'Elene' (E x­ eter, 1958; repr. 1996), 22-2 3 ; this view is accepted by Stanley B . G reenfield and D aniel G . Calder, A New C ritical H istory o f O ld English Literature (New York, 1986), 164.



Patrick Conner has recently argued th at C y n ew u lfs poem The Fates o f the Apostles depends upon a version o f Bede's Martyrology w ritten by the Benedic­ tine m onk U suardus o f P aris, or upon a som ewhat later recension o f U suardus's text containing additional details. U suardus died around 8754 and dedicated h is m anuscript to C h arles the B ald , who reigned from 875 to 877; h is recension can, therefore, be dated quite precisely.5 T h e Venerable Bede had com posed a version o f the Martyrology that w as for many years taken as C y n ew u lfs source; B ede’s tact survives only in later m anuscripts w ith substantial additions. A s Conner re­ counts, textual scholars o f the early tw entieth century were able to separate B ede’s text from the later accretions, and it w as observed th at the details included in C y n ew u lfs Fates overlapped considerably w ith those in U suardus’s version o f the Martyrology. However, since scholars were convinced that C yn ew ulf had w ritten earlier than the late ninth century, the correspondences were largely ignored.6 C onner has exam ined several recensions o f the Martyrology and points out that U suardus’s version o f the Martyrology has the greatest num ber o f parallels to C y n ew u lfs Fates of the Apostles. For exam ple, the nam e “E g ias” appears only in Fates and in U suardus’s Martyrology. U suardus's recension is also the earliest L atin text to locate the narrative o f E g ias in the province o f A chaiae, a d etail also appearing in the Vercelli poem Andreas. M oreover, the disciples Sim on and T h addeus are described in both Fates and U suardus’s Martyrology as w orking to ­ gether in Persia and dying on the sam e date, details not found elsew here. C on ­ ner has iden tified several passages in Fates as close paraphrases o f the U suardian

Martyrology. A few details in the Fates of the Apostles are not found in U suardus’s "pure” Martyrology, but are found in later recensions based on his version. For exam ple, U suardus’s text reports that M atthew preached am ong the E thiopians, a detail shared w ith Fates, but C ynew ulf also includes the detail that M atthew w as killed by the kin g Irtacus, who appears not in the “pure” U suardus but in the augm ented U suardian tradition. T hree m anuscripts o f U suardus’s Martyrology have survived from A nglo-Saxon E ngland, though no “augm ented’’ text survives.78N evertheless, Conner’s surm ise that a text o f an extended version w as available to Cynew ulf, even though a m anuscript o f it does not survive, is plausible given the sheer volum e 4 Patrick W . Conner, “On D ating Cynew ulf,” in Cynewulf: Basic R ead in g, 23-56. For biographical detail on Usuardus, see The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. (N ew York, 1967), 14:498. 5Conner, “O n D ating Cynew ulf,” 56 n. 83. 6 Conner, “O n D ating Cynew ulf,” 37. Conner’s discussion, o f which the follow ing is a summary, appears on 36-47. 7 Conner, “O n D ating Cynew ulf,” 43. 8 “M artyrologies would have been am ong those texts with which the Benedictine Revolution flooded England in the second h alf o f the tenth century”: Conner, “O n D at­ ing Cynewulf,” 47.

Colonization and Conversion in Cynewulf's Elcne


o f records lost from the period .' Conner points out that som e years would have to pass while U suardus’s Martyrology w as first dissem inated, and then augm ented and further transm itted. Therefore, in order to be able to use such an extended text, C ynew ulf m ust have w ritten "som ew hat later than the last quarter o f the ninth century.”9 C ynew ulf m ight also have used the "pure” U suardian Martyrology in com bination w ith another source for the added details, in which case th is would still place his com position som e years after 875. C onner’s argum ent, it m ust be acknow ledged, has occasioned debate. Joh n M cC ulloh has w ritten the m ost substan tial rebuttal o f C onner’s proposal for an earlier date for C ynew ulf.10A ccording to M cC ulloh , C yn ew ulf cannot have used the U suardian Martyrology because several d etails in Fates are absent from U su­ ardus’s text, and the inform ation appears in different sequence. M cC ulloh pro­ poses, instead, a lo st Martyrology or Breviarium as C y n ew u lf s source. M cC ulloh , however, does not address C onner’s suggestion th at C yn ew ulf could have used a text from the augm ented U suardian tradition , nor does he accept the possibility that C yn ew ulf could have used (as he form ulaically claim s to do in the opening to h is poem ) a variety o f sources. M cC ulloh review s several points o f sim ilarity am ong Fates oftheApostles, U suardus’s Martyrology, and tw o earlier, m ore extend­ ed versions o f the Martyrology by F lo ras o f Lyon and A do o f Vienne, and con­ cludes th at the U suardian text "h as few er parallels w ith the Fates than does either F lo ras’ or A do’s.”11 M cC ulloh argues based on the absence o f certain details from all three o f these versions o f the Martyrology th at "none o f them seem s especially appropriate as a source for C y n ew u lf s poem .”12 How ever, as C onner notes, w hile these d etails do not appear in the "pure” text o f U suardus’s Martyrology, they are present in later texts based on the version produced by U suardus. C onner’s argum ent is controversial;1314however, he m akes a credible case for a tenth-century date for the C ynew ulfian canon w hich is also supported by other d etails in the poem . Stacy S . K lein has argued th at the language o f queenship used for H elen in the poem reflects cultural practices current in E n glan d in the

9 Conner, “On D ating Cynewulf,” 47. 10 See John M cCulloh, “D id C ynew ulf U se a M artyrology? Reconsidering the Sources o f the Fates ofthe A postles? A SE 29 (2000): 67-83. 11 M cCulloh, “D id C ynew ulf U se a M artyrology?”, 73. 12 M cC ulloh, “D id C ynew ulf U se a M artyrology?”, 80. 13Though Fulk agreed with Conner's dating in his 1996 article, “Cynew ulf: Canon, D ialect, and D ate” (see esp. 1-18), he accepts M cC ulloh’s objections and a U suardian M artyrology as Cynew ulf’s source. M ost recently, he has suggested that C ynew ulf m ust have used “an as yet unidentified passionary,” exam ples o f which were available in E ng­ land as early as the eighth century. See R . D . Fulk and Christopher M . C ain, A H istory o f O ld English Literature (M alden, M A , 2003), 1 3 4 ,2 5 4 n. 33. 14 Stacy S. Klein, “ Reading Queenship in C ynew ulfs E len e? Jou rn al o f M edieval and E arly M odem Studies 33 (2003): 47-89.



tenth century, but not in the ninth.14 K lein notes th at the L atin source for Elene seldom refers to H elen as “regina,” instead using her proper nam e in m ost cases. Cynew ulf, however, frequently replaces these m entions o f her nam e w ith refer­ ences to “cwen” or com pounds including the w ord “cwen.”1516K lein points out th at “it w as in the m id-tenth century that the first E n glish queen w as form ally gran t­ ed the title regina.”™T h at Elene is referred to repeatedly as “cwen,” then, w ould resonate especially w ith readers fam iliar w ith the increased prestige and pow er attained by queens later in the A n glo-Saxon period. A s I argue in the pages th at follow , Elene also contains other them atic lin ks to the historical events o f the late ninth and early tenth centuries th at could su ggest a date o f com position later than those events. D u rin g m uch o f the ninth century and the first h a lf o f the tenth, the A n gloSaxons were preoccupied w ith an extended series o f battles w ith the Scandi­ navians in w hich northern attackers harried, plundered, and eventually settled areas o f B ritain . In the 8 80s, K in g A lfred codified the existence o f the D an ish colony in E n glan d through a treaty o f peace w ith the D an ish leader G uthrum , establishin g the boundaries betw een the D an ish and E n glish kingdom s, but th is w as by no m eans the end o f the hostility.17 In subsequent decades the A n gloSaxons sought to recover the land settled by the D an es. T h is re-conquest w as begun after A lfred ’s death in 899 by his son Edw ard and daughter Æ th elflæ d , and w as continued in turn by E dw ard’s son s, Æ th elstan, E dm und, and E ad red , who reigned in sequence after E dw ard’s death. D u rin g the long period o f bat­ tles betw een the E n glish and the D an es, the C hurch suffered sign ifican t losses. Several bishoprics were interrupted, forced to m ove, or com pletely destroyed; churches were plundered and abandoned; and religious com m unities were forced to move or disbanded altogether. M onastic life w as severely disrupted, alm ost to the point o f com plete destruction, and the libraries o f the clerical com m unities were dem olished.18 Joan n a Story d iscusses the paucity o f books surviving from ninth-century E n glan d in com parison to other places or tim es, as w ell as the sorry state o f L at­ in learnin g in E n glan d in the ninth century.19 T h is decline, and the tenth-cen­

15 Klein, “Reading Queenship,” 56. 16 Klein, “Reading Queenship,” 58. See also Pauline Stafford, Queen Emma and Queen Edith: Queenship and Women’s Power in Eleventh-Century England (O xford, 1997), whom Klein cites here and elsewhere in her discussion o f the construction o f queenship in Elene. 17 Frank Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, 3"* ed. (London, 1971), 260 n. 18 K ingA lfred’s West-Saxon Version o f Gregory’s Pastoral Care, ed. H enry Sweet, E E T S o.s. 45 (London, 1871; repr. 2001), 2 -3 . 19Joanna Story, Carolingtan Connections:Anglo-Saxon England an d C aro lin ian Fran ­ cia, c. 750-870 (Aldershot, 2003), 13-14.

Colonization and Conversion in Cynewulf’s Elene


tu ry renew al o f learning, provides another argum ent for a tenth-century datin g for C ynew ulf. For a m onk to be able to acquire sufficien t learnin g to read L atin texts, translate them , and adapt them into several substan tial O ld E n glish poem s during a period o f such severe m onastic disruption w ould be quite strikin g. For som eone to com m and the resources for the m anuscript preservation o f those po­ em s into the next generation in a period o f such m onastic disruption w ould also be rem arkable. T h e political recovery o f D an ish territory w as accom panied by religious re­ new al, and the tw o m ovem ents were view ed by participants and contem porary com m entators as tightly intertw ined, i f not identical. In characterizing the at­ tackers repeatedly as "heathens,” the A n glo-Saxon C hronicle m akes clear that the im perative for the E n glish to figh t back w as not m erely to contain the invad­ in g forces and, later, to recover lo st territory, but also to re-establish a C h ristian hierarchy o f both secular rulers and religious leadership. A condition o f A lfred ’s negotiations for peace w ith the D an es w as that G uthrum be baptized, a move ju stifie d by the b e lie f th at C h ristian ity w as the only true faith and enacted in the m ultiple narratives o f colonization and conversion in C ynew ulf’s Elene. A s lands once held by the E n glish were reconquered, churches could be recovered and bishoprics re-established. In 954, w ith the defeat o f the last Scandinavian ruler o f York, E ric B loodaxe, the W orcester m anuscript o f the C hronicle reports that W ulfstan w as able to resum e his position as archbishop o f York.20 T h e clear m essage in Elene th at C h ristian faith itse lf is sole ju stificatio n for m artial conquest and cultural im perialism ju stifie s the conquest o f D anish-held areas o f E n glan d in the tenth century under the children and grandsons o f A l­ fred. C onstantine’s victory as a C h ristian kin g several centuries earlier w ould give encouragem ent and legitim acy to the C h ristian kings in E n glan d ,21 first in figh tin g o ff pagan D an es, and later in b attlin g to conquer the lands th at the D an es had settled. M oreover, as the first C h ristian em peror, C onstantine w as o f critical im portance to the spread o f C h ristian ity through the Rom an E m pire.

20 A ccording to the entry for 954, “H er Nordhymbre fordrifon Yric, 7 Eadred feng to Nordhymbrc rice. H er W ulfstan arcebiscop onfeng eft biscoprices on D orceceastre” ["In this year the N orthum brians expelled Eric, and Eadred acceded to the Northum brian throne. In this year Archbishop W ulfstan received once again the bishopric in Dorches­ ter”]: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:A Collaborative E dition: M S D , ed. G . P. Cubbin (C am ­ bridge, 1996), 45. Swanton notes that this is a reference to W ulfstan’s re-installation as archbishop o f York in a ceremony at Dorchester: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. M ichael Swanton (N ew York, 1998), 113n. 21 See N icholas Howe, “Rome: C apital o f A nglo-Saxon England,” Jou rn al o f M edi­ eval and E arly M odem Studies 31 (2004): 147-72, here 163.



T h e b elief th at C onstantine had been born in B ritain w hile h is father, C o n stan tius, w as ru lin g the island in the third century may w ell have added to the legend’s appeal to the A n glo-Saxon s. T h is legend is apparently first m entioned by A ldhelm , who died in 709, in h is prose De Virginitate, in w hich he m entions in passin g th at C onstantine w as bom o f H elen in B ritain .22 T h e w idespread aw areness o f A ldhelm ’s w ork is attested by its survival in no few er than tw elve m anuscripts still extant from the period, including eight containing continuous or substantial glosses in O ld E n glish .23 A ccording to the O ld E n glish version o f B ede’s Ecclesiastical History ofthe English People, translated in the late ninth cen­ tury, “W rited Eutropius [>æt C onstantius se casere waere on Breotone acenned” [“E utropius w rites th at the em peror C onstantine w as bom in B ritain”: 1.8].24 T h e survival o f six m anuscripts o f the O ld E n glish EcclesiasticalHistory indicates th at it w as also w ell know n.25 T h e idea o f C onstantine’s B ritish birth rem ained current in E n glan d; it w as expressed again , w ith the addition al claim that H elen w as a daughter o f C o el, kin g o f the B ritons, rather than a continental visitor to E n glan d at the tim e o f C onstantine’s birth , in G eoffrey o f M onm outh’s History

o fthe Kings o fBritain.26 T h e late tenth-century Vercelli book context for Elene coincides chrono­ logically w ith Æ lfric’s com position o f a hom ily on the sam e subject, “Inventio Sanctae C rucis,” betw een 989 and 995.27 H owever, the tw o w orks d iffer sig n ifi­ cantly in focus, suggestin g lin ks w ith different historical events and thus d iffer*

22 “. . . Constantius C onstantii filius in Britannia, ex pellice H elena genitus”: D e Laudibus V irginitatis Sive de V irginitate Sanctorum, P L 89.148B. See also Aldhelm: The Prose Works, ed. and trans. M ichael Lapidge and M ichael Herren (Cam bridge, 1979), 115. Antonina H arbus reviews A nglo-Saxon references to H elen in Helena o f B ritain in M edieval Legend (W oodbridge, 2002), 2 8 -4 3 . 23 G neuss, H andlist, 11,151. 24The O ld English Version o f Bede’s Ecclesiastical H istory o f the English People, ed. Thom as M iller, E E T S o.s. 95 (O xford, 1890; repr.W oodbridge, 1997), 42. A ccording to the Latin text at this point, “Eutropius quod Constantinus in Britannia creatus im perator patri in regnum successerit” [“Eutropius writes that Constantine was created emperor in Britain and succeeded to his hither’s kingdom ”]: Bede’s Ecclesiastical H istory ofthe English People, ed. and trans. Bertram Colgrave and R . A . B . M ynors (O xford, 1969), 36-37. 25 G neuss, H andlist, 156. 26 G eoffrey o f M onmouth, The H istory o f the K ings o f B ritain , trans. Lew is Thorpe (N ew York, 1966), 132. 27Æ lfric, “Inventio Sanctae Crucis,” in Æ fric’s Catholic Homilies, The Second Series, ed. M alcolm Godden, E E T S s.s. 5 (London, 1979), 174-76. Æ lfric also makes reference to the legend in one o f his saints’ lives, “Exaltatio Sancte Crucis,” \n Æ lfric’s Lives a leoflic w if / weras Ebrea wordum negan” ["the lovely w om an then began to attack the H ebrew m en w ith w ords”: lines 2 8 6 -2 8 7 ].S8 In her succeeding addresses to the Jew s, she is unable to m ake progress: each is an­ other beginning, prefaced w ith a clause sim ilar to and echoing th is first one.59 U ltim ately, she is not able to persuade the Jew s to turn Ju d as over w ith w ords. O nly when H elen threatens them w ith annihilation by fire do the Jew s give Ju d as up to her. H elen is likew ise unable to use w ords to persuade Ju d as to reveal the inform ation he know s; he denies th at Jesu s is divine until she confines him for a w eek in a dry desert w ell. Bow ed by hunger and th irst, he prom ises to reveal w hat H elen w ants to know i f she w ill release him . Yet still he equivocates, askin g G o d in prayer to reveal the location o f the cross only “ [ g ]if [>in w ille sie, w ealdend engla / [>æt ricsie se de on rode w as” [ " if it be your w ill, ruler o f angels, that he should rule who w as on the cross”: lines 7 7 2-773]. Ju d as is fin ally con­

57 Scheil, Footsteps o f Israel, 226. 58 One wonders if the term s "w if,” "wer,” and "leoflic” should all be read as vested with irony in this passage. 59 "H io sio cwen ongan / wordum genegan” ["the queen began to attack them with words”: lines 384-385]; and “]>a sio cwen ongan / weras Ebresc wordum negan” ["then the queen began to attack the Hebrew men with words”: lines 558-559],

Colonization and Conversion in Cynew ulf’s Elenc


vinced o f Jesu s' divinity by the resulting sign indicating the location o f the cross. By the end o f the poem , the Jew s o f Jerusalem convert to C h ristianity, but not until they have w itnessed w ith their own eyes the m iraculous revelation o f the cross’s location; its use to raise a dead m an hack to life ; and a sign show ing the location o f the nails w ith w hich Jesu s w as nailed to the cross. In stark contrast to C onstantine’s w illin g belief, the conversion o f the Jew s is represented as a d iffi­ cult and protracted m atter com plicated by bad faith and m isplaced w ill. A fter her verbal battle w ith Ju d as, H elen is given only one addition al p as­ sage o f direct speech in the poem , when she requests th at Ju d as/C y riacu s seek the nails from the cross. H er deferential m anner o f addressing him , in direct con­ trast to her earlier com m anding lan guage, shows that Ju d as has taken his right­ fu l place in the gendered hierarchy o f C h ristianity, and now outranks H elen de­ spite her status as queen. T h is fact is underlined by Ju d as/C y riacu s’ elevation as bishop o f Jerusalem — a position perm anently unavailable to H elen because she is fem ale. H elen’s position has not sh ifted: she has rem ained static, still C h ris­ tian, still fem ale, w hile Ju d as has converted from Jew to C h ristian and has been elevated to the pow er o f the bishopric. M oreover, as soon as Ju d as accepts C h ris­ tianity, h is lin gu istic pow er becom es greater than H elen’s: he attain s the capacity to pray directly to G o d , w ith repeatedly favorable results. W hile the poem pres­ ents repeated exam ples o f the alteration o f religious affiliation , gender is fixed , as expressed by H elen’s stasis throughout the poem . H er status sh ifts w ith changes in Ju d as’s religious position , but only in response to his changin g position .60 T h e attention in Elene to its dual conversions sets up a com plicated dynam ­ ic in w hich various groups are contrasted, som etim es explicitly and som etim es im plicitly. T hrough these narratives o f conversion, the poem provides pow erful precedent for the E n glish insistence on the D anes’ conversion to C hristianity. C onstantine is a form er pagan who converts to C h ristian ity early in the narrative. T h e pagans he defeats in battle at the start o f the legend disappear, and C ynew ulf m akes no further reference to them in the poem . T h e reality in E ngland w as that paganism w as d ifficu lt to elim inate. G uthrum and the inhabitants o f the D anelaw had officially becom e C h ristian in 878, yet nearly three-quarters o f a century later, the bishopric at York w as still under the control o f pagans. M ore­ over, place nam es attest to the survival o f pagan tem ples and pagan burial prac­ tices, even in C h ristian areas and especially at the boundaries between political

60 Lionarons points out that gender is “neither a static nor an essentialized charac­ teristic” in Elene, but “a relationally constructed category based upon the cultural norms o f two divergent social and literary traditions”: “C ultural Syncretism ,” 68. Helen’s status appears to shift in the poem depending upon the status o f those she encounters; within a C hristian hierarchy, however, her position rem ains unchanged throughout, fixed by her status as a woman.



regions and on the m argins o f bishoprics.61 T h e narrative o f Elene suggests th at i f they w ill not convert, the pagans w ill disappear, w ritten out o f history and legend, as do C onstantine’s opponents after their defeat. Elene enacts the fantasy o f the conversion o f the entire Jew ish com m unity, and the conversion o f even the Jew s m ay parallel the desired conversion o f pa­ gan s in the D anelaw . Yet even as the narrative in sists upon Jew ish conversion, its references to Jew s register the existence o f the non-converted Jew ish com m u­ nity rem aining w ithin C h ristian E urope yet apart from C h ristianity, still d is­ agreeing w ith the C h ristian interpretation o f H ebrew scripture. I f the conver­ sion o f the D an es w as not very thorough, i f pagan practices rem ained, at least the D an es were not Jew s, obstinately opposed to C h ristian “truth.” L ik e the Jew s, the D an es were external to A n glo-Saxon society, but unlike the Jew s, who re­ m ained definitively outside the fabric o f C hristendom , they could becom e assim ­ ilated to A n glo-Saxon C h ristian ity through conversion. T h e figu res o f H elen and C onstantine are absorbed into the A n glo-Saxon cultural m atrix, w hile the people o f Jerusalem becom e the O ther, colonized and converted through force in the im agined universe o f the poem , but utterly excluded from the C h ristian so ­ cial order in the poem ’s actual historical context. In its intertw ined narratives o f conversion and battle, Elene su ggests that difference in religious affiliation legitim ates the attack o f a neighboring peo­ ple protected by treaty. In the in itial battle, Elene opposes R om ans and pagan s; the pagan arm y is defeated m ilitarily through the adoption o f a C h ristian bat­ tle-standard. T h e pagan H uns and H rethgoths attackin g Rom e are, although a large army, ultim ately an in sign ifican t force, vanquished easily by C onstantine once he sees a vision o f the cross and adopts it as h is standard even w ithout un­ derstanding its significance. T h e battle is fought on poetically fam iliar ground, w ith the sounds o f shields and hum ans m ingled in battle-son g w ith the cries o f w o lf and eagle. T h e physical conquest o f the pagans by the C h ristian ized C on ­ stantine is rendered a sim ple m atter enabled by faith rather than by ferocious figh ting. E n glish C h ristian s m ight be encouraged to go to battle again st the D an es by the poem ’s im plied prom ise that conquering pagan opponents is effort­ less. T h e people o f Jerusalem , on the other hand, are a bitter foe, again st whom H elen m ust w rangle w ords at length ; their com m unal theological capitulation is com pleted only by a series o f divine interventions. T h e story that C onstantine effected a sign ifican t victory im m ediately after his vision o f the cross and h is decision to devote h im self to whatever it m ight

61 M argaret G elling, “Further Thoughts on Pagan Place-Names,” in Otium et Nego­ tium : Studies in Onomatology and Library Science Presented to O lofvon Feilitzen , ed. Folke Sandgren (Stockholm, 1973), 109-28, and eadem, Signposts to the P ast: Place-Nam es and the H istory o f England (London, 1978), 154-61.

Colonization an d Conversion in Cynew ulf's Elenc


sym bolize is a potent enough narrative juxtaposition o f politics and religion, w ith its suggestion that the G o d o f C h ristian ity could give tem poral pow er to hum an rulers. In addition to ju stify in g force by C h ristian k in gs, however, Elene also subtly su ggests that their authority as C h ristian m onarchs also gives them the responsibility to support the Church. Y oking the narrative o f C onstantine’s vic­ tory and conversion to the legend o f H elen's successful search for the cross and subsequent founding o f a church in Jerusalem depicts C onstantine as not only personally com m itted to C h ristianity, but also com m itted to pu ttin g the resourc­ es o f the Rom an E m pire behind its dissem ination. B y prom oting the tw o ideals in conjunction, C yn ew ulf su ggests to E n glish kin gs th at i f faith should support them in battle again st D an ish w arriors, they should in turn give fin an cial and legal support to the Church in its appeal for the conversion o f D an ish pagans.

M aking W omen Visible : A n A daptation OF THE R e GULARIS CONCORDIA IN CAMBRIDGE, C orpus C hristi C ollege M S . 201 J oyce H ill

T h e Regularis Concordia, the defining, authoritative, central text o f the E nglish Benedictine R eform , confidently proclaim s itse lf to be a text o f national standing:

Regu/aris ConcordiaAnglicaeNationisMonachorum Sanctimonialiumque, TheMonas­ tic Agreement o f the Monks and Nuns o f the English Nation} It is probably not too for-fetched to im agine that the authors saw it, when it w as issued in the early 970s, as a text o f iconic significance, successfully em bodying the traditions o f the con­ tinental reform , declaring the unity o f church and king in furthering that reform , and — in som ething o f a trium ph o f hope over reality — signaling uniform ity o f practice w ithin the m onastic life throughout the entire E nglish nation. In fact, as the historical sources reveal, the im pact o f the Reform on m onastic life w as in prac­ tice som ewhat lim ited: it w as confined to the south; it w as more patchy than the Reform ’s prom otional texts w ould have us believe; and we know that, as evidenced by Æ lfric’s Letter to the Monks ofEynsham1*and the text under present discussion,3 1 Regu/aris Concordia AnglicaeNationisM onachorum Sanctimonialiumque: The M onastic Agreement o f the M onks and N uns o f the English N ation, ed. Thom as Symons (London, 1953). See also “R egularis Concordia A nglicae N ationis,” ed. Thom as Sym ons, Sigrid Spath, M aria W egener, and K assius H allinger, in Corpus Consuetudinum Saeculi X /X U X II, M onumenta N on-Cluniacensia, ed. K assius H allinger, Corpus Consuetudinum M onasticarum 7.3 (Siegburg, 1984), 61-147. T he L atin text referred to in this article is the 1953 edition because it is more widely available and is provided with a full introduction in English and a facing translation. 1Æ fric’s Letter to the Monks o f Eynsham, ed. Christopher A . Jones (Cam bridge, 1998). 3 The present text includes variations horn the Regu/aris Concordia other than those mak­ ing adaptations for female use. For discussion o f some o f these, see Joyce H ill, “Lexical Choices for Holy Week: Studies in Old English Ecclesiastical Vocabulary,” in Lexis and Texts in Early English: Studies PresentedtoJane Roberts, ed. Christian J. Kay and Louise M . Sylvester (Am ster­ dam, 2001), 117-27, and eadem, “Rending the Garment and Reading by the Rood: Regularis Concordia Rituals for M en and Women,” in The Liturgy o fthe Late Anglo-Saxon Church, ed. Helen G ittos and M . Bradford Bedingfield, H B S Subsidia 5 (W oodbridge, 2005), 53-64.



variations in practice quickly developed. B ut the universalist position w as adopted, and we can see it visualized in the m iniature which precedes the text in London, B L , C otton T iberius A .iii (see fig. 3.1, p. 178), where, in the upper register, there is the crowned figure o f the king flanked by D unstan andÆ thelw old and beneath them a m onk, all united by a long scroll representing the text which binds them in one agreem ent.45 T h e continental consuetudinaries, to w hich the Regularis Concordia is so closely relate d / d iffer from the A n glo-Saxon text in one im portant respect: they were w ritten for particular m onastic houses (Fleury, S t. Em m eram , Fuld a, Ver­ dun, and so on), having no pretensions to universal authority, and were w ritten in a ll cases, as far as I know, for houses o f m onks. B ut in E ngland the situation w as different — and novel. N ation al uniform ity is em phatically proclaim ed, in the title, in the C otton T iberius m iniature, and in com m ents in the contextualizing and explanatory proem and epilogue. Yet, in com m on w ith its continental sourc­ es, the consuetudinary proper is w ritten as i f for a m ale com m unity. Its lin gu istic exclusivity is obvious in its choice o f m ale nouns and pronouns; and its practical exclusivity is evident in its underlying assum ption th at the com m unity includes deacons and priests, w ith the result that it describes rituals which thus can read­ ily be perform ed in m ale houses but not fem ale ones, and gives directions w hich women could not necessarily execute. W om en are thus invisible w ithin the m ain body o f the text. Fem ale religious appear only in the proem and epilogue — th at is, the adjunct parts o f the text — and such references as there are in proem and epilogue do nothing to explain how wom en m ight occupy the space that the Reg­ ularis Concordia defines. In the proem ’s account o f how the R eform w as fostered and the Regularis Concordia produced, m ale and fem ale religious, abbots and ab­ besses, are referred to together, w ithout draw ing any distin ction s betw een them , except for the provision that m en are put under the protection o f the kin g, and wom en under the queen, and th at there is an absolute ban on any m onk or any m an o f whatever rank entering or frequenting the places set apart for nuns.6 T h e avoidance o f scandal and the preservation o f religious rectitude are im plicit issues 4 T he m iniature is exam ined by Benjam in W ithers, who also provides a bibliography o f previous discussions: “Interaction o f W ord and Im age in A nglo-Saxon A rt II: Scrolls and Codex in the Frontispiece to the R egularis Concordia,” O EN 21 (1997): 38-40. 5 On the sources, see Thom as Symons, “Sources o f the Regularis Concordia,” Down­ side Review 59 (1941): 14-36, 143-70, 264-89, and idem, “Regularis Concordia: H istory and Derivation,” in Tenth-Century Studies: Essays in Commemoration o f the M illennium c f the Council c f Winchester and R egularis Concordia, ed. D avid Parsons (London and Chich­ ester, 1975), 37-59. There is also information about sources in the two editions referred to in note 1 above. 6 R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 2 (protection o f the queen); 4 -5 (lim itations o f access).

M aking Women Visible: An Adaptation o f the Regularis Concordia


for wom en, but no reference is m ade to how the m onastic agreem ent itse lf— the ordering o f com m unity life and the reform ist elaborated ritu al o f litu rgical and para-liturgical observance set out in the text — m ight be im plem ented in fem ale houses. T h e epilogue is sim ilarly uninform ative. In d iscussin g the heriot and the m anagem ent o f w ealth, abbots and abbesses are referred to together, but then, in the concluding sentence settin g out w hat happens i f the superior dies w ith a superabundance o f good s, there is reference only to abbots and brethren.7 W e m ight conclude from th is th at wom en were less likely to be worldly, and less likely to be rich, but again there is no recognition o f the d ifficu lty wom en m ight have in relating to the Regularis Concordia proper. Yet it w as certainly the case that, given the universal statu s o f the Regularis Concordia and its function in establishin g uniform observance, the m ale orienta­ tion o f the text w ould inevitably have presented problem s, requiring the com m u­ nities o f wom en who follow ed its provisions to m ake their own adjustm ents here and there. For m ost o f the non-sacram ental liturgy, such as the daily hours, and for m ost o f the regulation o f com m unity life, th is adjustm ent w ould have been m inim al: the prescriptions o f the L atin text as w ritten w ould have served per­ fectly w ell, provided that the m ale-oriented language w as understood to subsum e the fem ale, since there w as nothing in these areas o f activity th at the church prevented women from doing. T h e prescriptions o f the sacram ental rites like­ w ise presented no particular d ifficulty, because although fem ale houses had to be served by m ale priests, the conduct o f the sacram ental liturgy w ould not have been affected: m ale language w as the correct language to use in describing the activities o f the priest, and the church adm itted no other option. B ut there were gray areas, m ost obviously in connection w ith special cerem onies for feast days, where com m unities o f nuns w ould have needed guidance, w hether in confirm ­ in g that they could carry out the cerem onies as described, or in establishin g w hat m odifications were necessary, especially i f there were aspects o f the cerem oni­ al where those perform ing particular functions were identified in the Regularis Concordia text in term s o f the orders o f the church (for exam ple, priest or deacon, for w hich there is no fem ale alternative), rather than the offices o f the com m u­ nity (such as abbot or prior, w hich have fem ale equivalents). T h e obvious way o f responding to th is problem w as to adapt the Regularis Concordia — as indeed the Benedictine R ule w as also adapted during the R e­ form period8 — and it m ay be that a num ber o f fem ale houses had copies o f the text, in L atin or O ld E nglish , separately adapted for their own use. B ut the only

7 R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 69. 8 M echthild G retsch, “Æ thelwold’s Translation o f the Regula Sancti Benedicts and its Latin Exem plar," A SE 3 (1974): 125-51; Rohini Jayatilaka, "T h e O ld English Benedic­ tine Rule: W riting for Women and M en ? A SE 32 (2003): 147-87.



surviving textu al evidence for such a response is the tan talizin g translation o f the Regularis Concordia into O ld E n glish , w hich survives on pages 1-7 o f P art A o f C am bridge, C orpus C h risti C o llege, 201, in a hand o f the early eleventh cen­ tury.9 W h at we have on these few pages is that p art o f the Regularis Concordia d ealin g w ith the period from P alm Sunday to p art way through G o o d Friday.10 T h e text stops abruptly in m id-sentence on line 19 o f a fully ruled-up page, w ith the rest o f the page rem aining blank, as i f aw aiting furth er w ork by the scribe. B u t it seem s clear th at w hat survives w as part o f a larger stin t o f copying, pre­ sum ably planned as a copy o f the w hole, since the "tidy” beginnin g w ith the start o f the Palm Sunday passage in the extant m anuscript, near the bottom o f page 1, w as a creation o f A rchbishop Parker, who erased the first th irty-eight lin es o f the page in order to m ake space for h is list o f w hat the m anuscript contained. Page 1 is the beginnin g o f a quire. W e can deduce th at w hat Parker erased w as “untidy” in his eyes because textually im perfect — a mere continuation, quite probably in m id-sentence, from the previous page (the last o f the previous quire), w hich no longer survived. It w ould be reasonable to suppose th at the whole text o f the O ld E n glish translation o f the Regularis Concordia up to the point where it now breaks o ff had once existed, but had been lo st by the sixteenth century, when Parker obtained the m anuscript from E dw ard C radock, L ad y M argaret Professor o f D ivin ity at O xford. W e know nothing o f the m anuscript’s origin s: on lin gu istic grounds it has been assign ed to the southeast, perhaps C anterbury; on the grounds o f content a case can be m ade for York or W orcester (although York w ould not have been the source o f the Regularis Concordia text, or a locale in which the C C C C 201 copy w ould have been needed); and there is palaeographical

9 1 am grateful to the M aster and Fellows o f C orpus C hristi C ollege, Cam bridge, for perm ission to consult this m anuscript. T he O ld English R egularis Concordia text on pp. 1-7 was published by Juliu s Zupitza, “E in weiteres Bruchstück der R egularis Concor­ dia in altenglischer Sprache,” Archivfü r das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 84 (1890): 1-24. Line references w ill be to Zupitza’s text. It should be noted, however, that Zupitza’s line numbers are problem atic: they are given in increments o f five, but are often incorrectly printed at four-line and occasionally six-line intervals. Since it would be too confusing to correct this, where it is necessary to give line references in this article, I have invariably counted from the preceding printed line-num ber (even if this is at odds with the next printed line-number). For the follow ing account o f the m anuscript’s origins and provenance, see N . R . Ker, Catalogue o f M anuscripts Containing A nglo-Saxon (O xford, 1957), 8 2 -8 3 ,9 0 , and the discussion in The O ld English Poem fudgem en tD aylL A C ritical Edition with Editions o f D e D ie iudicii an d the H atton 113 Homily Be domes cbege, ed. G ra­ ham D . C aie (Cam bridge, 2000), 1-5 (description o f the m anuscript), 7-9 (provenance), 9-10 (dating). 10 T he O ld English text corresponds to p. 34 “D om inica die Palm arum ” to p. 42 “et dicat prim am ” in Symons’s 1953 edition o f the R egtdaris Concordia.

M aking Women Visible: An Adaptation o f the R egularis Concordia


evidence to indicate th at it w as in W inchester by the m iddle o f the eleventh cen­ tury. A s Sarah Foot has recently rem inded us, it w as at b est only in a h andful o f W est-Saxon royal foundations for fem ale religious th at litu rgical and com m unity life organized alon g the elaborate lines set out in the Regularis Concordia could have been sustain ed,11 but beyond th at we cannot go in determ ining where or for whom the translation into O ld E n glish w as m ade, in w hich house the fem ale ad­ aptations origin ated, or w hich house w as intended to have the C C C C 201 copy. Sh ort as the surviving passage is, however, relative to the length o f the w hole, there is enough to learn som ething about the translator: he w as a good L atin ist, an accom plished, rather form al stylist in O ld E n glish , o f a scholarly fram e o f m ind, but yet sensitive to the audience’s needs and intent on m aking the O ld E n glish version helpfully accessible through occasional explanatory com ­ m ents, w hile still rem aining faith fu l to the authoritative o rigin al, w ith w hich he w as clearly very fam iliar, albeit in a form th at w as in som e d etails different from the L atin text known to us. T here is also enough here to let us see th at the lexical choices point to the W inchester school, and th at the vocabulary is m arkedly d if­ ferent from th at used in the corresponding interlinear gloss to the Regularis Con­ cordia in C otton T iberiu s A i i i .12 Yet the adaptations for fem ale religious, w hile fairly extensive, are not quite system atic, and m ost o f the adaptations, though fully incorporated into the text in scribal term s (so th at they are not visually evident as textu al disturbances in the surviving m anuscript), are incorporated aw kw ardly in term s o f gram m ar and syntax. It is obvious th at the adaptations for fem ale use were not integral to the origin al translation, and the gram m atical and syntactical aw kw ardnesses indicate th at they were not incorporated by the o rigi­ nal translator, who w as far too careful. M y supposition is that they began as m ar­ gin alia (or perhaps interlineations in the case o f the short ph rasal adjustm ents) and th at they were incorporated rather m echanically into the m ain text, possibly by the scribe o f C C C C 201, or in an im m ediate exem plar. T h ey are, then, strik­ in g exam ples o f how wom en were able, in practice, to colonize the essentially m ale space defined in the Regularis Concordia by converting the all-m ale text so that the fem ale presence and participation w as explicitly acknow ledged. In term s o f m anuscript history, th is w as done in itially by colonizing the interlinear spaces and m argins, and then by incorporating these additions into a m ore integrated

11 Sarah Foot, Veiled Women I : The D isappearance o f N unsfrom Anglo-Saxon England (Aldershot, 2000), particularly chap. 4 (85-110), chap. 6 (145-98), and chap. 7 (199-208). 12 For a sum m ary o f the evidence, see H ill, “Lexical Choices for H oly W eek," 11718, and in more detail W alter H ofstetter, “W inchester and the Standardization o f O ld English Vocabulary," A S E 17 (1988): 139-61, here 15 3 ,1 5 6 . For the interlineated C ot­ ton Tiberius text, see D ie 'R egularis Concordia' und ihre altenglische Interlinearversion, ed. Lucia Kornexl (M unich, 1993).



textu al conversion for wom en when a later copy w as m ade. T h e nature and exten t o f these acts o f textual colonization and conversion, reflectin g lived experience, deserve detailed exam ination, w hich they have not hitherto received.13 T h e first adaptation in the surviving text is for the m aundy o f the poor (lin es 122-131), where fem ale com m unities are catered for by the sim ple addition o f “oööe abodyssan” and “oööe f>ære abbodyssan” alongside the tw o references to the abbot, and “oööe ]>a gesw ysterna” alongside the one reference to brothers. T h e translation is otherw ise very close to the L atin . Shortly after, at lines 157-166, there is a sim ilar adaptation o f the sp ecial m aundy and the first part o f the general m aundy,14 although here there is gram ­ m atical evidence that the addition al phrases were not integral to the origin al text. A s w ith the m aundy o f the poor, the abbess and the sisters are specified as alter­ natives to abbot and brothers, but the attem pt to adjust the gram m ar produces an illogicality. In the L atin text the subject is singular, "abbas,” w ith the verbs “uoluerit” and “peragat” naturally being sin gular also. H owever, the inclusion o f the reference to the abbess as an alternative creates w hat m ight be taken at a glance to be a m ultiple subject, “se abbod oööe seo abbodisse,” and it is then treated col­ lectively as a plural subject, resulting in adjustm ents to the verbs "h i w yllen” (cf. "uoluerit”) and " g a n . . . to heora syndrian m andatum ” (cf. "peragat m andatum ”), a sh ift to the plural w hich is furth er reinforced by "h i to j>am gecorene habbaö,” an explanatory phrase th at has no equivalent in the L atin . T h e care taken here is m isplaced: the abbot and abbess w ould each be actin g separately, so th at there is no ju stificatio n for treating them together as a plural, and in any case O ld E n glish syntax norm ally uses a sin gu lar verb for tw o sin gular subjects linked by "odde.”15 T h e plural constructions probably reflect colloquial usage, w hich can

13 They are not discussed by Zupitza, "E in weiteres Bruchstück der R egularis Con­ cordia”; and M ary Bateson, "R ules for M onks and Secular Canons after the Revival under K ing E dgar,” English H istorical Review 9 (1894): 690-708, simply noted in passing that "It seems to have been intended for the use o f nuns, as ‘abbess’ is inserted as an alternative to ‘abbot’” (707), a comment which fills far short o f describing the nature and extent o f the textual adaptations. 14 For the corresponding L atin , see R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 40 (first part o f § 4 2 ). 15 Bruce M itchell, O ld English Syntax, 2 vols. (O xford, 1985), 1: 637-38, § 1525. However, in the phrases "g if hit munecas synd” and "g if hit )>onne munecas syn,” to which attention is drawn elsewhere in this article (pp. 163, 165), the change between singular subject "h it” and a plural verb and complement is an extension o f the standard practice whereby the number o f the verb is governed by the number o f the complement, and not by a form al neuter dem onstrative subject (varied here as pronoun, functioning sim ilarly, perhaps with some sense o f the unexpressed referent being “j> *t gefer” ["the community”]). O n this usage, see M itchell, O ld English Syntax, 1.131, §§ 325-326.

M aking Women Visible: An A daptation o f the R egularis Concordia


be paralleled in m odern E n glish in such circum stances. T h e sense is clear, but in m ixing sin gular and plural in th is colloquial fashion the adaptation is at odds w ith the d istin ctly form al style o f the translation as a w hole. T h e description o f the general m aundy continues at lin es 167-170 follow ­ in g the sam e pattern: abbess is given as an alternative to abbot and the follow ing clauses are then plural: “on heora setlum sitten” and “h i . . . aris en . . . a n d . . . gesellen” (cf. L atin “resideat abbas in sede sua,” “. . . surgens d e t . . .”).16 In th is context, “him ” (lines 168 and 170), w hich w ould have operated as m asculine da­ tive sin gular “him ” when only the abbot w as the subject, m ust now be interpreted as dative plural (all genders) “them ,” since the pronom inal reference is to abbot or abbess, w hose actions are given in plural verbs. A gain , the sense is clear, but the illo gicality o f the plural sequence is obvious: i f taken literally, it w ould sug­ gest th at the abbot and abbess are actin g together, rather than in parallel in their separate com m unities. “G ebrodrum ” (line 169) has no fem ale parallel. Z upitza em ended the text editorially by addin g “odde gesw ysternum ,” evidently m aking the reasonable assum ption th at the om ission w as a scribal error. T h is is indeed possible, but the om ission could be an instance o f im perfect adaptation, w hich characterizes even the sm all am ount o f surviving text. T h e description o f the special form o f the collatio com es next (lines 1 7 0 197), and it stan ds out in the extant portion o f the text as the m ost elaborate ad­ aptation for a fem ale house, even givin g us a rare description o f a w om an reading aloud in an ecclesiastical — i f not quite litu rgical — context. Yet, even here, the adaptation is not w ell controlled throughout: the practices in m ale and fem ale houses are at first clearly d istin guish ed, but are then progressively conflated in a way w hich gives a m isleading priority to the fem ale. W h at is bein g described is the special form o f the collatio as norm ally carried out in m ale houses on Sat­ urdays and w hich, in com m on w ith the general maundy, w as also carried out on M aundy T hursday. T h is form o f the collatio is thus described tw ice in the Regu­ laris Concordia, first in connection w ith the usual Saturday practices (not covered in the partially surviving O ld E n glish translation under discussion) and subse­ quently in connection w ith M aundy T hursday.1718A ccording to the L atin text o f the Regularis Concordia, there w as also a norm al w eekday collatio™ but th is took place in the refectory, w ith the length o f the reading being determ ined by the prior. N o inform ation is given about w hat the reading m ight be, w hich su ggests that it w as discretionary, and w ould not necessarily be biblical. O n Saturdays,

16 See R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 40. 17 For the Saturday collatio, see R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 22-23, §26. For the M aundy Thursday collatio, which is the source o f the O ld English passage under discus­ sion, see 40-41 (second h alf o f § 42). 18 See R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 23, § 27.

i6 o


however, there w as m ore form ality: the collatio or reading — again subject un­ specified — w as begun in the church and continued in the refectory, w ith the m om ent for the procession from church to refectory being signaled by the rin g­ in g o f a sm all bell. O nce in the refectory, the reading continued w hile the com ­ m unity carried out the caritas, a w eekly custom th at w as intended to strengthen the sense o f com m unity life. It required the abbot to k iss the hands o f each m em ­ ber o f the com m unity and to offer him a d rin k, w ith the abbot then being sim i­ larly treated by the senior m onk present, as a representative o f the com m unity as a w hole. It w as th is m ore elaborate Saturday cerem ony th at m s used on M aundy T h ursday as one o f the w ays o f m arking the special nature o f the day. H ow ever, on M aundy T h ursday there seem s to have been m ore form ality still. T h e deacon and other hebdom adary m inisters put on priestly vestm ents, the reading — be­ gun in the church as on Saturdays — is from S t. Joh n ’s G o sp el (John 13.1-15: C h rist w ashing the disciples’ feet), the reader is the deacon, and there is a form al procession from church to refectory, w ith acolytes and thurifer, where the read­ in g continues sim ultaneously w ith the caritas. T h is is a classic exam ple o f where fem ale religious w ould have needed ex­ plicit guidance. W h at is described is not a sacram ental act, so th at it is not neces­ sary to use a priest; it involves m ovem ent from the church (where fem ale activity is highly circum scribed) into the com m unity proper (in th is case the refectory) where, as we know from the proem o f the Regularis Concordia, even m onks were forbidden to go in fem ale houses; and yet it is described in the Regularis Concor­ dia as a cerem ony in w hich the leadin g figu re is iden tified not by h is com m unity role, but as a deacon, vested in a dalm atic and supported by other priestly m in­ isters in albs. Furtherm ore, w hat is to be read is a gospel text and, as Æ lfric ex­ plain s in h is P astoral L etter for W u lfsige, the lector o f the scriptures in church (which is where th is reading begins) m ust be in orders because he is in effect preaching G o d ’s w ord.19 W h at, then, were wom en supposed to do? For the first part o f the collatio, the adapted text in C C C C 201 m akes very clear distinctions. T h e O ld E nglish version has characteristic m inor variations from the L atin which tend to clarify particular d etails, but the only substantive deviation is the phrase “m id m unecum ” (lines 170-171), w hich carefully lim its the

19 D ie H irtenbriefeÆ lfiics in altengliscber und lateinischer Fassung, ed. Bernhard Fehr (H am burg, 1914), reissued with a supplem entary introduction by Peter Clem oes (D arm ­ stadt, 1966), 9-10. In com m enting on the seven orders o f the church, Æ lfric explains that the lector reads in church and is ordained for the purpose (i.e. in m inor orders) because he preaches G od’s word (§ 31), and that one o f the particular duties o f a deacon (ordained, o f course, although not specified here by Æ lfric) is to read the gospel in the divine ser­ vice (§ 36).

M aking Women Visible: An A daptation o f the Regularis Concordia


application o f w hat is to follow and distin guishes it from the im m ediately preced­ in g inclusive ceremony o f the general maundy, where execution w as identical in fem ale houses and could be affirm ed sim ply by adding “or” phrases to m ake ex­ plicit the applicability to wom en. H aving follow ed the L atin text, w ith the added restrictive caveat o f “m id m unecum ,” the O ld E n glish text then provides a sub­ stan tial fem ale alternative, beginning at lines 176-177 w ith a sim ilar distin guish­ in g phrase “mynecena J>onne,” follow ed by an im m ediate explanation th at fem ale com m unities cannot adopt the sam e practices as m ale com m unities because they cannot vest. In addition, they d iffer from m en in that they cannot read the gospel in church. T h is w ould not need to be spelled out, o f course, but as a way o f ad­ dressing the problem the O ld E n glish text takes care to specify th at one o f their num ber is to read “swylce him [>earflic sy to gehyrenne” (“such a th ing as m ay be profitable for them to hear” [lines 179-180]), i.e. som ething suitable for the occa­ sion, chosen presum ably at the discretion o f the abbess, but not a biblical lection. A t the sam e tim e, it is stated th at candles and incense are used “for arw yrdnesse Jmbs m æran dæ ges,” (“for the honor o f th is special day” [lines 177-178]). T h e im ­ plication is clear: reading in church, together w ith the use o f candles and incense, w as, in fem ale houses, a special M aundy T hursday event. In th is respect, it d if­ fered from w hat w as happening in m ale houses where, for M aundy Thursday, the collatio w as a particular version o f the collatio practiced each Saturday. T h is in turn im plies that, w ith the exception o f M aundy Thursday, the collatio in fem ale houses w as always in the refectory, as the R egu laris Concordia describes for days other than Saturdays. W e can thus see th at com m unities o f nuns did not enjoy the w eekly variation o f added solem nity experienced by the m en, when the col­ la tio w as begun in church and continued in the refectory after a form al procession. Yet, despite the differences on M aundy Thursday, which are explicit in the O ld E n glish text, and the differences o f w eekly com m unity practice in respect o f the Saturday collatio , which the O ld E n glish text allow s us to deduce, the L atin text o f the R egu laris Concordia allow s for neither variation. T h e description o f the M aundy T h ursday collatio continues w ith the tran s­ fer from the church to the refectory, where the cerem ony continues in a non-liturgical settin g, although in m ale com m unities the deacon and m inisters w ould still be vested. A t th is point the L atin text states th at the deacon continues w ith the reading o f the gospel. B u t the O ld E n glish translation m akes no reference to th is. In stead, attention is focused exclusively on the practices o f the fem ale house. W e are told that “seo rxd estre” (“the fem ale reader / lectrix”) enters the refectory in procession and lays the book on the lectern, th at the acolytes bearing candles stand “on tw a healfe hyre” (“on both sides o f her”), and that the abbot or abbess, “se abbod odde seo abbodysse,” offers a drin k to all the brothers or sis­ ters (“eallum gebrodrum of>[)e gesw ysternum ”) and kisses their hands, “onm ang J>an f>e heo standende ræde” (“w hile she stan ds and reads” [lit. “w hile she stand-



in g reads”]).20 T h e aw kw ardness o f th is substitution o f the fem inine noun (“seo ræ destre”) and pronouns (“hyre,” “h e o . . . r *d e ”) in w hat is otherw ise a close translation o f the L atin text is particularly in evidence at the point when the pre­ viously em ployed alternatives o f “abbot o r abbess” and “brothers or sisters” are re­ sum ed, since the abbot and brothers are as usual the dom inant elem ents in each p air in a sentence w hich nevertheless begin s w ith references to a fem ale reader. T h e use o f the fem inine form s can be accounted for, i f not ju stifie d , as a continu­ ation o f the appropriately fem ale-only description in the im m ediately preceding lin es, but it is m isleading because fem inine form s do not conventionally represent both sexes, so th at their use w rongly im plies a continued exclusivity, when in fact w hat takes place (apart from the use o f the deacon and reference to the gospel) is exactly the sam e as in a m ale house. T h e m ale practice is thus suppressed and the treatm ent is consequently at odds w ith the other parts o f the adaptation, where women are specified in addition to m en when their cerem onies are substan tially the sam e. H ere, i f the adapter were to have been consistent in m ethod and logical w ithin the passage, one w ould have expected th at the p art o f the co/Iatio w ithin the refectory and the concurrent caritas w ould have been described in m ale term s, follow ing the source, w ith b rief ph rasal indicators to show th at at th is point the practices o f m ale and fem ale houses run in parallel, except in respect o f w hat is read, who reads it, and the act o f vesting. Follow ing the reading, and as a reciprocal p art o f the caritas, the one who is the m ost senior in the com m unity offers a drin k to the abbot or abbess. “ Sc” in “se J>e” (“the one who”) is the m asculine sin gular form (com pare fem inine “seo”), but since the recipients o f the action in the O ld E n glish text are explicitly the ab­ bot or abbess, the phrase m ust be interpreted as a return to the convention where­ by m asculine form s subsum e the fem inine. W h ile th is is the lin gu istic norm — and the m ethod used throughout the L atin text — it co n flicts w ith the use o f the fem inine form s a few lines earlier and so adds to the sense o f aw kw ardness in th is part o f the adaptation. T h e description concludes w ith the rem inder th at, i f it is a m ale com m unity, “g if it m unecas synd,” those who form ed the reader's procession m ust unvest in order th at com pline m ay be said as an act o f com m unity w orship in w hich all are equal. T h e adaptations exam ined thus far provide confirm ation th at there are spe­ cial acts, m arking special days, that women could indeed carry out. T h ey are, how­ ever, for the m ost part com m unity acts, rather than liturgical ones, not carried out in the church, and not requiring the leading participants to be vested. Further­ m ore, the references to the participants in the origin al L atin are to com m unity

20 T he bizarre numbering o f Zupitza’s text at this point renders unworkable even the compromise stated in note 9 above. A ll o f the words and phrases referred to in relation to the collatio’s continuation in the refectory are in the first twelve lines o f p. 14.

M aking Women Visible: An A daptation o f the R egularis Concordia

i6 j

m em bers designated by com m unity roles ("abbot,” "brothers”), for which there are, in any case, fem ale equivalents. T h e exception is the special collatio from M aundy T hursday, for which elaborate explanatory adaptations had to be m ade in order to overcome the problem s posed by the in itial location being in the church, the reader and other m inisters being robed, and the reading itse lf being from the gospel. B ut the conversion o f the Regularis Concordia into a text usable in a fem ale house, achieved through the text being colonized by interlinear or m arginal adap­ tations, also shows th at the role o f fem ale religious in special cerem onies carried out wholly w ithin the church w as m ore akin to that o f the w itnessing laity than to the participatory com m unity o f m onks. T h e M ass itse lf is not at issue here, because when th is is celebrated alm ost all o f those present have identical roles as w orshippers and com m unicants, whatever the nature o f the congregation. T h e instances for consideration are, rather, special rituals such as the Cerem ony o f the N ew Fire on the last three days o f H oly W eek, or the cerem onies that follow ed none on G o o d Friday and preceded the M ass o f the P resanctified, i.e. the sym ­ bolic deposition and burial, and the veneration o f the cross. T h e Cerem ony o f the N ew F ire is frilly described in the O ld E n glish text, closely follow ing the L atin .21 T h e brethren vest and gather at the door o f the church, where one o f their num ber (a different, specified senior person on each day) holds a sta ff in the shape o f a serpent. T h e abbot strikes fire from the flin t and blesses it, the candle in the m outh o f the serp en t-staff is lit, and the proces­ sion m oves to the choir, led by the bearer o f the staff, where a single candle is lit from the candle in the m outh o f the serpent-staff. In the L atin , o f course, the lan­ guage for the N ew Fire Cerem ony is inevitably m ale, but it is strikin g that in the O ld E n glish translation th is is reinforced, since the opening com m ents include the statem ent "the brothers sh all vest, i f they are m onks” ("gescrydan hi da gebrodra g if hit m unecas synd”). T h e direction th at the brothers sh all vest is given in the L atin ("induant se fratres”), but "g if hit m unecas synd” is an addition which sets up a contrast w ith the im m ediately preceding lines. T h ese lines, in the O ld E n glish translation, had described the m aundy o f the poor in inclusive language, achieved by the sim ple expedient o f adding "odde abbodyssan” ("or the abbess”) to the origin al reference to “abbot”; and “odde }>a gesw ysterna” (“or the sisters”) to the origin al reference to “brothers.” B y contrast w ith the M aundy T hursday collatio., w hich is discussed above,22 the additional phrase "g if hit m unecas synd,” w hich introduces the Cerem ony o f the N ew F ire, is not paralleled later in the O ld E n glish text by a phrase pointing to w hat nuns do, so that the translation reads as i f it is specifyin g w hat is done in m ale houses only. T h e Regularis Concordia says

21 T he ceremony is described in Zupitza’s text on pp. 11-12. For the Latin, see Regu­ laris Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 3 9 -4 0 , §41. 22 Pp. 159-62.



that th is ceremony is optional, and i f it is the case th at fem ale houses — by virtue o f being fem ale and thus not being able to carry out w hat one m ight call a “vested ceremony” — did not observe the Cerem ony o f the N ew F ire on M aundy T h u rs­ day, G o o d Friday, and H oly Saturday, it w ould be another instance where their rituals were sim pler than those o f the m en. A n alternative possibility is that, w ith m en being necessary for the M ass that im m ediately follow ed, they sim ply carried out the ceremony, already vested, before they celebrated M ass — thus som ething done by men for the wom en as w itnesses. H owever, i f th is were the case, the cer­ em ony w ould not have had the sam e kind o f com m unity dim ension th at it had in m ale houses, where m em bers o f the com m unity were participants; the nuns w ould have been w itnesses in exactly the sam e way as the laity, who were certainly pres­ ent for the M ass that follow ed on each day. For the M ass itself, o f course, the d i­ rections necessarily focus on the duties o f the celebrant, where no adaptation w as possible, but it is here, and only here, th at the sisters are referred to in the O ld E n glish text, “ge gesw ystem um ” (line 153), as com m unicants, alongside brothers (follow ing the L atin ) and the laity (also follow ing the L atin ). O n G o o d Friday there are furth er special cerem onies w hich sim ilarly re­ quire distin ction s to be m ade.23 A ccording to the L atin text, the com m unity goes to the church at the hour o f none, but none is not recited in the usual way. In ­ stead, the abbot and m inisters pray silently at the altar w ithout being vested and then proceed to vest in readiness for the follow ing form al sequence o f readings, prayers, and obligatory rituals w hich lead directly into the M ass o f the Presancti­ fied . In addition , the L atin text describes the optional sym bolic enactm ent o f the deposition and burial, in w hich the cross is w rapped in a napkin and laid in the sepulcher. I f it is perform ed, th is takes place directly after the veneration o f the cross and im m ediately before the M ass. T h e laity are evidently present through­ out, since they venerate the cross and com m unicate at the M ass. Furtherm ore, the intervening sym bolic deposition and burial is expressly offered “ad fidem indocti uulgi ac neophytorum corroborandam ” [“for the strengthening o f the faith o f unlearned com m on persons and neophytes”] ,24 w hich both con firm s that the laity were present and th at the reform tradition recognized the value o f w itness­ in g sym bolic events as w ell as enacting them . T h e O ld E n glish translation does not preserve the descriptions o f the ven­ eration o f the cross or the deposition and burial, so th at we do not have the ref­ erences they provide to the presence o f the laity. W e know, however, th at the laity com m unicated at the M ass, because th is w as already anticipated at lin es 23 T he ceremony is described in Zupitza’s text on pp. 14-16, at which point the O ld English text ends abruptly. For precisely this passage in the L atin , see R egularis Concor­ d ia, ed. Sym ons, 41-42, § 43, although the extensive G ood Friday ceremonies continue in the Latin text to 46, § 47. 24 R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 44.

M aking Women Visible: An A daptation o f the R egularis Concordia


151-156, follow ing the L atin text. H ere, as noted above,25 the O ld E n glish text also specifies th at nuns w ould com m unicate. T h e im plication o f th is passage is th at the laity could attend services in fem ale as w ell as m ale houses and th at the role o f fem ale religiou s, as com m unicants only, w as inevitably the sam e as that o f the laity. T h u s, i f the laity were present at the hour o f none on G o o d Friday in order to w itness the fu ll sequence o f cerem onies w hich follow ed, to k iss the cross and to observe the deposition and burial (if perform ed), as w ell as com m unicate at M ass, we m ust assum e th at th is sequence could have been perform ed in fem ale houses as w ell as m ale. T h e difference w ould be th at in fem ale houses the o ffici­ ants w ould have been the attendant priests and th at the sisters’ role for these ritu­ als, as for the M ass itself, w ould have been the sam e as that o f the laity. T h is seem s to be the im plication o f the O ld E nglish translation, where, at the hour o f none (as in the L atin ), the com m unity goes to the church but does not proceed w ith the usual recitation o f the office, which is in effect replaced by the special cerem onies. T h e adaptation is rather confusing, however, because "ab­ bess" and “sisters" are substituted for the “abbot” and “brothers” o f the L atin text in a statem ent which is in fact applicable to m ale and fem ale alike: “O n f>am seifen dæge to rihtes nones gange seo abbodysse to cyricean m id hyre gew ysternum , and ealle endem es [wet gew unelice gebed singan, f>e is foreboda ælces tidsanges” [“O n that sam e day, at the tim e o f none, the abbess shall go to the church w ith her sisters and all together they shall sing the custom ary prayer which is the preface to each hour”]. T here is nothing to indicate whether men do anything different; they are sim ply not m entioned. T h e L atin states that the abbot and brethren go to church and pray, although it is not m ade explicit that th is is the custom ary prefatory prayer fer each o f the H ours — i f indeed it is in their case: the phrase is sim ply “dum peracta oratione.” Yet despite exclusively fem ale references in the O ld E nglish sentence noting the movement to the church, attention sh ifts im m ediately to the vested m em bers o f the priestly orders, introduced by the phrase “g if hit Jxmne m unecas syn” [“i f it is then m onks”]. T h e requirem ent to vest at th is point is noted in the L atin , and clearly women could not he involved in th is, as the exclusionary phrase “g if hit m unecas syn” indicates; the women in the translation, o f whom we were rem inded only one sentence earlier, where they replace m ale references, are appar­ ently left poised at the preface to the office. It m ay be that m atters w ould have been clearer i f the text had continued, and we m ust allow for the feet that, by their very nature, rules and consuetudinaries do not always m ake explicit what w as obvious to contem porary users. B ut even so, the adaptation, here as elsewhere, is intrinsically confusing. Probably w hat is m eant to be indicated is that the nuns rem ain in their places as w orshippers and onlookers, ju st as the laity w ould do, w hile the m onks, by contrast, robe for special rituals in which they can be directly involved.

25 P. 164.

i6 6


A longside these exam ples, variously inform ative and tan talizin g, are others where there is a surprisin g absence o f adaptations for fem ale use. For exam ple, the Palm Sunday cerem onies describe how all m em bers o f the com m unity vest in albs for the procession o f palm s, and both here and on M aundy T h ursday there are d etails about how boys sh all sin g various antiphons and responses. B u t these are translated — and even elaborated on — in the O ld E n glish text w ithout any indication o f how fem ale com m unities should proceed, given that they cannot vest in albs, and presum ably do not have boy singers to hand.26 It is clear from Æ lfric’s hom ily for Palm Sunday in the F irst Series o f C ath olic H om ilies (hom ily X IV ) that it w as norm al for the laity to jo in in the procession carrying palm s and to offer the palm s to G o d at the offertory, as described for m onks in the Regularis Concordia,27 N uns w ould presum ably have participated in the sam e way as the laity. B u t no guidance is provided in the O ld E n glish text, even though the adjustm ents th at w ould have been needed were o f the sam e order as those m ade for the cerem onies later in the w eek. In th is earlier part o f the extant O ld E n glish text “da gebrodra” are also referred to w ithout the fem ale alternative being sup­ plied, and at no point before we get to the m aundy o f the poor part way through M aundy T h ursday are there any confirm ing phrases to show that for certain ob­ servances nuns could act in parallel w ith m onks. A s previously noted,28 there is evidence to su ggest th at the surviving text is an incom plete copy o f w hat once existed as a translation o f the w hole o f the Rég­ ulons Concordia. G iven th at the scribal hand is o f the early eleventh century, w hat we have cannot be very far rem oved in tim e from the date o f the o rigin al tran s­ lation, since th is show s an intim ate fam iliarity w ith the Regularis Concordia and provides evidence that there had been som e local evolution o f practices in m ale houses, both o f w hich indicate a passage o f tim e since it w as first introduced. T h e fem ale adaptations could have been virtually contem poraneous w ith the tran sla­ tion, although equally they could have com e a little later — but not m uch, given the tim e-span available. W e are left w ith tw o unansw erable questions: W hy are the adaptations not consistent? A nd w hich com m unity w as responsible for the adaptations being m ade? T h e Regularis Concordia m ay have been directed at a ll the religious in E n g­ land, but the realities o f experience w ithin m ale and fem ale houses were m ore

26 For Palm Sunday, see Zupitza, “Ein weiteres Bruchstück,” 2 -5 , corresponding with R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 34-3 6 , § 36; for the relevant part o f the M aundy Thursday celebration, see Zupitza, “E in weiteres Bruchstück,” 5-7, corresponding with R egularis Concordia, ed. Sym ons, 36-37, § 37. 27Æ lfric's Catholic H om ilies: The F irst Series. Text, ed. Peter Clem oes, E E T S s.s. 17 (O xford, 1997), 2 9 0 -9 8 ,2 9 7 , Unes 195-209. 28 See above, p. 156.

M aking Women Visible: An A daptation o f the Regularis Concordia


varied than th is all-em bracing docum ent seem s to imply. A lthough it stan ds as a pivotal authoritative text, the women who were invisible in the L atin text w ould have been w ell aware th at it w as not quite the universal consuetudinary th at its episcopal and royal sponsors found it convenient to claim . W e are fortunate in having a surviving textu al fragm ent w hich gives us at least a glim pse o f their at­ tem pts to convert and colonize a text w hich itse lf set out to ‘convert’ and ‘colo­ nize’ the m onastic life o f the tenth century.

A rchitectural M etaphors and C hristological I magery in th e A dvent L yrics : B enedictine P ropaganda in th e E xeter B ook?1 M ercedes S alvador

1. Introduction In L an tfred’s Translatio etMiracula S. Swithuni, com posed 972-974, the first chap­ ter narrates the conversion to Benedictinism o f E adsige, an unreform ed canon, through St. Swithun’s m ediation.2 E adsige had been inform ed by a sm ith who had w itnessed the saint’s m iraculous appearance that he should seekÆ thelw old to tell him to look for the bishop’s rem ains and move them to the cathedral. T h e cleric, who w as one o f those who had been previously expelled from the O ld M inster, w as first logically reluctant to do so, but he eventually delivered the m essage and be­ cam e a m onk, entrusted w ith the keeping o f St. Swithun’s shrine.3 T h is account is

11 would like to thank Setmarri Valenzuela, Rebecca Stephenson, Frederick B iggs, M ichael D . C . D rout, Juan Antonio Prieto Pablos, and M * Jo sé M ora for their valuable help with various aspects o f this article. I also had the opportunity to discuss some o f the ideas presented in a shorter version o f this essay at IS A S 2003 with H ugh M agennis, Thom as N . H all, and Patrick W . Conner, whose enlightening comments have been use­ ful for the w riting o f this piece. 2 For a discussion on the dating o f the Translatio etM iracula S. Sw ithuni (henceforth Translatio), see The C ult o f St Sw ithun, ed. M ichael Lapidge (O xford, 2003), 235-37. 3T h is event is overtly celebrated by Lantfred in the v ita: “idem clericus qui nuper erat biotticus, huius uitae relictis uanitatibus, pom pis ac uoluptatibus, factus est coenobita religiosus multumque D eo dilectus” [“this sam e cleric, who recently had been secu­ lar, abandoned the vanities, prides, and pleasures o f this earthly life and became a de­ vout monk much beloved o f G od”]. T he edition and translation o f this passage and o f all further hagiographie works related to St. Swithun cited in this essay are from The C ult, ed. Lapidge; this passage is from 2 6 4 -6 5 . A parallel account is found in W ulfstan Cantor’s N arratio M etrica de S. Swithuno (henceforth, N arratio), in The C ult, ed. Lapidge,



no doubt charged w ith political connotations, and its relevance lies in the fact th at the saint is here presented as an interm ediary who successfully m anages to recon­ cile representatives o f the reform ed and unreform ed parties. In a nutshell, the epi­ sode reveals one o f the m ajor concerns o f the A nglo-Saxon R eform movement: the unification o f the Church through com pliance w ith Benedictinism . Æ thelw old’s Benedictional is another late tenth-century text in w hich B ene­ dictine p ro p ag an d ists elem ents are easily observed.4 T h e w ork has been thor­ oughly analyzed by R obert D eshm an, who has shown that its iconography w as devised in a way that favored both the m onarchy and m onastic R eform . T h e per­ sistent em phasis on C h rist’s kingly nature in the m anuscript has been interpreted by D eshm an as “a form o f political propaganda for E dgar,” w hich may have served to consolidate the latter’s position as C h rist’s earthly representative after his coro­ nation in 973.5 T h e Benedictional im agery, w hich w as m ost likely supervised by Bishop Æ thelw old, thus m irrors the intricate political m aneuvers intended to es­ tablish E d gar’s legitim acy as (im perial) ruler, given his essential contribution to the R eform cause as the m ajor patron o f Benedictine m onasticism .

497-503. Interestingly, this poetic version o f the v ita includes a panegyric o f E adsige (lines 134-150) that is not present in Lantfred’s. E adsige’s conversion also appears in Æ lfric’s condensed version o f Lantfred’s 7 ranslatio (.Epitome tran slation s et miraculorum S. Sw ithuni) and in his vernacular version o f St. Swithun’s life, in which Eadsige is said to be a relative o f Æ thelwold’s. H e is likew ise alluded to in W ulfstan Cantor’s account in Vita S. Æ thelwoldi,\ see W ulfstan o f Winchester: The L ife o f St. Æ thelwold, ed. M ichael Lapidge and M ichael W interbottom (O xford, 1991), 32-33. See also Robert Deshm an’s comments on the significance o f this episode in “St Swithun in Early M edieval A rt,” in The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 182-83. 4 It is generally assum ed that the date o f Æ thelwold’s Benedictional should be be­ tween 971 and 984, the years o f Swithun’s translation and Æ thelwold’s death respective­ ly. See Andrew Prescott’s discussion o f this in his facsim ile edition in The Benedictional o f St. Æ thelw old: A M asterpiece o f Anglo-Saxon A rt (London, 2002), 6. D eshm an proposed 973 as the possible date o f com pilation, since he considered the iconographie elements in the book to form part o f the preparations for E dgar’s coronation that year. See Robert D eshm an, The Benedictional o f Æ thelwold (Princeton, N J, 1995), esp, 212-14, 2 6 0 -6 1 . However, Lapidge has recently cast doubt on this assertion since, as he points out, there are no blessings for the translation o f St. Swithun (15 July 971) in the m anuscript. A s he argues, "T h e absence o f such blessings in a book which was written within a year or two o f the translation m ight imply that the book was design ed. . . before the translation itself had taken place”: The Cult, ed. idem , 88. s Robert D eshm an, “Christus rex et m agi reges: K ingship and C hristology in O ttonian and A nglo-Saxon A rt,” Frühm ittelalterliche Studien 10 (1976): 367-405, here 403. H e also provides a thorough study o f this in The Benedictional, 192-214.

Architectural M etaphors and Cbristological Im agery in the Advent Lyrics


In its current decapitated state, the sequence known as the A dvent Lyrics or

Christ I opens the E xeter B ook, a m anuscript w hose com pilation dates roughly from 95 0 -9 7 5 and w as therefore probably coeval w ith L an tfred ’s TVanslatio and Æ thelw old’s B enedictional.6 O n the basis o f th is chronological affin ity, we could infer th at the A dvent L yrics, having been issued in a period in w hich drastic political m easures were enforcing a general conversion to B enedictinism , m ight equally be connected to reform ist ideology.7 Su ffice it to m ention th at the lyrics clearly dw ell on the notion o f the unity o f the C hurch through C h rist’s A dvent, a topic o f param ount significance in the context o f the R eform , as w ill be discussed later in th is essay. C h rist in turn is described in the sequence as a kin g w hose pow er and sk ill are crucial to attain in g com m unal unity. B esides, the different lyrics derive from the A dvent antiphons o f the D ivine O ffice.8 In th is ligh t, it is hard to conclude th at a collection o f lyrics w ith these characteristics could be alien to the political clim ate o f the R eform . For these reasons, th is essay sets out to consider the possibility th at, like the Tramlatio and the B enedictional, the A d­ vent sequence m ight be perm eated w ith Benedictine influence. Beyond a mere rew riting o f litu rgical pieces, the lyrics m ight have been either adapted from an

6 O n paleographical grounds, Flower points out that the script o f the Exeter Book resembles that o f London, Lam beth Palace, M S. 149 and affirm s that both m anuscripts were written “early in the period 970-990”: The Exeter Book o f O ld English Poetry, ed. R . W. Cham bers, with introductory chapters by M ax Förster and Robin Flower (London, 1933), 90. M ore recently, Conner claim s that the script suggests a date between 950 and 970: Patrick W . Conner, A nglo-Saxon Exeter: A Tenth-Century C ultural H istory (W oodbridge, 1993), 76. T h is issue is however far from being settled as M uir, the latest editor o f the Exeter Book, proposes a tim e span between 965 and 975: The Exeter Anthology o f O ld English Poetry: An Edition o f Exeter Dean and Chapter M S 3501, ed. Bernard J. M uir, 2 vols. (Exeter, 1994), 1 :1 . 7In a com parative analysis o f the Advent Lyrics and the Benedictional, Raw has also recently pointed out the tem poral proxim ity and the liturgical parallelism s o f the two works: “T he Benedictional and The Advent Lyrics are not only contemporary with each other: they derive from a sim ilar liturgical background”: Barbara Raw, “Two Versions o f Advent: T he Benedictional ofÆ thelw old and The Advent Lyrics,n Leeds Studies in English 34 (2003): 1-28, here 1. 8 A s pointed out by H all, “T he first ten o f the twelve lyrics owe their them es and much o f their im agery to a group o f Latin antiphons that in the m edieval Roman church were chanted at Vespers on the days during Advent called the G reater Ferias, from 17 Decem ber to 23 Decem ber”: Thom as N . H all, “C hrist I ? in M edieval England: An Ency­ clopedia, ed. Paul E . Szarm ach, M . Teresa Tavorm ina, and Jo el T . Rosenthal (N ew York, 1998), 182. See also Jam es W . M cKinnon, The A dvent Project (Berkeley, C A , 2000).



earlier w ork or even— we m ay tentatively conjecture— expressly designed as a re­ form -oriented w ork to be included in the E xeter anthology.9 I am not alone in suspectin g a late tenth-century date for the com position o f the lyrics, since G atch , W oolf, C onner, and R aw have already suggested th at the A dvent sequence m ight be contem porary w ith the Benedictine revival.10 D esh m an in turn has used the A dvent Lyrics as part o f the battery o f proofs sup­ plied to dem onstrate the reform ist background o f the B enedictional’s iconogra­ phy. H ow ever, to my know ledge a study focusing solely on the A dvent sequence as a w ork show ing an affin ity for B enedictine ideology has never been carried out. I w ill therefore provide evidence o f th is by considering tw o particular as­ pects, architectural m etaphors and C h ristological im agery, the reform ist bias o f w hich has already been studied by D eshm an in the B enedictional but has not yet

9 Conversely, on linguistic grounds, Cam pbell proposed a late ninth-century dating for the Advent sequence, but this hypothesis has not received much scholarly support: The Advent Lyrics o f the Exeter Book, ed. Jackson J. Cam pbell (Princeton, N J, 1959), 3642. Rankin has sim ilarly argued that the com position o f the lyrics antedates by far the Benedictine revival, since m ost o f the antiphons that served as m odels for their com posi­ tion seem to derive from Roman tradition rather than G allican: Susan Rankin, "T h e L i­ turgical Background o f the O ld English Advent Lyrics: A Reappraisal,” in Learning an d Literature in Anglo-Saxon England: Studies Presented to Peter Clemoes on the Occasion o f his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, ed. M ichael Lapidge and H elm ut G neuss (Cam bridge, 1985), 31740, here 334. Rankin’s early dating o f the sequence has been accepted by Peter Clem oes in Interactions o f Thought and Language in O ld English Poetry (Cam bridge, 1995), 383 and H all, “C h risti,” 182. D espite this, we cannot rule out the possibility o f a late tenth-cen­ tury adaptation o f earlier m aterial to the necessities generated by the m onastic Reform . Besides, even though the introduction o f G allican liturgy ran parallel to the im plantation o f the Benedictine system , this did not imply the im m ediate dism issal o f Roman tradi­ tion. T he Royal Psalter (London, B L , Royal 2.B.v), a m id-tenth-century psalterium romanum, with glosses attributable to Æ thelwold, as G retsch has dem onstrated, is a good instance o f the continuing significance o f Roman liturgy in Benedictine circles, since the undisputed leader o f the Reform would not spend so much effort studying an old-fashio­ ned or unacceptable version o f the psalter. A lso, for evidence o f the use o f Roman psalters postdating the m id-tenth century, see M echthild G retsch, The Intellectual Foundations o f the English Benedictine Reform (Cam bridge, 1999), 282-83. 10M ilton M cC . G atch, Loyalties and Traditions: M an and his World in O ld English Literature (N ew York, 1971), 96, and idem, review o f M ary Clayton, The C ult ofthe Virgin M ary in A nglo-Saxon England, Speculum 68 (1993): 733-35, here 735. C f. also Rosem ary W o o lf s review o f Burlin, The O ld English A dvent: A 'typological Commentary, Medium Æ vum 40 (1971): 6 0 -6 1 ; Conner, A nglo-Saxon Exeter, 163; Raw, “Two Versions o f A d­ vent,” 1 .1 have elsewhere supported the hypothesis o f a late tenth-century dating for the Advent Lyrics in The Literary Encyclopedia (, ed. Robert C lark, Em ory E lliott, and Janet Todd (London, 2004).

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


been analyzed in depth w ith regard to the A dvent Lyrics. Paying special atten­ tion to lyric 1 as the piece basic to an understanding o f the whole sequence, my contention is th at contem porary readers o f the poem s m ight have view ed these m etaphors and im ages— together w ith the concept o f A dvent— as characteristic o f Benedictine iconography and propaganda. I intend to prove th is by com par­ in g the elem ents occurring in the lyrics w ith parallel im ages and concepts found in late tenth- and eleventh-century literary and pictorial w orks w hose affin ities w ith reform ist ideology are blatantly m anifest.

2. The Cornerstone, the Two W alls, and the Ruinous Building: Architectural Imagery and M etaphors in the Advent Lyrics T h e surviving lin es o f lyric 1 lead us into a thought-provoking reflection on the significance o f A dvent: . . . cyninge. D u eart se w eallstan be 8 * wyrhtan iu widwurpon to weorce. W ei J>e geriseö b * t t>u heafod sie healle mærre, ond gesom nige side w eallas feste gefoge, flin t unbræcne, Jjaet geond eoröb[yr]g eall eagna gesih^e wundrien to worlde. W uldres ealdor, gesweotula nu Jjurh searocræft J>in sylfes weorc, sod fest, sigorbeorht, ond sona forlæt weall wid wealle. N u is {)am weorce Jiearf £>æt se cræftga cume ond se cyning sylfa, ond bonne gebete— nu gebrosnad is— hus under hrofe. H e (ret hra gescop, leomo læmena; nu sceal liffrea l>one wergan heap wrabum ahreddan, earme from egsan, swa he oft dyde. [“. . . king. You are the w all-stone that the workers o f old Rejected from the work; it is (now) m ost fittin g T h at You be the head o f that great hall And bring together the vast w alls, Indestructible flin t, in firm conjunction, T h at throughout earth’s cities, all those with eyes to see M ay gaze for ever. Prince o f glory, D isclose now with skill Your proper work, Fast in truth, bright with victory, and at once let

*7 4


T he w all unite with w all. Now there is need o f such work: T h at the Craftsm an come, the K ing H im self, A nd then restore— it is now in ruin— T he house beneath the roof. H e created the body, T he lim bs o f clay; now must the Lord o f Life Release from the w rathful this weary throng, T hese helpless from terror, as H e often has.”] 11 T h rough architectural im ages, the lyric com pares C h rist w ith the w all-stone or the cornerstone (“w eallstan,” line 2a) o f a build in g (“healle m ærre,” line 4b ), w hich is clearly m eant to be the church or any C h ristian com m unity. T h e reference to C h rist as the cornerstone unitin g G en tiles w ith Jew s in th e fin al accom plishm ent o f the universal C hurch is presented in a condensed form in the antiphon from w hich lyric 1 clearly derives: “O R ex gentium et desideratus earum , lapisque an gularis! Q u i facis utraque unum , veni, salva hom inem quern de lim o form asti” [“O K in g o f the nations and object o f their longing and the cornerstone w hich m akes both parts one: com e and save m an, whom you form ed out o f clay”].12T h is m o tif w as w ell known in biblical and patristic literature. It is, for exam ple, fully expounded in S t. Paul's E p istle to the E ph esians: So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citi­ zens with the saints and members o f the household o f G od, built upon the foundation o f the apostles and prophets, C h rist Jesus him self being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place o f G od in the Spirit.13

11Robert B . Burlin, The O ld English A dvent: A Typological Commentary (N ew Haven, C T , 1968), 56-57. A ll citations and translations in this essay are from this edition. 12 Burlin, The O ld English Advent, 58; trans. in Anglo-Saxon Poetry, ed. and trans. S. A . J. Bradley (London, 1981), 205. C ook was the first scholar to notice the liturgical sources o f the Advent sequence, as m ost o f the lyrics are based on the so-called “Antiphonae m ajores” or “‘O ’ antiphons,” usually employed in the liturgy o f Advent or C hristm as. See The C h risto fCynewulf, ed. A lbert C . C ook (Boston, 1900), esp. xxv-xliii. For a reprinted version o f C ook’s work with a preface by John C . Pope, see The C hrist ofC ynew ulf(H am ­ den, 1964). A comprehensive study o f the connection between A dvent and its liturgical sources is found in Edw ard Burgert, The Dependence o f P art I ofCynew ulf's C hrist upon the Antiphonary (W ashington, D C , 1921). 13 Ephesians 2:19-22. A ll citations from the Bible in this essay are from The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, ed. H erbert G . M ay and Bruce M . M etzger (N ew York, 1977). C avill has analyzed the presence o f this m otif in Paris Psalm 117 (lines 54-57a): “D one sylfan stan J>e hine swyfle aer / wyrhtan awurpan, nu se geworden is / hwommona h eago st. . . ” See Paul C avill, "C hildren and the Rock: T he Ending o f the O ld English M etrical Psalm 136,” English Studies 80 (1999): 89-105, here 102-3. A lso,

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


A s in the biblical passage, the cornerstone m etaphor in the O ld E n glish lyric al­ ludes to C h rist as the only one capable o f unitin g the tw o w alls— “side w eallas” (line 5b) and “w eall w id w ealle” (line 11a)— , i.e. Jew s and G en tiles. In turn, the “w yrhtan iu” (line 2b ), or “the w orkers o f old” who rejected C h rist the corner­ stone, refers to the Jew s as they were held responsible for h is crucifixion .14 T h e lyric thus displays a set o f architectural im ages centering on the idea o f building. A s pointed out by G eorge Brow n, the poet “em phasizes the m etaphor o f construction throughout th is lyric by his repetitions o f som e form o f ‘w eorce’: ‘w yrhtan’ (2), ‘to weorce’ (3), ‘w eorc’ (9), ‘pam w eorce p e a r f ( l l) .”15 T h e poem also describes the house in a ruinous state (line 13b), w hich su ggests “a com m u­ nal slackening o f faith , hum anity in a condition o f sin , seekin g restoration in the A dvent o f C h rist,” as R obert B urlin has noted.16 It then focuses on the necessity o f C h rist’s com ing as “se cræ ftga” (line 12a) who w ill reconstruct the church. From line 15b to the end, the speaker asks C h rist to protect the com m unity— the “w ergan heap” (line 16a)— th at is threatened by sinners, pagan s, or enem ies— the “w rapum ” (line 16b). T h e traditional allegorical reading does not explain the fu ll significance that these im ages m ight have had in the cultural m ilieu o f the E xeter m anuscript.17

see Raw’s comments on the use o f the cornerstone image in this passage in “Two Versions o f Advent,” 19-20. The cornerstone metaphor is also well known in patristic literature. As pointed out by Cook, it occurs in Gregory the Great’s M oralia in Job. See Cook, The C hrist, 75. Burlin also notes the employment o f this m otif in Jerome’s In Epistolam ad Ephesios (a commentary on the Pauline text mentioned above) and Bede’s homily no. 23 on Palm Sunday. See Burlin, The O ld English Advent, 59-60. 14Æ lfric also used this metaphor in his homily on Epiphany (no. 7): “Sodlice se sealmsceop awrat be criste pæt he is se hymstan pe gefegfl pa twegen weallas togædere. for pan de he gepeodde his gecorenan o f iudeiscum folce. 7 pa geleaffiillan o f hæpenum: swilce twegen wagas to anre geladunge.” [“For the psalm ist wrote concerning Christ, that he is the corner-stone which joins the two walls together, because he united his chosen o f the Jewish people and the faithful o f the heathen, as two walls, to one church”]: Æ lfric's H om ilies: the F irst Series, ed. Peter Clemoes, E E T S 17 (Oxford, 1997), 233-34; trans. Benjamin Thorpe, The Hom ilies ofÆ lfric, 2 vols. (London, 1844-1846; repr. 1971), 1: 106-7. For similar occurrences o f the cornerstone image in Æ lfric’s homilies, see Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 60-62. 15George Hardin Brown, “Old English Verse as a Medium for Christian Theology,” in Modes ofInterpretation in O ld English Literature: Essays in Honour o f Stanley B . Green­ fie ld , ed. Phyllis Rugg Brown et al. (Toronto, 1986), 15-28, here 20. “ Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 64. 17 Several critics have noted that the typological commentary offered by Burlin and the traditional source-hunting approach are not enough to capture the originality and textual peculiarities o f the Advent Lyrics. See, for example, W oolfs comments in her re­ view o f Burlin’s The O ld English Advent, in Medium Aevum, 60-61. A lso, see Edward B. Irving, Jr., “The Advent o f Poetry: C h risti,” A SE 25 (1996): 123-34, here 123-24.




However, i f we provide a contextualized reading, we w ill notice that th is lyric m ay encapsulate the p ro p ag an d ists discourse used by the Benedictine m ovement. I f the text is reread in th is ligh t, we w ill gain a deeper insight into som e o f the textual aspects that have already received com m ent. T o begin w ith, the corner­ stone im age points to A dvent as the only m eans to achieve unity in the C h ristian com m unity. T h u s lines 5 and 6 allude to the unitin g o f the tw o w alls as "in de­ structible flin t, in firm conjunction,” an idea th at is taken up again in lines 10b and 11a in which C h rist is urged to "unite w all w ith w all.” Sim ilarly, the allusion to the "w rathfiil ones” suggests a com m unity which is continuously threatened w ith dissension. G iven the constant m enace o f political rupture due to foreign in­ vasion, these im ages could have conveyed contem porary overtones which w ould have been easily grasped by a late tenth-century audience. A lso , it w ould not be far-fetched to suspect that the reference to the cornerstone unitin g the tw o w alls m ight have sum m oned up the idea o f the ecclesiastical R eform attem pting to pro­ vide cohesion in a society in which reform ed and unreform ed factions coexisted. A ccordingly, in A dvent lyric 1 the w ork o f C h rist un itin g the tw o w alls at best echoes E d g ar’s sk illfu l policy o f brin gin g together the divided kingdom after the crisis in which M ercia and N orthum bria separated from W essex dur­ in g h is predecessor’s reign.18 In the tract known as "K in g E d g ar’s E stab lish ­ m ent o f the M onasteries,” m ost likely com posed byÆ thelw old as a preface to the O ld E n glish translation o f St. B enedict’s Rule, K in g E adw ig’s m isgovernm ent is harshly criticized as he is said to have "dispersed th is kingdom and divided its u n ity . . . ” (“ Jris rice tostencte 7 h is annesse to d æ ld e . . ”).19 B y contrast, E d g ar is praised as having "brought back to unity the division o f the kingdom ” (" j>æs rices tw islunge e ft to annesse brohte . . .”).20 T h ese tw o passages clearly focus on the sign ifican ce o f political unity, as the repetition o f the term "annesse” and the presence o f several w ords alluding to rupture illustrate— notably, “tostencte,” “todæ lde,” and “tw islunge.” Sim ilarly, in the proem to the Regularis Concordia (ca. 973), the forem ost docum ent o f the B enedictine R eform , there is a clear ref­ erence to E d g ar’s encouraging the acceptance o f the Rule, u rgin g all "to be o f one m ind as regards m onastic usage . . . and so, w ith their m inds anchored firm ly on

18 Plum m er comments that "the later biographers o f D unstan” refer to this event “as i f som ething like a civil war had taken p lace. . Two Saxon Chronicles P arallel, ed. Charles Plummer, 2 vols. (O xford, 1899), 2 :1 5 1 (note on the entry for year 957). 19 Councils and Synods w ith other Documents R elating to the English Church I : A .D . 871-1204, ed. and trans. D orothy W hitelock, M . Brett, and C . N . L . Brooke (O xford, 1981), 142-54, here 146-47. A lthough this document appears in an early tw elfth-century m anuscript — London, B L , C otton Faustina A .x (fols. 148-151v) — its connection with the Benedictine Reform period is undeniable. 20 Councils, ed. and trans. W hitelock et al., 46-47.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


the ordinances o f the R ule, to avoid all dissension, lest differin g w ays o f observ­ in g the custom s o f one R ule and one country should brin g their holy conversation into disrepute” (“ut concordes aequali consuetudinis u s u . . . regularia praecepta tenaci m entis ancora sem antes, nullo m odo dissentiendo discordarent; ne im par ac uarius unius regulae ac unius patriae usus probrose uituperium sanctae con­ versation! irrogaret”).21 A w ellknow n im age o f the kin g and tw o o f the R eform leaders sym boliz­ in g the driving forces producing political and m onastic cohesion is extant in the frontispiece to the Regularis Concordia contained in London, B L , C otton T iberius A .iii (fol. 2v), a m id-eleventh-century m anuscript, w hose affin ities w ith tenthcentury Benedictinism are undisputed (see fig . 3.1).22 In an architectural settin g th at clearly distin guish es tw o stages, the m iniature show s E d g ar, D un stan , and Æ thelw old holding the scroll o f the Regularis Concordia w hile the kneeling m onk represents the subm ission o f the Church to the Rule.3* Ju st as the cornerstone m o tif o f lyric 1 refers to the union o f G en tiles and Jew s, the scroll, held by the four figu res, sym bolizes the cohesion produced by the m onastic R eform in w hich m onarchy and clergy w orked side by side. Even though the cornerstone m etaphor is a w ellknow n convention, D esh m an has argued th at it form ed part o f a group o f architectural im ages th at were akin to the p ro p ag an d ists iconography o f the R eform m ovem ent.24 H e thus offers p roof o f the com m on identification o f the leading reform ers w ith architectural

21 R egularis Concordia Anglicae N ationis Monachorum Sanctim onialium que: The M o­ nastic Agreement o f the M onks and N uns o f the English N ation, ed. Thom as Symons (L on ­ don, 1953), 2 -3 . 22A m ong other texts undoubtedly associated with the Reform movement, this co­ dex contains one o f the only two extant copies o f the R egularis Concordia, and a version o f St. Benedict’s Rule. For a review o f the m anuscript contents, see Robert Deshm an, “Benedictus M onarcha et M onachus: Early M edieval Ruler Theology and the A nglo-Sax­ on Reform ,” Frühm ittelalterliche Studien 22 (1988): 2 0 4 -4 0 , here 229. A lso see Helm ut G neuss, “O rigin and Provenance o f A nglo-Saxon M anuscripts: T he C ase o f C otton T i­ berius A .III,” in O f The M aking o f Books: M edievalM anuscripts, Their Scribes and Readers. Essays Presented To M . B . Parkes, ed. P. R . Robinson and Rivkah Zim (A ldershot, 1997), 13-48. 23 For an analysis o f this picture, see Benjam in C . W ithers, “Interaction o f W ord and Im age in A nglo-Saxon A rt II: Scrolls and Codex in the Frontispiece to the R egularis Concordia,n O EN 21 (1997): 3 6 -4 0 . A lso see Catherine E . Karkov, The R uler P ortraits o f A nglo-Saxon England (W oodbridge, 2004), esp. 93-99. 24 See Robert D eshm an’s comments on this im age in “T he Im age o f the L iving Ecclesia and the English M onastic Reform ,” in Sources o f A nglo-Saxon Culture, ed. Paul E . Szarm ach with V. D . O ggins (K alam azoo, 1986), 261-82, here 262-72, and in idem , The Benedictional, 19-23.

i 78


F ig . 3.1 . L on d o n , B L , M S . C o tto n T ib e riu s A .iii, fo l. 2v. By perm ission o f the B ritish Library.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


objects such as a colum n or a cornerstone.25 In an excerpt from A delard’s Vita S. Dunstani, the reform er's stead fast character and the etym ology o f h is nam e give rise to his likening to a m ountain rock and, m ore im portantly, to a cornerstone: aH ic D unstanus iuxta interpretationem nom inis su i, m ontanus utique lapis, ut m ons im m obilis, ut lapis an gulari lapidi affix u s, m oueri non p o tu it. . . ” [“T h is D un stan , according to the interpretation o f h is nam e, th at is, m ountainous stone, or unm ovable m ountain, or a cornerstone fixed to the stone w hich is im possible to m o v e. . .”].26 In Byrhtferth’s Vita S. Oswaldi the analogy is also present, as the sain t's glorious chants are com pared to “precious cornerstones”: “Fuerunt in an gu lis sanctae dom us suae lapides pretiosi positi, qui earn ne cadere valu isset sustentabant firm iter, ut nullus vis pessim orum ventorum agitari posset” [“T h ey were the precious stones placed in the corners o f h is own holy house, w hich (stones) supported it firm ly, so that it w as not in a condition to fall, so th at not one (stone) w as able to be shaken by the m ost dire force o f w ind”].27 O n the other hand, we m ay assum e th at architectural im agery m ight have also applied to the figu re o f the kin g as the m ajor prom oter o f the R eform , but there seem s to be no textu al identification o f E d g ar w ith a p illar or a corner­ stone as far as I am aw are. How ever, in the description o f E d g ar’s coronation in Byrhtferth's Vita S. Oswaldi there is a passage w hich echoes lines 2 and 3 o f lyric

25 A s for the column m otif, in W ulfstan Cantor’s Vita S. Æ thehooldi, the reference to D unstan’s long productive bishopric prom pts his com parison with an unmovable pil­ lar (“columna inm obilis”). See W ulfstan o f Winchester, ed. Lapidge and W interbottom , 24-27. A ll further citations and translations from this work are from the sam e edition. A sim ilar reference can be found in Æ lfric’s abridged version o f this v ita (74). In A delard’s Vita S. D unstani, the sam e reformer is likew ise described as a “column o f light” (“columnam lucis”), “G od’s column” (“columna D ei”), and even “column o f m onastic religion” (“columen religionis m onasticae”): M em orials o f Sain t D unstan Archbishop o f Canterbury, ed. W illiam Stubbs (London, 1874; repr. W iesbaden, 1965), 59, 66, 56. See Deshm an’s comments on this m otif in “T he L iving Ecclesia,” 276-77. T he im age was not restricted only to the Reform leaders, since St. Swithun, the ch ief patron o f the Benedictine move­ ment, is said to appear in the form o f a shining column (“rutilans colum na,” line 107) ascending to heaven in Lantfred’s Translatio. A parallel description is found in W ulf­ stan Cantor’s N arratio, chap. 3, lines 703-704: The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 2 8 2 -8 3 ,4 4 4 -4 5 . T he reference to St. Swithun as a column is also observed in some liturgical pieces o f the W inchester liturgy (7 8 -7 9 ,9 8 -9 9 ). Deshm an has sim ilarly pointed out the resemblance o f St. Swithun's figure in the Benedictional to a column {The Benedictional, pi. 32, and comments on 138-39,151-52). 26M em orials, ed. Stubbs, 67. M y translation. 27 The H istorians o f the Church o f York and its Archbishops, ed. J. Raine, 3 vols., Rolls Series (London, 1879-1894), 1:419; trans. D eshm an, “T he Im agery o f the Living Eccle­ sia; 276.

i8 o


1: "N on enim ita ad eum confluxerat suæ gen tis adm irabilis et gloriosus exercitus ut eum expellerent, vel consilium facerent ut eum m orti traderent, vel lign o suspenderent, sicut olim infelices Judaei benignum gesserunt Ihesum ” ["A nd the m arvelous and glorious arm y o f h is people d id not attend (the ceremony) to ex­ pel him (E d gar), nor to court-m artial him nor to sentence him to death, nor to hang him on a rood, as once did the unhappy Jew s w ith good Jesu s”].28 A lth ough the reference to the cornerstone is not explicit, the identification o f E d g ar w ith C h rist, together w ith the occurrence o f the verb "expellerent,” equivalent to O ld E n glish "w idw urpon” (line 3a) in lyric 1, is at least highly suggestive. In this light, the reference to the workers that rejected (“wiöwurpon”) the cor­ nerstone (P s. 118:22; M att. 21:42, M k. 12:10, L k . 20:17) gains further significan­ ce. T h e fact that the Advent poet w as aware o f the central m eaning o f th is passage in lyric 1 is supported by the recurrence o f the notion in lyric 3 w ith the term “wyrpe” (line 67a). T h e word— which can be translated as revolution, change, recovery, relief, or improvement—w as surely selected by the poet because it echoes prece­ din g "w idw urpon.”29 Interestingly, "w yrpe” appears in a passage in which C h rist’s C om ing is explicitly associated w ith his rejecting (or rather transform ing, undo­ ing, or im proving) the w ork o f the Jew s: "N u is part beam cym en, / awæcned to w yrpe weorcum E b re a . . . ” ["N ow is the C h ild com e, bom to transform the w ork o f the H ebrews”].30 A s C am pbell notes, the “wyrhtan iu” o f lyric 1 could also re­ fer to "churchm en who m ake the Church a th ing devoid o f C h rist’s sp ir it. . . ” but, given that "widweorpan” is the em phatic form o f "w eorpan” (m eaning to expel, throw out, or cast away), we m ay take the reference a step further, since the w or­ kers m ight likew ise suggest the idea o f unreform ed canons like the ones that were expelled and replaced by m onks.31 Interestingly, a further em phatic variant o f this verb is employed in a passage from Æ lfric’s Prayer o fMoses w hich, together w ith other O ld Testam ent pieces from the Lives o fSaints, has been associated w ith late

28 The H istorians, ed. Raine, 1 :4 3 6 . M y translation. 29 Sec Joseph Bosw orth and T . N orthcote Toller, An Anglo-Saxon D ictionary (L on ­ don, 1898); Supplement by T . N orthcote Toller, 1921, with Revised and Enlarged Addenda by A listair Cam pbell, 1972. 30Lines 66b-67; Burlin, The O ld English Advent, 80-81. 31 The A dvent Lyrics, ed. Cam pbell, 12. N ote the occurrence o f synonymous utdrifan in the E-version o f the A nglo-Saxon Chronicle (963): "O n pes oder gear syddon he wæs gehalgod, pa makode he feola m instra 7 d ra f ut pa derca o f pe biscoprice, forpan pet hi noldon nan regul healden, 7 sæ tta pær muneca.” ["In the next year after he (Æ thelwold) was consecrated he founded many m onasteries, and drove the clerks out o f the bishopric because they would not observe any rule, and set m onks there”]: The A nglo-Saxon Chron­ icle: A Collaborative Edition, vol. 7, ed. Susan Irvine (Cam bridge, 2004), 57 (em phasis added); trans. M ichael Swanton, The A nglo-Saxon Chronicle (London, 1996), 115.

Architectural Metaphors and Cbristological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


tenth-century political circum stances by G odden:32 “H u w æs hit da siddan da pa m an towearp m un uclif. / and G odes biggengas to bysm ore h æ fd e. / buton p * t us com to cw ealm and h u n ger. / and siddan hæden here us hæfde to bysm re.” [“H ow w as it then afterw ard when men rejected m onastic life and held G o d ’s services in contem pt, but that pestilence and hunger cam e to us, and afterw ard the heathen arm y had us in reproach?”]33 Even though th is work m ay be later than the Exeter B ook—as part o fÆ lfric’s Saints'Lives, it is dated to ca. 995— the use o f “towearp” as referring to the dism issal o f m onasticism and its disastrous consequences there­ fore supports the idea th at the rejection o f the cornerstone in lyric 1 m ay be inter­ preted as being consonant w ith Benedictine ideology. By the sam e token, in lyric 3 the presence o f the term “wyrpe”—which can also refer to the idea o f transform a­ tion or change— m ight allude to the feet that C h rist’s Advent w ould profoundly change the world and bring a new era for m ankind, a notion which w as probably close to the radical renewal prom oted by Benedictinism . A p art from the suggestive nuances o f the pair “w iöw urpon/w yrpe” and the proofs supplied by D eshm an w ith regard to the cornerstone m otif, in pro-R eform texts there is further evidence o f the m etaphorical allusion to contem porary key events like the expulsion o f unreform ed canons and the p ro p ag an d ists use o f con­ cepts such as A dvent or the Second C om ing.34 For exam ple, in the “N ew M inster R efoundation C h arter” and the so-called “Peniarth D iplom a” there is an account o f the fell o f the angels which has been associated by D avid F. Johnson w ith

32See M alcolm G odden, “Experim ents in G enre: T he Saints’ Lives inÆ lfric’s Cath­ olic H om ilies” in Holy M en an d Holy Women: O ld English Prose Saints’ Lives and their Con­ text, ed. Paul E . Szarm ach (Albany, N Y, 1996), 261-87, and idem , “Æ lfric’s Saints’ Lives and the Problem o f M iracles,” Leeds Studies in English 16 (1985): 83-100. 33Æ lfric’s Lives o f Sain ts, ed. and trans. W . W . Skeat, E E T S , o.s. 76, 82, 9 4 ,1 1 4 ,4 vols. (London, 1881-1900; repr. in two vols. 1966), 1 :2 9 4 -9 5 . 34A s Lapidge notes, “Æ thelwold’s expulsion o f the secular clerics from the O ld M in­ ster, and their replacement by his own monks from A bingdon, was seen by contempo­ raries as a crucial event in the establishm ent o f reformed Benedictine m onasticism in tenth-century England”: The C ult, ed. idem, 260 n. 42. A lso see Lapidge and W interbottom ’s comments in W ulfstan o f Winchester, xlv-xlviii. For W ulfstan’s account in his Vita S. Æ thehooldi see 30-31, 32-33. T h is event is recorded in the different versions o f the A nglo-Saxon Chronicle. N ote, for exam ple, this passage in the A-version (year 964): “H er dræfde E adgar cyng pa preostas on C eastre o f Ealdanm ynstre 7 o f Niwanmynstre 7 o f Ceortesige 7 o f M iddeltune 7 sette hy m id munecan.” [“In this year K ing E dgar drove the priests in the city from the O ld M inster and from the New M inster, and from Chertsey and from M ilton (A bbas); and replaced them with monks”]: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative E dition, vol. 3, M SA , ed. Jan et M . Bately (Cam bridge, 1986), 75-76; trans. in English H istorical Documents c. 500-1042, ed. and trans. Dorothy W hitelock (London, 1979), 226.



Æ thelw old’s ejection o f the secular clerks.35 A ccording to him , the apocryphal allusion in the tw o docum ents m ight have been intended to ju stify the severe m easures im posed by the reform ers to achieve m onastic unity. T h u s, in the “N ew M in ster Refoundation C harter,” issued in 966 to provide a w ritten testim ony to the refoundation o f the N ew M in ster effected by K in g E d g ar and Æ thelw old in 964, there is a reference to the expulsion o f the angels from heaven and G o d ’s creation o f m an in order to replace them (chap. i). M an’s descendants are in turn said to be w iped out by the Flood (chap. iv). T h e first part o f the charter is thus devoted to illustrating G o d ’s undisputed authority in bestow ing heaven on the angels and Paradise/earth on m ankind, and later depriving both angels and m an o f those privileges. T h e outline o f salvation history in the charter ends w ith a re­ ference to C h rist’s A dvent, C rucifixion , H arrow ing o f H ell, and A scension (chap, v), which all add to the plan o f G o d ’s conferring a right (C h rist’s presence on earth and redem ption) and later takin g it away (w ith the C rucifixion). Further in the text, th is cyclical sequence o f gran ting and depriving is clearly echoed by the subsequent allusion to E d gar’s banishing the canons and replacing them w ith m onks (chap, vii): “uitiosorum cuneos canonicorum . e diuersis nostri regim inis coenobiis C h risti uicarius elim in au i.. . . auidus inquisitor aduertens . gratos D o ­ m ino m onachorum cuneos qui pro nobis incunctanter intercenderunt. nostri iuris m onasteriis deuotus hilariter co llo cau i.” [“I, the vicar o f C h rist, have expelled the crowds o f depraved canons from the various m onasteries o f our kingdom ___ I, a keen investigator, turning my attention to these m atters, have joyously in stalled, in the m onasteries w ithin our jurisdiction , throngs o f m onks pleasing to the L o rd , who m ight intercede unhesitatingly for us”] .36 T h u s, like G o d in the first chapters o f the charter, E d g ar is legitim ized to gran t and remove a particular privilege, no m atter how convulsive the effect is. Sim ilarly, in the proem to the “Peniarth D iplom a” the allusion to the fall o f the angels reaches its clim ax w ith an explicit reference to A dvent as a new era, offe­ ring m ankind the possibility o f redem ption, and as part o f G o d ’s com pensation for eradicating the tenth order o f angels— the m etaphorical reference to the unre­ form ed faction— thus giving rise to Satan’s envy and man’s subsequent dow nfall:

35 See D avid F. Johnson, “T he F all o f Lucifer in G enesis A and Two A nglo-Latin Royal C harters,” JE G P 97 (1998): 500-21, esp. 512-16. T he “New M inster Refounda­ tion Charter” (S 745) is included in fols. 2v-33v o f London, B L , C otton Vespasian A .viii, a late tenth-century m anuscript from W inchester that is best known for the presence o f a deluxe illustration o f K ing E dgar offering C hrist the grant attesting the foundation o f the monastery at New M inster (see fig. 3.4 in this essay). T he “Peniarth Diplom a” is con­ tained in Aberystw yth, N ational Library o f W ales, Peniarth 390 (late tenth century). 36 Property and Piety in E arly M edieval Winchester: Documents R elating to the Topo­ graphy o f the Anglo-Saxon and Norman C ity and Its M insters, ed. and trans. Alexander R . Rumble (O xford, 2003), 81.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


fbrmatumqttf prothoplastum serpentinur liuor ad mortem usqoe pm luxit. Omnequ* humanwm genus post ilium. E t qtuzndo dei inmensa mismeordia hoc penpexit. condoluit, unicumqac filium suum mittens satum de intemerata uirgine M aria per crucis mortem omne humanum genus piissime redemit. [“A nd serpentine envy brought the first created man unto death, and the entire human race after him. But when G od in H is boundless mercy per­ ceived this, H e sym pathized, and, sending H is only son, begotten o f the inviolate Virgin M ary, H e righteously redeemed the entire human race through death on the cross.”]37 O n the basis o f the com bined use o f the fall-of-th e-an gels m o tif and the topic o f A dvent w ith suggestive political im plications in the “N ew M in ster R efoundation C h arter” and the “Peniarth D iplom a,” it m ight not be rash to assum e th at the al­ lusion to A dvent as m ankind’s longed-for era in the E xeter poetic sequence could likew ise be charged w ith contem porary overtones. In th is ligh t, the reference to the cornerstone and the tw o w alls in lyric 1 m ight be read by a late tenth-century audience as a furth er indirect allusion to the unity effected by the R eform and the tension betw een unreform ed and reform ed factions, respectively. T h ere are other architectural im ages that are w orth analyzing in A dvent lyric 1, one o f them being the notion o f the ruinous build in g th at needs to be re­ constructed as found in lines llb - 1 4 a . A gain , th is passage seem s to be endowed w ith a contem porary coloring, since, for tenth-century readers, the description o f the ruinous house in lyric 1 m ight evoke not only the im age o f a physically d ilapi­ dated build in g but also probably the decadence o f the unreform ed church and its m em bers. It is w ell known th at the R eform w as characterized by (re b u ild in g ac­ tivity, the royal city o f W inchester being a good exam ple o f th is.38 T h e recovery

37Johnson, “T he Fall o f Lucifer,” 515-16. Johnson in turn uses the text found in C . R . H art, The E arly Charters o f Northern England an d the North M idlands (Leicester, 1975), 187. Editorial italics in this passage follow Johnson's spelling o f the words that appear in an abbreviated form in H art’s edition. 38A s explained by Biddle, the archeological rem ains in W inchester bear w itness to the dram atic changes affecting the m onastic com m unities there: “Between 963 and 975 E dgar ordered that fences or w alls should be erected to separate the three m onasteries from the rush and disorder o f the town. W ithin this framework the three com m unities followed a way o f life that had been profoundly altered both inwardly and externally by the reform o f their houses in 964. Even the setting o f their daily lives had been changed, their churches rebuilt or enlarged, and their convent buildings regularized to conform with the requirements o f a rule that had itself been prom ulgated in the m ost ancient o f their churches”: M artin Biddle, “Felix Urbs W inthonia: W inchester in the A ge o f M o­ nastic Reform ,” in A nglo-Saxon H istory: Basic Readings, ed. D avid A . E . Pelteret (N ew York, 2000), 302-16, here 308. Lapidge offers a sum m ary o f the (reconstruction pro­ gram undertaken in W inchester after St. Swithun’s translation (971) in The C ult, ed.



o f m onasticism therefore n ecessarily im plied a period o f architectural restoration th at is frequently reflected in contem porary literature. A ccordingly, the description o f ruinous m onasteries and churches needin g reconstruction seem s to have becom e a com m onplace in the hagiographies relat­ ed to saints and leaders connected to the R eform . Interestingly, th is convention occurs in W ulfstan’s Vita S.Ætbehooldi, in w hich there is a description o f poor­ ly-endow ed and derelict A bingdon before Æ thelw old undertook its restoration when he w as appointed abbot o f that m onastery: “In quo m odicum antiquitus habebatur m onasteriolum , sed erat tunc neglectum ac destitutum , uilibus aed ificiis consistens et quadraginta tantum m ansas possidens” [“H ere there had o f old been a sm all m onastery, but th is had by now becom e neglected and forlorn. Its buildings were poor, and its estate consisted o f only forty hides o f lan d ”] .3940 By the sam e token, there are frequent allusions in hagiographies to building activity being carried out by different saintly characters. Accordingly, Æ thelw old w as characterized in his vitae as strongly determ ined to reconstruct E nglish m o­ nasticism in both the literal and the figurative dim ensions that this task im plied.90

idem, 236-37. For a hypothetical drawing o f Winchester Cathedral in the wall-painting found in the Morley Library, see John Crook, “King Edgar’s Reliquary o f St Swithun,” A S E 21 (1992): 177-202. Also, on the basis o f the references to buildings and furniture as found in the R egularis Concordia and Ælfric’s Letter to the Monks ofEynsbam , M ark Spurrel provides a detailed reconstruction o f a contemporary monastery in “The Architectural Interest o f the R egularis Concordia” A SE 21 (1992): 161-76. 39 W ulfstan o f Winchester\ ed. Lapidge and W inteibottom, 18-19. The E-version o f the Chronicle offers a parallel description o f the ruinous monastery at Peterborough be­ fore Æthelwold restored it: “Ne fand pær nan ping buton ealde weallas 7 wilde wuda” [“(Æthelwold) found nothing there but old walls and wild woods”]: The A nglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. Irvine, 57; trans. Swanton, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 115, lines 80-82; The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 636-37. 40 St. Swithun is similarly depicted as a staunch builder and restorer o f churches and monasteries in the anonymous Vita S. Sw ithuni (second half o f the eleventh century): “Ipse amator et cultor sancte uniuersalis ecdesie ecclesias quibus in locis non erant studio ardentissimo pecuniis large contraditis fabricabat; que uero semirutis et infiractis parietibus destructe iacebant, dominicis cultibus desiderantissime reparabat” [“St Swithun, the patron and supporter o f the Catholic Church, was possessed o f the burning desire to construct churches by the generous provision o f funding in those places where they previously did not exist; and where churches lay in ruins, their walls collapsed and dilapidated, he very eagerly restored them to the service o f the Lord”]. For Goscelin o f Saint-Bertin as a possi­ ble author o f this v ita, see The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 611-22. As noted by this editor, “It is un­ fortunately not possible to verify the hagiographer’s statement [in this passage]: no record o f Swithun’s building activity survives in contemporary charters” (636 n. 32). However, as pointed out by Lapidge, the saint is credited with the construction o f a bridge at the East Gate o f Winchester in a poem that was probably composed in the early tenth century: “Idem namque pastor almus et prouisor strenuus / forte pontem extruebat geminasque ianuas / per quas urbis Winthonie adeuntur moenia” [“This same holy bishop, being a

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


T h u s, as bishop o f W inchester, his (rc)construction activities at the O ld M inster to furnish an appropriate place for St. Swithun’s rem ains are lavishly described inW ulfstan Cantor’s Narrutio: “Istius antiqui reparauit et atria tem pli / m oenibus excelsis dum inibusque nouis, / partibus hoc austri firm ans et partibus arcti / porticibus solid is, arcubus et uariis” [“Æ thehvold also rebuilt the building o f the O ld M inster with lofty w alls and new roofs, strengthening it on its southern and northern sides w ith solid side-chapels and arches o f various kinds”].41 Sim ilarly, in W ulfstan’s Vita S. Æthehwoldi, there is a reference to the bishop’s active involvement in the construction o f buildings: “E rat namque sanctus Aetheluuoldus ecclesiarum ac diuersorum operum m agnus aedificator, et dum esset abbas et cum esset episcopus” [“S t Æ thelwold w as a great builder o f churches and other buildings, both as abbot and as bishop”].42 T h is excerpt m ight be pointing to the feet that the reformer’s zealous building en­ deavor goes beyond the sheer physical improvement o f the m onastic com m unities. A lso, it significantly relates Æ thelw old’s m onastic and episcopal activities to those o f a builder or “aedificator,” a term that echoes line 12 o f lyric 1, in which C h rist is characterized as “se craeftga,” who w ill restore the ruinous church.43

vigorous provider, was by chance constructing a bridge with twin gates through which one gained access to the walled town”], The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 795-96, lines 5-7. 41 The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 374-75, lines 45-48 from the dedicatory letter toÆ lfheah, Æthelwold’s successor in the episcopal see at Winchester. For further passages in the N arratio alluding to Æthelwold as builder and restorer o f monasteries, see lines 35-41, 61-65,115-120, and 276-278. Deshman also comments on Æthelwold’s building tasks in this work, arguing that “the rebuilding o f the cathedral to house the relics was an ex­ ternal sign o f the internal moral renewal o f the Church by monasticism”: Deshman, “St Swithun in Early Medieval Art,” in The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 183. For the description o f Æthelwold’s reconstruction o f the Old M inster, also see W ulfstan’s Vita S.Æ thehooldi, in W ulfstan o f Winchester, ed. Lapidge and Winterbottom, 54-57. 42 W ulfstan o f Winchester, ed. Lapidge and Winterbottom, 28-29. The extent o f Æthelwold’s involvement in the reconstruction o f Abingdon was certainly remarkable, as in the same chapter he is said to have been miraculously saved from an accident when working in the monastery. Actually, the connection between Æthelwold’s episcopal tasks and the restoration o f monasticism is pervasive in Anglo-Saxon texts. For instance, the entry for year 963 o f the E-Chronicle clearly alludes to this: “Syfldan pa com he to se cyng Eadgar, bed him pet he scolde him giuen ealle pa minstre pa hedene men heafden ser tobrocon, fordi pet he hit wolde geeadnewion, 7 se kyng hit blipelice tydode.” [“Then af­ terwards he (Æthelwold) came to the king Edgar (and) asked him that he would give him all the monasteries the heathen men had broken up earlier, because he wanted to restore it (Swanton’s note: *i.e. the monastic life’); and the king happily granted it”]: The AngloSaxon Chronicle, ed. Irvine, 57; trans. Swanton, The A nglo-Saxon Chronicle, 115. 43Christopher A . Jones has also detected monastic resonances in “bytla” (lines 148, 733), one o f the epithets describing Guthlac “as a holy founder or aedificator,;” and other building terms employed in GuthlacA in his “Envisioning the Cenobim in the Old English Guthlac A ? M edieval Studies 57 (1995): 259-91. here 273; see esp. 271-78.

i8 6


T h e literary production o f the second generation o f Benedictine authors also reflects th is interest in the m etaphorical use o f architectural im agery. A n exam ­ ple o f th is is Æ lfric’s Life o fSt. Maurus, in w hich there is a passage narrating the sain t’s m iraculous intervention when one o f the clerics had been injured w hile supervising the construction o f a m onastery: O n dæs scyppendes naman . pe ge-sceop mann o f eordan. axis pu gesund . and ardlice gang to dinum weall-geweorce and hit wél ge-enda___ pelæs pe hit beo gelet to lange purh de. [“In the Creator’s name who created man out o f the earth, arise thou sound, and go out quickly, to thy w all-building, and finish it w e ll.. . . lest it be hindered too long through thee.”]44 In the speech o f M aurus, a sain t o f w ellknow n Benedictine affiliatio n , the term “w eall-gew eorce” no doubt im plies th at the cleric is also w orking to im prove the com m unity in a m oral and spiritual sense.45 T h e parallel m etaphorical handling o f architectural im agery in pro-R eform sain ts’ lives and A dvent lyric 1 is therefore sign ifican t, but th is feature is not re­ stricted to only hagiographie w orks, since E d g ar’s zealous concern w ith m onastic restoration is also alluded to in “K in g E d g ar’s E stablishm ent o f the M on aster­ ies”: “h e . . . began geom e m ynstera w ide geond his cynerice to rihtlæ cynne, & G od es peow dom to arærenne” [“H e began zealously to set m onasteries in order w idely throughout his kingdom , and to set up the service o f G o d ”].46 Sim ilarly, the “N ew M in ster R efoundation C h arter” provides furth er evidence o f the re­ m arkable role o f buildin g m etaphors in the Benedictine context. A t the begin­ ning o f th is docum ent, G o d ’s creative pow er is com pared to th at o f a skilled craftsm an: “O M N IP O T E N S T O T IU S M A C H IN A E C O N D IT O R ineffabili pietate uniuersa m irifice m oderatur quae co n d id it. Q u i coaeterno uidelicet uerbo quaedam ex nichilo e d id it. quaedam ex inform i subtilis artifex propagauit m a te ria .” [“T H E A L M IG H T Y C R E A T O R O F T H E W H O L E S C H E M E

A*Æ lfric's Lives o f Saints, ed. Skeat, 1:58-59, lines 171-173. This passage is cited and

discussed by E . Gordon Whatley, “Pearls before Swine: Æ lfric, Vernacular Hagiography, and the Lay Reader,” in Via C rucis: Essays on E arly M edieval Sources and Ideas in Memory o f J . E . Cross, ed. Thomas N. H all, Thomas D . H ill, and Charles D . Wright (Morgantown, WV, 2002), 158-84, here 178-79. 45 See also Æ lfric’s L ife o f St. Thomas, esp. lines 67-68 and 71-73: Æ lfric’s Lives o f Saints, ed. Skeat, 2: 402-5. In line 103 Thomas is called “cræftga”, and in Une 104 he is “cristes wyrhtan”; both nouns are likewise employed in Advent lyric 1. 44 Councils, ed. and trans. W hitelock et al., 148-49.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics

is ?

O F T H IN G S guides m arvellously w ith ineffable love everything w hich H e has created. H e, through the co-eternal W ord, so to speak form ed certain th ings 'out o f nothing’ and, like a fin e craftsm an , created certain other th in gs out o f shape­ less m atter”].47 T h e nouns “conditor” (builder, founder, preserver, or creator) and “artifex” (referring to a craftsm an , author, or m aker), together w ith the verbs “condidit” and “edidit,” thus recall the term s em ployed in the preceding citations from hagiographie w orks as w ell as the vocabulary used by the A dvent poet. A s in the charter’s passage, it is notew orthy th at the reference to C h rist’s re­ construction o f the ruinous build in g is likew ise ju xtaposed to the notion o f G o d ’s creation o f m an in lyric 1: N u is ]>am weorce {jearf |>æt se craftga cume ond se cyning sylfa, ond j>onne gebete— nu gebrosnad is— hus under hrofe. H e j>æt hra gescop, leomo læmena. (llb -1 6 a )48*4 47Property and Piety, ed. Rumble, 74 (capitalization preserved). 4S Burlin, The Old English Advent, 56-57. 1 have highlighted the terms related to building, ruins, restoration, and creation with italics. A s pointed out by Brown in "Old English Verse as a Medium for Christian Theology,” 20, the term “gebrosnad” interest­ ingly reappears in lyric 4, this time “to describe M ary’s unsullied maidenhood (84b).” As with lyric 1, The Ruin dwells on the description o f derelict buildings and the need to restore them, as observed in the following passages (note the use o f parellel words which have been highlighted): Wrætlic is J>es wealstan, wyide gebnecon; burgstede burston, brosnad enta gcweorc. Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras, hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime, scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedrorene, xldo undereotone. . . wurdon hyra wigsteal westen staj>olas, brosnade burgsteall. Betend crungon hergas to hrusan. (Lines 1- 6a; 27- 29a) [“Wondrously ornate is the stone o f this wall, shattered by fate; the precincts o f the city have crumbled and the work o f giants is rotting away. There are tumbled roofs, towers in ruins, high towers rime-frosted, rime on the limy mortar, storm-shielding til­ ing scarred, scored and collapsed, undermined by age___ Their fortress became waste places; the city rotted away: those who should repair it, the multitudes, were fallen to the ground”]: The Exeter Book, ed. George Philip Krapp and Elliott van Kirk Dobbie, A SPR 3 (New York, 1936), 227-28; trans. Anglo-Saxon Poetry, ed. Bradley, 402. The remark­ able lexical parallelisms found in The Ruin and lyric 1 therefore suggest that the former might also probably be related to the Benedictine orbit.

0 8


A lso significantly, the w ord “cræ ftga” is linked by m eans o f alliteration to the term “cyning” (line 12). T h is association o f kingship and the notion o f (re)construction in turn recalls E d g ar’s firm com m itm ent to buildin g as described in chapter vi o f the “N ew M in ster R efoundation C h arter.” H ence, parallelin g G o d ’s authority at banishing the rebellious angels from heaven and expellin g m an from P aradise, the buildin g term inology subsequently applies to E d g ar who, as a ju st destroyer and builder, is thus legitim ized to banish the canons from the N ew M in ster and in stall m onks in their place: “Q uosdam igitu r suasionibus inuitans ad prem ia . quosdam terroribus com pellens ad gloriam . bona edifican s . m ala ut D om ino faciente potui d issip a u i.” [“A ttractin g certain people to rew ards therefore by ex­ hortations, driving others on to glory by terrible threats, buildin g up good th in gs, I have destroyed bad th in gs, so far as I have been able, at the L o rd ’s doing”].49 A ll the passages discussed so far support the hypothesis th at to a late tenthcentury m onastic audience the architectural im ages and m etaphors offered by A dvent lyric 1 w ould certainly conjure up them es and ideas that w ould be akin to Benedictine ideology. T h e parallel use o f the cornerstone, the tw o w alls, and the ruinous build in gs, as em ployed in reform -oriented hagiographies, charters, and other texts, m ight therefore be poin tin g to the possible m etaphorical reading o f these im ages in lyric 1, thus evoking the key concepts o f ecclesiastical unity and m onastic restoration, as prom oted by the R eform m ovement.

3. The Shepherd, the King, and the Priest: Christological Imagery and the Significance o f Advent In the A dvent sequence there are several C h ristological im ages th at are w orth analyzing in the context o f the Benedictine reform . O ne o f them is the com m onplace com parison o f C h rist w ith the G o o d Shepherd protecting the 49 Property and Piety, ed. Rumble, 80. The passage continues the use o f building and destruction imagery in a subsequent justification o f Edgar’s decisions due to his fulfilling G od’s order as found in Jeremiah 1:10: “Ecce constitui te super gentes et super régna ut euellas et destruas et disperdas et dissipes et edifices et plantes” [“Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant”]: The association o f Edgar’s ruling task with that o f the reconstruction o f monasticism is equally recorded in hagiographie works. In W ulfstan Cantor’s Narratio, for example, there is a digressive passage in which Edgar is credi­ ted with the rebuilding o f monasteries that had been destroyed during his predecessors’ reigns: “[régis Eadgari] in cuius regni sunt tempore cuncta / regibus antiquis regnantibus eruta quondam / limina sacrorum reparata monasteriorum.” [“(King Edgar), during whose reign all the edifices o f sacred monasteries, left in ruin while earlier kings were reigning, were restored”]. See The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 544-45, lines 1069-1077.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics

i8 p

C h ristian flo ck , as subtly hinted at in the fin al lines o f lyric 1: “nu sceal liffrea / J>one w ergan heap wra[mm ahreddan, / earm e from egsan , sw a he o ft dyde” [“now m ust the L o rd o f L ife release from the w rath ful th is w eary throng, these helpless from terror, as H e often has”].50 T h e m o tif recurs in lyric 8, in w hich the sheep clearly represent innocent helpless C h ristian s and the w o lf sym bolizes the devil or the enemy o f the flock: U s is i>inra arna J>earf. H afad se awyrgda w ulf tostenced, deor dædscua, dryhten, J>in eowde, wide towrecene. I>aet du, waldend, ær blöde gebohtes, J>*t se bealofulla hyneö heardlice, ond him on hæft nimed ofer usse nioda lust. [“W e have need o f Your mercy. T he m alignant wolf, the beast o f the shadow-deeds, H as scattered, Lord, Your flock, Now widely dispersed. W hat You, Ruler, once Bought with blood, the evil one O ppresses fiercely, and takes in his bondage A gainst our desires"].S1 T h e em ploym ent o f th is im age in lyric 8 is particularly m eaningful, since it not only resum es and expands the pastoral m o tif th at w as vaguely presented in the opening lyric but also constitutes a notable divergence from its antiphonal source.52 B esid es, the verb “tostenced” (line 256b) is also sign ifican tly used in the reference to E ad w ig’s m isrule as provoking political dissension and favoring lack

50Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 56-57, Unes 15b-17. 51 Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 130-31, lines 255b-258b. T he idea o f the w olf scattering the flock reappears further in lyric 8: “æ r . . . se sw earta gæ st / forteah ond fortylde” [“the black spirit once / M isled and withdrew u s . . 1 3 0 - 3 1 , Unes 269b-70]. T h is metaphor m ainly derives from a New Testam ent parable (John 10:11-17). Interes­ tingly, M agennis points out that in Andreas the M erm edonians are described as “wælwulfas” (Une 149) or “wolves o f slaughter.” H e thus com pares that occurrence with this pas­ sage from lyric 8. See H ugh M agennis, A nglo-Saxon A ppetites: Food and D rink an d their Consumption in O U English an d R elated Literature (D ublin, 1999), 66. 52 “O Rex pacifice, Tu ante saecula nate: per auream egredere portam , redemptos tuos visita, et eos iUuc revoca unde ruerunt per culpam ” [“O K ing o f peace, born before the ages: come forth through the golden gate, visit your redeemed ones and fetch them back to the place whence, through sin, they feU”]: Burlin, The O ld English Advent, 132; trans. A nglo-Saxon Poetry, ed. Bradley, 211.



o f unity in the excerpt from "K in g E d g ar’s E stablishm ent o f the M onasteries” quoted above.53 In th is ligh t, the assum ption th at to contem porary readers the reference to the w o lf scattering the flo ck in lyric 8 could stand for unreform ed and reform ed factions seem s fairly reasonable. T h ese m etaphorical im plications m ight also a f­ fect the antithetical reference to the longing-for-A dvent prisoners and the tor­ m entor m enacing them , as presented furth er in the poem : Forjxm we, nergend, J>e biddad geom lice breostgehygdum Jjæt }>u hrxdlice helpe gefremme wergum wreccan, fret se wites bona in helle grand hean ged reo se. . . ["Therefore, to You, Savior, W e eagerly pray in our innermost thoughts T h at You may quickly bring help T o the weary exiles, that the tormenting murderer T o the abyss o f hell may fall ab ject. . ”]545 T h e opposition al dichotom ies occurring in both lyric 1 and 8 thus gain sig n ifi­ cance in a contextualized reading: Lyric 1 w eallstan (2a) / wyrhtan (2b) weall wid wealle (11a) wergan heap (16a) / wrajnxm (16b)

Lyric 8 w u lf (256b) / eowde (257b) wergum wreccan (264a)ss / wites bona (264b) leodscea[>an (273a, "the enemy o f man”) / lifgende god (273b, "living G od”) A n idea th at supports the author’s aw areness o f the antithetical role o f these pairs is the presence o f alliteration affectin g their constituents— w ith the exception o f the “w ulf/eow de” couple occurring in different lines. T h is su ggests that the A dvent poet had those dichotom ies in m ind and th at a contem porary audience m ight have interpreted them as hintin g at real clash ing factions at th at tim e.

53It there appears as “tostencte” (see p. 176 o f this essay). S4Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 130-31, lines 261b-265. 55Note also the parallelism with the phrase “wergan heap” in lyric 1.

Architectural Metaphors and Cbristological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


A lthough pastoral im agery as found in lyric 8 is actually a w ellknow n rhe­ torical convention throughout the M iddle A ges, the topos seem s to have enjoyed a special popularity durin g the Benedictine revival. T o begin w ith, it is pervasive in S t. B enedict’s R ule, since, as explained by D esh m an, th is text "applied th is pastoral m etaphor to the abbot who, as the vicar o f C h rist in the ‘sheep-fold’ o f the m onastery, is also a ‘shepherd’ who m ust account for his governance o f his flo ck as w ell as h im self to the ‘Shepherd’ C h rist after the Second C om ing.”S6 T h e analogy w as thus often associated w ith the abbot and the m onks but it could also apply to canons, as observed in the follow ing passage from the Enlarged Rule o f Chrodegang, the O ld E n glish translation o f w hich has been recently linked to the G lastonbury circle ofÆ thelw old and D un stan during the 940s and 950s by M ichael D .C . D rout.5758 wel manege synt j>e C ristes seep, na for C ristes lufe, ac for heora woroldwuldre and for hlafordj>rimme and for gestreona j>ingum healdad. Sodlice {>a hyrdas sceolon j>a eordlican helpas him geom e don, and freflice sceal him xtyw an rihte drohtnunge ge m id godum bysnum, ge eac m id wordpredicungum . ["there are too many who look after C h rist’s sheep not out o f love for C h rist but because they strive for worldly glory and power and riches. Truly the shepherds shall grant them earthly help and w illingly and carefully teach them the correct conduct through good examples as well as through preach­ in g "].« H ere the term "hyrdas” is em ployed for the priests who are urged to supply their "seep” (parishoners) w ith both m aterial and spiritu al assistance.59 T h e prom inence o f pastoral im agery is also attested to in visu al art, as illu s­ trated in a picture from O xford, S t. Joh n ’s C ollege, M S . 28 (fol. 2r), w hich dates

56D eshm an, The Benedictional, 206. For a list o f occurrences o f this metaphor in the Rule, see 206 n. 88. 57See M ichael D . C . D rout, "R e-D atin g the O ld English Translation o f the Enlarged Rule o f Chrodegangy T he Evidence o f the Prose Style,” JE G P 103 (2004): 341-68; idem , How Tradition Works: A M em e-Based A nalysis o f the A nglo-Saxon Tenth Century (Tem pe, A Z , 2006), chap. 7. M y thanks to the author who pointed me to the presence o f pastoral im agery in this passage and kindly provided a pre-publication copy o f this book. 58 The O ld English Version o f the Enlarged Rule o f Chrodegang, Edited together with the L atin Text and an English Translation, ed. and trans. B rigitte Langefeld (Frankfurt am M ain, 2003), 283,379. 59T he pastoral metaphor was also consonant with the role o f abbesses, as attested to in "K in g E dgar’s Establishm ent o f the M onasteries,” in which they are alluded to as "hyrdum”: Councils, ed. W hitelock et al., 153.

I9 2


from the m id-tenth century and contains a L atin version o f P seudo-Linus’ Passio P e t r i In th is m iniature (fig. 3 .2 ), C h rist is holding a book, in w hich the term “pastor,” from the phrase “O bone Petre, pastor et pater,” has been deliberately isolated from the text so as to high light th is concept.6061 T h e insertion o f the w ord in the book w as m ost likely effected to enhance C h rist’s role as shepherd, an as­ sum ption th at is quite reasonable, since the text is an apocryphal w ork d ealin g w ith Peter, the first “pastor” after C h rist.62 In A n glo-Saxon literature, the specifity o f pastoral im agery in the Benedic­ tine context is not easy to track, since the reference to an abbot or bishop as “p as­ tor” w as actually a cliché before the R eform .63 How ever, C hristopher A . Jo n es has pointed out the probable m onastic significance o f the term “hyrde” appear­ in g in Guthlac Ayan assum ption that su ggests a connection o f the text w ith the R eform m ovem ent.64 B esides, as stated by M ichael L apid ge, “T h e conventions o f

60In fact this codex is the result o f binding together two different m anuscripts. T he first one, which includes the Passio Petriy dates from the m id-tenth century. T he second, from the turn o f the century, interestingly contains a L atin version o f G regory’s Cura Pastoralis. In this light, the two m anuscripts may have been bound together due to their sharing o f the pastoral leitm otif. T he binder’s possible acknowledgement o f the common topic o f the two m anuscripts in turn supports my conjecture that the inclusion o f the term "pastor” within the picture m ight have been prompted by an initial desire to highlight the pastoral m otif, which was probably evident in the first m anuscript when it was still independent. Furtherm ore, as pointed out by John, "m ost o f the m anuscript. . . is from St A ugustine’s, Canterbury, but the draw ing itself may be from G lastonbury”: Eric John, "T he A ge o f Edgar,” in The A nglo-Saxons, ed. Jam es Cam pbell et al. (H arm ondsw orth, 1991), 181, note to fig. 156. I f John’s assum ption is correct, the G lastonbury provenance suggests a Benedictine affiliation o f the picture that may corroborate the significance o f the enhancement o f the term "pastor.” M y thanks to Frederick B iggs who kindly helped me to find out inform ation about the contents o f the first manuscript. 61 In the picture the word "pastor” (in black ink as the rest o f the text) is enhanced due to the contrast given by the reddish color o f both C hrist and the book’s outline. 62 Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha, A cta Petriy ed. Ricardus A delbertus Lipsius (H ildesheim , 1959), 1-22, here 6. 63 N ot surprisingly, Swithun is labeled "pastor” in different passages from his Latin vitae and the liturgical pieces commemorating this saint. For the characterization o f St. Swithun as “pastor” in liturgy, see The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 7 6-77,96-97,132-33. A s for the employment o f the epithet "pastor” in hagiographie works, see W ulfstan Cantor’s N arratio (408-9, line 173) and the anonymous Vita S. Sw ithuni (330-31, line 1) in the same edition. 64 N ote, for example, the occurrence o f “hyrdes” (line 217b), and “hyrde” (lines 318a and 789a) in Guthlac A . See Christopher A . Jones, "Envisioning the Cenobium 271. See also Patrick W. Conner, "Source Studies, the O ld English Guthlac A and the English Ben­ edictine Reform ation,” Revue Bénédictine 103 (1993): 380-413; idem, Anglo-Saxon Exeter, 162-63.

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npoffutn*ttcpnra. failure don*c amt> \ Ixyrcnrj panartfaltqua/ttcul u murre. Adolcfcetnrf cjuoq. quöftpf[æt] he sym le w acol sy ofer godes eow ede. ]>[æt] se ungesew enlica w u lf godes seep ne tostence.” [“It is fittin g th at the preacher be w atchful over G o d ’s sheep so th at the invisible w o lf does not scatter G o d ’s sheep”].73 T h e passage sign ifican tly

70 R egularis Concordia, ed. Symons, 2. For further comments on this passage, see Deshman, “Benedictus M onarcha et M onachus” 225-28, and idem, The Benedictional, 2056. See also Karkov, R uler Portraits, 100-1. 71A further noteworthy example o f this metaphor is found in the “New M inster Re­ foundation Charter,” in which the role o f Edgar’s successors is equated with that o f shep­ herds watching their flock: “Reges itaque quicumque nostri fuerint successores. . . in nullo a reguli preceptis discordantes. Domini gregem non mercenarii sed pastores fidissim i. luporum rictibus eximentes intrepidi defendant.” [“Whichever kings therefore shall be our successors. . . dissenting in no respect from the commands o f the Rule, not as hirelings (cf. John 10:12-13) but as most faithful shepherds let them, intrepid, defend the Lord’s flock, delivering it from the jaws o f the wolves”]: Property and Piety, ed. Rumble, 88. 72 For further occurrences o f the wolf/sheep topos in Anglo-Saxon literature, see M agennis, A nglo-Saxon A ppetites, 66-67. nÆ lfiic’s Catholic Hom ilies, ed. Clemoes, 313-16 and the passage from Homily 2 on 193-94. My translation. Brackets supply abbreviated words.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


appears in the hom ily for C h ristm as (N ativitas domini) and the ph rasing closely parallels the excerpts o f A dvent lyric 8 discussed above. P astoral im ages are also frequently em ployed by W ulfstan the H o m ilist in h is Institutes ofPolity, an early eleventh-century treatise th at opens w ith a description o f the characteristics o f ideal kingship: “C ristenum cyninge gebyred on cristenre |>eode, J>æt he sy, ealsw a hit riht is, folces frofer and rihtw is hyrde ofer cristene heorde.” [“It behoves the C h ristian kin g in a C h ristian nation to be, as is right, the people’s com fort and a righteous shepherd over the C h ristian flo ck ”].7475T h is passage therefore attests to the continuity o f pastoral im agery in the pre-C on quest reform ist m ilieu. In any event, the pastoral m etaphor is an old com m onplace th at cannot be associated w ith the R eform period alone. For A n glo-Saxon s, the analogy w as w ell known from G regory the G reat’s Cura Pastoralis, a central piece in A lfred ’s educational program .” It w as also popular in C arolin gian poetry, in w hich p as­ toral im agery w as frequently applied to C harlem agne, who w as usually com pared to C h rist and D avid .76 H ow ever, it m ay be assum ed th at the im age gained special prom inence in late tenth- and early eleventh-century texts as a result o f reform ist interests in the revival o f A lfred ian and C arolin gian topoi.77 A furth er rem arkable aspect o f the A dvent sequence is the conspicuous em ­ ph asis placed on C h rist/G o d ’s kingship, as pointed out by E arl R . A nderson, who notes th at “M ultiple epithets for G odhead are also a characteristic o f the

74D ie Institutes o f Polity, C iv il and Ecclesiastical', ed. K arljo st (Bern, 1959). AngloSaxon Prose, ed. M ichael Swanton (London, 1993), 188. In The Institutes the pastoral

metaphor also applies to bishops, priests, and reeves (see Jost’s edition, sections 6 and 10). The image is also employed by W ulfstan in Homily X V Ib, lines 35-36. See The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Dorothy Bethurum (Oxford, 1957), 241. For a discussion o f pastoral me­ taphors applying to bishops and priests in the latter homily, see Jonathan W ilcox, “The W olf on Shepherds: W ulfstan, Bishops, and the Context o f the Sermo Lupi ad A nglos? in O ld English Prose: Basic Readings, ed. Paul E . Szarmach (New York, 2000), 395-418, esp. 398-400. 75For a discussion o f late tenth-century pastoral imagery as being inherited from the Alfredian period, see Karkov, R uler Portraits, 100-1. 76M urray notes that “The Carolingian age perhaps read that image more com­ pletely and more historically than any earlier or subsequent age, and expressed its meaning more successfully”: Oswyn Murray, “The Idea o f the Shepherd King from Cyrus to Charlemagne,” in L atin Poetry an d the C lassical T radition: Essays in M edieval and Renaissance Literature, ed. Peter Godman and Oswyn Murray (Oxford, 1990), 114, here 14. 77Alfredian revival during the Reform period is also attested to in Edgar’s adoption o f some o f Alfred’s coin types. I thank Catherine E . Karkov for kindly pointing this out to me. See her comments in R uler P ortraits, 102-5. A lso see Kenneth Jonsson, The New E ra: The Reform ation o f the L ate A nglo-Saxon Coinage (London, 1987).

i$ 8


A dvent L y r i c s . . 78 Indeed, despite the poem ’s fragm entary form , in lyric 1 the term “cyning” is em ployed tw ice (lines lb and 12b); also, “w uldres ealdor” (line 8b) stresses C h rist’s royal statu s in the sam e poem . Sim ilarly, tw o o f the lyrics start w ith a forceful statem ent o f C h rist’s kingship; lyric 2 thus reads “E ala Jrn reccend ond f>u riht c y n in g . . ["You, O R uler and righ tful K i n g . . . , ” line 1] and lyric 8 in turn refers to C h rist as “ealra cyninga cyning” (line 251a), an epi­ thet th at establishes h is im perial nature and recurs in lyric 6 (line 136a). Lyric 11 deploys a sign ifican t set o f kingly epithets as, for exam ple, “sigores frea” ("P rince o f victory,” line 404a) and “dryhtna dryhten”(line 405a). Finally, lyric 12 alludes to C h rist as being a consecrated kin g, "se gehalgoda” (line 435a). D espite the pervasive occurrence o f som e o f these epithets in m edieval reli­ gious poetry, the insistence on C h rist’s royal and im perial character in the A d ­ vent sequence has been associated by D esh m an w ith pro-R eform pictures in w hich C h rist’s role as king and em peror is sim ilarly underlined. In Æ thehvold’s Benedictional (fol. 9v), for instance, the m iniature o f the Second C om in g (fig. 3 .3) is particularly revealing because C h rist’s m antle presents a golden-lettered inscription proclaim ing him as "R ex regum et D om (i)n (u)s dom inatiu(m ).”79 In the frontispiece to the "N ew M in ster R efoundation C h arter” (fig. 3.4) the ch ristological role assign ed to E d g ar has been thoroughly studied by D esh m an who affirm s th at the cross and the key, held respectively by the V irgin M ary and St. Peter, were connected to the notion o f the davis David, “w hich sign ified C h rist’s pow er to open or close the gates o f heaven, earth , and h e l l . . . ” (197).80 T h is sym ­ bol w as em ployed in Æ thelw old’s B enedictional and the second coronation ordo, the service used in E d g ar’s coronation cerem ony.81 A s noted by D esh m an, the davis D avid m o tif is precisely the central idea o f the antiphon th at w as used by

78Anderson has also noted the relevance o f this characteristic in Christ II: "Among the epithets for Godhead, the most prominent semantic category is the group attesting to G od’s rulership or kingship — 55 references, 41 epithets”: E ad R. Anderson, Cynewulf. Structure, Style, and Theme in H is Poetry (London, 1983), 56. For an account o f the differences in the use o f epithets related to kingship in the Advent Lyrics and C hrist II, see 58-59. 79A s pointed out by Deshman (The Benedictional, 64), this picture paraphrases Rev­ elation 19:16: “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King o f kings, and Lord o f lords.” For a full commentary on this miniature see 64-69. 80See Deshman, The Benedictional, 197. Also, as pointed out by Karkov, "The typo­ logical relationship between Christ and Edgar [in the Charter frontispiece] is reinforced by the purple background against which the scene is set. Purple was a colour which sym­ bolised both royalty and the blood o f Christ, and one which had definite imperial con­ notations”: R uler Portraits, 86. 81 See Deshman’s comments on fol. 56v (The Doubting o f Thom as, plate 21) in The Benedictional, 197. See also Janet L . Nelson, "The Second English Ordo,” in eadem, Poli­ tics and R itu al in E arly M edieval Europe (London, 1986), 361-74.

A r c h ite c tu r a l M e ta p h o rs a n d C h r isto lo g ic a l Im a g e ry in th e A d v e n t L y r ic s

19 9

Fig. 3.3. London, B L , M S. A dd. 49598, fbl. 9v. By permission o f the British Library.



Fig. 3.4. London, B L , M S. C otton V espasian A .v iii, fol. 2v. By perm ission o f the British Library.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


the A dvent poet to com pose lyric 2 , w hose in itial lines develop th is m otif: “E ala pu reccend ond {ni rih t cyning, / se pe locan healded, lif ontyned, / eadga[an] upw egas . . . ” [“You, O R uler and righ tfu l K in g, W ho guard the lock, W ho open life, the blessed w ays to heaven. . ”].82 L yric 2 therefore betrays a furth er possi­ ble lin k w ith the p ro p ag an d ists sym bols o f the R eform . O n other hand, the panegyric known as “K in g E d g ar’s C oronation,” contai­ ned in the A -version o f the C hronicle (year 973), is also particularly helpful for dem onstrating the contem porary coloring o f the C h ristological im ages em ployed in the A dvent sequence: H er Eadgar wæs, Engla waldend, cordre micelre to cyninge gehalgod on dære ealdan byrig, Acem annesceastre; eac hi igbuend odre worde beornas Badan nemnap. I>ær wæs blis micel on pam eadgan dæge eallum geworden, pon(n)e nida beam nemnad 7 cigad Pentecostenes dæg. I>ær wæs preosta heap, micel muneca dreat, mine gefrege, gleawra gegaderod. 7 da agangen wæs tyn hund wintra geteled rim es fram gebyrdtide bremes cyninges, leohta hyrdes, buton dær to lafe pa (a)gn wæs wintergeteles, pæs de gewritu secgad, seofon 7 tw entig; swa neah wæs sigora frean dusend aurnen, da pa dis gelam p. 7 him Eadm undes eafora hæfde nigon 7 .xx., nidweorca heard, wintra on worulde, pis geworden wæs, 7 pa on dam .xxx. wæs deoden gehalgod. [“In this year E dgar, ruler o f the English, with a great company, was conse­ crated king in the ancient borough, Acemannesceaster—the men who dwell 82Burlin, The O ld English Advent, 68-69, lines l-3 a. For a study o f this passage, see Stanley B. Greenfield, “O f Locks and Keys-line 19a o f the O E C hrist,” M odem Language Notes 67 (1952): 238-40. See also Burlin’s comments on lyric 2: The O ld English Advent, 70-77. The antiphon on which lyric 2 is based reads “O Clavis David, et sceptrum do­ oms Israel, qui aperis et nemo claudit, claudis et nemo aperit, veni et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.” [“O key o f David and sceptre o f the house o f Israel, you who open and no one closes: you who close and no one opens (Rev. 3:7): come and lead out o f the prison-house the captive who sits in darkness and the shadow o f death”]: 70; trans. in A nglo-Saxon Poetry, ed. Bradley, 205. The metaphor o f the keys and the doors (or locks) reappears in lyric 8 (lines 250-255).



in this island also call it by another name, Bath. There great joy had come to all on that blessed day which the children o f men call and name the day o f Pentecost. There was assembled a crowd o f priests, a great throng o f learned monks, as I have heard tell. A nd then had passed from the birth o f the glorious K ing, the G uardian o f Light, ten hundred years reckoned in numbers, except that there yet rem ained, by what documents say, seven and twenty o f the number o f years, so nearly had passed away a thousand years o f the Lord o f Victories, when this took place. And Edm und’s son, bold in battle, had spent twenty-nine years in the world when this came about, and then in the thirtieth was consecrated king.”] 83 T h is m agnificent piece o f royalist propaganda contains som e o f the im ages that have been discussed so far. E d g ar’s role as consecrated kin g is clearly stressed, as the term “geh algod ” is m entioned tw ice (lines 2b and 20b). H is sacerdotal con­ dition is likew ise suggested, since he is said to have reached the canonical age (30 years) for priestly consecration.84 In addition, C h rist, to whom the m onarch is indirectly likened, is alluded to as “leohta hyrdes” (line 13a) or "Shepherd o f L igh ts,” which connects w ith the pastoral im agery discussed above.85 Interestingly, A dvent lyric 6 introduces the notion o f C h rist as kin g o f kin gs and as partak in g o f both royal and priestly condition in a passage th at is w orth analyzing: Swa f>æt gomele gefyrn ealra cyninga cyning ond J)one clænan eac sacerd sodlice sægdon toweard,

83 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. Bately, 76-77; trans. in English H istorical Docu­ ments, ed. W hitelock, 227-28. The poem is also in Manuscripts B and C .

84A s pointed out by M agennis, "the congregation is o f ecclesiastics and wise men, a fact which emphasizes the coincidence o f religious and secular in Edgar’s rule”: Hugh M agennis, Im ages o f Community in O ld English Poetry (Cambridge, 1996), 196. 85 Karkov has noted the significant employment o f the well-known paronomastic pair angelorumlanglorum in the "New M inster Refoundation Charter,” which alludes to both angels and Edgar: "The charter begins with a reference to angelic {angelica) cre­ ation, and to the fall o f the angels (angelorum ), and the fact that men enjoyed the fellow­ ship o f the angels ( angelorum ), and it ends with Edgar’s subscription as king o f the Eng­ lish {Anglorum basileus)”: Karkov, R uler P ortraits, 88. She has pointed out a similar playful use o f “engla” in The D eath o f Edgar, contained in the A -B-C versions o f the Chronicle (year 975). In this poem the king is styled "Engla cyning” (line 2a) at the start and is later referred to as "Brego engla” (36a) at the end: (88 n. 17). Furthermore, Edgar is alluded to as "Engla waldend” (lb) in the coronation poem. In this light, the presence o f the epi­ thet "heahengla brego” ("chief o f the archangels,” line 403b) applying to Christ in Advent lyric 11 is therefore highly suggestive.

Architectural Metaphors and Christological Imagery in the Advent Lyrics


swa se mæra iu, M elchiscdech, gleaw in gæ ste god]>rym onwrah eces alwaldan. [“A s sages o f former tim es accurately foretold T he K ing o f all K ings and immaculate Priest, So, too, o f old the great M elchisedech, W ise in spirit, revealed the divine m ajesty O f the eternal Ruler”].86 H ere the reference to C h rist’s A dvent as being prefigured by M elchisedech rep­ resents a rem arkable departure from the origin al antiphon, in w hich the term “L egifer” (law -giver), from “O Em m anuel, R ex et L egifer noster,” has also been changed for O ld E n glish “sacerd” (line 137a).87A s B urlin com m ents, the replace­ m ent o f the antiphonal word “enables the poet to include M elchisedech, ‘rex Salem , sacerdos D ei sum m i’ (H eb. 7:1).”88 Indeed, the presence o f th is O ld T es­ tam ent figu re in the lyric can be explained on the basis o f the allusion to M elchi­ sedech in S t. P aul’s E p istle to the H ebrew s (7 :2 -3 ): H e is first, by translation o f his name, king o f righteousness, and then he is also king o f Salem , that is, king o f peace. H e is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning o f days nor end o f life, but resem bling the Son o f G od he continues as priest for ever. C am pbell adds that M elchisedech w as view ed “as a prefiguring o f the priesthood o f C h rist” w hile “the epithet ‘K in g o f Salem ’ w as taken as a foreshadow ing o f C h rist’s title, ‘Prince o f Peace.’”89 T h e latter aspect m ust have been particularly

“ Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 106-7, lines 135b-140a. 87The complete antiphon on which lyric 6 is based reads as follows: “O Emmanuel, Rex et Legifer noster, exspectatio gentium et salvator earum: Veni ad salvandum nos, Dominus Deus noster” [“O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, Hope o f the nations and their Saviour: come to save us, Lord our G od”]: Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 108; trans. in A nglo-Saxon Poetry, ed. Bradley, 208. The term “Legifer” is used later in the lyric with the phrase “æ bringend” (140b). Campbell has likewise pointed out the origi­ nal handling o f the antiphonal source, as he affirm s that lyric 6 “is a good example to use in order to demonstrate how the poet could take one or two suggestions from the anti­ phon O Em anuhel, bring in other material from the Bible and standard Christian belief, and eventually create something which is entirely new”: Jackson J. Campbell, “Structural Patterns in the Old English Advent Lyrics,” English Language Notes 23 (1956): 239-55, here 242. 88Burlin, The O ld English A dvent, 109. “ Campbell, “Structural Patterns,” 243.



appealing to the A dvent poet, as it w ould clearly connect w ith lyric 3 th at is d e­ voted to reflectin g on the special statu s o f Jerusalem as the sacred city receiving C h rist’s A dvent. N ot surprisingly, th is lyric opens w ith an allusion to the trad i­ tional etym ology o f Jerusalem (“visio p a d s”): “E ala sibbe gesihd, sancta H ierusalem .”90 Lyric 8 returns to the idea o f C h rist as suprem e ruler o f peace: “E ala Jm soda ond Jrn sibsum a / ealra cyninga cyning, C rist æl mi hti g. . [“You, O true and You, O peaceable K in g o f all kin gs, alm ighty C h r i s t . . .”].91 In th is ligh t, it is quite clear that for the A dvent poet the figu re o f M elchisedech, the concept o f Jerusalem as the visio pads, and the notion o f C h rist as kin g o f peace were in­ terconnected. A ccording to th is, we m ay tentatively consider the possibility that M elchi­ sedech could have enjoyed a prom inent position in Benedictine m ythography. T o begin w ith, M elchisedech w ould surely have been known to a m onastic audience w ell-trained in the sin gin g o f the psalter, since he is m entioned in P salm 109 [110]:4: “You are a priest for ever after the order o f M echisedech.”92 A s stated in G en esis 14:17-20, he w as a C anaanite priest-kin g who honored A braham on h is return from battle by offerin g him bread and w ine.93 For a pro-R eform audience the episode m ight have been particularly enlightening, since M elchisedech, like

90Burlin, The O ld English A thens, 80-81, line 50. The myth o f the New Jerusalem, which is present in lyric 3, as a symbol o f the renewal o f the Church was also particu­ larly akin to Benedictine concerns. Note, for example, the description o f Winchester as the New Jerusalem in which the Reform would succesfully flourish in the dream account found in W ulfstan’s Vita S. Æ thelw oldi: W ulfstan o f Winchester, ed. Lapidge and Winterbottom, 4-7. A contextualized analysis o f lyric 3 would thus be reasonable here but the limits o f this essay do not allow me to provide one. See also Deshman’s discussion o f this aspect as part o f the Benedictine program in The Benedictional, 198-200; Paul E . Szarmach, uVisio P ad s: Jerusalem and Its M eanings,” in Typology and English M edieval Literature, ed. Hugh T. Keenan (New York, 1992), 71-87. 91Burlin, The O ld English Advent, 128-29, lines 214-15. 92For example, the Royal Psalter (London, B L , Royal 2.B.v), the Old English gloss­ es o f which have been convincingly attributed to Æthelwold by Gretsch, gives the fol­ lowing reading for that psalm verse: “Swor &. na hreowed hine |>u sacerd on ecnesse æfter endebyrdnesse melchisedec”: D er altenglische Regius-Psalter, ed. F. Roedor (H alle, 1904: repr. Tübingen, 1973), 212. For the Æthelwoldian authorship o f the Royal Psalter glosses, see Gretsch, The Intellectual Foundations, 261-331. 93A s stated in the Old English Genesis (14:18), “Pær com eac Melchisedech, se mæra Godes man, se wæs cyning 7 Godes sacerd; 7 he brohte hlaf 7 win” [“There also came Melchisedech, G od’s renowned man, who was king and G od’s priest; and he brought bread and wine”] : The O ld English Version ofthe Heptateuch:Æ lfric's Treatise on the O ld and New Testament, an d bis Preface to Genesis, ed. S. J. Crawford, E E T S 160 (London, 1969), 120. My translation.

A rchitectural M etaphors and Christological Im agery in the Advent Lyrics


E ad sige in Sw ithun’s hagiographies, w ould possibly offer an interesting exam ple o f a conversion to “canonical” religion. T h is assum ption m ay be supported by the allusion to M elchisedech as a prototype priest in som e o f the litu rgical pieces com posed for S t. Sw ithun’s cult. N otably, in the so-called “W inchester tropers”— contained in O xford, B odleian Library, B odley 775 and C am bridge, C or­ pus C h risti C ollege 473— the sain t is directly equated to M elchisedech in the first piece for the Introit com m em orating h is deposition:94 Ecce patronus adest m entis signisque refulgens; de quo dulcisonum personat officium . ST A T V IT E I Quod maneat solido firm um per secula pacto. E T P R IN C IP E M < F E C IT EU M > O rdine M elchisedech libam ina sacra ferentem. V T S IT IL L I < SA C E R D O T II D 1G N IT A S> O Suuithune tuos defende benignus alumpnos. IN A E T E R N U M . [“Behold, our patron saint is present, gleam ing with accomplishments and m iracles; in his honour a sweet service resounds. L et it remain forever fixed through a firm agreement. M elchisedech, bearing the sacred offerings from his order (the priesthood). O gentle Swithun, protect your followers”].95 Follow ing th is item , a subsequent trope introduces the idea o f peace, no doubt connected to the figu re o f M elchisedech as com m ented on above: Aurea lux hodie rutilât Suuithunus in orbe, qui quia p acifiais fuerat m itissim us atque ST A T V IT E l gentibus Anglorum pacem mittendo per ilium E T P R IN C IP E M < F E C IT EU M > pontificale decus concessit eique benignus. V T S IT IL L I < SA C E R D O T II D IG N IT A S> H uius nos m eritis C hristus conscribat in astris. IN A E T E R N U M .

94T he two m anuscripts m ost likely originated at the O ld M inster, W inchester. A s noted by Lapidge (The C ult, 90), Bodley 775 dates from the mid-eleventh century but was “possibly based on an earlier W inchester exemplar”; C C C 473 in turn was written ca. 1000, "apparently for the use o f the precentor there (presum ptively W ulfstan o f W in­ chester him self).” 95 The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 90-91. C apitalization (uppercase letters for the chants and low ercase for the tropes) and punctuation follow Lapidge.



[“A golden light— Swithun— shines in the world today, who, because he was peaceful and gentle, by sending peace through him to the English peoples, H e, the Kindly One, granted to him pontifical distinction. M ay C h rist enrol us in the heavens through his m erits”].96 T h e third trope in the introit sequence again in sists on Sw ithun’s belonging to M elchisedech’s order, th is tim e paraphrasing the G reek Septu agin t version o f Psalm 109 [110]:4: O s ky hereos kata tin taxin M elchisedech ST A T V IT E l ut uigeat summus stola uernante sacerdos E T P R IN C IP E M < F E C IT EU M > inter prim ates regni celestis heriles. V T S IT IL L I G rex tuus, Suuithune, petit memorare tuorum. IN A E T E R N U M . [“You are a priest according to the order o f M elchisedech, so that this high priest m ight flourish with his radiant stole am idst the lordly princes o f the heavenly realm. O Swithun, your flock requests that you remember your own”].97 T h e them atic pattern o f the three tropes thus strikin gly recalls the descrip­ tion o f C h rist as a priest, belonging to M elchisedech’s order, and as a harbinger o f peace in the A dvent L yrics. H owever, the occurrence o f th is im age cannot be ascribed to E n glish Benedictine circles alone, since the third piece o f the introit sequence, as pointed out by L ap id ge, “is preserved in m any continental tropers, especially from Sain t-G allen in Sw itzerland and Sain t-M artial o f L im oges in A quitaine.”98 B esides, he adds that the sam e trope “is used to com m em orate num erous sain ts, including Saint-M artin and Sain t-M artial, and w as apparently adapted at W inchester to com m em orate Saint-Sw ithun.”99 Even i f the reference

96 The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 91. 97 The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 91-92. For further comments on the third trope, see Susan Rankin, “Saint-Sw ithun in M edieval Liturgical M usic,” in The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 191213, here 192-99; for a general discussion o f the Swithun tropes, see A . E . Planchait, The Repertory o f Tropes a t Winchester, 2 vols. (Princeton, N J, 1977), 1:105-7. 98 The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 91 n. 77. 99 The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 91 n. 77. Indeed, the prominence o f the figure o f M elchi­ sedech as a type o f C hrist is also attested to in Carolingian illum ination. In the Drogo Sac­ ramentary, a text whose strong influence on the iconography ofÆ thehvold’s Benedictional has been pointed out by Deshm an, the figure o f M elchisedech appears in the crossing o f

Architectural M etaphors and Christological Im agery in the Advent Lyrics


to M elchisedech in lyric 6 and the tropes is sim ply a rhetorical form ula deriv­ in g from Frankish sources, it is currently assum ed th at C arolin gian influence on the E n glish Benedictine R eform w as strong.100 A lso , we should take into ac­ count th at the first tw o tropes o f the sequence appear only in the tw o W inchester m anuscripts cited above, so th at it m ay be inferred th at they are E n glish com po­ sition s, as observed by L ap id ge.101 T h is gives us a cue to suspect th at Sw ithun’s identification w ith M elchisedech in the first trope and h is characterization as a harbinger o f peace for the E n glish in the second m ight point to the popularity o f these im ages in the cultural m ilieu o f tenth-century W inchester.102 Consequent­ ly, the description o f C h rist as M elchisedech’s type in lyric 6 seem s to betray a Benedictine bias. T h e pre-em inence o f the A dvent them e in the R eform period is beyond doubt. A s d iscussed above, the notable role o f A dvent as a topic in the "N ew M in ­ ster R efoundation C h arter” and the “Peniarth D iplom a” show s th at th is concept had a special m eaning in pro-R eform w orks. T h e popularity o f th is topic is prob­ ably related to the fact th at, after his coronation, E d g ar w as acknow ledged as Christus domini (the L o rd ’s anointed), in other w ords, as an earthly counterpart

the initial “T ” in the phrase “Te Igitur” o f fol. 15v. The sacramentary, issued for Bishop Drogo’s personal use, is contained in Paris, BN , M S. lat. 9428 (ca. 850, M etz). For this picture, see Deshman, The Benedictional, 245 and fig. 187. 100A s for Carolingian influence, Gretsch (The IntellectualFoundations, 427) discuss­ es the continental background ofÆ thelstan’s court circle, which "provided the formative experiences” for young Æthelwold and Dunstan that would later give rise to Æthelwold’s school at Winchester. 101 The C ult, ed. Lapidge, 91 notes 75,76. 102Actually, there are other liturgical pieces in which the analogy is present. See The Cult, ed. Lapidge, 82-83,124,128. The continuing popularity o f Melchisedech in monas­ tic circles is also attested in texts postdating the Benedictine revival. For example, this Old Testament character is alluded to among other saints in a list o f relics from the New Minster: "And o f Melchisedech, and o f sanct Uedaste, and o f sancte Ypolite”: Liber vitae: Register and M artyrologyofNev) M inster andHyde Abbey, Winchester, ed. W. De G . Birch (London, 1892), 162. In A drian and Ritheus — an Old English dialogue contained in B L, Cotton Julius A .ii, whose script is dated by Ker as mid-twelfth century— Melchisedech is also mentioned: Saga me hwilc bisceop waere acrest on |>are ealdan æ ær Cristes tokyme. Ic )>e secge, Melchisedech and Aaron. ["Tell me which bishop was first in the old law before the advent o f Christ. / 1 tell you, Melchisedech and Aaron”]: The Prose Solomon and Saturn and A drian an d Ritheus, ed. and trans. Jam es E . Cross and Thomas D. H ill (Toronto, 1982), 36 (no. 13). As point­ ed out by the editors (139), Melchisedech represents "the first named priest o f the Gen­ tiles,” and Aaron that "o f the Israelites.” Related to the Joca monacborum genre, A drian and Ritheus might have circulated in the monastic milieu. It is therefore significant that Melchisedech is described as prototype bishop before Christ’s Advent in this text.



o f C h rist. A s such, the concepts o f A dvent and the Second C om in g possibly achieved great relevance, since they served to propagandize E d g ar’s position as kin g o f kin gs. In “K in g E d g ar’s C oronation,” cited above, the allusion to the proxim ity o f the coronation date to the com pletion o f the first m illennium (lines 10b-15a) thus underlines the m onarch’s role as C h rist’s representative on earth and the event’s connection to C h rist’s Second C om ing. A p art from the kin g, the concept w as applied to the leadin g reform ers w ith sim ilar propagandistic aim s. T h e E-version o f the C hronicle (year 963), for exam ple, records thatÆ thelw old’s consecration as bishop took place “on the first Sunday o f A dvent.”103 M anuscript illum ination also bears w itness to the im portance o f A dvent and the Second C om in g in the R eform program . In the picture from “S t. D un stan ’s C lassbook” (fig. 3 .5) the archbishop is shown prostrate before a gigan tic C h rist characterized, as in the Second C om in g, as ready to adm inister ju stice w ith h is rod.104 T h e m iniature w hich, together w ith the distich above the sain t’s figu re, has been attributed to D un stan , is an ostensible display o f Benedictine propa­ gan d a, since the book held by C h rist contains a psalm verse related to the Timor domtni m otif, w hich is a central Benedictine concept cited at the beginnin g o f the preface to the R ule.10S A s explained by L apid ge, “M onks are frequently refe­ rred to by Benedict as those who are timentes Deum.”106 T h e prostrate figu re o f D un stan , sign ifican tly sm aller than th at o f C h rist, m ay have been intended to illustrate the fear o f the L o rd as exteriorized by the sain t, who is clearly depicted as a m onk, tonsured and w earing a cow l.107

103 “on pe fyrste Sunnondæg o f Aduent”: TheAnglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. Irvine, 57. The A -B -C versions o f the Chronicle similarly allude to this event as taking place on the vigil o f St. Andrew (i.e., 29 November), in other words, at the beginning o f Advent. T h is date is confirmed by W ulfstan Cantor in his Vita S.Æ thehooldi; see Wulfttan o f Winchester, ed. L a­ pidge and W interbottom, 30-31. A s indicated by Lapidge (30 n. 2), “it is true that in 963 the first Sunday o f Advent fell on 29 Nov., the vigil o f the feast o f St Andrew (30 N ov .). . . ” 104From Oxford, Bodleian Library, M S. Auct. F.4.32 (fo llr), a composite manuscript in which items related to St. Dunstan are o f Glastonbury provenance (tenth century). The picture and the distich below are attributed to Dunstan himself, as the text above reads that the text was written “de propia manu s[an]cti dunstani” (by St Dunstan’s own hand). For the distich and its possible Dunstanian authorship, see Lapidge, “T he Hermeneutic Style,” 108. 105The text inserted in C hrist’s book is from Psalm 33 [34]:12 [11]: “Venite, filii, audite me, tim orem D om ini docebo vos” [“Com e, sons, listen to me; I w ill teach you the fear o f the L ord”]. (M y translation.) T he phrases at the two ends o f the rod (“V irga recta est virga regni tu i”) are from Psalm 44 [45]: 7 [8]. 106M ichael Lapidge, “Byrhtferth and O sw ald,” in S t O sw ald o f Worcester: L ife and In­ fluence, ed. N icholas Brooks and Catherine C ubitt (Leicester, 1996), 6 4 -8 3 , here 82. 107In this train o f thought, the phrase “earme from egsan” — designating the pious C hristians anxiously aw aiting C hrist’s Advent to be released from their long torment — in lyric 1 (line 17a) m ight be read by m onastic readers as a reference to themselves as the timentes Deum fervently aw aiting Advent.

A r c h ite c tu r a l M e ta p h o r s a n d C h r isto lo g ic a l I m a g e r y in th e A d v e n t L y r ic s


F ig . 3 .5 . O xford , B o d leian L ib rary , M S . A u ct. F .4 .4 .3 2 , fo l. lr . By perm ission o f the B odleian Library.



By the sam e token, in Æ thehvolds Benedictional the fact th at the m iniatu­ re o f the Second C om in g (fig. 3 .3 ), together w ith that o f the A nnunciation (fol. 5v), serves as a heading o f the litu rgical section o f the B enedictional con firm s the prom inence o f A dvent in the reform ist m ilieu. A couplet hieing the A nnun­ ciation m iniature supports th is idea: “Q uisqu(e) caput cernis presto est benedictio p(re)s(u )l / L ib ri huius nati aduentus tibi nam patris alm i” ["Y ou, O bishop, whoever you are who looks upon th is heading, a blessing o f th is book o f the ad­ vent o f the Son o f the L o vin g Father is at hand for you”].108 T h e presentation o f the Benedictional as the “book o f the advent o f the Son” thus illustrates the out­ stan ding pre-em inence granted to th is concept during the Benedictine revival.

4. Conclusions T h is study has suggested the sk illfu l fusion o f architectural m etaphors such as the cornerstone, the tw o w alls, and the ruinous buildin g in lyric 1, and C h ristological im ages, especially those o f the shepherd, kin g, and priest, as found in the different pieces o f the E xeter A dvent sequence.109 A ll these im ages seem to high light essential concepts related to the R eform m ovem ent— such as the ur­ gency o f com m unal unity, peace, and church restoration— th at fin d echo in late tenth- and eleventh-century texts and pictures. Sim ilarly, the notable relevance o f A dvent as one o f the p ro p ag an d ists concepts o f the R eform m ovem ent h as also been sufficiently illustrated in literary and pictorial w orks. T h e A dvent poet’s dextrous handling o f the litu rgical m aterial contributes to the hypothesis o f a late tenth-century d atin g o f the lyric sequence. T h e analysis offered in th is essay has proved th at the poet had an excellent com m and o f the diction, im agery, and rhetorical devices em ployed in litu rgical com position.110 A s

108 On fol. 6r: The Benedictional, ed. W arner and W ilson, 2 ; trans. D eshm an, The Benedictional, 16. 109In this light, the im ages applying to the Virgin M ary in the Advent sequence might be equally m eaningful. Indeed, lyrics 4 ,7 , and 9 center on the active involvement o f the Vir­ gin in the mystery o f the Incarnation. T he extent to which M ary is celebrated as an autono­ mous figure in the Advent sequence leads Clayton to conclude that her prominent role in these lyrics largely surpasses that observed in other O ld English works. See M ary Clayton, The Cult o f the Virgin M ary (Cam bridge, 1990), 202. A lso, Raw affirm s that “the range o f the exegetical material used by the author o f The Advent Lyrics, in particular the emphasis on the role o f M ary, fits m ost easily into the period o f the monastic revival”: Raw, “Two Versions o f Advent,” 1. A s the analysis o f Christological and M arian imagery in the Advent sequence is too wide to be dealt with in a single essay, I intend to provide a separate contex­ tualized study o f im ages and metaphors applying to the figure o f the Virgin in the future. 110 Instead o f merely reproducing the antiphonal sources, “T he poet o f C hrist tends to create psalm s out o f the antiphons which inspired him ,” as observed by Patrick W .

A rchitectural M etaphors and Cbristological Im agery in the Advent Lyrics


discussed above, the lyrics greatly expand upon the rhetorical and them atic com ­ ponents o f the b rief antiphons.111 In fact, the m arked idiosyncrasy o f the poem s is evidence that the A dvent author w as interested in departing from the origin al m odels and adaptin g them to a new ideological fram e which seem s to be strong­ ly akin to th at o f the B enedictine revival. Indeed, the ostensible contem porary stam p o f the im ages and m etaphors found in the lyrics w ould not have escaped a w ell-versed audience from the R eform period. A ll th is inevitably links the A dvent poet w ith the great burst o f liturgical com position under the auspices o f the Reform . D u rin g th is period, E n glish Benedictinism required a newly-created pantheon that led to the rapid sanctification o f the three leading reform ers— and before them , Sw ithun. T h is in turn gave new im petus to the com position o f hagiographies, hym ns, antiphons, and all sorts o f liturgical pieces needed for the cult o f the recently-canonized figu res.112 In th is ligh t, a lyric collection based on the antiphons em ployed in the D ivine O ffice and included in a late tenth-century m anuscript m ight have originated in one o f those m onastic centers in w hich liturgical learning and com position were strongly prom oted. Since the A dvent Lyrics appeared in th is m ilieu, it is therefore not far­ fetched to assum e th at they could have been selected, and even probably "edited,” to head a m agnificent poetic anthology in the vernacular like the E xeter B ook.113

Conner, "Religious Poetry,” in A Companion to A nglo-Saxon Literature , ed. Phillip Pulsiano and Elaine Treharne (Oxford, 2001), 251-67, here 265. Clayton’s analysis o f lyric 9 leads her to conclude that "The poem is clearly the work o f a learned, sophisticated poet, versed in liturgy and theology. . Clayton, The C ult o f the Virgin M ary, 203. Rankin similarly affirm s that "the lyrics show their author to have been thoroughly steeped in Christian thought and learning: obviously he was a member o f a Christian community, quite possibly a monk”: Rankin, "The Liturgical Background o f the Old English Advent Lyrics,” 318. 111For an analysis o f the structural differences between Latin antiphons and the Ad­ vent lyrics, see Clemoes, Interactions o f Thought, 371-80. 112Lapidge offers an enlightening survey o f the liturgical demands that a recent can­ onization would generate at that time: " if the saint m s thought worthy o f special venera­ tion, it m s necessary to compose afresh the various pieces used in liturgical celebration: for the mass, mass-sets (consisting o f prayers called the collecta, sécréta, prrfatio, and postcommunio) and tropes (especially for the In troit)’, for the office, a hymn would be needed (the liturgical lections which were also needed could be supplied from the saint’s u ita)”: Lapidge, "Æthelwold as Scholar,” 114. 113On codicological evidence, Conner states that no more than 46 manuscript lines must have been lost in the extant initial lacuna, and that fol. 8r, containing fragmentary lyric 1, seems to have constituted the beginning o f the manuscript for some time. This tentatively suggests that the collection o f lyrics might have been the introductory work o f the anthology, a notion that would also fit the cultural context o f the Reform, in which the topic o f Advent m s certainty a central concept: Conner, A nglo-Saxon Exeter, 98.

E nd T ime and th e D ate of Vçlusp J : TwoM odels of C onversion R ichard N orth

Vpluspâ is usually considered to be a heathen poem , yet it reveals traces o f C h ris­ tian influence, and m ost readers m ust w onder at som e stage how far its poet real­ ly w as heathen.1W as he (or she; but henceforth “he") a convert, lapsed or unorth­ odox, and i f so, how and when did his conversion take place? T h e prerequisite for an answ er to these com plex questions is to ask when Vpluspâ w as com posed. T h e date o f th is w ork has been set as w idely as 935 x 1050, but is now usually put in the year in w hich the Icelandic parliam ent voted to accept C h ristian ity, perhaps because Vpluspâ reaches its clim ax via the death o f N orse gods such as Ô dinn, I>6rr, and Freyr.2 A lthough the Icelanders dated th is decision in 1000, it h as been persuasively argued th at the vote w as actually taken in Ju n e 999.3 T h at the poet is an Icelander seem s clear enough from h is im agery o f volcanic action before the

1 Vpluspâ, cd. and trans. U rsula D ronke, in The Poetic Edda, Vol. IL M ythological Poems (O xford, 1997); line numbers within stanzas are given by the half-line. A n old controversy: with late classical, and C hristian, influence first suggested by A . C . Bang, “Voluspaa og de Sibyllinske Orakler,” C hristiania Videnskabsselskabs Forhandlinger 9 (C hristiania [O slo], 1879): 1-23; and strongly opposed by Viktor Rydberg, “Sibyllinem a och Vçluspà,” Nordisk tidskrift (1881): 1-29, 113-64. M ore recently, Kees Sam plonius suggests that the poet m odified the native tradition with some knowledge derived from Latin sibylline literature, in “Sibylla borealis: N otes on the Structure o f Vpluspâ," in G er­ manic Texts an d L atin M odels: M edieval Reconstructions, ed. K arin E . O lsen, Antonina H arbus, and Tette H ofstra (Louvain, 2001), 185-229. 2 W olfgang Butt, “Z ur H erkunft der Vpluspâ” Beiträge zu r Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und L iteratur 91 (1969): 82-103, esp. 82. O n the background, see D ag Ström bäck, The Conversion c f Iceland: A Survey, trans. Peter Foote (London, 1975), 27-67. 3 Ö lafia Einarsdöttir, Studier i kronologisk metode i tid lig islandsk bistorieskrivning (Lund, 1964), 72-90. Endorsed in tslendingabök — Landnâm abâk, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, Islenzk fornrit 1 (Reykjavik, 1968; repr. 1986), xxxiii-xl and 14-18 (tslendingabök, chap. 7).



end o f the w orld (sts. 2 5 ,3 4 - 3 5 ,50 ).4 T h e aim o f th is essay is to strengthen the case for the year 1000 as the poem ’s terminus ad quem: first, by presenting ten parallels betw een Vgluspd and the ideas and structure o f the B ook o f R evelation; second, by suggestin g th at Vgluspd w as com posed in reaction to a m illen n arial subculture associated w ith R evelation w hich spread to Iceland from E urope in the 980s. M y conclusion w ill attem pt to throw ligh t on Iceland in th is period a s subject to tw o m odels o f conversion: one based on an apocalyptic form o f C h ris­ tianity, w hich led to confrontation and violence; and an older m odel, w orking slowly by inculturation, w hich the fear o f E nd T im e suppressed. Vgluspd is a long narrative poem o f suprem e im aginative power, in which one sibyl (vplva), aided by others, relates the history o f the creation, from its d istan t beginnin gs to the w orld’s end, through a series o f visionary tableaux dep ictin g N orse go d s, gian ts, aspects o f tim e, and m en. T h e gods in these visions m ake, regulate, and then slowly lose their universe in an escalation o f error w hich m ost com m entators regard as a m oral decline because o f the death o f B ald r, the young blam eless son o f Ô dinn, h a lf way through ( Vgluspd 31-33). B ald r is slain appar­ ently by a spear tipped w ith m istletoe th at L o k i has given to B ald r’s blind broth­ er H çdr. B ald r’s grievous death leads the gods to punish L o k i by chaining him beneath a poison -dripping serpent under the earth (st. 3 4 ), w hereupon the poet describes m ortal sinners bein g punished in hell (sts. 3 5 -3 8 ).5 T h e w orld draw s to its end and after R agn arçk, an A rm ageddon betw een gods and gian ts, all the gods die, the sky catches fire, and earth sinks blazin g into the sea (sts. 3 9 -5 4 ). B ut the sibyl goes on: a new w orld rises from the sea, green and fu ll o f gam e, where the gods m eet, the past is d iscussed, and relics o f antiquity are found in the grass (sts. 5 6 -5 8 ); cornfields w ill sow them selves, bgls mun allz batna [“all harm w ill be healed”], and B ald r and H pdr w ill com e back to be reconciled (st. 59); and w orthy w arrior bands w ill dw ell on for everm ore in a h all brighter than the sun (st. 61). T h e poem ends w ith the vision o f a fly in g dragon risin g up from below w ith corpses beneath its w ings (st. 62). T h u s Vgluspd conveys im ages o f dam nation and celestial rew ard, C h ristian izes B ald r in the m anner o f his death and characterizes L o k i, it has been argued, in Ju d as’s role even before he assum es the m antle o f the hom ilists’ A n tich rist.6 O th er O ld N orse-Icelandic E dd ie po­ em s do not invoke the sam e pathos. So far the m any traces o f C h ristian ity in

4 A s argued by Sigurdur N ordal in his first edition o f Vgluspd (1923): see Vgluspd, ed. N ordal, trans. B . S. Benedikz and John M cK innell (D urham , 1980), 72-73 (n. to his st. 35). s For exam ple, John M cK innell, Both One and M any: Essays on Change and Variety in L ate Norse Heathenism, with an A ppendix by M aria Elena Ruggerini (Rom e, 1994), 107-28. 6 Edda I I ed. D ronke, 5 5 ,9 5 -9 6 .

End Time and the D ate o f Vpluspd: Two M odels o f Conversion


Vpluspd have been cited as evidence for one o f tw o th in gs: either the poet lived in the only Scandinavian area, the B ritish Isles, where N orse m ythology could be slowly C h ristian ized ; or he m et m issionaries from the D anelaw who could have fed his im agination in N orw ay or Iceland.7 T h e problem , however, w ith classifyin g the poet as C h ristian ized is to ex­ plain why there is such respect in his poem for the gods o f a heathen cult.8 U r­ sula D ronke, an authority on Vpluspd for m ore than forty years, treats th is poet as a heathen but w ith an aw areness o f C h ristian form s, including sibylline po­ em s such as the C an tu s Sih yllae, part o f the C h ristm as O ffice from the ninth to eleventh centuries in E n glan d, or the P roph etiae Sih yllae m agae, a poem w hich w as known in the ninth century in A lcuin’s abbey o f T ours, possibly therefore in York, a town which w as ruled by N orw egians in the m id-tenth century. T h ese sibylline texts show som e likeness w ith Vpluspd, but D ion ke’s view is th at the po­ et’s sibylline tradition rem ains essentially that o f heathen Scandinavia, in w hich the w orld w as in any case im agined to end at periodic intervals.9 D ronke's reading o f the evidence is surely right, but does not em phasize the m illennial context o f sibylline poetry in the tenth-century C h ristian w orld. N ot the m ystic L atin po­ em s but the apocalyptic texts o f the Bible were influential in the doctrine w hich day to day w ould have educated the clergy in the D anelaw or elsewhere. D ron­ ke, noting these tendencies in Vpluspd, relegates them as “external effects ( . . . ) that could com e from eschatological hom ilies or apocalyptic visions o f sinners

7 Butt, “Zur Herkunft der Vpluspd ,” 99. Hans Kuhn, “D as nordgermanische Heiden­ tum in den ersten christlichen Jahrhunderten,” Z eitschriftfü r deutschesAltertum 79 (1942): 133-66; repr. in idem, Kleine Schriften, 2 vols. (Berlin, 1971), 2:296-326. See also Kuhn, “Rund um die Vpluspd,” in M ediaevalia L itteraria: Festschriftfür Helm ut de Boor zum 80. Geburtstag, ed. Ursula Hennig and Herbert Kolb (Munich, 1971), 1-14, esp. 7. John Lindow inclines to the second view, in “Norse Mythology and Northumbria: Methodologi­ cal Notes,” Scandinavian Studies 59 (1987): 308-24, esp. 313-23; also published in AngloScandinavian England: N orse-English R elations in the Period before the Conquest, ed. John D. Niles and M ark Amodio (Lanham, M D , 1989), 25-40. Lindow’s view is endorsed in John M cKinnell, “Norse Mythology and Northumbria: A Response,” Scandinavian Stud­ ies 59 (1987): 325-37, esp. 336. 8 Helmut de Boor, “Die religiöse Sprache der Vçluspâ,” in Deutsche Islandforschung, Bd. I : K ultur, ed. Walther Heinrich Vogt (Breslau, 1930), 68-142, esp. 130-31. 9 Ursula Dronke, “Vpluspd and Sibylline Traditions,” in L atin Culture and M edieval Germanic Europe, ed. Richard North and Tette Hofstra (Groningen, 1992), 3-23; cf. Edda II, ed. Dronke, 93-104. Her conclusion is accepted, with reservations and some changes, by Samplonius, in “Sibylla borealis,” 188-203. Many biblical parallels, with Rev­ elation and Genesis among others, have been claimed by John M cKinnell, “ Vôluspd and the Feast o f Easter,” in Scandinavian and C hristian Europe in the M iddle Ages: Papers o f the 12th International Saga Conference, Bonn/Germany, 28th Ju ly-2n d A ugust2003, ed. Rudolf Simek and Judith Meurer (Bonn, 2003), 366-72.

2 l6


in hell.”10 T o the extent o f the relevance o f these effects to m en, D ronke is right: they are external. Yet in relation to gods the C h ristian A pocalypse is an internal m echanism in Vçluspâ. A s the num ber o f parallels grow s, after B aldr, a sequence em erges in these which points to the R evelation o f S t. Joh n as the poet’s greatest single C h ristian source. It is th is book th at provides the m ost strik in g C h ristian parallels w ith divine im agery in Vçluspâ. T h e B ook o f R evelation w as probably w ritten ca. A .D . 90 by an author other than the A postle to whom the title refers. It w as conceived w ithin a tradition o f biblical prophecy o f which the m ore im portant older instances are the B ook o f D an iel 11-13 (w ritten at the tim e o f a G reek-Syriac tyranny over Israel in ca. 168 B .C .), and som e texts from the end o f the first century: S t. P aul’s 1 T h essalon ian s 4:13-5:11 and 2 T h essalon ian s 2 (ca. A .D . 51); S t. Peter’s 1 Peter 4:17 and 2 Pe­ ter 3 (especially 3:10-11); and the “L ittle A pocalypse” from M ark 13, M atthew 2 4 -2 5 , and Luke 21. T aken together, these other texts show the D ay o f Judgm ent prophesied for an undisclosed tim e, after the blow ing o f a heavenly trum pet, the L o rd ’s descent from heaven, and the resurrection o f the dead. T o th is orderly view o f the future the lurid im agery o f R evelation offers a startlin g contrast. Its com ­ bination o f Ju daic sym bolism , Babylonian m ythology, and contem porary politi­ cal reference m ake R evelation, in the w ords o f one authority, “the m ost pow erful apocalyptic w ork ever w ritten.”11 It begins as a pastoral letter to seven churches around the A egean, after w hich the author, said to be Joh n on Patm os, recounts a divinely-inspired vision in w hich he reveals both som e history o f recent tim es (around C h rist’s birth) and the future D ay o f Judgm ent (on the destruction o f the Rom an E m pire). H is vision takes an often incoherent form , but keeps an obses­ sive eye on the A egean churches w hose low stan dards had earned them the letter. Seven churches; (C h rist) the L am b w ith seven horns and seven eyes; seven seals on the heavenly scroll, which are broken by the L am b to reveal the L a st D ay s; seven angels blow ing trum pets to reveal the increm ental m eans o f the w orld’s de­ struction; seven visions, through which the birth o f Jesu s and his com bat w ith Sa­ tan are m ystically portrayed w ith reference to the D evil as a “D ragon” w hich the archangel M ichael throw s down to hell; seven bow ls o f plagues; and then com es the W hore o f Babylon, astride the B east w hose seven heads were probably m eant to recall the seven h ills o f R om e. M ore visions follow , leadin g to the clim actic battle betw een good and evil, in w hich the narrator says:12

10 E dda II, t d. Dronke, 93. 11 Bernard M cGinn, Visions o f the E nd: Apocalyptic 'Traditions in the M iddle Ages, 2nd ed. (New York, 1998), 14. See also Norman Cohn, The Pursuit o f the M illennium : Revolu­ tionary M illenarianism and M ysticalAnarchists o f the M iddle Ages, 2nd ed. (London, 1970). 12 B iblia Sacra iuxta Vulgatam Clementinam, ed. Alberto Colunga and Laurentio Turrado, 7th ed. (M adrid, 1985). Translations from The R evised English Bible with Apocrypha

(Oxford and Cambridge, 1989).

E n d Time and the D ate ofVpluspd: Two M odels o f Conversion


1 E t vidi angelum descendentem de caelo, habentem davem abyssi, et catenam m agnam in manu sua. 2 E t apprehendit draconem , serpentent antiquum , qui est diabolus, et Satanas, et ligavit eum per annos m ille: 3 et m isit eum in abyssum, et clausit, et signavit super ilium ut non seducat am plius gentes, donee consumentur m ille anni: et post haec oportet ilium solvi modico tempore. (Rev. 20:1-3) [“1 1 saw an angel com ing down from heaven with the key to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 H e seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the D evil, or Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years; 3 he threw him into the abyss, shutting and sealing it over him , so that he m ight not seduce the nations again till the thousand years were ended. A fter that he m ust be let loose for a little while.”] T h ereafter we are introduced to the hell-bound fate o f those who failed to see the ligh t in tim e, and to the com ing o f the H eavenly Jerusalem w ith the hosts o f G o d ’s elect. T h e question here is how m uch o f Vpluspd’s C h ristian m aterial is grounded in apocalyptic tradition . A m ong several parallels w ith biblical texts, som e w ith R evelation have already been noted; I sh all try to add m ore and system atize them .13 T o begin w ith, Vpluspd m oves through the gods’ history w ithout denun­ ciation , portrayin g their setbacks as m istakes rather than m oral errors. In due course B ald r’s death is portended through ö d in n ’s insistent questioning o f the sibyl’s inform ant (another sibyl, in sts. 2 7 -2 9 ). A fter describing th is d isaster and its irresistible afterm ath (Ö öinn’s revenge on Hpdr, in sts. 32 -3 3 , and L o k i’s punishm ent, in st. 3 4 ), the poet o f Vpluspd undertakes a vision o f heathen E n d T im e, beginnin g w ith a vision o f hell (sts. 3 5 -3 8 ). W e can start w ith the second sibyl’s vision o f hell. In D ronke’s text and translation:14 Sal sä hön standa sölo fiarri, N âstrçndo i , nordr horfa dyrr. Fello eitrdropar inn um liöra. S i er undinn salr orma hryggiom . (st. 37) [“A hall she saw standing remote from the sun on D ead Body Shore. Its door looks north. There fell drops o f venom in through the roof vent. T h at hall is woven o f serpents’ spines.”]

13 C f. Lindow , "N orse M ythology and Northum bria,” 319-20; M cK innell, “Vpluspd and the Feast o f Easter,” 370-72. 14 E dda II, ed. Dronke. I follow D ronke’s translation, but with extra commas and with my deviations from her translation noted.


2 l8

S i hön J>ar va5a jm nga strauma menn meinsvara ok mordvarga, oc j>annz annars glepr eyrarüno. J>ar saug N îôhçggr n ii fram gengna, sleit vargr vera. Vitod er enn, eda hvat? (st. 38) ["She saw there w ading onerous stream s men peijured and w olfish mur­ derers and the one who seduces another’s close-trusted w ife. There M alice Striker sucked corpses o f the dead, the w olf tore men. D o you still seek to know? A nd what?”] In th is im age o f hell the poet’s dead N orse sinners resem ble the m urderers, w hore­ m ongers, and liars (am ong others) whom Paul catalogues in 2 T im . 3 :1 -5 and in w hose dam nation Joh n rejoices in Rev. 21 :8 .1S T h e poet’s im m ediate source m ay be a serm on perform ed in a literal translation from O ld E n glish : it has been su g­ gested th at th is w as a serm on on E aster D ay.16 It has long been noted th at h is phrase menn meinsvara ok mordvarga ["m en peijured and w olfish m urderers”] resem bles the alliterative p air mansworan 7 morp(or)wyrbtan, w hich A rchbishop W ulfstan o f York used a num ber o f tim es from 1002 onw ards, m ost fam ously in w hat appears to be his third version o f the Sermo Lupi, w ritten probably around 1018.1718Yet th is resem blance, close as it is, does not m ean that W ulfstan tran s­ m itted his term s directly to the poet o f Vpluspd. w It seem s m ore plausible th at the poet o f Vpluspd based h is language in th is stan za on the hom iletic w ords o f an E n glish preacher, either in E n glan d or N orw ay or Iceland, who drew them from a com m on stock o f form ulae. W ulfstan re-used and varied w ords, sentences, and

15 M alcolm G odden, “Apocalypse and Invasion in Late A nglo-Saxon England,” in From A nglo-Saxon to E arly M edieval English: Studies Presented to E ric G erald Stanley, ed. idem , D ouglas Gray, and Terry H oad (O xford, 1994), 130-62, esp. 147; M cK innell, Both One an d M any, 123. 16 M cK innell, "Vçluspd and the Feast o f Easter,” 370. 17 B utt, “Z ur H erkunft der Vpluspd,” 87-89. The Hom ilies ofW ulfitan, ed. Dorothy Bethurum (O xford, 1952), 163 (V II.130: Defid e catholica, cf. 299), 183 (V IIIc.158-60: Sermo de baptism ate), 192 (X a.11-12: D e régula canonicorum), 231 (X 1II.93: Sermo adpopulum) and 273 (X X (IE ).1 6 2 -6 3 : Sermo Lupt). O n the dates o f Sermo L u pi, see G odden, “A pocalypse and Invasion,” 145-58. 18 Contra B utt, Lindow, “N orse M ythology and Northum bria,” 315-16. O n W ulfstan’s aim s and the character o f his w riting, see Jonathan W ilcox, “T he W olf on Shep­ herds: W ulfstan, Bishops, and the C ontext o f the Sermo Lupi ad A nglos* in O ld Eng­ lish Prose: Basic Readings, ed. Paul E . Szarm ach with D eborah A . O osterhouse (N ew York and London, 2000), 395-418, esp. 408-11. See also Patrick W orm ald, “Archbishop W ulfstan and the H oliness o f Society,” in idem , L egal Culture in the E arly C hristian M e­ dieval West: Law as Text, Im age and Experience (London, 1999), 225-51.

E n d Time and the D ate ofVpluspd: Two M odels o f Conversion

2 IÇ

even paragraphs from one serm on to another; and he m ay have derived som e ex­ pressions from contem poraries or preachers before him .19 In h is next stan za, the Icelander introduces us to the m other o f N orse m on­ sters. Probably th is is A ngrboda (“grief-boder”), the gÿgr {Jçtunheimum (“ogress in the gian ts’ w orld”) w ith whom Snorri Sturluson, the thirteenth-century Ice­ landic m ythographer, said L o k i gets three children: the w o lf Fenrir, who w ill k ill Ö dinn; the W orld Serpent, who w ill k ill I>6rr; and H el herself, the goddess and location o f the N orse underw orld.20 In the poet’s w ords: A ustr sat in aldna i Iâm vidi, ok fœ ddi )>ar Fenris kindir. Verdr a f |>eim çllom einna nokkorr tungls tiugari i trollz ham i. (st. 39) [“In the east she sat, the old one, in Iron W ood, and bred there the broods o f Fenrir. There w ill come from them all one o f that number to be a moonsnatcher in troll’s skin.”] Fylliz fiprvi feigra manna, rydr ragna siçt raudom dreyra. Svçrt verdr sölskin o f sum or eptir, vedr çll vilynd. Vitod er enn, eda hvat? (st. 40) [“It sates itself on the life-blood o f fated men, paints red the powers’ homes with crim son gore. Black become the sun’s beam s in the summers that fol­ low, weathers all treacherous. D o you still seek to know? A nd w hat?”] D espite several differences, a second parallel em erges betw een th is om inous creature and the W hore o f Babylon in R evelation, w hose m onstrous im age trig­ gers the first o f Joh n ’s battles betw een good and evil: 1 E t venit unus de septem angelis, qui habebant septem phialas, et locutus est mecum, dicens: Veni, ostendam tibi damnationem meretricis magnae, quae sedet super aquas multas, 2 cum qua fom icati sunt reges terrae, et inebriati sunt qui inhabitant terram de vino prostitutionis eius. 3 E t abstulit me in spiritu in desertum. E t vidi mulierem sedentem super bestiam coccineam, plenam nominibus blasphemiae, habentem capita septem, et cornua decern.

19 Andy O rchard, “C rying W olf: O ral Style and the Serm onesLupi” A S E 21 (1992): 2 3 9 -6 4 , and idem , “O ral Tradition,” in Reading O ld English Texts, ed. Katherine O ’Brien O ’Keeffe (Cam bridge, 1997), 101-23, esp. 109-13. 20 Snorri Sturluson: E dd a: Prologue an d Gylfaginningy ed. Anthony Faulkes (O xford, 1982), 27 (G ylfaginning, chap. 34).



4 E t mulier erat circumdata purpura, et coccino, et inaurata aura, et lapide pretioso, et m argaritis, habeas poculum aureum in manu sua, plenum abominatione, et immunditia fom icationis eius. 5 E t in fronte eius nomen scriptum: M ysterium: Babylon magna, mater fomicationum, et abominationum terrae. 6 E t vidi mulierem ebriam de sanguine sanctorum, et de sanguine martyrum Iesu. E t miratus sum cum vidissem illam admiratione magna. (Rev. 17:1-6) [al One o f the seven angels who held the seven bowls came and spoke to me: ‘C om e/ he said, ‘I w ill show you the verdict on the great whore, she who is enthroned over many waters. 2 The kings o f the earth have commit­ ted fornication with her, and people the world over have made themselves drunk on the wine o f her fornication.’ 3 H e carried me in spirit into the wil­ derness, and I saw a woman mounted on a scarlet beast which was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 T he woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and decked out with gold and precious stones and pearls. In her hand she held a gold cup full o f obscenities and the foulness o f her fornication. 5 W ritten on her forehead was a name with a secret m eaning: ‘Babylon the great, the mother o f whores and o f every obscenity on earth.’ 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood o f G od ’s people, and with the blood o f those who had borne their testimony to Jesus. A nd when I saw her I wondered greatly.”] T h e ogress breeding m onsters in an iron w ood in Vçluspâ recalls the whore o f Babylon m ounted on her B east w ithin a desert, another sterile place (desertum), in Rev. 17: she seem s to answer Joh n ’s im age o f mulierem sedentem super bestiam; as the beast is coccineam, and the W hore is seen ebriam de sanguine sanctorum, so the ancient fem ale’s offsp rin g rÿdr ragna sigt random dreyra (“pain ts red the pow­ ers’ hom es w ith crim son gore”).21 In a third parallel, K ees Sam plonius suggests that Gullveig (“golden-cup”), a nam e for a sibyl whom the Æ sir try to destroy early in their history in Vçluspâ 21, m ight refer to the poculum aureum w hich the W hore o f Babylon proffers in Rev. 17:4.22 O ne by one the sirens o f the N orse world go off, w ith opaque im ages o f a harp­ in g giant nam ed Eggf)ér, happy at the ensuing chaos, o f cockerels rousing Ö dinn’s arm ies and H ell’s denizens, and a C erberus-like dog nam ed G arn ir baying in a cave-m outh in expectation o f the E nd (sts. 41-43). H um anity soon com es to grief: Brcedr muno beriaz ok at bçnum verda[z], muno systrungar sifiom spilla.

21 Endorsed by M cKinnell, “ Vçluspâ and the Feast o f Easter,” 370. This was an idea I first put forth in aVçluspâ and the Book o f Revelation,” in the Leeds International M edi­ eval Congress, University o f Leeds, Monday 8 July 2002 (paper 108.b). 22 Samplonius, uSibylla borealis,” 226-27.

E nd Time and the D ate ofVpluspâ: Two M odels o f Conversion


H art er i heim i, hördömr m ikill, skeggpld, skâlm çld, — skildir ro klofnir — vindçld, vargçld, âdr verçld steypiz. M un engi madr çdrom Jjyrma. (st. 44) ["Brothers w ill fight and kill each other, sisters’ children w ill defile kin­ ship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife, an axe age, a sword age — shields are riven — a wind age, a w olf age, before the world goes headlong. N o man w ill have mercy on another.”] T h e fam ily feud, fratricide, and incest here recalls W ulfstan’s expressions o f doom , particularly ne byrhà brodor oprum (“no brother w ill help another”) in Secundum Marcum (B ethurum , hom ily V ) and its variant in Secundum Lucam (B ethurum , hom ily III). It is also w orth com paring brcedr muno beriaz w ith all three versions o f W ulfstan’s Sermo Lupi (B ethurum , hom ily X X ), particularly w ith h is rem ark on these abuses after they have taken place: ne bearh ( . . . ) bvnlum beam his agenumfader, ne broder oörum ("nor did at tim es a child save his own fa­ ther, or one brother another”).23 A lthough th is sentim ent is expressed in Luke 21:16, W ulfstan, like the Icelandic poet’s presum ed clerical inform ant, is m ost likely to have taken it from M ark 13:12: 7 radetautemfraterfratrem in mortem, et paterfilium ("B roth er w ill send brother to his death, and father h is son”). A s w ar leads to w ar, H eim dallr, the go d s’ sentinel, announces the long-pre­ dicted gian t assault on  sgardr, and L o k i slips h is bonds (to lead a seaborne as­ sault on the go d s’ w orld in st. 4 6 ): Leika M fm s synir, en m içtudr kyndiz at en[o] galla G iallarhorni. H âtt blæss H eim dallr — horn er i lopti — mælir Ödinn vid M fm s hçfud. Skelfr Yggdrasils askr standandi, ymr it aldna tré en içtunn losnar. (st. 45) ["M fm r’s sons [giants?] sport, but fate’s measure is lit at the sound o f the clear-ringing Clarion H orn. Loud blows H eim dallr— the horn points to the sky — Odinn talks with M fm ir’s head. Y ggdrasill shivers, the ash, as it stands. The old tree groans, and the giant slips free.”] T hree more parallels w ith Revelation have been noted, to add to the three sug­ gestions we have already. Joh n M cK innell has seen tw o allusions to the C h ristian

23 The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 125 (homily III.5 4 -5 5 ), 140 (homily V .98-99); 257 (hom ily X X (B H ).57-58), 263 (hom ily X X (C ).71) and 269 (hom ily X X (E I).6 1 -6 3 ). T he past tense is noted in G odden, "Apocalypse and Invasion,” 147.



A pocalypse in Vçluspâ 45 and one a little later in th is poem : the blow ing o f H eim dallr’s horn, a sign o f R agn aiçk, is like that o f the first six o f seven angels boding doom w ith their trum pets in Rev. 8 :6 -9 and 19; and L o k i bursts his chains rather as Satan is allow ed to break out o f his chains in Rev. 20:7; moreover, the poet's im ­ age o f dw arfs and hum ans, tram ping the road from m ountains and underworld in sts. 49 -5 0 , resem bles that o f the dead risin g to face judgm ent in Rev. 2 0 :12-13.24 In th is way, the last battle between good and evil is a them e com m on to Vçluspâ 47-53 and Rev. 20 :8 -1 0 . L o k i now sails to  sgardr w ith a fleet o f gian ts and other m onsters all ready to destroy the Æ sir. O ne by one the go d s Freyr, ÖÖinn, and I>örr step out to die in battle again st Su rtr the fire-dem on, the w o lf Fenrir, and the W orld Serpent, although Vidarr avenges Ö dinn on Fenrir and Pôrr appears to k ill the Serpent before he dies (st. 53) and the w orld sinks in flam es (st. 54). B u t th is is not the E n d , for now the sibyl from whom the future is known prom ises a transcendental future to the sibyl speakin g at th is point o f Vçluspâ'. Sér hön upp koma çdro sinni içrd ör ægi idiagrœ na. (st. 56) [“She sees come up, a second tim e, earth, out o f ocean, once again green.”] In heathen term s, the earth ’s renew al in Vçluspâ is probably a m o tif w hich stem s from the season al rise and fall o f the year and w hich is still plain to see in the self-sow n acres o f Vçluspâ 59.25 Yet the poet seem s to base h is expression for th is renew al, seventhly, on Joh n ’s statem ent in Rev. 21:1: E t vidi caelum novum et terram novam. Primum enim caelum, etprima terra abiit [“I saw a new heaven and a new earth , for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away”], even i f he goes on to say et mare iam non est ["and the sea is now not”]. A new generation o f Æ sir fin d each other and their ancestors’ artifacts on Idavellir, and B ald r returns to m ake peace w ith h is slayer H pdr and to dw ell in Hroptz sigtdptir “H roptr’s victory m ounds” (D ron ke: “w alls o f trium ph”, st. 59). A t th is tim e also the god H cenir re-em erges to pick out the tw igs o f (heathen) lo ts, w hile apparently the sons o f B ald r and H pdr live gloriously together in the vindbeim viban (“w ide w ind realm .” st. 6 0). T h e scene becom es celestial: Sal sér hön standa sölo fegra, gu lli t>akdan, i G im lé.

24 The Hom ilies ofW ulfitan, ed. Bethurum , 136-37 (hom ily V .40-477); M cK innell, Both One and M any, 124. 25 Edda II, ed. D ronke, 5 9 -6 0 ,9 4 -9 6 ,1 0 1 ; Jens Peter Schjodt, “ Vçluspâ-, cyklisk tidsopfattelse i gam m elnordisk religion,” D anske Studier 76 (1981): 91-95.

E n d Time and the D ate ofVpluspd: Thao M odels o f Conversion


Par skolo dyggvar dröttir byggia ok um aldrdaga yndis niöta. (st. 61) [“A hall she sees standing, brighter than the sun, roofed with gold, on Jew ­ el C learing [D ronke: “Refuge from the Flam es”]. There shall the worthy warrior bands dwell and all their days o f life enjoy delight.”] A s M cK in n ell notes, th is celestial h all w ould be a C h ristian com m onplace, but for a parallel in Rev. 2 2 :5 .26 Indeed the verses in Rev. 21:9-11 com e closer: 9 (cont.) dicens: Veni, et ostendam tibi sponsam, uxorem A gni. 10 E t sustulit me in spiritu in montem magnum et altum, et ostendit mihi civitatem sanctam Ierusalem descendentem de caelo a D eo, 11 habentem claritatem D ei: et lu­ men eius simile lapidi pretioso tanquam lapidi iaspidis, sicut crystallum. [“9 ‘Com e,’ he said [Seventh A ngel to St. John], ‘and I w ill show you the bride, the wife o f the Lam b.’ 10 So in the spirit he carried me away to a great and lofty mountain, and showed me Jerusalem , the H oly City, com ing down out o f heaven from G od. 11 It shone with the glory o f G od; it had the radiance o f some priceless jew el, like a jasper, clear as crystal.] Joh n dw ells for longer on the jew els and gold o f h is H eavenly C ity in Rev. 2 1 :1 8 21. B u t already it seem s that th is is the basis o f the im age o f G im lé. D ronke translates the elsewhere unattested Gim-lé as “F ire-L ee’” or “Fire-shelter,” “R ef­ uge from the F lam es.”27 T h e first elem ent o f Gim-lé m eans “fire,” but as it is form ally traceable to L atin gemma through O E gimm (“jew el”), it also m eans “gem .”28 T h is w ord occurs in Vplundarkvida 6 , where W ayland sl6 gull rautt viÔ gim fastan (“beat red gold round the firm -set gem ”).29 Vplundarkvida is recog­ nized to have been com posed in the ninth or tenth century, either in E ngland or by a poet w hose language incorporated O ld E n glish (and G erm an) loanw ords.30

26 M cKinnell, Both One an d M any, 125. 27 E dda I I ed. Dronke, 152. 28 E dda: D ie Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern, ed. Gustav Neckel and Hans Kuhn, S'8 ed., 2 vols. (Heidelberg, 1968) 2: 75: un.feuerod. *gimr (ags. gim ) m. 'gemme', Edelstein.” 29 Edda II, ed. Dronke, 245,276-79, esp. 277 and 308 (note). 30John M cKinnell, “The Context o f Vçlundarkvida” Saga-Book o f the Viking Society

23 (1990-1993): 1-27; idem, “Eddie Poetry in Anglo-Scandinavian Northern England,” in Vikings an d the D anelaw : Select Papersfrom the Proceedings o f the Thirteenth Viking Con­ gress, Nottingham and York, 2 1 -3 0 A ugust 1997, ed. Jam es Graham-Campbell, Richard H all, Judith Jesch, and David N. Parsons (Oxford, 2001), 327-44, esp. 331 (2. gim ): “the scribe fails to recognize the word, producing a meaningless compound gim frstan.”



H ere the second elem ent lé is hard to explain as a place-nam e su ffix {Ijdr m eans "scythe”), unless as a loan o f O ld E n glish leak, w ith the general m eaning “place.”31 B oth the prefix and topographical su ffix o f the nam e Gimlé, i f foreign, appear to reflect the translation o f O ld E n glish w ords into the language o f the poet o f Vçluspà. N ot only does his im age capture the civitas sancta in R evelation, as an eighth suggested parallel, but the nam e G im lé m ight tell us that the poet learned th is from an E n glish m issionary. H ere the Hauksbôk text o f Vçluspà, but not th at o f the better Konungsbôk, provides a couple o f lines w hich D ronke leaves out o f her m ain text:

P i kem r inn rik i çflugr, ofan,

at regindöm i,

sä er çllo rædr. (Hauksbôk st. 62 [H 62])

[“Then the M ighty One comes to the court o f Judgem ent, powerful, from above, H e who rules all.”] G ro Steinsland regards these lines as a heathen part o f the origin al poem ;323M cK in nell, as a heavily C h ristian ized part o f the first Vçluspà?* D ronke treats them as C h ristian interpolation, rejecting th is stan za "basically on the grounds th at it is saying in overt C h ristian term s w hat the poet has already subtly expressed in [ s t s j 61, 62 [on the dragon].”34 O f these alternative view s, M cK in n ell’s seem s the m ost plausible. T h e language here is ju st as covert as previously, for there is still no m ention o f C h rist’s nam e. M oreover, the adjective çflugr ("pow erful”) in th is verse repeats an earlier divine use in Vçluspà 17 in w hich three o f the Æ sir, nam ely Ô dinn, H œ nir, and Lödurr, are called çflgir when they create the first m an and w om an. A lso , the word ofan ("from above”) in th is stan za appears to be answ ered by nedan ("from below ”) in the follow ing stan za, the last in the poem . Vçluspà H 62 gives us yet another parallel, w ith Rev. 2 0 :4 - 6 , and is possibly the poet’s ninth allusion to R evelation in h is heathen sibylline creation poem on the end o f the w orld.

31 M argaret G elling, Place-Nam es in the Landscape: The GeographicalRoots o f B ritain 's Place-Nam es (London, 1984), 198-207, esp. 199: "used by English speakers to denote sites where settlem ents in forest clearings were flourishing when they arrived.” 32 G ro Steinsland, "R eligionskiftet i Norden og Vçluspà 65,” in Nordisk Hedendom: E t Symposium, ed. eadem (O dense, 1991), 335-48. 33 M cK innell, Both One and M any, 122-25; idem , “ Vçluspà and the Feast o f Easter,” 369. 34 Edda II, ed. D ronke, 87,152. A view also held by Klaus von See, in Altnordischer Rechtswörter: Philologische Studien zu r Rechtsauffassung und Rechtsgesinnung der Germanen (Tübingen, 1964), 122 and n. 77.

E n d Time and the D ate o f Vçluspâ: Two M odels o f Conversion


Par kem r inn dim m i dreki fliugandi, naör frànn, nedan frâ N idafiçllom . Berr sér i fiçdrom — flÿgr vçllr y fir — Nfdhçggr, nâi. Nü mun hôn sekkvaz. (st. 62) [‘‘There comes the shadowy dragon flying, glittering serpent, from below [D ronke: ‘up’] from D ark o f the M oon H ills. H e carries in his pinions — he flies over the field — M alice Striker, corpses. Now w ill she sink.”] T h u s we end w ith an im age o f heaven and h ell, a C h ristian adm ixture to the hea­ then plot. T h is dreki (“dragon”), tenthly, looks like the draco in R evelation w hich, according to Rev. 2 0 :1 -3 , w ill rise again from the abyss at the end o f the thou­ sand years. T h e context in both R evelation and Vçluspâ is the L o rd ’s Judgm ent o f good and bad sou ls. Vçluspâ H 6 2 , the stan za above th is one, seem s to describe the Second C om in g, the descent o f the Suprem e Ju dge from on high. Preserved by chance in Hauksbôk, H 62 seem s to be an integral part o f Vçluspâwhich fell out o f the copying o f the R -text from its exem plars, probably because the com piler o f the C odex R egius (Konungsbdk) m anuscript, in w hich the b est text o f Vçluspâ is found, w ished to create a collection o f heathen w orks.3S In all, these ten parallels w ith R evelation m ight show th at the poet o f Vçluspâ not only borrow s ideas from th is book, but also m ore or less follow s the course o f its chapters 17-21. T h e progress o f his C h ristian ized apocalyptic ideas corre­ sponds to Rev. 1 7 :4 ,2 1 :8 ,1 7 :1 - 6 ,1 9 ,2 0 :7 ,2 0 :1 2 - 1 3 ,2 1 :1 ,2 1 :9 -1 1 ,2 0 :4 - 6 and 2 0 :1 -3 (schem atically th is is A -H -A B -E F G -I-D -C ). T h e w ayw ardness o f his progress through the core o f R evelation, if the parallels are accepted, suggests that the poet o f Vçluspâ is m ore likely to have learned o f R evelation from listen­ in g to serm ons than from reading it in a book. M ore likely than not, the fairly close resem blance betw een h is unique menn meinsvara ok mordvarga (st. 38) and W ulfstan’s expression mansworan 7 morporwyrbtan (“perjurers and m urderers”) tells us th at his preacher cam e from E n glan d .36 T h e stronger the influence o f R evelation on Vçluspâ, the m ore likely it is th at th is poem w as com posed at the latest around 1000, for the dreki o f the last stan za, in the narrative present, show s that the poet thinks the E n d is nigh .37*In the late tenth century R evelation w as understood to date A rm ageddon to the end o f the first thousand years after C h rist’s birth . Æ lfric, in ca. 995, announces that Pes tima is ende-next and ende pyssere worulde (“T h is tim e is nearest to the E n d

35 For the stem m a, see Edda 17, ed. D ronke, 65. 36 The Homilies ofW ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 273 (X X (IE ).162-63); Vçluspâ, ed. Dronke, 17 (st. 38) and 142 (note). 37 M cK innell, “A Response,” 327: “the first symptom that the future ju st prophesied by the vçlva is beginning to come about.”

22 Ô


and is the end o f th is w orld”), although he does not indicate a d ate.38 W ulfstan allow s for a date am id evidence o f a w idespread fear o f E n d T im e in h is Secun­ dum Marcum (B ethurum , hom ily V ), w hich he probably w rote as archbishop o f York in 1002: Nu sceal hit nyde yfelian swyöe, foröam J>e hit nealæcd geome his timan, ealswa hit awriten is 7 gefym wæs gewitegod: Post m ille arm as soluetur Satan as. Pusend geara 7 eac ma is nu agan syddan C rist wæs mid mannum on menniscan hiwe, 7 nu syndon Satanases bendas swyde toslopene, 7 Antecristes tima is wel gehende, 7 dy hit is on worulde a swa leng swa wacre.39 [“Now things m ust o f necessity become very bad, because it is fast ap­ proaching his tim e, ju st as is written and was formerly prophesied: ‘A fter a thousand years Satan w ill be let loose.’ A thousand years and more has now passed since C hrist was am ong men in human form , and now Satan’s bonds are very frayed, and the time o f A ntichrist is very close, and so the longer the world goes on the worse it is.”] A lthough the subject o f th is serm on is truly M ark 13:12, W ulfstan quotes the thousand years from Rev. 20:7. T h is is the only tim e he provides a date for the A pocalypse.40 In his reticence about th is date, W ulfstan follow s patristic orthodoxy.41 A f­ ter the sack o f Rom e in 410, St. A ugustine confirm ed in his De civitate Dei that Rom e henceforth stood for a spiritual, not earthly, city o f G o d . L iteral readings o f Revelation were to be abandoned, for the Second C om in g m ight arrive at any m o­ m ent, rather like one’s own apprehension o f grace; and in R evelation the struggle between the L am b and the A n tich rist should now be read as sym bolic o f a com ­ m on choice. S t. A ugustine did not reject the ideas o f Revelation entirely, for in De civitate Dei (18.23) he quotes the Cantus Sibyllae [“Sibyl’s song”], a poem w hich w as translated from a G reek origin al {Dracula sibyllina V III) and which consists o f twenty-seven acrostic verses on the Sign s o f Judgm ent.42 B ut by the end o f

39 Æ lfric's Lives o f Sain ts, ed. W . W . Skeat, 2 vols., E E T S , o.s. 7 6 ,8 2 (O xford, 18811885, repr. 1966), 1 :3 0 4 (X III: D e Oratione M oysi, lines 2 9 0 -3 0 0 , esp. 294). M y transla­ tion. G odden, “A pocalypse and Invasion,” 133. 39 The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 136-37 (hom ily V .40-7), 290; Patrick W orm ald, “Archbishop W ulfstan: Eleventh-Century State-Builder,” in W ulfstan, Arch­ bishop o f York: The Proceedings o f the Second Alcuin Conference, ed. M atthew Townend (Tum hout, 2004), 9-27, esp. 17. 40 The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 291, n. 44. 41 Sermo Lupi ad Anglos, ed. Dorothy W hitelock, 2nd ed. (London, 1952), 24, n. 8. The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 278-82. 42 D ronke, uVqluspd and Sibylline Traditions,” 5 -6 .

E nd Time an d the D ate ofVpluspd: Two M odels o f Conversion


the tenth century the doctrine o f the thousand years w as officially deprecated as a hindrance to the thief-in-the-night Second C om in g which is disclosed in 1 T h ess. 5:2 and indicated m ore fully in M ark 13:33-37 and 2 T h ess. 2 . C h iliasm (the b elief in the doctrine o f the thousand years before Judgm ent) lived on in pop­ ular belief, as a subculture w hich fixed the date for the Second C om in g in or after the year 1000. In th is fram e, w hich W ulfstan briefly acknow ledges in Secundum Marcum, Satan’s ascent from the abyss in Rev. 2 0 :3 , modico tempore (“for a little w hile”) as the narrator says, heralds A rm ageddon ju st before D oom sday. T h e Icelanders probably converted officially in June 999, as we have seen, al­ though A .D . 1000 is the year according to A ri t>orgilsson’s tslendingabdk ("B ook o f Icelanders,” ca. 1125), the earliest surviving account.43 T h e years leading up to th is conversion were fraught w ith tension. T h e m issionary "bishop” Fridrekr who arrived in 980 w as threatened, outlaw ed, and nearly burned alive in his house, un­ til after four years he left Iceland w ith Iforvaldr Kodrânsson, his part-Irish m inder, splittin g up w ith him in N orw ay and returning to Saxland ("Saxony”) whence he is said to have com e.44 T h e nam e Fridrekr shows him to have been either a Saxon or Frank.45 T here is apparently som e G erm an vernacular influence in Vqluspd, where it has been noted that the poet borrows the notion o f ‘M uspelT (as a giant, st. 48) from the nam e ‘M u spilli’ which appears to denote the A pocalypse in an O ld H igh G erm an fragm ent from ca. 850.46 T h is nam e is also found in Lokasenna (st. 42), a satirical w ork probably o f the early C h ristian period in the eleventh century. Per­ haps, then, the word Misspell cam e into Vqluspd from Fridrekr. A bout eleven years after th is abortive m ission, K in g Ô lâfr T ryggvason is said to have sent to Iceland an Icelandic lay preacher nam ed Stefnir Porgilsson, who found his own fam ily unw elcom ing, his society hostile, and their idols too tem pting: when he started to destroy them , a law w as passed in the Alptng ("general assem bly”) the follow­ ing sum m er, probably in June 997, specifically to outlaw Stefnir for frandaskqmm ("the sham e o f his kin”).47 O ther Icelanders took up the C h ristian cause: probably 43 See note 2. fs/endingabdk, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, 18 (chap. 7): “l>at vas ]>remr tigutn vetra ens annars hundreds eptir drap Eadm undar, en pûsundi eptir burö K rists at alpÿdu tali” ["T h at was one hundred and seventy winters after the killing o f Edm und, and a thousand after C hrist’s birth by the common reckoning”]. 44 N am ed as an early visitor in tslendingabdk, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, 18 (chap. 8). H is visit is dated in annals as "981” (for 980) in A nnâlar og N afnaskrâ, ed. Gudni Jönsson (Reykjavik, 1981), 3 (Konungsanndll), 79 (Lögm annsannäll). H is story is told in K ristn i Saga, ed. B . Kahle (H alle a.S ., 1905), 1-17 (pôrvaldsp d ttr Kodrdnssonar). 45 Frankish a little more than Saxon, according to Ian M cD ougall, "Foreigners and Foreign Languages in M edieval Iceland,” Saga-Book o f the Viking Society 22 (1987-1988): 180-233, esp. 187. 44 Edda II, ed. Dronke, 146-47; M cG inn, Visions o f the End, 80-81. 47 K ristn i Saga, ed. Kahle, 19 (chaps. 6 -7 ); Kirsten H astrup, Culture and H istory in M edieval Iceland: An AnthropologicalAnalysis o f Structure and Change (O xford, 1985), 182.



in June 998, H jalti Skeggjason, son-in-law o f a chieftain o f Skâlholt nam ed G izu rr inn hviti (“the white”) T eitsson, w as sentenced to three years’ outlaw ry for b las­ phem ing the N orse gods. H is one surviving ditty hints that he had prom ised to reform after a bout o f this sort o f trouble before; also that he w as sexually conserva­ tive, like the clergy (and like the author o f Vqluspd 38): Vil ek eigi god geyja;

grey f>ykki mér Freyja.48

[“I don’t want to blaspheme the gods (/ the gods to bark); Freyja seems a bitch to me.”] H jalti’s portrait o f Freyja as a bitch w ith dogs resem bles a sim ile from the longest, probably the third, version o f Sermo Lupi (ca. 1018), in which W ulfstan condem ns men who buy a fem ale slave 7 widpa anefytye adreogab, an after obrum, 7 ale after obrum, hundum geliccast, peforfylpe ne scrifab [“and w ith that one wom an carry out filth , one after the other, and each m an after the other, m ost like dogs, that have no care for filth ”].49 L o k i alleges in Lokasenna 30 that each god has been Freyja’s hbr (“bed-fellow ”); and th is language, too, is rem iniscent o fW u lfstan ’s denuncia­ tion o f fideforlegene boringas manege (“m any foul jad ed fornicators”) im m ediately after the mansworan 7 morporwyrbtan in the sam e version o f Sermo Lupi.50S o there is a hint in H ja lti’s provocative line th at he had learned the lan guage o f E n glish preachers. A ri says o f both H jalti and G izurr, his father-in-law , that svd er sagt, atpar ban frd, hvé velpeir maltu (“it is said that there w as w onder at how w ell they spoke”).51 G izurr built a church, and in due course in 1056 his son Isleifr G izu rarson, H ja lti’s brother-in-law , w as appointed the first bishop o f Skâlh olt. T h e m ost vividly rem em bered activist in Iceland before the conversion w as a Saxon or Flem ish noblem an nam ed Pangbrandr, whom T ryggvason m ade court chaplain and dispatched to Iceland probably in 996.52 f>angbrandr sought

48 tslendingabôk, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, 15. 49 The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 270 (hom ily X X (E I).8 8 -8 9 ). O n H jalti’s sense o f humor, see Richard N orth, Heathen Gods in O ld English Literature (Cam bridge, 1997), 310-11; idem, “God geyja: T he Lim its o f H um our in O ld N orse-Icelandic Pagan­ ism ,” Quaestio 1 (2000): 1-22, esp. 1-5. so The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 273 (hom ily X X (E I).1 6 1 -6 4 ); Butt, “Z ur H erkunft der Vpluspd” 93-94. 51 tslendingabôk, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, 16 (chap. 7). 52 T he son o f Vilbaldus greift a f Brimum (“Count o f Bremen”), thus a Saxon, in K ristn i Saga, ed. K ahle, 14 (chap. 5) and in Brennu-N jdls saga, ed. E in ar Ö1. Sveinsson, Islenzk fornrit 12 (Reykjavik, 1954), 256 (chap. 100); but “Theobrandus” was a Flem ing, according to the monk Theoderic’s early-twelfth-century H istoria de antiquitate regum N orvagiensium , ed. G ustav Storm , M onumenta H istorica N orvegia: Latinske kildeskrifter tUNorges historié i middelalderen (C hristiania [O slo], 1880 [repr. 1973]), 15.

E n d Time and the D ate ofVçluspd: Two M odels o f Conversion


confrontation, as the epithets snjallr sidreynir ("brave-eloquent tester o f the old w ays”) and godvargr (“despoiler o f the go d s”), in tw o contem porary verses about h im , show.53 A lthough Pangbrandr is said to have converted som e ch ieftain s, the "B u rn t” N jill am ong them , he becam e notorious for dueling w ith reactionaries. C learly he w ould always w in, k illin g only tw o or three in A ri’s estim ation, but h is violence led to failure on a w ider scale, and in about 998, i f we follow A ri’s context rather than his d atin g, Pangbrandr returned to Ölähr em pty-handed.S45 Enough survives about him , particularly in Kristni saga (1380s) and Njdls saga (ca. 1390), to show th at the style w as the m essage, that Pangbrandr fought duels w ith pagans because he preached o f A rm ageddon. In Kristni saga (chap. 6) and Njdls saga (chap. 100), it is said that w hile Pangbrandr, shortly after arrival, pre­ pared to sin g m ass one m orning for S t. M ichael (i.e. on 29 Septem ber 996), h is host H a llr o f Sida asked him about the archangel M ichael. W hen Pangbrandr answ ered th at M ichael w eighs up good and evil deeds, H a llr asked to be put into M ich ael’s protection. S t. M ichael is com m em orated in th is role on runic monu­ m ents in Sw eden; he w as known elsewhere in Scandinavia as the protector and conveyor o f sou T h ree out o f four canonical biblical instances o f M ich ael concern h is generalship in A rm ageddon (the exception is Ju de 9): in D an . 10:13 and 12:1, M ichael figh ts again st the A n tich rist from whom he protects m an at the end o f history; in Rev. 12:7, when the w ar breaks out in heaven, M ichael du­ els w ith Satan the dragon and throw s him into the abyss. A lso in Kristni saga (chap. 8) and in Njdls saga, when Pangbrandr hears Steinunn, a pagan diehard, claim th at Pörr challenged C h rist to a duel w ithout answer, he says that he has heyrt ["h eard”] th at Pdrr van ekki nema mold ok aska, pegargud vildi eigi, at kann lifli ["P örr w ould be nothing but dust and ashes i f G od did not perm it him to live”].56 In th is exchange Pörr is cast as C h rist’s opponent as i f he were the B east or D ragon. T h ese w ords are consistent both w ith the idea o f G o d ’s restraining hand, which is known both in R evelation and in 2 T h ess. 2:11, and w ith the fire and brim stone prom ised in Rev. 2 0 :9 .57*B ut the story th at these sagas preserve is really about Pangbrandr’s w illingness to take on heathen oppo­ nents. Pangbrandr, w hether from Flanders or Saxony, could have learned to figh t pagans from a text such as the widely-known libellas which A dso o f M ontier-enD er, probably in ca. 950, w rote as a letter to Q ueen G erberga, sister o f Em peror

53 Brennu-N jdls saga, ed. Einar Ö1. Sveinsson, 260-61 (vs. 6: anon.), 262 (vs. 7: Porvaldr inn veili). 54 islendingabök, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, 14 (ch. 7); Ström bäck, The Conversion o f Iceland, 13-17,25-37. 55 Sven B . F. Jansson, Runes in Sweden, trans. Peter Foote (Stockholm , 1987). 56 Brennu-N jdls saga, ed. Einar Ö1. Sveinsson, 265 (chap. 102). 57 Ian B oxall, R evelation: Vision an d Insight: An Introduction to the Apocalypse (Lon­ don, 2002), 24.

*3 °


O tto I o f Saxony: his De Ortu et TemporeAntichristi.59 A dso opens by saying th at A ntich rist m ay be expected to call h im self G od and has already sent out A n tio chus, N ero, and D om itian as his m inisters o f evil: Nunc quoque nostro tempore multos Antichristos nouimus esse. Quicum que enim siue laicus, siue canonicus siue monachus contra iustitiam uiuit et ordinis sui regulam inpugnat et quod bonum est blasphemat, Antichristus est et m inister satane.S9 [“In our own time we know there are many Antichrists. Any layman, cleric, or monk, who lives in a way contrary to justice, who attacks the rule o f his order o f life, and blasphemes the good, is an Antichrist, a minister o f Satan.”] In th is fanatical ligh t, one could be forgiven for th in kin g th at Pangbrandr’s true purpose w as to fin d A n tich rists in Iceland. t>angbrandr is said, in Kristni saga (chap. 5 ), to have visited Canterbury, so in principle he could have influenced those expressions in Vqluspd that are regarded as being o f E nglish origin. In practice, however, this seem s unlikely, and Sigurdur N ordal discounted Pangbrandr’s influence when he identified the author o f Vqluspd w ith V çlu-Steinn, a poet o f this period.60 A better candidate for this type o f serm onic influence w ould be a priest nam ed Porm öör whom Ö lafr T ryggvason is said to have brought w ith him from E ngland; Porm öör is said to have accom panied G izurr and H jalti to Iceland (in 999).61 I f E ngland w as his country o f origin, then Porm öör is the D anelaw m an we are looking for: an E nglish preacher o f D an ish or N orw egian descent who could have m ediated phrases such as W ulfstan’s mansworan 7 morp(or)iuyrhtan to the poet o f Vçluspâ. Yet since these w ords are about m en, not gods, it rem ains quite unlikely that either Porm öör or Pangbrandr or H jalti inspired the poet o f Vqluspd. T h is poet blends the m ythology o f his heathen gods w ith the C h ristian language o f the L a st D ays w ithout the slightest trace o f antagonism . H e represents Pörr positively, giving him a trium ph over the W orld 59 M cG inn, Visions o f the End, 84. W ulfstan made use o f some o f this: G odden, “A pocalypse and Invasion,” 153. 59 A dso D ervensis, D e O rtu et TemporeA ntichristi, ed. D . Verhelst, C orpus C hristianorum Continuatio M ediaevalis 45 (Turnhout, 1976), 22. 60 Sigurdur N ordal, “Vçlu-Steinn,” Idunn 8 (1924): 161-78, esp. 166; trans. B . S . Benedikz, “T he Author o f Vçluspd,” Saga-Book o f the Viking Society 20 (1978-1979): 11430, esp. 119. 61 K ristn i Saga, ed. K ahle, 38, n. 10 (chap. 12), cited in fslendingabök, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, 15 (chap. 7). C alled “Therm o” in Theoderic’s H istoria de antiquitate regum N orvagiensium , ed. Storm , 19. English origin im plicit in the Norw egian A grip, o f the early tw elfth century, in A grip afNdregskonungasggum, ed. M atthew J . D riscoll (London, 1995), 30 (chap. 19) and 95 n. 61.

E n d Time and the D ate o f Vçluspâ: Two M odels o f Conversion


Serpent w hich, far from identifying him w ith the B east or D ragon, recalls S t M i­ chael’s victory again st the D ragon in Rev. 12:7. A s “St. M ichael and the D ragon,” the story o f M ichael’s generalship enjoyed particular popularity in Ireland from the sixth to the tenth century, from where versions were exported to E ngland and N or­ mandy.62 T here is a possibility that in Iceland, long before the end o f the tenth cen­ tury, an Irish form o f this story influenced the tale o f Pörr’s figh t w ith the W orld Serpent, postponing I>örr’s destruction o f this m onster in the story o f his fish in g trip w ith H ym ir (as announced in U lfr U ggason’s Hüsdrâpa o f the late tenth cen­ tury), to his com bat w ith giants in R agn aiçk (as in Vçluspâ S3).63 A ny allusions to R evelation in Vçluspâ should be considered a top-surface over older layers o f C h ristian influence. B aldr, in particular, seem s C h rist-like probably because before their conversion the Icelanders knew m ore than a centu­ ry o f trade w ith C hristendom and had seen the Irish papar (“fathers”) for them ­ selves, alon g w ith later Irish settlers from the B ritish Isles.64 W itness the vocabu­ lary o f a verse in the creation section o f Vçluspâ.'. Söl varp sunnan, sinni m ina, hendi inni hægri um himiniçdur. Söl bat né vissi, hvar hön sali itti, stiçm or ]>at né visso, hvar pxt stadi itto , m in i j>at né vissi, hvat hann megins itti. (st. 5 )6S

62 M aria Elena Ruggerini, “St M ichael and the D ragon from Scripture to H agiog­ raphy,” in M onsters and the M onstrous in M edieval Northwest Europe, ed. K arin E . O lsen and Luuk A . J. R . Houwen (Louvain, 2001), 23-5 8 , esp. 31-43. 63 For the view that the Vçluspd-vzrûon o f the Serpent’s death is a later develop­ ment, see K urt Schier, “D ie H üsdrâpa von U lfr U ggason und die bildliche Überlieferung altnordischer M ythen,” in M innjar og M enntir: Afm eelisrit helgad K ristjdn i Eldjdrn, 6 desember 1976, ed. Gudni Kolbeinsson (Reykjavik, 1976), 425-43, esp. 434-35; and E dith M arold, “Kosm ogonische M ythen in der H üsdrâpa des Ü lfr U ggason,” in International Scandinavian and M edieval Studies in Memory o f Gerd Wolfgang Weber: ein runder Knäuel, so rollt'es uns leicht aus den H änden, ed. M ichael D allapiazza, O laf H ansen, Preben M eulengracht Sorensen, and Yvonne S. Bonnetain (Trieste, 2000), 281-92, esp. 290. See fur­ ther Richard N orth, “Im age and Ascendancy in Ü lfr’s H üsdrâpa,” forthcom ing. 64 tslendingabdk, ed. Jakob Benediktsson, 5 (chap. 1); Ström bäck, The Conversion o f Iceland, 61-67. 65 Edda II, ed. Dronke, 8, 35-37, 116-17. M y translation, adapted from Dronke. Dronke regards st. 5 /5-8 [recte 5/5 -0 ] as “an unskilled interpolation, drawn from a variant version o f prim ordial tim es and attracted into the poem as a supplement to the repeated ne­ gations o f stanza 3” (36). But o f course the same poet could have composed the negations o f st. 5 to do ju st that, to connect the stars’ bewilderment with that o f the audience at words o f st. 3: “k?r3 fannz aeva né upphiminn” (“earth was not to be found nor above it heaven”). A t this moment in the poem the Norse cosmos is unfinished, because it is unnamed.



[“From the south the sun, moon’s companion, cast her right hand over the rim o f the sky. Sun did not know where she had m ansions, stars did not know where they had stations, M oon did not know what m ight he had.”] T h at is to say, there is as yet no calendar, w hether solar, heliacal-stellar, or lunar. O n th is tabula rasa the prim eval gods inscribe a series o f nam es w ith the le g a l aplom b o f the Icelandic parliam ent. In Vçluspd 6 , follow ing on, they form the cal­ endar by givin g nam es to the sky’s quarters, sp littin g day from night and d ivid in g the day into four. W here the sun’s "righ t hand” is concerned, "righ t” for "south ” is known to be an Irish usage w hich is not found in G erm anic dialects.66 T h is likely provenance for the im age o f the sun’s hendi inni hagri in Vçluspd m akes it plau­ sible that the poet C h ristian ized his m ythology on the basis o f contact w ith Irish C h ristian s in h is own country. A sim ilar h eathen-C hristian contact is visible in the bottom o f the w est face o f the G osforth C ro ss, w hich w as carved by A n glo Scandinavians in C um bria in the first h a lf o f the tenth century. T h is carvin g is a relief o f L o k i’s punishm ent after B ald r, one o f three reliefs associated w ith R agn arçk, w ithin the larger pattern o f C h rist’s C ru cifixion .67 Som e o f the poet’s apocalyptic d etails could therefore have entered Icelandic paganism long before the com position o f Vçluspd'. the poet m ay not have seen them as new. T h at the poet o f Vçluspd w as a heathen by upbringing, whatever the nature o f his C h ristian experience, is clear in his rich m ythology. N o C h ristian-Judaic apocalyptic schem e could have sanctioned the objectivity o f the divine them e in Vçluspd in com bination w ith the horror w ith which the hum an condition is here revealed. In th is way the poet o f Vçluspd sought to blend his own traditions w ith those o f apocalyptic C hristianity. H e treats the N orse gods w ith a certain care, de­ taching their errors from m oral causes, presenting these as the unlucky but antici­ pated steps to R agn aiçk: "a gradual disaster, like the physical frailties o f age.”68 In Vçluspd 3 5 -4 4 , in contrast, it is left to m ankind to reflect divine failures as a m oral dow nfall. M en live in another dim ension, w hich the poet seem s to have integrated w ith h is heathen m ythology out o f deference to the C h ristian faith ; again , like the author o f R evelation, the poet o f Vçluspd seem s to know th at hum an history can

66 Ruggerini, “St M ichael and the Dragon,” 28. See also Asser's life o fA lfred: D e Rebus G estisÆ lfredi, ed. W . H . Stevenson, with supplem entary article by D orothy W hitelock (O xford, 1959), 27 (chap. 35.10), 64 (chap. 79.4: A sser’s use o f dextralis for W elsh dehouy "south”), and 234: "there are no traces o f [this usage] in the G erm anic dialects.” 67 Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire N orth-of-(be-Sands, ed. Rosem ary Cram p and Richard N . Bailey, Corpus o f A nglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture 2 (O xford, 1988), 1 0 0 9, esp. 100-2 (ills. 288-308). For a summary o f the evidence, see M cKinnell, "Eddie Poetry in A nglo-Scandinavian Northern England,” 328-29. 68 D ronke, “ Vçluspd and Sibylline Traditions,” 15.

E n d Time and the D ate ofVpluspd: Two M odels o f Conversion


be expressed surreally through the battles o f heathen gods and gian ts. It is im pos­ ab le to know, however, how far he gave sym bolic rather than literal m eanings to these creatures. T h e less real the gods were for th is poet, the m ore likely it is that he believed h im self to be C h ristian . It has been argued that the poet had been (no more than) a catechum en, a partaker in the E aster Liturgy.69 In short, Vçluspd’s h eathen-C hristian blend seem s sure enough o f itse lf to predate the duels and showdowns o f the late 990s. W h at envoy o f T ryggvason’s in Iceland could have suffered the em bodim ent o f heathen gods into the good side o f the A pocalypse? T h e C h ristian ized character o f Vpluspd seem s to belong to a m ore tolerant tim e. A d so , in his De ortu o f ca. 950, m akes use o f part o f Expositio in Tbessalonicenses II, a com m entary on 2 T h ess. 2 w hich w as origin ally w ritten before 853 by a form er pupil o f A lcu in , B ishop H aym o o f H alberstadt in Saxony: Q ui aduersatur, id est contrarius est C hristo D eo omnibusque membris eius, et extollitur, id est, in superbiam erigitur super omne quod dicitur D eus, id est, supra omnes deos gentium , Herculem uidelicet, Apollinem , Iouem, M ercurium , quos pagani deos esse estim ant. Super omnes istos deos extolletur A ntichristus, quia m aioiem et fortiorem se iis omnibus faciet: et non solum supra hos, sed etiam supra omne quod colitur, id est, supra sanctam Trinitatem , que solummodo colenda et adoranda est ab omni creatura.70 [“‘H e who rebels’: that is, he who opposes C h rist G od in all his members; ‘and is raised up’: that is, he who is exalted in pride ‘over all that is said to be god’: that is, above all gods o f the nations, for example H ercules, A pollo, Jupiter, M ercury, whom the pagans believe to be gods. A ntichrist w ill be raised above all these gods, for he w ill make him self bigger and stronger than all o f them: and not only over these, but also above everything that is worshipped, that is, above the H oly Trinity, that which alone m ust be wor­ shipped and adored by each and every one o f its created things.”] A lthough the De ortu is a w ork o f m illennial anxiety th at m ay have inspired the confrontational behavior o fP an gb ran d r and others, th is older text that it em bod­ ies could be taken to realign the northern O lym pians, I>6rr, T ÿr, and Ô dinn, on the side o f the Lam b. T h is is the style in Vçluspâ, w hose heathen go d s are other­ w ise hard to explain. A d so’s text could have arrived in Iceland through an O t­ tom an m issionary, such as Fridrekr in the early 980s. T o return to Fridrekr, the thirteenth-century Pârvalds pdttr says that he preached in the hom e territory o f h is m inder Pörvaldr K odrànsson, in north­

69 M cK innell, “Vqluspd and the Feast o f Easter,” 372. 70 D e O rtu et Tempore A ntichristi, ed. Verfielst, 26-27; cf. PL 117.550,779; 118.761.



w estern Iceland, until Pôrvaldr killed a couple o f lam poon ists who called him and the bishop ragir ("queers”).71 A fter m ore trouble, their enforced departure from Iceland and Pörvaldr’s settlin g o f an old score in Norw ay, Fridrekr is said to have returned to Saxland (Saxony) on h is own. C learly it w as h is style to re­ je c t violence, and in th is m atter he and Pangbrandr are far apart. O n the other hand, Fridrekr could be regarded as t*angbrandr’s O ttom an harbinger in th at he probably had som ething to do w ith the spread o f m illennarial fears in Icelandic society in the early 980s. T here w as a fear o f E n d T im e spreading across France and G erm any, and o f course E n glan d, at least a generation before then. A bbo o f Fleury, in his Apologeticus o f ca. 995, says th at when he w as a young m an, pre­ sum ably in the 9 60s, he heard a serm on about the E n d o f the W orld in the ca­ thedral in P aris, quod statim finito mille annorum numéro Antichristus adveniret, et non longa post tempore universalejudicium succèdent ["according to w hich, as soon as the num ber o f a thousand years w as com plete, the A n tich rist w ould com e and the L a st Judgm ent w ould follow in a b rief tim e”].72 A s we have seen in its rarity w ith A rchbishop W ulfstan in ca. 1002, the ch iliastic view ran counter to ortho­ doxy; but in the sam e passage, A bbo says that his old abbot asked him at th is tim e to take issue w ith a panic spreading in L o th arin gia, th at the E n d w ould occur when G oo d Friday coincided w ith the A nnunciation on 25 M arch (as in 2 0 0 5 ). T h is text is evidence o f a ch iliastic subculture across w estern E urope. It is hard to see how particularly the "thousand years” were unknow n to B ishop Fridrekr, through whom a know ledge o f it could have passed on to his m inder Pörvaldr and any other open-m inded heathens. N or is it easy to see how a b e lie f in the thousand years did not spread to Iceland when Fridrekr m ade h is first at­ tem pt to align the goÔar ("ch ieftain s”) w ith the C h ristian calendar. T here is a verse attributed to I>6rvaldr, m ade when he helped Fridrekr to preach in h is hom e in the northw est fjord s o f Iceland. In it he appears to call the new religion "judgm ent,” as i f th is were the perception o f C h ristian ity in Iceland at the tim e: Förk med dôm enn dyra; drengr hlÿddi mér engi; gâtum had at hreyti hlautteins, goda sveini, en vid enga svinnu aldin rygr vid skaldi ([>â kreppi god gydju) gall a f heidnum stalla.73

71 K ristn i Saga, ed. K ahle, 11. 72Apologeticus, P L 139.461-472, esp. 471-472. 73 Den norsk-islandske Skjaldedigtning, ed. Finnur Jönsson, 4 vols. [A , I, II; B , I, II] (Copenhagen and C hristiania [O slo], 1912-1915), B , 1 ,105. See also K ristn i Saga, ed. K ahle, 8-11, esp. 9 (chap. 2).

E n d Time and the D ate ofVpluspd: Two M odels o f Conversion


[“I went there with the precious Judgm ent; no man heeded me; we got scorn from the sprinkler o f the lot-tw ig, the gods’ servant, and with no wisdom did an aged lady (may G od cripple the priestess) chant at the poet from the heathen altar.”] It is tem pting to iden tify th is lady, whom the saga calls Friögerör, as a vqlva, such as those that are used as heathen props in other Icelandic sagas.74 T h e versifier, probably a forger in the tw elfth or thirteenth century, contrasts Pörvaldr’s dômr w ith a lack o f w isdom (vid enga svinnu) in th is priestess, as i f to show that G o d w ill punish heathen obdurates in h ell. It thus seem s clear th at Icelanders in the eleventh century or later saw their conversion in term s o f ideological confronta­ tion. Y et even through th is tarnish o f re-interpretation the w ord dômr rin gs true as a term o f high currency from before the m illennium : Godes dom (“G o d ’s Ju d g­ m ent”) is naturally W ulfstan’s them e in Secundum Marcum and elsew here.75 Godes dom is also the idea o f the unique regindômr (“court o f Judgm ent”) to w hich, ac­ cording to Hauksbôk stan za 62, the A lm igh ty descends at the close o f Vqluspd. So som e ligh t is throw n on the circum stances o f Vqluspd by the fear o f D oom sday. W e m ight even say o f its poet, m isusing Patrick W orm ald’s w ords on W ulfstan , that h is priority w as to fortify a heathen society “to m eet first its arch-enem y, A n tich rist, and then its M aker, C h rist h im self in clouds descending.”76 A t any rate, it is probably the poet’s debt to R evelation, a book th at w as taken to date the E n d at A .D . 1000, w hich gives Vqluspd its terminus ad quern in the sam e year. T o sum up, tw o conversion techniques m ay be seen as having given rise to Vqluspd tow ards the end o f the tenth century. F irst, through its allusions to Rev­ elation, Vqluspd conveys som ething o f the language o f m illennarial m issionar­ ies. Second, however, it seem s th at th is apocalyptic in Vqluspd is im posed on an older C h ristian izin g w orld-view th at seeks to integrate and em body. A t its heart, Vqluspd su ggests the older effects o f a conversion from w ithin, an eirenic, prob­ ably Irish , attem pt to inculturate C h ristian ity in Iceland w ithin the language o f paganism . T h u s the poet o f Vqluspd not only celebrates and m ourns the N orse go d s but also launches their progeny w ithout em barrassm ent into the new w orld order o f sts. 5 7 -6 2 . W ith H 62 so apposite to the context o f Judgm ent in these stan zas, he appears to be at ease w ith the subordination o f all h is go d s to inn rlki

74 O n these, see John M cK innell, “Encounters with Volur,” in O ld Norse M yths, L it­ erature an d Society: Proceedings o f the 11th International Saga Conference, 2-7 Ju ly 2000, ed. G eraldine Barnes and M argaret Clunies R oss (Sydney, 2000), 239-51, esp. 2 4 3-48. 75 The Hom ilies o f W ulfstan, ed. Bethurum , 129 (hom ily IV.31: D e temporibus A nti­ christs), 141 (hom ily V.114: Secundum M arcum ), 155 (hom ily V I.208: Incipiunt sermones Lupi episcopi), 161 (V II.106: D efid e catholica), 167 (V IIa.3 2 -4 : To eallum folke). 76 W orm ald, “Archbishop W ulfstan: Eleventh-Century State-Builder,” 17.

2j 6


(“the M igh ty O n e*), sd er çllu nedr (“W ho rules a ll*). H is is a recruitm ent o fÆ sir to the C h ristian cause. Behind him there m ay be a preacher w orking w ith a te x t o f A d so s De Ortu et Tempore Antichristi. B y the end o f the tenth century, how ­ ever, it seem s th at the last traces o f inculturation were overw helm ed by O tto n ian activists such as Stefnir, H jalti, and Pangbrandr w ho sought to confront an d destroy. Even i f the poet o f Vçluspâ w as taught o f the im m inence o f A .D . 1 0 0 0 , as som e ten parallels w ith R evelation su ggest, it is reasonable to suppose th at he hated the new evangelism , indeed com posed Vçluspâ in reaction to its exclusion o f good heathens from heaven. In th is way it w as probably an idea o f E n d T im e th at drove him to m eet the new m illennium w ith a m asterpiece. A nd it m ay also be fair to say that Vçluspâ w as born o f a co n flict, not betw een tw o religions, b u t betw een tw o opposed m odels o f conversion.

I ndex A Aaron, brother o f M oses, 71,207 n l0 2 Aaron, martyr, 6 A bbesses, 158-59,1 6 1 ,1 6 2 ,1 6 5 ,1 9 1 n.59 Abbo o f Fleury, Apologeticus, 234 A bbots, 161,162,165 lists of, 109,114,130,192 Abingdon, 184,185 n42 Abraham, 204 Acta Andreae apud anthropophagies, 72 Acta Q uiriaci, 12 Acta Sanctorum, 139 Adam , 114,127,129 A dam nin o f Iona, 8 3 ,8 6 ,9 3 D e locis sanctis, 93 Adelard, Vita S. D unstani, 179 A do o f Vienne, 135 A drian and Ritheus, 207 n l0 2 Adso, o f M ontier-en-Der, 229-30,233,236 Advent, 1 7 6 ,1 8 2 ,1 8 8 ,1 9 0 ,2 0 7 ,2 1 0 Advent Lyrics, 169-211 Æ lfric, 7 4 ,7 8 ,7 9 ,8 1 ,8 8 ,1 7 5 n l3 ,225 D e N atale S. Pauli, 79 D e temporihus, 111, 112,113 n l5 Grammar, 74 Letter to the Monks o f Eynsham, 153,184 n38 Letter to Wulfsige, 160 H om ily for Christm as, 197 H om ily for Palm Sunday, 166 H om ily for the Second Sunday after Easter, 196 Hom ily for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, 79-80,196 H om ily on the Discovery o f the C ross, 138,139,147 L ife o f St. B asil, 74

L ife < f St. M aurus, 186 Lives o f Saints, 180,181 Prayer o f Moses, 180 Æ lfweard, abbot o f Glastonbury, 114 Æ lfweard, bishop o f London, 81 Æ sir, 22 0 ,2 2 2 ,2 2 4 ,2 3 6 Æ thelbehrt, king o f Kent, 28 Æ thelflæd, lady o f the M ercians, 136 Æ thelred, king o f England, 114,127 Æ thelstan, king o f the English, 136, 143, 207 nlOO Æ thelthryth, saint, 60 Æ thelwold, bishop ofW inchester, 154,169, 170,172 n 9 ,1 7 7 ,1 8 2 ,1 8 4 ,1 8 5 ,1 9 1 , 194,196,207 nlOO, 208 “King Edgar’s Establishm ent o f the M onasteries,” 176, 186, 190, 191 n59 See also manuscripts, London, B L , A d­ ditional 49598 Æ thelwulf, 140 A frica, 8 6 ,8 7 ,9 0 Aidan, saint and bishop o f Lindisfam e, 4 ,6 Aire, river, 38 Akerman, John Yonge, 38 Alban, saint, 6 Albinus, abbot o f Canterbury, 1 0 ,2 7 ,2 8 Alcuin, 20 ,2 1 5 ,2 3 3 Aldhelm , 5 ,1 2 ,1 3 D e V irginitate, 138 Enigm ata, 73 Alexander the G reat, 6 3 ,9 0 ,9 1 ,9 4 Alexander’s Letter to A ristotle, 94 A lfred, king, 7 7 -7 8 ,8 3 -1 0 8 ,1 3 6 Boethius, 8 8 ,9 1 ,9 7 ,1 0 1 ,1 0 4 -0 5 ,1 0 6 Pastoral Care, 9 2 ,9 5 -9 6 ,1 0 1 ,1 0 2 -0 4



Pslam s, 9 3 ,9 6 ,1 0 2 -0 3 Soliloquies, 105-06 treaty with Guthrum , 136,137 A lfin g, 227 Am brose, saint, 24 Am ulets, 37 Anderson, E arl R ., 197 Andreas, 7 2 ,1 3 4 ,1 8 9 n51 A nglo-Saxon Chronicle, 97, 98, 100, 117, 137,1 4 0 ,1 4 3 ,2 0 2 n85 M S A , 201 M S C , 95,143 M S D , 97 M S E , 97,180 n 3 1 ,185 n 42,208 Annunciation, 210,234 Anselm , archbishop o f Canterbury, 29 Antichrist, 21 4 ,2 2 6 ,2 3 5 ,2 3 6 Antiphons, 171, 172, 174, 189, 198, 203,

211 Apocalypse, 216,2 2 2 ,2 2 6 ,2 3 3 Arculf, bishop, 93 Aretaios Cappadox, 77 A ri Porgilsson, îslendingabôk, 227,229 Arrhenius, Birgit, 44,55 A sia, 5 7,86 Asgardr, 221,222 Assyria, 9 0 ,9 3 ,9 4 astronomical texts, 111, 112 Augustine, archbishop o f Canterbury, saint, 1 ,4 ,6 ,2 7 ,3 0 ,9 6 ,9 9 n56 Augustine, bishop o f H ippo, 106,226 D e civitate D ei, 226 Auxerre, 7

B Babylonia, 9 1 ,9 3 ,1 0 0 ,2 1 6 Baldr, 2 1 4 ,2 1 6 ,2 1 7 ,2 2 2 ,2 3 1 ,2 3 2 Baptism , 6 8 ,1 3 7 ,1 4 1 ,1 4 4 Barrow, Geoffrey, 14 Bately, Janet, 9 0 ,9 1 Bath, 202 Battle Abbey, Chronicle of, 111 B attle o f Brunanburh, 143 B attle o f M aldon, 143 Beads, 47

Bede, 1 -2 8 ,5 2 ,7 6 ,8 3 ,8 7 -8 8 ,9 6 ,1 0 0 ,1 1 5 , 119,175 n l3 D e natura rerum, 88,99 n58 D e temporibus, 88 D e temforum rations, 88 Ecclesiastical H istory, 5 ,8 ,1 0 ,2 0 ,7 3 ,9 3 , 9 8 ,1 1 5 ,1 1 9 M artyrology, 133 Vita sancti Cuthberti (prose), 8 Bede, O ld English, 9 7 ,9 8 ,1 3 8 Belknap, Robert, 121 Benedict, saint, 74 Benedictine Reform , 153-211 Benedictine Rule, 1 5 5 ,1 7 6 ,1 7 7 ,1 9 1 ,2 0 8 Beowulf, 141,142,143 B em ida, 8 ,1 0 ,1 1 4 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 Bible, Greek Septuagint, 206 O ld English G ospels, 73 Vulgate, 73. O ld Testam ent: G enesis, 204 Daniel, 216,229 Leviticus, 6 9 ,7 0 ,7 2 ,7 8 Numbers, 78 Psalm s, 9 6,101,180,204,206. New Tes­ tament: Matthew, 73 216,180 M ark, 1 8 0 ,2 1 6 ,2 2 1 ,2 2 6 ,2 2 7 Luke, 80,180,221 John, 8 0 ,1 60,196 Ephesians, 174 1 Thessalonians, 216,227 2 Thessalonians, 227,229,233 2 Timothy, 218 Hebrews, 203 Peter, 216 Revelation, 2 1 4 ,2 1 6 -2 6 ,2 2 9 ,2 3 1 ,2 3 2 , 235,236 Birinus, saint, 4 Bishops, 6 ,7 ,1 2 ,1 3 ,2 2 ,2 4 lists o f 109,114,1 1 6 ,1 1 9 ,1 2 8 ,1 2 9 ,1 4 7 , 192,196 Boethius, D e consolations philosopbiae, 99 n58 Boniface, saint, 72 Borges, Jorge Luis, 124,125 Bourdieu, Pierre, 8 4 -8 5 ,9 9 ,1 0 7 Bredehoft, Thom as, 117



Bridges, M argaret, 83 Britons, 6-28 Brittonic 13,17 Brown, George Baldwin, 3 5 ,3 7 Brown, George H ardin, 175 Buckets, 3 2 ,3 8 ,4 0 ,6 5 ,6 6 Burial, 1 0 ,3 2 ,4 0 5 2 ,6 6 80 cremation, 10 inhumation, 10, 12, 17-19, 36, 38, 40, 5 5 ,6 1 ,6 2 ,6 4 ,6 5 -6 8 ship burial, 66 See also cemeteries Sutton H oo Burlin, Robert, 175,203 Byrhtferth o f Ramsey, Computus, 99 n58 Vita S. Oswalds, 179

c Cadwallon, king o f Gwynedd, 30 Caerleon, 6 ,9 Caesar, Julius, 97,98 Calendars, 111, 112,113 n l5 ,119 Cam eron, Kenneth, 14 Cam eron, M alcolm , 75 Canterbury, 3 ,4 ,5 ,8 ,1 0 ,2 0 ,2 1 ,2 7 -3 0 ,1 5 6 , 230 Cathedral, 2 7 ,2 8 ,2 9 Cathedral Fabric Com m ission, 27 C hrist Church, 2 7 ,3 0 St. Augustine’s, 192 n60 St. Peter and St. Paul, 27 ,2 8 St. Saviour’s, 27 Carlisle, 2 ,9 Carver, M artin, 31-32 Cassiodorus, Institutiones, 70 Cauldrons, 37,38 C destine, pope, 7 Cem eteries, 1 0 -1 2 ,1 6 ,1 7 -1 9 , 35, 36, 60, 6 2 ,6 4 -6 9 ,8 0 Appahida (Rum ania), 55 ,5 6 Beckford, Hereford and Worcester, 6 5 -

66 Cannington, Som erset, 65 Holywell Row, Suffolk, 35 Long W ittenham , Berkshire, 37

Lavoye (A isne), 38 Poundbury, D orset, 63 Pritdewell, Essex, 57 Raunds Fum ells, Northamptonshire, 68-69 St. John the Baptist, Norwich, 67-68, 69,81 Vermand (Aisne), 35 W orms-W iesoppenheim, 35 W orthy Park, Kingsworthy, Ham pshire,

66 See also burial Sutton H oo Ceolwulf, king o f Northum bria, 98 Cerdic, king o f the W est Saxons, 114,127 Ceremony o f the New Fire, 163,164 C had, saint, 7-8 Chapel H ill, H ousesteads, 8 n l5 Charlem agne, 72,140 Charles the Bald, 134 Chelles, 53 Chenet, G eorges, 3 7,38 Chi-rho, 38 C hrist, 36,170,171,174,175,176,180,181, 1 8 7 ,1 9 1 ,1 9 2 ,1 9 7 ,2 0 2 ,2 0 3 ,2 0 4 Advent of, 181,182,203 Agony in the Garden, 33,38 Ascension, 182 as G ood Shepherd, 188,196 as teacher, 36 crucifixion of, 145,182,232 enthroned, 36 flanked by saints, 36 Harrowing o f H ell, 182 healing a leper, 70,73 healing the blind man, 38 passion of, 145 Second Com ing, 181, 191, 198, 207, 2 0 8 ,2 2 5 ,2 2 6 ,2 2 7 washing the disciples feet, 160 with Zaccheus in the Tree, 3 3,38 C h risti, 171-211 Christ II, 198 n78 ChronieonAbbatiae Ram esiensis, 81 Church Councils, Council o f Ariminium, 2 Council o f A rles, 2 ,2 1

240 C oundl o f Lyon, 71 Council o f Niceae, 2 ,6 C oundl o f O rleans, 71 C oundl o f Serdica, 2 Third Lateran C oundl, 71 Cicero, A ratea, 112 Cirencester, 2 Coel, king o f the Britons, 138 C oins, 4 7 ,5 7 ,9 7 ,1 9 7 n77 Com putus, 99 n58, 111, 112,113 n l5 Conner, Patrick, 134,135,172 Constantine, Roman emperor, 1 ,6 ,3 7 ,1 3 7 , 138,140-50 vision o f the cross, 1 3 9 ,1 40,142,148 Constantius, Roman emperor, 6,138 Coronoation ordo, 198,201 Cosm etic sets, 48 Cotton, Robert, 112 Cradock, Edward, 156 C ule,John ,81 Cuthbert, saint, 6 ,8 ,9 coffin of, 36 Cynefrith, physician, 60 Cynewulf, 133-51 Christ 1 ,133 Elene, 133-51 Fates c f the Apostles, 133,134,135 Ju lian a, 133

D Dacre, Cum bria, 9 Danelaw, 1 3 6 ,1 3 7 ,1 4 0 ,1 4 3 ,1 4 7 ,1 4 9 ,1 5 0 , 215,230 Daniel, bishop o f W inchester, 10 D avid, king, 9 3 ,9 6 ,1 9 8 Deacons, 160 D eath o f Edgar, 143 D e ira ,8 ,1 0 ,1 1 4 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 Derwentwater, Cum bria, 9 Deshm an, Robert, 1 7 0 ,1 7 2 ,1 7 7 ,1 8 1 ,1 9 1 , 198 Destom bes, M arcel, 86 D etsicas, A lan, 17 D iodetian, Roman emperor, 3 ,6 Dionysius, Periegesis, 111, 112


D isdples o f C hrist, lists of, 1 1 3 ,1 1 5 ,1 1 6 , 1 1 8 .1 1 9 .1 2 5 .1 2 9 .1 3 0 D iseases, 59-81 elrfanttacus, 7 0 ,7 4 leprosy, 59-81 plague, 7 poliomyelitis, 68 scabies, 77 shingles, 75 syphilis, 77 tuberculosis, 63 Dom agnano Treasure, 55 Dorchester upon Tham es, 20 D rinking horns, 3 5 ,3 6 ,4 0 Dronke, Ursula, 21 5 ,2 1 7 ,2 2 3 ,2 2 4 ,2 2 5 D rout, M ichael D . C ., 191 Dummoc, E ast Anglia, 2 0 ,2 1 ,3 0 Dum ville, David, 111, 1 1 3 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 ,1 1 8 , 119,126,127,128 D unstan, archbishop and saint, 154, 177, 191,196,207 nlOO, 208

E Eadmer, monk o f C hrist Church, Canter­ bury, 27 Eadred, king o f the A nglo-Saxons, 136 Eadsige, canon o f W inchester, 169,205 Eadw ig, king o f the English, 176,189 Eaglesfield, Cum bria, 16 E ast A nglia, 1 0 ,5 1 ,5 2 ,5 8 ,1 1 4 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 , 1 1 9 .1 2 7 .1 2 8 .1 2 9 .1 3 0 E cd es, Kent, 1 6 ,1 7 ,1 9 ,3 0 cemetery, 1 7-19,64 Roman villa, 17-19; Eccles, N orfolk, 1 6 ,1 7 ,3 0 E cdeshall, Staffordshire, 16 Eddie poetry, 213-36 Edgar, king o f England, 114 ,1 2 7 ,1 2 8 ,1 7 0 , 1 7 6 ,1 7 7 ,1 7 9 ,1 8 0 ,1 8 2 ,1 8 5 n 4 2 ,186, 1 8 8 ,1 9 6 ,1 9 8 ,2 0 1 ,2 0 2 ,2 0 7 ,2 0 8 Edict o f M ilan, 1 Edm und, king o f the A nglo-Saxons, 136,

202 Edson, Evelyn, 87, 111



Edward the Elder, king o f the A nglo-Sax­ ons, 136 Edwin, king o f Northumbria, 13 Egypt, 55 ,9 0 ,1 4 1 Eleutherius, pope, 6 Enamelwork, 55 Eric Bloodaxe, king o f York, 137 E si, abbot, 10 Essex, 118 Ethiopia, 134 Ethnicity, 5 ,7 ,1 0 ,1 2 ,3 7 ,3 8 Ethnogenesis, 6 Evans, Angela, 48,51 Evison, Vera, 3 5 ,3 7 ,3 8 Exeter Book, 1 3 3 ,1 6 9 ,1 7 1 ,1 7 2 ,1 7 5 ,1 8 1 , 183,210,211

F Fall o f the angels, 1 8 1 ,1 8 2 ,1 8 3 ,1 8 8 ,2 0 2 n85 Fasteraunet, Norway, 36 Fenrir, 219,222 Floras o f Lyon, 135 Fontes A nglo-Saxonici, 88 Foot, Sarah, 157 Foucault, M ichel, 124,125 Founders’ graves, 5 ,1 8 ,1 9 Franda/Franks, 31, 32, 35, 37, 38, 40, 44, 5 2 ,5 3 ,5 5 ,5 7 ,5 8 ,7 2 ,9 4 ,9 7 ,1 0 7 ,1 4 0 , 207,227 Franks Casket, 97 Frcyja, 228 Freyr, 213,222 Frisia/Frisians, 8 n l5 Friflrekr, bishop, 227,2 3 3 ,2 3 4 ,2 3 5 Fursey, saint, 73

G Gandulf, bishop o f Rochester, 27 Garnir, 220 G atch, M ilton M cC ., 172 G aul, 8 ,3 2 See also Franda/Franks

G cake, Helen, 57 G elling, M argaret, 14,16 Genealogies, royal, 112,113 n n l4 and 15, 1 1 4 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 ,1 1 8 ,1 2 6 ,1 2 7 ,1 3 0 Genesis, 141,204 n93 Geneva, 20 Geoffrey o f M onmouth, H istory ofthe Kings o f B ritain , 138 G epids, 55 Geraint, King o f Dum nonia, 5 Gerberga, queen o f France, sister o f O tto I, 229-30 Germ anic migrations, 4 ,1 0 Germ anus, saint, 7 Germany, 1 2 ,3 5 ,9 0 G iants, 2 1 4 ,2 2 0 ,2 2 1 ,2 3 1 ,2 3 3 G ildas, 5 ,9 D e Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, 5 G izurr Teitsson, chieftan o f Skiholt, 228, 230 Glastonbury, 1 1 4 ,1 2 8 ,1 2 9 ,1 9 1 ,1 9 2 n60, 195,208 n l0 4 G losses, 7 3 ,7 4 ,1 7 2 n9 Godemann, scribe, 194 Godden, M alcolm , 8 0 ,91,181 G ood Friday, 156 ,1 6 3 ,1 6 4 ,1 6 5 ,2 3 4 Goody, Jack, 121,122,123,126 G osforth C ross, 232 G oths, 7 Greece, 90,91 Grave-goods, 1 0 ,1 2 ,1 7 -1 9 ,3 2 ,3 6 ,3 7 ,3 8 , 4 0 ,4 6 ,4 7 ,4 8 5 5 ,5 7 ,6 1 ,6 2 ,6 5 -6 6 G regory the G reat, pope, 7 6 -7 8 ,8 0 ,9 1 -9 2 , 96 D ialogues, 7 3 -7 4 ,9 1 ,1 4 3 M oralia in Job, 78,175 n l3 Pastoral Care, 76-77, 92, 96, 192 n60, 197 Gregory II, pope, 72 Guthlac, 141,192 Guthrum , Viking ruler, 136,149

H H adrain, Roman emperor, 147 Hadrian’s W all, 10

242 Hagiography, 61, 72, 184, 186, 187, 188, 205,211 Hauksbôk, 224,225 Hawkes, Sonia Chadwick, 19,57 Haym o o f Auxerre, 78,80 Haymo, bishop o f H alberstadt, 233 H elen, saint, 6 ,1 3 3 ,1 3 5 ,1 3 6 ,1 3 8 ,1 3 9 ,1 4 1 , 1 4 2 ,1 4 4 ,1 4 5 ,1 4 6 ,1 4 7 ,1 4 8 ,1 4 9 ,1 5 0 , 151 H ell, 2 1 6 ,2 1 7 ,2 1 8 ,2 1 9 ,2 2 0 ,2 3 5 H em gils, abbot o f Glastonbury, 114 H eiebeict, hermit, 9 H ereford, 13 Herefordshire 16 Heresy, 6 ,7 ,7 8 H ippocrates, 69 H istoria Brittonum , 115 H jalti Skeggjason, outlaw, 228,230,233 H oards, 2 Hodder, Ian, 32 Hoenir, 224 H oly Land, 9 1 ,9 3 ,1 0 1 ,1 0 2 H oly Saturday, 164 H om ilies, 7 2 ,7 5 ,7 8 ,2 1 4 ,2 1 5 Bückling Hom ilies, 141 Vercelli Homilies, 75 H onorius, archbishop o f Canterbury, 22 H ope, W illiam St. John, 24 H ospitals, 6 0 ,6 1 ,6 7 H çdr, 21 4,217,222 Howe, Nicholas, 8 4 ,8 9 ,1 1 2 ,1 1 3 ,1 2 1 Hrabanus M aurus, D e M edicina, 78 Hrethgoths, 140,150 H uns, 140,150 Hwicce, 13

I Iceland, 213-36 India, 6 3 ,9 4 Ingeld, 128 Inscriptions, 8 n l5 ,13 Iona, 4 Ireland, 7 ,3 6 ,8 9 ,9 8 ,2 3 1 Isaiah, 146


Isidore o f Seville, 78 D e natura rerum, 7 Etymologies, 69-70 Isleifr Gizurarson, bishop, 228 Israel, 9 0 ,9 3 ,9 7 ,9 9 ,1 4 7 Israelites, 9 6 ,1 4 1 ,2 0 7 n l0 2

J Jackson, Kenneth, 13 Jam es the deacon, 22 Jarrow, 5 Jerom e, saint, 139 In Epistolam ad Ephesio$> 175 n l3 Jerusalem , 80, 83, 85, 86, 93, 9 9 ,1 0 0 ,1 0 4 , 1 0 7 ,1 3 3 ,1 3 9 ,1 4 2 ,1 4 4 ,1 4 5 ,1 4 7 ,1 4 9 , 150,151,204 Jewelry, brooches, 1 2 ,1 7 ,4 0 ,4 3 ,4 5 -5 8 ,6 6 Am herst brooch, 43 Boss H all brooch, 31-58 Faversham brooch, 43 Kingston Down brooch, 4 3 ,4 5 ,4 6 ,4 8 M onkton, Kent, brooch, 4 9 ,5 0 ,5 1 ,5 7 Sarre II brooch, 43 buckles, 17-19,36 Crundale buckle, 57 Taplow buckle, 43 fibulae, 55 filigree, 4 8 ,5 0 ,5 3 ,5 8 gametwork, 40-58 necklaces, 66 pendants, 47 pins, 17 See abo Sutton H oo Jew s, 1 3 9 ,1 4 1 ,1 4 5 ,1 4 6 ,1 4 7 ,1 4 8 ,1 4 9 ,1 5 0 , 1 7 4 ,1 75,177,180 Johnson, D avid F., 181 Jones, Christopher A ., 192 Judas, 214 Judith, empress, 140 Julius, martyr, 6 Justus, bishop o f Rochester, 24


K Kendrick, T. D ., 35 ,4 0 Kent, 6 ,1 6 ,1 7 ,2 4 ,2 7 ,4 5 ,4 9 ,5 0 ,5 2 ,5 7 ,5 8 , 114,116,126 Keynes, Sim on, 1 1 5 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 9 ,1 2 7 ,1 2 9 Kings, conversion of, 6 Klein, Stacy S., 135,136 Konungsbôk, 224,225 Knights o f St. Lazarus, 80 K ristni saga, 229,230

L Lacedaemon, 90 Lancashire, 16 Lanfranc, Archbishop o f Canterbury, 29 Lantfred, Translatio et M iractda S. Svntbum ,1 6 9 ,171,179 n25 Lapidge, M ichael, 192-9 3 ,2 0 6 ,2 0 7 ,2 0 8 L ast Judgm ent, 80,234 Law s and lawcodes, 52,71 Edictus Rotbart, 71 o f Æ thelberht o f Kent, 14 o f Ine ofW essex, 14 o f the Kentish kings, 14 Lazarus, 80 Leeds, E .T ., 35 Leicester, 20,21 Roman baths, 21 St. M ary-de-Castro, 121 St. Nicholas’s, 21 Leiden glossary, 73 See also glosses Leo, pope, 100-01 Lepers, 59-81 Libraries, 105 Licinius, Roman emperor, 1 Lincoln, 2 ,2 0 ,2 1 ,2 2 -2 3 ,3 0 Flaxengate, 2 2 -2 3 ,2 4 Roman cathedral, 22 Roman forum , 22 St. Paul-in-the-Bail, 22-23 Lincolnshire, 16 Lindisfam e, 4 ,6 Lindisfam e G osepls (see manuscripts)

243 Lindsey, 2 2 ,1 1 4 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 ,1 1 8 Liturgical vessels, 32,35 Eligius Chalice, 5 3 ,5 4 Liturgy, 153-67,169-211,233 Livett, canon, 24 Lokasenna, 217 Loki, 21 4 ,2 1 7 ,2 1 9 ,2 2 1 ,2 2 2 ,2 2 8 ,2 3 2 Lom bards, 57 London, 2 ,6 ,1 0 ,2 0 ,2 1 ,2 4 -2 5 Colchester H ouse, 24,25 Roman cathedral, 24 St. Paul’s, 24,25 Tower H ill, 24 Lotharingia, 234 Lôôurr, 224 Lucius, king o f the Britons, 6

M M agonsxte, kingdom of, 13 M aidstone, Kent, 17 Malmesbury, 12 M anchester, Keith, 64 M anuscripts, Aberystwyth, N ational L i­ brary o f W ales, Peniarth 390 (Peniarth Diplom a), 1 8 1 ,1 82,183,207 Cam bridge, Corpus C hrist College 201, 153-67 Cam bridge, Corpus C hristi College 391 (Portiforium o f W ulstan), 194 n65 Cam bridge, Corpus C hristi College 473 (W inchester Troper), 205 Cam bridge, Trinity College 0 .3 .7 , 99 n58 Cam bridge University Library Kk.3.21, 99 n58 Dublin,Trinity College Library 58 (Book o f Kells), 36 Düsseldorf, Landesbildstelle, C od. B. 113,70 London, B L , Additional 49598 (Benedictional o f Æ thelwold), 170,171, 179 n 2 5 ,1 9 4 ,1 98,199,210 London, B L , Cotton Cleopatra A .iii, 74

244 London, B L , Coton Julius A .ii, 207 n l0 2 London, B L , Cotton Nero D .iv (Lindisfam e G ospels), 73 London, B L , Cotton Tiberius A .iii, 154, 157,177,178 London, B L , Cotton Tiberius B .i, 95 London, B L , Cotton Tiberius B.v, 10931 London, B L , Cotton Vespasian A .viii (New M inster Refoundation Charter), 181, 182, 183, 186-88, 1% n 7 1 ,198,199,202 n 85,207 London, B L , Cotton Vespasian, 116-17,119,131 London, B L , Royal 2.B.v (Royal Psal­ ter), 172,204 n92 M unich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Latin 4453 (G ospel Book o f O tto III), 70 O xford, Bodleian Library, Auct.F.4.32 (St. Dunstan’s Classbook), 208, 209 O xford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 775 (W inchester Troper), 205 O xford, St. John’s College 28 ,1 9 1 ,1 9 3 Paris, B N , lat. 9428 (D rogo Sacramen­ tary), 207 n99 Rome, Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, lat. 6018,87 M aps, 83-108, 111, 112 Cotton W orld M ap, 87 Hereford W orld M ap, 87 M artial, saint, 206 M artin, saint, 76,206 M artyrdom , 6 ,7 M artyrology, O ld English, 88,93 M arvels o f the E ast, 94, 111, 112 M ary, Virgin, 198,210 n l0 9 and Child, 36 M ass, 163,164,165 o f the Presanctified, 164 M atthew, saint, 124 M aundy Thursday, 1 5 9 ,1 6 0 ,1 6 1 ,1 6 3 ,1 6 4 , 166


M aurus, sain t, 186 M axentius, Roman emperor, 1, 139, 143, 147 M axim s II, 143 M cCulloh, John, 135 M cG urk, Patrick, 112,113 M cKinnell, John, 221,2 2 3 ,2 2 4 M edical texts, 6 0 ,7 2 ,7 5 B ald's Leechbook, 75 D e M ediana, 78 Lacnunga, 75 M edicina de Quadrupedibus, 75 Old English Herbarium , 75 Medway, Kent, 36 Medway, river, 24 M elchisedech, 2 0 3 ,2 0 4 ,2 0 5 ,2 0 6 ,2 0 7 M ellitus, archbishop o f Canterbury, 4 ,2 4 M ercia/M ercians, 1 0 ,1 2 ,1 6 , 8 3 ,1 0 7 ,1 1 4 , 1 1 6 ,1 1 7 ,1 1 8 ,1 2 6 ,1 7 6 M etalsm iths, 4 0 ,4 5 ,4 6 ,5 1 ,5 2 ,5 7 ,5 8 M etalwork, 12,31-58 hanging bowls, 12 Lavoye ewer, 38-39 Long W ittenham Stoup, 31-58 Strood M ount, 31-58 See also jewelry weapons M eters o f Boethius, 88 M ichael, archangel, 216,229,231 M ilan, 1 St.T ed a’s,2 4 M illinnarianism , 214—36 M ilvian Bridge, Battle of, 1 ,139,142 M insters, 16,17 M iriam , sister o f M oses, 78 M issions, Roman, 4 ,7 ,2 4 Irish, 4 M eller-Christensen, Vilhelm, 6 3 ,6 4 ,6 6 M onasteries/m onasticism , 7, 13, 61, 62, 1 5 3 -6 7 ,1 7 0 ,1 8 1 ,1 8 4 ,1 8 6 M oore M em oranda, 115 M oses, 7 0 ,7 8 ,1 4 5 ,1 4 6 M useum o f London Archaeology Service, 24


N Newman, John, 52 N jdls saga, 229 N ordal, Sigurdur, 230 N orfolk, 17 Northum bria, 5, 7, 9 ,1 0 ,1 2 ,1 3 , 3 0 ,1 1 4 , 1 1 6 ,1 18,125,176 Norway, 2 1 5 ,2 1 8 ,2 2 7 ,2 3 1 ,2 3 4 Nothhelm , priest, 10 Nuns, 153-67

O O ’Brien O ’Keeffe, Katherine, 130,131 O ffa, king o f M ercia, 118 Ohthere, 95 Ô làfr Tryggvason, king o f Norway, 227, 2 2 8 ,2 2 9 ,2 3 0 ,2 3 3 O ng, Walter, 122 O rigen, 78 O rosius, 98 Orosius, O ld English, 8 8 ,8 9 ,9 0 ,9 1 ,9 4 ,9 5 , 100,106 O sgith, saint, 81 O strogoths, 55 Oswald, bishop o f Worcester, 21 Oswiu, king o f Northum bria, 7,13 Ödinn, 213, 214, 2 1 7 ,2 1 9 , 220, 222, 224, 233

P Paganism , 2 ,4 ,8 ,1 3 ,1 6 ,1 5 0 ,2 1 3 -3 6 Page, R. L , 115 Palladius, mission of, 7 Palm Sunday, 156,166 Passio Petri, 192 Paris Psalter, 141 Parish churches, 1 6 ,1 7 ,2 1 ,2 2 Parker, Matthew, archbishop o f Canterbury, 156 Pastoral care, 8 Patriarchs, lists of, 109,116 Patrick, saint, 7


Paulinus, bishop ofYork, 22 Felagius, heretic, 6 ,7 Pentecost, 202 Persia, 9 0 ,9 4 Peter, saint, 192,198 Physicians, 6 0 ,6 1 ,7 6 Pinder, M ichael, 43 Pippin III, king o f the Franks, 72 Place-nam es, 14-18 Eccles 1 4 -1 9 ,2 0 ,3 0 Popes, lists of, 1 0 9 ,1 1 3 ,1 1 5 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 9 ,1 2 7 , 129,130 Pottery, 12 Priscian, 111 Psalters, 204

R Ragnarçk, 21 4 ,2 2 2 ,2 3 1 ,2 3 2 Ramsey abbey, 81 Raw, Barbara, 172 Regnal lists, 1 0 9 ,1 1 0 ,1 1 4 ,1 1 9 ,1 2 5 ,1 2 7 , 128 Regularis Concordia, 1 ,5 3 -6 7 ,1 7 6 ,1 7 7 ,1 8 4 n 3 8 ,196 Relics, 5 ,8 1 ,2 0 7 n 102 Reliquaries, Cuthbert coffin, 36 TTieuderigus, 53 River-names, Celtic, 13 Rienmelth, queen to Oswiu o f Northum­ bria, 13 Ripon,5 Rochester, Kent, 1 7 ,2 0 ,2 1 ,2 4 -2 7 ,3 0 cathedral, 2 4 ,2 6 ,2 7 St. N icholas’s, 26 Roman Britain, 1-28,63 Roman emperors, lists of, 113,116 Roman Em pire, 1 ,2 ,5 7 ,1 5 1 ,2 1 6 Rome, 5, 8, 57, 83, 84, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 9 7 ,9 8 ,9 9 ,1 0 0 ,1 0 2 ,1 0 4 ,1 0 6 ,1 0 7 ,1 0 9 , 110, 111, 1 1 5 ,1 2 8 ,1 3 0 ,1 3 9 ,1 5 0 ,2 1 6 , 226 sack of, 6 -7 Ruin, The, 187 n48 Rule o f Cbrodegang, 191


S Saint-G alien, Switzerland, 206 Saints’ cuits, 5 -4 ,2 2 ,2 4 ,2 0 5 ,2 1 1 Sam plonius, Kees, 220 Sankey, David, 24 Saussay, André de, 53 Saxony, 2 2 7,229,234 Scandinavia, 32,136 Scheil, Andrew, 145,148 Scotland, 16 Scull, Christopher, 50,52 Seaxnet, 118 Severus, Roman emperor, 6 Settlem ents, 1 0 -1 3 ,2 0 ,2 1 ,3 0 Shaw, Rachel, 17 Sherborne, D orset, 13 Sherburne, Durham , 71 Sibylline poetry, 215 Sigebert III, king o f Austrasia, 47 Sigerac, archbishop, Roman Itinerary, 112, 113 n l4 ,114 ,1 1 5 ,1 2 8 ,1 2 9 ,1 3 0 Sim on, disciple o f Christ, 134 Sin/sinners, 5 ,6 ,7 7 ,8 1 ,2 1 5 -1 6 Sisam , Kenneth, 109,110,126,130 Sm aragdus, 80 Sm ith, C . Roach, 35 Snorri Sturluson, 219 Solom on, 146 Solway Firth, 10 Southumbria, 3 1 ,3 2 ,4 0 Spina bifida, 65 Staffordshire, 16 Stefnir Porgilsson, preacher, 227,233 Steinsland, G ro, 224 Stephen o f Ripon, 5 Story, Joanna, 136 Style II animal ornament, 18 Suidberct, abbot o f Dacre, 9 Sum eria, 55 Surtr, 222 Sussex, 118 Sutton H oo, M ound 1 ,3 1 ,4 1 ,4 5 ,5 1 ,5 2 dummy buckle, 4 1 ,4 2 ,4 3 mounts, 41 purse lid, 41 scabbard bosses, 4 3 ,4 4 ,4 6


shoulder clasps, 41 sword pummel, 41 sword pyramids, 41 Swifneah, Irish scholar, 98 Swithun, saint, 114,169,179 n 2 5 ,183 n38, 185,192 n 60,2 0 5,206,207,211

T Taylor, H arold M ., 25 Taylor, Joan, 25 Tertullian, 78 Thaddeus, disciple o f C hrist, 134 Tham es, river, 37 Theodore, archbishop o f Canterbury, 8, 116 Thom as, Charles, 22 Thule, 90 ,9 4 Touati, Françoise Olivier, 72 Tours, 215 Translation, 8 3 -8 6 ,9 4 ,9 6 ,1 0 2 ,1 0 7 ,1 0 8 Trepanning, 61 True Cross, 1 3 3 ,1 3 9 ,1 4 4 ,1 4 5 ,1 4 7 ,1 4 9 Twenthe, H olland, 8 n l5 Tyne, river, 8 Tyr, 233

Pangbrandr, missionary, 2 2 8 ,2 2 9 ,2 3 0 ,2 3 3 , 234,236 Pormödr, priest, 230 I>6rr, 2 1 3 ,2 1 9 ,2 2 2 ,2 2 9 ,2 3 0 ,2 3 1 ,2 3 3 Pörvaldr Kodrânsson, 227,2 3 3 ,2 3 4 ,2 3 5 Pôrvaldsp âttr, 233

U Ü lfr Uggason, H ûsdrâpa, 231 Usuardus o f Paris, monk, 134 M artyrologyy134,135 Vercelli Book, 1 3 3,134,138,146 Verulamium, 6 Vikings, 96, 97, 136, 137, 140, 144, 146, 147,14 8 ,1 4 9 ,1 5 0 ,1 5 1 Vita S. D unstani, 195


V Vivarium, 70 V illas, Roman, 2 ,7 Vçluspd, 213-36 Vçlu-Steinn, poet, 230

w W ærferth, bishop o f Worcester, 7 3 ,7 4 ,9 2 Wareham, D orset, 13 W ading Street, 24 W ayland, 223 W eapons, knives, 1 7 ,3 6 ,3 7 ,3 8 ,6 5 shields, 36 spears, 1 7 ,3 6 ,3 8 swords, 36 W eaving swords, 66 Webster, Leslie, 48 W edding at Cana, 33,38 W eland the Sm ith, 97 W ells, Calvin, 65 W elsh language, 1 4,16-17 Wergild, 14 W essex/W est Saxons, 7 ,1 0 ,1 2 ,1 6 ,3 0 ,8 3 , 9 4 ,1 0 6 ,1 0 7 ,1 1 4 ,1 1 6 ,1 1 7 ,1 1 8 ,1 2 7 , 1 2 8 ,1 2 9 ,1 3 0 ,1 5 7 ,1 7 6 W hite, Roger, 35 W hithorn, 8 W hore o f Babylon, 216,2 1 9 ,2 2 0 W idsitb, 141 W ilfrid, saint, 5 ,8 W illiam the Englishm an, architect, 29 W inchester, 3 ,2 0 ,1 0 7 ,1 5 7 ,1 8 3 ,1 8 5 ,1 9 4 , 204 n 90,207 Cathedral, 184 n38


New M inster, 18 1 ,1 8 2 ,1 8 8 ,2 0 7 n l02 O ld M inster, 169,185,205 n94 W ine, bishop o f the W est Saxons, 7 W oden, 118,119,127 n62 W ood, Ian, 32 W oodward, D avid, 86 W oolf, Rosemary, 172 Worcester, 1 3 ,2 0 ,2 1 ,1 5 6 St. Helen’s, 21 St. M ary’s, 21 St. Peter’s, 21 cathedral, 21 W orld Serpent, 219,222,230-31 Worm aid, Patrick, 235 W ulfstan, archbishop ofYork, 137 W ulfstan, bishop o f Worcester, 21 W ulfstan Cantor, 179 n 2 5 ,194 n65 Vita S. Æ thelwoldi, 185, 195, 196, 204 n90 W ulfstan the H om ilist (archbishop ofYork), 1 9 7 ,2 1 8 -1 9 ,2 2 5 ,2 2 6 ,2 2 7 ,2 3 0 ,2 3 4 Secundum Lucam, 221 Secumdum M arcum, 22 1,226,235 Sermo Lupi, 21 8,221,228

Y York, 2 ,6 ,7 ,2 0 ,2 7 ,1 4 9 ,1 5 6 ,2 1 5 M inster, 20 Yorkshire, 16,30 Yorkshire Archaeological Trust, 20

z Zupitza, Julius, 159