It is a tradition that AElfric
seems somewhat reluctant to acknowledge fully, saying only that "se godes apostol weard syddan geferod to syrian lande mid micelre arwurdnysse bam aelmihtigan to lofe se pe on ecnysse rixad riclice mihtig" [The apostle of God was carried to Syrian land afterwards with great honor to the praise of the Almighty who reigns in eternity gloriously mighty] (424).
This is unsurprising, given that, as Blanton points out, Aelfric
is trying to deliver a particular message to his male target audience.
The Wulfstanian text states that in preparation for his attempt to fly, Simon het tha araeran aenne stipel, 'commanded then that a tower/steeple be raised';(8) Blickling Homily 15 has Ond tha aefter thon het Neron gewyrcean mycelne tor of treowum & of mycclan beaumum, 'And then after that Nero commanded a great tower of wood and large beams to be built'; and AElfric
Furthermore, as Wulfstan's allusion to those kings "within the memory of men" (be manna gemynde) indicates, nostalgia extended beyond the period of Edgar's reign, AElfric
, in the epilogue to his translation of the Book of Judges, considers the contemporary relevance of the text and enters into a meditation on the history of English conflict with Viking invaders.
Homilies and particularly those of AElfric
and Wulfstan are assessed for their art of expression and their affectiveness.
The present book again focuses primarily on the art of the monastic revival, contextualizing this by reference to the writing of the period, particularly by AElfric
by Bean (1983), and religious prose, usually homilies by AElfric
or Wulfstan, studied by Davis (1997) and Kohonen (1978).
See also Peter Clemoes, "The Old English Benedictine Office, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 196, and the Relations between AElfric
and Wulfstan: A Reconsideration," Anglia 78 (1960): 265-83.
Most focus on AElfric
and (especially) Wulfstan, but there are also studies of Ancrene Wisse and of Rolle.
Susan Irvine's new edition of seven of the Belfour pieces, four by AElfric
and three anonymous, is greatly to be welcomed.
, following Priscian, puts it thus: "se mud drifd ut da clypunge, and seo lyft byd geslagen mid paere clypunge and gewyrd to stemne" (The mouth drives out the sound, and the air is struck by it and is transformed into voice).
Clayton's discussion of Bede and AElfric
is interesting, since while both Bede and AElfric
were devoted to the cult of Mary, both had serious reservations about some of the Marian texts which were circulating in Anglo-Saxon England.