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(ăl`frĭk), c.955–1020, English writer and Benedictine monk. He was the greatest English scholar during the revival of learning fostered by the Benedictine monasteries in the second half of the 10th cent. His aim was to educate the laity as well as the clergy. He wrote in English a series of saints' lives and homilies—designed for use as sermons by the preachers who were generally unable to read Latin. Ælfric was also the author of a grammar, a glossary, and a colloquy, which were for many years the standard texts for Latin study in English monasteries. Among his other writings are the Heptateuch, a free English version of the first seven books of the Bible. Ælfric is considered the chief prose stylist of the period. His later writings were strongly influenced by the balance, alliteration, and rhythm of Latin prose.


See Selected Homilies (ed. by H. Sweet, 1922) and the Heptateuch and Other Writings (ed. by Early English Text Society, 1922); study by J. Hurt (1972); bibliography by L. M. Reinsma (1987).

References in periodicals archive ?
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 writes .
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.
29) AElfric, 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.