A wonderful array of topics is covered, ranging from the role of languages and code-switching in texts produced in King Alfred's court, Abbo of Fleury
's stay in Ramsey (985-87), and the interactions between Old English, Medieval Latin, Old Gallo-Romance, and Greek, to an investigation of the Roman language in twelfth-century English historiography.
Peter Baker and Michael Lapidge trace the development of four tenth-century computistical texts that were all, to some extent, influenced by the Reform and its goals: the Leoffic-Tiberius computus, which was the standard computus promulgated by the Reform, in place by 970; the Winchester computus (978), based on Leofric-Tiberius but much compressed and suitable for use by a nonspecialist; the Abbonian computus, developed by Abbo of Fleury; and Byrhtferth's computus, which was based on Abbo's.
The computus of Abbo of Fleury (978), whose career was partly contemporaneous with the compilation of the Vercelli Book (although the pinnacle of his computistical work postdates it), further suggests that the Reforms emphasis on Latin scholarship, and the efforts of Continental scholars such as Abbo to improve English Latinity, brought with it a renewed scrutiny of sources.
The marginal diagrams and texts were the product of a classroom environment, most probably a school associated with Gerbert of Aurillac or Abbo of Fleury
. Marilyn Nicoud uses the marginal annotations in Isaac Judeus's Universal Diets and his Particular Diets to recover the practical teaching that occurred in the medical faculty at the University of Paris in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
In the late tenth century Abbo of Fleury
reversed the process of cross-fertilization by coming to England for two years and eventually producing a life of St.
Alison Peden considers the implications of Neo-Platonic speculations on the relationship of number to the divine order of the universe, as exemplified in Abbo of Fleury
's Commentary, for Otto III's notions of imperial unity.
The new Greek title signals a more learned and detailed edition, with a valuable, succinct introduction tracing the political fortunes of Ramsey Abbey in the early eleventh century and the work there of its most illustrious visitor, the scholar Abbo of Fleury
, including his effect on the young Byrhtferth, who was to become master of the school, engaged in teaching the computus.
The monk, Abbo of Fleury
, was an eye-witness to Edmund's grizzly end -- he was lashed with whips, used for target practice by the Danish archers until he `looked like a prickly hedgehog', and finally beheaded.
It seems that Byrhtferth of Ramsey, sometime pupil of Abbo of Fleury
, was unique in the England of AEthelred the Unready, 'the one Anglo-Saxon scholar of his time who was in any sense au fait with the learning of contemporary continental schools', as witnessed by his use of the De computo of Hrabanus Maurus, whom he refers to by name in ii.1.149, ii.3.32, iii.2.122, and Remigius of Auxerre's commentaries on Bede, De arte metrica and De schematibus et tropis (see notes on iii.3.17-18, 53-8, 64-9, 70-85, 90-1, 92-9, 104-9).
The introductory discussions place these texts not only in their context in the collections of which they form part in the manuscript--including some tantalising discussions of the Abbo of Fleury
corpus--but also in their chronological and intellectual context.
Each chapter is dedicated to one of eight writers who challenged Dionysius' work, including such prominent figures as Abbo of Fleury
Among the sources of prime importance for understanding the thought of this period are Hincmar, Raoul Glaber, Abbo of Fleury
, and Gerbert.