The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis - Vol. 1

The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis - Vol. 1

The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis - Vol. 1

The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Orderic Vitalis (1075-c. 1142) was an English chronicler who wrote one of the great contemporary chronicles of 11th and 12th century Normandy and England.

Excerpt

When, in 1954, I first offered to edit Orderic Ecclesiastical History for Nelson's Medieval Texts, I calculated that the work would take about ten years. This proved to be a serious under- estimate; and, looking back now, I realize how much the completion of the edition even in twenty-five years has owed to the support and encouragement of scholars, family, and publishers. the magnificent nineteenth-century edition of Auguste Le Prévost and Léopold Delisle first provided the indispensable basis of scholarship on which all later editions must rest. Delisle's interest in Orderic was lifelong; and in his old age, as conservator of manuscripts in the Bibliothèque nationale, he passed it on to a very young visitor to the manuscript room, whom he welcomed with great courtesy. the young man was Peter Morrison, who later became known to scholars all over the world as Dr. H. P. Morrison of Nelson's. One of his particular wishes as a publisher was to bring out a new edition of Orderic; indeed this wish was so strong that when my offer to provide one was accepted he wrote to me, 'It was Orderic who founded the Medieval Texts series.'

My own interest in Orderic began by chance, for I was born just outside the boundary of the parish of Atcham, and so missed by only a few hundred yards being baptized in the same parish church. But my decision to edit the Ecclesiastical History came many years later, and was due not to any coincidence of birth but to respect and admiration for the unique and absorbing record of church history and Norman achievement that Orderic left as his life's work. the edition was made possible thanks to the imagination and courage of the founders of the Medieval Texts series: the late Dr. H. P. Morrison, the late Professor V. H. Galbraith, and Professor Sir Roger Mynors. in the event all six volumes have been published by the Oxford University Press, who ultimately took over the series as the Oxford Medieval Texts. Over the years five general editors have given me generous help: Professor Galbraith, a friend for over forty years, provided inspiration for all my medieval studies; Sir Roger Mynors and . . .

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