Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Seafaring Saint: Sources and Analogues of the Twelfth Century 'Voyage of Saint Brendan'

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Seafaring Saint: Sources and Analogues of the Twelfth Century 'Voyage of Saint Brendan'

Article excerpt

Clara Strijbosch, The Seafaring Saint Sources and Analogues of the Twelfth Century `Voyage of Saint Brendan', trans. Thea Summerfield (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000). x + 325 pp. ISBN 1-85 182-483-9. L40.00/Eur. 55.00/$65.00.

The Navigatio sancti Brendani abbatis, composed in Latin around AD 800, tells of a sixth-century abbot undertaking a pilgrimage to seek the terrestrial paradise. A translation into Anglo-Norman was produced at the start of the twelfth century; in addition an 'independent' version (the Reis or Rei.refassung) was composed in German around 1150 and later circulated in Dutch. In this version, Brendan reads about many wonders; finding these marvels incredible, he burns the book and, as punishment, an angel orders him to sail the ocean to witness these phenomena for himself. Unlike the figure in the Navig atio, Brendan is not a pious pilgrim, but is instead a disbelieving penitent.

This edition of Clara Strijbosch's book has been updated from its original publication in Dutch, De bronnen van de Reis van Sint Brandaan (Hilversum, 195) and skilfully translated by Thea Summerfield. Until recently, there has been little criticism of the Dutch and German versions of the Reis available in English, although this book anticipates a publication of vernacular versions of the Brendan in translation by W. R. J. Barron and G. S. Burgess. Strijbosch undertakes an extremely thorough study of the five surviving versions of the Reis texts, creating a clear argument for the much-disputed stemma codicum.

In The Seafaring Saint, Strijbosch addresses the differences between the five surviving versions of the Reis. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.