Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Old English Heptateuch and AElfric's Libellus De Veteri Testamento et Novo

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Old English Heptateuch and AElfric's Libellus De Veteri Testamento et Novo

Article excerpt

Richard Marsden, The Old English Heptateuch and Mlfric's Libellus de veteri testamento et novo, Vol. I: IntroducHon and Text, Early EngUsh Text Society Original Series 330 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). clxxix + 230 pp. ISBN 978-0-1 9-956143-8. £60.00. This is a welcome new edition of an important Old EngUsh text, the popularity of which continued from its first compilation in the eleventh century to weU after the Conquest. The 'text' is in fact many texts, compiled, anthologized, and dismembered in a variety of manuscript coUections, representing the work of various translators and authors, mostiy anonymous, though iElfric is included among them. The complex textual history of the Old EngUsh 'Heptateuch' receives careful treatment in Richard Marsden's edition, which presents a necessary updating of Samuel Crawford's edition of 1 9 22, reprinted with additions by N R. Kerin 1969. Marsden's detailed introduction, with its fuU account of known manuscripts (some unknown to Crawford), provides fascinating reading in itself as an account of how Old EngUsh texts could travel in and out of anthologies and coUections. This, of course, problematizes the very notion of the 'Heptateuch' as a unified work outside the context of Laud Misc. …

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