Academic journal article Medium Aevum

AElfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

AElfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham

Article excerpt

Aelfric's Letter to the Monks of Eynsham, ed. Christopher A. Jones, Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England 24 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). x + 255 pp. ISBN 0-521-63011-8. L45.00.

The document known as the Letter to the Monks of Eynsham (LME) by AElfric, the first Abbot of Eynsham and one of the most prolific scholars of the late Anglo-Saxon period, survives in a single eleventh-century manuscript, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 265. Though this composition is epistolary in structure and has been referred to as a `letter' since the late nineteenth century, when Mary Bateson produced an edition of the text, followed by articles in which she referred to it as AElfric's Letter', the document is in effect a monastic customary, which provides detailed instructions on daily liturgical and some non-liturgical monastic customs. Bateson's 1892 edition, and the brief commentary which accompanied it, drew attention to the importance of LME for what it revealed about late Anglo-Saxon liturgical practices and to its role as an aid to interpreting the Regularis concordia, the monastic code of regulations produced by Bishop ]Ethelwold, AElfric's teacher at Winchester, and the tenth-century Benedictine reformers in an effort to establish a uniform monastic observance throughout the newly revived monasteries of the English nation. A new edition with references to sources and analogues and some commentary on the text was published in 1984 by Hadrianus Nocent and Kassius Hallinger. Though this edition, which examined AElfric's letter in relation to continental customaries, greatly facilitated the study of comparative liturgy, these editors also perpetuated the view that the main contribution made by AElfric's letter was its importance for the study of the Regularis concordia. …

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.