Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Early Lives of St Dunstan

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The Early Lives of St Dunstan

Article excerpt

The Early Lives of St Dunstan, ed. and trans. Michael Winterbottom and Michael Lapidge, Oxford Medieval Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). clxvii + 210 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-960504-0. ?85.00. The Early Lives of St Dunstan is an edition of Latin hagiography written at the turn of the eleventh century about the tenth-century English saint, Dunstan, who was Abbot of Glastonbury, Bishop of Worcester and London, and Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 988). Dunstan is a key figure in late Anglo-Saxon history: he was a leader in his monastic communities, learned in Latin and heavily involved in the Benedictine reform movement, and he played a crucial role as an adviser to the king. The present volume comprises two texts: the Vita S. Dunstani by 'B.' (997-1002), and Adelard of Ghent's Lectiones in Depositione S. Dunstani (1006-12). Adelard's text, written latterly, was based on the Vita of 'B.', but may have derived further information about Dunstan from a lost Old English life of the saint. The edition by Michael Winterbottom and Michael Lapidge, which presents the Latin text with a facing-page English translation, replaces earlier editions of the texts (most recently, those of William Stubbs in the Rolls Series). …

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