Byrhtferth of Ramsey
The Lives of St Oswald and St Ecgwine
Edited by Professor Michael Lapidge
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Byrhtferth of Ramsey by Professor Michael Lapidge
Book DescriptionByrhtferth of Ramsey was one of the most learned scholars of late Anglo-Saxon England, and his two saints' Lives-of Oswald, a powerful bishop of Worcester and York in the tenth century (d. 992), and Ecgwine, the seventh-century founder of Evesham-are among the most important historical sources for our understanding of late Anglo-Saxon England. The Life of St Oswald is the longest surviving work of Anglo-Saxon hagiography, and it is the principal source for much of our knowledge of tenth-century England, especially the monastic reform movement, the role of King Edgar, the murder of Edward king and Martyr, and the so-called 'anti-monastic reaction' (of which he is the unique witness). Much less is known about St Ecgwine, both by us and by Byrhtferth, but Byrhtferth's writing has exceptional value once again for the light it throws on tenth-century monasticism and the role of King Edgar in this process. Both Lives have been printed only once before, in the nineteenth century, in editions which are riddled with errors and which have misled scholarship for over a century. Neither work has ever been translated into English. The present edition includes facing-page translations, which will make these works accessible to a scholarly audience for the first time. Byrhtferth's Latin is unusually idiosyncratic and difficult, and was frequently misunderstood by the scribe who copied the unique manuscript in which the Lives are preserved. The texts are also accompanied by extensive notes, which explain the historical implications and the often impenetrable Latin. One of the principal features of the new edition is that corruption in the transmitted text has been emended where necessary, based on knowledge of Byrhtferth's Latin style (analysed, for example, in the EETS edition of Byrhtferth's Enchiridion, ed. Lapidge and Baker in 1994). A new edition of Byrhtferth's two saints' Lives has been long awaited, and will be indispensable to the study of Anglo-Saxon history and literature; the texts also throw considerable new light on the archaeology of Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical sites such as York, Worcester, Ramsey and Evesham.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199550784
(223mm x 145mm x 31mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 27-Nov-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Professor Michael Lapidge
Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England, Hardback (November 2013)
This second edition of The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England is a major reference-work covering the history, archaeology, arts, architecture, literatures and languages of England from the Roman withdrawal to the Norman Conquest (c. 450 - 1066 AD).
Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, Hardback (May 2013)
This updated edition has been thoroughly revised to take account of recent scholarship and includes five new chapters.
Early Lives of St Dunstan, Hardback (December 2011)
New, accessible editions, with translation and commentary, of the two most important primary sources for the life of St Dunstan, one of the principal figures of the tenth-century Anglo-Saxon church.
Learning and Literature in Anglo-Saxon England, Paperback (February 2010)» View all books by Professor Michael Lapidge
An collection of essays by specialists in the field examining Anglo-Saxon learning and text interpretation and transmission.
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