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A new, distinct script, English Vernacular minuscule, emerged in the 990s, used for writing in Old English. It appeared at a time of great political and social upheaval, with Danish incursions and conquest, continuing monastic reform, and an explosion of writing and copying in the vernacular, including the homilies of Ælfric and Wulfstan, two different recensions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, two of the four major surviving manuscripts of Old English poetry (the "Beowulf" and "Junius" books), and many original royal and ecclesiastical diplomas, writs and wills. However, although these important manuscripts and documents have been studied extensively, this has tended to be in isolation or small groups, never before as a complete corpus, a gap which this volume aims to rectify. It opens with the historical context, followed by a thorough reexamination of the evidence for dating and localising examples of the script. It them offers a full analysis of the complete corpus of surviving writing in English Vernacular minuscule, datable approximately from its inception in the 990s to the death of Cnut in 1035. While solidly grounded in palaeographical methodology, the book introduces more innovative approaches: by examining all of the approximately 500 surviving examples of the script as a whole rather than focussing on selected highlights, it presents a synthesis of the handwriting in order to identify local practices, new scribal connections, and chronological and stylistic developments in this important but surprisingly little-studied script. Peter Stokes is Senior Lecturer at King's College London.
The essays collected here focus on how Anglo-Saxon royal authority was expressed and disseminated, through laws, delegation, relationships between monarch and Church, and between monarchs at times of multiple kingships and changing power ratios. Specific topics include the importance of kings in consolidating the English "nation"; the development of witnesses as agents of the king's authority; the posthumous power of monarchs; how ceremonial occasions were used for propaganda reinforcing heirarchic, but mutually beneficial, kingships; the implications of Ine's lawcode; and the language of legislation when English kings were ruling previously independent territories, and the delegation of local rule. The volume also includes a groundbreaking article by Simon Keynes on Anglo-Saxon charters, looking at the origins of written records, the issuing of royal diplomas and the process, circumstances, performance and function of production of records. Gale R. Owen-Crocker is Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at the University of Manchester. Contributors: Ann Williams, Alexander R. Rumble, Carole Hough, Andrew Rabin, Barbara Yorke, Ryan Lavelle, Alaric Trousdale
Both episcopal and abbatial authority were of fundamental importance to the development of the Christian church in Anglo-Saxon England. Bishops and heads of monastic houses were invested with a variety of types of power and influence. Their actions, decisions, and writings could change not only their own institutions, but also the national church, while their interaction with the king and his court affected wider contemporary society. Theories of ecclesiastical leadership were expounded in contemporary texts and documents. But how far did image or ideal reflect reality? How much room was there for individuals to use their office to promote new ideas? The papers in this volume illustrate the important roles played by individual leading ecclesiastics in England, both within the church and in the wider political sphere, from the late seventh to the mid eleventh century. The undeniable authority of Bede and Bishop Æthelwold is demonstrated but also the influence of less-familiar figures such as Bishop Wulfsige of Sherborne, Archbishop Ecgberht of York and St Leoba. The book draws on both textual and material evidence to show the influence (by both deed and reputation) of powerful personalities not only on the developing institutions of the English church but also on the secular politics of their time. Contributors: Alexander R. Rumble, Nicholas J. Higham, Martyn J. Ryan, Cassandra Rhodes, Allan Scott McKinley, Dominik Wassenhoven, Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Debby Banham, Joyce Hill.
During the final century of the Anglo-Saxon state, the use of written English reached remarkable heights. Yet, while the make-up and contents of the many books and documents surviving from the periodhave been fully catalogued, less attention has been devoted to those who produced them. This is the first comprehensive annotated list of the scribal hands whose work survives from the time of the Benedictine Reform under King Edgar to that of the generation succeeding the Norman Conquest. More than a thousand hands are listed, together with details of their work, which ranges from a few words or sentences in marginalia to multiple volumes. The result is a reference tool which will allow further research not only into palaeographical issues but also into the writing habits and grammar of individuals and groups of related scribes and into patterns of education in some of the larger cultural centres.
Donald Scragg is Professor Emeritus of Anglo-Saxon Studies at the University of Manchester.
An exploration of the landscape of Anglo-Saxon England, particularly through the prism of place-names and what they can reveal. The landscape of modern England still bears the imprint of its Anglo-Saxon past. Villages and towns, fields, woods and forests, parishes and shires, all shed light on the enduring impact of the Anglo-Saxons. The essays in this volume explore the richness of the interactions between the Anglo-Saxons and their landscape: how they understood, described, and exploited the environments of which they were a part. Ranging from the earliest settlement period through to the urban expansion of late Anglo-Saxon England, this book draws on evidence from place-names, written sources, and the landscape itself to provide fresh insights into the topic. Subjects explored include the history of the study of place-names and the Anglo-Saxon landscape; landscapes of particular regions and the exploitation of particular landscape types; the mechanisms of the transmission and survival of written sources; and the problems and potentials of interdisciplinary research into the Anglo-Saxon landscape. Nicholas J. Higham is Professor of Early Medieval and Landscape History at the University of Manchester; Martin Ryan lectures in Medieval History at the University of Manchester. Contributors: Ann Cole, Linda M. Corrigan, Dorn Van Dommelen, Simon Draper, Gillian Fellows-Jensen, Della Hooke, Duncan Probert, Alexander R. Rumble, Martin J. Ryan, Peter A. Stokes, Richard Watson.
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