The Intellectual Foundations of the English Benedictine Reform

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This book explores the foundations of the intellectual renaissance in tenth-century England, which is marked by the Benedictine reform and the establishment of the most influential school in late Anglo-Saxon England by Aethelwold, bishop of Winchester 963-84. The vital early stages of Aethelwold's scholarly career are traced for the first time, particularly his formative years in King Aethelstan's 924-39 entourage and his period of study, together with the new Benedictines, at Glastonbury. After assessing a wide range of evidence from the fields of philology, history, liturgy, textual criticism, palaeography and art history, Mechthild Gretsch definitively assigns to Aethelwold and his circle two influential texts: an interlinear translation of the psalter and a vast corpus of Old English glosses to Aldhelm's prose De uirginitate. These glosses are shown to have played a pivotal role in the development of English as a medium for scholarly discourse. New light is also shed on the contribution which King Aethelstan's cosmopolitan court culture made to intellectual and spiritual life in late Anglo-Saxon England.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gretsch shows that two other glosses can be attributed to Aethelwold and his circle: a continuous interlinear version of the Psalter preserved in London and a corpus of interlinearand marginal glosses to Aldhelm's De Virginitate preserved in Brussels." Theology Digest

"This fine and painstaking study of Æthelwold's literary and lexical production is an excellent example of the precept that God is in the details...this study significantly advances the scholarship of late Anglo-Saxon England and serves as a fitting tribute to the rigorous scholarhsip of a teacher such as Æthelwold." Journal of Religion

"...richly detailed and densely argued...a study strong and clear in the unfolding of its specifics...Gretsch has illuminated the late-tenth-century cultural milieu by her careful research into its bilingual relations. She has herself constructed a foundation for new directions in the field." Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 Psalters and psalter glosses in Anglo-Saxon England 6
3 The vocabulary of the Royal Psalter 42
4 The Royal Psalter and the Rule: lexical and stylistic links 89
5 The Aldhelm glosses 132
6 Word usage in the Royal Psalter, the Rule and the Aldhelm glosses 185
7 Aethelwold and the Old English Rule 226
8 Aethelwold and the Royal Psalter 261
9 Aethelwold and the Aldhelm glosses 332
10 French and German loan influence 384
11 Conclusion 425
App. I Aethelwold's life and career 428
App. II The Royal Psalter at Canterbury 430
App. III The Gernrode fragments of an Old Saxon psalm commentary 432
Bibliography 437
Index of Old English words 451
Index of Latin words 460
General index 464
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