The Ruler Portraits of Anglo-Saxon England

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Anglo-Saxon coins are almost our sole source for portraits of England's kings and queens. There are, however, five surviving manuscript portraits and a few others in different media, such as the Alfred Jewel, a seal and several stone monuments. This detailed study focuses on the five manuscript portraits because these are the least ambiguous, considering each in turn. They depict Alfred, Aethelstan, Edgar, Aelgifu/Emma with Cnut and Emma. The study contrasts the style and composition of these royal portraits with those of Rome, Byzantium and Carolingian Europe and discusses in more general terms the Anglo-Saxon conception of history. The differences from Anglo-Norman art, including the Bayeux Tapestry, are also considered. Each of the portraits is also placed in its textual and cultural context, with the depiction of the king or queen compared with portraits in chronicles, poems and other sources. Extracts are in Latin or Old English.
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Editorial Reviews

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An extremely rich and rounded piece of research which refuses to take any of its source material lightly. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW Displays enormous scholarship and range. TOEBI Newsletter
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843830597
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/15/2004
  • Series: Anglo-Saxon Studies, #3
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Alfred 23
2 Aethelstan 53
3 Edgar and the royal women of the monastic reform 84
4 Aelfgifu/Emma and Cnut 119
5 Edward, the godwines and the end of Anglo-Saxon England 157
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