Ælfrician Homilies and Varia: Editions, Translations, and Commentary [2 volume set] [Hardback]

Robert K. Upchurch(Editor); Aaron J Kleist(Editor)

ISBN: 9781843845447 | Published by: D.S. Brewer | Series: Anglo-Saxon Texts | Volume: 13 | Year of Publication: 2022 | 900p, H9.5 x W6.75, 1 b/w
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order

Ælfrician Homilies and Varia


Ælfric of Eynsham stands supreme as a distinguished homilist, translator, and moralist - one whose writings were sought by the most powerful churchmen and landed warlords of his day. In his sermons, the dead are raised to life, innocents are betrayed, civilizations come to ruin, prophecies are finally fulfilled, and sorrow is swallowed up in salvation. He offers guidance regarding sex, financial counsel, botanical excursuses, etymological asides, lions cowed by roosters, arch-heretics disemboweled, and seemingly inconsequential figures receiving everlasting crowns. He also considers the origin of Antichrist, recounts supernatural visions of damnation and deliverance, teases out the tension between predestination and free will, explores the multifarious nature of the soul, seeks to categorize creation, and presses the boundaries of conceptual capacity in describing the divine nature. Treatises take up such subjects as the Holy Spirit, cognition, penitence, and proper comportment. Private prayers appear alongside public declarations of the Christian faith found in the Paternoster and the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds.

The thirty-one texts presented here, with facing translations, span the course of his career: Old English and Latin, ordinary and alliterative prose, pithy prayers and exhaustive exegesis. Nine appear in print for the first time; others for the first time in well over 100 years. Introductions to the texts offer overviews of the content, composition, and circulation of each work, using the fruits of the latest research to envision real-world contexts for their use in specific places, among particular groups, and by certain individuals. Meanwhile, the commentary traces Ælfric's role in the history of ideas, examining his relationship to over 100 sources, 200 other Ælfrician works, and over 1,000 biblical passages; it seeks to clarify Ælfric's compositional aims and further to establish the authorship and date of these remarkable writings from early England.

Table of Contents


Sigla for Cited Ælfrician Manuscripts
Dates for Cited Ælfrician Works
Editorial Conventions
Conventions Used in the Commentaries


The Proper of the Season
1. Christmas: Sermo in natale Domini et de ratione anime ('A Sermon on the Lord's Nativity and the Nature of the Soul')
2. Christmas: In natali Domini ('On the Lord's Nativity')
3. Friday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent: Erat quidam languens Lazarus ('There was a certain sick man, Lazarus' [John 11.1-45])
Lazarus I
Lazarus II
Lazarus III
4. Friday after the Fifth Sunday in Lent: Collegerunt ergo pontifices ('The chief priests therefore gathered' [John 11.47-54])
5. Third Sunday after Easter: Modicum et iam non uidebitis me ('A little while
and then you will not see me' [John 16.16-22])
6. Third Sunday after Easter: Be ðam Seofanfealdan Ungifa ('Concerning the Sevenfold Evil Gifts')

The Proper of the Saints
7. Assumption of Mary (15 August): De sancta uirginitate, uel de tribus ordinibus castitatis ('Concering Holy Virginity, or Concerning the Three Orders of Chastity')
8. Nativity of Mary (8 September): Natiuitas sanctae Mariae uirginis ('The Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary')



The Common of the Saints
9. A Confessor: Sermo in natale unius confessoris ('A Sermon for the Feast-day of a Confessor')
10.Dedication of a Church: Sermo in dedicatione æcclesiæ ('A Sermon for the Dedication of a Church')
Unspecified occasions
11.Esto consentiens aduersario ('Be in agreement with your adversary' [Matthew 5.25])
12.Menn Behofiað Godre Lare ('People Need Good Teaching')
Appendix 1: Læwede Menn Behofiað Godre Lare ('Lay People Need Good Teaching')
Appendix 2: Et hoc scientes tempus ('And [do] this, knowing the time' [Romans 13.11])
13.De uirginitate ('Concerning Virginity')
14.De creatore et creatura ('Concerning the Creator and Creation')
15.De sex etatibus huius seculi('Concerning the Six Ages of the World')


16.De septiformi spiritu ('Concerning the Sevenfold Spirit')
17.Be þam Halgan Gaste ('Concerning the Holy Spirit')
18.De cogitatione('Concerning Thinking')
19.In quadragesima, de penitentia ('In Lent, concerning Penitence')
Appendix 1: Gelyfst Ðu on God ('Do you believe in God')
Appendix 2: Læwedum Mannum is to Witane ('The Laity are to Know')
Appendix 3: Se Hælend Crist ('Christ the Savior')
20.Læwedum Mannum is to Witenne('The Laity are to Know')
21. Gebedu on Englisc ('Prayers in English')
22. Se Læssa Creda('The Shorter Creed') [Apostles' Creed]
23. Mæsse Creda('The Mass Creed') [Nicene Creed]
24. Pater noster('The Lord's Prayer')

Works Cited

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