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A Latin model for an old English homiletic fragment.

ON THE LAST COMPLETED PAGE (563) of a large collection of Old English homilies in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 162 (Rochester or Canterbury, beginning of the eleventh century), we find a piece entitled "In die depositionis beati Augustini Anglorum doctoris." (1) The scribe (a different one from the main hand of the manuscript) stopped writing at the end of the page, and the rest of the text was never added. (2) We are therefore left with the first 125 words or so of this homily, which survives only here. In its present state, the text makes no mention of St. Augustine of Canterbury. The content of the piece has never been thoroughly examined, and modern scholars have been forced to trust the homily's title that it was meant to be preached on the feast of Augustine's deposition (26 May). (3)

It is curious that a transcription of such a short and, at least at first glance, comparatively insignificant fragment of prose should have found a place in one of the first modern studies of Anglo-Saxon homilies. In 1709, Elizabeth Elstob punished her edition of AElfric's homily on St. Gregory. (4) Equipped with a translation and extensive philological and historical notes, Elstob's edition was one of the most impressive early analyses of a piece of Old English religious literature. (5) A major purpose of her work, as she herself discussed at length in her introduction, was to rehabilitate the reputation of Gregory in the eyes of English Protestants, many of whom, she believed, had unfairly associated him with the perceived abuses and novelties of the later Roman church. (6) Elstob held St. Augustine of Canterbury in similarly high regard, and, after learning of the existence of the CCCC 162 homily, she had hoped to publish a detailed study of this text as well. She was, however, "disappointed to find nothing but a very short Fragment of it." (7) Nonetheless, she had the piece transcribed and printed it with a parallel English translation in the appendix of her work on Gregory. (8)

Scholars so totally ignored the homily over the following centuries that Hildegard Tristram, when she edited the piece in her 1970 dissertation, seemed to believe that she was the first to do so. (9) Since Tristram's work, the homily has been mentioned only a few times by scholars of Old English hagiography and the Anglo-Saxon cults of saints. Paul Hayward echoes Elstob's disappointment in the fragmentary state of the text. (10) D. G. Scragg lists the piece in his catalogue of Old English anonymous saints' lives, though he admits that "our understanding that the piece relates to Augustine comes from the Latin heading ... because the text does not mention him." (11) Jane Roberts appears to be the only scholar to have attempted to address the issue of whether the surviving part of the homily can give us any hints as to what its author might have had to say about Augustine. Not having much evidence to go on, she concludes only that "the few lines extant of the homily indicate that the scribe might well have been copying a life shaped about St. Augustine," and that the surviving sentences are "very suitable as introduction to the life of a notable saint." (12) In the present essay I attempt to provide a more detailed examination of the homily, primarily through suggesting that a well-known Latin sermon was the source--or at least the structural model for the surviving portion of the text.

The reason no source has yet been uncovered for the CCCC 162 Augustine homily seems to be that the extant part of the homily was based not on any text dealing with St. Augustine of Canterbury, but on a popular sermon composed for All Saints' Day (1 November). Versions of this sermon, which is generally known by its first words, Legimus in ecclesiasticis historiis, circulated within the medieval homiliaries of Paul the Deacon and Saint-Pere de Chartres as well as separately. (13) The sermon was often attributed falsely to Bede and other major early medieval homilists in the manuscripts, and some scholars have more recently ascribed it to Ambrosius Autpertus (d. 784) or Helisachar of Saint-Riquier (d. 833/40), but its authorship remains an open question. (14) James E. Cross demonstrated the influence of Legimus in ecclesiasticis historiis (henceforth LEH) on several Old English homilies. The most thorough dependence on LEH among the Old English texts is found in AElfric's homily for All Saints in his First Series of Catholic Homilies. (15) Cross also showed correspondences between the Latin text and AElfric's First Series Palm Sunday homily, his "Passio Sancti Mauricii" from the Lives of Saints, Blickling Homilies 10 and 14, and the Old English Martyrology. (16)

In addition to these Old English works, we may briefly note that LEH also had a major influence on related Germanic homily traditions. It has long been known that the sermon was the principal source for an Old Norse All Saints homily surviving in the Icelandic and Norwegian Homily Books, both from around the year 1200. (17) Though apparently never before noticed, LEH also seems to have been a source or model for another Old Norse All Saints homily, surviving in AM 671 quarto (ca. 1320-40). (18) A fragment of a third Old Norse All Saints homily survives in AM 655 XXVII quarto (ca. 1300). (19) That the author of this piece also knew LEH is shown by a borrowing from the Latin sermon in the Icelandic homily's conclusion:
Decretum est ut ... honor et memoria
omnium sanctorum in die qua prediximus
haberetur ut quicquid humana fragilitas
per ignorantiam uel neglegentiam sen per
occupationem rei secularis in solemnitate
sanctorum minus plene peregisset in hac
sancta obseruatione solueretur.... (20)

AEinkom til pess at pat baetiz i bessa dags
halldi, ok af pvaiz, er mishalldit verdr
a aldrom hatidom, fyrer oraekdar saker
eda ovitzko eda nad synia. (21)

[It was decided that ... the honor and
memory of all the saints should be
celebrated on the day that we mentioned, in
order that whatever human frailty had less
fully executed on the feast days of the saints
on account of ignorance or negligence or
because of the business of worldly affairs
might be fulfilled in this holy observance.] (22)

[In our observance of this day, let us
strive to compensate and atone for
whatever was done wrongly on other
holy days because of negligence or
ignorance or necessity.]

In addition to the six Old English and three Old Norse texts that demonstrably drew on LEH, the sermon was also the verbatim source for the only surviving Old Saxon homily. (23)

The impact of LEH on the homiletic traditions of the medieval North, therefore, was significant. As a result of the present study, we can, I believe, add one more Old English homily to the Latin sermon's considerable list of vernacular descendants. Below I edit and translate the text of the homily fragment from page 563 of CCCC 162. I then provide a brief commentary in which I compare the text to extracts from Cross's edition of the fuller version of LEH (24) and make some other observations about its style. The relevant portion of LEH is reproduced in full as an appendix. A new edition of the Old English homily is perhaps not strictly necessary. Tristram's has few faults, nor is Elstob's transcription seriously deficient. However, since an evaluation of the relationship of the fragment to LEH will require access to the whole of the Old English text, and because neither Elstob's nor Tristram's works are widely available in print, it seems appropriate to reedit the surviving portion of the homily for the reader's convenience.

Capitalization and punctuation are editorial. Tironian et is not expanded; other abbreviations are expanded in italics. I have emended one letter (in the final sentence), which is enclosed in angle brackets. Textual notes are given in the endnotes.

In Die Depositionis Beati Avgvstini Anglorvm Doctoris (25)

Men da leofestan, we wyllad eow sume gereccednysse cydan embe dyses purhhaligan symbeldaeges maersunge 7 wurdunge pe nu andwerd ys. AErest (26) on frymde us gedafena6 to herigenne 7 to wuldrigenne aelmihtigne scyppend, purh daene (27) 7 on pam synd ealle gesceafta gesceapene 7 underdeodde. He eac swylce hys gecorenan 7 his haligan on heofena rices gefean faegere gelogad. Sume synd gecwedene englas, sume heahenglas. Daege (28) waeron on fruman of Godes orode 7 blaede beorhte gesceapene. We na durron embe paet deoppur gereccean, (29) for 60n hit ys unriht ricum ge heanum paet hi Godes diglu deoplice spyrian. Ac we wyllad embe paet secgan 7 reccean pe we of boca larae (30) leorniad gelome, paet he heonon geceas haligra maenigu. Sume waeron heahfaedera(s) (31) healice....

On the Day of the Deposition of St. Augustine, Teacher of the English

Dearest people, we wish to relate to you an account regarding the glorification and honor of this very holy feast day that has now come. First of all, it is fitting that we praise and glorify the almighty Lord, through whom and in whom all things are created and to whom they are made subject. He also gently places his elect and his saints in the joy of the kingdom of heaven. Some (of these) are called angels, others archangels. They were brightly created in the beginning from the breath and spirit of God. We do not at all dare to speak in greater detail about that, because it is not right for either the powerful or the lowly to inquire deeply into the secrets of God. We will, however, say and recount that which we often learn from the teaching of books, that he chose a multitude of saints from here. Some of these were the exalted patriarchs....


In Die Depositionis Beati Avgvstini: As discussed above, the Anglo-Saxon church observed this feast on 26 May. (32)

Men da leofestan ... pe nu andwerd ys: Little about this rather standard introductory sentence points to any specific feast. It is, nonetheless, interesting that the author describes the feast as purhhalig "very holy." (33) Elsewhere in Old English this word is used to describe the night of the Nativity (34) and the sacrament of the Eucharist, (35) and it appears frequently as a gloss for Latin sacrosanctus. (36) Given the apparent connotation of purhhalig, we would perhaps expect it to refer to a more important feast than that of St. Augustine of Canterbury. Still, we should not underestimate the veneration that the Anglo-Saxon church must have had for one of its founding fathers. Such high regard for Augustine would be especially appropriate if the manuscript were written at the Canterbury monastery of St. Augustine's, named for the saint. As Ker pointed out, CCCC 162 was certainly produced in the Southeast, and some features of its script may indicate a connection to St. Augustine's. (37)

AErest on frymde ... underdeodde: After describing the Christian rededication of the Pantheon and the origins of the feast of All Saints, the author of LEH prefaces his list of the various classes of saints with an exhortation to honor God, on which this sentence of the Old English homily was apparently based (close correspondences in the Latin underlined):
Nunc ergo, fratres karissimi, in omnium
primordiis sanctorum nobis nominare,
laudare et glorificare condecet eum qui
cunctos condidit sanctos, per quem omnia
facta sunt, per quem cuncta subsistunt
elymenta.... (38)

AErest on frymde us gedafenad
to herigenne 7 to wuldrigenne
aelmihtigne scyppend, purh daene
7 on pam synd ealle gesceafta
gesceapene 7 underdeodde.

[Now, therefore, dearest brethren, before
all the saints it befits us to invoke, praise,
and glorify the one who created all the
saints, through whom all things were made,
through whom all the elements have their

[First of all, it is fitting that we
praise and glorify the almighty
Lord, through whom and in whom
all things are created and to whom
they are made subject.]

In addition to the basic similarity of ideas in the two sentences, a few specific verbal correspondences are noteworthy. The Old English verbs herian and wuldrian are frequently used to translate the Latin doublet laudare et glorificare in other texts in which it appears. (39) Old English gesceaft likewise glosses Latin elementum in Byrhtferth's Enchiridion (40) and in the Durham Ritual. (41) It is also worth mentioning that, since none of the other Old English texts based on LEH translates this sentence, the author of the CCCC 162 homily was likely drawing directly on the Latin rather than on an existing Old English work.

He eac ... faegere gelogad: Immediately after his exhortation to honor God, the author of LEH introduces the angels as the first class of saints to be praised: "(Deus) superna caelorum regna spiritibus angelicis ad laudem et gloriam atque honorem sui nominis ac maiestatis in perpetuum miro ordine collocauit" [With wondrous order (God) arranged the high realms of the heavens for the angelic spirits, for the praise and glory and honor of his name and of his majesty forever]. (42) Besides a possible verbal parallel between "collocauit" and "gelogad," the Old English shows no close relation to the Latin here. There is no sign in the Old English that the author means to refer specifically to the angels, as the Latin does. Indeed, the sentence sounds very much like a general description of all the classes of saints. However, the following sentences suggest that the author was intentionally following the order in which the saints are listed in LEH.

Sume ... heahenglas: The author of LEH goes into significantly greater detail in describing the angels, drawing on the well-known description of the nine angelic choirs in Gregory's Homilia XXXIV in Evangelia (Patrologiae cursus completus, series latina, vol. 76, cols. 1249-52). (43)

Daege ... beorhte gesceapene: This description of the origin of the angels in the breath of God has no obvious basis in LEH, but a possible parallel occurs in Lambeth Homily 14: "In die dominica creati sunt angeli ab ore dei. sunnendei weren engles makede of godes mude" [On Sunday the angels were created from the mouth of God]. (44) The alliterative collocation blaed(-) ... beorht(-) occurs in only one other Old English prose text, which notably also survives only in CCCC 162 (226-27). This is an anonymous addition to AElfric's Second Series homily for the First Sunday in Lent, which says that the blessed in heaven live "on pam beorhtestan blaede." (45) The collocation is, however, well-attested in Old English poetry. (46)

We ne durron ... deoplice spyrian: The inspiration for this refusal to speak in too much detail about the angels can be found in the similar expressions of fear and hesitation in LEH: "De quibus (angelis) plura loqui pertimescimus quia soli deo scire est quomodo uel quemadmodum eorum nobis inuisibilis absque contagione seu diminutione in sua sola puritate consistat natura" (47) [We fear to say many things about the (angels), since it is for God alone to know how or in what manner their nature, invisible to us, remains without pollution or diminishment in total purity]; and "Sed ecce, dum celestium ciuium secreta rimamus, supra modum nostre fragilitatis digressi sumus. Taceamus interim de secretis celestibus sed ante conditoris oculos tergamus peccatorum maculas ut ad eos de quibus loquimur peruenire ualeamus" (48) [But look, while probing into the secrets of the inhabitants of heaven we have strayed beyond the capacity of our fragile nature. Let us be silent, for now, about the heavenly secrets, and instead let us wipe away the stains of our sins before the eyes of our creator, so that we may be able to reach those people about whom we speak]. Unlike the LEH author, however, who uses these remarks as a preface and conclusion for his discussion of the nine orders of angels, the Old English homilist uses them to avoid delving into the matter, perhaps so that he can more quickly move on to the main theme of his address (whatever that may have been). (49) It is possible that the homilist's paraphrase of LEH (and, for that matter, LEH itself) was influenced here to some degree by Romans 11:20: "Noli altum sapere sed time." (50)

Ac we wyllad ... leorniad gelome ...: The Old English author now intends to start discussing the various classes of human saints. The introduction to this part of LEH is significantly longer and does not contain any close verbal parallels, (51) but it is noteworthy that the progression of the two texts is exactly the same. Both move from praising God, to honoring the angels, to honoring the human saints, first among whom in both texts are the patriarchs.

... paet he heonon geceas haligra maenigu: The referent of "heonon" is unclear without a knowledge of the structure of the text's source. In fact, the Old English author is following LEH in introducing human saints after his discussion of angelic ones: "Adhuc tamen aliquid de hac eadem tam pulchra atque preclara festiuitate loqui incipiamus que, non solum angelorum, ut prediximus, spiritibus, uerumetiam sanctis omnibus qui in terra sunt ab exordio mundi procreati honorabiliter dedicata consistit" (52) [However, we ought still to say something about this beautiful and famous feast, which is dedicated in honor not only to the spirits of the angels, as we have already said, but also to all the saints who have been born on earth from the beginning of the world]. "Heonon" then, points to a terrestrial origin for saints as opposed to a celestial one.

Sume waeron heahfaedera<s> healice ...: cf. LEH: "E quibus primi fuerunt patriarchae ..." [The first of these were the patriarchs ...] (53)

We might expect that the CCCC 162 homily, had it been transmitted entire, would have continued to treat the various classes of saints in the same sequence in which they appear in LEH: (1) the angels; (2) the patriarchs; (3) the prophets; (4) John the Baptist; (5) the apostles; (6) the martyrs; (7) the confessors, priests, and doctors of the Church; (8) Mary and other virgins; and, finally, (9) the hermits. Such, in any case, is the rough order followed by AElfric's All Saints homily and by the two complete Old Norse homilies that are based on the Latin sermon.

It is impossible to determine from the extant portion of the Old English text why a homily whose source was intended for All Saints' Day should have been thought suitable for the feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury. However, the highly selective approach which the Old English author took toward his source material may provide a clue. While overall similarities in arrangement and several verbal parallels show that the Old English author used--or at least knew a version of LEH, he seems to have had little interest in lingering on any specific group of saints for too long. In this respect he differs from AElfric, who--though he is not as prolix in his praises of the saints as the author of LEH is--does not abbreviate his source nearly so drastically. (54) The brisk pace at which the author was moving through his source material may indicate that his main intention in using LEH was not to discuss in depth the various classes of saints, but rather to provide his audience with a brief introduction to a description of a specific saint here, Augustine of Canterbury, a confessor. (55) Such an introduction, which briefly reviews the different types of saints but does not get bogged down in the details, would have given the preacher ample time to discuss Augustine's particular virtues, as well as furnished a basic schema by which his audience could contextualize those virtues.

This imagining of the rest of the text is, of course, both conjectural and unverifiable. Nevertheless, whatever the form of the rest of the CCCC 162 homily was, it remains significant that its author used a version of Legimus in ecclesiasticis historiis as at least a partial source. We can now increase to seven the number of Old English texts that were influenced to some degree by this Latin sermon. Perhaps more importantly, the identification of this source affords us a glimpse of how a sermon originally intended for one feast day might have been imaginatively repurposed for preaching on another without losing any of its rhetorical force.


Cross, Legimus in ecclesiasticis historiis, lines 18-64

Nunc ergo, fratres karissimi, in omnium primordiis sanctorum nobis nominate, laudare et glorificare condecet eum qui cunctos condidit sanctos, per quem omnia facta sunt, per quem cuncta subsistunt elymenta, cuius maiestas nec incipit nec desinit in seculum, ut merito omnis principium ac finis creature nominatur, ut de eo per quendam prudentem dictum est: "Omnis sapientia a domino deo est et cure illo fuit semper et est ante euum. Altitudinem celi et latitudinem terre et profundum abyssi quis dimensus est. Harenam maris et pluuiae guttas et dies seculi quis dinumerat" (Ecclus. 1:1-2). Ipse solus inuestigare metiri ac dinumerare hec omnia potest qui celi ambitum sua circuit sapientia et profundum abyssi sua penetrat uirtute. Et egregius ille uersificator dei sapientiam omnia posse atque nosse considerabat dicens: "Qui stellas numeras, quarum tu nomina solus, signa, potestates, cursus, loca, tempora nosti." Cuius principium atque uirtutem apostolus, spiritu sancto preuentus, supra modum esse inuestigare humanum commemorabat dicens: "O altitudo diuitiarum sapientiae et scientie dei, quam inconprehensibilia sunt iudicia eius, et inuestigabiles uie eius! Quis enim cognouit sensum domini? Aut quis consiliarius eius fuit? Aut quis prius dedit illi et retribuetur ei? Quoniam ex ipso, et per ipsum, et in ipso sunt omnia; ipsi honor et gloria in secula seculorum, amen" (Rom. 11:33-36).

Qui superna caelorum regna spiritibus angelicis ad laudem et gloriam atque honorem sui nominis ac maiestatis in perpetuum miro ordine collocauit. De quibus plura loqui pertimescimus quia soli deo scire est quomodo uel quemadmodum eorum nobis inuisibilis absque contagione seu diminutione in sua sola puritate consistat natura. Sed tamen nouem esse angelorum ordines ad dei iudicia ac ministeria complenda, testante sacro eloquio, cognouimus.

Quorum principatus atque potestas subtiliter ac mirabiliter omnipotentis nutu distinguitur. Alii ex illis ad nos in mundum missi futura predicando perueniunt; alii ad hec sunt constituti ut per eos signa et miracula frequentius fiant; alii subiectis angelorum spiritibus presunt eisque ad explenda diuina mysteria disponenda principantur; alii mira potentia ceteris preminent pro eo quod eis ad obediendum alia angelorum agmina subiecta sunt; alii tanta diuinitatis gratia replentur ut in eis dominus sedeat et per eos sua iudicia decernat; alii tanto perfectiore scientia pleni sunt quanto claritatem dei uicinius contemplantur; alia uero ita deo coniuncta sunt agmina angelorum ut inter haec et deum nulli alii intersint, tanto magis ardent amore quanto subtilius claritatem diuinitatis eius aspiciunt. Talibus, ut diximus, a primordio incipientis uite beatorum spirituum distinctionibus superna caelorum regna a deo conditore in perpetuum mirabiliter collocata subsistunt. His omnibus, fratres karissimi, tam decoris ac deo dilectis angelorum agminibus huius diei solemnitatem credimus esse consecratam. Sed ecce, dum celestium ciuium secreta rimamus, supra modum nostre fragilitatis digressi sumus. Taceamus interim de secretis celestibus sed ante conditoris oculos tergamus peccatorum maculas ut ad eos de quibus loquimur peruenire ualeamus.

Adhuc tamen aliquid de hac eadem tam pulchra atque preclara festiuitate loqui incipiamus que, non solum angelorum, ut prediximus, spiritibus, uerumetiam sanctis omnibus qui in terra sunt ab exordio mundi procreati honorabiliter dedicata consistit. E quibus primi fuerunt patriarchae ...

University of Toronto


This note grew out of work I did while examining CCCC 162 for the "Palaeographical Cruxes in Old English Manuscripts" project, a joint venture between the Dictionary of Old English and Parker Library on the Web, funded (along with related projects) by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. I thank the coordinators of this project for giving me the chance to work on the manuscript, and I am especially grateful to Antonette diPaolo Healey, who provided useful comments on an earlier version of this essay. For an overview of the methods and goals of the "Palaeographical Cruxes" project, see drupal/node/65/. Thanks are due also to the two readers for PQ, whose reports included helpful corrections and advice on several points.

(1) N.R. Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957 [repr. with supplement, 1990]), 56 (no. 38 art. 55). The Dictionary of Old English short title and Cameron number for the homily are, respectively, LS 2 (DepAugust) and B3.3.2. See Antonette diPaolo Healey et al., List of Texts Cited in the Dictionary of Old English (version of 16 December 2009),

(2) On this hand see Donald G. Scragg, A Conspectus of Scribal Hands Writing English, 960-1100 (Cambridge: Brewer, 2012), 6 (no. 58). A line was written at the top of page 564 but has been erased. It is unclear from the few letters and fragments remaining whether this was a continuation of the homily on page 563. See M. R. James, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Corpus Christi College Cambridge, 2 vols. (Cambridge U. Press, 1912), 1:368.

(3) This is the only date given for the feast in any surviving pre-Conquest English calendar. See Francis Wormald, ed., English Kalendars before A.D. 1100 (London: Harrison, 1934), 6, 20, 34, 48, 62, 76, 90, 104, 118, 132, 146, 160, 174, 188, 202, 216, 230, 244, and 258; Rebecca Rushforth, Saints in English Kalendars before A.D. 1100 (London: Boydell, 2008), table 5.

(4) Elizabeth Elstob, ed., An English-Saxon Homily on the Birth-Day of St Gregory (London: Bowyer, 1709).

(5) For an account of the life and career of Elstob, and of the composition of this edition, see Mechthild Gretsch, "Elizabeth Elstob: A Scholar's Fight for Anglo-Saxon Studies," Anglia 117 (1999): 163-200, 481-524.

(6) On Anglo-Roman relations see esp. her remarks on p. 30 of the preface: "Surely, there has been a time, when it was no Shame to be thus related: when St. Peter and St. Gregory held the Chair, it was worth owning an Acquaintance with it. And it had been well if some of our Writers, since the Reformation, had consider'd; that none of those intolerable Corruptions, that hinder our Communion with the present Church of Rome, were imported by St. Gregory, and his Missioners; nor consequently cou'd the Primitive Saxon Church derive them from it."

(7) Elstob, An English-Saxon Homily, appendix, 32. See also Gretsch, "Elizabeth Elstob," 505 n237.

(8) Elstob, An English-Saxon Homily, appendix, 33-34. As is the case with her edition of the Gregory homily, both Elstob's translation and her Old English text are quite accurate, with the exception of some minor variations from the manuscript's orthography.

(9) Gretsch, "Elizabeth Elstob," 505n237, points out this oversight. See Hildegard Tristram, "Vier altenglische Predigten aus der Heterodoxen Tradition" (PhD diss., Freiburg University, 1970), 428-29.

(10) Paul Hayward, "Gregory the Great as 'Apostle of the English' in Post-Conquest Canterbury, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 55 (2004): 28n48.

(11) D.G. Scragg, "The Corpus of Anonymous Lives and Their Manuscript Context," Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints' Lives and Their Contexts, ed. Paul Szarmach (Albany: State U. of New York Press, 1996), 213.

(12) Jane Roberts, "The English Saints Remembered in Old English Anonymous Homilies," Old English Prose: Basic Readings, ed. Paul Szarmach (New York: Garland, 2000), 448-49.

(13) The fullest study of the sermon's influence in Old English is James E. Cross, "'Legimus in Ecclesiasticis Historiis': A Sermon for All Saints and its Use in Old English Prose," Traditio 33 (1977): 101-35. For treatments of the influence of the homiliaries of Paul the Deacon and Saint-Pere de Chartres on Old English homilies, see Cyril Smetana, "Paul the Deacon's Patristic Anthology," The Old English Homily and Its Backgrounds, ed. Paul Szarmach and Bernard Huppe (Albany: State U. of New York Press, 1978), 75-97; James E. Cross, Cambridge Pembroke College MS 25: A Carolingian Sermonary Used by Anglo-Saxon Preachers (London: King's College, 1987).

(14) See Cross, "'Legimus,'" 127-28; Tette Hofstra, "Vui lesed: Zur volkssprachlichen Allerheiligenhomilie," Speculum Saxonum: Studien zu den kleineren altsachsischen Sprachdenkmalern, ed. Arend Quak (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999), 106-8.

(15) Peter Clemoes, ed., AElfric's Catholic Homilies: The First Series, Text (Oxford: EETS, 1997), 486-96. In addition to Cross, "'Legimus,'" see James E. Cross, "A Source for One of AElfric's Catholic Homilies," English Studies 39 (1958): 248-51; Malcolm Godden, AElfric's Catholic Homilies: Introduction, Commentary and Glossary (Oxford: EETS, 2000), 298-304.

(16) For a summary, see Cross, "'Legimus,'" 128-34.

(17) The homily is edited in Andrea de Leeuw van Weenen, ed., The Icelandic Homily Book: Perg. 15 4[degrees] in the Royal Library, Stockholm (Reykjavik: Stofnun Arna Magnussonar Islandi, 1993), 18vl-22r6; Gustav Indrebo, ed., Gamal Norsk Homiliebok: Cod. AM 619 4[degrees] (Oslo: Dybwad, 1931; repr. 1966), 143-47. See Thomas N. Hall, "Old Norse-Icelandic Sermons," The Sermon, ed. Beverly Mayne Kienzle (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2000), 680, 699.

(18) Porvaldur Bjarnarson, ed., Leifar fornra kristinna froeda islenzkra (Copenhagen: Hagerup, 1878), 172-75. See Hall, "Old Norse-Icelandic Sermons," 700-1. The verbal correspondences with LEH are not as close here as in the earlier Old Norse All Saints homily, but the two texts share enough significant structural similarities to posit LEH as an ultimate source. Both Old Norse homilies may also draw on an All Saints sermon of Honorius Augustodunensis, about which see Oddmund Hjelde, Norsk preken i det 12. Arhundre: studier i Gammel Norsk Homiliebok (Oslo, 1990), 367-75.

(19) The manuscript is edited and discussed by Hallgrimur Amundason, ed., "AM 655 XXVII 4to: Utgafa, stafagerd, stafsetning" (BA thesis, U. of Iceland, 1994).

(20) Cross, "'Legimus,'" 106, lines 12-16.

(21) Hallgrimur Amundason, "AM 655," 11-12 (10r lines 12-15). Text slightly normalized from Hallgrimur's diplomatic transcription.

(22) All translations appearing in this article are my own.

(23) Johan Hendrik Gallee, ed., Altsaechsische Sprachdenkmaeler (Leiden: Brill, 1894), 118-19. An attempted reconstruction of another Old Saxon exegetical text, often called a homily but better classified a Psalm commentary, can he found on pages 224-32 of the same volume.

(24) As opposed to the abbreviated text in Migne's Patrologiae cursus completus, series latina, vol. 94, cols. 452-55. Cross uses as his base text Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek clm. 6314 (Friesing, s. ix 2/4) and collates several other early manuscripts, including Pembroke 25.

(25) Both the title and the initial M of "Men" are executed in silver and red. The body of the M is two lines in height; a flourish from the rightmost descender of the letter continues down for another two lines.

(26) Tristram, "Vier altenglische Predigten," prints "Aerest."

(27) Tristram, "Vier altenglische Predigten," reads "paene." On "daene" as a form of the late West Saxon accusative singular masculine demonstrative pronoun, see A. Campbell, Old English Grammar (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959), 157 (sec. 380).

(28) Elstob, An English-Saxon Homily, takes these two words, as "de gewaeron," but Tristram certainly interprets the manuscript correctly in printing "Daege." For varied assessments of this pronominal form in late Old English, see Campbell, Old English Grammar, 292 (sec. 713); Richard M. Hogg and R. D. Fulk, A Grammar of Old English, vol. 2: Morphology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011), 197 (sec. 5.13); and Michiko Ogura, "Late West Saxon Forms of the Demonstrative Pronouns as Native Prototypes of They," N&Q 48 (2001): 5-6. I have punctuated and translated the homily as if "daege" were a demonstrative here. However, the cited works of Campbell, Hogg and Fulk, and Ogura note that it could also function as a relative, and it may indeed have been intended thus in our homily.

(29) Tristram, "Vier altenglische Predigten," reads "gereccan"; Elstob, An English-Saxon Homily, correctly prints "gereccean."

(30) Tristram, "Vier altenglische Predigten," reads "latae," but the third letter of the word is very clearly an r. Elstob, An English-Saxon Homily, correctly prints "larae."

(31) MS "heahfaederar" Both Elstob and Tristram read (or silently emend to) "heahfaederas." This is of course the correct form, but the letter in the manuscript is clearly an r rather than the Insular s.

(32) For calendars that refer to the feast specifically as a depositio, see Wormald, English Kalendars, 20 and 118.

(33) Old English "purhhalig and the Latin adjective persanctus are so analogous in formation and meaning that one suspects the former may be a calque of the latter.

(34) Tristram, "Vier altenglische Predigten," 162, line 8. In finding this and many of the following parallels I made use of Antonette diPaolo Healey et al., Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus (version of 24 November 2009),

(35) Hans Sauer, ed., Theodulfi Capitula in England (Munich: Fink, 1978), 397 (chap. 44[B] line 1). The translated term here is also sacrosanctus.

(36) See, e.g., Arthur S. Napier, ed., Old English Glosses, Chiefly Unpublished (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900), 6, line 155, 70, line 2600; 91, line 3434; and 109, line 4136.

(37) Ker, Catalogue, 56.

(38) Cross, "'Legimus,'" 106, lines 18-20.

(39) See, e.g., A. Hughes, ed., The Portiforium of St. Wulfstan (London: Boydell, 1958-60), 21, as well as the G, I, J, and K texts of the Old English gloss on Psalm 21:24 (see the List of Texts Cited in the Dictionary of Old English under "PsGI" for full references to the editions).

(40) Peter S. Baker and Michael Lapidge, eds., Byrhtferth's Enchiridion (Oxford: EETS, 1995), 200, line 54.

(41) A. Hamilton Thompson and Uno Lorenz Lindelof, eds., Rituale ecclesiae Dunelmensis, Surtees Society, vol. 140 (Durham: Andrews, 1927), 90, 121.

(42) Cross, "'Legimus,'" 107, lines 37-38.

(43) Cross, "'Legimus,'" 108, lines 41-109, line 53.

(44) Richard Morris, ed., Old English Homilies and Homiletic Treatises of the Twelfth Century (London: EETS, 1868), 139. On the Latin source of Lambeth 14 see my article, "Source Studies in the Lambeth Homilies," forthcoming in JEGP. The idea that the angels were created "from the mouth of God" stems ultimately from traditional exegesis on Genesis, which identifies the angels with the light created by God's words "fiat lux" on the first day. See, e.g., Gerard MacGinty, ed., Pauca problesmata de enigmatibus ex tomis canonicis: Praefatio et libri de Pentateucho Moysi, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis, vol. 173 (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2000), 41 (sec. 91). In relation to the phrasing in the CCCC 162 homily see also Psalm 32:6: "Verbo Domini caeli firmati sunt et spiritu oris eius omnis virtus eorum" [The heavens were made fast by the word of the Lord, and all their might by the breath of his mouth]. Antonette diPaolo Healey has suggested to me that a passage in Vercelli Homily 19, which states that God "of him sylfum mid his orode utableow" [blew out from himself with his breath] both the good and evil angels at the creation of the world, may be an expression of the same idea. See D. G. Scragg, ed., The Vercelli Homilies and Related Texts (Oxford: EETS, 1993), 316, lines 12-15. If this interpretation is correct, it would require both an adjustment of Scragg's punctuation of the passage and a reassessment of Thomas D. Hill's argument in "When God Blew Satan out of Heaven: The Motif of Exsufflation in Vercelli Homily XIX and Later English Literature," Leeds Studies in English n.s. 16 (1985): 132-41.

(45) The text has not yet been added to the Dictionary of Old English corpus. It can be found in Malcolm Godden, ed., AElfric's Catholic Homilies: The Second Series, Text (Oxford: EETS, 1979), 353.

(46) A proximity search of the Dictionary of Old English Web Corpus turns up eighteen results in verse texts.

(47) Cross, "'Legimus,'" 107, lines 39-108, line 41.

(48) Cross, "'Legimus,'" 110, lines 57-60.

(49) AElfric did not opt for such brevity in his own translation of Gregory's account (Clemoes, AElfric's Catholic Homilies, 487, lines 22-42).

(50) See esp. Carlo Ginzburg, "High and Low: The Theme of Forbidden Knowledge in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries," Past & Present 73 (Nov. 1976): 28-41. I thank an anonymous reader for PQ for calling my attention both to the verse from Romans and to Ginzburg's article.

(51) Cross, '"Legimus,'" 110, lines 61-64. A few similarities can perhaps be discerned, however, in the opening words of the Latin description of the nine orders of angels (Cross, "'Legimus,'" 108, lines 41-42; possible correspondences underlined): "Sed tamen nouem esse angelorum ordines ad dei iudicia ac ministeria complenda, testante sacro eloquio, cognouimus" [But nevertheless we know that there are nine orders of angels for the fulfilment of the judgments and service of God, as holy writings tell us].

(52) Cross, "'Legimus,'" 110, lines 61-64.

(53) Cross, "Legimus," 110, line 64.

(54) Compare esp. the lengthy descriptions of the various classes of angels in Clemoes, AElfric's Catholic Homilies, 487, lines 22-42.

(55) See Roberts's comment, "The English Saints" 449 (quoted above), that the extant portion of the homily is "very suitable as introduction to the life of a notable saint."
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Title Annotation:Notes and Documents
Author:Pelle, Stephen
Publication:Philological Quarterly
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 22, 2012
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