The Homilies of the Anglo-Saxon Church/Notes


Page 2, l. 5 from bot. undergann—here a finite verb seems wanting.

2, l. 3 f. b. geendung þyssere worulde. It was an universal belief at the time throughout Europe, that the world was to end in the year 1000: M. Michelet has collected the principal passages to be found in the old writers relative to this superstition. Concil. Trosl. a. 909 (Mansi, xviii. p. 266): "Dum jam jamque adventus imminet illius in majestate terribili, ubi omnes cum gregibus suis venient pastores in conspectum Pastoris æterni," etc.—Trithemii Chron. a. 960: "Diem jamjam imminere dicebat (Bernhardus, eremita Thuringiæ) extremum, et mundum in brevi consummandum."—Abb. Floriac. a. 990 (Gallandius, xiv. 141): "De fine mundi coram populo sermonem in ecclesia Parisiorum audivi, quod statim finito mille annorum numero Antichristus adveniret, et non longo post tempore universale judicium succederet."—Will. Godelli Chron. ap. Scriptt. Fr. x. 262: "A.D. MX, in multis locis per orbem tali rumore audito, timor et mœror corda plurimorum occupavit, et suspicati sunt multi finem sæculi adesse."—Rad. Glaber, l. iv. ibid. 49: "Æstimabatur enim ordo temporum et elementorum præterita ab initio moderans sæcula in chaos decidisse perpetuum, atque humani generis interitum." Hist. de France, t. ii. p. 300, note, ed. Bruxelles.

6, l. 8. heofenas. Sic MS. for heofenes or heofenan.

8, l. ult. awecð. MS. Reg. has awyhtð, and after anre handa adds and ealle eorðan he belicð on his handa.

10, l. 11 f. b. norð-dæle. So Cædmon, p. 3, l. 8.

þa he worde cwæð,
. . . . .
þæt he on norð-dæle
hám and heah-setl
heofena rices
agan wolde.

In fact the whole beginning of the work ascribed to Cædmon appears to be a metrical paraphrase of this homily. Andweald is corrupt orthography for anweald.

26, l. 13 f. b. for geferena, MS. Reg. has þegena.

28, l. 2 f. b. After acenned wæs, MS. Reg. adds, seðe æfre buton anginne of þam Ælmihtigan Fæder acenned wæs.

42, l. 12. Nis nan ... Hælend Crist. These words seem an interpolation, or incidental remark of Ælfric; they are therefore inclosed as a parenthesis in the translation.

58, l. 9. mægðhad should correctly have been rendered virginity.

84, l. 9 f. b. This passage concerning Rachel is not clear: it may possibly refer to some rabbinic tradition about her children.

98, l. 8 f. b. on þissere stowe, in this place. The place where Ælfric composed the homily, probably Cerne abbey (Cernel).

100, l. 10 f. b. nellað heora þing wanian. This passage is obscure, and the translation purely conjectural. Monday was accounted an unlucky day by the old Germans. See Grimm, D. M. p. 662, and on superstitions connected with the moon, ib. p. 407.

108, l. 13. This passage is evidently the original of the lines in the Codex Exoniensis, p. 69, 30 sq., and contribute to strengthen the opinion that Cynewulf was the author of that work, as well as of the Vercelli poetry. To him Ælfric dedicated his Life of S. Æthelwold.

174, l. 9. On praying to saints for their intercession, see also Theodori Lib. Pœniten. xlviii. 1, 2. in 'Ancient Laws and Institutes of England.'

190, l. 13 f. b. we his gelyfað. The construction with the genitive is worthy of notice: in another place we have, we ðe gelyfað Cristes æristes.

242, l. 16. alefed. This word is probably akin to læpeo (T. Roffens. læweo) in the Laws of Eadward and Guthrum, x. (Anc. LL. and Inst.), which in the old Latin version is rendered, membris disfactus.

244. Rubric. "The Litania Major is St. Mark's day, and the Litania Minor is for the Rogation time, or the three days preceding the feast of the Ascension, by the Anglo-Saxons called Gang-days. The service both on St. Mark's day, and on the three Rogation days before the Ascension is the same, and from the present homily it seems, that on the Rogation days the Litany in the time of Ælfric was called Major, as it is also in the Canons of Charlemagne, and in some very old MSS. of the Liturgy; though by the Council of Clovesho, A.D. 747, the service used on St. Mark's day was called 'Litania Major,' leaning for the use of the term on the authority of Rome. The distinction is still strictly observed, the Litania Major signifying St. Mark's day, the other the Rogation week."—R.

244, l. 16. Uigenna, Vienne in the former province of Dauphiné.

246, l. 6 f. b. haligdom may here probably signify the host.

294, l. 13. Lucas se Godspellere. See Homily p. 314, where the book of The Acts of the Apostles is ascribed to St. Luke.

298, l. 5 f. b. twegen englas, etc. See Cod. Exon. p. 28.

322, l. 15 f. b. See Cod. Exon. p. 295.

338, l. 8 f. b. þonne. In Matt. xviii. 12. and Luke xv. 4. hu ne.

436. Hom. de Assumptione, etc. Here some leaves have been cut out of the MS.; the part wanting, reaching to p. 446, l. 3, is supplied from <f>MS. Reg.</f> It is also supplied (apparently by the hand of Wheelocke) in the MS. itself, but in a text far too corrupt for use.

448, l. 4. For nalæs, MS. Reg. reads here, ne læs, which is followed in the version; but the entire passage is still far from clear.

524, l. 9 f. b. Here a leaf has been cut out; the part wanting, reaching to p. 530, l. 11, is supplied from MS. Reg.

534, l. 9. "This passage refers to a ceremony once in very general usage. It was the custom to spread out a sheet of sackcloth on the floor, and on this to sprinkle ashes in the shape of a cross. Just as the dying person was in the last agony, he was taken out of bed, and stretched on the sackcloth and ashes; it being deemed more becoming, that sinful man should yield up his soul thus, than on a soft bed, when his divine Redeemer died on the hard wood of the cross."—R.

This usage was not obsolete about twenty-five years since.

566, l. 5. nywerenan (MS. Bodl. niwernan). In the Bodley MS. this word (which I do not recollect to have seen elsewhere) is glossed by tenero.

586, l. 6 f. b. An account of the passion of St. Andrew wholly different from that contained in this homily, is that on which the poem entitled The Legend of St. Andrew is founded, for the details of which the reader is referred to the preface of Mr. Kemble's edition of The Poetry of the Codex Vercellensis. In a very mutilated manuscript of Anglo-Saxon homilies at Blickling Hall, for the loan of which the Society is indebted to the kindness of the Dowager Lady Suffield, there is a fragment of a homily which, it seems highly probable, was the immediate original of the Vercelli poem.

598, l. 8 f. b. ætwindan. The meaning of this word here I do not understand: can it be an error for hit windan?

608, l. 9. undergynnende. I am not aware of the occurrence of this word elsewhere. In Ælfric's Preface to the Heptateuch (Analecta A.-S. p. 25) we find underbeginnenne in the sense of to understand.