Aelfric's Lives of the Virgin Spouses

BookAelfric's Lives of the Virgin Spouses

Aelfric's Lives of the Virgin Spouses

with Modern English Parallel-Text Translations

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies


May 7th, 2007

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Drawn from Aelfric’s Old English Lives of the Saints, this is an edition of the lives of the little-known virgin spouses: Julian and Basilissa, Cecilia and Valerian, and Chrysanthus and Daria. As well as the Old English original texts, it provides the reader with modern English parallel-text translations. As a useful comparison, their closest Latin source texts are also reproduced – again with English parallel-text translations. As a leading churchman writing at the time of the Viking raids at the end of the first millennium, Aelfric wrote his Lives to bolster the faith of English Christians. These three stories of couples who marry but do not consummate their unions point to an ideal of marital celibacy in Aelfric’s programme of pastoral care. Taken together, the group provides an opportunity to emphasise different but related points about literal and figurative types of chastity and purity appropriate to the laity.

Robert Upchurch is Assistant Professor in the Department of English, University of North Texas, Denton

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Robert K. Upchurch is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Texas, Denton.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
List of Abbreviations12
The Latin Legends of the Virgin Spouses16
Treatments of the Latin Legends by Anglo-Saxon Authors other than Ælfric22
Ælfric’s Treatment of the Latin Legends in the Lives of Saints32
The Language of the Old English Texts39
Ælfric’s Latin Sources42
Notes to the Introduction45
Select Bibliography61
Old English Texts and Translations64
Editorial Procedure65
I. Julian and Basilissa67
II. Cecilia and Valerian85
III. Chrysanthus and Daria99
Latin Texts and Translations122
Editorial Procedure123
I. Julian and Basilissa127
II. Cecilia and Valerian185
III. Chrysanthus and Daria231