Oswiu’s Bad Luck

I've been reading Marilyn Dunn's The Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons and just thinking about King Oswiu's bad luck after the Synod of Whitby. He is celebrated by Bede and the Church of England ever after for choosing to accept the authority of Rome over the independent tradition of Iona, the mother house of the Irish... Continue Reading →

St Oswald and the Sussex Plague

Modified from the vault for St Oswald's Day: Happy St. Oswald's Day! It has been a while since I wrote but I can't miss the feast of St. Oswald. What little time I have had for medieval topics this summer has been focused on the plague, so this brings to mind the unique place King... Continue Reading →

Bishop Wilfrid and the Sussex Famine

When I was working on my Kalamazoo presentation last spring, I was looking for references to famines or malnutrition. Bede's History is pretty pitiful in this regard. He only records two famines, one before the arrival of the English and the second when Bishop Wilfrid first came to Sussex. As we will see below, this... Continue Reading →

The Mortality of Children, Ireland 683-685

683 The beginning of the children's plague in the month of October (AT, AU, AI), which lasted for three years in Ireland. (FAI); A plague was in Ireland (AC) 684: The plague of youths, in which all the chieftains and nearly all the young Irish noblemen perished. (FAI);┬áThe mortality of little ones (AT) / children... Continue Reading →

Plague Tales: The Light of Barking Abbey

Some historians say that there isn't enough information on the first plague pandemic in northern Europe to do anything with; I don't agree. The material is diffuse and of uneven historical quality. It needs to be gathered up and assessed. Toward that end I'm just going to begin gathering 6th-8th century plague tales here on... Continue Reading →

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