Easter, Pentecost and Epiphany

In his description of the piety of Audrey of Ely, the Venerable Bede mentions that she didn't bathe in hot water except in preparation for the three greater feasts of the year -- Easter, Pentecost and Epiphany (Bede, HE IV:19). While it is no surprise that Easter and Pentecost were the primary feasts of the... Continue Reading →

PW: St Owine

St Owine is a somewhat malleable figure in the veneration of St Audrey. He first appears in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People where he is a member of St Chad's household at Lichfield. Owine witnesses an exchange between Chad and an angel shortly before Chad's death. Bede goes on to explain that Owine... Continue Reading →

Columba’s Marriage Advice

In Adomnan's Life of Columba he relates a curious episode that seems to be pointed directly at Northumbria (from the Medieval Sourcebook, Ch XLII): "Of one Lugne, surnamed Tudida, a Pilot, who lived on the Rechrean island (either Rathlin or Lambay), and whom, as being deformed, his wife hated. ANOTHER time, when the saint was... Continue Reading →

PW: Cynefrith, Physician of Ely

octors are not very common in early medieval works so Cynefrith really stands out in Bede's Ecclesiastical History. Cynefrith is the primary witness to the miraculous 'healing' of St Aethelthryth's neck wound while in the grave. Bede actually talks as though he knows Cynefrith: "more certain proof is given by a doctor named Cynefrith, who... Continue Reading →

Bede’s Book of Hymns II

In my continuing quest to learn more about 8-9th century breviate psalters I've came across a couple interesting papers: Thomas H Bestul (1986) "Continental Sources of Anglo-Saxon Devotional Writing" p. 103-126 in Sources of Anglo-Saxon Culture. P Szarmach with V. Oggins, eds. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications. Leslie Webber Jones. (1929) "Cologne MS.106: A Book... Continue Reading →

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