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Anglo-Saxon Prognostics

Anglo-Saxon Prognostics: An Edition and Translation of Texts from London, British Library, MS Cotton Tiberius A.iii.

Edited with a translation by R. M. LIUZZA
Volume: 9
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Anglo-Saxon Prognostics
    Book Description:

    Medieval prognostic texts - a survival from the classical world - are the ancestors of modern almanacs; a means of predicting future events, they offer guidance on matters of everyday life, such as illness, childbirth, weather, agriculture, and the interpretation of dreams. They give fascinating insights into monastic life, medicine, pastoral care, the transformations of classical learning in the middle ages, and the complex interconnections between orthodox religion, popular belief, science and magic. This volume provides the first full critical edition, with a facing-page translation, of a diverse and peculiar group of prognostic guides and calendars, in Latin and Old English, found in an eleventh-century manuscript from Christ Church, Canterbury; they are collated with related versions in both Anglo-Saxon and continental manuscripts. A lengthy introduction and commentary examine the transmission and translation of these texts, and shed light on their origins and uses in late Anglo-Saxon monastic culture. Roy Liuzza is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-928-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-ix)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. x-x)
  5. Manuscript Sigla
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-78)

    The texts known to Anglo-Saxon studies as ‘prognostics’ comprise, by scholarly consensus, approximately forty to fifty items of various lengths in Latin and Old English. They are a diverse and somewhat loosely defined group,¹ including such things as predictions based on the day of the week on which something occurs, predictions based on natural phenomena such as thunder or wind,² lists of lucky and unlucky days in the year (sometimes called ‘Egyptian’ days),³ lunaria or calendars for the lunar month listing good and bad days for illness, bloodletting, childbirth, or the interpretation of dreams,⁴ alphabetical lists giving the meaning of...

  7. ANGLO-SAXON PROGNOSTICS: Texts and Translation
    (pp. 79-220)

    Fols. 27v¹²–32v¹⁶. Variants from Æ68 (154 items) and S11, which ends imperfectly after 29 items. Minor orthographical variants are not noted.

    be swefena mistlicnesse æfter endebyrdnessæ


    abecedes danielis þæt witegan.


    fugelas on swefenum se þe gesyhð ⁊ mid him winneð saca sume hit getacnað.

    Aues in somnis qui uiderit & cum ipsis pugnauerit lites aliquas significat.

    fugelas on swefnum gefon gestreon hit getacnað.

    Aues in somnis capere. lucrum significat

    fugelas sum þincg fram him gegripan hearpan hit getacnað.

    Aues aliquid a se rapuisse damnum significat

    assan oððe hecenu gesihð gylt ceapes hit...

  8. Commentary
    (pp. 221-252)
  9. Glossary
    (pp. 253-278)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 279-290)
  11. Index
    (pp. 291-294)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 295-295)