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Aelfric's De Temporibus Anni

Aelfric's De Temporibus Anni

Edited with a translation by MARTIN BLAKE
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 190
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  • Book Info
    Aelfric's De Temporibus Anni
    Book Description:

    De temporibus anni, a concise handbook of calendar and computus, astronomy and natural science, dates from the late tenth century. It seems to have circulated anonymously, but analysis of its language and content shows it to be by Ælfric, one of the most prolific and widely-studied authors of Anglo-Saxon England. Unlike the earlier works of Bede and Isidore, it is written in the vernacular (despite its Latin title), possibly the earliest such work in a vernacular language in western Europe. This new edition incorporates the fruits of modern research into the scientific and religious background to the work, as well as the findings of recent studies on palaeography and textual criticism. It is also the most comprehensive edition yet produced, including notes, glossary and bibliography, and the first modern English translation (presented en face) for some 140 years. By means of these, and the inclusion of a detailed introduction and commentary, it renders the work more accessible both to those interested in the history of science and to students of Anglo-Saxon language and literature. Dr MARTIN BLAKE works with medieval manuscripts in the Department of Manuscripts and University Archives at Cambridge University Library.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-686-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Martin Blake
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xi)
  6. Editor’s Note
    (pp. xii-xii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-74)

    De temporibus anniis introduced to us asan lytel cwyde be gearlicum tidum(1),¹ but as well as chronology, it covers cosmology and the sequence of Creation, the rudiments of computus, and elements of natural science, particularly meteorology. The work treats in order the following themes:

    The six days of Creation

    The relationship between the earth and the sun, moon and planets

    The date of the anniversary of the earth’s creation

    Darkness, the orbit of the moon and the cause of eclipses

    The course of the sun and moon through the zodiac, different customs in establishing the beginning of...

  8. Text of De temporibus anni, with modern English translation
    (pp. 75-98)

    aHer æfter fyligð an lytel cwyde be gearlicum tidum þæt nis to spelle geteald, ac elles to rædenne þam ðe hit licaða

    cIc wolde eac gif ic dorste gadrian sum gehwæde andgit of ðære bec þecBeda se snotera lareow gesette7gegaderode of manegra wisra lareowa bocum be ðæs geares ymbrenum fram anginne middaneardesd.² Witodlice eða ðae se ælmihtiga Scyppend þisne middaneard gesceop, þa cwæð he gewurðe leoht,7leoht wæs ðærrihte geworden. Ða geseah God þæt þæt leoht wæs god,7todælde þæt leoht fram ðamf þeostrum,7het þæt leoht dæg 7 ða þeostrug niht, 7 wæs...

  9. Apparatus Criticus
    (pp. 99-103)
  10. Commentary
    (pp. 104-130)

    Throughout this commentary, references to Ælfric’s apparent sources have to be read in the light of all the caveats contained in the discussion in section 7 of the Introduction above. The references given at the beginning of each section of the Commentary are to the source(s) from which Ælfric seems to have obtained his material for that section, but it is only rarely that he can be seen to give anything approaching a literal translation.

    Here, as elsewhere in this edition, all translations from both Latin and Old English are mine unless otherwise indicated.

    1. The text in G begins...

  11. Appendix 1. Ælfric’s Biblical Quotations and the Vulgate compared
    (pp. 131-133)
  12. Appendix 2. List of Biblical References in the Text of De temporibus anni
    (pp. 134-134)
  13. Appendix 3. Parallels between De temporibus anni and Other Ælfrician Works
    (pp. 135-142)
  14. Appendix 4. List of Orthographic Variants, etc., in manuscripts
    (pp. 143-148)
  15. Astronomical and Calendrical Terms Used in this Edition
    (pp. 149-150)
  16. Glossary
    (pp. 151-166)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 167-174)
  18. Index
    (pp. 175-177)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 178-178)