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Herman the Archdeacon and Goscelin of Saint-Bertin Miracles of St Edmund

ISBN: 9780199689194 | 0199689199
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Pub. Date: 6/17/2014

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St Edmund was medieval England's patron saint, and at his abbey, two major Latin miracle collections were compiled: one in the 1090s by Herman the Archdeacon, an historian trained in the schools of Lorraine; the other c. 1100 by an anonymous hagiographer who rewrote and expanded Herman's work.

Herman's Miracles, an important text for the history of the realm and East Anglia in particular, is edited and translated here in its full fifty chapters for the first time, along with a shorter version intended for wider circulation. The second miracle collection, never before in print, is also presented for the first time and attributed to the Flemish hagiographer Goscelin of Saint-Bertin. Together the collections illustrate a rapid turnover of hagiography, connected to a change of leadership at the abbey of Bury St Edmunds. These works illustrate the evolution of historical writing, applied to the affairs of an exceptional international cult. The introduction revises the history of Bury St Edmunds from its foundations to c. 1100, rejecting old assumptions, adding to our knowledge of Herman's background, and proposing a context and attribution for the second collection which will alter the debate on Goscelin's career. A poem attacking Bishop Herbert Losinga (1091-1119) for simony is also included, edited from previously undiscovered textual witnesses, and linked to Herman and the factional divisions behind the two miracle collections.

This volume makes the subject accessible to the full range of scholars interested in Edmund and Anglo-Norman England by providing editions and translations for the first time. Its arguments clear up much of the confusion surrounding the history of the cult and the abbey. It will remain invaluable to literary scholars and historians alike.

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