Aaron J Kleist

title.none: Hall, Hill, Wright, eds., Via Crucis (Aaron J Kleist )

identifier.other: baj9928.0501.012 05.01.12

identifier.issn: 1096-746X

description.statementofresponsibility: Aaron J Kleist , Biola University,

publisher.none: .

date.issued: 2005

identifier.citation: Hall, Thomas N., Thomas D. Hill, Charles D. Wright, eds. Via Crucis: Essays on Early Medieval Sources and Ideas in Memory of J. E. Cross. Series: Medieval European Studies, vol. 1. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2002. Pp. xvii, 449. ISBN: $45.00 0-937058-58-0.

type.none: Review

relation.ispartof: The Medieval Review

The Medieval Review 05.01.12

Hall, Thomas N., Thomas D. Hill, Charles D. Wright, eds. Via Crucis: Essays on Early Medieval Sources and Ideas in Memory of J. E. Cross. Series: Medieval European Studies, vol. 1. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2002. Pp. xvii, 449. ISBN: $45.00 0-937058-58-0.

Reviewed by:

Aaron J Kleist
Biola University

In 1996, a symposium was held at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo to honor a man remarkable not only for his early work in Old English poetry and prose, and the influence thereon of Latin and Irish literary traditions, but remarkable for the second wind his scholarship found in its final years. James E. Cross had been honored with a festschrift as early as 1985, when Sources and Relations: Studies in Honour of J. E. Cross appeared as a special volume of Leeds Studies in English; the following fifteen years, however, found Cross not leaning on his laurels but engaged in what Thomas Hall describes as the most productive period of Cross' career (xi): five books, including a ground-breaking study of the Cambridge, Pembroke College 25 homiliary, some thirty articles, and eighteen more articles waiting to be published posthumously. It is these contributions which the organizers of the 1996 Symposium on Irish and Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture sought to acknowledge, both through their sessions and through the resulting festschrift considered here. Via Crucis: Essays on Early Medieval Sources and Ideas in Memory of J. E. Cross contains eighteen studies--eleven drawn from the Symposium--considering aspects of or the interrelationship between Irish, Anglo-Latin, and Old English texts. While for many readers the collection's occasionally-complex lines of reasoning and reconstruction of multi-tiered manuscript-relationships may not prove a challenge, the following synopsis and analysis of arguments is offered in hopes that some, pressed for time, may benefit thereby.

1. Andy Orchard, "Re-Reading The Wanderer: The Value of Cross-References"

Orchard's study reconsiders the extent to which The Wanderer is both indebted to a Christian, Latinate tradition and interested in a non-Christian cultural past. Analyzing internal repetition and intertextual echoes, Orchard argues that the poem uses Germanic poetic techniques to nod to contemporary homiletic concerns while simultaneously paying homage to a secular, heroic history. On the one hand, Orchard suggests, The Wanderer uses traditional vocabulary and structuring devices such as repetition and echo to progress from "exclusive self-obsession to inclusive selflessness," from impersonal metud to personalized fæder on heofonum, and from "psychological confinement and restraint" to "psychological movement and freedom" (9-11). Orchard finds similar progress-through-repetition in The Dream of the Roo,--a text, he observes, which some have viewed as homiletic in nature, and in which he finds parallels to The Wanderer in structure, theme, and diction. Other texts, he says, also use poetic techniques for "homiletic" ends: paronomastic repetition of key words and themes in Deor move the text from secular contemplation to anticipation of a "Christian homiletic future" (18), similar verbal strategies in The Seafarer lead a meditation on worldly mutability to "an unmistakably 'homiletic' conclusion" (19), and three themes from The Wanderer (such as the ubi sunt topos) appearing in the same order in Vercelli Homily 10 expose what is fleeting and point to what is secure (25). On the one hand, then, such poetic devices give The Wanderer a "strongly homiletic flavor" that it shares with these other Old English texts. At the same time, however, the very presence of such devices affirms the value of the tradition being left behind. Even as the poem moves from secular to Christian values, therefore, so that in its final echo of the Lord's Prayer "the spiritual journey of the wanderer [may be said to be] complete," the poet is nonetheless "'craftily using conventional Christian forms to lament the death of the Germanic past'" (26).

2. Sachi Shimomura, "Visualizing Judgment: Illumination in the Old English Christ III"

Shimomura discusses the allegorization of light in Christ III, in which brightness becomes a measure of the literal and figurative presence of Christ, and in which light is associated with divine clarity of vision. Shimomura surveys analogues in Blickling and Vercelli homilies, biblical passages, Bede, and anonymous homilies to consider how such texts portray the effect of the illuminating Presence: is the Judge said to bring sins and righteous deeds figuratively or literally to light? Shimomura moves from the metaphorical depictions of saintly brightness more common to the Christian Latin tradition to Old English homilies that present such brightness in more concrete terms: in such cases, Shimomura says, "each virtue literally adds a quantum of light until the blessed soul achieves heavenly wattage" (37). Turning to Christ III, Shimomura examines the connection between appearance and vision: Christ sees the distinction between the radiant righteous and swarthy sinner, the righteous see the bliss that awaits them and the suffering of the damned, and the condemned souls see the torment that awaits them and the joy of the saints. Whereas Augustine suggests that the blessed perceive the suffering of sinners metaphorically, sharing in God's knowledge of them rather than being in physical proximity, Christ III emphasizes that the two groups literally view one another. Shimomura argues that one reason for the poem's stress on "being seen" stems from the preoccupation with shame and glory in Germanic heroic culture: ignominy and praise, which may endure beyond death, are determined by others' perception of oneself. Such a claim for a "Germanic twist to Christian Latin imagery," while intriguing, would be stronger were there evidence of direct literary borrowings in Christ III from appropriate passages of heroic poetry; in the poem, moreover, God is the preeminent "other" whose perception determines one's level of praise. Even so, Shimomura identifies an important connection in the poem: suggesting that at the Judgment shame or praise is public, Christ III portrays that judgment in literal, visual terms.

3. Thomas D. Hill, "The Old English Dough Riddle and the Power of Women's Magic: The Traditional Context of Exeter Book Riddle 45"

Hill examines a poem little studied by scholars, a riddle riddled with rare or unique vocabulary whose general sense is nonetheless clear--rising dough kneaded by a woman understood sexually as a phallus engaged in intercourse. Hill's approach, moreover, is one seldom taken by Anglo-Saxon scholars, examining the literary "history" of the text not by looking to antecedent sources but to subsequent literary and folkloric analogues--an approach, Hill points out, that likewise augments our understanding of the text by viewing it as part of a larger literary tradition.

One analogue Hill cites is found in a collection of notes on "pagan" folk belief and practice recorded by the seventeenth-century antiquarian John Aubrey. Aubrey describes a game that he observed in which young girls pretended to knead dough with their posteriors. Dismissing the practice as "'meer Wantonnesse of Youth,'" Aubrey nonetheless recalls an early-eleventh century penitential that condemns a similar ritual as magic aimed at guaranteeing husbands' love--the punishment for which was equal to that for impaling an unbaptized baby. Other examples include a late-sixteenth-century play by George Peele, in which there may be a distant allusion to the game mentioned by Aubrey, and a late-nineteenth-century collection of English children's pastimes, which describes the dough-molding game as "a sport amongst hoydenish girls not quite extinct" (58).

Hill acknowledges that there are major differences between the texts: the Old English riddle, for example, is a literary text in a major collection of poetry, while Aubrey's reference is to a ritual that was performed and that may not even have been associated with verbal language. Hill sees the texts as associated not so much through their relationship to a particular game or ceremony, however, as through their shared assumptions about the metaphor of dough: a point of connection between a woman and her family, a representation of her domestic power, and a symbol giving rise (ahem) to erotic imagery (59). While Anglo-Saxons may not necessarily have viewed the Dough Riddle as obscene--evidence for such a distinction being unclear, particularly given the conflicting contents of the Exeter Book--the riddle's connection to these later texts raises the possibility that they may have associated the riddle with a magical tradition current in England at the time and extant even in recent folk tradition. If so, these literary connections may provide insight into "archaic traditions of Anglo-Saxon women's magic" (60).

4. Phillip Pulsiano, "The Old English Life of St Pantaleon"

Pulsiano introduces his edition of the Life of Pantaleon by sketching the extent to which the third-century saint was venerated in both the East and West, listing texts such as martyrologies and litanies in which Pantaleon is honored, and surveying miracles ascribed to the saint. Discussing the manuscript in which the Old English Life is found, London, British Library, Cotton Vitellius D. xvii (s. ximed), Pulsiano notes that it was badly damaged by the 1731 Ashburnham House fire and that its leaves were subsequently bound out of order. Discussing the Latin text on which the Old English version is based, he points to two Anglo-Saxon legendaries in which a comparable version survives: London, British Library, Cotton Nero E. I, part 2 (Worcester, s. xi3/4) and Salisbury, Cathedral Library, 222 (Salisbury, s. xiex). After summarizing the contents of the saint's Life, however, he concludes from discrepancies between the Vitellius text and the legendaries that the latter "do not reflect the ultimate source of the Old English version" (66).

Pulsiano edits the Latin Life from the Nero and Salisbury manuscripts, printing it alongside the Old English version from Vitellius. Some damaged readings, he notes, he recovered by means of ultraviolet photography; rightly, however, he observes that direct observation of the manuscript under ultraviolet light revealed more (64 n. 16). Overall, Pulsiano describes his approach as "conservative," silently expanding abbreviations and standardizing variations in word-forms, supplying punctuation, and enclosing editorial additions (e.g., for lacunae resulting from manuscript damage) in square brackets. Final corrections to the edition are supplied by Joseph McGowan.

5. Thomas N. Hall, "The Earliest Anglo-Latin Text of the Trinubium Annae (BHL 505zl)"

In an essay for which the present reviewer has been waiting since hearing its precursor at Kalamazoo in 1996, Hall considers the origin of the cult of St. Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary, and the legend of Anne's three marriages that played a key role in her cult's development. From Anne's literary appearance in the second century, Hall notes, until well into the thirteenth century, evidence for a western cult of Anne outside of Rome is sparse, with one exception: devotion in England in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Hall argues that one reason for this devotion was the influence of a late-eleventh-century text on Anne's marriages copied at Bury St. Edmunds: a prose version of the Trinubium Annae found in Cambridge, St. John's College, 35.

By way of background to this text, Hall surveys both sites important to the cult's expansion and works that developed the legend of Anne's three marriages--a legend that provided key support for belief in Mary's perpetual virginity by positing close familial ties between as many as twenty-three biblical and apocryphal figures, including most of the apostles and three of the four New Testament Marys. The second-century Protevangelium of James first suggested that Jesus' "brothers" were sons of Joseph by a previous marriage; in the fourth century, however, Jerome argued that they were sons of Mary's sisters--the teaching that eventually became established in the Latin Church. Building on Jerome's model, a ninth-century text from Auxerre identified Mary's sisters as Mary Cleopas, mother of Justus and Joseph, and Mary, mother of James and John. Combining these notions, the contemporary Haymo of Auxerre made the "apparently unprecedented claim" that Anne had three daughters named Mary--each by a different husband--who produced Jesus and his [half-]"brothers" (109). Haymo's exposition of Anne's family, first recorded in the Historiae sacrae epitome, eventually began circulating independently as the Trinubium Annae.

Comparing Haymo's genealogy with the version found in St. John's College 35, which Hall here edits, Hall finds two key additions in the Anglo-Latin text: the earliest mention of an additional branch of the family tree--Emeria, Anne's sister and grandmother of John the Baptist--and a new emphasis on "Anne's adherence to the Mosaic law of marriage and widowhood" (117). Hall situates the Anglo-Latin version in the context of an increasing devotion to Mary at Bury St. Edmunds, which Hall argues made such a "concerted effort" to amass Marian apocrypha that by the end of the twelfth century such devotion had become "a regular and inescapable feature of daily life at Bury" (120). Such a focus, Hall notes, was in turn a part of the trend towards Marian veneration in English centers such as Winchester, Canterbury, Exeter, and Worcester in the late Anglo-Saxon and early Anglo-Norman period, during which time the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was formulated at Canterbury--further increasing interest in the life of Mary's mother.

Returning to paleographic questions, Hall suggests that a copy of Trinubium Annae closely related to St. John's College 35 and possibly written at Bury served as the immediate source of the Old English version in London, British Library, Cotton Vespasian D. xiv (Canterbury or Rochester, s. xii2/4), perhaps the oldest extant vernacular version of Haymo's text.

In conclusion, Hall posits a straightforward reason for the Trinubium Annae's popularity and influence: it was "the first independent text of any kind" to provide an explanation of the complex set of familial relationships so crucial for Marian veneration. If Mary was to be honored particularly through feasts celebrating her Conception and Nativity, Hall points out, then something had to be known about the woman who conceived and bore her (136). As a result, the Trinubium Annae functioned not merely as a "genealogical primer," but as an aid to English devotion in the eleventh and twelfth centuries

6. Dabney Anderson Bankert, "Reconciling Family and Faith: Ælfric's Lives of Saints and Domestic Dramas of Conversion"

Bankert examines two saints' Lives traditionally treated as virgin martyr legends, those of Agnes and Gallicanus (the latter being also the story of Constantia, daughter of the emperor Constantine), as they are conjoined in the major collection of Ælfric's Lives of Saints, London, British Library, Cotton Julius E. vii (s. xiin). Bankert points to two unusual aspects of the pairing: first, as the feasts of the two saints are five months apart, the pairing contravenes liturgical order; second, it juxtaposes apparently-opposing models of and lessons on virginity: while the virginity of both is challenged by pagan suitors, Agnes embraces conflict and martyrdom while Constantia avoids both death and matrimony. Bankert contends, however, that the pairing is purposeful rather than paradoxical, reflecting the texts' historical rather than liturgical connection.

Julius E. vii includes a prose transition between the texts that highlights this connection: Constantia, hearing the story of Agnes, prays to her and is healed through Agnes' intercession; Agnes' intercession thus provides the motivation for Constantia's vow of chastity, her conversion, and the conversion of her father Constantine. Bankert notes, however, that while Constantia's conversion and pledge of virginity "are invitations to martyrdom in the virgin martyr genre," they "prepare readers for a story they do not get" (146): Constantia, pursued by the pagan general Gallicanus, brings about his conversion through two trusted advisers and lives peacefully in purity thereafter; it is not she, but these advisers who subsequently face martyrdom.

Bankert explains the altered paradigm by pointing to the historical shift within the texts, where in a new world ruled by a Christian emperor there is a corresponding change in believers' spiritual and social roles. Agnes, a martyr in an age of persecution, prepares the way for future virgins like Constantia, living in an age where martyrdom comes to be defined in other ways, such as chaste living. Gallicanus likewise becomes a model for men in this new period, setting aside his wealth and warrior ways to pursue holiness by serving the poor. Though Damon's study below points out the dangers of such a model in the face of Viking invasion and the Church's need for military defense, the examples of Constantia and Gallicanus may have been deemed more appropriate or relevant for their Anglo-Saxon audience than that of Agnes.

Though Bankert claims to focus on the Julius compilation as it stands rather than a "reconstruction of the manuscript as Ælfric might have issued it" (140), she nevertheless speaks not of "the compiler" but of Ælfric's own reasons for linking the Lives. Recalling Joyce Hill's observation that the presence of Ælfric's prefaces in Julius suggests that it "is not far removed from the original," and noting the idiosyncratic nature of the link, not found in Latin analogues nor other early medieval versions, Bankert takes the pairing of the texts to be Ælfric's own decision. By the combination, Bankert says, Ælfric affirms that women who imitate the example of Constantia rather than Agnes can benefit the faith without suffering mutilation and death (156). Like Whatley's study below, Bankert suggests that Ælfric's reworking of his material reveals his sensitivity to his audience, who might be prone to draw the wrong lesson from Agatha's story. While Bankert's premise does not explain the presence of other virgin-martyrs in Ælfric's works, if true, it would mean that Ælfric's efforts reflect "an acute awareness of the apparent contradictions between hagiographic models and practical social realities" (156).

7. E. Gordon Whatley, "Pearls before Swine: Ælfric, Vernacular Hagiography, and the Lay Reader"

Reflecting on Ælfric's condemnation of what he perceived as unorthodox or non-authoritative sources such as Marian apocrypha, Whatley identifies two shifts in recent scholarship: first, scholars such as Mary Clayton have come to view Ælfric's perspective as idiosyncratic rather than as representative of the Benedictine Reform as a whole; second, they have suggested that his disapproval stems more from an awareness of patristic censure of such texts than from personal concerns about them. It is this second view which Whatley seeks to reconsider, focusing on passages illustrating either Ælfric's "awareness of and anxiety about unsupervised and ill-informed readings of sacred literature" or his "active selection and re-shaping of sources to inhibit potentially problematic 'reader responses'" (161).

Whatley first turns to Ælfric's preface to his translation of part of Genesis, in which Ælfric expresses his concern that some people might draw literal rather than allegorical lessons from the account, seeing in it license for practices "abhorrent to the Christian Church but not uncommon in early medieval societies, such as polygamy, concubinage, and incest or kin-marriages" (162). Rather than dismissing Ælfric's anxiety as groundless, Whatley suggests that Ælfric's complaints "imply the existence of opinionated readers and self-appointed interpreters, resisting or ignoring 'learned' traditions [. . .] to justify a secular lifestyle" (163). Second, turning to Ælfric's homily for the feast of the martyr Clement (CH I.37), Whatley considers the latter half of the homily in which Ælfric at length preemptively addresses those who might question God's ability to protect his saints. Whatley takes the elaborate defense as evidence that certain texts were problematic to some medieval listeners, and that Ælfric was well aware of this fact. Third, Whatley points to the Latin preface to Ælfric's Lives of Saints, in which Ælfric again reveals his reluctance to translate sacred texts into the vernacular "ne forte despectui habeantur margarite christi" ("lest it should happen that the pearls of Christ be held in disrespect" [LS I.praef.11-12]). Here, of course, Ælfric echoes Christ's words in Matthew VII.6, which Augustine had interpreted as an instruction to clergy to choose carefully what they taught, concealing certain truths from audiences likely to misinterpret them. Fourth, Whatley examines Ælfric's homily for the feast of Peter and Paul (CH I.26), for which Ælfric draws on an apocryphal text that also provided material for the Blickling homilies--a remarkable connection, given the traditional view of Ælfric and Blickling as having opposite standards for selecting sources. Whatley points out two points at which Ælfric alters the original account where the saints appear momentarily to falter in their faith. While elsewhere Ælfric makes such changes silently, moreover, here Ælfric awkwardly includes a brief explanation of the saints' actions despite having excised the offending detail, underscoring his discomfort with the source and concern about his audience's reaction thereto.

Returning to the Lives of Saints, Whatley considers why Ælfric should be as guarded in a text addressed to Ælfric's two main secular patrons as he is in the Catholic Homilies, directed at a wider lay (and monastic) audience. Though Ælfric describes the Lives as representative of saints celebrated by the monastic community, Whatley notes several examples in which Ælfric de-emphasizes or omits entirely texts that portray monks' struggle with temptation and failure or that present an ascetic, contemplative form of monasticism: the one was "private stuff, best kept safely within the monastic walls, decently protected by the Latin language"; the other "flagrantly contradicted and implicitly critiqued the kind of monastic establishment that [Ælfric's patrons] had been persuaded to support" (176). Instead, Ælfric highlights examples where monasteries (and their surroundings by implication) flourish though the cooperation of monks, devout aristocrats, and the king--and where forces hostile to such work are presented in demonic terms. Whatley concludes: "the rhetorical topos of translating 'sense for sense' takes on a different meaning [. . .] where [Ælfric] refashions the 'sense' of his original into something he considers appropriate for the unlearned outside the cloister" (181).

Whatley's emphasis on Ælfric's caution about conveying "pearls" to the uneducated, though calling attention to a key aspect of Ælfric's methodology, should be coupled with a recognition (which Whatley no doubt takes for granted) of the unusual nature of Ælfric's pedagogical endeavor: the fact that Ælfric did in fact convey patristic exegesis to a lay audience, despite his reservations, despite the lack of contemporary precedent, and despite centuries-old traditions of viewing exegetical preaching as an episcopal rather than priestly prerogative and patristic exegesis in particular as the domain of clerical study rather than lay exposition. This said, Whatley's study ably sheds insight on this key tension in Ælfric's approach: though on the one hand Ælfric feels responsible for fulfilling the priestly duty of teaching God's Word, he is reluctant to provide translations of sacred Latin texts for public consumption except "in a highly abridged and selective form, preferably embedded carefully in sermons, or hedged about with lengthy prefaces and judicious conclusions" (161).

8. John Edward Damon, "Sanctifying Anglo-Saxon Ealdormen: Lay Sainthood and the Rise of the Crusading Ideal"

Damon examines literary accounts of several tenth- and eleventh-century ealdormen to trace a trend in Anglo-Saxon piety "closely related to the rise of the crusading ideal" (186). Reflecting first of all on the motivation of pious nobles to participate in the First Crusade in 1097, Damon speaks of the "problem of lay sanctity" that certain scholars affirm characterized the Western Church in the tenth and eleventh centuries: while clergy might aspire to saintliness, laymen were implicitly tainted by their commerce with the world--participation in war, sexual relations, and the excessive use of money. The result was a dearth of models for pious laymen, to which the possibility of Crusade provided an exception. Noting that Continental rather than Anglo-Saxon laymen formed the core of the First Crusade, Damon points not only to the oppressive effects of the Conquest but to political differences between the two groups in the tenth and eleventh centuries. Whereas Anglo-Saxon England spent its last centuries "consolidating power in the hands of a central authority and dealing with a prolonged period of external invasion" (189), in France by the tenth century external threats had given way to prolonged internal violence that encouraged "both clergy and laity to redirect military force [. . .] towards a distant spiritual enemy in the Holy Land" (190). For Damon, the fact that lay piety in England did not led to a crusading ideology provides an important counter-model to the Continental trend: a form of lay sanctity more closely related to the tradition of confessors rather than martyrs.

Damon suggests that candidates in England were more likely to be identified as saints if they conformed to a limited set of hagiographic models: [1] clerical confessors, steadfast in their witness until death despite potential persecution, [2] clerical martyrs, [3] royal lay martyrs, and [4] lay confessors, who focused more on spiritual concerns than on secular responsibilities. No model, Damon suggests, existed for pious laity who were neither royal nor clergy but who remained active in worldly affairs--even though the Church depended on their political support and martial prowess. Instead, Damon maintains, it was this last role of lay confessor that in England was "applied most consistently to the noble practitioners of lay piety" (201).

The first noble Damon evaluates in support of this thesis is Byrhtnoth of Essex. Damon argues that despite such characteristics as personal piety, patronage of religious houses, and death in defense of the land against heathens, Byrhtnoth was disqualified for sainthood by his role as ealdorman: he neither rose to kingly martyr status [model 3] nor set aside his secular duties [model 4]. Second, Damon considers Æthelwine of East Anglia, who like Byrhtnoth played a key role in supporting reformed institutions, leading resistance to the anti-monastic reaction following Edgar's death, and defending the land against the Danes. Though Æthelwine died but a year after Byrhtnoth, Damon suggests that greater efforts were made to promote his veneration because Æthelwine spent his last days preparing for his end at Ramsey [model 4].

The remaining ealdormen differ in the degree to which they might be considered as candidates for sainthood. Æthelweard of Wessex, Ælfric's patron, was another of those responsible for resisting the anti-monastic movement; his son Æthelmær ultimately relinquished his own position as ealdorman to pursue "the more secure path of monastic piety" (203). No evidence suggests, however, that attempts were made to promote their veneration. Leofric of Mercia, on the other hand, may have conformed better to the pattern of lay confessor [model 4]: an "exceptionally pious layman," he is the subject of a text that sought but apparently failed to promote his candidacy for sainthood (205). Finally, there is Waltheof of Northumbria. An active supporter of the Church, beheaded in 1075 for treason against the Normans, Waltheof inspired a full-fledged uita that characterized his death as that of a martyr. While Waltheof may come closest of these non-royal nobles to being elevated to sainthood, the uita does describe him after death as a "king," perhaps associating him with the pattern of royal martyr [model 3].

Damon provides an intelligent hypothesis for the reason why these Anglo-Saxon ealdormen fall short of veneration: they fail to fit an established model of sanctity. What, then, does Damon mean by suggesting that pious nobles were consistently associated with the established category of lay confessor? If, as he maintains, texts honoring these ealdormen sought to establish a new model of lay sanctity, a uita mixta "combining the active and contemplative paths" (206), how did that model relate to the old category of lay confessor? When, moreover, Damon refers to the examples Ælfric provides Æthelweard in the Lives of Saints of non-royal laymen who died for the faith (203), do not the exemplars for these tales count as models for lay piety?

Finally, though Damon presents this "trend" of Anglo-Saxon lay piety as related to the later Continental crusading movement, the two paths seem awkward bedfellows: while the essay portrays both as choices facing pious noblemen, it does not present clear points of comparison and contrast--such as examples of Continental nobles who may be shown to parallel or depart in specific ways from their insular counterparts--with the result that it is difficult to see how knowledge of the one provides, in Damon's words, "an instructive set of relevant contrasts" for the other (191).

9. Charles D. Wright, "The Old English 'Macarius' Homily, Vercelli Homily IV, and Ephrem Latinus, De paenitentia"

Wright's study addresses the difficulty of determining to what extent Old English homilies are composite--drawing together materials previously translated in vernacular homilies--and how homilies that share analogous material are related to one another. His case in point is Vercelli 4, whose introduction "overlaps considerably" with the apparently-composite text known as the Macarius soul-and-body homily from Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 201 (s. xii3/4). Wright identifies points of correspondence and differences between the two versions, drawing attention to an exhortation to penitence so similar in both accounts that one "must have borrowed from the other" (213). Don Scragg and Malcolm Godden, Wright notes, take Macarius to be the later, considering it an abbreviation of a descendant of Vercelli 4. As scholars have regarded the Marcarius homily as a copy of an Anglian original from the first half of the tenth century, the Vercelli homily would "significantly antedate" the manuscript in which it survives.

Wright turns to source-studies to reexamine the Scragg-Godden thesis, identifying the source of the exhortation to penitence as a sermon by the Syriac Father Ephrem of Edessa (d. 373 A.D.). After surveying existing evidence for knowledge of Ephrem in Anglo-Saxon England--a pre-Conquest copy of one of his works, references to him from the school of Theodore and Hadrian, borrowings from him in early-ninth-century manuscripts--Wright prints extracts from Macarius, Vercelli, and Ephrem's De paenitentia side-by-side to demonstrate that the last was known and used in tenth-century England. Noting that the parallels between Ephrem and Macarius continue long after parallels cease between Ephrem, Macarius, and Vercelli, Wright concludes that the Vercelli homily derives from and expands upon an earlier version of the Macarius homily, which in turn derives from Ephrem.

This said, Wright notes and seeks to account for two readings in Vercelli 4 which better reflect Ephrem--suggesting, at first blush, that the Vercelli homilist had independent access to Ephrem. As the readings come, however, in a series of easily-confused her bið . . . þr bið statements, Wright plausibly attributes the differences between Vercelli and Macarius to haplographic error in the latter: in these two instances, Vercelli copied the Macarius-exemplar (and thus its Ephremic antecedent) more accurately than the Macarius homily currently extant.

In terms of content, Wright points out the appropriateness of Ephrem's admonition to penitence for the soul-and-body legend it prefaces in Macarius: the one calls the believer to regulate the inward man; the other shows vividly the consequences or not doing so. Moreover, he argues that the homily's appearance alongside the Capitula of Theodulf in Corpus 201 may be deliberate rather than random, as others have argued: not only does the pairing mirror the Continental circulation of Ephremic sermons with regulations for clerical behavior, but the two may have functioned as "a program of reform for both body and soul, the exterior and interior man" (233).

More than any other essay in this collection, Wright ably explains the larger ramifications of his specialized study: first, it confirms the chronological relationship of the Macarius and Vercelli homilies; second, it has implications for textual criticism, identifying corrupt passages in Macarius; third, it has bearing on stylistic analysis, showing how a vernacular writer adapts his Latin original; fourth, it sheds insight into the manuscript context of the Macarius homily, given the relationship of Ephremic sermons with clerical regulations such as Theodulf's Capitula; and finally, it contributes to our understanding of Anglo-Saxon intellectual history and spirituality by tracing the influence of a particular patristic source from the ninth through the eleventh century.

10. Martin McNamara, "Irish Homilies A.D. 600-1100"

McNamara begins by listing the ten homilies and collections of homiletic material considered in this essa--a helpful reference for the discussion to come--and providing overviews of three types of background material: research on Irish homilies, which he notes is scant; terms for "homily" (e.g., omelia, sermo/sermóin, praedicatio) in vernacular and Hiberno-Latin texts, which he concludes refer more generally to "teaching" or "exhortation" rather than exegetical addresses; and the setting of such addresses: where and by whom they would have been delivered. McNamara then analyzes the ten collections of homilies themselves, considering the manuscript context of the homilies, scholarly debate regarding the spurious or genuine nature of certain sermons, the structure and theological content of selected texts, the division of collections by means of the heading In nomine Dei summi, identified sources, and so forth. Two aspects of McNamara's list of homilies bear further comment: first, item ten is a virtual rather than an actual collection of homilies, a body of thirty-six texts from various manuscripts which McNamara argues are the work of one person and that originally formed part of a single homiliary. Second, and more problematic, are items three and four on McNamara's list. These are two homilies found in the Catechesis Celtica collection, listed by McNamara as item nine. It is not altogether clear why they should be treated independently, despite the fact that McNamara suggests that they predate the collection by as much as two centuries; as McNamara notes, the collection is by no means homogeneous in nature, representing "a complex history and varied traditions" and having "no clearly worked out plan" (267-68). McNamara does contend that collection, while mostly catechetical, shows a "movement toward" exegesis, occasionally including, for example, exposition on the moral as well as historical and spiritual sense of the passage, but item three (which McNamara treats separately) displays such a threefold exposition as well.

McNamara follows his discussion with a brief survey of Hildegard Tristram's work regarding the relationship between late medieval Irish and Anglo-Saxon homilies. On the one hand, McNamara notes, Tristram sees no influence on eleventh-century Irish homilies by Anglo-Saxon models, whether Benedictine works from the tenth and eleventh century or Anglo-Latin homilies of the eighth century. On the other hand, Tristram posits that Hiberno-Latin preaching styles did impact Benedictine England, but indirectly, through the intermediary of Carolingian homiliaries.

From his study, McNamara concludes that the extant texts demonstrate a continuous homiletic or catechetical vernacular tradition over the period in question; the interrelationship of such texts, however, and their relationship to Hiberno-Latin material, must be the subject of further examination.

11. Raymond Etaix, "An Unpublished Homily on the Transfiguration" (trans. Thomas N. Hall)

Etaix' Transfiguration Homily is an entry in the Salerno Homiliary (s. xii/xiii), a collection of some sixty homilies for which no single exemplar has been identified, despite parallels to at least twenty other homiliaries. Etaix supplements Virginia Brown's source-study of the manuscript, a study he treats with what some might interpret as painfully-excessive reverence, noting (but unfortunately not developing) a connection between sixteen sermons therein and the old Roman Homiliary. Shifting abruptly back to the homily, for which he provides no further introduction, such as a synopsis of its contents or a discussion of homiletic traditions for the pericope in question, Etaix prints the text, calling attention to ambiguous phrases and noting connections between the piece and three Church Fathers: Chromatius of Aquileia, Bede, and (most importantly) Leo the Great. Etaix confirms that the Salerno homily draws on Leo, and not vice-versa, through a passage taken verbatim from Bede, thus dating the text to the post-patristic era. Rather than leaving the question of date thus far unresolved, however, Etaix places the homily in the second half of the ninth century (rather than in the eleventh or twelfth centuries) based on "its method of using sources by adapting them" (293). As to the larger significance or importance of the homily, if the essay is less than copious in clarifying the matter, Etaix does end with this helpful observation: despite the patristic connections discussed above, the second part of the homily develops a parallel between Moses and Christ that is "completely original, and no part of it appears anywhere else" (294). Such a parallel may well warrant further study.

12. Paul E. Szarmach, "Pembroke College 25, Arts. 93-95"

With Max Forster's discovery of Alcuin's Liber de uirtutibus et uitiis as a major source for Vercelli Homily 20, and Cross' identification of Cambridge, Pembroke College 25 as an intermediary recension, the line of transmission of Alcuin's text to the vernacular tradition might seem to have been established: Alcuin was preserved in three parts in Pembroke 25 articles 93-95, the first of which was subsequently incorporated by Vercelli 20. Through this study, Szarmach encourages the reader to reconsider this line of transmission, carefully raising the possibility that further scholarship might uncover additional links not only in this textual chain, but between the last two-thirds of Alcuin's text and the vernacular homiletic tradition. Szarmach explains that he prints Pembroke articles 93-95 here to provide a base of comparison for scholars seeking for such connections.

Szarmach introduces his texts by discussing the original context of Alcuin's work and its subsequent Latin manuscript tradition, distilling his treatment thereof in Mediaevalia 12 (1989 for 1986), pp. 13-41 at 14-20. He notes that there are five classes of ninth- and tenth-century witnesses to the text, though he only describes the first three: Class I, containing the full text and introductory letter; Class II, containing simply the text; and Class III, containing all but four chapters, rearranged, abbreviated, and split into three sections. Pembroke 25 is an example of this last category. Szarmach explains while the redaction preserved in Pembroke dates from the early- to mid-ninth century, Pembroke itself (dated to the 1020s) postdates Vercelli; a manuscript related to but earlier than Pembroke, therefore, would have to have been the immediate source for the vernacular homily.

Turning to the contents of articles 93-95, Szarmach analyzes the ninth-century redactor's method of organizing and abbreviating Alcuin's work. He notes the natural unit of material in article 93 (and incorporated by Vercelli 20) addressing the capital sins and cardinal virtues; the four chapters oddly cut from article 94; and abbreviations in article 95, for which Szarmach seeks where possible to posit explanations. Summarizing his comments from the textual apparatus regarding correctors' and readers' marks in the manuscript, he notes that while marks are more prevalent in article 93 than in 94 and (in particular) 95, he concludes that on the whole this redaction of Alcuin's work was a popular one.

Like Pulsiano above, Szarmach attempts to provide a "readable, working edition" with modern punctuation (305); like Brearley below, he preserves manuscript orthography, recording as well textual interventions (the readers' marks) in his notes.

13. Frederick M. Biggs, "Comments on the Codicology of Two Paris Manuscripts (BN lat. 13,408 and 5574)"

Biggs' short but perceptive study unravels three puzzles resulting from disordered exemplars and lost leaves--problems not unfamiliar to but instructive for students of manuscripts. Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, lat. 13, 408 (s. ix1/4), on the one hand, includes a series of intertwined homilies: Homily 20 is interrupted by Homily 24, Homily 22 by the end of Homily 20, and Homily 24 by the end of Homily 22. The breaks occur mid-line and with no scribal indication of the change in text. Biggs suggests that a less-than-attentive scribe copied an exemplar whose pages had become disordered: having completed one quire, containing the opening of Homily 20, he picked up another containing the end of Homily 24, all of Homily 21, and the start of Homily 22--and so forth. Rearranging the pieces, Biggs concludes that the original order of homilies in the exemplar was 20 - 23 - 24 - 21 - 22 - 25, an order he confirms by comparison with another manuscript containing these texts.

Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, lat. 5574 (s. ix/x or x1/4) also contains an entry that ends abruptly: on fol. 12v, a text on the Invention of the Cross breaks off, to be followed on fol. 13r by an entry for the Cross' Exaltation. Fol. 13r contains one of three quire marks to appear in the early part of the manuscript: "d"; fols. 21r and 29r bear the others, "e" and "f." As fols. 5-12 constitute a normal gathering of eight leaves (quire B), and as fols. 1-4 appear to constitute a quire as well (quire A), Biggs suggests that a gathering of four leaves is missing (quire C). Comparison with another, complete copy of the Invention text confirms that approximately four leaves' worth of material has been lost.

One final question from this section remains, however, for which a solution is not as easily verified. The Exaltation text concludes with the rubric "explicit inuenio sancta crucis" ("Here ends the Invention of the Holy Cross"), leading Biggs to wonder whether the manuscript combined the two expositions. Biggs' estimate of the material lost in quire C is not precise enough to determine whether space would have permitted an explicit for the Invention and an introduction to the Exaltation; the moderate size of the initial beginning the latter text, however, makes him suspect that they were both complete but linked as though a unified pair.

Though the codicological problems addressed here are obviously specific in nature, Biggs does tie the manuscripts to larger issues of interest to students of medieval Irish and Anglo-Saxon: Paris 13,408, on the one hand, is a witness to one tradition of Hiberno-Latin homilies, while Paris 5574 is an example of the transitional phase to English Square Minuscule.

14. Jean Rittmueller, "Links between a Twelfth-Century Worcester (F. 94) Homily and an Eighth-Century Hiberno-Latin Commentary (Liber questionum in evangeliis)"

Rittmueller's study analyzes the textual history of a work which she recently edited for Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis: the Liber questionum in evangeliis (LQE), an early-eighth-century Hiberno-Latin collection of all available patristic and native commentary on Matthew, intended as a reference work for authors, teachers, and homilists (332). Rittmueller explains that much of LQE derives from another "comprehensive" commentary on Matthew by Frigulus (fl. s. viiex / viiiin), though it alters Frigulus' typically-more-faithful rendering of patristic exegesis, intersperses commentary from other native exegetes, and substitutes Irish biblical readings for Vulgate ones. Building on Cross' identification of a textual relationship between Worcester, Cathedral Library, F. 94, Paschasius Radbertus' Exposition in Matheo, and a mid-ninth-century copy of LQE, Orleans, Bibliotheque Municipale 65, Rittmueller attempts to determine whether Frigulus might be their common source.

Rittmueller sifts through a not-undaunting pile of evidence to reach her conclusions regarding the textual transmission of LQE. These conclusions may be summarized as follows:

Manuscripts: C Paris, BN, lat 11292 (Ireland, s. ix in) F+D Fulda, Bischofliches Priesterseminar, theol 7/i (fragm.) + Dresden, Sachsische Landebibliothek, R 52um (s. viii ex) O Orleans, BM, 65 (62) (Fleury, s. ix med.) S Paris, BN, lat. 2384 (Saint-Denis, s. ix 2/4)

(1) F+D, O, and S are derived--the latter two through an intermediary--from the same exemplar, of Irish or Continental origin, which began what Rittmueller calls the Hiberno-Continental branch of the LQE textual tradition. (2) Radbertus' source was not Frigulus, nor a member of the Irish branch of LQE represented by C, but an exemplar from the Hiberno-Continental branch to which F+D, and one other belong. (3) While Worcester 94 and O do share material in common, they are related only distantly and indirectly to Frigulus: while O stems from the Hiberno-Continental, Worcester 94 derives from a member of the English branch of LQE, an exemplar earlier and closer to Frigulus than the Hiberno-Continental exemplars. (4) The Irish exemplar C, Hiberno-Continental, and English exemplar all stem from the early-eighth-century autograph, the originator of the LQE tradition that derives primarily from Frigulus' commentary.

Rittmueller's study progresses with an admirable degree of clarity given the amount of data it examines, dividing its analysis into carefully-defined steps and underscoring conclusions at appropriate intervals. A couple of additions, however, may have clarified the study more. First, while Rittmueller's one "master" illustration of LQE stemma is indispensable in following her argument, further diagrams (such as I found myself drawing in the margins) would have helped the reader follow her argument's various stages, showing (for example) the connection between F+D, O, S, etc. before the reader is introduced to the intervening exemplars. Second, not all the elements of the master diagram appear to have been addressed.

In terms of the larger implications of her work, while Rittmueller does not conclude by "painting the wider picture," earlier in the study she does underscore the impact of her confirmation of LQE's Irish origins. Pointing to Old Irish vocabulary, "distinctively Irish" paleographic features, and the textual transmission of LQE, Rittmueller notes that scholars may now speak about LQE's sources, affiliations, terminology, and theological innovations "without having constantly to raise a flag of uncertainty about its geographical and intellectual origins" (333).

15. Denis Brearley, "An Eighth-Century Text of the Lectiones in vigiliis defunctorum: The Earliest Manuscript Witness of the Biblical Readings for the Vigil of the Dead"

Brearley begins by discussing the paucity of evidence for biblical readings for the Vigil or Office of the Dead prior to the tenth century, thus highlighting nicely the importance of the manuscript under consideration. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 6233 (s. viii3/3) contains not only what appears to be the earliest complete set of such biblical readings, but several layers of revision that "provide valuable evidence for a succession of accretions that took place over the course of the eighth century" (358). Brearley reviews the origin, contents, and history of scholarship on the manuscript before turning to the readings themselves, examining variants in the passages from Job that furnish the pericopes for this vigil and office. The variants are numerous and diverse: over a hundred departures from the received text represented by the 1951 Rome and 1994 Stuttgart editions of the Vulgate suggest, at first glance, that the single scribe was either inattentive or woefully incompetent. Comparing the text with copies of Job from different regions, however, Brearley finds that while some discrepancies are likely the product of accumulated mistakes by successive scribes, a number of variants correspond with texts from Northumbria, Spain, and German-speaking areas. In other words, according to Brearley, the state of Clm 6233 reflects a wide-ranging textual history, with a Roman exemplar influencing England, Spain, and ultimately southern Germany. At each stage, says Brearley, "each successive scribe would have been tempted to change a less familiar reading to a more familiar one characteristic of the manuscripts known in his own region or [. . .] monastic scriptorium" (375). The result is a highly-idiosyncratic text that stands apart from other biblical versions of its time.

Brearley prints the text found in Clm 6233 (organized into six as opposed to the more-customary nine readings), producing a semi-diplomatic edition that silently expands standard abbreviations but that preserves manuscript orthography the better to indicate the various "regional" variants.

16. Andrew Hamer, "Liturgical Echoes in Laxdoela saga"

Noting the difficulty of assessing the historicity of Norse sagas, Hamer introduces the text under consideration by reviewing the evidence for its historical base: as its source, the Laxdoela saga cites Ari Þorgilsson, the grandson of Gellir Þorkelsson, son of the saga's heroine Guðrun. Hamer focuses on the closing words of the saga, "entirely ignored by critics," that describe the death of Ari's father by drowning; with this historical fact, Hamer argues, the author reminds his audience of a major theme in his work: that of shipwreck leading either to drowning or survival (378).

Wrecks do play a significant role in the saga: Hamer lists seventeen characters apart from Ari's father who perish by drowning, noting that in each case witchcraft plays a role. Hamer also recounts the stories of two other characters: Unnr, a widow who survives a shipwreck and rebuilds her family that has been decimated by war, and Þorkell Eyjlfósson, Guðrun's fourth husband who drowns while transporting timber to build a church to rival the king's. Hamer insightfully analyzes the saga's final portrait of Þorkell standing with his men outside his old church after his death. On the one hand, the image may ironically question how Þorkell could have thought of building a larger building when, swelled with pride, he could not fit in the existing one. The fact that Þorkell dies on Maundy Thursday, moreover, may contain intertextual echoes of the liturgy for that day. Hamer explains that Maundy Thursday was the only day in the ecclesiastical calendar when penitents might receive absolution of both venial and mortal sins, in a ceremony called the Reconciliation of Penitents. In this ceremony, the bishop progresses to the doors of the church to meet those waiting absolution in the churchyard--the atrium or kirkjugarðr, in which Guðrun is standing when she sees her husband's ghost waiting without. Educated Icelanders, Hamer says, would have understood the picture of Þorkell outside the church walls as symbolic of his everlasting state, having perished in sin without possibility of reconciliation. Given Guðrun's knowledge of the Psalter, moreover, Hamer argues that she "could not have failed to see" the connection offered by the Psalm appointed for the first Nocturn of the day: "Saluum me fac Deus quoniam intrauerunt aquae usque ad animam meam" ("Save me, O God, for the waters have come in even to my soul" [LXVIII.2]). While the text may not give specific evidence of such multilayered understanding, Guðrun does appear to take the general lesson offered by her husband's fate to heart, recognizing her own need for forgiveness and persisting to her death in penitential grief.

Hamer makes a number of elegant connections in his study. On the one hand, he associates Laxdoela saga's shipwreck theme with Þorkell's spiritual ruin through the patristic image of Noah's Ark, a type of the Church outside of which none can be saved. Similarly, considering the plight of those like Guðrun in danger of spiritual drowning, for whom penance is the needed means of rescue, Hamer recalls the all-too-apt intercessory prayer from the Reconciliation of Penitents: "'Look down upon this thy servant who has been overwhelmed by the hostile tempest of this world'" (386). Finally, Hamer points out the satisfying parallel with which the saga ends: having begun with the tale of Unnr, who builds a ship to journey to a land where she might enjoy safety forever, Laxdoela concludes with the story of Guðrun, who ends her spiritual voyage safe in the ship of the Church.

17. Alice Sheppard, "Noble Counsel, No Counsel: Advising Ethelred the Unready"

Sheppard's study reevaluates the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle's judgment, so influential for the conventional understanding of Æthelræd II's reign, that the Viking triumphs over the English came about "þurh unrædes" ( "because of poor policy"). Drawing on the C-version of the Chronicle, Sheppard examines the textual context of the remark: the Æthelræd annals, composed as a unified narrative by a single chronicler at the end of Æthelræd's reign or the beginning of Cnut's (393). Sheppard argues that, taken as a whole, the annals condemn Æthelræd not for "poor policy" or "lack of counsel," but for his poor relationships with members of his nobility that resulted in disunity. The chronicler judges Æthelræd, in other words, according to a Germanic heroic model in which the strength of a nation corresponds with the strength of the bond between lord and retainer. Intriguingly, however, Sheppard asserts not that the chronicler actually thought that Æthelræd could have saved his reign by "adopting the heroic ethos," but that he sought, by emphasizing a value shared alike by Anglo-Saxons and Danes, to foster unity between the two groups (394).

From her survey both of Æthelræd's deeds which the chronicler records and examples of foreign or domestic policy which he omits--Æthelræd's treaty with Richard of Normandy, his marriage to Richard's sister, his appointment of new ealdormen to tighten his control at home, and so forth--Sheppard suggests that the chronicler presents a picture of political incompetence, Æthelræd's character rather than lack of counsel being at issue. The chronicler also presents examples underscoring the importance of personal military leadership, examples which parallel Æthelræd's supposed shortcomings or against which he is judged. In the entry for 1003, for example, ealdorman Ælfric "betrays" his army by feigning illness; his men in turn lose heart and are defeated. In 1004, Ulfcytel honors his obligations to fight the Vikings despite being short-handed, and is praised despite losing the battle. Æthelræd, by contrast, "neither practices nor inspires such faithfulness" (416): unlike his relations Edward the Elder and the Emperor Otto, whom the chronicler credits with conquering either the Danes or the Saracens (another pagan sea-menace), the chronicler suggests that Æthelræd's inaction betrays "his people, his lineage, and his office" (403). The result is division between lord and vassal: in 1011, Æthelræd's nobles betray him; in 1006 and 1009, "he is unable to demonstrate the qualities of lordship that would lead his troops to victory" (416), and in 1014 even the terms of reconciliation recalling Æthelræd from exile recall the grievances held by each against the other side.

Sheppard astutely contrasts the chronicler's censure of Æthelræd's inaction with the "theoretical world" of Ælfric's and Wulfstan's writings, in which the nation's welfare depends on the ruler's wisdom rather than military skill, on military ventures being left to the warriors while the king and his councilors focus on civil and ecclesiastical matters (405). Sheppard thus highlights an existing tension between "a theory of kingship in which the king is supposed to stay away from the battlefield and an ideal of personal lordship in which fighting helps the king maintain his relationships" (407).

Examining a shift in Wulfstan's work under Cnut, moreover, from early, anxious concerns for national unity to a later, level-headed focus on practical details of governance, Sheppard suggests that Cnut may have been able to forge bonds of loyalty with his Anglo-Saxon retainers in ways which the chronicler maintains that Æthelræd could not. If so, Cnut may have justified the chronicler's implicit assertion that Danes' and Anglo-Saxons' "shared understanding of the importance of a personal relationship between lord and man [could] form the basis of [. . .] a united Anglo-Scandinavian kingdom" (422).

18. Alf Siewers, "Gildas and Glastonbury: Revisiting the Origins of Glastonbury Abbey"

In addressing the possibility of the early, Celtic origin of Glastonbury, Siewers takes a less-than-traditional approach, flying in the face of a scholarly consensus that dismisses medieval evidence for such a origin as a "monstrous edifice of fiction" and a "rank forgery." Reinterpreting this evidence as "marginalized and de-privileged," Siewers attempts to rehabilitate claims for early Celtic habitation by "a new postmodern spin on the evidence"--evidence which he judges not so much by its historicity as by what it reveals about "mythic history" (423).

Siewers reviews the archeological evidence for early British Christianity, noting that scholars have come to view the faith as more widespread than previously assumed: rather than simply a religion of the urban upper class, Christianity seems to have been prevalent in both urban and rural sites, with a strong following among the poor. As a complement to this view, Siewers sees literary evidence for early British Christianity in Gildas' account (ca. 500) of the introduction of the faith to Britain by 37 A.D., which Siewers compares to Tertullian's assertion (ca. 200) that Christianity had spread in Britain to places "inaccessible to the Romans" (430). As for Glastonbury proper, Siewers notes that scholarly conclusions regarding archeology have similarly changed: early medieval remains atop the Tor, once deemed secular, are now thought to indicate an eremitical Christian community, while excavations at the base of the Tor have unearthed a Roman-era well which Siewers argues "could have been a focus of pre-Christian religious devotion" given the Celtic tradition of sacred wells (427).

Building on suggestions by recent scholarship that there was a "significant continuity" of sacred sites from pagan to Christian times, moreover, with churches being established in traditional places of veneration (425), Siewers argues that the Glastonbury tradition may be viewed in terms of this cyclical process. On the one hand, Siewers points to an account in the anonymous Life of Dunstan (ca. 1000), claiming that the old church at Glastonbury was fashioned in heaven and "rediscovered" by the earliest Christians; on the other hand, he notes William of Malmesbury's twelfth-century suggestion that the church was founded by Celtic Christians in the second century and rededicated later after a period of disuse. Taken as a whole, Siewers suggests, such evidence may indicate a "historically plausible" possibility of early Celtic habitation. In Glastonbury's association with the mythic paradigm of the "lost sacred object/site refound," moreover, Siewers sees a symbolic representation of cycles of religious change important to scholars in its own right.

To the extent that Siewers' argument considers patterns in literature associated with early Britain and with Glastonbury, it is made the more difficult by the scant number and unrelated nature of these literary references. To the extent that it seeks (even by implication) to proffer such references as evidence for actual early Celtic habitation of the site, his argument is likely to sit uneasily with scholars accustomed to more historically-verifiable forms of data.

Overall, the collection reflects well the range of Jimmy Cross' intellectual interests, with a number of contributors highlighting connections between their studies and Cross' work. Whatley prefaces his analysis of Ælfric's handling of received material by noting Cross' contributions to sophisticated of Ælfrician source studies. McNamara, surveying Irish Homilies, emphasizes Cross' insight into the relationship of Anglo-Saxon to Latin and Hiberno-Latin texts. Hamer, considering the Laxdoela saga, recalls that Cross' first academic work was in Norse. Other entries deal with manuscripts of particular interest to Cross: Szarmach and Rittmueller both consider aspects of Pembroke 25, for example, to which Cross devoted his 1987 monograph. Finally, there are the more subtle tributes of Biggs and Orchard, the one addressing texts on the Invention and Exaltation of the Cross, and the other tipping his hat to the honoree through subtitular paranomasia ("The Value of Cross-References").

Even more importantly, however, the volume fulfils in large part the goal put forth by its editor: to honor by emulation Cross' often-simultaneous pursuit of textual sources and the transmission of literary ideas (xiv-xv). While not all the studies show clearly the larger ramifications of their research, repeatedly in the collection one finds close textual analysis leading to the consideration of larger ideas: Orchard's identification of homiletic ends in poetic repetition, Bankert's connection between a hagiographic link and an author's awareness of "social reality," Sheppard's redefinition of a chronicler's purpose by considering the context of unræd, and so on. To the extent that the volume draws new attention to the relationship of texts and ideas, therefore, it follows well the Way of the Cross.