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Writing miracles in tenth-century Winchester

Hazlehurst, Cory Stephen (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis examines a number of miracle collections and hagiographies written by Winchester monks in the late tenth century. It compares three different accounts of the cult of Swithun by Lantfred, Wulfstan and Ӕlfric, as well as comparing Wulfstan‟s and Ӕlfric‟s Vita Ӕthelwoldi. There were two main objectives to the thesis. The first was to examine whether an analysis of miracle narratives could tell us anything important about how a monastic community perceived itself, especially in relation to the wider world? This was tested by applying approaches used by Thomas Head and Raymond Van Dam to an Anglo- Saxon context. It does seem that miracle narratives can be used to analyse power relations, for instance, and that cults could be used to reconcile secular clerks with the new monastic community. The second aim was to examine why churchmen wrote about saints‟ cults in the way they did. One noteworthy finding was the fact that Ӕlfric seemed to significantly alter or omit instances of dream visions involving women in his hagiography. The thesis also tests a conclusion of Mechthild Gretsch that Ӕlfric generally omitted instances of posthumous miracles in his hagiographies, and found that the evidence supported her findings.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Yarrow, Simon
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Medieval History
Subjects:D111 Medieval History
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1645
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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