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A Companion to the Early Middle Ages: Britain and Ireland, by Pauline Stafford

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By Pauline Stafford

Drawing on 28 unique essays, A significant other to the Early center Ages takes an inclusive method of the background of england and eire from c.500 to c.1100 to beat man made differences of contemporary nationwide barriers.

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Most remarkable are differences in quantity. England and Ireland are marked by the relative wealth of surviving evidence, Wales and Scotland by its paucity. Modern boundaries are misleading here. In fact, the contrast is between England south of the Trent/Humber and southern, especially south-eastern, Ireland, on the one hand, and northern England, Wales, and Scotland and Ireland’s northern half, on the other. Further enquiry reveals even more regional diversity. In southern England, for example, the Fenlands and western East Anglia are an island of more detailed documentation in the later tenth and eleventh centuries.

12 We need to be alert to the laity as audience, even probably for the ornate “hermeneutic” Latin that characterizes some early insular texts (see chapter 12). 13 A layman translating a vernacular text into Latin is a warning against any simple alignment of vernacular/Latin with lay/cleric. Nonetheless, the clerical dominance of the initial production as well as the preservation of our texts is a third generalization that holds good throughout the period. It is thus not surprising that clerical concerns are evident in the overall pattern of texts, and in the content of libraries and manuscripts, whether lost or surviving.

Brown, J. Campbell, and S. C. ), Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 2, British Archaeological Reports, British series, 92 (Oxford, 1981), pp. 237–42; reprinted in K. Leyser, Communications and Power in Medieval Europe: The Carolingian and Ottonian Centuries, ed. T. Reuter (London, 1994), pp. 105–10. McCone, K. , Progress in Medieval Irish Studies (Maynooth, 1996). , History and Memory in the Carolingian World (Cambridge, 2004). , Celtic Ireland (Dublin, 1921, reissued Dublin, 1981, with contribution by D.

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