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From Caesarea to Eynsham: A Consideration of the Proposed Route(s) of the Admonition to a Spiritual Son to Anglo-Saxon England

From Caesarea to Eynsham: A Consideration of the Proposed Route(s) of the Admonition to a Spiritual Son to Anglo-Saxon England

Locherbie-Cameron, M.A.

The Heroic Age Issue 3 Summer 2000

Abstract

Though Ælfric’s Admonition to a Spiritual Son is not amongst his best-known works (H. W. Noeman’s 1848 edition is currently the only published text) the existence of the Old English translation testifies to the currency in the medieval period of its Latin original. Ælfric and others attributed its authorship to St Basil, and this attribution probably accounts for the survival and transmission of its contents. I suggest two routes by which Ælfric may have learnt of the text, and demonstrate its currency by a handlist of the manuscripts in British libraries in which it occurs.

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