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Material Moments in Book Cultures

Essays in Honour of Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser

Edited By Simon Rosenberg and Sandra Simon

This Festschrift honours the dedicated book historian and medievalist Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser. Her wide-ranging scholarly expertise has encouraged and influenced many adepts of the book. The essays in this volume reflect the variety of her interests: The contributions range from Chaucer’s Fürstenspiegel to the value of books in comedy, from the material book to the magical book in religious and literary cultures, from collaborative efforts in manuscript production to the relations of distributors of books across national and ideological boundaries, from the relations between the makers of books to the relation of readers to their books. Covering a period from the Middle Ages to the present, the volume concludes with a look at the future of book history as a field of study.
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A Tale of Two Odos: The Development of a Lollard Authority

Extract

Anne Hudson, University of Oxford

Abstract

An analysis of Wycliffite writings ascribed to ‘Odo’ reveals two possible authors: the well-known Odo of Cheriton, author of sermons quoted in several Latin and English texts, and the lesser known Odo of Chateauroux, whose commentary on the Psalter only survives in one manuscript in England.

De Odonibus. Odones multos in Britannia nostra floruisse, omnesque uiros clarae eruditionis fuisse ex antiquorum autorum lectione probe didici Ego tamen, ne magnum scriptorum numerum adfectare uidear, ex multis paucos … pro meo instituto ab iniuria obliuionis uindicabo [The Odos. Many men having the name Odo have flourished in our land of Britain, and I have learnt well from my reading of ancient authorities that they were all men of brilliant scholarship. In order not to seem to aim at a vast number of writers, however, I shall defend for my purposes only a few of the many from the damage of oblivion].1

Wyclif’s followers in England were in no doubt about the proper order of authorities. The primacy of the Bible, especially of the gospels and epistles, was absolute and unchallenged; after this the early fathers, Augustine, Jerome, Gregory, Ambrose are cited (roughly in that order of frequency) who were the best witnesses to the understanding and practice of the early church; slightly later writers such as Bede, Rabanus Maurus, Remigius were respected, but often declaredly as reiterating or transmitting the teaching of the four fathers.2 The commentary on...

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