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King Alfred’s Old English Translation of Pope Gregory the Great’s «Regula pastoralis» and its Cultural Context

A Study and Partial Edition According to All Surviving Manuscripts Based on Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 12


Carolin Schreiber

King Alfred the Great (871–99) translated Pope Gregory the Great’s Regula pastoralis as part of his programme for the revival of learning in Viking-age England. Three of the surviving six pre-Conquest manuscripts are edited for the first time in substantial parts in this volume; the edition is accompanied by a comprehensive commentary. The introduction presents a survey of the reception and transmission of the Latin and Old English texts and examines the relationship of the Old English manuscripts. Special attention is paid to the linguistic status of Early West Saxon, which is discussed in the light of its historical and political context. A tenth-century revision of the Early West Saxon text in two of the surviving manuscripts is examined in the final chapter.
Contents: Origin and Contents of Gregory the Great’s Regula pastoralis – The Reception of Gregory’s Regula pastoralis in Early Medieval Europe – The Cultural Context of the Old English Translation – The Latin Text Underlying King Alfred’s Translation – The Method of Translation – The Manuscripts of the Old English Pastoral Care – The Language of King Alfred’s Translation – The Later Manuscripts of the Pastoral Care.