An Illustration to Ælfric’s De temporibus anni in Ælfwine’s Prayerbook

  • 1 University of, Palermo, Italy
Loredana Teresi

Abstract

The present essay discusses a diagram found in London, British Library, Cotton Titus D.xxvii+xxvi, the so-called Ælfwine’s Prayerbook. The diagram, which appears on fol. 21 v (see Figure 1), has been interpreted by most scholars as an incomplete tidal rota or an incomplete wind rota (as it contains only 4 out of the canonical 12 winds). A detailed, comparative analysis of the features of the diagram, however, proves that the hypothesis of the tidal rota must be discarded in favour of that of the wind diagram. Moreover, an analysis of the manuscript contents and of the way in which the manuscript was written reveals a close connection between the diagram and Ælfric’s De temporibus anni, showing that the diagram is complete in its present form, and was inspired by the Ælfrician text. My study shows that the rota constitutes an illustration to the discussion of the winds appearing in the De temporibus anni and, at the same time, a representation of the Cross and of the close connection between God and the natural world, perfectly integrated within Ælfwine’s interests and architectural plans, as well as within the “visual-exegetical method” (Kühnel 2003) of the period.

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A renowned journal of English philology, Anglia was founded in 1878 by Moritz Trautmann and Richard P. Wülker. It is thus the oldest journal of English Studies in existence. Anglia publishes essays on the English language and linguistic history, on English literature of the Middle Ages and the modern period, on American literature, on new literatures in English, as well as on general and comparative literary studies.

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