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Wulfstan, Alcuin, Bede, and Gildas: Derivation of a Late Pagan uirga furoris

  • David Carlson EMAIL logo
From the journal Anglia


Wulfstan (d. 1023) borrowed from Alcuin (c. 740–804), and Alcuin borrowed from Bede (d. 735), an explanation for the Viking attacks on England in the later Anglo-Saxon period as an expression of God’s wrath. Although all three of these English writers claimed to depend on the earlier British writer Gildas (fl. c. 540?), the notion that the Christian deity used pagan peoples to castigate sin derives from the representation of the fifth-century pagan English aduentus in Bede and was repeated with Bede’s idiosyncratic notion of a divine election of the English to hegemony in Britain.

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Published Online: 2016-6-9
Published in Print: 2016-6-1

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