22 July 2020

BOOK: Andrew RABIN (transl.), Old English Legal Writings - Wolfstan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2020). ISBN 9780674247482, EUR 31.50

(Source: HUP)

Harvard University Press is publishing a new translation of the work of Archbishop Wulfstan of York (d. 1023).


Archbishop Wulfstan of York (d. 1023) was a powerful clergyman and the most influential political thinker of pre-Conquest England. An advocate for the rights and privileges of the Church, he authored the laws of King Aethelred and King Cnut in prose that combined the rhetorical flourishes of a master homilist with the language of law. Some works forged a distinctive style by adding rhythm and alliteration drawn from Old English poetry. In the midst of Viking invasions and cultural upheaval, Wulfstan articulated a complementary relationship between secular and ecclesiastical law that shaped the political world of eleventh-century England. He also pushed the clergy to return to the ideals of their profession.

Old English Legal Writings is the first publication to bring together Wulfstan’s works on law, church governance, and political reform. When read together, they reveal the scope and originality of his thought as it lays out the mutual obligations of the church, the state, and the common people. This volume presents new editions of the Old English texts alongside new English translations.


Andrew Rabin is a professor of English at the University of Louisville.


Wulfstan’s Life and Career
Political Tracts
Tracts on Ecclesiastical Governance
Royal Legislation
Appendix 1. Questionable Attributions
Appendix 2. Revisions and Reworkings
Editing Wulfstan
Political Tracts
The Laws of Edward and Guthrum
The Compilation on Status
On Sanctuary
Northumbrian Church Sanctuary
The Oath of the King
The Institutes of Polity (1)
The Institutes of Polity (2)
Tracts on Ecclesiastical Governance
On Episcopal Duties
On the Remedy of Souls
Instructions for Bishops
An Admonition to Bishops
The Canons of Edgar
Royal Legislation
5 Æthelred
6 Æthelred
7 Æthelred
7a Æthelred
8 Æthelred
9 Æthelred
10 Æthelred
Cnut’s Oxford Legislation of 1018
Cnut’s Proclamation of 1020
1 Cnut
2 Cnut
Appendix 1. Questionable Attributions
The Northumbrian Priests’ Law
The Obligations of Individuals and On Reeves
Appendix 2. Revisions and Reworkings
1 Æthelstan
1 Edmund
2 Edgar and 3 Edgar
Note on the Texts
Notes to the Texts
Notes to the Translations

More info here

No comments: