British books in biblical style
Early Alfredian and after the conquest
The author defines rules for composing literary texts exhibited in the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, reproduced in the Vulgate Latin Bible, and reflected in the Classical and Late Latin prose and verse from the 1st century BC to the 6th century AD. The transmission of this style to Anglo-Saxon England is illustrated by many Anglo-Latin, Old and Middle English texts from the 7th century to the 12th. By recovering conventions of encoding dates and self-reference the author identifies the origins of texts previously anonymous, including the patron, the poet, the recipient, and the date of presentation of the oldest English epic poem, Beowulf.
David Howlett is editor of the British Academy’s Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.