Adam, agate and amulets: a medieval general knowledge quiz

What is the connection between Adam’s navel and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s left ear? This was the first question that was asked in the first episode of the long-running British comedy quiz QI, which has been producing one series for each letter of the alphabet since the A-series in 2003.  Of course, the whole point … More Adam, agate and amulets: a medieval general knowledge quiz

Honey and peace will abound: Anglo-Saxon predictions for 2017

Happy New Year!  If you’re wondering what is to come in 2017, early medieval monks had the answers.  A number of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts include prognostics of various kinds – texts for predicting the future. One such manuscript is London, British Library Cotton MS Tiberius A. iii.  As mentioned in some earlier posts, I’ve worked with … More Honey and peace will abound: Anglo-Saxon predictions for 2017

Naming names in Ælfwine’s Prayerbook

It’s strange how you think you know a manuscript well and then realise that there are things in it that you didn’t even know were there.  Take London, British Library Cotton MS Titus D. xxvii + xxvi (originally one manuscript, later divided into two), a compendium of liturgical prayers, private prayers, and scientific information.  It’s … More Naming names in Ælfwine’s Prayerbook

New article published: ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’

My latest article is now available online in a special issue of English Studies! ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’ English Studies, 98:1 (2017): 35-48 This article examines the use of the Psalms in sixteen short prayer programmes, found in tenth- and eleventh-century English … More New article published: ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’

Telling God what he already knows: how to pray like an 11th-century monk

One of the great pleasures of my research is coming across little texts which open our eyes to the daily lives and inner experience of Anglo-Saxon men and women. My work mostly focuses on short rites for protection, healing and general life improvement – prayers, medical remedies, rituals to perform if you have lost your … More Telling God what he already knows: how to pray like an 11th-century monk