Onwards I go: may I meet with friends

It’s always interesting to see which words other languages have which are missing from one’s own.  Old English, being somewhat similar to modern German, has a tendency to create compound words to a greater extent than modern English does, leading to words such as tidfara – a traveller whose time to journey has come.  So…

Sandal socks and auburn hair: a walk through the museum of memory

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the Viking exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum here in York, in collaboration with the British Museum.  It closed yesterday, but will shortly be moving on to the University of Nottingham Museum, The Atkinson, Southport, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Norwich Castle Museum over the course of the…

Viking: Rediscover the Legend, Yorkshire Museum – a review

I live within a short walk of a museum mostly dedicated to local history and archaeology.  Of course, this is in York, which has played a significant part in several crucial events in English and British history.  The Romans had a military base here; it was an important site for the Anglo-Saxon church; it was…

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…

Solidify us unto Thy charity: the medicinal and liturgical uses of cheese

On this blog, I write about some of the most important aspects of Christian spirituality in early medieval England.  The feast of Easter.  The healing of the sick.  Confession.  Expressing one’s deepest yearnings to God in prayer. And now: cheese. I’ve written before about Ælfric of Eynsham, abbot and homilist, and also the author of…

Wealthy Wynflæd’s wonderful will

A couple of months ago, I was poking through the Electronic Sawyer, an online version of the classic catalogue of Anglo-Saxon charters and wills.  I was throwing in some random search terms related to my research – prayer, cross, crucifix – hoping to find references to people leaving prayerbooks to their beneficiaries, but not coming…