IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 301: Divination and Religion in Anglo-Saxon England

Monday 9 July 2007, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:MANCASS (Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies), University of Manchester
Organiser:Maria Cesario, School of Arts, Languages & Cultures, University of Manchester
Moderator/Chair:Maria Cesario, School of Arts, Languages & Cultures, University of Manchester
Paper 301-aReading Anglo-Saxon Charms in their Manuscript Context
(Language: English)
Emily Baynham, Department of English, University of Sydney
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 301-bIncubatio in Old English Literature
(Language: English)
Rosa Maria Fera, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English
Paper 301-cOftost on Tiwes niht: The Medical and Prognostic Contexts of the Old English Formation of the Foetus
(Language: English)
Conan Turlough Doyle, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English
Abstract

This session discusses Old English Charms and Prognostics. Works of kind, which are part of a well-established monastic tradition in Anglo-Saxon England, have been erroneously and superficially associated with magic and heathen worship, and classified as ‘folklore’, ‘popular superstition’, ‘monastic superstitions’, or ‘secular works’, without reference to the cultural context of the manuscripts which contain them. What needs to be recognised is that prognostics and charms appear alongside Psalms, homilies, Regularis Concordia, penitential prayers and scientific works such as Ælfric’sDe temporibus anni . The session speakers will address this conjunction, focusing also on contemporary connections between divination and religion.