IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 1501: Relationships in Old English Literature

Thursday 4 July 2013, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Jonathan Wilcox, Department of English, University of Iowa
Paper 1501-aTeaching as Spiritual Parenting in Ælfric's Life of Chrysanthus and Daria
(Language: English)
Alison Gulley, Department of English, Appalachian State University, North Carolina
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Old English, Women's Studies
Paper 1501-bThe Pleasure of Friendship in Medieval English Literature
(Language: English)
Zsuzsanna Simonkay, Department of English Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - Greek, Language and Literature - Latin

Paper -a:
The Passio of the virgin spouses Chrysanthus and Daria in Ælfric’s late 10th century Lives of Saints illustrates one solution to the potential problem of celibate marriage, that is, that it contravened the procreative purpose of marriage asserted by biblical and patristic authority. One response was to consider any converts wrought by the work of virginal Christians as an acceptable stand in for actual children. In this case the two spouses, by converting through their teaching, illustrate that bringing others to the faith through teaching and learning can be a procreative activity, as Ælfric states elsewhere.

Paper -b:
‘What can be joyful to me without you, in whom was all our joy always?’ asks Ambrose in grieving the death of his brother, Satyrus, who was his best friend at the same time. The archbishop of Milan was but one of the many who thought that one of the greatest pleasure in life lies in friends, and this idea can also be detected in Old and Middle English literature. This paper explores the classical sources of such ideas (Latin and Ancient Greek literature, Christian fathers) and illustrates how they were presented in medieval English literature.