IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 201: Esoteric Knowledge in Anglo-Saxon England, II: Transforming and Divining

Monday 1 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Helen Appleton, Balliol College, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Patricia O'Connor, School of English, University College Cork
Paper 201-aBetween Charms and Prognostication: Ælfwine's Prayerbook and British Library, Cotton Tiberius A. iii
(Language: English)
Marilina Cesario, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Marilina Cesario, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Marilina Cesario, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Mentalities, Science
Paper 201-bVeronica's Bloods and the Royal Prayerbook
(Language: English)
Emily Kesling, Brasenose College, University of Oxford
Emily Kesling, Brasenose College, University of Oxford
Emily Kesling, Brasenose College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Liturgy, Medicine
Paper 201-cBlood and Bone: The Enigmatic Poetics of the Metrical Charms
(Language: English)
Caroline R. Batten, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Caroline R. Batten, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Caroline R. Batten, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Medicine, Mentalities, Rhetoric
Abstract

These three linked sessions examine the creation, presentation, and communication of ‘esoteric knowledge’ in Anglo-Saxon England: forms of knowledge, or modes of conveying knowledge, that may not have been readily available to a wide audience or that were intentionally enigmatic in register or content. Each session explores performances, translations, and uses of materials that are obscure, inexplicable, or mysterious. We will also strive to address forms of knowledge in Anglo-Saxon England that are treated as esoteric or ‘unsolvable’ in modern scholarship, and investigate what literary, scientific, or religious understanding can be gained through their close examination. Our second session examines the use of enigmatic language and imagery in magical and prognostic texts.