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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 301: Esoteric Knowledge in Anglo-Saxon England, III: Adaptation and Transmission

Monday 1 July 2019, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Caroline R. Batten, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Britton Elliott Brooks, Faculty of English, University of Oxford
Paper 301-aA Long Time Ago in a Locality Far Far Away: Depicting Distant Geographies in Ælfric's 'Life of St Thomas’
(Language: English)
Luisa Ostacchini, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Hagiography, Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Latin
Paper 301-bFinding Knowledge in Darkness
(Language: English)
Helen Appleton, Balliol College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Lay Piety, Sermons and Preaching

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 third session examines the ways in which Old English texts adapt knowledge from classical and continental sources.