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The Origins of BeowulfFrom Vergil to Wiglaf$
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Richard North

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206612.001.0001

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Beowulf and the Library at Breedon on the Hill

Beowulf and the Library at Breedon on the Hill

(p.157) 6 Beowulf and the Library at Breedon on the Hill
The Origins of Beowulf

Richard North (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter matches Beowulf's erudition with what is known, or may be deduced, about Breedon's monastic library. The history of Breedon is first given, from its founding in the late seventh century to its disappearance in the Viking Age and later reincarnation as a 10h-century church. Then, in a series of mongraphs on texts and their transmission in conjunction with the famous vinescroll and other carvings of Breedon, some nine presumed sources of Beowulf are found associated with the early 9th-century library of the same minster. Corbie, registered as an influence on Breedon through the latter's sculpture, is presented as the source of Breedon's books as well. In addition to Cassian's Conlationes, the Homiliary of St-Père, Vergil's Aeneid, the Liber monstrorum and Epistola Alexandri (presented in Chapter 3), these are argued to be Felix's Vita Guthlaci, the Liber historiae Francorum, Boethius' De consolatione Philosophiae, and St Augustine's Contra academicos.

Keywords:   Aeneid, Augustine, Boethius, Breedon, Cassian, Corbie, Epistola Alexandri, Liber historiae Francorum, Liber monstrorum

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