An Illustration to Ælfric’s De temporibus anni in Ælfwine’s Prayerbook

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Abstract

The essay discusses a diagram found in London, British Library,Cotton Titus D.xxvii+xxvi, the so-called Ælfwine’s Prayerbook. The diagram,which appears on fol. 21 v, has been interpreted by mostscholars as an incomplete tidal rota or an incomplete wind rota (as it containsonly 4 out of the canonical 12 winds). A detailed, comparative analysis of thefeatures of the diagram, however, proves that the hypothesis of the tidal rotamust be discarded in favour of that of the wind diagram. Moreover, an analysisof the manuscript contents and of the way in which the manuscript was writtenreveals a close connection between the diagram and Ælfric’s De temporibus anni,showing that the diagram is complete in its present form, and was inspired by theÆlfrician text. My study shows that the rota constitutes an illustration to the discussionof the winds appearing in the De temporibus anni and, at the same time, arepresentation of the Cross and of the close connection between God and thenatural world, perfectly integrated within Ælfwine’s interests and architecturalplans, as well as within the “visual-exegetical method” of the period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-258
Number of pages25
JournalAnglia
Volume138
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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