Ritual and the Rood: Liturgical Images and the Old English Poems of the Dream of the Rood Tradition

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University of Toronto Press, 2005 - History - 427 pages
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Ritual and the Rood is a study of four of the most important surviving artifacts from Anglo-Saxon England: the elaborate eighth-century stone cross still standing at Ruthwell in Dumfriesshire, Scotland; the related cross-shaft at Bewcastle; the majestic and hypnotizing Dream of the Rood, a poem surviving in a late tenth-century manuscript now in Vercelli, North Italy; and the early eleventh-century metal reliquary cross now preserved in the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule in Brussels, Belgium.

In bringing together these scattered witnesses to the sustained brilliance of Anglo-Saxon artistic achievement across several centuries, amonn Carrag in has produced a study of great significance to Anglo-Saxon history. He grounds his work in liturgical practices and demonstrates that even in the far North of (then) Anglo-Saxon England, people were deeply influenced by the latest developments in liturgy taking place in Rome.

Ritual and the Rood is an important contribution to medieval studies and will prove valuable to a wide range of readers, as well as being of particular relevance to those interested in cultural contacts between Germanic and Latin traditions, between England and the Continent, and in the subtle relations that Anglo-Saxon designers established between word and image.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
ix
List of Abbreviations
xviii
the Cross as antihero at the Passion an original narrative
1
iii Aims and method of the book
7
Duncan Kemble Haigh
21
iii Is the upper stone an afterthought?
27
v Original or secondary? The Ruthwell vinescrolls and their tituli
47
vi Roman or Celtic? The Ruthwell audience and their spirituality
54
the Cross presents the body of Christ to his followers
180
liturgical inculturation at Rome and at Ruthwell
223
the function of the Ruthwell vinescrolls and their runic tituli
280
the Crucifixion narrative
308
the processional cross at Brussels as
339
The abridgement of Christs story from John the Archcantor
355
John Donne and the Annunciation
362
Bibliography
372

Fortitudo Dei and the triumph of the sun at the Annunciation of the Lord
79
the pregnant Church the desert and Jerusalem
120

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About the author (2005)

Eamonn O Carragain is Professor of Old and Middle English at University College Cork.

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