Ritual and the Rood: Liturgical Images and the Old English Poems of the Dream of the Rood Tradition
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, Éamonn Ó Carragáin 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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List of Abbreviations
the Cross as antihero at the Passion an original narrative
iii Aims and method of the book
Duncan Kemble Haigh
iii Is the upper stone an afterthought?
v Original or secondary? The Ruthwell vinescrolls and their tituli
vi Roman or Celtic? The Ruthwell audience and their spirituality
the Cross presents the body of Christ to his followers
liturgical inculturation at Rome and at Ruthwell
the function of the Ruthwell vinescrolls and their runic tituli
the Crucifixion narrative
the processional cross at Brussels as
The abridgement of Christs story from John the Archcantor
John Donne and the Annunciation