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By Virginia Blanton

Symptoms of Devotion is the 1st longitudinal examine of an Anglo-Saxon cult from its inception within the past due 7th century during the Reformation. It examines the construction and reception of texts--both written and visual--that supported the cult of Æthelthryth, an East Anglian princess who had resisted the conjugal calls for of 2 political marriages to keep up her virginity. Æthelthryth forfeited her place as Queen of Northumbria to turn into a nun and based a monastery at Ely, the place she governed as abbess earlier than demise in 679 of a neck tumor, which was once interpreted as divine retribution for her younger self-importance in donning necklaces. The cult was once initiated whilst, 16 years after her loss of life, Æthelthryth's corpse used to be exhumed, the physique came across incorrupt, and the tumor proven to were healed posthumously. symptoms of Devotion unearths how Æthelthryth, who turned the most well-liked local woman saint, offers a crucial element of research one of the cultic practices of numerous disparate teams over time-religious and lay, aristocratic and customary, female and male, literate and nonliterate. This examine illustrates that the physique of Æthelthryth grew to become a malleable, versatile snapshot which may be comfortably followed. Hagiographical narratives, monastic charters, liturgical texts, miracle tales, property litigation, shrine bills, and visible representations jointly testify that the tale of Æthelthryth was once an important a part of the cultural panorama in early and past due medieval England. extra vital, those representations exhibit the actual devotional practices of these invested in Æthelthryth's cult. via centering the dialogue on problems with textual construction and reception, Blanton presents a different research of English hagiography, cultural trust, and devotional perform. indicators of Devotion provides, additionally, to the present dialog on virginity and hagiography by way of encouraging students to bridge the divide among experiences of Anglo-Saxon and past due medieval England and difficult them to undertake methodological techniques that may foster additional multidisciplinary paintings within the box of hagiographical scholarship.

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Additional info for Signs of Devotion: The Cult of St. AEthelthryth in Medieval England, 695-1615

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D. H. Farmer, “Saint Wilfrid,” in Saint Wilfrid at Hexham, ed. Kirby, 35 –59 at 44 –48. 43. Hexham was a property within Bernicia, whereas all the land given to the bishop by Ecgfrith lay in Deira. As Michael Roper indicates, the gift of Hexham allowed Wilfrid to extend his influence throughout the Northumbrian kingdom. See “Wilfrid’s Landholdings in Northumbria,” in Saint Wilfrid at Hexham, ed. Kirby, 61–79 at 72 –73. In all likelihood, the land was originally a gift from Ecgfrith, perhaps a morgengifu, offered to Æthelthryth at their marriage.

Deborah, wife of Lapidoth and judge of Israel, prophesies Barak’s victory, and when Barak insists he will not make war without her, Deborah accompanies him. She says it is not for Barak’s honor that he will win but because God will deliver Sisera into a woman’s hands. Stephen’s allusion indicates a joint rule between Ecgfrith and Æthelthryth and suggests she went to war with Ecgfrith against Wulfhere and played some role in defeating him. 34. Stephen of Ripon, Life of Bishop Wilfrid, x. 35. Stephen of Ripon, Life of Bishop Wilfrid, 44 –47.

Rutgers University Press, 1990), 137–44. 13. R. H. C. Davis notes that the presence of roughly 160 known manuscripts denotes the relative popularity of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History. In “Bede After Bede,” Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, ed. Christopher Harper-Bill et al. : Boydell Press, 1989), 103 –16 at 104 –5. One immediate recipient, Bede claims, was King Ceolwulf, who had read the history and wanted it disseminated, 2 –3. 14. Bede, EH, 2 –3. 15. Bede, EH, 6 –7. See also Thomas W.

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