Title

Sundorhalgan, Winchester, and Ælfric

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2015

Publication Source

Review of English Studies

Volume

66

Issue

277

Inclusive pages

822-842

DOI

10.1093/res/hgv093

Publisher

Oxford University Press

ISBN/ISSN

00346551

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

This article contextualizes the Old English term sundorhalgan, 'Pharisees', in the lexical process of loan rendition, the proclivities of the school at Winchester, and their particular use of Isidore's Etymologies. After plotting all the various ways by which Old English authors translate the Latin pharisaei, I demonstrate the limited circle of texts which use the term sundorhalgan rather than adopting the Latin as a loanword. These sundorhalgan-texts - all from the end of the Old English period - are dominated by the anonymous West Saxon Gospels and the homilies of Ælfric. Based on a close reading of Ælfric's pointed use and suppression of this term in his homilies, combined with its Isidorian basis, I argue that Ælfric, or more broadly the school of Winchester, is the likeliest origin for the popularisation this term.

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

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