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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Damian Fleming


Department of English and Linguistics


My poster seeks to explore the function of the Old English Hexateuch (Cotton Claudius BIV) within the context of Anglo-Saxon culture and what can be learned about this culture through their own understanding and interpretation of the Hexateuch. The focus of my research is on both the formation and the reception of this manuscript, particularly regarding the illustrations that comprise the text (394 in all). The inclusion of these highly contextualized illustrations suggests that this manuscript was intended for the laity that likely would not have had the ability to read. Consequently, the paintings are not perfect representations of the text; rather, they are portrayals of Old Testament stories within Anglo-Saxon culture, in order to enable all interacting with the manuscript to gain a better understanding of the passages being dealt with. Though many of the pictures are incomplete (or missing entirely) they reveal a great deal about the values of Anglo-Saxon culture, especially regarding the ascetic qualities of nature and architecture. My poster seeks to highlight some of these aesthetic values in order to expose greater concerns within the culture. Additionally, in order to gain a sense of how exactly the people would have interacted with the manuscript, my research briefly explores the history of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Augustine—the origin of the manuscript and the epicenter of cultural creation within Anglo-Saxon culture.



Contextualized Histories in the Old English Hexateuch

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