1.7 Conversion

AS ConversionAt the start of the 7th century England was a basically pagan country; by the end of it it was officially at least Christian. While no doubt many pagans still held on, Whitred of Kent’s laws began to embed Christianity into the fabric of English kingdoms.

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5 thoughts on “1.7 Conversion

  1. St Benedict died in 547 rather than in 647. The reason his Rule triumphed over the Celtic ones is its remarkable moderation, or in his own words: “Constituenda est ergo nobis dominici schola servitii. In qua institutione nihil asper, nihil grave nos constituros speramus” (Regula, prol. 45-6), which can be crudely rendered in the vernacular as something along the lines of: “A school of the divine service, therefore, is to be founded by us. we hope to be establishing nothing harsh, nothing unbearable in that institution”.
    Meanwhile, the Rules of St columba and his Celtic mates are both asper and gravis, laying down blood curdling penalties for any hint of impiety, or indeed, disobedience. In Francia especially, monastic houses which adhered to the Celtic Rules were quick to adopt the Benedictine one, or find themselves losing monks to the neighbouring Benedictine house.
    Well, that’s what you get for using a wrong date 😉
    If you need any help translating Latin for this or your other podcast (which I swear to God, I’m going to catch up with some day), feel free to contact me.

  2. Hi Yair, well after that I’ll have to get dates wrong more often! Very interesting. I have to confess (it probably shows) I could never get into the religious stuff when at university…I often find the concepts difficult to grasp. But this was nice and clear!
    Though it means I’ll have to grovel in EP 10…

  3. Yair, I wonder if you could post some sources, primary and/or secondary, secular or ecclesiastical for your post? Are there competing explanations among scholars on the point.? Thanks!

  4. Hi David, No hurry at all but a question out of sheer curiosity. In this or the previous episode you mention women placing feverish daughters on rooftops to cure them. Do you have a source for this practice?
    I have tried to google but nothing comes up.

    1. Myrte, enquiries like this fill me with despair; it’s all so long ago, I just can’t remember; nor did I keep references at the time (I try to now to some degree) so even going back to the script doesn’t help. This is a hopeless effort, but the books I read were Henrietta Leyser’s Medival Women, Christine Klapisch Zuber ‘A history of Women’, and a bit of Eileen Power Medieval women. But the reference is no for sure. I have had read stuff on medicince also. Sorry!

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