Nautical Narratives in Anglo-Latin Hagiographies, ca. 700-1100 Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Shores, Annette
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • The four studies presented here uncover the various ways in which Anglo-Latin hagiographers, from the eighth century until the early twelfth, used nautical narratives in their stories of saints. Each chapter is organized around one type of navigable space: archipelago, the North Sea, rivers, and the eastern Mediterranean. And while they all provide distinct arguments about how hagiographers describe travel by water, the four chapters are unified by the common claim that the authors of these texts—Bede, Felix, Stephen, Willibald, Alcuin, and two anonymous hagiographers in the eleventh century—were not as “sea blind” as scholars once assumed. Significant findings are made in the final chapter, about five “Nicholas poems” that were copied into Cotton Tiberius B.v.i. around the year 1100. This unique set of poems offers the earliest English evidence for St Nicholas as an explicitly nautical saint, complicating the commonly held belief that he was revered as the patron saint of sailors before the twelfth century. Scribal and textual analysis identifies the source of Poem 5 as Nicephorus’s prose Translatio Sancti Nicholai, and provides enough evidence to argue that Poem 5 is the first versification of the translatio in England. The appendices provide transcriptions of St Nicholas’s “substituted cup” miracle in Tiberius Poem 2 and its prose corollary in CCCC9 (part of the Cotton-Corpus Legendary), as well as an edition and translation of Tiberius Poem 5.
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  • In Copyright
  • Eble, Connie C.
  • O'Neill, Patrick
  • Cowdery, Taylor
  • Leinbaugh, Theodore
  • Bull, Marcus
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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