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Latin, Old English and documentary practice at Worcester from Wærferth to Oswald

Gallagher, Robert, Tinti, Francesca (2017) Latin, Old English and documentary practice at Worcester from Wærferth to Oswald. Anglo-Saxon England, 46 . pp. 271-325. ISSN 0263-6751. (doi:10.1017/S0263675118000091) (KAR id:72334)


This article analyses the uses of Latin and Old English in the charters of Worcester cathedral, which represents one of the largest and most linguistically interesting of the surviving Anglo-Saxon archives. Specifically focused on the period encompassing the episcopates of Wærferth and Oswald (c. 870 to 992), this survey examines a time of intense administrative activity at Worcester, contemporaneous with significant transformations in the political and cultural life of Anglo-Saxon England more generally. In doing so, this article argues that when writing in either Latin or the vernacular, charter draftsmen responded to a number of variables; language choice did not simply reflect varying levels of literacy. Furthermore, the frequent cases of code-switching found in tenth-century Worcester documents mark this community out as exceptional, suggesting that attitudes towards the interaction between the two languages could vary considerably between institutions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0263675118000091
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: James Farley
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 14:34 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 02:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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