Anonymous: Old English Martyrology

(604 words)
  • Hugh Magennis (Queen's University Belfast)

The Old English Martyrology is a collection of brief accounts of the lives of saints, arranged chronologically according to the temporale (calendar of non-moveable feastdays, beginning on 25 December), and also including entries for some feasts other than saints' days (e.g. the Epiphany, the Seven Days of the Creation, Christ's Descent into Hell, and the Ascension). The notices range in length from names only, or a couple of short sentences, to about 400 words. Although the Old English Martyrology survives only in a number of fragmentary witnesses (there is no complete manuscript), the vast majority of the collection has come down to us. The extant text consists of 238 entries, with one significant gap, covering the …

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Magennis, Hugh. "Old English Martyrology". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2003
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]