Aelfric: Lives of the Saints

(1787 words)
  • Gabriella Corona (University of York)

Ælfric’s Lives of Saints represents the earliest hagiographic collection written in a European vernacular. The Lives were written immediately after the two series of Catholic Homilies (See separate entry) while Ælfric was a monk at Cerne Abbas (Dorset) and under the patronage of the noblemen Æthelweard and Æthelmær to whom the work is dedicated. The precise date of composition of the Lives is uncertain. On the basis of the sparse biographical information on the author and his dedicatees, we can say that the collection was completed and began to circulate between 993 and 998. Like other Ælfrician works, the Lives contain two Prefaces, one in Latin and …

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Corona, Gabriella. "Lives of the Saints". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 June 2005
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]