Timelines to Visualize History

A Project by the Department of Medieval English Literature and Historical Linguistics, University of Düsseldorf

Begin End Event Description Keywords Related Events
980 1020

Ælfric & Wulfstan

Ælfric & Wulfstan were important writers of late West-Saxon prose, and were mainly inspired by the Benedictine Reform and the bigger, unified England. Ælfric was an abbot and a second-generation reformer who wrote a Latin grammar and many other works of prose. Wulfstan was Archbishop of York and wrote many sermons and designed laws for Æthelred.

Abbot Ælfric was a reformer of the second generation and the most prolific writer of his time. He wrote a Latin grammar and glossary, many sermons, letters, treatises on clerical behaviour, a translation of Bede's De temoribus anni, translations of the Old Testament, etc. He continued King Alfred's idea that that fundamentals of theological and ethical training should be available in the vernacular.

Wulfstan, Archbishop of York is another important writer of the period. He wrote many sermons and designed law codes for King Æthelred. His Instituts of Polity and Civil and Ecclestial describe the structure of society and social groups; he attempted to lay the ethical foundations of society. His best known sermon is the Sermo Lupi ad Anglos. Later he also was a key figure in supporting Danish King Cnut as King of England.
Literature, Old English Period, Prose, Religious