Monday, September 24, 2007

Mind the Gap

Aelfric in the Letter to Sigeweard fits things into the typical "ages of the world", identifying 8. He traces in two places Christ's birth in the sixth age of the world, but his final comment on the ages traces the sixth age as BEGINNING at the Ascension and proceeding to Judgement Day. There seems to be an uncertainty about what to do with Jesus' lifetime: does the Incarnation mark a new age, or is it part of the old one and the Ascension mark the beginning of the new? Alefric seems unsure....

2 comments:

Derek the ├ćnglican said...

Sounds to me like a negotiation between Bede's Hom I.11 and 14. The first gives 8 ages, the second six--but in more detail. Naturally, he's getting these from Paul the Deacon--but note when they fall: the first on the Octave of Christmas, the second on the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany. Octave of Christmas + Feast of St John...

theswain said...

Hi Derek,

Could be. It just strikes me as odd that he'd contradict himself in a few short lines.