Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Cynewulf's catalogue of charismata abstract
A work yet in progress. This paper seeks to explore imagery in Cynewulf's poem called by modern scholars Christ II. The paper explores Biblical, patristic, and pre-Christian European imagery of ascension and enthronement of kings and gods to set the stage for the gift-giving scene and then seeks to understand Cynewulf's gifts as part of that motif argues that the catalog may be divided into gifts of lore and gifts of the warrior, making them a list formulated and expressing sapientia et fortitudo making one worthy of heaven While acknowledging Cynewulf's debt to specifically Gregory the Great and his Ascension sermon, this paper departs from the usual examination of this poem in not looking only to Gregory as a source for the ideas contained in the poem but to a much wider cultural background that spans the Biblical, the patristic, the Greco-Roman, and the Germanic.