Bishops, giants, and ideas about Rome in early Anglo-Saxon literature, 597-c.800

Thomas, Hollie (2015). Bishops, giants, and ideas about Rome in early Anglo-Saxon literature, 597-c.800 PhD Thesis, School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2015.764

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Author Thomas, Hollie
Thesis Title Bishops, giants, and ideas about Rome in early Anglo-Saxon literature, 597-c.800
School, Centre or Institute School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2015.764
Publication date 2015-06-26
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Kriston Rennie
John Moorhead
Total pages 245
Language eng
Subjects 2103 Historical Studies
2005 Literary Studies
Formatted abstract
This thesis investigates ideas about the city and culture of Rome in Anglo-Saxon literature for the period from their conversion to Christianity until roughly the close of the eighth century. There is a large body of scholarship concerning “the idea of Rome” in Anglo-Saxon literature, though there is an inherent assumption that this idea was an homogenous one. Rome has been seen by some scholars as the centre of Anglo-Saxon England, and by others as irrelevant. This thesis argues that, in fact, portrayals of the city’s significance are discordant: there was no one “idea” of Rome at this time and the Anglo-Saxons were far from passive recipients of ideas about Rome and its culture. Taking a thematic approach, ideas about religious Rome are given first treatment, as it is from this that so many of the ideas about Rome stem. This is followed in the second chapter by a reassessment of the appeals supposedly made by early Anglo-Saxons to an idea of Rome to political ends. In the third chapter, focus turns to the British landscape and the Anglo-Saxons’ attitudes to Roman-style buildings, whether newly built or preexisting. The final chapter explores the reception of the literary culture of Rome, in terms of historiography, the rhetorical use of geography, and attitudes to pagan material. A re-examination of these ideas about Rome and Roman culture demonstrates that the importance of this city for the newly Christian Anglo-Saxons was, at this nascent stage, multifaceted.
Keyword Anglo-Saxons
Latin literature
Old English literature
Early Christianity
Classical reception

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Created: Tue, 16 Jun 2015, 08:11:43 EST by Hollie Thomas on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service