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An Early History of Glastonbury

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An Early History of Glastonbury

An Edition, Translation and Study of William of Malmesbury's `De Antiquitate Glastonie Ecclesie'


Paperback / softback

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An Early History of Glastonbury by (John) Scott
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The treatise on the early history of Glastonbury by the great twelfth century historian William of Malmesbury is a crucial source of our knowledge of Glastonbury in the Saxon period, and contains important evidence on the obscure origins of the abbey. Because it was recognised as such by the monks at the time, it was rewritten very soon after its composition to include new stories about the abbey's history and estates, a process which went on well into the thirteenth century. As a result, the best available texts contain a great deal which was not in William's original work, and although the problem has long been known, no full-scale attempt to disentangle the original work from the later editions has been attempted previously. Mr Scott provides an edition and translation of the text as it has come down to us, and, by reference to William's other works, prints a reconstruction of the original. His introduction is a study of William's own historical work, his sources and skills as a historian, followed by an examination of the motives for the reworking of the text and the factors which influenced the creation of the great Glastonbury legends: the apostolic foundation of the 'old church', the arrival of Joseph of Arimathea and the burial there of King Arthur.
Release date Australia
January 1st, 1981
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
The Boydell Press
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