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Chapter Summary

The author defines prognostics as a codified means of predicting events in the life-time of an individual or identifiable group of individuals, using observation of signs and times, or mantic divination, with the help of the characteristics of prognostics known in Anglo-Saxon England. Prognostic sections are an English phenomenon and may be linked to the Benedictine Reform because the manuscripts containing prognostic sections were all produced in centres. The sections are the most important source of prognostic texts in the vernacular. Prognostic sections are very important in that they are the only context in which prognostics in the vernacular and with glosses are more common than prognostics in Latin. Finally, the attestation of fixed sequences of prognostics in which texts were put together on the basis of structural or thematic similarities is yet another indication that the Anglo-Saxon compilers were aware of the common ground between these texts.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon England; Benedictine reform; manuscripts; prognostics



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