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The Eschatological Cluster—Sayings Of St. Bernard, Vision Of St. Paul, And Dispute Between The Body And The Soul—In Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108

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Chapter Summary

Mediating the South English Legendary (SEL) and the romances of Havelok the Dane and King Horn in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108 (L) are three didactic poems-Sayings of St. Bernard, Vision of St. Paul and Dispute Between the Body and the Soul - whose contents have attracted little interest among scholars of the manuscript. The Sayings consists of a series of conventional statements about the fragility and vileness of mortal existence, the immanence of death, and the importance of preparing for the hereafter. The Vision claims to be an account of St. Paul's journey to hell, where he witnesses a variety of sinners being tortured for crimes that are delineated by his guide, the Archangel Michael. The rebuke initiates a series of accusatory exchanges between soul and body, culminating in the arrival of devils that torment the soul and drag it off to hell.

Keywords: Bodleian Library; manuscript; MS Laud Misc. 108; South English Legendary (SEL); St. Bernard; St. Paul



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