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Searoðonca Hord: Alfred’s Translation of Gregory the Great’s Regula Pastoralis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter summarizes the earlier Anglo-Saxon and especially Continental reception of the Latin Regula pastoralis and the state of research on the Latin text. A section on the Pastoral Care begins with a survey of the surviving manuscripts and their relation, which reveals the author's pragmatic, yet self-confident approach and contributes to the subsequent discussion of the intended audience. The linguistic status of the body of the translation is then summarized briefly, which gives us valuable hints at the cultural climate during Alfred's reign and leads to the question of authorship. The chapter presents an outlook on the reception of the Pastoral Care in late Anglo-Saxon England. It evaluates the profound influence that Gregory's work had on Alfred's political and ethical thought: The Regula pastoralis must be understood as the ultimate inspiration for Alfred's plans for cultural and spiritual reform.

Keywords: Alfred the Great; Anglo-Saxon England; Gregory's Regula Pastoralis; Pastoral Care



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