By Stephanie Hollis

This research of literature by means of clerics who have been writing to, for, or aboutAnglo-Saxon girls within the eighth and early ninth centuries indicates thatthe place of ladies had already declined sharply ahead of the Conquest a declare at variance with the conventional scholarly view. Stephanie Hollis argues that Pope Gregory's letter to Augustine and Theodore's Penitentialimplicitly express the early church's view of ladies as subordinate to males, and keeps that a lot early church writing displays conceptions of womanhood that had hardened into verified standard via the later heart a while. To help her argument the writer examines the indigenous place of ladies ahead of the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, and considers purposes for the early church's concessions in admire of girls. Emblematic of advancements within the conversion interval, the institution and eventual suppression of abbess-ruled double monasteries varieties a distinct concentration of this examine. STEPHANIE HOLLIS is Senior Lecturer in Early English, Universityof Auckland, New Zealand.

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The compiler of the Penitential calls himself "Discipulus Umbrensium," and most ecclesiastical historians accord some form of credence to this. " Page 9 male ecclesiastics, but necessitated churchmen's reliance on the support and assistance of royal women, whether abbesses or queens. It will already be evident, then, that I think that Chance's discussion of literary representations enters a useful qualificatory coda to Professor Fell's study of the social position of Anglo-Saxon women, but regard Chance as having radically overestimated the influence of the church in her assumption that Anglo-Saxons had thoroughly interiorized the iconographical construction of women as types of either Mary or Eve, and in her belief that Anglo-Saxon women were minded to model themselves on Virginal perfection.

Translations of Bede's History are mostly taken from the edition of Colgrave and Mynors (Oxford, 1969); occasionally, if the meaning has not been sacrificed, I quote from the much more idiomatic translation of L. Sherley-Price, Bede: A History of the English Church and People, rev. edn. E. Latham (Harmondsworth, 1984). T. M. Gamer, Medieval Handbooks of Penance (New York, 1938). H. Talbot, The Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany (London, 1954). For De Virginitate, I have relied on the translation of M.

Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford, 1969), III. 25. Subsequently referred to as HE; translation is from Colgrave and Mynors (cited as C&M), and, occasionally, from L. Sherley-Price, Bede: A History of the English Church and People, rev. edn. E. Latham (Harmondsworth, 1984). 9. Page 16 encounter, in the official documentation, occasional testimony to considerations that bear a recognizable relation to the Sermon on the Mount, however faint. The Libellus Responsionum in Bede's History the dialogue version of Gregory I's letter of reply to questions from Augustine is a private communication that has found its way into the public record.

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