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Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose$
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Tobias Reinhardt, Michael Lapidge, and J. N. Adams

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263327

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263327.001.0001

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Poeticism in Pre-Conquest Anglo-Latin Prose

Poeticism in Pre-Conquest Anglo-Latin Prose

(p.320) (p.321) Poeticism in Pre-Conquest Anglo-Latin Prose
Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose

Michael Lapidge

British Academy

This chapter is primarily concerned with Anglo-Latin prose: that is to say, Latin prose composed in Anglo-Saxon England between roughly 650 and 1050. It poses the question of the extent to which Anglo-Latin authors were aware of different stylistic registers, and how well they understood what diction was appropriate to either prose or verse. Using the example of Bede as a starting point, the chapter provides a list of those features of poetic diction that are found, in varying degrees, in the authors of Anglo-Latin prose. The seven criteria presented provide a crude measuring-stick against which to assess the poeticism of the principal authors of Anglo-Latin prose. The study of poeticism in Anglo-Latin prose, and in medieval Latin literature in general, is a subject that awaits exploration.

Keywords:   Anglo-Latin prose, poeticism, Bede, poetic diction, medieval Latin literature

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