Ælfric's Old English 'Admonition to a Spiritual Son' : an edition
The anonymous Old English translation of the Admonitio ad Filium Spiritualem ascribed to St. Basil has hitherto been accessible only in the 1848/9 editions ofHW. Norman and the 1974 unpublished PhD dissertation ofL.E. Mueller. This edition takes into consideration the work of both editors, but pursues the relevant issues somethat further, beginning with the ascription of the work to iElfric. I use the single authoritative Hatton Ms 76A as the basis for my text; the critical introduction includes sections on the history of this manuscript and its two transcriptions, its possible relation to known Latin manuscripts of the text, and its orthography, punctuation and accent marks, and a full list of the annotations in the tremulous hand of the Worcester scribe. In considering the transmission of the text to iElfric, I include sections on St. Basil's status as a monastic legislator to explain the text's currency, the penitential tradition and the place of the Admonitio within the iElfiic canon. I conclude with analysis of the Old English text, its linguistic focus, style and structure, arguing that the Old English text may not be as incomplete as has previously been thought. To accompany my text I provide textual notes, a full commentary, which includes identification of the sources of some concepts not found in the Latin, and a Glossary. As Appendices I include a transcription of a part of Bodley Ms 800, the closest available version of iElfric's source, a provisional handlist of manuscripts in British libraries and elsewhere containing part or all of the Latin Admonitio, and a list of the accent marks on Hatton Ms 76A, ff 55-67v, together with a chart to show their line-distribution.