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Literary Criticism Medieval

Biblical Epics in Late Antiquity and Anglo-Saxon England

Divina in Laude Voluntas

by (author) Patrick McBrine

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2017
Medieval, Ancient & Classical, General, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2017
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    Publish Date
    Jun 2017
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Biblical poetry, written between the fourth and eleventh centuries, is an eclectic body of literature that disseminated popular knowledge of the Bible across Europe. Composed mainly in Latin and subsequently in Old English, biblical versification has much to tell us about the interpretations, genre preferences, reading habits, and pedagogical aims of medieval Christian readers.


Biblical Epics in Late Antiquity and Anglo-Saxon England provides an accessible introduction to biblical epic poetry. Patrick McBrine’s erudite analysis of the writings of Juvencus, Cyprianus, Arator, Bede, Alcuin, and more reveals the development of a hybridized genre of writing that informed and delighted its Christian audiences to such an extent it was copied and promoted for the better part of a millennium. The volume contains many first-time readings and discussions of poems and passages which have long lain dormant and offers new evidence for the reception of the Bible in late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

About the author

Patrick McBrine is an independent scholar who has previously taught at John Carroll University and Southern Connecticut State University.

Patrick McBrine's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"While the book does serve as an introduction of some sort, it surpasses this rather modest goal by offering insights into each of the Latin epic poets, their reception among the main Anglo-Latin poets, and biblical old English poetry."

Speculum vol. 93 no. 4, Oct 2018

"McBrine has done a major service to Anglo-Saxonists by so lucidly marshalling the evidence for the importance of the Latin Biblical epics of Antiquity to any robust understanding of early English literary culture."

<em>Journal of English and Germanic Philology</em>