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The Historia Selebiensis Monasterii is an account of the origins of the earliest Norman abbey to be founded in the north of England following the Conquest of 1066, and of the history of the monastery in its first one hundred and six years. The history was written by a young monk of Selby in 1174, and the unique medieval manuscript in which it survives appears to have been sent from Selby to the French monastery of Auxerre, from where the author claimed the founder-monk of Selby came. Weaving together historical narrative and miracles associated with the relic held at Selby Abbey, the middle finger of St Germanus of Auxerre, the author produced a lively and entertaining account designed to record the history of his monastery and promote the cult of the relic around which it had grown up. At the same time he created a past, and a corporate memory of that past, for his community. This volume contains a critical edition of the Historia, with English translation, and textual notes and historical commentary. The Introduction explores the dynamics of the text - its purpose, composition, and use of sources - and its significance as a source for monastic history. It offers a reassessment of the origins of the first Norman abbey in northern England.
Janet Burton gained her BA at the University of London and her DPhil at the University of York before moving to Wales, where she is now Professor of Medieval History in the School of Archaeology, History, and Anthropology at University of Wales: Trinity Saint David. She is the author of books, articles, and papers on monastic history, many of her publications being focussed on the north of England. She is co-director of the 'Monastic Wales' project, and one of the two general editors of the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Historia Selebiensis monasterii 2. St Germanus, Auxerre, and the foundation of Selby Abbey 3. Selby and the Kings of England 4. Selby in its Monastic Context 5. Selby in its Local Context 6. The Miracles 7. The Historia Selebiensis monasterii: sources 8. The Selby Monk and his Audience 9. Editorial Method Text and translation List of sources Bibliography