A good fire within

Today’s reading:

  • Three more popes: Marinus I (882-84), St. Adrian III (884-85), Stephen VI (885-91).  Lots of intrigue and bloody vendettas, and by his bumbling Stephen VI set the stage for Russia to be evangelized a few generations later by missionaries of Byzantium rather than Rome.
  • Bede’s account of the Roman Paulinus and his mission to the pagan King Eadwide of Northumbria ahead of the king’s marriage to a Christian princess of Kent.  We get the story of the sparrow in the hall from this part of the Ecclesiastical History, book 2 chapter 13, which reminded me of this bit from Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an Opium Eater.  The Laudator has found other instances of authors enjoying being cozy inside while storms rage without.
  • According to Chrysogonus Waddell, the Odes of Solomon are 2nd-century Syriac texts composed for Christian rites of initiation, and he presents Ode 12, on the Word of God, in vol. 4 no. 3 of Liturgy O.S.C.O., the newsletter he edited.  The Odes are also available at Google Books with scholarly notes.
  • The 12yo has spent the day with the verse translation of Gilgamesh, so I haven’t made progress there.
  • Also read the bits of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (mid-400s) in which Vortigern invites Hengist and Horsa to cross the North Sea and help beat back the Picts after the Romans decline to help, citing Attila at the gates of Rome.
  • I took an evening smoke break and read about the Battle of Brunanburh in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.  In 937 the descendants of Hengist, Horsa and their nations, now Englishmen, thoroughly defeated a combined army of Scots, Britons and Irish Vikings.   The translation I have sounds like the Iliad.
  • Here’s Tennyson’s magnificent version of the Old English poem The Battle of Brunanburh.

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