The Old English Canons of Theodore

Robert D. Fulk
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The Canons are one of the earliest handbooks of penance to appear in any West European vernacular. The material shows the Anglo-Saxons addressing matters ranging from baptism and the ordination of priests to the conduct of the married and sexual norms. Less a translation of the judgements attributed to Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 690), than an adaptation of these materials, the work is of major importance for specialists in Old English and historians of medieval Europe generally, affording an early view of what pastoral care in early England may have looked like which is more authentic than the Latin texts on which they are based.