Excerptiones de arte grammatica anglice

Is nu for ði Godes þeowum and mynstermannum georne to warnigenne þæt seo haligelar onurum dagum ne acolige oððe ateorige, swa swa hit wæs gedon onangelcynne nu for anum feawum gearum, swa þæt nan englisc preost ne cuðe dyhtan oððe asmeagean ænne pistol onleden, oð þæt dunstan arcebiscop and Athelwold biscop eft þa lare on munuc lyfum arærdon. Ne cweðe ic na for ði, þæt ðeos boc mæge myclum to lare fremian, ac heo bið swa þeah sum angyn to ægðrum gereorde, gif heo hwam licað.

Select any Old English word to view its gloss


Now this is in order to earnestly warn god's servants and monks that the holy teachings should not cool nor fade in our days just as it happened amongst the English a few years ago, when no English priest knew how to read or understand any letter in Latin, until Dunstan the archbishop and Aethelwold the bishop again raised learning in monastic life. I do not at all say to you that this book will much contribute to learning, but it is nevertheless an attempt for both languages, for whoever likes it.


Literally one who dwells in a minster (monastery).

This is a compound of the words 'on' and 'ure'. It is not uncommon for prepositions to be joined to the beginnning of the word they modify. You can also see this in 'onangelcynne - among the English' on the next line.

Monastic life had declined in England in the 9th century, partly because of Viking raids and partly because of a preference for non-monastic clergy like priests.

Dunstan (the Archbishop of Canterbury) and Æthelwold (the Bishop of Winchester) were both teachers of Aelfric and key figures in the Benedictine Reform which took place in 10th century England.

"Both languages" refers in this case to English and Latin.

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