'Some Reflections on the Historical Value of the So-Called Acta Lanfranci'

Hayward, Paul Antony (2004) 'Some Reflections on the Historical Value of the So-Called Acta Lanfranci'. Historical Research, 77 (196). pp. 141-160. ISSN 0950-3471

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This article offers the first extended discussion of Acta Lanfranci, a Latin continuation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that is often taken as a reliable narrative because of its close proximity to the events it describes and its transmission within the Parker Manuscript (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 173). By drawing attention to inconsistencies between the Acta’s narrative and that required by other historical records, to the selective nature of its reportage and to the palaeographical and internal data that require a somewhat later dating than is usually assumed, this article questions this position. It argues that Acta Lanfranci is better understood as propaganda produced in defence of the attempts of the archbishops of Canterbury to establish a patriarchate of the British Isles at a time when that position was beginning to unravel. Since the Parker Manuscript was recycled so that it could accommodate the Acta, the article also casts new light on aspects of the reception and re-use of the A-text of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

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Journal Article
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Historical Research
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25 Nov 2008 16:00
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 18:37