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The Medieval Eastertide

A seventh-century gold and garnet pectoral cross from the Staffordshire Hoard (Potteries’ Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent)

with Dr Sam Newton

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 31st March, 2012.

We begin with a look at the Old English calendar, which reveals how the pre-Christian year was structured. We shall then consider how this calendar was transformed into the Christian year – how, for example, did the month of the Old English goddess Éostre become the great Easter festival? We shall also consider the Council of Whitby and some of the ways in which Eastertide came to be celebrated in England, with special attention to the Cult of the Cross, using examples from medieval art and literature.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The Old English Calendar  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 The Old English Eastertide  
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 The Synod of Whitby  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The Cult of the Cross  
  c.16:20 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991 and is the author of The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (1993) and The Reckoning of King Rædwald, (2003). He has lectured widely around the country as an independent scholar and has also contributed to many radio and television programmes. He is also a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and Time Team historian.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008)
Alexander, M., Old English Literature (Macmillan 1983)
Blair, J., The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (Oxford 2005)
Branston, B., The Lost Gods of England (Thames & Hudson 1957, 1974)
Brooks, N., Anglo-Saxon Myths of State and Church (Hambledon 2000).
Brown, Michelle P., How Christianity came to Britain and Ireland (Lion Hudson 2006)
Chaney, W.A., The Cult of Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England (Manchester 1970)
Dunn, M., The Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons, c.597–c.700 (London, 2009)
Ellis Davidson, H., The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe (Routledge 1993)
Farmer, D.H., The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford University Press, 1978).
Gallyon, M., The Early Church in Eastern England (Lavenham 1973)
Hoggett, R., The Archaeology of the East Anglian Conversion (Woodbridge 2010)
Hutton, R., The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (Oxford 1996)
Lee, C., Feasting the Dead: Food and Drink in Anglo-Saxon Burial Rituals (Woodbridge, 2007)
Mayr-Harting, H., The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford 1977)
McClure, J. & R.Collins, (eds.), Bede: the Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford 1999)
Mitchell, B., & F.Robinson, A Guide to Old English (Blackwell 1986-2001)
North, R., Heathen Gods in Old English Literature (Cambridge 1997)
Owen, G., Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons (London, 1981)
Turville-Petre, G., Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia (London 1964)
Webster, L., and J.Backhouse, The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (British Museum 1991)
Wilson, R., The Lost Literature of Medieval England (Methuen 1952, 1970)

Bookings

Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are 38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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Updated 13 December, 2012
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