Chapter 3.6

<Dē religiōne ac pietāte mīrandā Osvaldī rēgis>

[1] Huius igitur antistitis doctrīnā rēx Osvald cum eā cui praeerat gente Anglōrum īnstitūtus, nōn sōlum incognita prōgenitōribus suīs rēgna caelōrum spērāre didicit, sed et rēgna terrārum plūs quam ūllī maiōrum suōrum ab eōdem ūnō Deō, quī fēcit caelum et terram, cōnsecūtus est. [2] Dēnique omnēs nātiōnēs et prōvinciās Brittāniae, quae in quattuor linguās, id est Brettonum Pictōrum Scottōrum et Anglōrum dīvīsae sunt, in diciōne accēpit.

[3] Quō rēgnī culmine sublīmātus, nihilōminus (quod mīrum dictū est) pauperibus et peregrīnīs semper humilis, benignus et largus fuit. [4] Dēnique fertur quia tempore quōdam, cum diē sānctō paschae cum praefātō episcopō cōnsēdisset ad prandium, positusque esset in mēnsā cōram eō discus argenteus rēgālibus epulīs refertus, et iamiamque essent manūs ad pānem benedīcendum missūrī, intrāsse subitō ministrum ipsīus, cui suscipiendōrum inopum erat cūra dēlēgāta, et indicāsse rēgī quia multitūdō pauperum undecumque adveniēns maxima per platēās sedēret, postulāns aliquid elēmosinae ā rēge. [5] Quī mox dapēs sibimet adpositās dēferrī pauperibus, sed et discum cōnfringī, atque eīsdem minūtātim dīvidī praecēpit. [6] Quō vīsō pontifex, quī assidēbat, dēlectātus tālī factō pietātis, apprehendit dexteram eius et ait: ‘Numquam inveterescat haec manus.’ [7] Quod et ita iuxtā vōtum benedictiōnis eius prōvēnit. Nam cum interfectō illō in pugnā manus cum bracchiō ā cēterō essent corpore resectae, contigit ut hāctenus incorruptae perdūrent. [8] Dēnique in urbe rēgiā, quae ā rēgīnā quondam vocābulō Bebba cognōminātur, loculō inclūsae argenteō in ecclēsiā sānctī Petrī servantur ac dignō ā cūnctīs honōre venerantur.

[9] Huius industriā rēgis Derōrum et Berniciōrum prōvinciae, quae eātenus ab invicem discordābant, in ūnam sunt pācem et velut ūnum compagīnātae in populum. [10] Erat autem nepōs Aedvīnī rēgis ex sorōre Achā, dignumque fuit ut tantus praecessor tālem habēret dē suā cōnsanguinitāte et religiōnis hērēdem et rēgnī.

OSWALD'S REIGN

Oswald (ca. 604–642), son of Æthelfrith, reigned over a unified Northumbria for eight years. In HE 2.5 Oswald is listed as one of the seven bretwaldas—overlords who ruled over all of Britain. After his death, he was venerated as a saint.

(1) Huius … institūtus: rearrange as: īnstitūtus igitur doctrīnā huius antistitis, rēx Osvald, cum eā gente Anglōrum cui praeerat, nōn sōlum…. The word order emphasizes the personal role of bishop Aidan, and by implication attributes Oswald’s worldly success to him.

prōgenitōribus suīs: dative with adjective incognita (AG 384)

rēgna caelōrum: “celestial realms” (lit., “realms of the heavens”)

spērāre: “to hope for,” “to look forward to”; takes an accusative direct object (rēgna)

sed et: = sed etiam

quam ūllī maiōrum suōrum: ūllī is a dative of possession (AG 373): “than [there were] for any of his ancestors...” (i.e, “than any of his ancestors had”)

cōnsecūtus est: “acquired”

(2) in diciōne accēpit: “he held sway over” (lit., “he received in his power”)

OSWALD’S PIETY

After Oswald's death on the battlefield, pieces of his dismembered body became important relics: his head was interred in Durham, his arms in Bamburgh, and the rest of his body at Bardney Abbey in Lincolnshire. Around 1000, the uncorrupted arm that Bede mentions here was stolen from Bamburgh by monks from Peterborough Abbey, where it was kept under constant guard in a tower, still extant, in the Chapel of St. Oswald in Peterborough Cathedral.

(3) Quō rēgnī culmine sublīmātus: “exalted upon this peak of royal power” (DMLBS, sublimare 2).

(4) fertur quia: “it is said that,” introducing indirect discourse + infinitive (intrāsse … indicāsse). See articulated text.

cōram eō: “in front of him” (i.e., Oswald)

essent manūs … missūrī: mittō, here, means “extend,” “reach out”: “hands were about to reach out…”

intrāsse … ministrum …, et indicāsse: anacolouthon; the indirect statement begins with fertur quia, which calls for a finite verb, but switches here to the accusative-infinitive construction.

maxima: modifying multitūdō

elēmosinae: partitive genitive after aliquid (AG 346.3)

(5) sibimet: = sibi (emphatic)

eīsdem … dīvidī: dīvidere takes a dative to mean “distribute to”; eīsdem refers to “those same paupers.”

praecēpit: “ordered” (the subject is Oswald)

(6) pontifex: Bishop Aidan

tālī factō: ablative of cause (AG 404) with dēlectātus (“delighted by”)

inveterescat: optative subjunctive expressing a wish (AG 441)

(7) et ita: “even so”

ā cēterō … corpore: “from the rest of his body”

resectae … incorruptae perdūrent: the plurals assume both manus and bracchium as the plural subject, feminine because the more important word manus is feminine.

(8) in urbe regiā: Babbanburg, now Bamburgh, on the coast of Northumbria, opposite Lindisfarne

Bebba: Bebba was the first wife of Æthelfrith, the king of Bernicia; Acha was his second wife, and the daughter of Ælle, the king of Deira.

OSWALD UNITES DEIRA AND BERNICIA

Here Bede stresses the continuity between Edwin and Oswald: Oswald was Edwin's nephew (the son of his sister Acha), and carried on the work of converting the people of Northumbria, which Edwin had started.

(9) ab invicem: “from one another”

in ūnam … in populum: re-order: velut conpagīnātae sunt in ūnam pācem et in ūnum populum. The word velut, “as it were,” softens the metaphor of compaginatae sunt. The peoples were “put together,” like the constituent pieces of a wall, a bridge, or a broken urn.

(10) tālem … rēgnī: the order is: habēret dē suā consanguinitāte tālem hērēdem et religiōnis et rēgnī.

NOTE: Lemmatization of Anglo–Saxon Names
—: declined forms unattested
[ ]: nominative forms unattested (back–formed for purposes of lemmatization)
*: form unattested but hypothesized based on existing patterns


antistēs –itis m.: bishop

doctrīna –ae f.: teaching, doctrine

Osuald –ī m.: Oswald, King of the Northumbrians, 634-642

praesum praeesse praefuī praefutūrus: to be before; be present

Anglī –ōrum m.: the Angles, a Germanic tribe; the English

incognitus –a –um: unknown, unnoticed, unperceived

prōgenitor –ōris m.: ancestor

maior māius: bigger

nātiō nātiōnis f.: race

Britannia –ae f.: Britain

Britannī –ōrum m.: Britons

Pictī –ōrum m.: the Picts, a Celtic people of northern Britain

Scōtī –ōrum m.: Gaelic-speaking peoples of Ireland and later Scotland

Anglī –ōrum m.: the Angles, a Germanic tribe; the English

diciō –ōnis f.: dominion

culmen –inis n.: top

sublīmō –āre –āvī –ātus: elevate

nihilōminus: nevertheless

mīrus –a –um: wonderful

peregrinus –ī m.: stranger

humilis humile: humble

benīgnus –a –um: kind

largus –a –um: ample

quōdammodo: in a certain way

pascha –ae f.: Passover

praefatus –a –um: previously mentioned

episcopus –ī m.: bishop

cōnsīdō cōnsīdere cōnsēdī cōnsessus: to sit down, settle

prandium –ī n.: a late breakfast, luncheon

corām: personally; openly, publicly

discus –ī m.: discus

argenteus –a –um: (made of) silver

rēgālis –e: regal, kingly

epulum –ī n.: a banquet

refertus –a –um: crammed, bursting with

iamiam: already, now

pānis pānis m.: bread

benedīcō –dīcere –dīxī –dictum: to commend, praise

minister ministrī m.: attendant, servant

inops: lacking, poor

dēlēgō –lēgāre: to send away, despatch

undecumque: from wherever

māximus –a –um: greatest; maxime: most, especially, very much

platēa –ae f.: street

postulō postulāre postulāvī postulātus: to demand

eleēmosyna –ae f.: alms

daps –dapis f.: feast

appōnō –pōnere –posuī –positum: to place near; appoint

discus –ī m.: discus

cōnfringō –fringere –frēgī –frāctum : to shatter

minutatim: one bit at a time, piece by piece

vīsum vīsī n.: vision

pontifex pontificis m.: priest

assideō assidēre assēdī assessus: to sit by

dēlectō dēlectāre dēlectāvī dēlectātus: to divert, attract, delight

apprehendō apprehendere apprehendī apprehēnsum: to take hold of

dextera dextera f.: right hand

inveterāscō –inveterāscere –inveterāvī –—: to grow old, be established

iūxtā: according to

benedictiō –ōnis f.: a blessing

prōveniō –venīre –vēnī –ventūrum: to come forth; come about

brachium brachī(ī) n.: arm

resecō resecāre resecuī resectum: to cut, cut back

hāctenus: thus far, so far, of space and time

incorruptus –a –um: unspoiled, uninjured

perdūrō –dūrāre: last, endure

rēgīna rēgīnae f.: queen

vocābulum –ī n.: a designation, name

Bebba –ae f.: Bebbe, Queen after whose name the city of Bamburgh was named

cognōminō –āre –āvī –ātus: to name, to call

loculus –ī m.: coffin, sarcophagus

inclūdō inclūdere inclūsī inclūsus: to enclose

argenteus –a –um: (made of) silver

ecclēsia –ae f.: church

Petrus –ī m.: St Peter, the Apostle

veneror venerārī venerātus sum: to venerate

industria industriae f.: diligence

Deirī –ōrum: the Deiri

Bernicī –ōrum: the Bernici

eātenus: so far

invicem : alternately

discordō –āre –āvī –ātum: to quarrel

compāginō –āre –āvī –ātum: to join together

nepōs nepōtis m.: grandchild; descendant

Aeduini –ī m.: Edwin, King of the Northumbrians, 616-633

Acha –ae* f.: Acha, Sister of Edwin 2 of Northumbria; king Oswald 1's mother

praecessor –ōris m.: predecessor

cōnsanguinitās –ātis f.: kinship

religiō religiōnis f.: religion

hērēs hērēdis m. or f.: heir

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