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The four-wheeled quadriga and the seven sacraments: On the sources for the 'Dedication' of the Ormulum
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2007 (English)In: Bells Chiming From The Past: Cultural and Linguistic Studies on Early English, Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York , 2007, 227-245 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The twelfth-century Middle English homily collection “Ormulum” (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 1) starts off with a preface in which the author Orm outlines his reasons for undertaking his huge homily project: lay people need to have the gospels presented and explained to them in English, otherwise their souls cannot be saved. The paper discusses the central parts of the preface, namely the metaphor of the gospels as a four-wheeled quadriga and the subsequent account of the gospels as a presentation of seven sacraments (Incarnation, Baptism, Passion, Harrowing of Hell, Resurrection, Ascension, and Last Judgement), which in their turn are identified with the seven seals of the book described in Revelation 5–8. The Latin texts which in all likelihood served as Orm’s source texts for these passages are identified as the “Prologus” to Honorius Augustodunensis’ “Expositio in Cantica Canticorum” for the ‘four-wheeled quadriga’ metaphor and the “Prologus” to Paschasius Radbertus’ “Expositio in Evangelium Matthaei” for the ‘seven sacraments’ passage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York , 2007. 227-245 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-20989OAI: diva2:187515
Available from: 2008-01-18 Created: 2008-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Johannesson, Nils-Lennart
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