From Vikings Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Even in the Christian world of Anglo-Saxon England, myth and magic were alive and well. Anglo-Saxon Christianity had incorporated and adapted many pagan customs in the seventh century, in the sense of "pagan" as a paganus (countryman), ie incorporating folk customs.

Medical texts regularly included prayers or parchment-scraps with the names of saints on, especially for conditions (such as cancer) where the available herbal medicine would have no real effect - but psycho-sematic triggering of the body's own immune system just might work. Similarly, there are charms to ward off elf-shot (sudden stabbing pains).

A manuscript dated c.1020 from Winchester ('Aelfwine's Prayerbook') contains the usual material for services, calculating the date of Easter etc, but also information on the meaning of portents and divining the future by the flight of birds, dates appropriate for blood-letting, and calculation of the age of the world.

This category currently contains no pages or media.