The Anglo-Saxon Version, From the Historian Orosius
|The Anglo-Saxon Version, From the Historian Orosius|
Title page from The Anglo-Saxon Version, From the Historian Orosius, volume one, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.
|Translator||Anglo-Saxon translation attributed to Alfred, King of England; English translation by Daniel Barrington|
|Published||London: Printed by W. Bowyer and J. Nichols|
|Language||English and Anglo-Saxon|
|Volumes||2 volume set|
|Desc.||8vo (22 cm.)|
Alfred the Great, son of King Aethelwulf of Wessex, was born in 849. He reigned from 871 to 899, and died with charters referring to him as king of the Anglo-Saxons. Much of what is known about Alfred comes from a biography by Bishop Asser, a man who was close to the king. Four books are attributed to Alfred and he had other works, “books necessary for all men to know," translated.
An anonymous translator, most likely inspired by Alfred's enthusiasm for Latin learning, produced an Old English version of Orosius's Historiae Adversum Paganos. In 1773, Daniel Barrington translated the Old English and produced The Anglo-Saxon Version, From the Historian Orosius. Unfortunately, the Barrington's text received "much criticism for its unreliability."
Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library
Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Barrington’s Orosius. Saxon & English. 8vo. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The only edition of Orosius translated by Daines Barrington was published in London in 1773. Both George Wythe's Library on LibraryThing and the Brown Bibliography list this particular work. The Wolf Law Library followed their suggestions and purchased the 1773 title.
Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy
Bound in quarter calf with marbled boards. Spines feature bands and gilt rules and green morocco labels with gilt lettering. The front pastedown of each volume includes the bookplate of the Right Honourable George John, Earl De la Warr&mdash,_5th_Earl_De_La_Warr George Sackville-West], fifth Earl De la Warr&mdashthe stamp of the Order of the Bath and a shelf designation. Both half-title pages inscribed "St. Petersburg, 1774." and "W. Tooke." Purchased from Pazzo Books.
View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.
- Patrick Wormald, "Alfred (848/9–899)," in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), accessed September 25, 2013.
- Michael Lapidge, "Scholars at King Alfred's court (act. 880–899)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed September 27, 2013.
- David Philip Miller, "Barrington, Daines (1727/8–1800)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed September 27, 2013.
- LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 13, 2013.
- Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.
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