The monk Aelfric Bata is the only identifiable graduate of the school of Aelfric 'Grammaticus', the tenth-century Anglo-Saxon homilist whose 'Grammar, Glossary' and 'Colloquy' formed part of an educational plan for English boys. Bata's 'Colloquies', Latin conversations set in a monastic school, open a door into the world of Anglo-Saxon monasticism, revealing the details of daily activities: rising and dressing, studying the day's lesson, eating, bathing and tonsuring. Oblates ask a master's help in reading, bargain for a manuscript-copying job, obtain help in sharpening a pen. One colloquy depicts a flyting between master and student, who exchange graphic scatological insults. Combining the spare diction of his teacher Aelfric with the ornate glossematic vocabulary of Aldhelm, Aelfric Bata creates a cloistered world where comedy, invective, sermon and poetic recitation mix. The 'Colloquies' are presented with an English translation, glosses and full notes. Dr SCOTT GWARA teaches in the Department of English at the University of South Carolina: Professor DAVID PORTER teaches in the Department of English at Southern University, Baton Rouge.
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