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Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon (Latin) Paperback – 8 Aug 2001
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This review refers to Volume I (ISBN: 0543846229) and Volume II (ISBN: 0543846202) of the anonymous Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, which covers the history of the Abingdon monastery, and much of English and European history which the author feels to be relevant to Abingdon, from the (legendary) conversion of the English king Lucius by Pope Eleutherius in the year AD 201, to King Richard's succession to the English crown in Ad 1189. Volume I covers events up until the Norman Conquest in 1066, Volukme II continues the story until Richard. The text includes many charters, both local and international. Many of the documents from the Anglo-Saxon period are given in both Latin and Anglo-Saxon. After the end of the Chronicle in volume II, there are a brief Vita S. Aethelwoldi; a short thirteenth-century history 'de Abbatibus Abbendoniae', a variation from a different version of the end of the text, about forty pages instead of the last ten or so in the main text; about ninety pages from the thirteenth century describing the routines and customs and ceremonies of the abbey; glossaries of Latin and Anglo-Saxon terms; a list and brief description of all the charters transcribed in the chronicle, with some comments from the editor concerning the authenticity or inauthenticity of certain ones. The editor, a Reverend Joseph Stevenson, has provided a brief introduction to volume I, and a lengthy one to volume II. These introductions, all marginal notes and footnotes, the glossaries and the index are all in English; the main text is Latin, with the exception of the charters mentioned aboved which are repeated in Anglo-Saxon, presumably for the sake of better geographical orientation when local places were likely to be known by their Anglo-Saxon names.
The volumes from Adamant which, like these two volumes of the Abingdon Chronicle, are reprints of nineteenth-century editions by Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, London, are part of the 'Rolls Series', so called because they 'published by the authority of Her Majesty's Treasury, under the Direction of the Master of the Rolls', Her Majesty being of course Queen Victoria. The Rolls Series, which began to appear in the 1850's, unfortunately ended at about the same time Victoria's reign did. The series included almost 300 volumes, and is still the most important source for the medieval history of England, Scotland and Ireland. Adamant has so far reprinted about a dozen of these volumes. Hopefully they will reprint many more.