Anglosasi na tropie symfozjusza. Przyczynek do twórczości Biskupa Aldhelma (ok. 639–709)
Anglo-Saxons on the scent of Symphosius. Contributions to the writings of the Bishop of Aldhelm (639–709)
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This article presents a closer profile of Aldhelm (639–709), who was a representative of the Anglo-Saxon monastic Christian culture and contributed to polarizing the classic enigma – Symphosius – with a slightly different, “fresh“ character. He popularized the enigma in the British Isles and eventually formed a new genre – the old English Riddle. Aldhelm consciously took the riddle pattern of Symphosius and harmoniously combined folk and sacred elements. In the early middle ages, the riddle was used in religious missionary education. The riddle genre and its periphrasis are ideally connected with Christian symbolic metaphors. The enigma exposed and uncovered a whole wealth of literature and the talents of the author. For rival Anglo-Saxons and Irish, there was fierce competition in the struggle for intellectual primacy. The Bishop of Sherborne – Aldhelm (639–709) – is called “the oldest classicist of England” and the first English man-of-letters as well. This highly-educated monk was a representative of the first Anglo-Saxon culture and his writing re-presents the very beginning of English national literature. The rich heritage of Aldhelm, which is a specific merger of native British culture with Irish, Roman and eastern Greece influences, shows how sublime his rhetoric was. Thanks to Aldhelm, the first Christian perception of the riddle was accomplished and it was so successful that future British generations continued the tradition initiated by the Bishop of Sherborne. His enigma speaks with the voices of Isidore of Seville, Virgil and Ovid and references to the Bible accompanying fragments inspired by Aeneid and Metamorphoses. The generality and timelessness of Aldhelm relies on his characteristic, original and unique humanistic treatment of culture.
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