Del Zotto Tozzoli Carla ,
La predicazione in volgafe nell'Inghilterra anglosassone e normanna: Aeltric e Orm,
Antonianum, 69/1 (1994) p. 35-68
SUMMARY: In the historical development of the vernacular homiletics in England one of the most outstanding personality is the Benedictine Aelfric not only for the elegance of his rythmical prose but also for the copiusness of his writings. Recalling King Alfred's programme for the revival of learning Aelfric writes several works for the religious teaching of the laity, providing with his 120 homilies an extensive guidance for preaching for the monks, who did not know Latin well. Although orthodoxy was Aelfric's main concern his Sermo De sacrificio in die Pascae was first published in 1567 by the Anglican archbishop Matthew Parker assuming to supply an ancient evidence against the doctrine of transubstantiation. After Aelfric the exegetical tradition and the vernacular homily were continued two hundreds years later by the Augustinian Orm. The extant 10.000 lines are only about an eight of the complete work planned by the author. His intention was to give in Latin syllabic metre an English version of the Gospels in the Mass book for the whole year, followed by an interpretation and application. Although the Ormulum has been long considered a diffuse and tedious work, neverthless the poem contains much of the best mediaeval religious teaching, drawn in part from the same sources of Aelfric, and testifies to author's zeal for the religious needs of the common people in the period immediately after the Conquest.