Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Mary P. Richards

Committee Members

Joseph Trahern, John H. Fisher, Paul Barrette


This dissertation is an edition and study of the Old English Seasons for Fasting. Seasons in interesting to the student of Old English for several reasons: it is the longest regularly stanzaic poem in OE; its English stand on the Ember fast controversy and its attack on lax priest are atypical of OE verse as is the poem's intended lay audience. The dissertation is in three sections: Chapter I introduces and describes the extant text (ff. 257r-260v, British Library MS. Add. 43703), discusses the school of composition, and provides new support for Wulfstan's influence on the poem, describes the language of the poem, provides analyses of the style and the historical and poetic contexts of the poem. Chapter II consists of the text of Seasons for Fasting (based on British Library MS. Add. 43703), textual notes indicating the readings of all other editors, and a translation (the first in English). Chapter III is a commentary keyed to the lines of the poem. The commentary notes relevant criticism on difficult or interesting sections of the poem and offers several new readings.

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