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The Anchin manuscript of Passio Olavi (Douai 295), William of Jumièges, and Theodoricus Monachus: New evidence for intellectual relations between Norway and France in the 12th century

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The ms. Douai, Bibl. mun., 295 (end of the 12th century) is not only one of the two earliest textual witnesses to the official legend of the Norwegian royal saint, Olav († 1030), Passio Olaui, it is also a remarkable edition in its own right because it offers a long quotation from a unique source, almost contemporary with Olav: William of Jumièges's Gesta Normannorum ducum V.11-12(ca. 1050-1070). It is shown that the ms., copied in northern France (Anchin), must derive from a Norwegian source and thus offers valuable new evidence of intellectual connections between Norway and northern France in the late 12th century. A difficult passage from Theodoricus Monachus' brief History of Norway (ca. 1180) - which draws on exactly the same paragraphs of William of Jumièges - is also analysed. It is suggested that Theodoricus, together with archbishop Øystein (1161-1188) and other high-ranking Norwegians, played an important role in the formation of a Norwegian corpus of official texts around 1160-1180, including the Passio Olaui.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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