Saturday, 19 September 2009

Character in bernard Cornwell's Saxon Series: Tatwine

Tatwine (or Tatwin) was the tenth Archbishop of Canterbury (731-734). He was subsequently canonized by the Roman Catholic Church

Breedon -on-the-Hill

Tatwine was a Mercian by birth. He became a monk at the monastery at Breedon-on-the-Hill in the present-day County of Leicestershire, and then abbot of that house. Through the influence of King Æthelbald he was appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury in 731 and was consecrated on 10 June 731. Apart from his consecration of the Bishops of Lindsey and Selsey in 733, Tatwine's period as archbishop appears to have been uneventful. He died in office on 30 July 734. Later canonized, his feast day is 30 July.

Bede's commentary on Tatwine states: vir religione et Prudentia insignis, sacris quoque literis nobiliter instructus (a man notable for his prudence, devotion and learning). These qualities were displayed in the two surviving manuscripts of his riddles and four of his Grammar. The grammar was based on the works of Priscian and Consentius, but in a simple manner best suited for beginners to the language. The riddles deal with such diverse topics as philosophy and charity, the five senses and the alphabet, and a book and a pen. The riddles are formed in acrostics. The grammar is a reworking of Donatus's Ars Minor with the addition of information drawn from other grammarians. It was not designed for a newcomer to the Latin language, but is designed for more advanced students. It covers the eight parts of speech through illustrations drawn from classical scholars, although not directly but through other grammatical works. There are also some examples drawn from the Psalms. The work was completed before he became archbishop, and was used not only in England but also on the continent. The grammar was published as Ars Grammatica in 1868 by August Wilmanns.

Blair, Peter Hunter (1990). The World of Bede (Reprint of 1970 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39819-3.

Brooks, Nicholas (1984). The Early History of the Church of Canterbury: Christ Church from 597 to 1066. London: Leicester University Press. ISBN 0-7185-0041-5.

Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.

Kirby, D. P. (2000). The Earliest English Kings. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24211-8. Lapidge, Michael (2001). "Tatwine". in Lapidge, Michael; Blair, John; Keynes, Simon; Scragg, Donald. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. pp. 440. ISBN 978-0-631-22492-1.

Lapidge, Michael (2004). "Tatwine (d. 734)" (fee required). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. accessed 7 November 2007

Stenton, F. M. (1971). Anglo-Saxon England (Third ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280139-5.

Yorke, Barbara (1997). Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England. New York: Routledge. p. 31. ISBN 0-415-16639-X.

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