The third oldest version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is known as ‘Manuscript C’.It is traditionally thought to have been produced at Abingdon Abbey in the mid-1040s, with continuations into the mid-1060s.
The first printed edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was that by Abraham Wheelock, or Wheloc, Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge. G (not then destroyed), with additions from A, and was accompanied by a Latin translation. And after that the king went into Wessex, and collected his forces.
Forty-nine years later a more complete edition, with a Latin translation, was published by Edmund Gibson, of Queen's College, Oxford, afterwards Bishop of London. Then went the army, soon, to London, and beset the city around, and strongly fought against it, as well by water as by land. The enemy went then, after that, from London, with their ships, into the Orwell, and there went up, and proceeded into Mercia, and destroyed and burned whatsoever they over-ran, as is their wont, and provided themselves with food: and they conducted, as well their ships as their droves, into the Medway.
This has arisen from the fact that a date left blank in the original copy has occasionally been inadvertently filled by the transcriber with the next entry, and so caused a general ante-dating of the succeeding annals. A, C, D and E may all be regarded as contemporary chronicles, and not open to suspicion on chronological grounds. And then gathered he his forces for the third time, and went to London, all north of Thames, and so out through Clayhanger; and relieved the citizens, and drove the army in flight to their ships.
A complete analytical edition in modern English, with corrected dates, is still, and must perhaps remain, a desideratum. And then, two days after, the king went over at Brentford, and there fought against the army, and put them to flight: and there many of the English people were drowned, from their own carelessness; they who went before the forces, and would take booty.
The manuscript breaks off in the middle of the events of 1066, as if a process of composition or copying had been interrupted.
This manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is notable for the range of material it includes.
The poem describes how nature and society should be ordered: ‘The dragon should be in his barrow, old, proud in his treasure.
A good working knowledge of Old English language and literature is highly recommended; students who haven’t followed a course in Old English can contact the tutor some weeks before the course starts for an alternative, online means to grasp the basics of Old English.
This course will consider survives in seven manuscripts, which were copied, continued and revised at various times, in differing political and geographical contexts.
Originating from a ‘Common Stock’ spanning the period from 60 BC to the 890s, the text of some of the manuscripts continues to the 1150s; thus, they cover the entire Anglo-Saxon period and some hundred years after the Norman Conquest.