The French of England:
Multilingualism in Practice, c. 1100-c. 1500

27th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University
Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 1, 2007
At the Lincoln Center Campus of Fordham University

Linguistic and Cultural Translation across the Conquest: The Virgin Body
Anne Savage, McMaster University
The translations of an Anglo-Saxon virgin martyr, Osith, both in body and in textual form, show how one aspect of the viking invasion of Anglo-Saxon England, the 'heathen assault' on a Christian virgin - was taken up by Anglo-Norman culture. The Anglo-Norman vie illustrates the processes through which the martyr's body becomes a religious institution in itself: first, Osith herself is threatened and killed by viking invaders; next, tales are told about her institution and those men - ultimately churchmen themselves – who become Osith’s corporate body in maintaining its history.
Religious virginity in Anglo-Saxon Christian culture was constructed on different principles, and had a different history from its Anglo-Norman counterpart.  The Old English poetic virgin martydom, Juliana, will be the basis for examining these principles in relation to their transformations in Anglo-Norman culture (as demonstrated in the Vie  seinte Osith).  

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