The minimal unit of SASLC is the entry, each of which discusses a particular text known in Anglo-Saxon England. Elsewhere in SASLC, entries may be gathered into larger, generic sets (such as APOCRYPHA; on the use of cross-references, see below), or they are, as here, found under a single author. While the structure of SASLC as a whole is alphabetical, individual entries within a major-author or a generic grouping may be organized in different ways, which will be explained at the beginnings of these sections.

Each entry starts with a title and an abbreviation, drawn from, for Anglo-Latin works, Michael Lapidge's Abbreviations for Sources and Specification of Standard Editions for Sources (1988; the bibliography at the end of the second fascicle is referenced by the author’s name and the date of publication) and from, for vernacular works, the Microfiche Concordance to Old English [MCOE]. As a result, SASLC is, on the whole, consistent with Fontes Anglo-Saxonici and the Toronto Dictionary of Old English, although at times we refer to more recent editions than the ones used in those works. Titles and abbreviations are then followed by references to standard scholarship on the text (see the list of abbreviations at the end of this Guide), using item numbers if available (for example, CPL 1343 refers to the entry on De natura rerum in the Clavis Patrum Latinorum) but page numbers if not. The next line designates the edition, which will be used throughout SASLC, that best represents what Bede wrote. So, for example De natura rerum is edited on pages 180-234 of volume 123A of the Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina: CCSL 123A.189-234. References to the Historia ecclesiastica are to Michael Lapidge’s Beda: Storia degli Inglesi (2010), and so to the third edition of volume 1 and the first edition of volume 2. On occasions when a work circulated in more than one version (for example, the metrical Vita Cuthberti) each is given its own entry.


Much of the evidence for the knowledge of a work in Anglo-Saxon England is summarized in the headnote, which covers manuscripts, booklists, Anglo-Saxon versions, quotations or citations, and references. Each category of evidence requires some comment.

MSS: Manuscripts. The inclusion of a work in a relevant manuscript provides firm physical evidence for its presence in Anglo-Saxon England. Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts [ASM] by Helmut Gneuss and Lapidge is the essential reference work here. We have, of course, consulted other sources as needed, including, for example, Lapidge’s “Surviving Eighth-Century Manuscripts from the Area of the Anglo-Saxon Mission in Germany,” in The Anglo-Saxon Library (2006 pp 155-66). Manuscripts not in ASM are preceded by a question mark in the headnote, and are discussed in the body of the entry.

Lists: Booklists. Although less informative than a surviving manuscript, the mention of a work in wills, lists of donations, or inventories of libraries from our period provides a good indication that it was known. In "Surviving Booklists from Anglo-Saxon England" Lapidge [ML] edits the remaining catalogues of manuscripts from our period, and identifies, whenever possible, the work in question.

A-S Vers: Anglo-Saxon Versions. Like the manuscript evidence, an Anglo-Saxon translation into Old English, or adaptation in Anglo-Latin, indicates that the source was known to the English at some time during the Anglo-Saxon period. The abbreviations for Old English texts are again from the MCOE, and those for Anglo-Latin from Lapidge (1988). In order to make our work self-contained, these abbreviations are expanded later in the bodies of the entries where they occur and the designated editions specified. We have, of course, exercised judgment when deciding whether to represent the information as a translation or adaptation rather than as a series of quotations.

Quots/Cits Quotations or Citations. The source-notes of modern critical editions and other secondary scholarship often establish that Anglo-Saxon writers knew a work in full or in some shortened form. A citation, including both the name and the words of an author, is sometimes significant since it shows the knowledge of the origin of an idea or phrase. The abbreviation for the source, that is the work being discussed in the entry, is on the left of the colon; the abbreviation for the the work that uses this source is on the right. They are again drawn from Lapidge (1988) and the MCOE, but may be extended, for reasons that will become clear in a moment, to designate some part of the work in question.

Since our aim is to identify precise passages as simply as possible, we use the line numbers provided by editors whenever possible. If a work is continuously lineated, the abbreviation for the title is followed by line numbers. So “BEDA.Carm.Iudic., 1-11” refers to opening eleven lines of Bede’s De die iudicii (since this example would only appear in the Bede entry as a source and so to the left of the colon, we omit “BEDA”). In contrast, since Lapidge lineates individual chapters of his edition of the Historia ecclesiastica, “Hist.eccl., V.xxiv, 185-88” refers to lines 185-88 of book 5, chapter 24, Bede’s closing prayer.

If an edition begins with new line numbers on each page or if it does not provide them, the last numbers in these sequences are a combination of pages and lines. So, “BONIF.Epist. 75, 158.8-12” refers to lines 8-12 on page 158 of Michael Tangl’s edition of the correspondence of BONIFACE and LULL (MGH ES); the work in question is his Epistola 75. Similarly, Christine Rauer has not lineated her edition of the OLD ENGLISH MARTYROLOGY, and so “Mart (B19.1; John of Beverley), 100.5-8” refers to lines 5-8 on page 100, the entry on John of Beverley. It is worth noting here that we count the lines of text, not all the lines of print, which might also include running titles or notes. Users who track down these references will notice further refinements, but we expect this is enough information for all to navigate the system.

Refs References. Although always open to interpretation, a specific reference to a work by an Anglo-Saxon writer may indicate its presence in England during our period. Line numbers are referred to in the same way as explained above under Quotations or Citations.


The body of the entry usually begins with a brief discussion of the work in question, indicating other titles by which it has been known and considering its likely date of composition. We then consider any information in the headnote that requires clarification or amplification. It is here that the abbreviations used in Quots/Cits and Refs are expanded, and the designated editions of the writers who have used Bede’s works are identified. Readers will notice that references to quoted passages in Quots/Cits differ from those that provide information about the designated edition. As just explained, in the headnote “ALCVIN.Epist. 29, 71.14” identifies line 14, which appears on page 71 of Alcuin’s Letter 29. In the body, “MGH ECA 2.71” refers to the same page 71, but adds the information that the line in question appears in the second volume of the Epistolae Carolini Aeui, part of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Entries often conclude with a discussion of bibliography.


Readers are directed to other entries (written or projected) in SASLC by names in bold: large capitals are used for those that figure into the alphabetical scheme of the project as a whole (that is, known authors and the names of generic sets, as well as the titles of anonymous works not gathered into these larger groupings); small capitals for any division within a major-author or generic set. Thus AMBROSE and De fide. Names in small bold capitals need not, however, always refer to individual texts since some major-author and generic sets are further divided into sections (for example, Apocryphal Apocalypses in APOCRYPHA).

An author or the title of a work is placed in bold the first time (and only the first time) it appears in an entry or in an introductory section of a major-author or generic set. Names, such as APOCRYPHA and Aprocryphal Apocaclypses, that refer to major-author or generic groupings or to divisions within them are always in bold; the names of authors and titles of works will not be after their first use. This practice also means that when the first occurence of the name of an author whose work was known in Anglo-Saxon England is in a quotation, we change the immediate author’s usage to conform with that of our volume. So, for example, in the discussion of Boniface’s correspondence, Wilhelm Levison’s “Egbert” becomes “ECGBERHT” even though we are quoting from his England and the Continent in the Eighth Century (1946). We have not, however, regularized other names in quotations. These references will eventually lead to entries where the differing names will be explained; had there been any ambiguous cases we would have discussed them in their immediate context. In cases such as “Ecgberht,” where there are differing spellings of a name, we have followed the Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE). This research tool has also proved useful in sorting out individuals who share the same name.