The Durham Liber Vitae (London, British Library, MS Cotton Domitian A. vii) is one of seven surviving libri memoriales from the Carolingian period, and the only English example of its date. The book, which has been notably little studied, contains several thousand names of persons associated with a Northumbrian church, probably Lindisfarne, but possibly Monkwearmouth/Jarrow. From around 1100, it was used to record the names of all Durham monks, as well as of many lay people; family groups also appear, especially the families of the last monks before Henry VIII dissolved the cathedral monastery in 1539. It casts considerable light on how the church interacted with contemporary lay and ecclesiastical society and in the process illuminates the basis of the church's position and its role in defining related communities and regions. Studies cover all aspects of the manuscript, its content and its context.
Contributors: ARNOLD ANGENENDT, GEOFFREY BARROW, ELIZABETH BRIGGS, JANET BURTON, JAN GERCHOW, DIETER GEUENICH, MICHAEL GULLICK, IVAN HLAVACEK, K.S.B. KEATS-ROHAN, SIMON KEYNES, JOHN S. MOORE, A.J. PIPER, LYNDA ROLLASON, R.N. SWANSON, COLIN C.G. TITE.
An exciting and stimulating collection of essays. TOEBI NEWSLETTER
Of great importance both in a local, and in a wider European, context. [...] An admirable and well-edited volume. NORTHERN HISTORY
Never before have questions long associated with the Durham Liber vitae been explored with such coherence. [...] This collection succeeds brilliantly in showing how massed studies of regional particularities can be made to contribute to general understandings of important historical and social questions. [A] splendid collection. JOURNAL of ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY