Spr/Sum 04

MLA Diary

Texts Found by Eugene Ostashevsky
While Working As Indexer
At The Modern Language Association

Who was the Ehfrid of Aldhelm’s Letter?

He goes on to state that Eahfrid, or Æhfrid, seems to be the same as Eadfrid (also known as Eatfrid, or again as Egfrid), to whom Bede dedicated his prose Life of Cuthbert, and who succeeded Eadbert as Bishop of Lindisfarne in 698.


Next Year Also!

Balkan ludi took place on Cheese Monday when phallus-bearing actors (‘Kalogheroi’) were slain and revived, with ploughshares thrown high to shouts of “Next year also!”


Sporadic Cretinism

Osler, W. “Sporadic Cretinism in America.” Transactions of the Congress of American Physicians and Surgeons, IV (1897), 169-206.


A Correction

SPECULUM III (1928), 349, line 10 from bottom: delete ‘Germanic’; pp. 360, 361, for read

                                                                            W. B. Sedgwick

Wenzel, Siegfried. “The Seven Deadly Sins: Some Problems of Research.” Speculum. 1968 Jan; 43(1): 1-22.


A new truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die.

                                                                             Max Planck

Men’s Room

A: How was dinner chez maman?
B: Argh! You’ll read all about it in my novel!


Law and Order in Fourteenth-Century England

On the Friday before last midlent there came to Hackney Richard Catel, kinsman of Master Richard de Baldock, in a monk’s habit, calling himself Brother Muf, and John de Sabrychtheswith [i.e. Sawbridgeworth, Herts.], calling himself Brother Cuf, who entered the parsonage and told John, farmer of the benefice, that their abbot, Brother Puf, and his convent wanted to visit John within a week and put the parsonage to the torch, and that the money of the farm of the parsonage would be taken against their coming, if he wished to avoid damage and save his life.


Somersetshire Pleas

In 1242, the tithings of Almsworthy and Exford were amerced because a man in the first was suspected of harboring thieves who were in the second. In 1244, the borough of Axbridge came by twelve to the eyre and numbered the harboring of thieves among their presentments. Somewhat earlier, Richard de Krues, a villein of Blagdon, killed Herman Dreng of Blangdon and fled. He was in the frankpledge of the vill of Blagdon, and therefore it was in mercy. Elyas Cute and Walter de Stoke entered the house of Edith de Draycote by night, and carried off the chattels they found there. Afterwards the thieves were taken at Draycote, and hanged by judgment of the hundred court of Cheddar. The Hundred of Cheddar came by twelve and swore that Walter Harald was wounded in his house at Cheddar by unknown malefactors. Certain malefactors robbed the house of the chaplain of Cloford, and because the township of Cloford did not make pursuit, it was amerced. William, the shepherd of Dene, who abode in the vill of Cumpton, killed Geoffrey Doggesem and fled. The vill was amerced because William was not in a frankpledge. Walter Clome was found killed in the forest of Netherham, and two men, sons of Fromund of Duneyet, were suspected and fled. They were of the tithing of Duneyet. Walter was buried without the view of coroners, and therefore the vill was amerced. The manor of Newton came by six and presented that William de Bikebir' was found drowned in the fishpond of Newton. Englishry was not presented, therefore it was murder. The Hundred of North Petherton came by twelve and presented that Walter Bragge, Robert Hode, William the little Miller, and Margery, his wife, beat Jordan Heywulf so that he died. William and Margery fled to the church of Petherton and abjured the realm. William was in the tithing of the Hospital of Petherton, therefore it was amerced. The Sheriff had to answer for his chattels, worth three shillings. Walter and Robert had fled, therefore they were ordered exacted and outlawed. They had no chattels. Godfrey de Mora and Henry de Fernagu were accused of larceny, fled, and were suspected. Godfrey was in the tithing of Walter the tithingman of North Petherton. Ranulph Cyssor of la Sute of Winscumbe was found killed in the Suete of Winscumbe. No Englishry, therefore it was murder. The vill of Cumpton did not make pursuit, for which it was amerced. Robery Cory was found dead in the tithing of Wythecumbe. Englishry was not presented, and therefore murder. The manor of Winsford came by six to the 1242-1243 eyre.


Eugene Ostashevsky's recent work appears in Jubilat and elsewhere. His chapbook The Off-Centaur was published by Germ Folios/Poetic Research Bloc. He lives in Brooklyn and is currently translating the poetry of 1930s Russian absurdism.