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King Edgar seated between St Æthelwold and St Dunstan. From an eleventh-century manuscript of the Regularis Concordia (British Libray, Cotton, Tiberius A III, f2v).[1]

The Regularis Concordia was the most important document of the English Benedictine Reform, sanctioned by the Council of Winchester in about 973.[2]

The document was compiled by Æthelwold, who was aided by monks from Fleury and Ghent. A synodal council was summoned to construct a common rule of life to be observed by all monasteries. The resulting compilation of various Western European monastic practices did not contain much that was unique to English customs. It did specify a procedure for the election of bishops that differed from Continental practice, and which led to a predominantly monastic episcopacy.[3]

Ethelwold of Winchester[edit]

Æthelwold of Winchesteris known as the main contributor to the original Regularis Concordia Manuscript which became an official document of 10th Century monastic reform in Anglo-Saxon England. Ethelwold was also the sole translator of Rule of Saint Benedict which was included in the Regularis Concordia. He was an appropriate leader for the passion needed to helm the English Benedictine Reform. He had a reputation for being "as terrible as a lion" to the rebellious and for zealously fighting corruption in the church.[4] Æthelwold succesfully reformed the monasticism of France into Southern England [5]


  • London, BL, MS Faustina B III, f. 159r-198r.
  • London, BL, MS Tiberius A III, f. 3-27.


  1. ^ Cannon, John; Ralph Griffiths (1997). The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy. Oxford University Press. p. 25. ISBN 0-19-822786-8. 
  2. ^ Kornexl, Lucia (2014). "Regularis Concordia". In Lapidge, Michael et al. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England (2nd ed.). Wiley Blackwell. pp. 399–400. ISBN 978-0-631-22492-1. 
  3. ^ Blair, Peter Hunter (1960). An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England. Cambridge University Press. p. 178. 
  4. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05555b.htm
  5. ^ Brown, T.J.(1960). The Benedictional of St. Aethelwold. The British Museum Quarterly, 22. 57-59

Primary sources[edit]

Regularis Concordia
  • Regularis Concordia, ed. and tr. D.T. Symons, Regularis Concordia Anglicae Nationis Monachorum Sanctimonialiumque. The Monastic Agreement of the Monks and Nuns of the English Nation. London, 1953.
Ælfric's Letter to the monks of Eynsham
  • Letter to the Monks of Eynsham, ed. and tr. C. A. Jones, Ælfric’s Letter to the Monks of Eynsham. Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England 24. Cambridge, 1998.
Old English versions
  1. A continuous Old English interlinear gloss in BL, MS Tiberius A III f. (Faustina), ed. Lucia Kornexl, Die Regularis Concordia und ihre altenglische Interlinearversion. Edition mit Einleitung und Kommentar. Münchener Universitäts-Schriften 17. Munich, 1993.
  2. Two fragments of Old English prose translations:
    1. Old English translation of §§ 36-43 in London, BL, MS Tiberius A III, f. 174-7 (previously preceding the Latin text of MS Faustina B III), ed. A. Schröer, "De consuetudine monachorum." Englische Studien 9 (1886): 290-96.
    2. Old English translation of §§ 14-19 in Cambridge, CCC, MS 201 (Part A), pp. 1–7, ed. J. Zuptiza, "Ein weiteres Bruchstück der Regularis Concordia in altenglischer Sprache." ASNSL 84 (1890): 1-24.

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