De Temporibus Anticristi is in part a reworking and enlargement of Ælfric's Preface to the Catholic Homilies. It appears in three manuscripts: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 201, pp. 74-78; Bodleian Hatton 113, ff. 52-56b; and Bodleian 343, ff. 142b-143b. The first two manuscripts incorporate a lengthy exemplum concerning Simon Magus and his contest with the apostles Peter and Paul in Rome as an illustration of the type of wonders the Antichrist may be expected to perform. The exemplum is likely to be a scribal interpolation, and Bethurum omits it from her edition of the homily. It is included here, with notes to mark its beginning and ending. For a brief discussion of the authorship of the passage, see Pope's 1959 review of Bethurum's edition.

[1]Matthew 24:21. Cp. also De Anticristo, "And swa mycel earfoðnes gewyrð on mænige wisan gyt wide on worulde, þæs þe bec secgað, þurh deofles bearn þe unriht dreogað, swa næfre ær on worulde ne gewearð"; and Ælfric's Preface, "Þonne beoð swilce gedreccednyssa swilce næron næfre ær fram frumðe middangeardes."

[2]Cp. the Old English translation of Adso, "He bið sylf deofol and þeh mennisc man geboren"; and Ælfric's Preface, "se bið mennisc mann and soð deofol."

[3]Cp. De Anticristo, "mæste yfel cymð to mannum þonne Antecrist sylf cymð, þe næfre ær on worulde ne gewearð"; and Secundum Marcum, "And mycel is seo þwyrnes þe nu is towerd, gebide ðære yrmðe se þe hit gebide, þæt Antecrist geboren beo. Crist wæs ealra bearna betst geboren þe æfre geboren wurde, 7 Antecrist bið ealra þæra bearna wyrst on þas woruld geboren þe ær oððe æfter æfre gewurde oððe geweorðe."

[4]Matthew 24:22. Cp. Ælfric's Preface, "and butan se Ælmihtiga God ða dagas gescyrte, ealle mennisc forwurde; ac for his gecorenum he gescyrte ða dagas."

[5]Wulfstan rarely uses similes in his writing; he borrows this commonplace comparison from Æfric's Preface, "God geðafað eac þæt his gecorenan ðegenas beon aclænsode fram eallum synnum ðurh ða ormatan ehtnyssa, swa swa gold bið on fyre afandod." Cp. also Zecharia 13:9.

[6]Here Leofan men is an expansion of the manuscript abbreviation barred L. The fact that the abbreviation was used may explain the capital G that follows, unusual in the middle of a sentence, but quite usual in a sentence-initial position.

[7]sweartan helle grund. Bethurum notes that this is Wulfstan's only use of sweartan, and suggests that the phrase comes from Ælfric's þrowiað on ðære sweartan helle (290n).

[8]Cp. Adso's description of the Antichrist's temptations: Eriget itaque se contra fideles tribus modis, id est, terrore, muneribus et miraculis. Dabit in se credentibus auri atque argenti copias. Quos uero non poterit muneribus corrumpere, superabit terrore. Quos autem terrore non poterit, signis et miraculis seducere temptabit. Quos nec signis poterit, in conspectu omnium miserabili morte cruciatos credeliter necabit.

[9]Ælfric makes the same point in his Preface: "nænne ne gehælð fram untrumnyssum, buton þam anum þe he sylf ær awyrde."

[10]Cp. Ælfric, "He and his gingran awyrdað manna lichaman digelice ðurh deofles cræft, and gehælað hi openlice on manna gesihðe."

[11]Cp. Ælfric, "Se arleasa deð þæt fyr cymð ufan swilce of heofonum on manna gesihðe, swilce he God Ælmihtig sy, ðe ah geweald heofenas and eorðan; ac þa cristenan sceolon beon þonne gemyndige hu se deofol dyde, ða ða he bæd æt Gode þæt he moste fandian Iobes. He gemacode ða þæt fyr com ufan swilce of heofonum, and forbærnde ealle his scep ut on felda and þa hyrdas samod, buton anum þe hit him cyðan sceolde. Ne sende se deofol þa fyr of heofonum, þeah ðe hit ufan come, for ðan ðe he sylf næs on heofonum syððan he for his modignysse ofaworpen wæs. Ne eac se wælhreowa Antecrist næfð þa mihte þæt he heofenlic fyr asendan mæge, ðeah ðe he þurh deofles cræft hit swa gehiwige."

[12]Bodleian 343, the sole manuscript to omit the Simon Magus exemplum, stops here, picking up again at Utan habban anrædne geleafan.

[13]Bethurum's edition of the homily stops here, picking up again at Se sylfa deofol.

[14]CCCC 201 adds "We magan fela ymbe swilc reccan."

[15]This emperor is named in parallel accounts as Nero, who was himself often regarded as a type of Antichrist.

[16]Bethurum's edition resumes here.

[17]Bodleian 343 resumes here.

[18]CCCC 201 and Bodleian 343 insert "7 ælcne hæðenscipe oferhogiað" here.

[19]CCCC 201 and Bodleian 343 insert "ælcum hæþenscipe 7" here.