Sources and Analogues

The major sources for Wulfstan's eschatological homilies are well known to scholars, but not all are easily accessible. The texts given here are the major Latin and Old English sources and analogues to Wulfstan's sermons. Adso of Montièr-en-Der's treatise on the Antichrist is provided both in Latin and in the Old English translation associated with Wulfstan. The Latin text is found in two English manuscripts connected with Wulfstan and his so-called "commonplace book.": Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 190 and British Library, Cotton Vespasian D.ii. The Old English translation is in the form of a homily, extant in two manuscripts that also contain homilies by Wulfstan: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 419 and Oxford, Bodleian MS. Hatton 114; it was printed by Napier as Homily 42 of his edition. Bethurum speculates that the translation may have been commissioned by Wulfstan, but warns that "there is no evidence whatever that Wulfstan made the translation" himself (282). The relationship between the Latin and Old English versions is discussed in depth by Richard Kenneth Emmerson.

Ælfric's Preface to the Catholic Homilies served as Wulfstan's major source for De Temporibus Anticristi. Although the Preface was obviously written to introduce the longer work, it was also copied as a separate homily in its own right, and appears as such in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 178 and Oxford, Bodleian MS. Junius 121, a manuscript that also contains works by Wulfstan. But the Preface is not the only work in which Ælfric discusses the Last Days, and I have provided his Sermo de Die Iudicii as an analogue to the Wulfstanian texts. Two manuscripts of De Temporibus Anticristi also include a long narrative passage on the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul: the Latin source of the passage is the Pseudo-Marcellus Passio sanctorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli. There are two Old English analogues, Ælfric's Passio Apostolorum Petri et Pauli (CH1 26) and the anonymous Blickling Homily 15, Spel Be Petrus 7 Paulus.

Patristic writings on the Antichrist familiar to Wulfstan include Augustine's homily on John 2:18-27 and Jerome's Commentary on the Antichrist in Daniel. In addition, Wulfstan knew and cited numerous passages scattered throughout Gregory's Moralia in Job. Finally, Bede's writings on the Antichrist and the last day include both his Explanatio Apocalypsis and the two short texts reproduced here: De Temporibus Antichristi and De Die Iudicii.