Community, Solitude, Patriarchy, And Proto-feminism In The Old English Life Of St. Mary Of Egypt
Shipnes, Jeffrey Pawling
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This thesis examines the binaries of community/solitude and patriarchy/proto-feminism in the Old English Life of St. Mary of Egypt. For various reasons scholars such as Hugh Magennis believe that the Old English Life of St. Mary of Egypt, although included in a manuscript of Aelfric's Lives of Saints, was not by Aelfric. I argue that the character of Zosimus in this vita embodies the characteristics of community and patriarchy, which I call the Aelfrician model, and the character of Mary of Egypt embodies the characteristics of solitude and proto-feminism, which I call the non-Aelfrician model. I further argue that these two models, the Aelfrician and non-Aelfrician, are complementary in the Old English Life of St. Mary of Egypt.