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This dissertation presents an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of interlace in Britain, while arguing that the Anglo-Saxons utilized the device as an instrument for uniting British cultures under Christianity. Interlace is firstly defined in terms of weaving; and its inception and evolution into other crafts, including literature, is summarized. The paths by which interlace is known to have reached Britain are thus identified, and reasons for its use are considered. The study then concentrates on development of interlace within the socio-historical and linguistic contexts of Great Britain, which help to identify the characteristics of the genre that emerges. Focus on those elements is refined by analysis and interpretation of interlace in the manuscript art of The Lindisfarne Gospels (BL, Cotton Nero Div, f. 27), and on stone crosses at Ruthwell, Bewcastle, Sandbach, and Gosforth. Finally, the text of the late tenth century poem, The Dream of the Rood, is analyzed as interlace and interpreted under the lens of its religio-political and historical contexts.
Anglo-Saxon England, Early Britain, Interlace, Lindisfarne Gospels, Dream of the Rood, Interlace on Northumbrian Crosses
Date of Defense
March 24, 2010.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
David. F. Johnson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Lori Walters, University Representative; Bruce Boehrer, Committee Member; Eugene Crook, Committee Member; Nancy Bradley Warren, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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