July 23, 2024

Big Events Pull O’Brien Out of His Cave

Bruce O’Brien, chair and professor of history, is the academic lead and chair of the literary board for Early English Laws and was recently featured in the Washington Times as the author of an op-ed on the the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta.

O’Brien was also panelist at the National Archives discussing the Magna Carta’s origins and continuing legacy and impact on American law and politics.

Last, but certainly not least, his new book was published by Brepols. A description of Textus Roffensis: Law, Language, and Libraries in Early Medieval England is below:

Twenty experts in law, linguistics, literature, history, and religion analyze one of the most important books produced in medieval England.

Textus Roffensis, a Rochester Cathedral book of the early 12 century, holds some of the most significant texts issued in early medieval England, ranging from the oldest English-language law code of King Æthelberht of Kent (c. 600) to a copy of Henry I’s Coronation Charter (5 August 1100). Textus Roffensis also holds abundant charters (including some forgeries), narratives concerning disputed property, and one of the earliest library catalogues compiled in medieval England. While it is a familiar and important manuscript to scholars, however, up to now it has never been the object of a monograph or collection of wide-ranging studies. The 17 contributors to this book have subjected Textus Roffensis to close scrutiny and offer new conclusions on the process of its creation, its purposes and uses, and the interpretation of its laws and property records, as well as exploring significant events in which Rochester played a role and some of the more important people associated with the See. The work of the contributors takes readers into the mind of the scribes and compiler (or patron) behind the Textus Roffensis, as well as into the origins and meaning of the texts that the monks of early 12-century Rochester chose to preserve. The essays contained here not only set the study of the manuscript on a firm foundation, but also point to new directions for future work.