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Vol. 60 A Christian Mannes Bileeve

A Christian Mannes Believes
Nicole D. Smith (ed.)  A Christian Mannes Bileeve (CMB) is a vernacular prose commentary on the Apostles’ Creed from possibly the first half of the fourteenth century and survives in four manuscripts. It has received little attention and has not previously been published. It grows out of a tradition of commentaries on the Creed, and of the four known versions in Middle English, the CMB is the longest and most substantial. It is also a stand-alone text whereas the others are found within larger works. In the CMB, each article of faith is given in Latin with a paraphrase in Middle English followed by a lengthy explanation. It is this feature that makes the CMB distinctive; the explanations include Latin and English lyric poetry, scriptural verse, exempla, and a range of material drawn from Latin theological writers such as Augustine, Gregory the Great, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Bonaventure. The CMB was of particular interest to women; of the four manuscripts, three are known to have been in the possession of aristocratic laywomen and female religious communities. The introduction discusses the manuscripts and their provenance, language and localization, date and context of the CMB, and the lyrics that are embedded in the text. The edited text is supported by an apparatus of variant readings, commentary, and a glossary, followed by a bibliography.  
'... makes this remarkable piece available in a reliable and well-annotated edition'
Thomas Kohnen
Anglistik 33 (2022)
'an excellent scholarly contribution as well as teaching aid for students studying Middle English'
Megen J. Hall
The Medieval Review (2022)
'a detailed and authoritative edition'
Pamela M. King
Archiv für das Studium der neuren Sprachen und Literaturen (2023)