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Sauer, Hans (2019): The Latin and the Old English Versions of St Augustine's Prayer in his Soliloquia: A Study and a Rhetorical Synopsis. In: Anglia-Zeitschrift für Englische Philologie, Vol. 137, No. 4: pp. 561-611
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A special kind of a short text that is embedded in a larger text is the prayer near the beginning of St Augustine's Soliloquia, which serves as a kind of introduction to the ensuing dialogue. The relatively independent nature of this prayer was recognized early on, and in addition to its transmission in the manuscripts of the Soliloquia it has also been transmitted as an independent prayer. Something similar happened to the Old English translation. There is a full translation of the entire text, traditionally ascribed to King Alfred (and his learned helpers), but preserved only in a much later manuscript (London, British Library, Cotton Vitellius A.xv);however, a shortened version of the prayer was included in a collection of brief penitential texts in an earlier manuscript (London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius A.iii). In the present article I look at the structure of the Latin prayer and at its Old English translation, especially the relation of the two manuscript versions and their value for textual criticism and the reconstruction of the original version, their relation to the Latin source, and the rhetoric of the Latin prayer and its Old English translation, including a brief discussion of the binomials used. The Appendix provides a synoptic version of the Latin text and the two manuscript versions of the Old English translation, highlighting their rhetorical structure, something that to my knowledge has never been done for the Old English translation.