Æthelwine of Athelney
Æthelwine of Athelney was a 7th-century Catholic saint. He lived as a hermit on the island of Athelney in the marsh country of Somerset, and is known to us through being recorded in the hagiography of the Secgan Manuscript. He was venerated as a saint after his death.
Etymology of his Name
His name is two Anglo Saxon words, æðel (prince) and wine (friend protector).
He takes his suffix from Athelney, the island where he lived. Athelney was made famous as the island fort in the Somerset marshes from where Alfred the Great launched his conquest of the Danes, two centuries after Æthelwine lived there. The Anglo-Saxon name of Athelney isle was "Æðelinga íeg", thought to mean the "Island of Princes" (æðeling) and as it had this name prior to Alfred it is possible that it derived from Æthelwine, or that it was an established royal residence, fort or refuge of some type. To give thanks for his victory, Alfred founded on the Isle in 888 AD, a monastery, Athelney Abbey.
- Lyng and Athelney by Miranda Richardson.
- Stowe MS 944, British Library
- G. Hickes, Dissertatio Epistolaris in Linguarum veterum septentrionalium thesaurus grammatico-criticus et archeologicus (Oxford, 1703), p115.
- The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, Oxford University Press.
- William of Malmesbury Gesta Pontificum Anglorum ii.92.3
- "Æthelwine 1". Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England.
- 'Houses of Benedictine monks: The abbey of Athelney', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 2 (1911), pp. 99-103.
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