Talk:Æthelnoth (archbishop of Canterbury)

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Good article Æthelnoth (archbishop of Canterbury) has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
January 4, 2012 Good article nominee Listed

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Æthelnoth (archbishop of Canterbury)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Drmies (talk · contribs) 05:03, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Will begin as soon as I figure out how the template works. Drmies (talk) 05:03, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)

Solid work, as was to be expected.

  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    I have one or two comments, which I'll type below.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Really, N/A. There are no images of the subject. I'd put maybe this image in all of these articles, because pictures are nice, but I'm not going to impose that view.
  7. Overall:

I really have only one comment, about the lead and sainthood. The lead is real short, "Although he was regarded as a saint"--I'd like to know who regarded him as a saint, for how long, on what grounds, etc. The text doesn't offer anything else, and I guess one can't expect much more given the reference for this (Farmer), but I hope that you can find at least something more to add. Esp. for non-expert readers this idea of "regarded as" is strange since sainthood is often thought of as a simple thing; any kind of clarification would be beneficial (and exciting, of course), and I'd like to see that in the lead as well as in the text. Drmies (talk) 05:19, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

First - the image - that's of the post 1174 fire cathedral - so I'd not put it in because it's going to give the wrong impression of what the cathedral in Æthelnoth's time looked like. Even the crypt isn't very contemporary (it got reworked after the Conquest) to Æthelnoth and even if it was, Canterbury doesn't allow photography in the crypt (dang it!). I'll link to Canonization#Historical development of the process which sorta explains how someone could be considered a saint - basically prior to about 1170, there was no formal process so if enough people thought someone was a saint - voilla - you were a saint! Is the link enough or do you think there should be more? Ealdgyth - Talk 17:09, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I said "Farmer" above, that should have been "Walsh" of course. Well, I was hoping that either one (or any other source) would have something on his veneration or status--and given that, as you say, there is no evidence of a cult anywhere, what list he appears on (I guess why he appears on any list cannot be answered). (PS I have Walsh's Book of Saints--is it worth my while and $30 to get his New Dictionary?) Without such a mention the gap between "considered a saint" and "no evidence etc." is rather big--at least to people who are not you or me. I know that Farmer (can't check it now, he's at the office) gives little detail, but I had hoped that Walsh would say a word or two. Thanks, Drmies (talk) 21:12, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Walsh doesn't really give anything that isn't already in the ODNB entry - it's all biographical details. Farmer's Dictionary does say that he's listed by Mabillon and the Bollandists had an entry on him, but that sort of listing doesn't really tell us much about why contemporaries or those not long after his life considered him a saint. I like the Dictionary but don't have Walsh's Book so don't really have an idea if it's worth it for you. I use mainly Farmer's Dictionary and Walsh's New Dictionary (amusingly enough, I purchased Walsh's New Dictionary in Zagreb, of all places, and hauled it around Europe for three weeks on a bus tour - talk about purchasing something in an odd place!) Ealdgyth - Talk 21:34, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Ealdgyth, for my own peace of mind I'm going to hold off for a day or two, or three, until I can get to the office and look at a few things. I hope you don't mind. Drmies (talk) 03:08, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Drive by comment
No worries. Ealdgyth - Talk 12:55, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Lede: "cult being paid to him." - I don't think this prose is right. Is cult ever "paid" to anyone? MathewTownsend (talk) 02:37, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Good point. Thanks for driving by and honking. Drmies (talk) 03:08, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
      • I've seen the phrasing before ... it may be more common in American scholarship than British however (or could be the other way around - this poor Yank is so confused about how to spell/phrase things any more that half the time I spell "favor" as "favour"... ) Ealdgyth - Talk 12:55, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Wait, I have one more thingy: the "archbishop" in the title is lower-case. (I've just changed it on the dab page.) The article, however, spells it with a cap in the first sentence, as it does for Dean of Canterbury later on. Can you clarify? Drmies (talk) 18:26, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
    • I lost a fight at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (clergy) - well, actually, I didn't really care enough to fight hard - but if you feel strongly enough, weigh in on the talk page. We're lucky he's got the "of canterbury" there, honestly. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:29, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Oh, I don't care one way or another. I find it confusing and irritating. Listen, I just leafed through the Lexikon des Mittelalters and found the Harefoot story repeated, with a reference to Brooks, a 1978 edition: "Nach dem Tode des Knuts weigerte sich Æ, Harald Hasenfuss to krönen." I assume the doubtful authenticity is made clear by Brooks, at least in the 1984 edition that you cite? (The entry is written by Brooks.) Drmies (talk) 18:37, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
        • Yeah, Brooks says much the same as the O'Brien source I'm using here (I can replace the Harfoot story with Brooks, but not the W of M stuff - Æthelnoth has proven surprisingly difficult to find information on, for such a late AS bishop. would you prefer the replacement of part of the O'Brien source with Brooks? Ealdgyth - Talk 18:44, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
          • Mason in DNB dates the Harefoot story to 1036 and cites Gervase as saying that Æthelnoth did crown him in 1037. Is this worth citing? It is a late source but probably no more unreliable than Emma's Enconium. Dudley Miles (talk) 19:23, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
            • Leave it for the FAC ... he's SHOULD make it ... then we can go into the nitty gritty boring source details. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:25, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
              • Fine, though it does seem to me that it is a question of facts, not just sources. Calling Emma's claim that Æthelnoth promised Cnut that he would only crown a son of hers 'of doubtful authenticity' understates how untrustworthy it is. Mason's view that Æthelnoth was unwilling to crown Harefoot in 1036 when the succession was still in doubt, but agreed in 1037 when he had been generally accepted and Emma had been exiled, seems far more reasonable. Dudley Miles (talk) 22:12, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
              • I should add my source for my comment on Emma's Enconium, Pauline Stafford's Queen Emma and Queen Edith, especially p. 35 on Æthelnoth's refusal to crown Harefoot. However on p. 239 she says that Æthelnoth should perhaps be placed in Emma's camp. Dudley Miles (talk) 18:20, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Godwin's uncle[edit]

See article on Ancestry of the Godwins for the status of Frank Barlow's theory that Godwin was the grandson of Æthelnoth's father Æthelmær the Stout. The article should not therefore give the impression that this is an accepted view. The reference should therefore be deleted as tenuous, or at least appropriately caveated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Timothy Hugh Smith (talkcontribs) 16:29, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Stenton died before Barlow published his book on the Godwin family - so it's not fair to contrast his work with Barlows - the fact that Stenton doesn't mention the theory doesn't disprove it, Stenton was writing before Barlow. It IS appropriately caveated - it says it's Barlow's view. The fact that Æthelnoth was the son of Aethelmaer isn't in doubt. It's just the Godwin connection. I've clarified that the "he was an uncle" refers to h. We cannot say based on Stenton that the theory has no acceptance - he died before Barlow argued it. Barlow's opinion is notable enough to mention - he's a seriously important medievalist of the period. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:41, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I am still not entirely comfortable. The theory was first proposed a century ago by Alfred Anscombe, and since then Frank Barlow has been the only significant historian to entertain it. I do not think just saying that it is Barlow's view accurately represents the extent to which he has put himself out on a limb, and could mislead the reader into thinking it uncontroversial. I am unable to add citations casting doubt on the theory, but the evidence is highly problematical and there are significant objections, acknowledged by Barlow. This is dealt with in the article on the Ancestry of the Godwins. My only contribution to that article has been to mitigate some of the objections, as I think the theory is interesting enough to have a fair hearing, even if ultimately unpersuasive. Since the identification of Æthelnoth as Godwin's uncle is only consequential upon Barlow's identification of Æthelmær as his grandfather, I wonder whether it is necessary to raise the theory at all in this article. But I shall leave it to you.Timothy Hugh Smith