Talk:Cuthbert

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Miracles[edit]

What miracles did he perform? The only mention of miracles is briefly glossed over here: He spent much time among the people, ministering to their spiritual needs, carrying out missionary journeys, preaching and performing miracles. Wouldn't the miracles be a major part of his notability? If so, they should probably be elaborated on. -kotra 07:26, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

You ask about Cuthberts Miracles. You may find comparison with St Francis a help, but Cuthbert was not as impressive as Francis. His miracles are largely based on telling widows that no one Else in their family would die of Plague etc. None did it seems. There are also the ch eerie stories involving Cuthbert talking to Birds (who it is claimed understood him). Cuthbert would 'tell off' the Crows for looting his vegetable patch and the Crows would act contrite and not do their 'Veg robbin' anymore etc. How seriously should we take these stories? well that is up to you. During WW2 there was said to be prayers offered to Cuthbert to protect the City from Air-raids, (no source for these stories).Johnwrd (talk) 02:57, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Dates[edit]

c. 634–20 March 687; the date seems to be part of hagiography (so is much of the rest, anyway) as it is the end of winter, which is followed by Easter and resurrection. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.82.177.147 (talk) 18:58, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The Life of Cuthbert[edit]

Perhaps an section on Bedes Life of Cuthbert would have been of help. It is the only lengthy information we have about the Mystic. The story also has an uncanny ring of truth to the tale as it chronicles his slow progression into isolated (insanity?). Towards the end of Bedes mini Biography of Cuthbert you find yourself asking if Cuthbert really was tormented by Demons (like the blind Man who was tormented by Harpies in Jason and the Argonaughts, or was simply wrestling with chronic depression.Johnwrd (talk) 03:06, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

What does "Cuthbert" mean? - Gilgamesh (talk) 09:56, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Cuthbert of Durham[edit]

Hymn for the Feast Day of Cuthbert from the Coldingham Breviary

In the introduction to "Two Lives of Cuthbert", the scholar and translator Bertram Colgrave, quoting Reginald of Durham, describes the three most popular Early Saints of that period as Cuthbert of Durham, Edmund of Bury and Aethilthryth of Ely. The Cult of Cuthbert was centred on Durham, even if he lived in Lindisfarne and some of the Farne Islands. Wikipedia should stick to what the experts on Cuthbert write, not unsourced local folklore. There are plenty of sources (cf for example St Cuthbert's Well, etc). Mathsci (talk) 14:17, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Actually, consulting four sources - I show plain "Cuthbert" as the most often used description. That includes the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the Oxford Dictionary of Saints and the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Colgrave's work is still important, but there are newer works on Cuthbert. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:19, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
More sources - Stenton's Anglo-Saxon England (3rd edition) has plain "Cuthbert, St" in the index, but calls him "Cuthbert of Lindisfarne" in the text (example - p. 126 in my paperback edition). Henry Mayr-Hartig in The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England uses plain "Cuthbert" in the index but "Cuthbert of Lindisfarne" in the text (example p. 150). Peter Hunter Blair in The World of Bede uses plain "Cuthbert" in both index and text (example p. 101). Barbara Yorke in The Conversion of Britain uses "Cuthbert" in the index but "Cuthbert of Lindisfarne" in the text (example p. 242). Eric John in Reassessing Anglo-Saxon England uses "Cuthbert" in both index and text (example p. 36).Ealdgyth - Talk 14:30, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree that just unadorned Cuthbert is fine. (That's how he is in this quite old primary source, an illuminated manuscript from Coldingham Priory.) Mathsci (talk) 14:35, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Me too - though there is Cuthbert of Canterbury - Archb. of Canterbury & minor saint. But we rightly regard the Northerner as primary. Both "of Lindisfarne" and "of Durham" can be amply referenced, largely depending on the period being talked about. Colgrave spent most of his career at Durham ....Johnbod (talk) 15:09, 21 March 2013 (UTC)


Saxon?[edit]

Now where is the consensus on this talkpage that describes Cuthbert as a Saxon? Cuthbert was born and spent his life in Bernicia, an Anglian kingdom. Saxons colonised Sussex, Wessex, Essex; Jutes, Kent and the Isle of Wight. Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria (Bernicia, Deira, and at times Cumbria) were Anglian. Simple. "Anglo-Saxon" as a term is a Victorian coverall invention, partly due to Wessex's domination of the later Heptarchy, so therefore an anachronism in this case. Brendandh (talk) 10:43, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Screw consensus, where are your sources? You won't find scholarly sources describing Cuthbert as "Anglian". Bernicia ceased to exist (finally) in 634, either shortly before or after Cuthbert was born. A-S historians don't use "Anglian" for people from this time or place, nor "Saxon", though I'm aware some geneticists like to distinguish between the two as late as this. Johnbod (talk) 12:36, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
ODNB says "No reliable information is extant about Cuthbert's family, though information given in the accounts of his miracles suggests that he may have come from the area known as Lothian, between the Tweed and the Forth." and "Cuthbert's name suggests that he was of Anglo-Saxon rather than British origin, but it is less clear from what social class he derived." see here. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England entry for Cuthbert doesn't give an ethnicity at all. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, I read a lot on Cuthbert for St Cuthbert Gospel & never once saw him described as "Anglian". It will take a lot of much firmer DNA evidence to make historians, or linguists, separate the terms at this period. Johnbod (talk) 15:53, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh tedious, charmed I'm sure Johnbod at your opener! A couple: [1] [2] that may explain the tribes that made up the proto-English. Circumstantially Cuthbert was either of native British or Anglian stock, with the latter more likely because of his Germanic name. Furthermore Bernicia did not cease to exist in 634, it continued in various guises usually under the title "Earldom of Northumbria" or "Earldom of Lothian" until William I of Scotland ceded to Henry II of England in 1157. Brendandh (talk) 16:15, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Ah, ye olde evidence! Even reading those sources it will be clear that historians just do not divide up Anglo-Saxons of Cuthbert's time into their putative ethnic origins. Johnbod (talk) 16:24, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh, yes, I'm going to rush to embrace a secondary history from 1882 over something from 2004? Or a book from 1948 published by "Book club associates"? I think I'll stick with more modern secondary sources. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:37, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with Book Club Associates to be fair, they do or did mail order "club" reprints, normally identical to the original publishers' editions. "Sir Keith Grahame Feiling (1884–1977) was Chichele Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford, 1946–1950.....". His last? new edition of this was Macmillan, 1950, heven knows when the text of a 1948 reprint was first published. Johnbod (talk) 17:04, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

So you're for the newbies are you? Ohyes modern is always good and the best? IMO the chaps with the sideburns and collars were just as good if not better than than the tieless chaps with bumfluff. Anyhow, it does not get away from the fact that Cuthbert was no Saxon. Brendandh (talk) 22:34, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Just spotted this discussion. I agree with Ealdgyth and Johnbod that we would need a source for "Anglian", given what the ODNB says. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:38, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Oh good God give me the pistol! Cuthbert was from Northumbria, an 'Anglian' kingdom, as was Mercia and East 'Anglia' (...see that?). He was not from Sussex, Wessex, Essex, Middlesex or Kent. He flourished prior to Alfred or Athelstan's consolidations of what would become England (using the Anglian name for the kingdom), so what's the beef with having to name him the Saxon? Brendandh (talk) 19:53, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
"Anglo-Saxon" is fine; I don't see anyone arguing for "Saxon". Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:58, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
What does the ultimate authority say on the topic? Drmies (talk) 14:09, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

OR by Brendandh[edit]

As discussed above, a large number of sources describe Cuthbert as an Anglo-Saxon saint. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (p 108), describes him as "Monk and bishop of Lindisfarne ... Northern England's most popular saint ... Born of a fairly well-to-do Anglo-Saxon family, he became a monk at Melrose in 651. With abbot Eata he moved to Ripon to start a monastery." So as before Anglo-Saxon seems to be common usage. I think using Northumbrian in the lede is misleading. But what exactly is the problem with "Anglo-Saxon" and why do we have to repeat this discussion every few weeks? Mathsci (talk) 08:00, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Original research? We are talking about Cuthbert's origins here! It's very simple, calling Cuthbert a Saxon is like referring to a Canadian or an Argentinian, as an American. While citizens of the two previous are inhabitants of the Americas, common usage of "American" is one who dwells in the USA. Similarly Cuthbert was a native inhabitant of Northumbria, an Anglian kingdom with distinct differences to the Saxon kingdoms of the south. England was only being formed at this point, but not counting Alfred's Wessex (which did not unite all-England), "Anglo-Saxon England" did not exist until Athelstan's reign in 927 some 300 years after Cuthbert's birth. Cuthbert's main centres of veneration are in Northumbria (much larger than present Northumberland), he was a Northumbrian Angle, no matter how much Alfred of Wessex tried to appropriate his cultus during the latter's project of the unification of the "English peoples" (note the "Saxon" was dropped there!) .Brendandh (talk) 08:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
You cannot include these changes without sources. Please read wp:OR. Home-spun theories have no place. This is not your blog. So to reiteratre: please produce reliable sources. So far what you claim does not match up with any of the sources previously discussed. The Oxford Dictionary above describes Cuthbert as coming from an Anglo-Saxon family. Other sources are listed above and support Anglo-Saxon. So sources please. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 09:55, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Got to love a bit of constructive anachronism! Angles, Saxons, Jutes all different peoples who united later in their history. We are talking about Cuthbert of Lindisfarne here, Lindisfarne being the cradle of Christianity in Northumbria, latterly the whole of England, but especially in the North, and in southern Scotland. [3] Here's one from an Edwardian hagiography. [4], another one from the 1820s. Do you deny he was a Northumbrian, a country that was essentially Anglian? (ie from Angeln, as opposed to Old Saxony, Jutland or Frisia) Brendandh (talk) 10:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Sigh. We've been through all this before. Find an academic specialist from the last 30 years who calls him an "Angle". Johnbod (talk) 10:59, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

30 years, is that a cut-off point? So, nothing of academic merit happened prior? Anyway here's a more recent doctoral thesis [5] page 13 for starters. So ridiculous. You don't call a Schweizerdeutsch, German; or a Fleming, Dutch do you? Brendandh (talk) 11:16, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

What, "Anglian kingdoms were forged in Northumberland during the sixth century"? The thesis certainly pushes Northumbrian separateness (pp 60-61) & is much happier taking Bede at his word than most modern historians, but doesn't seem to assert that all the Northumbrian population in Cuthbert's day should be referred to as "Angles", & is anyway only an unpublished dissertation. Cuthbert himself seems barely mentioned. I note that on page 71, "According to the Scottish Chronicle Cináed I (Kenneth MacAlpin, d. 858) attacked Bernician strongholds in Saxonia, referring to Northumbrian lands". Silly Scots, what did they know? It's not what "you" or "we" call things, it's what current WP:RS call them that matters, as people keep pointing out to you. Johnbod (talk) 12:03, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Oh, is that right? Anglian kingdoms that were forged in the 6th c.? Now let us think? Bernicia and Deira of course, oh and Mercia and East Anglia (except the last two weren't in Northumbria (and certainly not in the present little county of Northumberland, which doesn't even reach the Humber these days, poor souls!). 'Saxon' and it variants, Sais, Sassunach etc. Yup, that's the word for the English (the Germanic invaders of the British Isles) in all Celtic languages, because the Saxon chaps were the earliest to settle in Sub-Roman Britain. (Much in the same way the Arabs used a variant of 'Frank' for the Crusaders, the Frankish contingent being amongst the largest grouping to try and wrest the Holy Land from them, ("Ferenghi", "farang" etc that is still in use parts of the Middle and Far East for any westerner), or the proto-Germans who used varieties of Wealhas, Welsh, Vlach etc. to refer to any foreigner. from Volcae tribe.) What you appear to fail to grasp, is that the English were not a country before 927, the tribes prior to that of pretty much anywhere north of the Thames were a distinct grouping of people from the region of Angeln, that while of similar Germanic roots, were not the same peoples as the Saxons or Jutes or Frisians. That'll be why there was such a thing as the latterly named Heptarchy. 'Anglo-Saxon' as a term to describe the essentially Anglian Cuthbert, the apostle of Northumbria, is like referring to Margaret Thatcher as a 'Western Leader' rather than 'British', or Gamal Nasser just simply as an 'Arab', rather than an 'Egyptian', Vladimir Putin, as 'Eurasian' rather than 'Russian', oh and Napoleon as 'citizen of the world', rather than 'French' which he was not, or even a 'Corsican', which he was. Brendandh (talk) 18:39, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

You need scholarly sources (recent ones) that state he was Anglian or Northumbrian. There are already sources on this page that call him "Anglo-Saxon", including the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Wikipedia reflects recent scholarly sources, so to go against the already mentioned and put forth sources you need other scholarly sources. It's that simple. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:54, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Recent? That seems a great idea, one and a half millennia after the events of Cuthbert's life! Instead I'll give you near contemporary, Bede. Here [6], and here [7]. No Saxony mentioned, or even referred to in the term Angelcynnes folcum is there? Brendandh (talk) 19:48, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I see nothing in that which gives Cuthbert's background as either Northumbrian, Anglian, or anything else. In fact, nothing is said of his family background at all in Bede's Ecclesiastical History that I can see. Again, the ODNB says "Anglo-Saxon" and the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England doesn't give a background. Let's see your sources that explicitly state what Cuthbert's background was... FOr that matter ... the Oxford Dictionary of Saints (5th edition, 2003) says of Cuthbert that he was "born of a fairly well-to-do Anglo-Saxon family". Walsh's A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West doesn't give any nationality for Cuthbert. The Middle Ages: A Concise Encyclopedia edited by H. R. Loyn has an entry for Cuthbert that doesn't give a background nationality. Peter Hunter Blair in The World of Bede (p. 101) says of Cuthbert "The great Cuthbert, though English by birth, was first a monk at an Irish foundation...". Nicholas Brooks, in his article "From British to English Christianity" in Conversion and Colonization in Anglo-Saxon England says that "Lindisfarne preferred its English saint, Cuthbert, to its Irish founder, Aidan". (p. 6). Henry Mayr-Harting in The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England states that "Cuthbert was an Englishman..." (p. 161). Ealdgyth - Talk 20:43, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, English-man. (Although there is a sneaky chance he was Irish!) You just don't get it do you? The term 'Anglo-Saxon' to describe the new kingdoms to the north of the Thames, of the period before Athelstan united England, but arguably maybe by Alfred's time, is simply a misnomer. In this period the term 'Anglo-Saxon' (a modern construct, similar to Celtic) is a cultural tag, and not one of ethnicity, one might as well just use Insular Germanic peoples. Just as, one can place Odoacer and Vittorio Emannuele as Italian kings, no-one would say thay were ethnically related? It is far better to talk of a subject's nation or tribe in this context. And it is the most likely, given the circumstances, that Cuthbert was a descendant of the Anglians that had settled Northumbria following Ida's conquest of Bernicia. It's that easy. Brendandh (talk) 21:27, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
It may be a misnomer, or convenience, but it is one universally adopted by historians for decades. And in fact there are reasons for this, which you will find argued out in historical writing of (broadly) the first half of the last century, with some recent reinforcement from genetic studies. Until that changes, Cuthbert will remain "A-S" here, however much polemic you churn out. Johnbod (talk) 00:39, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Chiming in here to help avert an edit war as (I hope) a fairly objective outsider, and someone who has been involved in several pedantic wording debates (usually on the side of pedantry)... but basically Wikipedia always must err on the side of the sources. So if the consensus of the sources is to use A-S, then A-S is what we use, regardless of whether it is right or wrong. Personally, I'm inclined to agree with friend Brendandh's assessment of correctness, but as Wikipedians our hands are tied. Cuthbert is Anglo-Saxon until the weight of academia says otherwise. Metao (talk) 08:13, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

D'ye know (God give me bloody strength!) calling Cuthbert, a Saxon is like calling Hekla, a Danish mountain; or Popocatépetl, American? Mt. Etna Byzantine or even Spanish? And as a result of the prior silly, you two can eff off, and I maybe leaving Wikipedia before an eruption truly starts! (mebbe? :)) Stoopid bloody people. Brendandh (talk) 19:23, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
I'll take that as a concession to the rules. Thank you. By the way, if you decide to stay, you might like to consult with WP:CIVIL, as well as WP:OR and WP:RS (which it seems you still haven't consulted). Metao (talk) 09:30, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Conversely, I'd suggest you might play with some Northumbrian seals, or go to Hexham, Cuddy duck! Brendandh (talk) 14:48, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
As an Australian, I have no idea what that means. So, in the interests of WP:AGF, I'll just assume it means "thank you for your sage advice". Metao (talk) 01:23, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

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