« Assembly, General Asser Asshur »


ASSER: Bishop of Sherborne; d. 909 or 910. He was a Briton, a monk of Menevia (St. David’s), and related to the bishop of that see. His repute for learning was such that about 885 King Alfred asked him to enter his service, and an arrangement was ultimately made whereby the monkish scholar agreed to spend half of each year with the English king and half in his own home. Alfred gave him very substantial rewards, including a grant at Exeter and its district in Saxonland and Cornwall. He became bishop of Sherborne (in Dorsetshire) before 900. He wrote a life of Alfred (De rebus gestis Æifridi), which is a chronicle of English history from 849 to 887, with a personal and original narrative of Alfred’s career to the latter year. It betrays the author’s Celtic birth in many passages, and in existing manuscripts has been much interpolated. The best editions are by F. Wise (Oxford, 1722), in Petrie’s Monumenta historica Britannica (London, 1848), and by W. H. Stevenson (Oxford, 1904, Eng. transl. by A. S. Cook, Boston, 1906).

Bibliography:T. Wright, Biographia Britannica literaria, i. 405–413, London, 1842 (questions Asser’s authorship of the De rebus gestis); R. Pauli, König Ælfred und seine Stelle in der Geschichte Englands, Berlin, 1851 (shows that Wright’s objections are unfounded).

« Assembly, General Asser Asshur »
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