Agency and Appetite for religious Song: Vexilla regis prodeunt and its first thousand years

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Abstract

When James Joyce made two of his characters in ‘‘Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man’’ refer approvingly to ‘‘Vexilla regis prodeunt’’ he was following in the footsteps of a long line of the Latin text’s admirers. Since Anglo-Saxon times English audiences had clearly appreciated the sonorous majesty of this processional hymn, largely because of the solemnity and craft with which it celebrated the nature of Christ’s martial triumph and sacrifice. This article offers a snapshot of different kinds of English appetite for Venantius Fortunatus’ famous religious song for the first thousand years of its existence, from the Anglo-Saxon period through to the mid sixteenth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
JournalEnglish Studies
Volume93
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

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