Episode 33: Missionaries and Manuscripts

In this episode, we explore the events which led to the first document written in the English language – the laws of Aethelbert of Kent.  We look at the rise of monasteries, the role of St. Patrick in the conversion of the Irish, the missionary work of Pope Gregory and St. Augustine, and the political and religious significance of King Aethelbert’s conversion to Christianity.  We then explore the language of the laws of Aethelbert.


7 thoughts on “Episode 33: Missionaries and Manuscripts

  1. Thought my podcast player had accidentally switched podcasts with that mid episode music. Same music and same mid podcast from Irish History podcast.

    • Ha! I didn’t know that the Irish History Podcast used the same music. I guess great minds think alike. 🙂

  2. Hi Kevin,

    Another cognate question: if our “law” isn’t derived from the French “loi” then are they cousins through a common West Germanic origin?


    • Hi Avery. This example is fascinating because it seems like they SHOULD be cognate, but apparently they are not. The Indo-European root of “law” has been reconstructed as *legh which meant ‘to lay or lie down.’ The Indo-European root of “loi” (and “legal” and “lex”) has been reconstructed as *leg which meant ‘to collect or gather.’ According to the experts, those were distinct words in Proto-Indo-European, so “law” and “loi” are not cognate.

  3. “Old English word for ‘law’ was domas” vs. Indemnify

    I have listened to Episode 33 for the second time, and wonder …
    … does the English word “indemnify” spring from “domas”?

    “To make compensation to for damage, loss, or injury suffered” sounds like a lawyer(grin)


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