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c.955-c.1020. Abbot of Eynsham and creator of a new level of grammatical anglo-Saxon prose. A product of the monastic revival in England, he was first a disciple at Winchester of the famous Ethelwold, whose life he later wrote. In 987 he transferred to the new foundation of Cerne Abbas and there published his most influential prose works in English, including two sets of homilies (c.991) and his Lives of the Saints (before 998). In 1005 he became abbot of Eynsham in Oxfordshire. Apart from his importance for English literature, he made a notable contribution to the education of the rural clergy of his own time; and he also received fresh attention for his theological views in the sixteenth century, when the Reformers, in their search for an ancient English church free from the errors of Rome, noticed that his teaching on the Eucharist, probably influenced by Ratramnus, excluded transubstantiation. Archbishop Parker published Aelfric's “Paschal Homily” in 1567.

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