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It is not to be wondered at that Symeon^s name has been connected with this work_, althongh we have shewn that the original fabric at all events is of much earlier date. Cuthbertj but was dragged^ unarmed and almost dead with hungerj from the church.^ The natural inference seems to be that both acts of violence were committed by the king, or with his sanction^ but Symeon gives quite a different version, attributing the calamities which befell Offa_, in general terms^ to the persecution of his enemies^ and the punishment of the bishop to Eadberfs displeasure at his connivance or non-interference to prevent such atrocities. The original information which they supply relates more particularly to the kingdom of Northumberland^ but is by no means confined to it. Of these, three^ under the years 875^ 877^ and 883^ are from the Historia dc Sancto Cuthberto, and two of them are inter- lineations ; the fourth^ under the year 881^ is from an un- known source_, which has also been made use of in the second partj under the same date^ and is unconnected with English history.'^ From the death of Alfred there is nothing like a continuous narrative,, but a series of unconnected notices extend over a pcriod of fifty-eight years j of these^ about forty in all^ more than half are taken from the Saxon Chronicle ; the others fur- nish many particulars^ chiefly in connection with Northumbrian history^ which cannot be traced to any earlier source. Surely if it had been written nnder any of the succeeding kings of the Norman dynasty some allusion would have been made to that stupendous revolntion which overwhelmed the Anglo-Saxon commonwealth on Edward^s death.
Cuthbert^s remains is distinctly affirmed, renders it unnecessary to recapitulate Rudd^s arguments here^ but they may be read with advantage as a model of close and accurate reasoning, perfectly conclusiv Cj irrespective of the corroborative evidence which has since come to light. The publication by the Surtees Society of the work of Reginald of Coldingham^ in which the presence of Symeon at the disinterment of St. We may readily admit that an individual who flourished in 1166 could hardly speak from his own recollection of matters which occurred previous to 1080, the year of Bishop Walcher^s death; nay, further, we can hardly identify him with one of the senior brethren of his convent who assisted at the translation of St. Either we must reject the authority of Bale, or deprive Symeon of the credit of a work on which his reputation as an historical writer mainly depends, and Selden adopted the latter alternative. At length a new edition of the Durham History, based on a MS. Bedford/" and to this was prefixed a dissertation by Rudd_, in which the claims of Symeon were successfully vindicated,, and the erroneous computation exposed. It has never been printed^ and although it may well be doubted whether Symeon had any connection with its authorship^ it contains several matters of novelty and importance which X PREFACE. From the second part have been gleaned a few passages of no great importance^ which are not derived from Symeon^s larger work_, but which are here printed with it, care being taken to distinguish them from the original text ; the compilation from which they are extracted being distinguished in the notes as Abbreviatio Symeonis. exist,, is printed entire^ under the title_, which occurs in one of them, of Libellus de adventu Saxonum, sive de eorumdem regibus.