#3819. アルフレッド大王によるイングランドの学問衰退の嘆き[popular_passage][oe][alfred][anglo-saxon]


 アルフレッド大王による Cura Pastoralis (or Pastoral Care) の古英語訳(893年頃)の序文に,9世紀後半当時のイングランドにおいて,ヴァイキングの襲来により学問が衰退してしまったことを嘆く有名な1節がある.アルフレッドはこの文化的危機を脱するべく教育改革を行ない,その成果は1世紀ほど後に現われ,10世紀後半のベネディクト改革 (the Benedictine Reform) や文芸の復活へとつながっていった.その意味では,文化史・文学史的に重要な1節であるといえる.その文章から,とりわけよく知られている部分を古英語原文で引用しよう (Mitchell and Robinson 204--05) .アルフレッド大王の本気が伝わってくる.

Ælfred kyning hāteð grētan Wǣrferð biscep his wordum luflīce ond frēondlīce; ond ðē cȳðan hāte ðæt mē cōm swīðe oft on gemynd, hwelce wiotan iū wǣron giond Angelcynn . . . ond hū man ūtanbordes wīsdōm ond lāre hieder on lond sōhte; ond hū wē hīe nū sceoldon ūte begietan, gif wē hīe habban sceoldon. Swǣ clǣne hīo wæs oðfeallenu on Angelcynne ðæt swīðe fēawa wǣron behionan Humbre ðe hiora ðēninga cūðen understondan on Englisc oððe furðum ān ǣrendgewrit of Lǣdene on Englisc āreccean; ond ic wēne ðætte nōht monige begiondan Humbre nǣren. Swǣ fēawa hiora wǣron ðæt ic furðum ānne ānlēpne ne mæg geðencean be sūðan Temese ðā ðā ic tō rīce fēng. Gode ælmihtegum sīe ðonc ðætte wē nū ǣnigne onstal habbð lārēowa.

 Crystal (13) より,この箇所に対する現代語を与えておく.

King Alfred sends his greetings to Bishop Werferth in his own words, in love and friendship . . . . I want to let you know that it has often occurred to me to think what wise men there once were throughout England . . . and how people once used to come here from abroad in search of wisdom and learning --- and how nowadays we would have to get it abroad (if we were to have it at all). Learning had so declined in England that there were very few people this side of the Humber who could understand their service-books in English, let alone translate a letter out of Latin into English --- and I don't imagine there were many north of the Humber, either. There were so few of them that I cannot think of even a single one south of the Thames at the time when I came to the throne. Thanks be to almighty God that we now have any supply of teachers.

 ・ Mitchell, Bruce and Fred C. Robinson. A Guide to Old English. 5th ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1992.
 ・ Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 3rd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2019.

Referrer (Inside): [2019-10-13-1] [2019-10-12-1]

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