'Each preface generally includes Ælfric's self-identification, his explanation for the creation of the work (often relating it to a request from an ecclesiastical or secular superior), an account of the work's sources and style, and remarks about its transmission.'
In this Old English Preface to the First Series of the Catholic Homilies, Ælfric uses the identification of himself and his relation to reliable personae in the ecclesiastical and secular world in order to establish authority for the collection. Leaning on this authority, Ælfric continues by criticising the existing books as being false and explains the necessity of his collection as a reliable source of orthodox belief.
The urgency of such a correction of Anglo-Saxon belief is emphasised by the argument that the end of the world has arrived. Ælfric goes on to describe the time of the Antichrist which is imminent.
|Old English Version|