Title Background

Legal and Spiritual Sanctuary in the Northern Homily Cycle and <i>Piers Plowman</i> B XVII, XVII, 1-126.

Legal and Spiritual Sanctuary in the Northern Homily Cycle and Piers Plowman B XVII, XVII, 1-126.

Both the Homily Cycle and PPl demonstrate knowledge of the Old English legal tradition, exemplified in Ine’s laws for the West Saxons (clause 20) of legal sanctuary of the highway and the corollary that anyone who strays from the highway is in danger of being taken for an outlaw. B.17.1-126 combines this sacred and secular imagery when the Samaritan explains that Abraham (Faith) and Spes (the Old Law) “may litel availle”; only by the New Law of Christ’s blood and baptism may anyone be saved, as the Samaritan leads the man fallen among thieves to the house of “lex Christi” along the “righte wey.”

Volume

JEGP 93 (1994): 326-35.

Author

Morey, James H.