Milred, who was bishop of Worcester from 743 × 745 to 774 × 775, is almost as shadowy a figure in the history of Anglo-Latin literature today as he was in the sixteenth century when John Leland recorded in his Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis: ‘invidiosa vetustas Milredi monumenta destruxit’. The only composition by Milred that has come to light, in a single ninth-century continental manuscript, is the letter of consolation that he sent to Lull of Mainz after St Boniface's martyrdom. Apart from its inherent interest, this letter, with its elegant use of Vergilian echoes, is a valuable indication of Milred's literary interests and aspirations. Better still, it ends with a tantalizing glimpse of the literary world in which Milred lived: a postscript in which he apologizes for failing to send a copy of the picture poems of Optatianus Porphyrius because Cuthbert, the archbishop of Canterbury, had failed to return them. It was perhaps this very copy of Porphyrius that served as the model for the decoration of the Codex Aureus (Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket, A. 135), which may have been produced at St Augustine's, Canterbury, during Cuthbert's time.
|Title of host publication||Anglo-Saxon England - Milred of Worcester’s Collection of Latin Epigrams and its Continental Counterparts|
|Publisher||University of Cambridge|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1981|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|