Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

[Image: Witness list of a royal diploma, S 497 (extract); Aelfwine]


Data gathering

‘The Guide to the PASE Data entry‘ (pdf file) is a document created by the project to guide the researchers in the collection of the PASE data.

Source survey

At the start of PASE 1 a survey was made of the primary sources for the period 597 to 1042. The sources were then listed according to the century when they were written or compiled, and this information was incorporated into the PASE annual project plan. The works listed were all assigned an abbreviation. A similar process was undertaken at the beginning of PASE 2, to identify and prioritize the sources for the period 1042 to c. 1100.


  • For sources in Latin from Great Britain and Ireland Richard Sharpe, A Handlist of the Latin Writers of Great Britain and Ireland before 1540, publications of the Journal of Medieval Latin ([Turnhout]: Brepols, 1997; reissued with Additions and Corrections, 2001) was invaluable. The main Continental historical sources relevant to Anglo-Saxon England were also referenced.
  • For sources in Old English Angus Cameron, ‘A List of Old English Texts’, in A Plan for the Dictionary of Old English, ed. Roberta Frank and Angus Cameron (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, in association with the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, 1973) was used, supplemented by Stanley B. Greenfield and Fred C. Robinson using the collections of E. E. Ericson, A Bibliography of Publications on Old English Literature to the End of 1972 (Toronto and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 1980). Neil R. Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957) was also consulted.
  • Among the major Anglo-Saxon authors Marie-Hélène Jullien and François Perelman, Clavis des auteurs latins du Moyen Age: territoire français 735-987 (= Clavis scriptorum Latinorum medii aevi, Auctores Galliae 733−987), Vol. 2: Alcuin (= Alcuinus) Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis (Turnhout: Brepols, 1999) provided an exhaustive listing of the works of Alcuin; and Michael Gorman, ‘The Canon of Bede’s Works and the World of Ps. Bede’, Revue Bénédictine 111 (2001), 399−445, proved helpful in compiling the list of Bede’s writings.
  • For Anglo-Saxon charters the Electronic Sawyer, with its lists of editions and secondary references for all known charters supersedes other bibliographies and was the major work of reference. The ‘Electronic Sawyer’ is based on P. H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters: An Annotated List and Bibliography, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 8 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1968).

The following bibliographies were also consulted:

  • A Bibliography of English History to 1485: Based on The Sources and Literature of English History from the Earliest Times to about 1485 by Charles Gross, ed. Edgar B. Graves (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975).
  • Simon Keynes, Anglo-Saxon History: A Select Bibliography Old English Newsletter, Subsidia, vol. 13, 3rd revised ed. (Kalamazoo, MI: The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University, 1998) and its successor published in revised editions annually as Anglo-Saxon England: A Bibliographical Handbook for Students of Anglo-Saxon History, ASNC Guides, Texts, and Studies 1 (Cambridge: Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, University of Cambridge, 2000−)
  • Joel T. Rosenthal, Anglo-Saxon History: An Annotated Bibliography 450-1066, AMS Studies in the Middle Ages, No. 7 (New York: AMS Press, 1985).
  • The bibliography published annually in the journal Anglo-Saxon England.


PASE drew on the lists of Anglo-Saxon rulers revised by D. N. Dumville; of bishops compiled by S. D. Keynes in Handbook of British Chronology, ed. E. B. Fryde, D. E. Greenway, S. Porter and I. Roy, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 2, 3rd edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986); and of popes in A Handbook of Dates: For Students of British History, ed. C. R. Cheney, new edition, rev. Michael Jones, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 4 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). The list of sources was broken down by century of composition and then incorporated into the final section of the project plan.


The following were consulted, though not uniformly followed, before creating the abbreviations for the medieval sources used by PASE:

  • Michael Lapidge, Abbreviations for Sources and Specification of Standard Editions for Sources, Compiled for Fontes Anglo-Saxonici and Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture (Binghamton: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1988)
  • Pauline A. Thompson with the assistance of Robert Stanton, The Dictionary of Old English: Abbreviations and Bibliography of Editions (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1992).

Abbreviations were in general created using the name of the author (or Anon), followed by a full stop (period), followed by a Latin abbreviation for works in Latin (e.g., Ep = Epistola(e) ‘Letter(s)’) or OE followed by an abbreviation for works in Old English (e.g., OEMart = Old English Martyrology).

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle required different treatment. The Source ID of the ‘Common Stock’ up to 892 is referred to as ASC, the ‘Mercian Register’ as ASC (MR) and data drawn from specific versions are referred to by the generally accepted sigla for the individual manuscripts (e.g., ASC (E)).

Charters are referred to by S (= Sawyer) followed immediately by the numeral assigned to each charter in the ‘Electronic Sawyer’ (e.g. S 265).

Abbreviations of Biblical books follow the practice of Biblia Sacra iuxta Vulgata versionem, Editionem quartam emendatam … praeparavit Roger Gryson (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994).