Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Stations of the SunA History of the Ritual Year in Britain$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ronald Hutton

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205708

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205708.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 November 2020



(p.169) 16 Lent
The Stations of the Sun

Ronald Hutton

Oxford University Press

From its earliest recorded occurrence, in Anglo-Saxon texts dated to the beginning of the eleventh century, the word ‘lenten’ had the dual meaning of the season of spring and the major annual fast of Christianity. It seems to derive simply from the ‘lengthening’ of daylight. The connotations of joy, and of abstinence, were intimately combined in it from the beginning, and this dual aspect was retained as it evolved into ‘Lent’ in the thirteenth century. Not until the seventeenth did the term become confined to the fast. The time was admirably suited to a period of self-denial and spiritual doubt culminating in the rejoicing of the most important of all Christian festivals. The bounds of the fast were standardized for the Church in western Europe by Pope Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth century, to exclude meat, milk, cheese, butter, and eggs.

Keywords:   Anglo-Saxon, fast, Christianity, daylight, abstinence, Lent, festivals, Church, Europe, Gregory the Great

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .