Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England
This three-volume work, published in 1864–6, was edited by Thomas Oswald Cockayne (1807–73), a Cambridge graduate, much-published early member of the London Philological Society, and teacher of the philologists Walter Skeat and Henry Sweet. It is a collection of writings from pre-Conquest Britain on plants, medicine and the heavens, mostly in Old English with accompanying modern English translations. The preface of Volume 3 discusses questions including the identity of the Anglo-Saxon translator of Bede's De Temporibus and the similarities between Classical and medieval dream-interpretation and divination, and the Victorian penchant for spiritualism and astrology. The texts in this volume include remedies, charms and prayers for the sick, in Latin and Old English, lists of plant names, works on solar and lunar calendars and horoscopes, and explanations of the prophetic meaning of dreams. The volume ends with some historical fragments in Old English relating to monastic foundations.