hēah-engel, m.n: an archangel. (“heh-ah-en-gell”)

Today is the Feast of Michael the Archangel.

Hwæt we weorðiað   wide geond eorðan / heahengles tiid   on hærfeste, / Michaheles,   swa þæt menigo wat, / fif nihtum ufor   þæs þe folcum byð, / eorlum geywed   emnihtes dæg.

– Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium), lines 176-80

How widely throughout the earth we celebrate the feast of the Archangel, of Michael, in autumn, as a multitude (of people) know, five nights after the day of equinox is revealed to people, to men!

– translation by Kazutomo Karasawa

Karasawa says in his book on the Menologium:

The name of the Archangel appears nowhere else in the extant Old English poems. The veneration of the saint, which is said to have been originated in Phrygia*, was quite widespread and there was a variety of dates for his feast. (p. 118).

*Present-day Turkey.

Kazutomo Karasawa, The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium)(Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2015)


Initial Q: Saint Michael and the Dragon. Germany (Würzburg), c. 1240-1250. The J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig VIII 2, fol. 61v. [discardingimages]

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