The anxiety of inheritance
in Rebel angels
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This chapter argues that the poet of Genesis B imagines Satan’s crime as a failure to accept sovereign checks on his power and limits upon his territorial ambitions. Irish vernacular adaptations similarly depict how Satan views humankind as rival-inheritors of lands to which he feels entitled. These accounts, found in texts such as Saltair na Rann and Lebor Gabála, derive from the apocryphal ‘Life of Adam and Eve’. We see how both Anglo-Saxon and Irish authors adapt apocryphal traditions for a powerful socio-political effect, imagining features of their own ecclesiastical and secular administrations as mimetic representations of divine structures.

Rebel angels

Space and sovereignty in Anglo-Saxon England


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