ǽstel
Morphological Analysis
Wordclass: Noun
Gender: Masculine
In the OE text, the length is:indicated by acute accentsindicated by macronsnot indicated.
ǽstel
es; m. A tablet, a table for notes, a waxed tablet; indicatorium, astula, pugillaris. Du Cange says astula = tabula sectilis, referring to pugillares, under which he gives the following quotation from Cassander in Liturgicis, p. 53, — 'Inter instrumenta sacra numerantur pugillares aure sive argentei.... Proprié pugillares sunt tabulæ, in quibus scribi consuevit, quæ Græcé πινακίδια dicuntur.' In St. Luke i. 63, αἰτήσας πινακίδιον, postulans pugillarem, is in the A. Sax. Gospels, gebedenum wex-brede a waxed tablet being asked for. William of Malmsbury may have alluded to one of these waxed tablets in Gesta Reg. ii. § 123, — 'Cum pugillari aureo in quo est manca auri.' It is most probable then that Alfred's ǽstel consisted of two waxed tablets, joined together by a hinge, and framed or covered with gold to the value of fifty mancuses. When these waxed tablets were closed, being framed or covered with gold, they would have a splendid and costly appearance, worthy the gift of a king Ǽstel indicatorium, Ælfc. Gr. 8; Som. 7, 63: Cot. 214: Ælfc. Gl. 19? Lye. Ðá ongan ic [Ælfréd cyning] ða bóc wendan on Englisc, ðe is genemned on Lǽden Pastoralis, and on Englisc Hierde-bóc, hwílum word be worde, hwílum andgit of andgite, swá swá ic hie geliornode æt Plegmunde mínum Ærcebiscepe, and æt Assere mínum Biscepe, and æt Grimbolde mínum Mæsse-Prióste, and æt Iohanne mínum Mæsse-Preóste. Siððan ic hie ða geliornod hæfde, swá swá ic hie forstód, and swá ic hie andgitfullícost areccean meahte, ic hie on Englisc awende, and to ǽlcum Biscep-stóle on mínum Ríce wille áne onsendan, and on ǽlcre biþ án Æstel, se biþ on fíftegum Mancessan. Ond ic bebióde, on Godes naman, ðæt nán mon ðone Ǽstel from ðære béc ne dó, ne ða bóc from ðæm Mynstre then I [Alfred king] began to translate into English the book, which is called in Latin Pastoralis, and in English Herdsman's book, sometimes word by word, sometimes meaning for meaning, as I learned it from Plegmund my archbishop, and from Asser my bishop, and from Grimbold my presbyter, and from John my presbyter. After I had then learned it, so that I understood it as well as my understanding would allow me, I translated it into English, and I will send one copy to each bishop's see in my kingdom; and on each one there shall be one tablet, which shall be worth fifty mancuses. And in God's name, I command that no man take the tablet from the book, nor the book from the minster, Past. Hat. MS. Pref.
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