Eumnestes' “immortall scrine”: Spenser's Archive

Judith H. Anderson

in Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228478
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241125 | DOI:
Eumnestes' “immortall scrine”: Spenser's Archive

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For the Renaissance, particularly for Spenser, the sense of a literary tradition of words and forms that constitute is more idealistic and mysterious than in modern poetics of loss and displacement. Spenser describes this tradition as recorded memory tied intrinsically to the very idea of the words, written records, and mnemonic working of the human mind. Most of the words that Spenser used to describe recorded are so revealing. Among these words is the arresting word scrine, from Latin scrinium which first appears in the Proem to Book I. Roman languages defined scrinium as a “coffer or place where jewels and other secret things are stored.” Definitions of scrine also carry the more specific meaning “shrine” during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and its association with books, records, and sacred relics goes deep into the past.

Keywords: scrine; shrine; scrinium; Spenser; coffer; tradition; records; memory; meaning

Chapter.  4855 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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