Skip to main content

The tabernacula of Gregory the Great and the conversion of Anglo-Saxon England

  • Flora Spiegel

In a famous letter to his missionaries in England, Pope Gregory the Great suggested that the newly converted Anglo-Saxons should be encouraged to build small huts, or ‘tabernacula’, in conjunction with Christian festivals. He seems to have associated these structures with the Jewish festival of Sukkot, reflecting a missionary strategy modelled on both the biblical conversion of the Israelites and on Gregory's own proselytizing approach towards the Jews of Rome. Gregory's instructions are discussed in the light of historical writings and archaeological evidence, which suggest that ‘tabernacula’ were indeed constructed in England during the conversion period, possibly adapted from pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon ritual structures.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Anglo-Saxon England
  • ISSN: 0263-6751
  • EISSN: 1474-0532
  • URL: /core/journals/anglo-saxon-england
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed