Definitions for julianaˌdʒu liˈæn ə
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, Latin feminine form of Julianus, derivative of Julius.
Juliana [Exeter Book, fol.65b-76a], is one of the four signed poems ascribed to the mysterious poet, Cynewulf, and is an account of the martyring of St. Juliana of Nicomedia. The one surviving manuscript, dated between 970 and 990, is preserved in the Exeter Book between the poems The Phoenix and The Wanderer. Juliana is one of only five Old English poetic texts that describe the lives of saints. Juliana is Cynewulf's second longest work, totaling 731 lines. However, due to damage to the Exeter Book over time--such as staining, charring, and the loss of pages---there are two gaps in the text of Juliana, amounting to a loss of 130 to 140 lines. Through comparative analyses, it has been determined that no more than a single page worth of material could be missing from either gap, and it is therefore very likely that a single sheet, which would have been folded in the middle to form two pages, was accidentally lost when the original manuscript was being bound. Cynewulf’s Juliana is presented entirely in Old English alliterative verse and is transmitted in a late West-Saxon dialect. Cynewulf likely derived the poem from earlier Latin accounts of the same story--similar to those appearing in the Acta sanctorum or the Martyrology; however, it is likely that Cynewulf was adapting his version from an unknown Latin source that has since been lost.
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