Asher ( John Asher, Asserius Menevensis; † 909 ) was a monk from the monastery of St. David's in the Kingdom of Dyfed in Wales and later Bishop of Sherborne


Is relatively little known about Asher life. He was born in Pembrokeshire in Wales and was raised and educated in the monastery of St. David's in Menevia. In the Vita written by him as Alfred is one of his relatives, a certain Nobis mentioned, the Bishop of St. David's and was 873/74 died. It is sometimes assumed that Asser acted as his successor.

Asher was certainly known for his scholarship and was invited to 885 by Alfred the Great, Anglo-Saxon king of Wessex, to his court. Asher took half a year, until he decided to accept the invitation. In Winchester, he fell ill and had to break the journey for one year. When Alfred was getting impatient, and Asher agreed to spend half the year in each case at court. When, after eight months of Asher left the court, he was endowed by Alfred with the monasteries Amesbury in Wiltshire and Banwell in Somersetshire. To 890 he received the monastery Exeter and was 892-900 in place of Wulfsige Bishop of Sherborne.

Asher was probably involved as a confidant of the king and to the Anglo-Saxon "Renaissance", which was made possible by the learned court life Alfreds. Asher died probably 908 or 909 Swithelmus became his successor as Bishop of Sherborne.


From Asher work, a manuscript from the 10th century are preserved in ( Cottonian manuscript: Otho A, XII), which was edited by Francis Wise in 1722 as a reprint, before the original was destroyed in a 1731 fire.

Doubt as to the authenticity of the biography, as they were uttered by Alfred P. Smyth, who suspects a later forgery, are not tenable (see, among others, the rejection by Richard Abels ). Smyth has not been able to put his very controversial re-interpretation in the research.


  • Simon Keynes, Michael Lapidge: Asser 's Life of King Alfred and other contemporary sources. Penguin Classics, London et al 1983 ( more NDe ).
  • Alfred P. Smyth: The medieval life of King Alfred the Great: a translation and commentary on the text attributed to Asher. Basingstoke 2002