Old English literature

He described himself as apathetic and not very ambitious academically. A few years later, he was polishing up some work at the Widener Library at Harvard University when he received a phone call. After hanging up, he went straight back to working, even though he had just achieved one of the greatest academic achievements in the country. Neidorf had learned he was accepted into the Harvard Society of Fellows, one of the most prestigious and coveted programs in the country. Neidorf is a graduate of Eastern, which he credits for helping form his education. The Society of Fellows is a three-year fellowship awarded to only 12 scholars a year. Neidorf fits the description comfortably.

A History: ’s Word of the Year

Aciman, Alexander, and Emmett L. Adderley, Mark, “To beot or not to beot: Aertsen, Henk, Rolf H. Companion to Old English Poetry. Vrije Universiteit Press, Two World Views in Beowulf.

Philology. Scholars in our department have a long tradition of research and teaching in the area of Germanic philology, which we define broadly as the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Germanic peoples from the first centuries CE until around the end of the 14th century. Leonard Neidorf (ed.), The Dating of Beowulf: A Reassessment.

The book aims not only to provide both students and scholars with an up-to-date text and introduction and notes, but also to reconfirm the canonical merit of Andreas as one of the longest and most important works in Old English literature. The Old English text and Modern English translation of Andreas are presented in a split-page format, allowing students at whatever level of familiarity with the Anglo-Saxon vernacular to gain a direct access to the poem in close to its original form.

The text of the Old English poem is accompanied by a full set of supporting notes, and a glossary representing the translation. List of Figures List of Abbreviations Introduction 1. The Poem and its Analogues 2. Language and Dialect Phonology Vocabulary Linguistic conclusion 4. Metre and Prosody 5. Bintley is sure to displace them and become the standard edition cited in professional scholarship.

An extraordinary amount of labor appears to have been invested in this massive work, which offers much more than its predecessors. It is in many respects an exemplary edition, which could serve as a model for new editions of other Old English poems that have been satisfactorily edited before.

Poetic words, conservatism and the dating of Old English poetry

Some historians, such as John Niles , argue that the work was invented after King Alfred ‘s rule to present “a common glorious past”, while others such as Kemp Malone have argued that the piece is an authentic transcription of old heroic songs. The first thula runs through a list of the various kings of renown, both contemporary and ancient “Caesar ruled the Greeks” , the model being ‘ name of a king ruled name of a tribe ‘. The second thula contains the names of the peoples the narrator visited, the model being ‘With the name of a tribe I was, and with the name of another tribe.

It closes with a brief comment on the importance and fame offered by poets like Widsith, with many pointed reminders of the munificent generosity offered to tale-singers by patrons “discerning of songs. It is moot whether Widsith literally intends himself, or poetically means his lineage, either as a Myrging or as a poet, as when “the fictive speaker Deor uses the rhetoric of first-person address to insert himself into the same legendary world that he evokes in the earlier parts of the poem through his allusions to Weland the smith , Theodoric the Goth, Eormanric the Goth, and other legendary figures of the Germanic past.

In a similar vein, “I was with the Lidwicingas, the Leonas and the Langobards,” Widsith boasts, with heathens and heroes and with the Hundingas.

In Herben Jr., who himself had a collection of arms and armor from the Shakespearean era, published two articles on the literary descriptions of weapons and .

One exception is an article by R. Menner, who noted that Beowulf and Genesis A share three poetic words, apart from compounds, that are not found elsewhere: Menner used these words as part of an argument for an early date of Genesis A, an argument which hinged, in part, on lexical similarities between this poem and Beowulf, which he assumed was early. Although such an a priori assumption is no longer possible, evidence provided by the limited distribution of certain poetic simplexes is nonetheless useful for demonstrating the presence of a connection between two or more poems.

Such a connection may be a matter of date or dialect, or it may indicate that the poems were the products of a single poetic school or subtradition. However, the limited distribution of certain poetic simplexes can serve as an index of the poetic conservatism of the poems in which these words occur. This conservatism could be due to a number of factors: As will emerge in the course of this discussion, the most straightforward explanation for this conservatism is that the poems which exhibit it were composed earlier than those which do not.

Other explanations are, however, possible, and the evidence of poetic words is hardly sufficient by itself to determine the dating of Old English poems. But by focusing on patterns of distribution that centre upon Beowulf, we can examine what certain words may tell us about the conservatism of this poem and of those poems which are connected to it. Send article to Kindle To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply cambridge.

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The Dating of Beowulf: A Reassessment

The early Beowulf that overwhelmingly emerges here asks hard questions, and the same strictly defined measures of metre, spelling, onomastics, semantics, genealogy, and historicity all cry out to be tested further and applied more broadly to the whole corpus of Old English verse. The dating of Beowulf has been a central question in Anglo-Saxon studies for the past two centuries, since it affects not only the interpretation of Beowulf, but also the trajectory of early English literary history.

By exploring evidence for the poem’s date of composition, the essays in this volume contribute to a wide range of pertinent fields, including historical linguistics, Old English metrics, onomastics, and textual criticism. Many aspects of Anglo-Saxon literary culture are likewise examined, as contributors gauge the chronological significance of the monsters, heroes, history, and theology brought together in Beowulf.

Discussions of methodology and the history of the discipline also figure prominently in this collection. Overall, the dating of Beowulf here provides a productive framework for evaluating evidence and drawing informed conclusions about its chronological significance.

Beowulf, like The Iliad and The Odyssey, is a foundational work of Western literature that originated in mysterious circumstances. In Todos Título Autor ISBN.

See Scandza for details of Scandinavia’s political fragmentation in the 6th century. The events in the poem take place over most of the sixth century, after the Anglo-Saxons had started migrating to England and before the beginning of the seventh century, a time when the Anglo-Saxons were either newly arrived or were still in close contact with their Germanic kinsmen in Northern Germany and southern Scandinavia. The poem may have been brought to England by people of Geatish origins.

Though Beowulf himself is not mentioned in any other Anglo-Saxon manuscript, [10] scholars generally agree that many of the other figures referred to in Beowulf also appear in Scandinavian sources. Specific works are designated in the following section. The dating of the events in the epic poem has been confirmed by archaeological excavations of the barrows in Uppland , Sweden, indicated by Snorri Sturluson and by Swedish tradition as the graves of Ohthere dated to c.

Ongentheow ‘s barrow , right, has not been excavated. Eadgils was buried at Uppsala according to Snorri Sturluson.

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Of all published articles, the following were the most read within the past 12 months.

Revisiting the poetic Edda: The book provides a comprehensive introduction to the poems for students, taking a number of fresh, theoretically-sophisticated and productive approaches to the poetry and its characters. Contributors bring to bear insights generated by comparative study, speech act and feminist theory, queer theory and psychoanalytic theory among others to raise new, probing questions about the heroic poetry and its reception. Each essay is accompanied by up-to-date lists of further reading and a contextualisation of the poems or texts discussed in critical history.

Drawing on the latest international studies of the poems in their manuscript context, and written by experts in their individual fields, engaging with the texts in their original language and context, but presented with full translations, this companion volume to The Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Mythology Routledge, is accessible to students and illuminating for experts. Shippey Book 9 editions published in in English and French and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide The 16 essays in this collection focus on the impact made by 19th- and early 20th-century philology in the fields of medieval studies and language studies, and in the construction of Northern European national identities, mythologies and folklore Tolkien in the new century: Also included are brief memoirs by Shippey’s colleagues and friends in academia and fandom, and a bibliography of Shippey’s work”- Hard reading: A Shippey Book 7 editions published between and in English and held by 80 WorldCat member libraries worldwide An exploration of politics and the role of the ‘soft sciences’ in Science Fiction 5 editions published in in English and held by 52 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

Beowulf Dating

Add to basket Add to wishlist Description “This book will be a milestone, and deserves to be widely read. The early Beowulf that overwhelmingly emerges here asks hard questions, and the same strictly defined measures of metre, spelling, onomastics, semantics, genealogy, and historicity all cry out to be tested further and applied more broadly to the whole corpus of Old English verse.

The dating of Beowulf has been a central question in Anglo-Saxon studies for the past two centuries, since it affects not only the interpretation of Beowulf, but also the trajectory of early English literary history. By exploring evidence for the poem’s date of composition, the essays in this volume contribute to a wide range of pertinent fields, including historical linguistics, Old English metrics, onomastics, and textual criticism.

philological tide was taken by the volume on The Dating of Beowulf: A Reassessment, edited by Leonard Neidorf, to which I contributed an article (see below), and this has been followed up by the volume of essays in honor of Robert D.

Beowulf — Beowulf is an Old English epic poem consisting of alliterative lines. It may be the oldest surviving poem in Old English and is commonly cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature. A date of composition is a matter of contention among scholars, the only certain dating pertains to the manuscript, the author was an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, referred to by scholars as the Beowulf poet.

The poem is set in Scandinavia, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall in Heorot has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendels mother attacks the hall and is also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland and later king of the Geats.

After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, after his death, his attendants cremate his body and erect a tower on a headland in his memory. The full poem survives in the known as the Nowell Codex. It has no title in the manuscript, but has become known by the name of the storys protagonist. In , the manuscript was damaged by a fire that swept through Ashburnham House in London that had a collection of medieval manuscripts assembled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton.

The Nowell Codex is currently housed in the British Library, the poem may have been brought to England by people of Geatish origins. The poem deals with legends, was composed for entertainment, though Beowulf himself is not mentioned in any other Anglo-Saxon manuscript, scholars generally agree that many of the other personalities of Beowulf also appear in Scandinavian sources.

This does not only people, but also clans and some of the events.

Beowulf Summary