OLD ENGLISH
2.30 pm - Alternate Tuesdays

The origins of the English language are as obscure as those of the people. Current theories draw on historical, linguistic, genetic and archaeological evidence. What we can say is that there was a cultural zenith during the three centuries before the Norman conquest of Britain, and that nearly all the extant literature dates from this period.

This Group, re-formed in 2008 from an earlier long-standing Anglo-Saxon Group, meets fortnightly to translate and discuss these texts, and the complexities of the language in which they are written.

Membership is limited by the amount of text members feel they are able to prepare for each meeting, and is currently limited to six. Vacancies arise from time to time. Please enquire.

Prospective members need a degree of familiarity with Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and a reasonable grasp of modern English grammar, and experience of having learnt some other germanic language is helpful.

The following books are used within the Group:

Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer. 9th edition rev. by Norman Davis, 1953
Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in prose and verse. 14th edition rev. by C.T.Onions, 1959
Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader in prose and verse. 15th edition rev. by Dorothy Whitelock, 1967
Old and Middle English c.890-c.1400: an anthology, ed. Elaine Treharne. 2nd ed. 2004
The Student's Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon, by Henry Sweet, 1896
A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, by J.R. Clark Hall. 4th ed, 1984
Wordcraft:New English and Old English Dictionary and Thesaurus, by Stephen Pollington, 1993
A User-friendly Dictionary of Old English, by Bill Griffiths. 5th ed. 2005
A Guide to Old English, by Bruce Mitchell. 2nd ed. 1968

In 2009/10 the Group studied the following texts:

The Battle of Malden:
This appears in "Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader" (14th edition page 111; 15th edition page 116) and in "Old and Middle English c890-c1400: an anthology" page 141, but there is at least one version on the web at http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/medieval/

Apollonius of Tyre:
This appears in "Old and Middle English c890-c1400: an anthology", and there is a text on the web at http://www.skramstad.no/folkebok/oeappolon.htm.

The Gospel according to St Luke (Chapters 1-11 from the Wessex Gospels):
This is on the web at http://wordhord.org/nasb/

In 2011 the Group studied:

The Old English Rune Poem:
This appears on the web at http://www.ragweedforge.com/rpaa.html/, and the Runes themselves are reproduced in the Wikipaedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runic_alphabet,

The Laws of Alfred and Ina:
These appear on the web at http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/medieval/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/prose/laws.html

Aelfric's Colloquy:
This is available on the web at http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/eduweb/engl401/texts/frame.html

King Alfred's Will:
There is a version on the web in Google Books.

King Edmund:
from Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer 9th edition.

In 2012 the Group studied:

The Old English Proverbs (Proverbia Anglo-Saxonica)):
This appears in Collecteana Anglo-Saxonica by L C Mueller, which is available on the web in Google Books.

Extracts from the Gospel according to St Matthew, fom the Wessex Gospels:
appearing in Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer 9th edition.

Anglo-Saxon Manual of Astronomy:
a rendering into Old English from Bede's De Natura Rerum from "Popular Treatises on Science written during the \middle Ages ed. by Thomas Wright. This is available on the web in Google Books.