E 364P • Old English
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
The earliest vernacular compositions in English, dating from the seventh century to some decades beyond the Norman Conquest in the eleventh, are our sources for Old English, a.k.a. Anglo-Saxon. In this course we will learn how to read them with healthy skepticism and an on-line concordance. We will begin with the prose and read extracts from travelogues, chronicles, translations from Latin, and saints' lives. We will do some transcription from facsimiles of manuscripts to discover what editors put in and leave out in producing texts. We will spend most of the course reading the most-studied verse compositions, including The Wanderer and The Seafarer, heroic poems like The Battle of Brunanburh, The Battle of Maldon, and The Dream of the Rood, possibly some riddles and Biblical epic. Daily translation, homework exercises, grammar quizzes as necessary, a midterm exam covering the grammar of prepared translations, and a final exam.
Daily translation, quizzes, exercises 45%
Final exam 25%
No makeup quizzes, no more than two unexcused absences without penalty.
J. C. Pope and R. D. Fulk, Eight Old English Poems (Norton, 2001)
P. S. Baker, Introduction to Old English (Blackwell, 2003)
A list of recommended reading and websites will be available in the spring.