View Full Version : Anglo-Saxon Literature

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003, 10:49 PM
An article on Anglo-Saxon literature

Some backdrop

"The British peasant looked seaward from his harvest-field, and saw, with wondering eyes, the piratical schooner of a Saxon Viking, making for the mouth of the Thames. A few years,--only a few years,--afterward, while the same peasant, driven from his homestead north or west, still lives to tell the story to his grandchildren, another race lords it over the land, speaking a different language and living under different laws. This important event in his history is more important in the world's history. Thus began the reign of the Saxons in England; and the downfall of one nation, and the rise of another..."

The next paragraph goes on to state

"The Saxons came into England about the middle of the fifth century. They were pagans; they were a wild and warlike people; brave, rejoicing in sea-storms, and beautiful in person, with blue eyes and long, flowing hair. Their warriors wore their shields suspended from their necks by chains. Their horsemen were armed with iron sledge-hammers. Their priest rode upon mares, and carried into the battle-field an image of the god Irminsula; in figure like an armed man; his helmet crested with a cock; in his right hand a banner, emblazoned with a red rose; a bear, carved upon his breast; and, hanging from his shoulders, a shield, on which was a lion in a field of flowers."

And then in time

"The Anglo-Saxon language was the language of our Saxon forefathers in England, though they never gave it that name. They called it English. Thus King Alfred speaks of translating "from book-latin into English" (of bec Ledene on Englisc); Abbot Aelfric was requested by Aethelward "to translate the book of Genesis from Latin into English" (anwendan of Ledene on Englisc tha boc Genesis); and Bishop Leofric, speaking of the manuscript he gave to the Exeter Cathedral calls it, "a great English book" (mycel Englisc boc.) In other words, it is the old Saxon, a Gothic tongue, as spoken and developed in England."

The link to the article of the July 1838 issue of North American Review pg 90-134

http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/pageviewer?root=%2Fmoa%2Fnora%2Fnora0047 %2F&tif=00096.TIF&cite=http%3A%2F%2Fcdl.library.cornell.ed u%2Fcgi-bin%2Fmoa%2Fmoa-cgi%3Fnotisid%3DABQ7578-0047-6&coll=moa&frames=1&view=50

To turn the page simply click "next page" at upper right hand corner of screen.

White and Free
Monday, October 13th, 2003, 02:09 AM
My heritage is Saxon.

the first trace of my surname is in the province of Kent where one of my forefathers was a "lord of the manor". :)

Monday, October 13th, 2003, 03:36 AM
My heritage is Saxon.

the first trace of my surname is in the province of Kent where one of my forefathers was a "lord of the manor". :)

That's cool to hear W&F. Here in the states the story of the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England is not particlarly taught and is somewhat of a mystery to many, but it is quite interesting.

Tho I am primarily of Swedish extraction, there is a bit of Welsh. What is strange is that tho my family on the father's side traces itself back to Wales, the family surname itself is a rather unusual English name which has Norman roots it appears (the story about how that might of come about is for another thread another day). Anyhow, my family's surname like yours has a famous ancestor who was also a lord.:prost He was Lord Mayor of London and is said to have bought one of the first English navies out of his own pocket.

My big question tho, and perhaps you have the same of your family, is "WHO SQUANDERED THE FAMILY FORTUNE!!? :~(

White and Free
Thursday, October 16th, 2003, 05:46 AM
Nice, Lord of London is a big achievement in any era. My mother's side of the family had some noble blood from way back in the day as well.

I know of Norman history especially the defeat at Hastings, bah! :) Its always fun to trace your family history all the way back to your tribal roots, its a shame western society doesn't make it a staple of learning again. I'd say in the scheme of things our tribe(s) aren't doing that bad, we'll regrab the reigns soon and steer to the clear when the time is right. http://www.forums.skadi.net/images/smilies/pantheon_europa/betm1301.gif