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Reconstructing Alliterative Verse
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The poetry we call 'alliterative' is recorded in English from the seventh century until the sixteenth, and includes Caedmon's 'Hymn', Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Piers Plowman. These are some of the most admired works of medieval English literature, and also among the most enigmatic. The formal practice of alliterative poets exceeded the conceptual grasp of medieval literary theory; theorists are still playing catch-up today. This book explains the distinctive nature of alliterative meter, explores its differences from subsequent accentual-syllabic forms, and advances a reformed understanding of medieval English literary history. The startling formal variety of Piers Plowman and other Middle English alliterative poems comes into sharper focus when viewed in diachronic perspective: the meter was in transition; to understand it, we need to know where it came from and where it was headed at the moment it died out.

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Medieval authors are alphabetized by first name (e.g., Gerald of Wales) except for those conventionally cited by surname (e.g., Chaucer, Geoffrey). Anonymous works and collections are listed by the names of their modern editors, with cross-reference where appropriate.

Ælfric, , Ælfrics Grammatik und Glossar, ed. Zupitza, Julius (Berlin, 1880).
Ælfric, , Ælfric’s Lives of Saints: Being a Set of Sermons on Saints’ Days Formerly Observed by the English Church, ed. Skeat, Walter W., EETS 76, 82, 94, 114 (London, 1881–1900).
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Barr, Helen, ed., The “Piers Plowman” Tradition: A Critical Edition of Pierce the Ploughman’s Crede, Richard the Redeless, Mum and the Sothsegger, and The Crowned King (London: J. M. Dent, 1993).
, Bede, Libri II De Arte Metrica et De Schematibus et Tropis = The Art of Poetry and Rhetoric, ed. and trans. Kendall, Calvin B. (Saarbrücken: AQ-Verlag, 1991).
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Fein, Susanna Greer, ed., Moral Love Songs and Laments, TEAMS Middle English Texts (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 1998),
Fulk, R. D., ed. and trans., The “Beowulf” Manuscript: Complete Texts; and “The Fight at Finnsburg,” Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 3 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).
Fulk, R. D., Bjork, Robert E., and Niles, John D., eds., Klaeber’s “Beowulf,” 4th edn. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).
Geoffrey of Vinsauf, Poetria Nova, trans. Margaret F. Nims, 2nd edn., rev. Martin Camargo (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2010). [And see Faral, Edmond.]
Gerald of Wales, Itinerarium Kambriae et Descriptio Kambriae, in Dimock, James F., ed., Geraldi Cambrensis Opera, vol. vi, Rolls Series (London, 1868).
Gibbs, Henry Hucks, ed., The Romance of the Cheuelere Assigne, EETS e.s. 6 (London, 1868).
Godden, Malcolm, and Irvine, Susan, eds., The Old English “Boethius”: An Edition of the Old English Versions of Boethius’s “De Consolatione Philosophiae,” 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
Gollancz, Israel, ed., A Good Short Debate between Winner and Waster: An Alliterative Poem on Social and Economic Problems in England in the Year 1352, with Modern English Rendering (London: H. Milford, 1920).
Halm, Karl, ed., Rhetores latini minores (Leipzig, 1863).
Hanna, Ralph, ed., The Awntyrs off Arthure at the Terne Wathelyn: An Edition Based on Bodleian Library Ms Douce 324 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1974).
Hanna, Ralph, The Knightly Tale of Golagros and Gawane, STS 5th ser. 7 (Woodbridge: Scottish Text Society, 2008).
Hanna, Ralph, and Lawton, David A., eds., The Siege of Jerusalem, EETS o.s. 320 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
Isidore of Seville, Etymologiarum sive Originum Libri XX, ed. Lindsay, W. M., 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1911).
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Langland, William, Piers Plowman: The B Version – Will’s Visions of Piers Plowman, Do-Well, Do-Better and Do-Best. An Edition in the Form of Trinity College Cambridge MS B.15.17 Corrected and Restored from the Known Evidence, with Variant Readings, ed. Kane, George and Donaldson, E. Talbot, rev. edn. (London and Berkeley: Athlone Press and University of California Press, 1988).
Langland, William, Piers Plowman: The C Version – Will’s Visions of Piers Plowman, Do-Well, Do-Better and Do-Best. An Edition in the Form of Huntington Library MS HM 143, Corrected and Restored from the Known Evidence, with Variant Readings, ed. Russell, George and Kane, George (London and Berkeley: Athlone Press and University of California Press, 1997).
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Þórðarson, Óláfr, Die Dritte grammatische Abhandlung: Der isländische Text nach den Handschriften AM748 I, 4o und Codex Wormianus, ed. and trans. Krömmelbein, Thomas (Oslo: Novus, 1998).
Þórðarson, Óláfr, “The Foundation of Grammar: An Edition of the First Section of Óláfr Þórðarson’s Grammatical Treatise,” ed. Wills, Tarrin, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Sydney (2001).
Peacham, Henry, The Garden of Eloquence Conteyning the Figures of Grammer and Rhetorick (London, 1577).
Peterson, Clifford, ed., Saint Erkenwald (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977).
Polwarth, Patrick Hume of. See Montgomerie, Alexander.
Pontano, Giovanni Gioviano, De Sermone, ed. Summonte, Pietro (Naples, 1509).
Pontano, Giovanni Gioviano, I Dialoghi, ed. Previtera, Carmelo (Florence: Sansone, 1943).
Putter, Ad, and Stokes, Myra, eds., The Works of the “Gawain” Poet: Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (New York: Penguin, 2014).
Quintilian, , The Orator’s Education [Institutiones oratoriae], ed. and trans. Russell, D. A., LCL 124–127, 494 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).
Rhetorica ad Herennium. See Caplan, Harry; Calboli, Gualtiero.
Rolle, Richard, English Writings of Richard Rolle, Hermit of Hampole, ed. Allen, Hope Emily (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931).
Servius, , Servii Grammatici qui feruntur in Vergilii carmina commentarii, ed. Thilo, Georg and Hagen, Hermann, 3 vols. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1881–1902),
Shackleton Bailey, D. R., ed., Anthologia Latina, vol. i: Carmina in Codicibus Scripta, fasc. i: Libri Salmasiani aliorumque carmina (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1983).
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. See Putter, Ad; Tolkien, J. R. R.; Andrew, Malcolm.
Skeat, Walter W., ed., Pierce the Ploughmans Crede (about 1394 A.D.), EETS o.s. 30 (London, 1867).
Smith, G. Gregory, ed., Elizabethan Critical Essays, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904).
Sturluson, Snorri, Edda, trans. Anthony Faulkes (London: Dent, 1987).
Sturluson, Snorri, Edda: Háttatal, ed. Faulkes, Anthony (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991).
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Spenser, Edmund, The Shorter Poems, ed. McCabe, Richard A. (London: Penguin, 1999).
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Trevisa, John, “Trevisa’s Original Prefaces on Translation: A Critical Edition,” ed. Waldron, Ronald A., in Kennedy, Edward Donald, Waldron, Ronald A., and Wittig, Joseph S., eds., Medieval English Studies Presented to George Kane (Wolfeboro, NH: D. S. Brewer, 1988), 285–99.
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Vossius, Geraldus Joannes, Commentariorum Rhetoricorum sive Oratoriarum Institutionum libri sex, 4th edn. (Leiden, 1643).
Warmington, E. H., ed. and trans., Remains of Old Latin, vol. i: Ennius; Caecilius, LCL 294 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935).
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