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The development of laser wakefield accelerators (LWFA) over the past several years has led to an interest in very compact sources of X-ray radiation – such as “table-top” free electron lasers. However, the use of conventional undulators using permanent magnets also implies system sizes which are large. In this work, we assess the possibilities for the use of novel mini-undulators in conjunction with a LWFA so that the dimensions of the undulator become comparable with the acceleration distances for LWFA experiments (i.e., centimeters). The use of a prototype undulator using laser machining of permanent magnets for this application is described and the emission characteristics and limitations of such a system are determined. Preliminary electron propagation and X-ray emission measurements are taken with a LWFA electron beam at the University of Michigan.
We report the discovery in the Greenland ice sheet of a discrete layer of free nanodiamonds (NDs) in very high abundances, implying most likely either an unprecedented influx of extraterrestrial (ET) material or a cosmic impact event that occurred after the last glacial episode. From that layer, we extracted n-diamonds and hexagonal diamonds (lonsdaleite), an accepted ET impact indicator, at abundances of up to about 5×106 times background levels in adjacent younger and older ice. The NDs in the concentrated layer are rounded, suggesting they most likely formed during a cosmic impact through some process similar to carbon-vapor deposition or high-explosive detonation. This morphology has not been reported previously in cosmic material, but has been observed in terrestrial impact material. This is the first highly enriched, discrete layer of NDs observed in glacial ice anywhere, and its presence indicates that ice caps are important archives of ET events of varying magnitudes. Using a preliminary ice chronology based on oxygen isotopes and dust stratigraphy, the ND-rich layer appears to be coeval with ND abundance peaks reported at numerous North American sites in a sedimentary layer, the Younger Dryas boundary layer (YDB), dating to 12.9 ± 0.1 ka. However, more investigation is needed to confirm this association.
Stonehenge is a site that continues to yield surprises. Excavation in 2009 added a new and unexpected feature: a smaller, dismantled stone circle on the banks of the River Avon, connected to Stonehenge itself by the Avenue. This new structure has been labelled ‘Bluestonehenge’ from the evidence that it once held a circle of bluestones that were later removed to Stonehenge. Investigation of the Avenue closer to Stonehenge revealed deep periglacial fissures within it. Their alignment on Stonehenge's solstitial axis (midwinter sunset–midsummer sunrise) raises questions about the early origins of this ritual landscape.
Although dietary intake over a single 24-h period may be atypical of an individual’s habitual pattern, multiple 24-h dietary assessments can be representative of habitual intake and help in assessing seasonal variation. Web-based questionnaires are convenient for the participant and result in automatic data capture for study investigators. This study reports on the acceptability of repeated web-based administration of the Oxford WebQ – a 24-h recall of frequency from a set food list suitable for self-completion from which energy and nutrient values can be automatically generated. As part of the UK Biobank study, four invitations to complete the Oxford WebQ were sent by email over a 16-month period. Overall, 176 012 (53 % of those invited) participants completed the online version of the Oxford WebQ at least once and 66 % completed it more than once, although only 16 % completed it on all four occasions. The response rate for any one round of invitations varied between 34 and 26 %. On most occasions, the Oxford WebQ was completed on the same day that they received the invitation, although this was less likely if sent on a weekend. Participants who completed the Oxford WebQ tended to be white, female, slightly older, less deprived and more educated, which is typical of health-conscious volunteer-based studies. These findings provide preliminary evidence to suggest that repeated 24-h dietary assessment via the Internet is acceptable to the public and a feasible strategy for large population-based studies.
Miscanthus × giganteus cv. Illinois is a high-yielding perennial grass crop being developed for cellulosic biomass production in the United States. It is a sterile cultivar and must be established using plantlets or rhizomes; this asexual propagation is relatively expensive, thereby limiting more widespread acceptance. Perennial, tetraploid, seeded types of M. × giganteus have been developed that could reduce establishment costs, while producing high biomass yields. Weed control during the year of establishment is essential because this grass crop does not compete well with weeds in the establishment year. Greenhouse and field experiments were conducted to identify PRE and POST herbicides that would not adversely affect seeded M. × giganteus emergence or growth. Imazethapyr and quinclorac applied PRE had no negative affect on M. × giganteus growth in the greenhouse with respect to seedling emergence, plant height, observed injury symptoms, or fresh weight. In the field, plant emergence was significantly higher with quinclorac plus atrazine than the nontreated control, and emergence with isoxaflutole plus atrazine was not significantly different from the control. Six herbicides applied POST in the greenhouse showed little or no negative effect on miscanthus growth. In the field, several PRE plus POST herbicide combinations did not negatively affect M. × giganteus growth; however, none of these provided adequate weed control under irrigated conditions. Further evaluation of PRE and POST herbicides is needed to identify robust weed control options that are safe on seeded M. × giganteus.
This paper brings together the work of the GI Solvency II Technical Provisions working party. The working party was formed in 2009 for the primary purpose of raising awareness of Solvency II and the impact it would have on the work that reserving actuaries do. Over the years, the working party’s focus has shifted to exploring and promoting discussion of the many practical issues raised by the requirements and to promoting best practice. To this end, we have developed, presented and discussed many of the ideas contained in this paper at events and forums. However, the size of the subject means that at no one event have we managed to cover all of the areas that the reserving actuary needs to be aware of. This paper brings together our thinking in one place for the first time. We hope experienced practitioners will find it thought provoking, and a useful reference tool. For new practitioners, we hope it helps to get you up-to-speed quickly. Good luck!
Beowulf is a remarkable poem to have been written at any time. Around 3,200 lines of linguistically and metrically sophisticated poetry that sets “two moments in a great life,” in J.R.R. Tolkien's phrase, into a distant past and conveys a profound respect for the hero's actions while at the same time expressing a sense of the loss and futility of that world, is a remarkable achievement. A poem not of an age, but for all time. Which is not to say that it is undatable or that its date does not matter. Even without external evidence such as manuscripts and editions, we would recognize that well-known accounts of the deeds of three northern European heroes from around the year 500 – Beowulf, Arthur, and Hamlet – were written by their authors – our poet, Malory, and Shakespeare – at very different times, and recognizing their historical contexts is essential to any real appreciation of them. The reverse is also true. In the absence of precise evidence for a particular date of composition, understanding the meaning of the poem can help us to locate its likely place in history. My claim is that succession, or more precisely a change in the rules of succession brought about by the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, is a major theme in Beowulf. The poet explores a shift from an older “Germanic” system in which many members of a kin-group are eligible for the throne to a newer “Christian” one, which limits the contenders and favors the succession of sons.
The role of the Beowulf manuscript in scholarship dating the poem's composition has changed considerably in recent years. During the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century, discussions of the poem's date rarely embraced the manuscript as a source of relevant evidence. The omission is not unreasonable, since the presence of transcription errors throughout the manuscript reveals that it is a copy of a copy, written out perhaps at a vast remove from the authorial original. The text transmitted in a copy might contain indications that it had been committed to parchment at a much earlier date, but there is no guarantee that such indications will be present. Accordingly, the previous disregard for the manuscript in dating studies was not an inexplicable oversight, though it suddenly seemed to be such in 1981, when Kevin S. Kiernan argued that his examination of the manuscript revealed it to contain an authorial draft of an eleventh-century poem. Kiernan's hypothesis is rarely credited, and a series of subsequent studies have demonstrated that it is untenable, but the notoriety of his argument has created the impression that manuscript studies might support a later dating. This impression is registered in Nicholas Howe's belief that “from the type of evidence offered, one can predict a scholar's dating of Beowulf … the more closely one works with the language and metre, the more likely one is to date the poem early … the more closely one works with the manuscript, the more likely one is to date the poem late.”
Since the date of the Beowulf manuscript is widely agreed upon, the very question which prompts this volume (and the conference it derives from, and even the 1980 conference with its 1981 proceedings volume) must assume that the date of the poem may not be the same as the date of the manuscript. It is certain that there must have been a moment of first inscription for the poem, and that the time and place of that moment remains a central point of interest for students of the poem. In this essay, I will bring new evidence to bear on this venerable question, and my argument shall be that Beowulf is metrically conservative according to a variety of independent metrical criteria. Further, I will suggest that that conservatism is so varied and consistent as to strongly indicate that the original version of Beowulf must be placed among the very earliest of the longer narrative Old English poems that survive, probably in the eighth century.
Of course, it remains true, I believe, that the moment of inscription is only one of the moments of interest which might engage modern scholars of the poem. As I argued in Authors, Audiences, and Old English Verse, our focus on authorship (and on moments of authorship) may sometimes cause us to lose sight of what can be gained by also considering audience, and I proposed there two later audiences for Beowulf, one located at Alfred's Wessex court in the late ninth century, and another, sometime around the turn of the eleventh century, perhaps in Canterbury, represented most clearly by the author of Maldon.
In a series of papers, Leonard Neidorf has argued that Germanic heroic legend circulated in Anglo-Saxon England predominantly in the seventh and eighth centuries, manifesting itself in Latin testimonia, vernacular poetry, visual art, royal genealogies, and personal names. These papers, together with conversations with their author, gave new impetus and purpose to a note I had been contemplating writing off and on for two or three of decades, a note on the other Heorot.
In two firmly historical passages Bede speaks of a place and a structure, the name of which is built on the word or name Heorot. And as unlikely as it seems, Beowulf scholarship has largely neglected to mention this potentially interesting fact. When I began research for this note, I thought that, against all probability, that neglect had been total; on the whole this initial belief has so far held true, with the unusual nineteenth-century exception of Daniel Henry Haigh, whose views I discuss below, together with brief modern allusions to Haigh. I cannot explain how this second Heorot has escaped the attention of Beowulf scholars – if it really has – and even the brashest scholar would be uneasy about too confidently asserting a negative, especially in such highly cultivated fields as Bede and Beowulf. I will at least affirm that this connection is not noticed in the encyclopedic recent edition of Klaeber or in the older commentaries known to me and so cannot, at the very least, be well known in our field.
The correspondences between the names in the Scylding genealogy at the beginning of Beowulf and three names in the upper reaches of the genealogy of Æthelwulf in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Beaw, Sceldwa and Sceaf, frequently appear in arguments for a late dating of Beowulf. But these arguments overlook many aspects of Æthelwulf's genealogy that disrupt their case for a late dating. As H. Munro Chadwick pointed out over a century ago, the forms Sceldwa and Beaw found in the Chronicle for Scyld and Beow are not West Saxon spellings, and the -wa suffix of Sceldwa and Tætwa suggests that these forms may be archaic. Thus spelling alone indicates that these names were probably copied from an older, non-West Saxon text. Furthermore, the very presence of these names in the royal pedigree is puzzling. On one level the presence of Scyld is easy to explain: Scyld and the Scyldings were famous in heroic legend, and his inclusion in Æthelwulf's pedigree provides reflected glory for the West Saxon dynasty and implies genealogical, political and cultural connections between the West Saxons and the Danes that could be useful for Alfred and his heirs to foster. But on another level his inclusion is rather surprising: according to genealogical conventions, the presence of Scyld implies that the West Saxon royal family is a cadet branch of the Scylding dynasty, and is thus potentially subordinate to Scandinavian rulers in England claiming direct descent from Scyld.
From the publication of the poem's editio princeps in 1815 to the emergence of the present collection two centuries later, few topics in Anglo-Saxon studies have generated as much speculation and scholarship as the dating of Beowulf. Marshaling disparate forms of evidence and argumentation, scholars have assigned dates to Beowulf that range from the seventh to the eleventh century. Various individuals have been unpersuasively identified as the author of Beowulf and dozens of kings, clerics, and contexts have been associated with the poem's genesis. Scholarship on the dating of Beowulf is markedly uneven in quality: alongside sober and thoughtful argumentation, there has been a great deal of improbable hypothesizing about the author of the poem or the milieu in which it was composed. Awareness of the qualitative differences in the scholarly literature is tacitly registered in the relative frequency with which publications are cited, but these differences have rarely received explicit discussion. This introduction to the dating of Beowulf controversy examines the changing standards of evidence, methodology, and argumentation that have attended this topic, particularly in the past thirty years. The dating of Beowulf has not been a static or monolithic subject, but has undergone considerable change in the disputes it connotes and the practices it encompasses. In the following account, emphasis will be given to the reasons for prevailing opinions rather than to the multiplicity of opinions as such.