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Æthelweard's Chronicon and Old English poetry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Angelika Lutz
Affiliation:
University of Erlangen

Extract

The author of the Chronicon Æthelweardi is commonly identified with the ealdor-man of the western shires who signed charters from 973–98 and played an important political role particularly in King Æthelred's England. Ealdorman Æthelweard is also known as the patron of Abbot Ælfric, as the addressee of Ælfric's famous preface to his translation of Genesis and of his Old English preface to his Lives of Saints; that is, we know him as a person who took great interest in religious texts written in or translated into the vernacular. The Chronicon was written in Latin, although it was mainly based on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The reason for his choice of language may be determined from the prologue to his Chronicon, from which it becomes clear that he wrote it for his kinswoman Mathilda (949–1011), abbess of Essen, whose grandmother Eadgyth, daughter of King Edward the Elder, had been married to Emperor Otto I. We may assume that Mathilda's native tongue was Old Saxon, a variety of Low German that was closely related to West Saxon English.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2000

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References

1 Cf. The Chronicle of Æthelweard, ed. Campbell, A. (London, 1962), pp. xi–xvGoogle Scholar; Barker, E. E., ‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle used by Æthelweard’, Bull. of the Inst.of Hist. Research, 40 (1967), 7491, at 8591CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Gransden, A., Historical Writing in England c. 550 to c. 1307 (London, 1974), pp. 42–3Google Scholar; Keynes, S., The Diplomas of King Æthelred ‘the Unready’, 978–1016. A Study in their Use as Historical Evidence (Cambridge, 1980), pp. 136 and 191–2CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Ælfric's Prefaces, ed. Wilcox, J., Durham Med. Texts 9 (Durham, 1994), esp. 912, 3740, 4551, 66–7 and 116–21Google Scholar; Medieval England. An Encyclopedia, ed. Szarmach, P. E., Tavormina, M. T. and Rosenthal, J. T. (New York, 1998)Google Scholar, s.v.‘Æthelweard’ [J.Hill] The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Lapidge, M., Blair, J., Keynes, S. and Scragg, D. (Oxford, 1999), s.v. ‘Æthelweard’ [S. Miller].Google Scholar

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3 On a lost version which is most closely related to the Parker Chronicle but in some aspects differs from all extant versions. For the early sections, the Chronicon relies to some extent also on the Old English Bede, whereas for the very late ninth and first half of the tenth centuries Æthelweard appears to have used much independent and possibly oral information; cf. Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , ch. IVGoogle Scholar; Barker, , ‘Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, pp. 7485Google Scholar; English Historical Documents c. 500–1042, ed. Whitelock, D., Engl. Hist. Documents 1, 2nd ed. (London, 1979), p. 118Google Scholar; Bately, J., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Texts and Textual Relationships (Reading, 1991), pp. 2631, 4153 and 5962.Google Scholar

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7 For Abbess Mathilda and the continental historical and historiographical background, see van Houts, E., ‘Women and the Writing of History in the Early Middle Ages: the Case of Abbess Matilda of Essen and Aethelweard’, EME 1 (1992), 5368.Google Scholar She suggests that the Chronicon was commissioned by Mathilda as a report on the Anglo-Saxon side of her ancestry, the Old Saxon side of which had shortly before been dealt with by Widukind of Corvey in his Res Gestae Saxonicae (dated c. 968), who had dedicated his work to her namesake, Abbess Mathilda of Quedlinburg, and that for this reason ‘Aethelweard was under some pressure to produce a text in Latin’ (p. 62). For Widukind's history of the Old Saxons and its cultural context, see Beumann, H., Widukind von Korvei: Untersuchungen Zur Geschichtsschreibung und Ideengeschichte des 10. Jahrhunderts (Weimar, 1950)Google Scholar; Bauer, A. and Rau, R., Quellen zur Geschichte der sächsischen Kaiserzeit Widukinds Sachsengeschichte, Adalberts Fortsetzung der Chronik Reginos, Liudprands Werke (Darmstadt, 1971), pp. 3183Google Scholar; Jacobsen, P. C., ‘Die lateinische Literatur der ottonischen und frühsalischen Zeit’, Europäisches Frühmittelalter, ed. von, See, pp. 438–74, esp. 445–53Google Scholar, on the works of the Ottonian historians. In this context, it seems remarkable that both Widukind and Æthelweard exhibit a strong interest in genealogical matters, for which see esp. de Vries, J., ‘Die Ursprungssage der Sachsen’, Niedersächsisches jahrbuch 31 (1959), 2037Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xixxxxvi.Google Scholar

8 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xixxx and 2.Google Scholar

9 ‘Disertissimæ et ueræ; Christi ancillæ’ (Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 1).Google Scholar

10 The evidence for the knowledge of Latin among lay persons in Late Anglo-Saxon England is scanty; see Keynes, S., ‘Royal Government and the Written Word in Late Anglo-Saxon England’, The Uses of Literacy in Early Medieval Europe, ed. McKitterick, R. (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 226–57Google Scholar; Gneuss, H., ‘Bücher und Leser in England im zehnten Jahrhundert’, Medialität und mittelalterliche insulare Literatur, ed. Tristram, H. L. C. (Tübingen, 1992), pp. 104–30Google Scholar, who (at p. 112) rightly points out that for members of the nobility it is not always possible to draw a clear dividing line between secular and ecclesiastical functions. The occasional mention of the ownership of books in Latin in wills dating from the tenth century (ibid.) cannot be considered a safe indicator for the knowledge of Latin of their previous or prospective owners.

11 Stenton, F. M., Anglo-Saxon England, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1971), p. 461.Google Scholar He nevertheless emphasized: ‘But the mere fact that a lay nobleman of the highest rank tried to write a Latin history of his own country is a most remarkable illustration of the general stirring of intellectual life that accompanied the tenth-century revival of English learning.’ William of Malmesbury, in the prologue to his Gesta Regum, had been the first to diagnose and deplore the discrepancy between Æthelweard's stylistic aspirations and his linguistic competence, when he expressed his hope that he himself would be carried ‘past the rocks of rough and rugged style, on which Æthelweard, in his search for jingling phrase and borrowed finery, so piteously was wrecked’ (William of Malmesbury, Cesta regum Anglorum: the History of the English Kings, 2 vols., ed. and trans. Mynors, R. A. B., completed Thomson, R. M. and Winterbottom, M., Oxford Med. Texts (Oxford, 1998–9) I, 1617Google Scholar: ‘preter scopulos confragosi sermonis euexerit, ad quos Elwardus, dum tinnula et emendicata uerba uenatur, miserabiliter impegit’).

12 Sisam, K., ‘Anglo-Saxon Royal Genealogies’, PBA 39 (1953), 287348, at 320–1, n. 3Google Scholar (repr. British Academy Papers on Anglo-Saxon England, ed.Stanley, E. G. (Oxford, 1990), pp. 145204, at 178, n. 3).Google Scholar Sisam quite rightly added (ibid.): ‘That an eminent layman should employ a Latin secretary for this purpose seems natural enough.’ Yet, at the same time, we may assume that even if Æthelweard's competence in Latin was sufficient for writing the Chronicon, he was nevertheless in a position to employ the services of someone like Abbot Ælfric to produce a translation of Genesis, e.g. because he preferred to read it in the vernacular or because his son did not know enough Latin. For his appreciation of King Alfred's vernacular version of Boethius's Consolatio, cf. Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xxxvi and 51.Google Scholar

13 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xxxvixxxvii.Google Scholar

14 Ibid.. pp. xxlv–xlvi.

15 Ibid.. pp. xlv–xlix.

16 Ibid.. pp. xlix–x.

17 Ibid.. p. 1.

18 Winterbottom, M., ‘The Style of Aethelweard’, 36 (1967), 109–18.Google Scholar

19 Ibid..p 111.

20 ibid.. p. 110; a somewhat more critical assessment may be derived from his study of The Gesta Regum of William of Malmesbury’.Jnl of Med. Latin 5 (1995), 158–73, at 163, where he refers to the Chronicon as a text which ‘William dismisses, justifiably, because of his bizarre style’.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

21 ASE 4 (1975), 67–111, repr. in his Anglo-Latin Literature, 900–1066 (London, 1993), pp. 105–49Google Scholar, with additional notes on pp. 474–9 (I refer to the original paper but to the additional notes where applicable). Lapidge characterized his style as ‘quite distinctive’ (p. 97) but nevertheless made it clear that he considered Æthelweard's Latin far from competent. Cf. especially his statements that ‘Æthelweard had only partial command of Latin grammar but immense stylistic pretensions’ (Keynes, S. and Lapidge, M., Alfred the Great. Asset's Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources (Harmondsworth, 1983), p. 334)Google Scholar, and that his Chronicon is ‘almost impenetrable, clotted with glossary words of all sorts and couched in incoherent Latin syntax’ (in his introductory survey of ‘The Anglo-Latin Background’, to Greenfield, S. B. and Calder, D. G., A New Critical History of Old English Literature (New York, 1986), p. 26).Google Scholar

22 ‘The Hermeneutic Style’, pp. 97–101 Cf. also Lapidge, M., ‘Æthelwold as Scholar and Teacher’, Bishop Æthelwold: His Career and Influence, ed. Yorke, B. (Woodbridge, 1988), pp. 89117, at pp. 90101Google Scholar; Die ‘Regularis Concordia’ und ihre altenglische Interlinearversion. Mit Einleitung und Kommentar, ed. Kornexl, L. (Munich, 1993), pp. clxxclxxx.Google Scholar

23 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle MS A, ed. Bately, J., The AS Chronicle: a Collaborative Edition 3 (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 36–7.Google Scholar

24 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 23.Google Scholar

25 The Battle of Maldon, ed. Scragg, D. G. (Manchester, 1981), p. 57Google Scholar; cf. DOE s.vv. beot 1.a. ‘a vow (to perform a deed), especially formal vow of a warrior before battle’, which is noted to be ‘disproportionally freq. in poetry’, and (ge)biotian 1. ‘to vow, promise’; Robinson, F. C., ‘Beowulf’ and the Appositive Style (Knoxville, T N, 1985), pp. 7480Google Scholar; Frank, R., ‘The Battle of Maldon and Heroic Literature’, The Battle of Maldon A D 991, ed. Scragg, D. (Oxford, 1991), pp. 196207.Google Scholar

26 Battle of Maldon, ed. Scragg, , p. 64.Google Scholar

27 Ibid.., p. 66.

28 Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, ed. Klaeber, F., 3rd ed. (Boston, MA, 1950), p. 99.Google Scholar

29 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 37.Google Scholar

30 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 23. For Æthelweard's choice of the word for ‘death’, see further below.Google Scholar

31 The Battle of Maldon, ed. Scragg, , lines 207–8, 221–223a, 231–237a, 246–253a, 274b–276,289–93 and 314–19Google Scholar; cf. The Battle of Maldon, ed. Gordon, E. V. (London, 1937), pp. 23–6Google Scholar; Woolf, R., The Ideal of Men Dying with their Lord in the Germania and The Battle of Maldon’, ASE 5 (1976), 6381.Google Scholar

32 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 37.Google Scholar

33 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 24Google Scholar: ‘The others made no reply, but in silence concentrated on battle, shield-boss pressed on shield-boss, their arms were slung in their shields, relative fell at the hand of relative, they broke door-posts, one pursued another, there was a sorry fight.’

34 The terse style of this annal is in fact more typical for the Alfredian section of the Chronicle (with the notable exception of the Cynewulf and Cyneheard episode) but may be found throughout the entire compilation; cf. Clark, C., ‘The Narrative Mode of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle before the Conquest’, England before the Conquest. Studies in Primary Sources presented to Dorothy Whitelock, ed. Clemoes, P. and Hughes, K. (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 215–35.Google Scholar

35 Battle of Maldon, ed. Scragg, , pp. 60 and 75.Google Scholar

36 Besides the passage cited, cf. a longer piece of text immediately preceding it (Ibid.). See.Waterhouse, R., ‘The Theme and Structure of 755 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, NM 70 (1969), 630–40Google Scholar; O'keeffe, K. O'brien, ‘Heroic Values and Christian Ethics’, The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, ed. Godden, M. and Lapidge, M. (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 106–25, at 117–23.Google Scholar

37 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xlvixlviiGoogle Scholar; the meanings listed are those given by Campbell; see also Lapidge, , ‘The Hermeneutic Style’, pp. 97–8Google Scholar, who, in addition, lists anax ‘Lord’, chrisma, fasma ‘speech’. For Greek learning in Anglo-Saxon England, see Lapidge, M., review of Berschin, W., Griecbisch-lateinisches Mittelalter Anglia 104 (1986), 461–6Google Scholar; Bodden, M. C., ‘Evidence for Knowledge of Greek in Anglo-Saxon England’, ASE 17 (1988), 217–46. For anax, see also further below.Google Scholar

38 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xlviixlviii.Google Scholar

39 ibid.. p. xlviii.

40 ibid.. p. xlvi; cf. Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, I, prepared by Latham, R. E. and Howlett, D. R. (Oxford, 19751997Google Scholar) [= DML], s.v. artemon ‘sail or mast’; b. fig. ‘ship’; Mittellateinisches Wörterbuch bis zum ausgehenden 13. Jahrhundert, ed. der Wissenschaften, Bayerische Akademie (Munich, 1967–) [= MLW], s.v. artemo 2 melon. ‘Schifyyf’.Google Scholar

41 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. xlviii; for the meaning of this word, see also below.Google Scholar

42 ibid.., p. xlviii. According to Georges, K. E., Ausführliches lateinisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch, 3 vols. (Hanover, 1913), s.v. monēris, this Greek loan denotes a particular type of ship (‘ein mit einer Reihe von Ruderbanken versehenes Schiff, ein Einruderer’), and may thus presumably be classified as a technical term; the glossarial equations seem to have had an explanatory function (cf. Georges, s.vv. solitarius ‘alleinstehend’, solivagus ‘allein, einzeln herumschweifend’). I am grateful to Helene Feulner for detailed lexicographical information on Greek and Latin terms for ships.Google Scholar

43 ibid..; cf. Frisk, H., Griechisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, 3 vols. (Heidelberg, 19601972)Google Scholar, s.v. πρύμνηνα ‘der hinterste Teil des Schiffes, das Hinter-, Achterschiff, der Stern’. As a Latin loan it seems to be late and rare; see Weise, O., Die griechischen Wörter in der lateinischen Sprache (Leipzig, 1882), p. 502; Georges, s.v. prymnesius ‘zum Schiffshinterteile gehörig’. The glossarial meaning ‘ship’ can be classified as a pars-pro-toto term, although it is not clear whether Æthelweard was aware of this.Google Scholar

44 ‘Hermeneutic Style’, p. 97.

45 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 51Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 43.Google Scholar

46 The Old English Version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. Miller, T., 4 vols. EETS os 95,96,110 and 111 (London, 1890–8) I, 50Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 7.Google Scholar

47 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 39Google Scholar; Chronicoit, ed. Campbell, , p. 26.Google Scholar

48 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 44Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 31.Google Scholar

49 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 33.Google Scholar

50 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 50Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 41.Google Scholar

51 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 50Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 41.Google Scholar

52 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 51Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 44.Google Scholar

53 Cf. Clark Hall – Meritt, s.v. sciphlast ‘ship-load, crew, ship of burden’.

54 Cf. Weise, , p. 407Google Scholar; Georges, s.v. dromo, dromōn ‘der Läufer, ein Schnellsegler’; Souter, A., A Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D. (Oxford, 1949), p. 113, ‘light fast naval vessel’.Google Scholar

55 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 50Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 43.Google ScholarÆthelweard deviates from the Chronicle (MSS ABC) and Asset in the number of ships, which is not commented on by Campbell and in EHD, ed. Whitelock, , p. 195.Google Scholar

56 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 54Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 48.Google Scholar

57 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 54Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 48.Google Scholar

58 See also above for his use of artemon.

59 Cf. Georges, s.v. scalmus ‘das Holz an der Seite des Schiffes, worm das Ruder geht, das Ruderholz, die Dolle’; the form scarmos is only recorded by Cange, C. Du, Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis, 10 vols. (Paris, 1678; repr. Graz, 1954), s.v. scarmus, who cites Æthelweard's Chronicon; for suda, see likewise Du Cange, s.v. As pointed out by Campbell (Chronicon, p. xlvii), the meaning ‘estuary’ is recorded only in late Latin glossaries which equate it with ostium.Google Scholar

60 DML s.v. carina ‘keel or hold’, b ‘ship’, c fig.; MLW, 1. strictius ‘infima vel media pars navis-Boden, Kiel, Mittelteil des Schiffes’, 2. latius a ‘navis - Schiff’, citing Aldhelm.

61 Cf. DML s.v., a Greek loanword (from Gk λέμβος) of ultimately unknown origin; cf. Weise, , p. 414Google Scholar ‘Felucke’; Chantraine, P., Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque. Histoire des mots, 4 vols. in 1 (Paris, 19681980)Google Scholar, s.v. ‘canot, chaloupe’. Æthelweard employs it for OE bat, rendering ASC 891 se bat was geworht of priddan healfre hyde as consuunt lembum taurinis byrsis, cf. ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 48Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 48. The same vessel is shordy afterwards referred to as a primna.Google Scholar

62 Based on Roberts, J. and Kay, C., with Grundy, L., A Thesaurus of Old English, 2 vols. (London, 1995) [= TOE] I, 328–9. The phrasal formation magðessa wynn and the dubious terms dulmunus and now have been excluded.Google Scholar

63 Such compounds are commonly classified as kennings, but this term also includes phrasal structures, which are not dealt with here; cf. Niles, J., Beowulf. The Poem audits Tradition (Cambridge, MA, 1983), ch. 6CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Lester, G. A., The Language of Old and Middle English Poetry (London, 1996), pp. 5266. As regards the type ‘sea-/wave-house’, only yðhof refers to an unspecified ship, whereas the forms given in brackets refer specifically to Noah's Ark; cf. TOE 1,329, for other formations to express this concept.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

64 Commonly termed heiti (ókend and kend); cf. Bright's Old English Grammar and Reader, 3rd ed., 2nd corr. ptg, ed. Cassidy, F. G. and Ringler, R. N. (New York, 1974), pp. 267–8Google Scholar; for the particular frequency of compounds in poetry, cf. also Gneuss, H., ‘The Old English Language’, The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, ed. Godden, M. and Lapidge, M. (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 2354, at 38 and 48–9. Note, however, that despite the great variety of poetic compound formations for ‘ship’ both of the kenning- and heiti-type, the absolute number of attestations for any individual formation is quite small.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

65 Much like poetic beorn or secg (in contrast to man or wer); ten occurences are listed in A Microfiche Concordance to Old English, ed. Venezky, R. L. and Healey, A. diPaolo (Toronto, 1980).Google Scholar

66 Cf. DOE s.v. cnear a. ‘type of ship (in ON the term regularly refers to a type of large merchant vessel also used in war)’, and b. ‘glossing navis actuaria ‘light, swift vessel’ OccGl 45.1.2 20’; Vries, J. de, Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, 2nd ed. (Leiden, 1977), s.v. knqrr (< Proto-Norse *knarruR ‘tree stump’, which presumably refers to the kind of stem of that particular type of ship).Google Scholar

67 Together with the related compound nagledcnearr ‘nailed-ship’ (Battle of Brunanburh 53) which reflects the particular preference for compounding in poetry; see The Battle of Brunanburh, ed. Campbell, A. (London, 1938), pp. 108–9 and 114Google Scholar; Hofmann, D., Nordisch-englische Lehnbeziehungen der Wikingerzeit (Copenhagen, 1955), § 231Google Scholar; Lester, , Language, pp. 51–2. In this context one should also mention the compound æschere ‘Viking fleer’ (Battle of Maldon 69). For the simplex term æsc ‘ship’, which is only attested in prose, see below.Google Scholar

68 For OE ceol, see DOE s.v. ‘ship, sea-going vessel’, noted as ‘freq. in poetry; rarely in prose’; with ‘ca 45 occurrences’ it is by far the most frequently attested poetic word for ‘ship’. See further Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, bearbeitet von E. Seebold, 23. Auflage (Berlin, 1995), s.v. Kiel2 arch. ‘Schiff’ (OHG kiol, kil <Gmc *kuela-; cf. also OS kiol, ON kjóll). Seebold remarks that the Germanic etymon may possibly be compared to Greek gaũlos ‘(round) cargo vessel’ but that, since for this word borrowing from Semetic needs to be taken into consideration, the Germanic word may likewise be a loan.Google Scholar

69 Cf. DOE s.v.

70 Cf. Lester, , language, p. 55.Google Scholar

71 Its existence as an Old English compound is doubtful, as the only attestation {ASC MS A, ed. Bately, s.a. 896 lang scipu) may also be interpreted as an adjective + noun phrase ‘long ships’ in earlier Old English, and this is how all later copyists of the Chronicle interpreted it (BCDG lange scipu); cf. Lutz, A., Die Version G der Angelsächsischen Chronik Rekonstruktion und Edition (Munich, 1981), pp. 203–4.Google Scholar

72 Cf. Kastovsky, D., ‘Semantics and Vocabulary’, The Cambridge History of the English Language, I: The Beginnings to 1066 ed. Hogg, R. M. (Cambridge, 1992), pp. 290408, at 364–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

73 Cf. DOE, s.v. æsc 2. ‘a light, swift ship, especially a Viking ship’ (attested in the Chronicle, in Ælfric's works, and as a gloss for cercylus, libunius [cf. Lewis, C. T., An Elementary Latin Dictionary (Oxford, 1891), s.v. ‘a fast vessel, Liburnian galley, brigand’], and for dromo); see also Hofmann, §§ 224, 288. The traditional Old English poetic meaning ‘spear’ (DOE s.v. æsc 3) would presumably have prevented its use in poetry.Google Scholar

74 Cf. DOE s.v. barda, barþa ‘type of ship, glossing rostrata navis “ship with a ram”’.

75 Cf. DOE s.v.; it is attested as an alternative gloss for dromo, together with æsc.

76 Cf. Bosworth-Toller Supplement, s.v. flege, floeger, Microfiche Concordance, ed. Venezky and Healey, s.v. floege; de Vries, s.v. floy; Hofmann, , 240, 305 and 365Google Scholar; Kastovsky, , ‘Semantics and Vocabulary’, pp. 332–6. The only attestation occurs in the Lindisfarne/Rushworth gloss, where floege vel lytttel scipp is used to gloss nauicula.Google Scholar

77 Cf. Bosworth—Toller, Bosworth—Toller Supplement, Microfiche Concordance, ed. Venezky, and Healey, Google Scholar, s.v; de Vries, s.v.; Hofmann, , §§ 240, 305 and 365Google Scholar; Kastovsky, , ‘Semantics and Vocabulary’, pp. 332–6. It is attested as a piece of property in two late wills and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (MSS C, E ), s.a. 1008.Google Scholar

78 Cf. Bosworth—Toller, s.v.; Microfiche Concordance, ed. Venezky, and Healey, , s.vv. snacca, snaccunr, it is attested in two late annals of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (MSS C, D 1052, 1066); cf. de Vries, s.v.;Google ScholarHofmann, , §§ 240, 305 and 365Google Scholar; Kastovsky, , ‘Semantics and Vocabulary’, pp. 332–6.Google Scholar

79 See esp. Robinson, F. C., ‘Two Aspects of Variation in Old English Poetry’, Old English Poetry. Essays on Style, ed. Calder, D. G. (Berkeley, CA, 1979), pp. 127–45Google Scholar; Lester, , Language, pp. 6774.Google Scholar

80 In this context one should also mention Æthelweard's use of the Greek loan scarmos ‘thole’, which has an equivalent in OE ha ‘oar-thole, rowlock’ (< ON hár ‘thole’); cf. Kastovsky, , ‘Semantics and Vocabulary’, pp. 332–6.Google Scholar

81 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. xlviii; they occur in passages that have no direct equivalents in the vernacular sources.Google Scholar

82 Winterbottom,‘Style’, pp. 115–17.

83 Cited by Winterbottom, Ibid. p. 116.

84 For the preference for nominal variation in Old English poetry - but also for the variety of verbal expressions used for ‘live’ and ‘die’ - see Lester, , Language, pp. 5960.Google Scholar

85 See Ibid. Examples from the Cynewulf and Cyneheard episode for variations on the related concept ‘killing in battle’, which include interimere, interficere, perimere and truncare ‘to fell’, suggest that the number of examples and semantic areas noted by Winterbottom could be increased.

86 Winterbottom, ‘Style’, pp. 115–17.

87 See, however, The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems, ed. Dobbie, E. van K., ASPR 6 (New York, 1942), lxlxvi, for vernacular and Latin poetic treatments of the chronology of the Christian year, in particular the Old English Menologium which is roughly contemporary with the Chronicon. Heroic, historical and biblical poems focus on one or very few events of exceptional importance and typically progress at a much slower pace than historical prose, and for this reason the specification of dates plays a comparatively minor role even in such types of poetry.Google Scholar

88 E.g. ‘se wæs Cyneheard haten’ by ‘cui nomen erat Cyneheard’, ‘þæs aldormonnes godsunu’ by ‘ducis Osrici filius de baptismo’, ‘7 þæs æþlinges’ by ‘Supra dicrus etiam clito’, ‘7 þone æþeding ofslogon’ by ‘Heu clitonem perimunt’, ‘7 se swiþe gewundad wæs’ by ‘et ille arduis oppositus plagis’ (ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , pp. 36–8Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. 22–5). These and the following observations are based on a detailed comparision of the two versions of the entire episode.Google Scholar

89 As in ‘ultus est’ for ‘he wræc’, ‘ac uulneribus oppressus multis’ for ‘7 þeah he wæs oft gewundad’, ‘ex eis nullus uitæ: comes’ for ‘oþ hie alle lægon’.

90 Cf. ‘in qua dominus eorum exanimis iacebat’ for ‘þær se cyning ofslægen læg’.

91 As in ‘nee obliti socii minas’, ‘Post dominum desiderant orcum’, ‘ruit a proximo parens’; cf. also ‘Renuunt dictis illi, e contra tali sermone responsa dant amicis’ for ‘7 þa cuædon hie’, ‘nostros consanguineos qui erant socii regis’ for ‘þe þr mid aæm cyninge wærun’.

92 As in ‘omnesque socii’ for ‘7 þa men þe him mid wærun’, ‘milites regis qui iam fuerant in eius societate’ for ‘þæs cyninges þegnas’, ‘qui erant socii regis’ for ‘þe ær mid æam cyninge wærun’, ‘omnesque socii’ for ‘7 þa men pe him mid wærun’.

93 ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 61Google Scholar: ‘Her gefor Ælfred Aþulfing, syx nihtum ær ealra haligra mæssan, se wæs cyning ofer eall Ongelcyn’; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 51Google Scholar: ‘Septimus namque die ante solennia sanctorum omnium obierat anax’. He employed anax also twice in his rendering of the Chronicle poem on the death of Edgar (s.a. 975; cf. Ibid. pp. 55 and 56). For the use of anaxin Anglo-Latin, see also Ibid. p. xlvi; MLW and DML s.v. In this context, attention may also be drawn to Æthelweard's choice of the word orcus for ‘death’ (instead of mors) in his version of the Cynewulf and Cyneheard episode, in the context of dominus ‘retainer’ (Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 23: ‘Post dominum desiderant orcum, nee promissis attendunt’). The word originally meant ‘underworld; realm of the dead’ and only later on also developed the metonymic meaning ‘death‘.Google Scholar

94 See also Winterbottom's observation (‘Style’, p. 117) that ‘Even eclipses have to be rescued from monotony; we advance from “sol obscuratus est” (p. 12) to “obscuratus est solis iubar” (p. 21) and “iubar omiserat Phoebus” (p. 43).’ For possible parallels to poetic descriptions of sunrises and sunsets in vernacular poetry, see below.

95 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xlixl.Google Scholar

96 ASC MS A, ed. Bately, , p. 50Google Scholar (transl. EHD, ed. Whitelock, , p. 195): ‘and encountered a great storm at sea, and 120 ships were lost at Swanage’.Google Scholar

97 Cf. Clark, , ‘The Narrative Mode’, esp. pp. 215–21 and 234–5.Google Scholar

98 ‘Then their fleets raised sail, they turned the keels/ships to the wind, a grim tempest broke, not a small part sank, in number a hundred tall keels/ships, near the cliff called Swanage’ (adapted from Campbell's translation, which partly smoothes out the asyndetic character of this passage).

99 Presumably the cliffs at Peveril Point; for the mention of cliffs in Old English poetic renderings of sea-voyages, see below.

100 For the meaning ‘tall’ used by Campbell, cf. Georges, s.v. superus IIIb ‘der äußerste, höchste, größte’. For repetitive variation in Old English poetry, see Robinson, , ‘Two Aspects of Variation’, pp. 138–45.Google Scholar

101 ASC MS A, ed. Bately, , p. 16Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 10 (slightly adapted): ‘They took a part [of the treasure], gathered on the sea, set sail, lived as exiles in the country of Gaul.’Google Scholar

102 For the theme of ‘exile’ in Old English poetry, see below.

103 ‘That same year King Alfred sent a naval force to East Anglia. As soon as they came into the mouth of the Stour, they encountered sixteen ships of vikings and fought against them, and seized all the ships and killed the men. When they turned homeward with their booty, they met a large naval force of vikings and fought against them on the same day, and the Danes had the victory’ (adapted from EHD, ed. Whitelock, , p. 198).Google Scholar

104 Adapted from Campbell's translation, which smoothes out Æthelweard's asyndetic style.

105 ‘In this year the great Danish army, which we have spoken about before, went back from the eastern kingdom westward to Boulogne, and they were provided with ships there, so that they crossed in one journey, horses and all, and then came up into the estuary of the Lympne with 250 ships’ (EHD, ed. Whitelock, , p. 201)Google Scholar; for the style of the later Alfredian annals, see Clark, , ‘The Narrative Mode’, pp. 221–4.Google Scholar

106 Adapted from Campbell's translation.

107 ‘And that summer King Alfred went out to sea with a naval force, and fought against the crews of seven ships, and captured one ship and put the rest to flight’ (EHD, ed. Whitelock, , p. 194).Google Scholar

108 then in the summer of that year King Ælfred went out to sea with a naval force, and a barbarian fleet met him, tall swift ships in number seven. The battle began, the Danes fled over the water, one ship was captured by the king’ (adapted from Campbell's translation, which smoothes out the asyndetic passage).

109 According to Campbell (Chronicon, p. xlviii), this adjective is frequently used by Æthelweard, in particular for fleets and armies; for the meaning ‘tall’ cf. DML s.v. 2 ‘erect, tall, long’; MLW s.v. I.B ‘altus, excelsus – hoch, emporragend’. See also above, carinæ supremæ.

110 ‘Dani fugæ dant undas’; for similarly flowery expressions in the Chronicon, see Winterbottom, , ‘Style’, p. 117.Google Scholar

111 E.g., his literal rendering of ASC s.a. 495 (ed. Bately, , p. 19Google Scholar: ‘mid.v. scipum’; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 11Google Scholar: ‘cum quinque carinis’), or his rendering of ASC s.a. 833, where he employed some lexical variation for sciphlæsta (paganam classem … carinæ) but stayed closer to the plain style of his source text; cf. ASC MS A, ed. Bately, , p. 42Google Scholar: ‘Her gefeaht Ecgbryht cyning wiþ.xxxv. sciphlæsta set Carrum’; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 30Google Scholar: ‘Et post decursum anni unius bellum gessit Ecgbyrht rex contra paganam classem, cuius numero erat triginta carina, in loco Carrum.’

112 For the act of arming as part of battle scenes in Old English poetry, see below.

113 Adapted from Campbell's less literal translation: ‘finally the young men, not hesitant, dressed their chests with armour, and they assayed battle among foreigners. Warrior clashed with warrior, fell German, fell Scot, on either side a most miserable slaughter’. For the detailed parallels drawn by Winterbottom to passages from Vergil's Acncid, see below.

114 Battle of Maldon, ed. Scragg, , pp. 34–5, 60 and 75.Google Scholar

115 Brunanburh, ed. Campbell, , pp. 94 and 113–14: “With their army remnants they need not rejoice that their war-works were better in the battle-place: of the banner-conflict, the spear-meeting, the men's encounter, the weapon-exchange, which they fought out on the slaughter-fields against Edward's sons.’This rather literal translation is intended as a close rendering of the asyndetic series of compounds.Google Scholar

116 Genesis A. A New Edition, ed. Doane, A. N. (Madison, WI, 1978), p. 175.Google Scholar For a less literal render ing of this and the following passage, see Greenfield, and Calder, , New Critical History, p. 208.Google Scholar

117 ibid. p. 175.

118 Mitchell, B. and Robinson, F. C., Guide to Old English, 5th ed. (Oxford, 1992) § 185 (identical with the 1st ed. of 1964)Google Scholar; see also Mitchell, B., Old English Syntax, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1985) I, §§ 1690–1708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

119 Beowulf, ed. Klaeber, , p. 54. The water boiled with blood, people observed it, hot with gore. The horn sounded at times an eager war-song. The entire warrior-band settled down.’(literal render ing of the asyndetic structure).Google Scholar

120 Exodus, ed. Lucas, P. (London, 1977; rev. ed. Exeter, 1994), p. 45.Google Scholar

121 Also by using many short phrases; see The Old English Exodus, ed. Irving, E. B. (New Haven, CT, 1953; repr. 1970), pp. 32–3Google Scholar; Exodus, ed. Lucas, , pp. 42–5Google Scholar; Mitchell, B., An Invitation to Old English and Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1995), § 487.Google Scholar

122 Exodus, ed. Irving, , p. 63.Google Scholar The troop was frightened, flood-terror overcame the sorrowful spirits. The flood threatened with death, the mountain-heights were drenched with blood, the sea spewed gore, outcry was on the waves, the water full of weapons; death-mist arose’(literal translation). For a less literal but likewise asyndetic rendering, see The Old English Exodus. Text, Translation, and Commentary, by Tolkien, J. R. R., ed. Turville-Petre, J. (Oxford, 1981), p. 29.Google Scholar

123 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 1: ‘In the following pages you can very easily find by way of example so many wars and slayings of men and no small wreck of navies on the waves of ocean, especially with reference to the arrival of our ancestors in Britain from Germany …’Google Scholar

124 Ibid.: ‘that in the present episde I dwell in plain style upon our family in modern times …’

125 See Greenfield, S. B., The Formulaic Expression of the Theme of “Exile” in Anglo-Saxon Poetry’, Speculum 30 (1955), 200–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

126 See his rendering of ASC s.a. 418 (above, p. 197). For the treatment of the theme of ‘exile’in the Latin poem Waltharius cf. Olsen, A. H., ‘Formulaic Tradition and the Latin Waltharius’, Heroic Poetry in the Anglo-Saxon Period. Studies in Honor of Jess B. Bessinger, ed. Damico, H. and Leyerle, J. (Kalamazoo, MI, 1993), pp. 265–82, at 267–8.Google Scholar

127 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 7Google Scholar: ‘pectora induunt armis’(cf. above, p. 201). For the act of arming as part of battle scenes in vernacular poetry see Fry, D. K., ‘Old English Formulaic Themes and Type-Scenes’, Neophilologus 52 (1968), 4854, at 51–2; for the treatment of this theme in Waltharius, Waldere, and Beowulf, cf. Olsen, ‘Formulaic Tradition’, pp. 266–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

128 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 42: ‘iuxta rupem’(cf. above, p. 201). For cliffs as ingredients of Old English poetic renderings of sea-voyages, cf. DOE s.v. clif2.a. ‘cliff by the sea (or other body of water)’, with four attestations in poetry.Google Scholar

129 Three examples, from Æthelweard's renderings of ASCs.aa. 418, 875 and 885, have been cited above (Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. 10 ‘in unda gregantur’, 41 ‘Dani fugse dant undas’and 45 ‘unda coacta’).Google Scholar

130 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 38Google Scholar: ‘Nuperque iterate ordine manifestius consolidate incipiam tibi, consobrina Mahtildis ueneranda, et ueluti aduecta nauis per gurgites undarum longinqua spatia tenet iam portum, qua diligenti tramite explorarat, ita et nos quasi more nautarum ingredimur, et ut olim tibi per priscam breuiter commemoraui epistolam, similiter et in prefatiunculis presentis libelluli, …’(’Having just retracted my steps, O revered cousin Matilda, I will begin to give you confirmation with added clarity. Just as a ship which has been carried through the turmoil of the waves for great distances, which she has explored on her careful voyage, comes at last to port, so we enter [port] as if in the manner of sailors, and as I formerly stirred your memory by means of my original letter, and similarly also in the introductory passages of this book…’). On classical models of this metaphor and its use in the Middle Ages, cf. Curtius, E. R., Europäische Literatur und lateinisches Mittelalter, 2nd ed. (Munich, 1954), ch. 7Google Scholar, § 1 ‘Schiffahrtsmetaphorik’; Auerbach, E., Literatur und Publicum in der lateinischen Spätantike und im Mittelalter (Bern, 1958), pp. 126–7.Google Scholar

131 ASC540 ‘sunne’ apiestrode: ‘sol obscuratus est’, ASC733 ‘sunne ajpiestrode’: ‘obscuratus est solis iubar’, ASC879 ‘apiestrode sio sunne’: ‘obscuratus est sol… Post annum igitur ex quo iubar omiserat Phoebus’ (ASC MS A, ed. Bately, , pp. 21, 35 and 51Google Scholar; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. 12, 21 and 43). For variations on 'sun’in vernacular poetry the DOE s.v. candel a. ‘figurative: source of light’, a.i ‘the sun or other source of illumination’lists four attestations in poetry for this meaning; see also Greenfield and Calder, New Critical History, p. 149Google Scholar; Lester, , Language, pp. 53 and 59.Google Scholar One example is Bmnanburh 13b–17a: ‘siðþan sunne up / on morgentid, msere tungol, / glad ofer grundas, Goddes condel beorht, / eces Drihtnes, oð sio æzpele gesceaft / sah to sede’, which is employed both as a frame for and a contrast to the description of the battle and its outcome in the passages preceding and following it (see Brunanburh, ed. Campbell, , pp. 94 and 103).Google Scholar

132 Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. lv.Google Scholar

133 ‘Style’, pp. 112–14.

134 Ibid.; Chronicon, ed. Campbell, p. 7.

135 Cf. above, p. 201.

136 ‘Style’, p. 112.

137 Cf. Lapidge, M., ‘The Study of Latin Texts in Late Anglo-Saxon England, [T] The evidence of Latin glosses], Latin and the Vernacular Languages in Early Medieval Britain, ed. Brooks, N. (Leicester, 1982), pp. 99140, at 101: ‘We can be fairly certain that Vergil's Aeneid was studied in monastic schools throughout the Anglo-Saxon period. Aldhelm, Bede, Alcuin, Frithegod and Wulfstan of Winchester all apparendy knew the poem by heart.’Google Scholar

138 See Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , pp. xlix–l.Google Scholar

139 For the enormous influence of Aldhelm's works throughout the Anglo-Saxon period, see esp. Orchard, A., ‘After Aldhelm: the Teaching and Transmission of the Anglo-Latin Hexameter’, Jnl of Med. Latin 2 (1992), 96133.CrossRefGoogle ScholarMichael, Lapidge, in ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’, Comparative Literature 31 (1979), 209–31, at 217, states that ‘his knowledge of Virgil was unsurpassed by any subsequent Anglo-Latin poet’. However, acknowledging the extremely scanty manuscript evidence for Vergilian poetry in Anglo-Saxon England, Lapidge (in ‘The Study of Latin Texts in Late Anglo-Saxon England’, p. 101) confesses, that it is so far not clear ‘how the great Anglo-Saxon masters acquired their knowledge of Vergil, nor does it allow any glimpse of how Vergil was studied in Anglo-Saxon schools’.Google Scholar

140 Lapidge, ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’; see also his chapter on ‘Aldhelm's Latin poetry’, Lapidge, M. and Rosier, J. L., Aldhelm: the Poetic Works (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 1924Google Scholar; Orchard, A., The Poetic Art of Aldhelm, CSASE 8 (Cambridge, 1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

141 ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’, pp. 210–14.

142 ibid. pp. 214–17. In his summarizing assessment on p. 217 Lapidge states: ‘In short, by comparison with Virgil, Aldhelm is a very tedious, dull, and monotonous poet.’ See also Lapidge, and Rosier, , Aldhelm: the Poetic Works, pp. 21–4, esp. 21, where he lays particular stress on the contribution of the almost uniform structure of the last two feet to this monotony, namely by stating that Very frequently, Aldhelm treats the cadence (that is, the final two feet) of the hexameter as a detachable unit’. This observation seems of particular importance for.(Æthe lweard's style), for which see below.Google Scholar

143 ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’, p. 218. It had been more frequent in pre-classical Latin, reflecting the initial accent of a yet earlier period. Several examples may be found in the description of a storm (Aen. I.76–143); cf. Vergil, , Aeneis. Lateinisch-deutsch, ed. and trans. Götte, J., 8th ed. (Zurich, 1994), pp. 1012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

144 Lapidge, , ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’, p. 219.Google Scholar

145 Ibid. pp. 219–20. On alliteration in Latin poetry, see Evans, W. J., Alliteratio Latina (London, 1921)Google Scholar; on alliteration in Old English, see e.g. Bliss, A. J., An Introduction to Old English Metre (London, 1962).Google Scholar

146 ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’, p. 222.

147 Ibid. p. 221.

148 Ibid.Ibid. p.221.

149 Ibid. pp.225–8.

150 Ibid. p.228.

151 In the larger context 'sed taciti insistunt bello, punit umbo umbonem, brachia scutis pendent, ruit a proximo parens, frangunt postes, insequitur post alterum alter, stat miserabilis pugna’.

152 An example from ÆEthelweard's rendering of the Cynewulf and Cyneheard episode which has not been cited so far. The passage ‘sicque migrándo mánsit de dénso in condénso’(Chronicon, ed. Campbell, , p. 22Google Scholar; ‘and he thus lived wandering from thicket to thicket’), which contrasts with ‘7 he þær wunade’of his source (ASCMSA, ed. Bately, , p. 36), shows that Æthelweard sought means to dramatize this piece of information, possibly with the theme of ‘exile’in mind.Google Scholar

153 See Lapidge, , ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’, pp. 221–2.Google Scholar

154 ‘Style’, pp. 115–17. These verbal types of variation provided the right kind of rhythmical structure for formulas in hexametrical cadences.

155 Lapidge, , ‘Aldhelm's Latin Poetry and Old English Verse’, p. 228.Google Scholar

156 E.g. miserrima caeder, see Winterbottom, ‘Style’, p. 112.

157 ‘After Aldhelm’, p. 127.

158 Unlike the twelfth-century historian Henry of Huntingdon; see Rigg, A. G., ‘Henry of Huntingdon's Metrical Experiments’, Jnl of Med. Latin 1 (1991), 6072CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Frank, R., ‘When Lexicography Met the Exeter Book’, Words and Works: Studies in Medieval English Language and Literature in Honour of Fred C. Robinson, ed. Baker, P. S. and Howe, N. (Toronto, 1998), pp. 207–21, at 210.Google Scholar

159 ‘Wulfstan's Prose’, PBA 35 (1949); repr. British Academy Papers on Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Stanley, , pp. 111–44, at p. 112.Google Scholar

160 Ibid. p. 114; see now also Momma, H., The Composition of Old English Poetry, CSASE 20 (Cambridge, 1997), ch. 2, ‘Hierarchy of Verse-Likeness’.Google Scholar

161 See Griffith, M. S., ‘Poetic Language and the Paris Psalter: the Decay of the Old English Tradition’, ASE 20 (1991), 167–86. Griffith (at p. 182) attributes this decay, as evidenced in the Psalter, to the poet's ‘decision to translate closely’and to his ‘apparent distaste for the heroic’. He demonstrates that the poet deliberately avoided the use of distinctly heroic epithets for God and emphasizes that his adherence to the poetic tradition with regard to his use of alliterative long-lines, but concurrent deviation from the tradition with regard to the employment of heroic vocabulary, need not be due to the less suitable subject matter.Google Scholar

162 Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Eighth Meeting of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (Palermo, 6–12 July 1997), the Fourteenth Open Meeting of Fontes Anglo-Saxonici (King's College London, 31 March 1998), and at Germania Latina IV (Groningen, 1–3 July 1998). I am very grateful to the organizers of the FontesAnglo-Saxonici meeting for inviting me as one of their guest speakers.

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