The Anglo-Saxon Seminar: Anglo-Saxon Liberature and History in Post-Renaissance England
This course studied Anglo-Saxon poetry and prose by examining the process through which English scholars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries identified, edited and interpreted Anglo-Saxon sources and shaped them to create Anglo-Saxon literature and history as we have inherited it. These scholars selected prose texts that promised to be useful in historical, social, and political contexts; these texts included the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the World History of Orosius, laws, handbooks of penance, and poetry - particular biblical verse - that incorporated historicized myths of origin. The class analyzed the circumstances that surrounded the recovery of these texts from manuscripts and will examine the transformation of manuscripts into both early and modern editions. The seminar was intended for those who had an introductory course in Anglo-Saxon literature and language, and who would be able, after a short period of review, to translate Anglo-Saxon prose and poetry from manuscript reproductions and early editions.
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