There must have been many people who have come across this line from John Donne’s seventeenth-century poem and wondered who the Seven Sleepers might have been – or why the poet might have snorted there. The second question has a quick answer: it simply means ‘snored’. But who were the Seven Sleepers? In June last … More In the Seven Sleepers’ den
My latest article is now available online in a special issue of English Studies! ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’ English Studies, 98:1 (2017): 35-48 This article examines the use of the Psalms in sixteen short prayer programmes, found in tenth- and eleventh-century English … More New article published: ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’
It is one year to the day since my first ever post on For the Wynn! Thanks to all of you who have read my posts, commented on them, and passed them on. Today I’m celebrating my bloggiversary by writing about the letter Ƿ (wynn). Ƿ is the Anglo-Saxon letter w, meaning ‘joy’; and, as … More Lots of Wynn
Recently in the UK there have been a number of strikes by hospital doctors over the new contract handed to them by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. On a couple of these occasions, I spent a brief period, before going to work in the morning, holding banners with doctors and their supporters at my local … More Who treated the sick in Anglo-Saxon England?
What was medieval Christianity anyway? Sometimes, we know more about the views of people in positions of power, or of reformers who sought to tighten up religious practices, than about those of the average person. But how to what extent do their works reflect what happened in reality? In my research, I have come across … More How to protect yourself from harm in Anglo-Saxon England
This blogpost is part of a series on Anglo-Saxon medicine, which was introduced here. The other day, I came across one of the Old English language’s many words related to battle and heroism and realised that it had been a long time since I had encountered it. On reflection, however, it occurred to me that … More The power of plants (and an Anglo-Saxon cold remedy)
I can remember exactly when it was that I discovered Anglo-Saxon medicine. For one of my undergraduate assessments in Old English, I had to write an edition, translation and commentary of an Old English text – in my case, a riddle. The speaker (I won’t ruin the riddle by giving its solution: you can find … More Get well soon (Anglo-Saxon style)