Faithful cross, gate of heaven

Today is Good Friday, the day which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  For today’s blogpost, I’ve decided simply to post and translate some Anglo-Saxon texts dedicated to the Holy Cross: a hymn, a poem, and two prayers.  As my research is all about how texts were adapted and reused in different contexts, in each…

An Old English Alphabet (part 2)

In my previous post, I took a journey through the Old English language, exploring a single word beginning with the letters from A to L, using each one to explain a particular characteristic of the language.  Here, I will carry on from M until the end of the alphabet … M is for Micel Micel…

An Old English Alphabet (part 1)

Sometimes, in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, we come across grammatical treatises and lists of Latin words, to act as learning aids for those new to the vocabulary and grammar of the main language of the church.  Unfortunately for us, nobody at the time created word lists in Old English: there was no real need, and dictionaries as…

Comparing æppla and oranges: Anglo-Saxon fruit

It’s summer, the season of strawberries and cream.  But what about strawberries and pepper?  We eat fruit for pleasure, or for the sake of eating a healthy diet; in the Middle Ages, certain fruits were also believed to be useful for keeping the body in health, or for use in medicine.  And, in a time…