"Thureth" is the editorial name given to an eleven-line Old English poem preserved only on folio 31v of British Library MS Cotton Claudius A. III, at the beginning of the text known as 'Claudius Pontifical I'.The poem speaks with the voice of this pontifical or benedictional, interceding on behalf of Thureth who the poem tells us had the book ornamented. As Ronalds and Clunies Ross comment:
As far as we are aware, this is the only specifically identifiable book, aside from the generic book - or possibly Bible - of Riddle 24, that 'speaks' to us from the Anglo-Saxon period, albeit on another's behalf.
As edited in the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records series, the poem reads:
Ic eom halgungboc; healde hine dryhten
I am a benedictional; may the Lord protect him
|—Translated by Craig Ronalds and Margaret Clunies Ross|
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem consisting of 3,182 alliterative lines. It is one of the most important works of Old English literature. The date of composition is a matter of contention among scholars; the only certain dating pertains to the manuscript, which was produced between 975 and 1025. The anonymous poet is referred to by scholars as the "Beowulf poet".
Old English literature, or Anglo-Saxon literature, encompasses literature written in Old English, in Anglo-Saxon England from the 7th century to the decades after the Norman Conquest of 1066. "Cædmon's Hymn", composed in the 7th century, according to Bede, is often considered as the oldest surviving poem in English. Poetry written in the mid-12th century represents some of the latest post-Norman examples of Old English; for example, The Soul's Address to the Body found in Worcester Cathedral Library MS F. 174 contains only one word of possible Latinate origin, while also maintaining a corrupt alliterative meter and Old English grammar and syntax, albeit in a degenerative state. The Peterborough Chronicle can also be considered a late-period text, continuing into the 12th century. The strict adherence to the grammatical rules of Old English is largely inconsistent in 12th century work – as is evident in the works cited above – and by the 13th century the grammar and syntax of Old English had almost completely deteriorated, giving way to the much larger Middle English corpus of literature.
Grendel is a character in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf. He is one of the poem's three antagonists, all aligned in opposition against the protagonist Beowulf. Grendel is feared by all in Heorot but Beowulf. A descendant of Cain, Grendel is described as "a creature of darkness, exiled from happiness and accursed of God, the destroyer and devourer of our human kind". He is usually depicted as a monster or a giant, although his status as a monster, giant, or other form of supernatural being is not clearly described in the poem and thus remains the subject of scholarly debate. The character of Grendel and his role in the story of Beowulf have been subject to numerous reinterpretations and re-imaginings.
Cædmon is the earliest English poet whose name is known. A Northumbrian who cared for the animals at the double monastery of Streonæshalch during the abbacy of St. Hilda, he was originally ignorant of "the art of song" but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream, according to the 8th-century historian Bede. He later became a zealous monk and an accomplished and inspirational Christian poet.
Benjamin Thorpe was an English scholar of Anglo-Saxon literature.
The Dream of the Rood is one of the Christian poems in the corpus of Old English literature and an example of the genre of dream poetry. Like most Old English poetry, it is written in alliterative verse. Rood is from the Old English word rōd 'pole', or more specifically 'crucifix'. Preserved in the 10th-century Vercelli Book, the poem may be as old as the 8th-century Ruthwell Cross, and is considered one of the oldest works of Old English literature.
The Seafarer is an Old English poem giving a first-person account of a man alone on the sea. The poem consists of 124 lines, followed by the single word "Amen" and is recorded only at folios 81 verso - 83 recto of the Exeter Book, one of the four surviving manuscripts of Old English poetry. It has most often, though not always, been categorised as an elegy, a poetic genre commonly assigned to a particular group of Old English poems that reflect on spiritual and earthly melancholy.
Grendel's mother is one of three antagonists in the anonymous Old English poem Beowulf. The other antagonists are Grendel and the dragon, all aligned in opposition to the hero Beowulf. She is introduced in lines 1258b to 1259a as: "Grendles modor/ides, aglæcwif".
The Gosforth Cross is a large stone Anglo-Saxon cross, in St Mary's churchyard at Gosforth in the English county of Cumbria, dating to the first half of the 10th century AD. Formerly part of the kingdom of Northumbria, the area was settled by Scandinavians some time in either the 9th or 10th century. It has gained reputation for its combination of Christian symbols with nordic symbols, being a tangible piece of evidence of the impact of the Christianization of Scandinavia.
Michael Joseph Alexander is a British translator, poet, academic and broadcaster. He held the Berry Chair of English Literature at the University of St Andrews until his retirement in 2003. He is best known for his translations of Beowulf and other Anglo-Saxon poems into modern English verse.
The Battle of Ringmere was fought on 5 May 1010. Norse sagas recorded a battle at Hringmaraheior; Old English Hringmere-hūō, modern name Ringmere Heath.
Edward Lye (1694–1767) was an 18th-century scholar of Old English and Germanic philology.
The Durham Proverbs is a collection of 46 mediaeval proverbs from various sources. They were written down as a collection, in the eleventh century, on some pages of a manuscript that were originally left blank. The manuscript is currently in the collection of Durham Cathedral, to which it was donated in the eighteenth century. The Proverbs form the first part of the manuscript. The second part, to which it is bound, is a copy of Ælfric's Grammar. Each proverb is written in both Latin and Old English, with the former preceding the latter. Olof Arngart's opinion is that the Proverbs were originally in Old English and translated to Latin, but this has since been disputed in a conference paper by T. A. Shippey.
Margaret Beryl Clunies Ross is a medievalist who was until her retirement in 2009 the McCaughey Professor of English Language and Early English Literature and Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Sydney. Her main research areas are Old Norse-Icelandic Studies and the history of their study. Since 1997 she has led the project of editing a new edition of the corpus of skaldic poetry. She has also written articles on Australian Aboriginal rituals and contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
The "Battle of Brunanburh" is an Old English poem. It is preserved in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a historical record of events in Anglo-Saxon England which was kept from the late ninth to the mid-twelfth century. The poem records the Battle of Brunanburh, a battle fought in 937 between an English army and a combined army of Scots, Vikings, and Britons. The battle resulted in an English victory, celebrated by the poem in style and language like that of traditional Old English battle poetry. The poem is notable because of those traditional elements and has been praised for its authentic tone, but it is also remarkable for its fiercely nationalistic tone, which documents the development of a unified England ruled by the House of Wessex.
The Beasts of battle is a poetic trope in Old English and Old Norse literature. It consists of the wolf, the raven, and the eagle, traditional animals accompanying the warriors to feast on the bodies of the slain. It occurs in eight Old English poems and in the Old Norse Poetic Edda.
Exeter Book Riddle 83 is one of the Old English riddles found in the later tenth-century Exeter Book. Its interpretation has occasioned a range of scholarly investigations, but it is taken to mean 'Ore/Gold/Metal', with most commentators preferring 'precious metal' or 'gold', and John D. Niles arguing specifically for the Old English solution ōra, meaning both 'ore' and 'a kind of silver coin'.
Exeter Book Riddle 69 is one of the Old English riddles found in the later tenth-century Exeter Book. Its interpretation has occasioned a range of scholarly investigations, but clearly has something to do with ice and is likely indeed to have the solution 'ice'.
Durham, also known as De situ Dunelmi, Carmen de situ Dunelmi or De situ Dunelmi et de sanctorum reliquiis quae ibidem continentur carmen compositum, is an anonymous late Old English short poem about the English city of Durham and its relics, which might commemorate the translation of Cuthbert's relics to Durham Cathedral in 1104. Known from the late 12th-century manuscript, Cambridge, University Library, Ff. 1. 27, and generally considered to date from the first decade of the 12th century, Durham has been described both as "the last extant poem written in traditional alliterative Old English metrical verse" and as being placed "so conveniently on the customary divide between Old and Middle English that the line can be drawn right down the middle of the poem." Some scholars, however, consider that the poem might have been written as early as the mid-11th century.
John Richard Clark Hall was an English scholar of Old English, and a barrister. In his professional life, Hall worked as a clerk at the Local Government Board in Whitehall; admitted to Gray's Inn in 1881 and called to the bar in 1896, Hall became principal clerk two years later. During the same period Hall published a dictionary of Old English, and multiple translations of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf.