Cræft: The Seafarer

Recently at the twitter feed I received a message from Kevin Clark, composer, regarding an interesting piece of work. The work is a short film adaptation of a cello piece Kevin wrote for the cellist Rachel Gawell to use as musical accompaniment to her dramatic rendition of the [modern English translation of the] Anglo-Saxon poem “The Seafarer“. Without permission from Kevin, Rachel, or anybody else for that matter, here is the film:

I have added this video to the YouTube channel in the “Old English Readings” playlist. A few other recent additions include a documentary on the Old English language in the “Germanic Languages” playlist; a documentary on Beowulf in the “Anglo-Saxon Culture” playlist; and a documentary on Anglo-Saxons in general in the “Anglo-Saxon Archeology” playlist.

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Ærend-gewrit: Wicu 4-10 April 2011 on Twittere

Last week was a slow week at the Twitter feed, which is fine by me. And so here we go…


As the summer approaches, we’ll continue to hear more and more about the Staffordshire Hoard. This week saw the release of a video about the Staffordshire Hoard conservation team and a vlog (i.e., video blog) about the conservation work; check out part 1 and part 2. If you prefer photos over video, then here are some photos of the conservation work. Staffordshire falls within territory that belonged to the Mercian kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons. If you are interested in the Anglo-Saxon past of Mercia, check out photos of Saxon Mercia and visit the developing Mercian Trail, and read up on Mercian Anglo-Saxon saints.

A surprisingly interesting piece of news last week was the announcement of the discover of a 7th century Anglo-Saxon plough. Read the article to understand why that’s actually news. Something else that caught my eye is a newly fashioned map of Anglo-Saxon London; it’s especially useful for learning more about the origins of the topographical names that continue to be used to this day. And what better way to round off the Anglo-Saxon section than with a paper on female characters in Beowulf?


I came across surprisingly little about the Norse last week. The few items I found were a blog post on the Temple of Uppsala and Dísablót, a short biography of Erik the Red, and a new – and rather expensive - book for sale on female skalds.


The words ‘skald’ and ‘saga’ usually bring to mind Vikings and Iceland, but let us not forget about heroic saga in medieval Ireland. Imagine listening to Old Irish sagas accompanied by a trinity harp, how enjoyable!

Of course, the Welsh are renowned for their medieval poetry (among other things). Learn about medieval Welsh poetry associated with Owain Glyndwr, and discover some sites such as Merlin’s Hill and Conwy Castle, and St. Bride’s Bay which is currently seeing an important anthropological dig.

The Senchus blog on early medieval Scottish history published an interesting post on the possible (probable?) origin and etymology of the place-name Atholl. If you are interested in the indigenous languages of Scotland, then surely you’ll enjoy watching a video about growing up with Scots language, as well as news about a new walking group in Scots.

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Þæt Eald-Ænglisce Blog on Scribd!

I’m happy to publicly launch Þæt Eald-Ænglisce Blog on Scribd! Over the past few months I have slowly been building up the collection on the account – and I give a big thanks to who unwittingly helped me in this endeavor. Now that there are over a hundred documents (103 as of this exact moment), the moment seems ripe to make the entire collection accessible. Click to visit the Old English Blog - Scribd!

You may also connect with the Þæt Eald-Ænglisce Blog Facebook page to keep abreast of future uploads to the Scribd shelf or YouTube channel, as well as new posts made here.

Posted in Leornung (Learning), Tīdunga (News) | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Dream-Cræft: History for Music Lovers

Via a post by I present to you three of many awesome history-themed music videos by History for Music Lovers (also check them out on Facebook and Twitter). I’ve put these three videos into the “History Music” playlist on the Old English Blog YouTube as well. Listen, watch, and enjoy!

Posted in Dream-Cræft (Music) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ærend-gewrit: Wicu 28 March – 3 April 2011 on Twittere

Before getting into the Twitter feed week-in-review, I want to first present a really great resource, and that is the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography. If you are interested in doing research into any period of British or Irish history, give that page a try.


Have modern film adaptations butchered the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf? Yes, according to one paper, especially in regard to drinking and debauchery. But that probably comes as no surprise to most people. Maybe if Anglo-Saxons were living today, they’d file suit against the film producers for the butchery. Read the new issue of Heroic Age to learn a bit about Anglo-Saxon laws, then imagine such a scenario.

Summer is fast approaching, and so too the summer tour of the Staffordshire Hoard. Make sure to book your place as the tour is a big hit. Before attending one of the events, learn a bit more about the Staffordshire Hoard gold, read a Q&A session with Kevin Leahy, one of the leading experts on the Hoard, and watch the original National Geographic show on the Staffordshire Hoard


The Norse Mythology Blog has recently launched a fun and exciting addition, and that is NorseTube! It is the official YouTube channel for the blog, and it includes a fun selection of relevant videos. Of course, don’t forget that there is also Þæt Eald-Ænglisce Blog’s YouTube channel as well. If you have any videos you feel I should add to the collection, please leave a comment at the channel or in the comments for this post. I hope to add some more videos to the collection in the coming months.

Other exciting news, of a more ‘scholarly’ sort, let’s say, is the newly established Hjaltland Research Network which will conduct research into the Viking past of Shetland (and here’s another article, in case you can’t get enough).

Vikings, as we all know, were less than saints, and as such it isn’t shocking to hear about the Viking slave trade. And one person at a history forum recently suggested that Muslim silver supported the Viking raids raids throughout Europe. What do you think? Put in your two cents at the forum.

And lest I forget those who love Old Icelandic literature, here is the Viking Society for Northern Research’s Saga Book XXXIII which includes a paper on the Gylfaginning.


What could be a better segue into the Celts topic than a single paper on a Pictish burial and Norse settlement in Scotland? And Pictish stone-lovers rejoice, as there is a new lottery boost for Pictish stone and I have for you a webpage on Pictish Ogham inscriptions. If you are less interested in Celtic Scotland and more so in ‘Germanic’ Scotland (for lack of a better term), then perhaps you will prefer to read an interesting article on the dialects of the Scots language.

The Irish History Podcast blog published an absolutely fascinating post on the influence of paganism on Irish Christianity - I highly recommend giving it a read. For an additional look at the interworkings of paganism and Christianity in medieval Ireland, read a paper on the Battle of Clontarf which shows an interesting mishmash of historical fact and religious fiction.

Speaking of fact and fiction, I have two pieces of news in Wales which fit right in - one piece good, and the other potentially bad. To start with the bad, action is needed in order to save a hill farm in an area which is an important setting for the tale of the famous Welsh dragon. The good news, just to cheer you up a bit, is that Cardigan Castle has just received a substantial sum of money to aid in restoration work.

My Cornish readers - if I have any – will hopefully appreciate and enjoy a paper on medieval Cornish hedges. And for Cumbrians and anybody interested in Cumbria, a couple new posts were recently published on Eveling (faerie king or Celtic god?) and Owain map Urien.

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