Beowulf Opening (in Old English)

A few weeks ago KUER’s RadioWest made a tweet that they were nice enough to mention me in. Andy Orchard, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at University of Oxford, read the opening lines of Beowulf in Old English. Hear the audio at Vimeo. Give it a listen, and compare Professor Orchard’s natural reading to the more dramatic Bagby recording which can be found at the bottom of Lesson 0.

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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…

Anglo-Saxons:

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?

Norse:

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.

Celts:

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 Medievalists.net 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.

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Dream-Cræft: History for Music Lovers

Via a post by Medievalists.net 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!

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