During the course of a given week at Þæt Eald-Ænglisce Blog’s Twitter feed I retweet a great deal of links to articles on many topics relevant to this blog. And so in for those who don’t visit the blog’s Twitter feed, I list out the topics below with the accompanying links.
An interesting article from Newsnetscotland.com is on the native names of the medieval languages of the British Isles: What’s in a name? The article tells not just what the English, for example, called themselves and their language, but what they also called the other peoples and languages of the British Isles.
First, for a bit of a historical look at Anglo-Saxon England, start with a look at the transition from Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon Britain as demonstrated in the continuity of Christian practices in Kent, c.410-597. Next, read up on monastic lands and England’s defence in the Viking Age and learn more about Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England in an article on the Anglo-Saxon cross at St. Andrew, Auckland. And for some bedtime reading on the end of the Anglo-Saxon world, here’s a nice write-up on the Battle of Hastings and the famous Bayeux Tapestry which gives a visual depiction of William the Bastard and his Norman forces’ invasion of England and subsequent defeat of King Harold and the Anglo-Saxon forces. If your eyes get too tired from reading all of the above, then give them a rest and lot your ears do some work by listening to English history podcasting.
For a more literary approach to the Anglo-Saxon world, there’s no better place to start than with the epic of Beowulf. And while Beowulf features the typical male-dominated world, one article on the Old English Judith poses an interesting question: can a woman be a hero? An equally intriguing topic is on the elements of Anglo-Saxon Wisdom Poetry in the Exeter Book Riddles – that’s right, the riddles viewed as works of wisdom poetry.
After such heavy reading in all the above links, give yourself a break and learn the Intriguing Origins of Indelicate Words: Shit.
No matter what your specific interest in Vikings is, there was an article to satisfy you. Interested in Vikings in England? Well there’s the (old news) that Vikings were murdered in Oxford. Want to know more the Vikings back in their home land? Then discover whether the Christian elements of the monument complex at Jelling complement or subvert the earlier pagan ones? And how did the Vikings manage to make it so far afield in the first place? Did Vikings navigate by polarized light? And why did Norse Greenland fail as a colony? And as for the Vikings in Ireland, check out A Neglected Viking Burial with Beads from Kilmainham, Dublin, Discovered in 1847 and a recent discovery at Linn Duachaill of a Viking fortress founded in 841 A.D. from which Vikings were able to terrorize the natives.
Philologists will love the linguistic-intensive look at Genitives and other Cases in Old Norse-Icelandic. Those with an interest a bit more geared towards literature than lingustics should check out Viking atrocity and Skaldic verse: The Rite of the Blood-Eagle and Poetry and Metrical Forms in the Sagas and Old Norse Literature. Of course, before reading the literature, it’d be recommendable to have some knowledge of Viking mythology.
To start off this section, here are a couple good articles for those interested in warfare in the medieval Celtic world, one specifically on military archery in medieval Ireland and the other more generally on warfare in the medieval Gaelic lordships.
For those interested in the interplay of Christianity and pre-Christian religion in Ireland, an article worth reading is Oaks, Wolves and Love: Celtic Monks and Northern Forests. The focus is on protection of nature, which most people strongly associate with Celtic Druidism, while holding that early Christianity was for the most part anti-nature (given a few exceptions like St. Francis of Assisi). But is that really the case? Read the article and draw your own conclusion.
The Isle of Iona is quite important for early medieval Celtic history. It is, of course, where the famous The Book of Kells was created, being the work of the monks of the monastery of the Irish saint Columba. But, was Iona in the kingdom of the Picts?
Just this past week and a half a great series has appeared at Newsnetscotland.com on the History of Scottish languages – an extremely informative and education series indeed! The series ends with the call for immediate and necessary actions to rescue the remaining Scottish languages (Scottish Gaelic and Scots). And in fact recently there has been a call for more Scots language in schools, which could be a major step in the right direction.
Lastly, here you can find a comprehensive, albeit slightly dated by now, article on Medieval Cornwall, an area that is often forgotten or overlooked by those interested in the Celtic world and medieval England.