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13 votes
Accepted

What is a "roomy heart"?

A difficulty faced by translators of Old English is that for each word there is usually a cognate in modern English, for example in this passage OE “rume” is the ancestor of “roomy” and OE “heorte” is ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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10 votes
Accepted

Meaning of lines explaining Hrothgar's ruling in Heorot

The original text is: ⁊ þær on innan       eall gedælan geongum ⁊ ealdum       ſƿylc him god ſealde buton folc ſcare       ⁊ feorum gumena That is: and there within       all distribute to young ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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9 votes
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Major differences between Norse epic poetry and English epic poetry

First, I'd like to note that my knowledge on English verse is not as good as of Norse. Thus I will start with a description of Norse verse, and then try to compare with what I know of English verse. ...
andejons's user avatar
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7 votes
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What are we to understand by "panther" in this Old English poem?

The OED has a note: panther, n. 1.a. Originally: an exotic spotted big cat that was believed to be distinct from the leopard. As with other exotic animals, the name, handed down from the Latin ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes
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How does "handwriting" provide evidence for dating Beowulf's composition to "the first half of the eighth century"?

The history of a Wikipedia article can be investigated using the ‘wikiblame’ tool. This shows that the gloss “(handwriting)” for “palaeographical” was added, along with a couple of other glosses, in ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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2 votes

What is known, and how, about the dating of the Exeter Book?

I just edited that Wikipedia page and added sources. Here are some that might address your question regarding how we know or at least lead you in the right direction: "Its script suggests that ...
user262055's user avatar
1 vote

Is Half-Dane (Healfdene) in Beowulf half Danish and half Swedish?

From the Wikipedia article, summarizing from the Ynglinga Saga: Halfdan attacked King Aun of Sweden and drove him into exile into Götaland. Halfdan then ruled Sweden for twenty years until he died in ...
WolfRevokCats's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Modern English versions of Wonders/Marvels of the East from the Nowell Codex

I found the text on the site Rejected Scriptures. I also found the text in some other authoritative sources, and this seems to match up. (Note: leuuae means leagues.) (I'm not quite sure which ...
Laurel's user avatar
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1 vote

What is the significance of Grendel being descended from Cain?

The story of the descendants of Cain is told in Genesis 4. Reading it may clarify this passage in Beowulf. Cain was an outcast for his crime, doomed to permanent exile. Jehovah sets a mark on him that ...
Etaoin Shrdlu's user avatar

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