Longman Anthology of Old English, Old Icelandic, and Anglo-Norman Literatures

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2011-07-07
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This new anthology sits at the forefront of the discipline of Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic literatures, brought to us by an author team highly respected in the field. It is the first to fully incorporate multi-cultural aspects of medieval British literature.

This is the only anthology to present Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman literatures alongside Old English as an integral part of the literary and cultural tradition in the British Isles before Chaucer. Uniquely, an expanded selection of material is also available for those teaching large courses who wish to create a bespoke anthology.

Author Biography

Dr Richard North, Reader in Old and Middle English, University College London.

Dr Patricia Gillies, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies University of Essex.

Dr Joe Allard, Lecturer in Literature, University of Essex.

Table of Contents


Heroic Poems


Scyld Scefing’s funeral

Beowulf and the Danish coastguard

Beowulf greets King Hrothgar

Beowulf’s fight with Grendel

Funeral at Finnsburh: Hildeburh and Wealhtheow

Future foretold: the fall of Hygelac

Beowulf’s fight with Grendel’s Mother

King Hrothgar’s Sermon

Beowulf on Princess Freawaru

The lament of the last survivor

King Beowulf fights the Dragon

Wiglaf helps King Beowulf

History related: the rise of Hygelac

King Beowulf’s funeral

Finnsburh Fragment

            Warriors attack the hall

Y Gododdin

The Fight at Catterick



The Lay of Wayland

Sayings of the High One

            ©ðinn and Billingr’s wife

Fragment of The Lay of Hildebrand

            Hildebrand pleads with Hadubrand

Bragi’s Eulogy on Ragnarr


Vengeance on J$rmunrekkr

Heðinn’s everlasting battle

The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu

            The flight of Deirdre and Noisiu


            I. Hildegyth rouses Waldere to battle

            II. Hagena stands down before Waldere

The Lay of Attila

            Gunnarr accepts the summons

            The death of Gunnarr and H$gni

            The vengeance of Guðrún


Poems on the Meaning of Life

The Wanderer

Egill’s Hard Loss of Sons

The Seafarer


Maxims I

            A. The spirit of exchange

            B. God, the world and women

Sayings of the High One

            What it’s like when you get there

            Friendship and exchange

            How to get on

            Love and trust

The Rhyming Poem

Wulf and Eadwacer


            No. 1 ‘Wind’

            No. 5 ‘Shield’

            No. 7 ‘Swan’

            No. 9 ‘Cuckoo’

            No. 12 ‘Ox’

            No. 22 ‘Wagon of stars’

            No. 25 ‘Onion’

            No. 30a ‘The Cross’

            No. 46 ‘Lot and family’

            No. 47 ‘Bookworm’

            No. 54 ‘Churn’

The Wife’s Lament

The Husband’s Message

The Lay of Hamðir

            Guðrún’s lament

The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu

            Deirdre of the Sorrows

The Ruin



Poems of Devotion


Northumbrian text

The Cross Speaks

The Ruthwell Crucifixion Poem

The Brussels Cross Riddle

The Dream of the Rood


            The Lord’s pact with Moses

            The Israelites sail to the Red Sea

            Moses puts heart into the Israelites

            The drowning of the Egyptians


            Constantine’s Vision of the True Cross

            Elene’s discovery of the Nails of the Cross

            Cynewulf’s signed Epilogue

Cynewulf’s Christ II

            Thoughts on the final harbour

Genesis B

            Lucifer the rebel

            Satan chafes in Hell

            Satan’s demon tempts Adam

            Satan’s demon tempts Eve

            Eve, deceived, deceives Adam

            Rejoicing and despair


            Matthew and the Mermedonians

            Andrew talks with the Lord

            Andrew frees Matthew

            Andrew calls forth a flood


            The feast of Holofernes

            Judith wields the sword

            Vengeance on the Assyrians



The Earliest English Prose

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

The coming of the Saxons

Cynewulf and Cyneheard

King Alfred’s Prefaces

To the translation of Gregory’sPastoral Care

To the translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy

To the translation of Augustine’sSoliloquies

The West Saxon Boethius

Ulysses and Circe

Orpheus and Eurydice

Fate and Providence

The West Saxon Bede

King Edwin’s conversion

The miracle of Cædmon



Viking Wars

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

The Battle of Brunanburh (937)

Edmund’s Capture of the Five Boroughs (942)

The English poems of Egill Skalla-Grímsson

Eulogy on Æthelstan (937)

Head-Ransom (c. 952)

The Lay of Eiríkr Bloodaxe (c. 954)

Eyvindr’s Lay of King Hákon the Good (961)

The Battle of Maldon (c. 991)

            The Viking herald

            Byrhtnoth gives Vikings ground

            The Vikings take out Byrhtnoth

            Englishmen fight to the end



Gods of the Vikings

Snorri’s Edda

            The Old Norse myth of Creation

            The death of Baldr the Beautiful

Bragi’s Eulogy on Ragnarr (c. 860)

            Gefjun drags land from Sweden

            Þórr fishes for the World Serpent

The Lay of Skírnir

Þjóðólfr’s Harvest-Long(c. 900)

            Þjazi steals Iðunn from the gods

            Þórr duels with Hrungnir

Einarr’s Gold-Shortage (c. 985)

            Proem on the Mead of Poetry

©ðinn helps Earl Hákon win Norway

Earl Hákon restores the sacrifices

The gods guide Earl Hákon

The Thunderclap Ballad

Eilífr’s Eulogy on Þórr(c. 985)

            Þórr sets off without Loki

Þórr and Þjalfi cross the river

            Þórr in Geirrøðr’s cave

Úlfr’s Eulogy on the House (early 990s)

            Proem on the Mead of Poetry

            Heimdallr beats Loki to Freyja’s necklace

            Þórr fishes for the World Serpent

            The gods ride to Baldr’s funeral pyre

            A summation

Hallfreðr’s Eulogy on Earl Hákon(c. 994)

Hákon the Mighty at Hj$rungavágr

The Earl goes to bed with Norway

The Sibyl’s Prophecy

            The Creation

            The Æsir-Vanir cult-war

Þórr’s blunder and Baldr’s death

Visions of the End

Ragnar$k: the Day of Judgement

World’s rebirth: the New Jerusalem

Loki’s Truth-Game

            Loki crashes the party

            Loki toasts all the gods

Enter Þórr, exit Loki



Sagas of Icelanders

­Ari’s Book of Icelanders

Greenland and America

The conversion of Iceland

The Saga of Eiríkr the Red

Vikings in America

The Saga of Egill Skalla-Grímsson

Egill and King Æthelstan

Eiríkr Bloodaxe and the Head-Ransom

In the backwoods: Egill and ℑrmóðr

B$ðvarr and the Hard Loss of Sons

The Saga of the People of Laxdale

H$skuldr buys Melkorka

The birth of ©láfr the Peacock

Hjarðarholt and Eulogy on the House

Bolli kills Kjartan

The Saga of the Burned Njáll

            Hallgerðr wins Gunnarr

Gunnarr’s last stand

The burning of Njáll

The Saga of Grettir the Strong

Grettir’s fight with Glámr

Grettir fights the cave-trolls



Writers of the Benedictine Reform

Alexander’s Letter to Aristotle

Alexander to Aristotle  

A meeting with King Porus

The Prophecy of the Trees of Sun and Moon

Blickling Homilies

            No. 16 ‘The Feast of St Michael the Archangel’

                        Mount Garganus and the Bull

                        St Paul’s Vision of Hell

Abbot Ælfric of Eynsham

            The Preface to Genesis

            The Life of St Edmund

Archbishop Wulfstan of York

            From De falsis deis

Secundum Marcum    

Sermo Lupi



Early Chivalry

Apollonius of Tyre

            The Princess falls in love

The Song of Roland

            The dreams of Charlemagne

            The trial of Ganelon

Gaimar’s History of the English

            Haveloc the Dane

Hereward the Wake

The Poem of My Cid

Exile of the Campeador

Lyrics of William IX

A suitable poem

Feeling sleepy

Fin’amor from Orkney: R$gnvaldr kali

Wace’s Brut

Arthur fights the giant of Mont St Michel

Thomas of Britain’s Tristan

            Sailing towards England

            Tristan disguised as a leper

            Love and images

Marie de France’s Laüstic

Husband finds the nightingale

The Play of Adam

            The devil talks to Eve

            Adam takes the apple


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