Module Identifier EN36320  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Diane Watt  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours Seminar. 10 x 2 hr seminar workshops  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Translation portfolio comprising a short original translation (c 50 lines) and commentary (c 2000 words)50%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 1 essay (2,500 words)50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements.100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should typically be able to:
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge of selected Old English texts (in translation)

- situate these texts within the literary genres of Old English

- relate the texts studied to aspects of their social and historical contexts

- demonstrate a basic knowledge of Old English orthography, pronunciation, vocabulary and syntax

- outline some of the problems encountered when translating Old English into modern English, and evaluate the effectiveness of different strategies for dealing with these problems

Brief description

In this module students will read a range of texts from what is the earliest period of English literature. It begins by looking at Archbishop Wulfstan's famous 'Sermon of the Wolf', which describes the apocalyptic anxieties generated by Danish attacks. This provides a starting point for a broader discussion of pagan culture in, and the impact of Christianity on, Anglo-Saxon England. In seminars we will discuss texts in translation which will be ordered thematically and will cover topics such as heroic values, the experience of women, and the interaction of paganism and Christianity. In translation classes we will study Old English at elementary level. NB Only pre-selected passages will be translated from longer texts. On completion of the module students will be expected to have a good understanding and appreciation, not only of the texts covered, but also of Anglo-Saxon history and society. In addition, students should have a basic grounding in the Old English language.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Stanley B Greenfield (1989) Hero and Exile: The Art of Old English Poetry London
Katherine O'Brien O'Keefe (1997) Reading Old English Texts Cambridge
Derek Pearsall (1977) Old English and Middle English Poetry London
T. A. Shippey (1972) Old English Verse London
Michael Swanton (1987) English Literature Before Chaucer London
James Campbell (1991) The Anglo-axons Harmondsworth
Helen Damico and Alexandra Hennessy Olson (eds.) (1980) New Readings of Women in Old English Literature Bloomington
Christine Fell (1984) Women in Anglo-Saxon England London
Jane Chance (1986) Woman as Hero in Old English Literature Syracuse
Michael Alexander (1983) Old English Literature Basingstoke
** Essential Reading
S.A.J. Bradley (trans and ed) (1995) Anglo-Saxon Poetry London, Everyman ISBN0460 875 078
Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson (1992) A Guide to Old English 5th. Oxford, Blackwell ISBN 0 631 16657 2
Michael Swanton (1993) Anglo-Saxon Prose London, Everyman ISBN 0460 873 415


This module is at CQFW Level 6