Module Identifier EN36330  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Professor Diane Watt  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mr Michael J Smith  
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 60 lines) and commentary (c 2500 words)50%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 1 essay (3000 words)50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit or resit failed elements and/or make good any missing elements100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should typically be able to:

1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of selected Old English texts (in translation);

2. situate these texts within the literary genres of Old English;

3. relate the texts studied to aspects of their social and historical contexts;

4. demonstrate a basic knowledge of Old English orthography, pronunciation, vocabulary and syntax;

5. 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.

N.B.: 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

** General Text
(c1994.) Medieval masculinities :regarding men in the Middle Ages /Clare A. Lees, editor, with the assistance of Thelma Fenster and Jo Ann McNamara. University of Minnesota Press 0816624259
Alexander, Michael (May 2003) Beowulf:A Verse Translation Revised. Penguin Classics [Imprint] 9780140449310
Alexander, Michael (Sept. 2007) Old English Riddles:From the Exeter Book 2nd ed.. Anvil Press Poetry, Limited 9780856463785
Alexander, Michael (Aug. 1991) The Earlist English Poems 3rd ed.,Revised. Penguin Classics [Imprint] 9780140445947
Campbell, James (1991.) The Anglo-Saxons /James Campbell, Eric John, Patrick Wormald; general editor, James Campbell ; with contributions from P.V. Addyman ... [et al.]. Penguin Books 0140143955
Chance, Jane Woman As Hero in Old English Literature Reprint. Books on Demand 9780608069814
Fell, Christine E. (1984.) Women in Anglo-Saxon England /by Christine Fell, and the impact of 1066; by Cecily Clark and Elizabeth Williams. British Museum Publications 0714180572
Jones, Chris (Sept. 2006) Strange Likeness : the Use of Old English in Twentieth-Century Poetry:The Use of Old English in Twentieth-Century Poetry Oxford University Press, Incorporated 9780191515507
Lees, Clare A. A Place to Believe In:Locating Medieval Landscapes NetLibrary, Incorporated 9780271030357
Lees, Clare A. (1999.) Tradition and belief :religious writing in late Anglo-Saxon England /Clare A. Lees. University of Minnesota Press 0816630038
Lees, Clare and Overing, Gillian Double Ages
Swanton, Michael J. (Aug. 1993) Anglo-Saxon Prose 2nd ed.. Everyman 9780460873413
Swanton, Michael J. (1975.) Anglo-Saxon prose /edited and translated by Michael Swanton. Dent; 0460108093
** Should Be Purchased
Bradley, S A J (1982.) Anglo-Saxon poetry :an anthology of Old English poems in prose translation /with introduction and headnotes by S.A.J.Bradley. Dent 0460117947
Crossley-Holland, Kevin The Anglo-Saxon World
Mitchell, Bruce (Dec. 2006) A Guide to Old English 7th ed.,Revised. Wiley-Blackwell [Imprint] 9781405146906


This module is at CQFW Level 6