Thursday, February 15, 2018

Euangelia in Lingua... Danica?

Last night in class, we pulled up the high resolution photographs made available by the British Museum of the Old Saxon heroic lay/Gospel harmony Heliand (which is fantastic and is twice as long as Beowulf, in case you found the latter too short). We have been studying the Heliand using Cathy's text (more about that later), but last night we did some reading straight from the manuscript, translating as we went and stopping to consider points of grammar, paleography, and the sound changes that had produced differences between the Old English and Old Saxon forms. It was a magnificent way to spend an evening.

I was amused by this tidbit at the top of the MS, written by a much later hand (probably in the seventeenth century):

I'm very curious to know who looked at this poem and said, "Yep. Seems Danish."

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