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Language Sector > Module
Mixed Lecture/Discussion
The Anglo-Saxon monk, priest and bishop Wulfstan (†1023) is, after Ælfric of Eynsham, the most famous author of Old English homilies. His alliterative prose, inventive vocabulary, and – most importantly – his fire-and-brimstone preaching style make him a joy to read. The scenes he invokes are both terrifying and captivating, and his descriptions of the invading Vikings as God’s punishment offer a unique glimpse into the mentality of a terrified English people in the 10th and 11th centuries. Come join us for a month of Anglo-Saxon “Old Time Religion” and see if you can master reciting the Old English phrase “Leofan men” with a Johnny Cash accent (suede tunic optional).

This unit is open to anyone who has a basic familiarity with the Old English language. We will begin by reading Wulfstan’s most famous sermon, the “Sermon of the Wolf” (Sermo Lupi ad Anglos), to gain familiarity with his style and to see some Viking action. After that, we will continue on to “On False Gods” for a bit more Christian vs. Pagan Linguistic Bloodsports before moving on to his more pious eschatological work. Wulfstan’s oeuvre is large, so each iteration of this module can focus on a different facet of his work.

Required Texts

Required Text: Bethurum, Dorothea. The Homilies of Wulfstan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1957. (ISBN: 0198111010; The Sandpiper Books reprint is fine).
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July 2024 Confirmed

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