New Old Language



I have been doing some research into Anglo-Saxons, as part of a story I’m working on is going to be set there. Part of my research was to do with dialect and language at the time. The furthest I’ve gone back is Chaucer so I really had no idea what Saxon ‘English’ would look or sound like.

One of the lovely staff members at my library, Liz, is a bit of an expert on this sort of thing, and gave me some verse from the time. I think it’s fascinating so I thought I’d post a bit here.

Here’s how it begins:



The Battle of Brunanburh

Her æþelstan cyning, eorla dryhten, beorna beahgifa, and his broþor eac, Eadmund æþeling, ealdorlangne tir geslogon æt sæcce sweorda ecgum ymbe Brunanburh.

Which means:

In this year King Aethelstan, Lord of warriors,ring-giver to men, and his brother also,Prince Eadmund, won eternal glory in battle with sword edges around Brunanburh.

Apparently.

Sticking with the Anglo-Saxon theme, I thought I should mention that the poem Beowulf, is currently being made into a film. The fantastic Neil Gaiman has had a hand in writing it, and the cast list looks pretty good too.

Here are a couple of links:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0442933/

http://www.thezreview.co.uk/comingsoon/b/beowulf.shtm

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