ENG1001F: Old English I

||Description|| ||Required and recommended texts|| ||Online resources|| ||Course overview|| ||Methods of evaluation|| ||Schedule|| ||Project topics|| ||Prof Percy's admin page|| ||TA: Aidan Conti||

Description. This course will leave you with a basic reading knowledge of the earliest literary form of English, the West Saxon dialect of the ninth through eleventh centuries.

You’ll be required to learn an inflected language—one that is very different from PDE—although most of our everyday speech is directly descended from OE. You’ll get an introduction to the surviving literature, and to the main reference works for furth er study.

Required texts. Albert H. Marckwardt and James L. Rosier, Old English Language and Literature (New York: W.W. Norton, 1972), available in custom photocopy at the U of T Bookroom; Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old Eng lish, 5th edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992). Mitchell and Robinson contains texts for translation and a fine glossary, and may be used as a reference grammar.

Recommended texts. The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). [You might also try to get your hands on a Christian bible, for the early readings from Marckwardt and Rosier.] Also useful background reading is Stanley B. Greenfield and Daniel G. Calder, A New Critical History of Old English Literature (New York: New York University Press, 1986), the analytic table of contents of F.M. Stenton ’s Anglo-Saxon England (but it’s very old), and The Anglo-Saxons, ed. James Campbell (Phaidon, 1982; Penguin, 1991).

Resources online. There are some fine resources on the web—language courses, bibliographies. Have a look at http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/oe.htm. If you'd like to read more about the Old English language and language change, see my ENG6361H booklist.

Course outline. For the first nine weeks, we’ll work through three chapters a week of Marckwardt and Rosier: you’re responsible for translating all the readings, which we’ll take up in class. In week 6, you’ll all hand in drafts of your " encyclopedia articles; see attached. In week 7, I’ll return your drafts. In week 8, you’ll circulate them to the class; in week 8, we’ll also pick up texts from Mitchell and Robinson. The final examination will take place in week 14. Your essays ar e due on the first day of second term.

Method of evaluation. (1) "Encylopedia article" of no more than 750 words, on a topic selected from the attached sheet; draft due week 6 (5%), final version due week 8 (5%); LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL BE PENALIZED BY 10%. (2) Final transla tion examination, comprising four passages of Old English to be translated accurately and idiomatically into Modern English: two passages, to be chosen from three options, previously translated in class; two passages, to be chosen from three options, to b e translated on sight (50%). (3) Essay of ca. 15 pp., exclusive of notes and bibliography, on an Old English text of your choice—you’re encouraged to choose a text that resonates with texts of other periods (40%); DUE WITHOUT EXCEPTION 8 JANUARY 2001. LAT E SUBMISSIONS WILL BE PENALIZED BY 10%.

Instructor. Professor Carol Percy, Wetmore Hall 125, New College. 978-4287. cpercy@chass.utoronto.ca Office hours TBA, but probab TW12-1.

ENG1001F: Schedule

Week 1 Sept 13 Introduction

Week 2 Sept 20 Marckwardt & Rosier 1-3 (have readings translated)

Week 3 Sept 27 Marckwardt & Rosier 4-6

Drop-in tutorial with TA Aidan Conti, Fri Sept 29th 9am - 11am, room 2001, 7 King's College Circle. Schedule for rest of term TBA

Week 4 Oct 4 Marckwardt & Rosier 7-9

Week 5 Oct 11 Marckwardt & Rosier 10-12

Week 6 Oct 18 Marckwardt & Rosier 13-15

Draft of encyclopedia article due.

Week 7 Oct 25 Marckwardt & Rosier 16-18

Week 8 Nov 1 Marckwardt & Rosier 19-21

Mitchell & Robinson: Aelfric’s Life of Edmund

Final encyclopedia article due.

Week 9 Nov 8 Marckwardt & Rosier 22-24

Mitchell & Robinson: Aelfric’s Life of Edmund

Week 10 Nov 15 Mitchell & Robinson: "The Wife’s Lament"

Week 11 Nov 22 Mitchell & Robinson: "The Dream of the Rood"

Week 12 Nov 29 Mitchell & Robinson: Excerpts from Beowulf

Week 13 Dec 6 Mitchell & Robinson: Excerpts from Beowulf

Week 14 Examination held MONDAY, December 11th, time TBA

Essay due MONDAY, January 8th, 2001


ENG1001F: Encyclopedia articles

One purpose of this assignment is for you and your classmates to give each other a succinct account of a range of topics relevant to the subject matter of the course. Another is to introduce you to some of the resources for the study of Old English lan guage and literature and culture: please begin by using the Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, The Anglo-Saxons, ed. James Campbell, and some of the online bibliographies.

Please email me (cpercy@chass.utoronto.ca) by Monday September 18th with your first three choices. I’ll let you know on Wednesday who’s got what.

Your drafts are due in week 6. I’ll return these in week 7. You’ll distribute your final versions in week 8—hard copy to the class, and, if you’d be willing to have your "entry" immortalized on the course web page, on disk or by attachment to me.

In no more than 750 words, and in clear and engaging prose, summarize the main ideas and issues for one of the following topics. You’ll find it essential to focus your general findings on a specific topic. Below your entry, list the best source s for further reading in this topic.

  1. Old English language
  2. Old English society (distinguish representation & reality, please)
  3. Books, manuscripts, and literacy
  4. Pre-Christian Culture
  5. Writing and religion
  6. Women in Anglo-Saxon England
  7. Some other genres

  8. Anglo-Saxon Art
  9. Anglo-Saxon sense of time
  10. Beowulf