By Allen J. Frantzen

Anglo-Saxon Keywords offers a chain of entries that exhibit the hyperlinks among sleek principles and scholarship and the primary innovations of Anglo-Saxon literature, language, and fabric tradition.

  • Reveals vital hyperlinks among valuable thoughts of the Anglo-Saxon interval and matters we predict approximately this day
  • Reveals how fabric culture—the historical past of work, drugs, know-how, id, masculinity, intercourse, meals, land use—is as very important because the background of rules
  • Offers a richly theorized technique that intersects with many disciplines inside and out of medieval stories


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It is ironic that those who study Beowulf complain about the liberties illustrators and filmmakers take with the poem’s plot and its representations of material objects. The poem is not a historical record, and even if it were, we would have no way of testing its claims. Beowulf might be taken as a plausible rendering of a Danish landscape and Heorot for a specific kind of mead-hall (Niles and Osborn 2007; see Hall), but no one has suggested that the Danish world was beset by water monsters because such creatures are described in the poem.

Alfred’s auctoritas was grounded in his public role as king, not in his mastery of the Latin tradition. But it is unthinkable that he was not regarded as an auctor, a figure “not merely to be read but also to be respected and believed” (Minnis 1984: 10). His works were not studied according to the rigid systems of grammatical culture, but one can easily see that he permanently altered the systems used to describe language and learning. As one measure of Alfred’s achievement in changing Anglo-Saxon ideas of authority, we can note Irvine’s five categories of scholarship, called “macrogenres,” ranging from gloss and commentary to the idea of a library (see Genre).

Kermode argues that the Apocalypse creates an ending not to make sense of the beginning but to make sense of the middle. Apocalypticism evokes impending doom that only forceful intervention can prevent. ” In the modern era the imperative, less succinct but no less dire, would address political or social reform related to protecting the environment, for example, or the proliferation of nuclear weapons. But the sentiments are similar, and modern apocalypticism is no less resilient when its various crises fail to materialize.

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