A Saxon of St. Boniface's acquaintance in England observed that the two peoples, the English and Saxons, were of the same bone and blood. Certainly Boniface himself noted the similarities in language and story between the two peoples. In modern scholarship, however, rarely are early continental Germanic literary remains discussed in the same breath with the Anglo-Saxon materials in spite of the apparent relationships, in distinct contrast to the well-explored relationships between Old English literature and Old Norse.
The purpose of this collection of essays is to redress that absence. The essays collected here aim to compare key texts and practices of the Anglo-Saxons with their continental counterparts. Motifs, scribal habits, tropes, and themes are here explored connecting Beowulf, Heliand, and Exodus specifically, as well as exploring some elements on a larger cultural canvas.
It is infrequent to have articles dealing with such subjects; continental Germanic literature, particularly that of the pre-twelfth century, is one of the most ignored areas in medieval studies. This volume of essays will open up discussion further.
Larry J. Swain is Co-Editor in Chief of The Heroic Age: A Journal of Medieval Northwestern Europe. He has edited, translated, and commented on the Ælfric of Eynsham's Letter to Sigeweard and teaches at Bemidji State University.
Larry J. Swain: Preface - G. Ronald Murphy: Introduction - Paul Battles: Old Saxon-Old English Intertextuality and the "Traveler Recognizes His Goal" Theme in the Heliand - Albrecht Classen: The Old English Beowulf and the Middle High German Nibelungenlied Similarities and Dissimilarities - Erik A. Carlson: Mæg wið Mæge: Drinking with Beowulf - David Eugene Clark: The Wisdom of Elizabeth and Mary in the Heliand and Diatessaron - Richard Fahey: Decoding gerûni: Runic sacramenta in the Old Saxon Heliand - David Carlton: Semantic Hybridity in the Old English Exodus and Old Saxon Heliand - Index of Primary References.