English 104

Introduction to Old English

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2017 Thornbury, Emily V.
MWF 10-11 120 Wheeler

Book List

Mitchell, Bruce, and Fred C. Robinson: Guide to Old English

Other Readings and Media

A coursepack


Hwæt! Leorniað Englisc!

In this introduction to Old English, you will begin to read and write Old English from your first day in class, while also learning fundamental principles of grammar and historical language change. As you progress in your knowledge, you will begin exploring the wide range of literature in Old English, including riddles, love-laments, heroic poetry, and exotic travel narratives. You will learn what to do about demons, and the surprising reason that pepper is black. (Hint: it involves snakes.) By the end of the course, you will be able to read most Old English texts with the aid of a dictionary. You will also have a strong grasp of the linguistic principles that still shape modern English, and will be well prepared for further study of modern and medieval languages.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

There are no prerequisites for this course, and no prior knowledge is expected. Graduate students interested in Old English should contact the instructor: a concurrent version of this course may be taken for graduate credit.

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