Alcuin and Cynewulf: the art and craft of Anglo-Saxon verse

Thu 11 Apr 2019, 18:30 - 19:45

The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH

Event ended

Sir Israel Gollancz Lecture

Some 60,000 lines of Anglo-Saxon verse survive, split almost evenly between Old English and Latin. There was evidently considerable overlap between what modern scholarship has unfortunately tended to regard as distinct poetic traditions. By focussing on two of the most prolific Anglo-Saxon poets whose works have survived, namely Alcuin (who died on the Continent in 804, and wrote in Latin) and his likely near-contemporary Cynewulf (who wrote in Old English and signed his name in runes), this lecture seeks to highlight and explore the common threads of a vibrant bilingual poetic culture that lasted for more than four centuries. 

Professor Andy Orchard FBA, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, University of Oxford
Andy Orchard is the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Oxford, and has published widely in the field of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic; he is currently the Principal Investigator for the ERC-funded project, CLASP (A Consolidated Library of Anglo-Saxon Poetry).

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Image: Alcuin and Hrabanus © Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 652, fol. 2v

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