Category Archives: Anglo-Saxon/Old English

Anglo-Saxon Medicine? That’s Leeches and Bloodletting, right?

Right! Well, kind of. I get that question every time I tell someone what I research, and I love it. It gives me a basis to talk from. Much preferred to the alternatives of ‘Medieval studies? That’s…a real major?!’ or … Continue reading

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Good Health & Anglo-Saxons…And A Little Lead Poisoning

So it turns out that Anglo-Saxons were actually quite healthy, comparatively. There was more infectious disease than in the Roman period, but anaemia, dental, and joint disease all decreased, and were lower than in the medieval period that followed. Stature … Continue reading

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A Semantic Pet Peeve

As Medievalists, we get the short end of the stick. Our discipline is only defined in relation to others. Indeed, the very name is a derogatory relegation to secondary importance, a placeholder between the Classical era and the Renaissance. This … Continue reading

Posted in Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Bah Humbug, History, Language | 1 Comment

More Digital Palaeography: DigiPal

A few posts ago I talked about Erik Kwakkel’s Turning Over a New Leaf, which uses computers to analyze manuscripts. Keeping with the same theme, I’ve recently discovered Peter Stokes’  and Stewart Brookes’ work in progress, DigiPal. Here’s what they … Continue reading

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Telling Medieval Stories

“I must work fast, faster than Scheherazade, if I am to end up meaning – yes, meaning – something. I admit it: above all things, I fear absurdity.” (Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children) It might seem somewhat incongruous to begin a … Continue reading

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The Beowulf Debate Response: Reassessing Beowulf’s Humanity

In a previous post in this series, Ryan presented a view of Beowulf as profoundly human hero, situated in a world shifting from a pagan to a christian paradigm. This is my response. I completely agree with Ryan’s characterization of … Continue reading

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The Beowulf Debate

This is probably going to be the beginning of a debate. I had another first post in mind, but it’s stalled a bit, so I’m going with this one. It will be short, but that’s OK. I just want to … Continue reading

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A Wooden Basilica in Montreal

I went to Montreal last week, and had a chance to visit the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal, a stunningly beautiful example of Neo-Gothic architecture: Now, while Neo-Gothic is really a 19th century interpretation of gothic style rather than an … Continue reading

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Pet Peeve

The hardest, and weirdest, part about studying medieval medicine is looking up the modern uses of plants, and not being sure where they’re getting their information. I remember one historian – M. L. Cameron, I think – complaining about tracing … Continue reading

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The Staffordshire Hoard: FAQ

(click images for more info) Since the summer of 2009, the Anglo-Saxonist community has been abuzz over what its keepers are calling “the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure hoard ever found,” the so-called Staffordshire hoard. Comprised of over 3,500 items of gold, … Continue reading

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