Neidorf dating of beowulf

When was the epic Old English poem, Beowulf , originally composed? While most scholars agree that the Beowulf manuscript, Cotton Vitellius A XV , is a product of the late tenth- or early eleventh-century, the antiquity of the poem itself remains a matter of heated debate. This text for the first time called into question the early seventh or eighth-century dating of Beowulf that had been received as fact for decades. The potential chronological book-ends of such a period shape much of the debate throughout the book, and the evidence ultimately suggests a hard terminus ad quem sometime in the early ninth century AD.

In his chapter on versification, Thomas E.

The Dating of Beowulf: A Reassessment by Leonard Neidorf

Bredehoft mobilizes insular Anglo-Saxon and continental Germanic metrical evidence both to demonstrate the relative antiquity of Beowulf and to situate that antiquity sometime in the eighth century ad. Tom Shippey and Rafael J. Pascual, on the other hand, are primarily interested in the evolution of words and concepts in early medieval England. For example, Shippey argues that the metrically and situationally irregular eorl man at line 6 in Beowulf represents a corruption of the i-stem tribal name, Eorle Latin Heruli by a later scribe unfamiliar with the name, rather than the simple accusative plural eorlas men to which the word in question is usually amended 58— The importance of consigning objective authority to probability in the absence of certainty is a sentiment echoed by both Dennis Cronan and Megan E.

Hartman in their respective chapters on the genealogical and metrical dimensions of Beowulf , and remains a prominent theme throughout the book.

Neidorf, Dating of “Beowulf”

In a similar vein, Michael D. Hill, and Frederick M. Biggs directly interrogate the onomastic, religious, and historical evidence in—and surrounding Showing of 1 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

Beowulf Summary - Summary & Analysis of Beowulf (Grendel, Grendel's Mother, Dragon)

Please try again later. A wonderful collection of essays that re-examines one of the most controversial issues in Beowulf scholarship.

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I especially like the essays that look at the political pressures within the academy that have colored opinions on the poem's composition date. A must-read for scholars and serious students of the poem and Anglo-Saxon literature in general.

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Associate Professor of English at Boston College

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