The Heroic Age

A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe

12 (May 2009)  |   Issue Editors: Larry Swain

Founded 1998   |   ISSN 1526-1867

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Office for St. Cuthbert

Metrical Foregrounding

King Alfred's Scholarly Writings

Forum—Digitizing Numismatics

Forum—Regna et Regnum

Forum—Saints and Sacred Space

Electronic Medievalia

Continental Business


Philological Inquiries


Issue 12

Issue Editor: Larry Swain   |   May 2009

Letter from the Editor

General Articles

Liturgical Readings of the Cathedral Office for Saint Cuthbert

Karmen Lenz, Macon State College

Abstract:  The tenth-century rhymed Office of Saint Cuthbert incorporates language from Bede's poetic Vita Sancti Cuthberti.  The liturgical meditation recreates the reflective quality of Bede's poetry and further realizes its figural significance to instruct laity in interpreting Cuthbert's life.

Metrical Foregrounding in the Old Saxon Heliand and Genesis Poems

Douglas Simms, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Abstract:  The Old Saxon Heliand and Vatican Genesis and the Old English Genesis B contain a number of metrically aberrant verses known generally as heavy hypermetrical verses.  This paper argues that these verses serve to highlight portions of the text for the audience.

King Alfred's Scholarly Writings and the Authorship of the First Fifty Prose Psalms

Michael Treschow, UBC Okanagan, Paramjit Gill, UBC Okanagan, & Tim B. Swartz, Simon Fraser University

Abstract:  A great part of King Alfred's renown comes from his translations of Latin writings into Old English.  The group of translations that he gets credit for, however, has changed over the years.  Presently four translations are attributed to him: the Pastoral Care, the Boethius, the Soliloquies, and the first fifty Prose Psalms.  The first three works openly name Alfred as translator and provide strong internal evidence that they are Alfred's work.  The Prose Psalms, however, lack Alfred's name.  Although now widely endorsed as Alfred's on the basis of studies by Janet Bately and Patrick O'Neil, the Prose Psalms do not allow the same confidence in Alfred's authorship as with the three named translations.  Bately's and O'Neill's arguments exhibit several weaknesses.  Their conclusion, moreover, breaks down when stylometric analysis is applied to the translations associated with Alfred.  The statistical methods employed in this study indicate that Alfred should not be regarded as the translator of the Prose Psalms after all.


The Forum

Digitizing Numismatic: Getting the Fitzwilliam Museum's Coins to the World-Wide Web

Jonathan Jarrett, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Review Essay—Regna et Regnum: Studies of Regions within the Carolingian Empire

Cullen J. Chandler, Lycoming College

Saints and Sacred Space: An Interactive Database—A Call for Collaborators

Margaret Cormack, College of Charleston and Donald Prudlo, Jacksonville State University

Electronic Medievalia

Byte me: Technological Education and the Humanties

Daniel Paul O'Donnell, University of Lethbridge

Continental Business

Michel Aaij, Auburn University Montgmory


The Postmodern Hall in Beowulf: Endings Embedded in Beginnings

Helen T. Bennett, Eastern Kentucky University

Philological Inquiries

Method and Merovingians

Michael D. C. Drout, Wheaton College, Massachusetts and Scott Kleinman, California State University, Northridge


Bately, Janet, and Anton Englert, eds, Ohthere's Voyages: A Late 9th-century Account of Voyages along the Coasts of Norway and Denmark and its Cultural Context.  Reviewed by Craig R. Davis.

Cooper, Alan, Bridges, Law and Power in Medieval England 700–1400.  Reviewed by D. K. Smith.

Corona, Gabriella, Ælfric's Life of Saint Basil the Great: Background and Context.  Reviewed by Rhonda L. McDaniel.

Fleming, Donald F. and Janet M. Pope, Henry I and the Anglo-Norman World:  Studies in Memory of C. Warren Hollister.  Reviewed by Jean A. Truax.

Laing, Lloyd, The Archaeology of Celtic Britain and Ireland:  c. AD 400—1200.  Reviewed by Sally-Jayne Gilpin.

Lee, Stuart D. and Elizabeth Solopova, The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien.  Reviewed by John Damon.

McCormack, Patrick, Albion.  Reviewed by Howard M. Wiseman.

Shippey, Tom, The Shadow-Walkers:  Jacob Grimm's Mythology of the Monstrous.  Reviewed by Craig R. Davis.

In Memoriam

Margaret Gelling [At Times Online]

Angeliki Laiou

Alain Renoir

Alan Vince [At The Guardian]

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