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The Heroic Age

Issue 3

Summer 2000

Web Site Reviews



 Readings of Old English Poetry

 "Tennessee Bob Peckham's" Famous French Links

 The Babylonian Talmud

 Saint Kentigern

 Arild Hauge's Homepage


The Heroic Age links page has been updated with a number of new links, particularly in the area of French literature. Many of these newer links cover the whole of the medieval period, but they are solid sites and should be kept in mind. If there are any broken links or sites you would like to see here, please let us know. L.J. Swain, Electronic Medievalia Editor.


Anglo-Saxon pages by Christopher Burgess


Carl Berkhout's Wordhord: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~ctb/wordhord.html

The glossary-"intended for Anglo-Saxonists and other speakers of English for whom the language of the computer world has become alien and largely incomprehensible,"-is an attempt to help by providing commonplace Anglo-Saxon equivalents for the more arcane and recondite vocabulary of the computer genius . Hilarious, and definitely worth the trip. (I would quarrel, however, with "æstel", which may mean 'cursor' instead of 'bookmark')


Bede.net: http://www.geocities.com/~jarrow/

Contains a very brief, concise vita of Bede, a summary of recent Bede-related scholarly activity including the abstracts of conference papers, a careful selection of very good, useful hyperlinks (oferhlence) for all sorts of students and scholars: Anglo-Saxonists, Latinists, Religious Historians, etc. The site also contains a full bibliography-organized into discrete sections-of print sources which seems fairly comprehensive but a bit thin in the most recent scholarship. There is also a short list containing the addresses of specialists in the field. Worth a mention is the inclusion of some software for teachers (averager, gradebook, etc.). This site is nicely designed, easy to navigate, and uncluttered by extraneous material, and contains a good deal of material useful for teaching.


Readings of Old English Poetry:

The site contains the Old English text and modern translation of three poetic selections: Deor, the Funeral of Scyld Scefing from Beowulf, and the Battle of Brunanburh. The OE texts are spare, appearing here with none of the information of modern editions, including prefatory material. The translations are not stellar. There are audio readings with the Old English texts (RealAudio format; click on the decorated initials). The quality of the recordings is somewhat wanting, but the segments are short, therefore quickly downloadable. The page also offers access to the Old English typefaces created by Cathy Ball and Peter Baker, which are worth the effort if you haven't seen them. This site is graphically flashy, but not stylish, and the design does not make up for the lack of real content.

More Reviews by L.J. Swain


"Tennessee Bob Peckham's" Famous French Links: http://www.utm.edu/departments/french/french.html

Dr. Peckham has taught at the University of Tennessee since 1979 in the French department and is currently the director of the Globegate Project (http://globegate.utm.edu), an intercultural, interlanguage mega list for teachers of foreign languages. His site is rather large, containing over 10,000 links. Links are categorized by subject matter, then subclassified by further refinement. For example, clicking on French Language takes one further to a listing of language categories such as vocabulary building, or etymology, or grammar. A click on vocabulary building brings up a page which further categorizes the links into topics like dictionaries, or topical vocabularly (politics, cooking and so forth). These subcategories then contain the links to specific sites, listed by name of the site, which are included. Related to this site is the medieval section, which is not immediately apparent when the primary page is visited. The links on this page are maintained by David Gatewood, although the "by-line" is Bob Peckham. The URL of the medieval section is: http://globegate.utm.edu/french/lit/middle.ages.html. The site's focus is on literature, and that literature is particularly in French, therefore, it is often beyond the purview of the Heroic Age. Moreover, the categorization of the page is less detailed than the main page. There are only three categories: local sites, general, and works by specific authors. There are no meta links to assist in navigating the page, but all the the links are active, and do lead to sites with solid literature on them. The site however does not include any Latin literature, not even that Latin literature which demonstrates the change from Latin to French, to my mind a serious, if common, oversight. The site overall is an excellent clearing house for things French.


The Babylonian Talmud: http://www.breslov.com/talmud/talmud.htm

The "Babylonian Talmud" is a project yet in its infancy. Located at this page has been under construction since 1997, almost as if the founder lost interest. It is hoped that the project will continue, for no other like it has yet made it to the WWW and a complete and searchable "BT" online would be invaluable. The page as it stands consists of the first six divisions of the Talmud, links lead to the various subdivisions of the text. Regrettably, the vast majority of these lead to dead pages. This is a regrettable state for a page with such potential to be in, my comments here will be sent to the web page owner in the hopes of stirring him/her on. Those who may wish to search some other Jewish sources are encouraged to visit Matthew Boxer's site at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/9053. This student has put together a large list of links. In email conversations with others, however, not even a metasite exists which includes much material on medieval Jewry, particularly in the early period. I hope that I'm wrong.

Saint Kentigern: http://www.gypsyfire.com/Translation.htm

Saint Kentigern is a new translation of this saint's life. The site is housed by a music group known as Gypsyfire, the site also hosts a theme park. One of the members of the group wrote a master's thesis (http://www.gypsyfire.com/Thesis.htm) for the University of Houston, this translation is part of her work for that project. The vita of Kentigern was penned by Jocelyn, a twelfth century Cistercian who paints Kentigern as a forerunner to the late eleventh and twelfth century reformers of the Anglo-Saxon church. Cynthia Green, the translator, discovered that it had been over a century since a translation was made, she utilized the same Latin text that the previous translator had, and began work from there. The translation reads fairly smoothly, only an occasional "glitch" of wording was detected. As it stands, this is a good contribution to web resources. To make it better, links could be made to a table of contents for the translation, in the same fashion as was done for the thesis portion of the site, chapter headings could stand out more with bold face type, and the footnotes could be made into active links. All this is to say that the only problems with the translation are ones of web coding, and not problems with the translation itself. One hopes that the author will pursue publication for her translation, a real service to Celtic and Anglo-Saxon studies


Arild Hauge's Homepage: http://w1.2220.telia.com/~u222200871/eindex.htm

Arild Hauge's Homepage is an amateur page and site dedicated to the study of runes. The site is organized into sections: The Runes themselves with subcategories dealing with the "elder futhark", Swedish runes, Anglo-Saxon runes, and so forth. There is a section dealing with the history of runes and their use, drawings of runes. The site also has primary texts about the Vikings: Saxo Grammaticus (books I-IX), several of the sagas, Tacitus' De Agricola, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle among others, all translated into English. There is also a somewhat useful map outlining the routes the Vikings travelled, although the map does not distinguish time periods or correlate with known historical sources. Further, the routes are drawn in yellow on a blue background making the routes somewhat difficult to see. Still, it is useful to have it online. Finally the site has information about modern art influenced by Viking culture, as well as downloads of runic fonts. Finally it should be mentioned that the links page is somewhat unusual for the average American browser. Most of the listed sites are from Scandinavia, organized by country (Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands) most of which I must confess not seeing previously cited on the web. He also has included a short list of sites from "other countries", most of which are European, but there are some from the US as well. Navigation of the site is easy, no pop-up windows, no advertising, no wonderful jpegs to slow the download. Organization of the site is clearly laid out, although there is no menu at the top or side to make it that much easier to navigate. Content receives by and large a positive vote as well, particularly the primary texts the web page owner has put on his site.


LacusCurtius: http://www.ukans.edu/history/index/europe/ancient_rome/E/Roman/home.html

This is one of those rare sites that one occasionally finds which makes one think that the WWW is truly worth it. This site has primary texts on it in Latin, including such things as Pliny's Natural History, Vitruvius on Architecture, or Frontinus on Rome's water supply, and Ptolmey's Geography (in translation, Ptolemy wrote in Greek). Along with Ptolemy Bill Thayer, site designer, has placed a Roman Gazeteer and maps. In addition to this fine material Mr. Thayer has placed on his site: William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, Samuel Ball Platner's great work, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, Pagan and Christian Rome by Rodolfo Lanciani, a Latin inscriptions site, Roman Roads in Britain, by Thomas Codrington. Mr. Thayer also hosts what was originally the germ of the site: the RomanSites web page. In 1995 Mr. Thayer kindly forwarded a list of sites to the Late Antiquity mailing list in repsonse to a request, soon others were wanting his list. He began a regular mailing of lists, and then moved his collection to the web, the University of Kansas kindly offered server space. All this was done by a man who is only interested in the period and is not an academic, not only a true service to the academic community but also the fruit of avidity. He has now amassed over 2000 active links to sites on all things Roman, and some early medieval, every site's link has a date at which it was checked and a summary of its contents. The navigation of the site is easy, every major heading is linked, and several have linked subcategories. Activating a link opens a new window of the browser, which is an advantage unless the user knows specifically what he is looking for. The whole site is also searchable and available in Italian, French, and English. It is this kind of combination of important primary and secondary works, of links to web sites, photographs, and personal investment that make this site one of the best academic sites on the web.

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Copyright © C. Burgess & L.J. Swain, 2000. All rights reserved.

This edition copyright @ The Heroic Age, 2000. All rights reserved.