The Heroic Age

Issue 7

Spring 2004

In Memoriam

Robert Farrell


On 31 July 2003, Robert Thomas Farrell, archeologist and Anglo-Saxonist, suddenly passed away in his home in Interlaken, NY at the age of 64. No one who has met Bob Farrell is likely to forget him. Not only was he of extraordinary size and weight and a remarkably deep voice, but as a person he struck as a amiably and witty man. He frequently organized sessions at the International Congress of Medievalists at Kalamazoo, and greatly encouraged his students and others to participate. I have cheerful memories of a drive from Kalamazoo to Detroit Airfield in his jeep, together with Sir David Wilson and Leslie Webster in 1989, when the fifty-year discovery of Sutton Hoo had been a prominent feature at Kalamazoo. The jokes just did not stop all the way.

Grown up in the Bronx, he received his education at Fordham University (BA 1960, PhD 1967). During his study at Oxford, he was taught amongst others by J. R. R. Tolkien. He was appointed in 1967 as a member of the English Department of Cornell University. His favourite subjects were Anglo-Saxon Literature, the Vikings and Medieval Archeology. On these subjects he has published widely, notably Beowulf, Swedes and Geats (1972), Daniel and Azarias (ed., 1974), Bede and Anglo-Saxon England (BAR, 1978), and The Vikings (1982).

As an archeologist, Bob Farrell was a pioneer in underwater archeology. He took a leading part in the 'eighties in the explorations of the lakeshore environment, resulting in the successful Crannog ("turf islands") Archeological Project in the midland lakes of Ireland.

Rolf H. Bremmer Jr


See also: Niall Brady, Archeology Ireland, Autumn 2003.


© 2004 by Rolf Bremmer Jr. All rights reserved.
This edition copyright © 2004 by The Heroic Age. All rights reserved.