The Heroic Age
A Letter from the Editor
Welcome to the fifth anniversary issue of the Heroic Age!
Our anniversary seems to have crept up on us. It just doesn't seem like five years. Sometimes it seems like yesterday; others it seems like forever ago that we began. It has been a real learning experience. Keep an eye out for us; we are just beginning and there is much more to come over the next few years.
In this issue we have an assortment of articles and columns on a wide variety of topics. The issue opens with articles on two of our earliest Irish saints. Thomas Torma's article focuses on the symbolism of milk in the earliest vernacular life of St. Brigit, the Bethu Brigte. Alexander Rolfe challenges the long-held concept that isolated Irish monasteries were similar to the Egyptian monasticism of St. Anthony with his examination of the un-Benedictine or Pachomian aspects of life at Columba's monastery of Iona, as described in Adomnan's Life of Columba.
Our major article in this issue is Thomas Wymer and Erin Labbie's examination of the use of the word rage in the Old English epic Beowulf. They argue that the poet was very precise on his terminology to accurately illustrate the dual roles of rage in early society as a threat when uncontrolled and a sustainer when used in defense. In the character Beowulf, we see the proper use of rage to defend kin and country, balancing the terror of uncontrolled rage personified by the monsters.
Our History by Biography section returns in this issue with Kent Hare's biography of King Æthelstan of England. Hare explores the origins of this little known kings' reputation as a premier Christian king and hero. In the Forum, Richard Lathe reexamines the theory that King Arthur was Dalriadan.
We have two extensive columns in this issue sure to give us food for thought. In his Continental Business column, Michel Aaij summarizes and reviews Janine Cünnen (2000) Fiktionale Nonnenwelten: Angelsächsische Frauenbriefe des 8. und 9. Jahrhunderts [Fictional Nuns' Worlds: Anglo-Saxon Women's Letters of the 8th and 9th Century] sure to be of interest to Anglo-Saxonists. In the Electronic Medievalia column, Daniel O'Donnell examines the measures that we can take to ensure that our digital projects are functional as long as possible. We conclude with our usual series of book reviews and we remember friends now gone in our memorial section.
On behalf of the staff of the Heroic Age I hope you all enjoy this issue and keep us in mind for future submissions and research.