The Heroic Age

A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe

Issue 11 (May 2008)  |   Issue Editors: Larry Swain & Linda Malcor

Founded 1998   |   ISSN 1526-1867

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The Germanic Sword


Icelandic Sword



Forum—State of the Field in Anglo-Saxon Studies


Forum—Virtually Anglo-Saxon

Electronic Medievalia

Continental Business


babelisms—Absent Beowulf


Issue 11

Issue Editors: Larry Swain & Linda Malcor   |   May 2008

Letter from the Editor

Themed Articles—Early Medieval Folklore

The Germanic Sword in the Tree: Parallel Development or Diffusion?

C. Scott Littleton, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA & Linda A. Malcor, Independent Researcher, Lake Forest, CA

Abstract:  In this paper we consider whether the Norse story of the "Sword in the Branstock" and the Arthurian tale of the "Sword in the Stone" may represent two variants of a tale about a celestial event that occurred 2160 B.C.E.

O, Ambrosius, Ambrosius! Wherefore Art Thou Arthur?

Frank D. Reno, Independent Scholar, Boulder, CO

Abstract:  Littleton and Malcor trace the name Arthur to the second-century Roman Lucius Artorius Castus. There is no King Arthur in fifth-century Britain. This paper is a quest to discover a great fifth-century Briton who can be identified as an "Arthur."

The Icelandic Sword In The Stone: Bears In The Sky

Linda A. Malcor, Independent Researcher, Lake Forest, CA

Abstract:  This paper examines the Icelandic saga of Hrolf Kraki, compares it to the Greek stories of Theseus and Kallisto, and argues that both traditions of the Sword in the Stone stemmed from a celestial event that occurred in 2160 B.C.E.

Theseus as an Indo-European Sword Hero, with an Excursus on Some Parallels between the Athenian Monster-Slayer and Beowulf

C. Scott Littleton, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

Abstract:  This paper compares Theseus and Beowulf. Both heroes come from afar, enter dangerous, underground realms, and slay ravenous monsters with magical swords. It is suggested that the two figures have a common origin and are part of the Indo-European sword-hero complex.


Two Recently-Discovered Passages of the Pseudo-Basil's De admonitio ad filium spiritualem in Smaragdus' Expositio in regulam Benedicti and the Epistolae of Alcuin

James LePree, City College of New York

Abstract:  The pseudo-Basil's fifth century De admonitio ad filium spiritualem played an important role in providing models of spirituality for ninth-century Carolingian authors. Yet the presence of passages from the Admonitio in the Epistolae of Alcuin of York and Abbot Smaragdus of St. Mihiel's Expositio in regulam s. Benedicti have gone virtually undetected. This will be the primary focus of the paper.


The Forum

State of the Field in Anglo-Saxon Studies

The Ælfric of Eynsham Project: An Introduction

Aaron J. Kleist, Biola University

The Reality of Media in Anglo-Saxon Studies

Martin K. Foys, Hood College

Electronic Medievalia

Resisting The Tyranny of the Screen, or, Must a Digital Edition be Electronic?

Daniel Paul O'Donnell, University of Lethbridge

Continental Business

Michel Aaij, Auburn University Montgmory


Introducing "Fragments from the Babel Archive"

Eileen Joy, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Absent Beowulf

Daniel M. Murtaugh, Florida Atlantic University


Hasenfratz, Robert and Thomas Jambeck, Reading Old English: A Primer and First Reader. Reviewed by Bruce Gilchrist.

O'Neill, Patrick, King Alfred's Old English Prose Translation of the 'First Fifty Psalms'. Reviewed by Bruce Gilchrist.

Tyler, Elizabeth, Old English Poetics: The Aesthetics of the Familiar in Anglo-Saxon England. Reviewed by Shannon Godlove.

In Memoriam

Abbott Conway [At the Anglican Diocese of Oxford]

Richard Hogg [At the The Guardian]

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