Comment and Translation on "Cynewulf and Cyneheard" By Katharina Moczko Essay for the Seminar "Introduction to Old English" at The University of Potsdam, Wintersemester 2003

Essay by kmoczkoUniversity, Bachelor's April 2004

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1)The Manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle p.1

2)Preliminary remarks on Cynewulf and Cyneheard p.1

3)Old English Verbs p.2

4)Translation and Commentary

a) Cynewulf and Sygebryht p.3

b) Cyneheard p.4

c) The Ambush and the Death of the King p.6

d) The King's Men p.7

e) The Rearguard p.9

f) The Prince's Offer p.10

g) Cyneheard's Death and Epilogue p.11

5)Bibliography p. 12

1) The Manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

The text 'Cynewulf and Cyneheard' is an excerpt from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, whose manuscripts are currently owned by the British Library in London and the Bodleian Library in Oxford. According to the Website of The University of Calgary the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is one of the most important sources for the history of the British pre-conquest period. It starts with the reign of king ¨¡lfred the Great (a. D. 871 - 899) and shows the annual record of the history of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.1

2) Preliminary remarks on Cynewulf and Cyneheard

The text of Cynewulf and Cyneheard differs from the other texts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle by it's length and details. The usual texts contain a mere listing of the personal changes in thrones and bishoprics during the years but 'Cynewulf and Cyneheard' displays more complexity, even a narrative-like structure.

These differences in style and form have been speculated to result from a different origin of the text excerpt. It is assumed that it might have been an orally transmitted saga of the traditional storytellers, inserted by the authors of The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle at its rightful place.

When translating the text of "Cynewulf and Cyneheard" I stumbled across some difficulties. For once Old English has a word order far more freely than modern English, for example the position of the verb, the subject and...