By exploring evidence for the poem's date of composition, the essays in this volume contribute to a wide range of pertinent fields, including historical linguistics, Old English metrics, onomastics, and textual criticism.
Many aspects of Anglo-Saxon literary culture are likewise examined, as contributors gauge the chronological significance of the monsters, heroes, history, and theology brought together in Beowulf.
Reviews of such collaborative volumes are generally confined to a few sentences on each contribution, but this volume deserves more. Grundtvig (no earlier than the mid-sixth century), joseph Bachlechner (before 752), Levin Schiicking (last decade of the ninth century at the earliest), Alois Brandl (ca 700), Karl Miillenhoff (earlier than Caedmon), Bernhard ten Brink (fmal redaction in the eighth century), A.j. Reynolds and Norman Blake (late ninth or tenth UNIVERSIl Y OF TORONTO QUARTERLY, VOLUME 52, NUMBER 3, SPRINC 1983 0042M0147/83/osoo-0288-0301$ol. This chaos provides in itself ample justification for the Toronto conference, but Chase adds an interesting note suggesting that opinion has not been quite so random as it might appear: 80 per cent of the editions and translations since 1815 concur on a date in the period 650-Boo. Kiernan, 'The Eleventh-Century Origin of Beowulf and the Beowulf Manuscript' (pp 9-21), summarizes the results of his recent book Beowulf and the Beowulf Manuscript (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press 19B1) and argues that the palaeographical and codicological features of the Beowulf manuscript consistently suggest that Beowulf is contemporary with its extant manuscript' (p 9).
The editor opens the volume with a quick survey of 'Opinions on the Date of Beowulf, 1815- 1980': Thorkelin and N. Barnouw (application of 'Lichtenheld's tesf suggesting an early date), Lorenz Morsbach (after 700), john Earle (Mercian in the last quarter of the eighth century), George Bond (Mercian in the fust half of the ninth century), Dorothy Whitelock (later eighth century), Nicolas jacobs (any time after 835 except for brief intermittent periods), Felix Liebermann and Albert S. Solo 10 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS THE DATING OF BEOWULF 289 century), Patrick Wormald, W. The argument centres on Kiernan's contention that scribe B copied a new revised text onto a palimpsest on folio 179.
No longer was there “a text in this class”, only shifting audiences.
The date of Beowulf, debated for almost a century, is a small question with large consequences.
Whether by evil intent or not, the result was a profound tectonic shift in the understanding of the poem, which through these machinations was handed over to a long series of literary critics of all ilks and genders.
Now the time had come to explore the poetic qualities of the poem without having to consider its “Sitz im Leben”, its cultural context or even worse, come to grips with the complicated evidence presented by the linguistic, philological, phonological, palaeographical or metrical experts, who had for a long time plodded ahead trying to understand this enigmatic and beautiful poem in its cultural and historical context.
Codicological, linguistic, metrical, historical, stylistic, and archaeological arguments are mustered. w=872 872w" sizes="(min-width: 1200px) 360px,(min-width: 992px) 293px,(min-width: 768px) 220px, 100vw" width=""/ "This book will be a milestone, and deserves to be widely read. Discussions of methodology and the history of the discipline also figure prominently in this collection. Leonard Neidorf is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Its importance lies in a thorough review of the evidence, copious references to earlier work, wide coverage of the types of evidence used to decide the issue, and ahigh level ofargumentation.