English 121 09/15. Introduction to Old English.
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Introduction to Old English
“Around 2000 years ago there was a place in what is now the north of England which the Celtic Britons named Caer Ebruac. Then the Romans came and named it Eboracum. About 400 years after that the Anglo-Saxons came and named it Eoforwic. And about 400 years after that, the Vikings came, and named it Jorvik. From this, we have today’s form…”
From “The Origins of English” by D. Leith in English: history, diversity, and change”
Around 597, Roman missionaries, lead by Augustine, built monastic centers in modern-day England. These centers produced many religious texts and eventually led to Old English manuscripts, mostly from oral tales passed down through the centuries. The most famous of these is…
Old English does not really look like modern day English
Fæder ure þuþe eart on heofonum si þin nama gehalgod tobecume þin rice gewurþe þin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofonum urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us to dæg and forgyf us ure gyltas swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge ac alys us of yfele soþlice.
Oure fadir þat art in heuenes halwid be þi name; þi reume or kyngdom come to be. Be þi wille don in herþe as it is dounin heuene. yeue to us today oure eche dayes bred. And foryeue to us oure dettis þat is oure synnys as we foryeuen to oure dettouris þat is to men þat han synned in us. And lede us not into temptacion but delyuere us from euyl.
Our father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heauen. Giue us this day our daily bread. And forgiue us our debts as we forgiue our debters. And lead us not into temptation, but deliuer us from euill. Amen.
1. The woman saw the man.
the (nom) woman saw the (acc.) man
the (nom) man saw the (acc.) woman
2. Se guma gesah Þa cwen.
‘The woman saw the man.’
a. Seo cwen gesah Þone guman
b. Þone guman gesah seo cwen
‘The man saw the woman.’
Se guma gesah Þa cwen.
Þa cwen gesah se guma
SOE Chapter 2