Over the past decade, steady progress has been made in identifying the Latin witnesses to the Homiliary of Angers; however, no new copies of its Old English rendition have surfaced. The singular source of information about the vernacular adaptation and dissemination of this important preaching resource in Anglo-Saxon England remains the Taunton Fragment (Taunton, Somerset County Record Office, DD/SAS C/1193/77), two bifolia of unknown origin and uncertain date. The previous discussions, which centered around orthography, morphology, and morphosyntax, determined that the Taunton Fragment is a copy produced towards the end of the Old English period, probably deriving from an Anglian archetype. To complement these findings, the present study focuses on lexis. A close examination of the two layers of the Taunton Fragment’s vocabulary—the lexemes which primarily occur in texts of Anglian origin or exhibiting the influence of Anglian works and the lexemes which typically replace obsolescent lexis in late copies of Old English material—supports the hypothesis that the Old English translation preserved in the Taunton Fragment is a copy descending from an Anglian archetype produced in a scriptorium dominated by the late West-Saxon writing tradition in the second half of the eleventh century.
The Batavian name Pero is best understood as a derivative of Germanic *perō ‘pear’. Names that also feature the root per- are recorded from other parts of the Roman Empire in connection with Germanic speakers and seem to reflect the influence of pear growing in the Roman provinces. This influence was so great that the name of the p-rune also appears to have been derived from *perō ‘pear’. The early Germanic names Pero, Uxperus and Gamuxperus seem to represent occupation names, and are consistent with archaeobotanical evidence for the development of pear cultivation in the Germanic-speaking provinces of the Empire.
The reconstructed name of the early Germanic god *Wōdanaz is generally traced to a Proto-Indo-European root *u̯ā̆t- meaning ‘spiritually aroused, possessed’. The signification contrasts sharply with the attributes of the primal Germanic sky and war god *Tīwaz, whose name references the bright sky. In a cultural development not yet fully explained, the former displaces the latter as the chief god. In this article, a homophone of the above PIE root, designated *u̯ā̆t- (2), and meaning ‘to bow down, bend, stoop’, is posited as the root of a theonym meaning ‘the bent, stooped one’. He is identified as the Germanic psychopomp and lord of the dead with ties to an ancestor cult. From a largely quiescent role as the bowed or bent-knee god, he emerges from the underworld, when Germanic tribes resemanticized the reflex of the *u̯ā̆t- (2) root ‘bent, bowed’ – militarized it. The new chief god was understood as ‘the master of battle rage’, based on the prioritization of the signification inherent in the root *u̯ā̆t- (1).
The Norman Conquest and its tremendous linguistic impact on the English language is widely acknowledged among scholars and triggered a substantial body of literature. The great influx of French loanwords into the lexis of Middle English not only led to a profound restructuring of the lexicon, but also deeply affected the English morphology and patterns of derivation (Kastovsky 1994), as well as the English syntax to some extent (Smith 2012; Haeberli 2010). However, few studies have focused on a detailed analysis of these loans. Most researchers chose to focus on the quantitative aspects of the period of extensive lexical borrowing in Middle English, without dedicating much attention to the way and the extent to which French loanwords actually integrated and interacted with native vocabulary. This study thus sought to examine some excerpts of Middle English texts in more detail with the aim of getting closer to understanding whether these borrowings were already fully integrated in Middle English by the time these texts were written, whether this integration was determined by internal or external factors, and whether the process itself was abrupt or rather continuous.
Old Frisian religious texts are relatively scarce. In fact, several pastoral pieces survive amongst the large body of Old Frisian legal texts. In this context, the fifteenth-century legal collection known as Thet Autentica Riocht (‘The Authentic Law’) is of special interest because it includes a sequence of short didactic texts, dealing with Christian topics. The present study focuses on The Ten Signs in the Host, one of the catechetical texts of Thet Autentica Riocht. It presents a discussion of the text, its Latin sources, their manuscript tradition, and a Middle High German analogue of the Old Frisian text.
From verse 2593 to the end, the Middle Dutch Ferguut becomes a more independent adaptation of its model, the Old French Fergus: the author starts to operate on a deeper level, namely giving more space and importance to the main female character and, for instance, humanizing the hero’s figure. This article investigates the rewriting strategy adopted in the second part of the romance in order to understand what could have motivated the choices of the unknown poet.
The B text of the Old English Bede copied in the first half of the eleventh century into CCCC 41 by two scribes differs editorially, linguistically, and rhetorically from other witnesses. Although the two B scribes are generally credited with the alterations, Campbell (1951), Scragg (1990), and Waite (2014) point out that some of the distinctive traits of the B version may have originated in an anterior copy or copies. Waite (2014) also objects to the indiscriminate treatment of the work of the two B scribes as it obscures the contribution of each copyist. The present study examines seven distinctive linguistic characteristics of the B text. To determine which traits may derive from an anterior copy and which ones may be attributed to the B scribes, it compares and contrasts the Bede manuscripts and the B scribes’ practices. This inquiry not only sheds light on the methods of scribal revision but also the English of the first half of the eleventh century.