Reading La3amon’s Brut

Approaches and Explorations

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For La3amon, or Lawman (both forms are used), a parish priest living on the Welsh March c.1200, the criteria of language, race and territory all provided ways of defining the nation state, which is why his Brut commands a diverse readership to-day. The range of view-points in this book reflects the breadth and complexity of La3amon’s own vision of the way his world is moulded by past conquests and racial tensions. The Brut is an open-ended narrative of Britain, its peoples, and its place-names as they changed under new rulers, and tells, for the first time in English, the rise and fall of Arthur, highlighting his role in the unfolding history of Britain. Beginning with its legendary founder, Brutus, the story is imagined anew, and although it concludes with an Anglo-Saxon kingdom, La3amon’s closing words remind us that changes will come: i-wurðe þet iwurðe: i-wurðe Godes wille. Amen.
This book offers detailed discussion and new perspectives. Its contributors explore aspects of behaviour and attitudes, personal and national identity and governance, language, metre, and the reception of La3amon’s Brut in later times. Comparisons are made with Latin writings and with French, Welsh, Spanish and Icelandic, placing La3amon firmly within a European network of readers and redactors.
The book will interest those working on medieval chronicles, as well as specialists in medieval law, custom, English language and literature, and comparative literature.
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Review Quotes

“This carefully edited volume gives readers access to a wide variety of approaches to Laȝamon’s/Lawman’s (the authors use both versions of the poet’s name) Brut as well as to groundbreaking research on this important early Middle English poem.”
- Fiona Tolhurst, Florida Gulf Coast University, in Speculum , vol. 91.3 2016, pp. 748-749

Table of contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
List of figures
Rosamund Allen, Jane Roberts and Carole Weinberg: Introduction
Approaching the Brut
Rosamund Allen: Did Lawman Nod, or Is It We that Yawn?
Haruko Momma: The Brut as Saxon Literature: The New Philologists Read Lawman
Simon Meecham-Jones: “þe tiden of þisse londe” – Finding and Losing Wales in La3amon’s Brut
Andrew Wehner: The Severn: Barrier or Highway?
Behaviour and Customs
Eric Stanley: The Political Notion of Kingship in La3amon’s Brut
John Brennan: Queer Masculinity in Lawman’s Brut
Kenneth J. Tiller: La3amon’s Leir: Language, Succession, and History
Joseph D. Parry: Losing the Past: Cezar’s Moment of Time in Lawman’s Brut
Daniel Donoghue: Lawman, Bede, and the Context of Slavery
Andrew Breeze: Drinking of Blood, Burning of Women
Charlotte A.T. Wulf: The Coronation of Arthur and Guenevere in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae, Wace’s Roman de Brut, and Lawman’s Brut
Barry Windeatt: La3amon’s Gestures: Body Language in the Brut
Words and Meanings
Hannah McKendrick Bailey: Conquest by Word: The Meeting of Languages in La3amon’s Brut
Ian Kirby: A Tale of Two Cities: London and Winchester in La3amon’s Brut
Margaret Lamont: When Are Saxons “Ænglisc”?: Language and Readerly Identity in La3amon’s Brut
Joanna Bellis: Mapping the National Narrative: Place-name Etymology in La3amon’s Brut and Its Sources
Christine Elsweiler: The Lexical Field “Warrior” in La3amon’s Brut – A Comparative Analysis of the Two Versions
†Deborah Marcum: The Language of Law: lond and hond in La3amon’s Brut
Scott Kleinman: Frið and Grið: La3amon and the Legal Language of Wulfstan
Erik Kooper: La3amon’s Prosody: Caligula and Otho – Metres Apart
Jane Roberts: Getting La3amon’s Brut into Sharper Focus
Sources and Explorations
Carole Weinberg: Julius Caesar and the Language of History in La3amon’s Brut
Neil Cartlidge: La3amon’s Ursula and the Influence of Roman Epic
Gail Ivy Berlin: Constructing Tonwenne: A Gesture and Its History
Judith Weiss: Wace to La3amon via Waldef
Sarah Baccianti: Translating England in Medieval Iceland: Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannie and Breta sǫgur
Jennifer Miller: La3amon’s Welsh
M. Leigh Harrison: The Wisdom of Hindsight in La3amon and Some Contemporaries
Gareth Griffith: Reading the Landscapes of La3amon’s Arthur: Place, Meaning and Intertextuality
Elizabeth J. Bryan: La3amon’s Brut and the Vernacular Text: Widening the Context
Bibliography
Notes on Contributors
Index

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