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To search the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, click here.


The Electronic Beowulf
King Alfred's Grammar

Baker, Intro to OE
UMass Library

Tinker, Beowulf Translations 1909.
Klaeber, Beowulf 1922
Chambers, Beowulf Intro 1921
Zupitza, Beowulf Facsimile 1882

Google Books
Search Anglo-Saxon Poetry
Old English Newsletter Bib

Germanic Lexicon Project
Bosworth-Toller (partial)
Thesaurus of Old English

Medieval Sourcebook
Norse Saga Net
Siever's Heliand
Bible (Douay-Rheims)

British Library:

Lindisfarne Gospels
Lit Manuscripts
Library Catalogue

Manuscripts of St. Gall

Viking Ship Museum


S. Harris
Office: Bartlett 259
Office Hours: By appointment.
545-6598 | sharris at

  Beowulf | Notes

PDF of Beowulf

Translation Hints:

Find the clause boundary (semicolon or period).
Find words you know (pronouns, articles, etc.)
Isolate endings, and find words without typical endings: possible subjects?
To the dictionary: get meanings
To the chart: get syntactic information
Get poetic.


Bosworth-Toller Dictionary is here.

Fontes Anglo-Saxonici is here (an on-line database of sources of Old English).

Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England is here (through UMass only).

Allen Frantzen, Anglo-Saxon Keywords, a guide to major topics in Old English studies (through UMass only).

Stewart Lee of Oxford has a site where he's invited the public to post websites.

Here's a blog on starting to read OE. And here is Mitchell & Robinson's Guide to Old English (through UMass only).

One step from Old English is Old Norse, which is still comprehensible to the people of Iceland. here is an Icelandic newspaper (note the eths and thorns), and an election video from the Best Party.

And more seriously, a phenomenal on-line edition of a series of books called penitentials. These were handbooks used by priests to determine what kind of penance a person had to do. It shows you what the original, hand-written books looked like.

And a recently discovered hoard of treasure, the likes of which have never been seen before.

Benjamin Bagby doing his unique thing. Here are the first lines that Bagby sings (starting at about line 102 of Beowulf):

    Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten, mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold, fen ond fæsten; fifelcynnes eard wonsæli wer weardode hwile, siþðan him scyppend forscrifen hæfde in Caines cynne.
    [107] Þone cwealm gewræc ece drihten, þæs þe he Abel slog; ne gefeah he þære fæhðe, ac he hine feor forwræc, metod for þy mane, mancynne fram.
    [111] Þanon untydras ealle onwocon, eotenas ond ylfe ond orcneas, swylce gigantas, þa wið gode wunnon lange þrage; he him ðæs lean forgeald.
    [115] Gewat ða neosian, syþðan niht becom, hean huses, hu hit Hringdene æfter beorþege gebun hæfdon.
    [118] Fand þa ðær inne æþelinga gedriht swefan æfter symble; sorge ne cuðon, wonsceaft wera.
    [120] Wiht unhælo, grim ond grædig, gearo sona wæs, reoc ond reþe, ond on ræste genam þritig þegna, þanon eft gewat huðe hremig to ham faran, mid þære wælfylle wica neosan.
    [126] Ða wæs on uhtan mid ærdæge Grendles guðcræft gumum undyrne; þa wæs æfter wiste wop up ahafen, micel morgensweg.

And an example of (better) folk singing while plucking on strings (in this case, two violins).

And Eddie Izzard on the English language (or, how you can use you Old English to buy a cow): Part 1; and Part 2. Featuring the incomparable Elaine Treharne.

Serious resource: Vladimir Orel, A Handbook of Germanic Etymology (free through UMass). A dictionary and more, arranged by proto-Germanic headword.

Roy Liuzza's collection of important essays on Old English (through UMass only)