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Anglo-Saxon Keywords

ISBN: 978-0-470-65762-1
350 pages
May 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Anglo-Saxon Keywords (0470657626) cover image


Anglo-Saxon Keywords presents a series of entries that reveal the links between modern ideas and scholarship and the central concepts of Anglo-Saxon literature, language, and material culture.
  • Reveals important links between central concepts of the Anglo-Saxon period and issues we think about today
  • Reveals how material culture—the history of labor, medicine, technology, identity, masculinity, sex, food, land use—is as important as the history of ideas
  • Offers a richly theorized approach that intersects with many disciplines inside and outside of medieval studies
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Abbreviations x

Introduction xii

A 1

Aesthetics 1

Agriculture 4

Alcohol 8

Anglo-Saxonism 11

Animals 15

Apocalypse 19

Art 22

Author 26

B 30

Behavior 30

Bible 34

Book 37

Borough 41

C 45

Charters 45

Children 48

Christianity 52

Coinage 56

Cross 59

D 63

Danelaw 63

Death 67

Diet 70

Drama 73

Dreams 77

E 81

Easter 81

Emotions 84

Environment 88

Exile 92

F 96

Fashion 96

Femininity 99

Fishing 103

Franks 106

Friendship 110

G 114

Gender 114

Genre 118

H 122

Hall 122

History 125

Hoard 129

Homeland 133

Homily 136

Hunting 140

I 144

Identity 144

Individuality 148

Ireland 151

L 156

Labor 156

Law 159

Literacy 163

Liturgy 166

M 171

Marriage 171

Masculinity 175

Medicine 178

Mind 182

Music 185

N 190

Nature 190

Norman Conquest 193

O 198

Orality 198

P 202

Paganism 202

Peace 206

Peace-weaver 209

Penance 213

Piety 216

R 221

Race 221

Recreation 224

Reform 228

Rome 231

S 236

Scandinavia 236

Settlement 240

Sex 244

Slavery 247

T 252

Technology 252

Thegn 256

Trade 259

Tradition 263

Translation 266

Trifunctional model 270

V 274

Viking 274

W 278

War 278

Works Cited 283

Index 319

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Author Information

Allen J. Frantzen is Professor of English and Faculty Scholar at Loyola University Chicago. He has written several books on early English culture and literature, including Desire for Origins: New Language, Old English, and Teaching the Tradition; Before the Closet: Same Sex Love from "Beowulf" to "Angels in America", and Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War.

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“It is accessible to newcomers, while offering new perspectives and concise summations of scholarship for researchers. The book is strewn with valuable insights on almost every page. The compact nature of the discussions inevitably leaves the reader with more questions than answers, but this serves well to excite further interest and to stimulate creative, dynamic engagement with the topics.”  (Speculum, 1 January 2015)

“Summing Up: Recommended.  Graduate students and researchers/faculty.”  (Choice, 1 November 2012)

"This is much more than a select dictionary or encyclopedia. Frantzen explores and evaluates terms that are constantly used of Anglo-Saxon culture, in a way that first defamiliarizes what we might think they mean and then refamiliarizes us with their depth and importance. The alphabetical ordering is semantically random, but that makes this the most compellingly readable list I think I shall ever encounter."— John Hines, Cardiff University

"A virtual cornucopia, including details on such mundanities as diet, hair styles, and the multitudinous terms for sexual intercourse, Frantzen's Anglo-Saxon Keywords is a celebration and validation of the rich cultural complexity of the Anglo-Saxons." "—Robert Bjork, Arizona State University

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