A dragon's hoardSep 26, 2009 by libjpn
Sep 26, 2009, 23:50:21 JanieM wrote:
I did a year of Old English in grad school, based on Beowulf. It satisfied part of my language requirement -- a fun way to do it.
There was a guy in the class who was a re-enactor -- I think he was part of the Society for Creative Anachronism. He talked a lot about debates over the question of whether the spears mentioned in the poetry were one-handed or two-handed. He was absolutely sure they were two-handed, because he himself couldn't possibly wield one with one hand. I privately thought that he wasn't the right one to judge, since he wasn't very big and he wasn't remotely an athlete. Just because he wouldn't have been able to throw a football fifty yards or run the mile in less than 4 minutes wouldn't mean that no one else could. Even allowing for the possibility that people were on average a lot smaller in those days, the difference between a well-trained athlete/warrior and a wimply little scholar would be considerable. ;) (Classing myself with the latter, of course.)
Also, I have always been tickled by being able to recognize that the poetry Tolkiem wrote for the Rohirrim in LOTR is modeled on the alliterative and rhythmic patterns of Old English poetry. (Maybe the only thing I treasure from my grad school years!)
[i]We heard the horns in the hills ringing,
the swords shining in the South-kingdom.
Steeds went striding to the Stoningland,
as wind in the morning. War was kindled.
There Theoden fell, Thengling mighty,
to his golden halls and green pastures
in the Northern fields never returning,
high lord of the host. [/i]
Sep 27, 2009, 02:50:09 someotherdude wrote:
This is some serious ethnic studies, right here!