Thursday, February 20, 2003

I had a palaeography class last night. It is only a beginners class and everyone there seems to be over seventy apart from me. We are working our way through English scripts from the eighth to the sixteenth century over two terms so it has been Saxon all the way so far. Still, reading off photocopies of the Book of Kells, the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Leningrad Bede has been well worth while. Our first bit of coursework is to transcribe some Old English (not sure what it is of yet). It would be fun to learn Old English too although there is not a great deal of it to read and only Beowulf is really famous. Is it worth learning a language just for one poem? Also it is inflected like Latin and more like German than modern English so it is rather harder than might be expected for a direct ancestor of your own language. Maybe one day and I'll keep an eye out for a beginners guide.

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