The Canonicity of Two Edgar Poems

The Canonicity of Two Edgar Poems

Weale, J. C.

The Heroic Age Issue 3 Summer 2000


Very often one encounters debate as to exactly which texts can best be tailored to a beginner’s course in Anglo-Saxon, and dissatisfaction with the teaching canon as it is presently defined by the available readers. Introductory Old English courses must consider not only the language of the texts, but their cultural resonance and their usefulness as tools to illustrate and refer to the wider corpus of Old English literature. Whilst the texts available in readers do allow this, teachers of Anglo-Saxon often wish to use extra-canonical texts to illustrate cultural or literary points which particularly interest them. This short piece offers an extremely brief sketch of a lecture which uses two passages of heightened rhetoric from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to illustrate to students the political interplay of Church and State during this period.

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