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  • Writer's pictureAn Oxford Historian

Electronic Beowulf

A wonderful resource for exploring the manuscript culture behind the single surviving version of the epic poem Beowulf.

This week I wanted to highlight a great resource for the study of one of England's most famous poems - the Electronic Beowulf, which you can find here.

A plain text presentation of the text is matched with an HD image of each of the manuscript pages, allowing for proper paleographical analysis. There's a handy search function to quickly and easily identify specific passages. Sadly, the site itself does not provide a translation, but we are more than amply served in this department: my preference is still for the Seamus Heaney edition. Alternatively, the Old English Poetry in Facsimile website provides a free translation, along with a set of other Old English texts.

But the best feature of this site is, undoubtedly, the audio recordings of a dramatic reading of the text. It's a great way to experience the poem within an oral presentation, which we assume is how it was originally intended to be experienced.

Whack the recording on, grab a drink and enjoy an absolute classic.

  • Interested in history and archaeology, and keen to access more information and resources? I have recently released a set of free, online notes for the history of 'Anglo-Saxon' England - this is available here.

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  • Check out my previous articles on my own personal PhD research on Anglo-Saxon (here), Viking (here) and obscene (here) nicknames.

  • A new Deep-Dive article on the Westfield Farm cemetery can be found here.

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