[Milton-L] Off Topic . . . But Relevant to English Literature

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Sat Sep 26 08:21:02 EDT 2009

Thanks very much for the reply, Matthew.  Well, yes -- I expect loan
words to start appearing sometime after the first time the first
Norseman or the first German kills the first Roman or the other way
around. At some later point, Anglo -Saxon and Norse languages stop
being written in runes and start being written in an adapted Roman
script.  But the appearance of loan words is different from
Anglo-Saxons actually writing entire texts (or even inscriptions)
completely in Latin.  This is a high degree of assimilation and not
what I'd expect until after the Anglo-Saxons have been Christianized.
Beowulf, from my understanding, dates somewhere between the 8th and
11th century. Knowledge of Caedmon is really from Bede, isn't it?
Late 7th - early 8th C, but he records the conversion of the A/S in
England as if it occurred in fits and starts.

I guess the find being dated around the 7thC makes it possible to have
been the possession of earliest A/S converts to Christianity in
England.  But we should keep in mind Denmark wasn't officially
Christian until the mid 10thC AD.

Jim R

On Sat, Sep 26, 2009 at 12:54 AM, Matthew Stallard <stallard at ohio.edu> wrote:
> Jim,
> I'm glad that you are interested in this. All of the very earliest
> Anglo-Saxon texts that we possess contain some words that were borrowed from
> Latin. It was unavoidable. You'll find them in Caedmon and the Junius XI
> mss. including the Saxon "Genesis A," "Genesis B," "Daniel," and "Christ and
> Satan."

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