1001 Old English

ENG1001HF L0101

Old English I:  Introduction to Old English



Course Description:

An introduction for reading knowledge to the oldest literary form of English, with discussion of readings drawn from the surviving prose and verse literature. 

Old English is the language spoken and written in England between roughly 500 and 1100 AD, and it offers a window to the past through a wide range of beautiful and evocative texts.  In this course, you will encounter the very oldest English literature in its original form—the tales of kings, battles, heroes, monsters, and saints that have inspired writers from John Milton to J.R.R. Tolkien.  Because Old English is almost like a foreign language to Modern English speakers, the course will begin with intensive work on the basics of Old English grammar and translation practice before we move on to more in-depth study of the literature and culture of early medieval England. 

Course Reading List:

Peter Baker, Introduction to Old English, 3rd edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge, The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature, 2nd edition, Cambridge UP, 2013.*

Jacqueline Stodnick and Renée R. Trilling, A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Studies, Blackwell, 2012.*

*available online through U of T Library

Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements:

  • Quizzes and homework                    10%
  • In-class presentations                       10%
  • Daily preparation and translation     20%
  • Paleography assignment                  20%
  • Two unit exams                                 20%
  • Cumulative exam                               20%

Previous acquaintance with Latin, German, or other highly inflected language is useful but not essential.

Term: F-TERM (September 2024 to December 2024)
Date/Time: Mondays 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm (2 hours) / Thursdays 11:00 am - 1:00 pm  (2 hours) NB: STUDENTS MUST ATTEND BOTH CLASSES EACH WEEK: M2-4 / R11-1

Location: JHB 718 (Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street)
Delivery: In-Person