Introduction to Old English B

Subject 106-029 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1.5-hour seminars per week
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week

Usually 12.5 points of first year English and successful completion of Introduction to Old English A.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Bernard Muir

Subject Overview:

This subject is an introduction to the language and literature of the Anglo-Saxons from 750-1150, focusing on both prose and poetry, which is read in the original. Students will be taught advanced Old English grammar and syntax, and will examine medieval poetic and rhetorical theory. The subject also investigates the intellectual and institutional history of the period in order to contextualise the literary developments. On completion of the subject students should have acquired a sound linguistic knowledge of Old English and should also have developed a sense of the significance of Medieval literature to the history, and further study, of English literature and language.

  • acquire a basic knowledge of the English language in its earliest form;
  • acquire basic understanding of the structure of the Indo-European language family structure, and a more advanced knowledge of the sub-groups of the Germanic branch;
  • become familiar with the major cultural and linguistic impulses that shaped English during the medieval period;
  • become equipped to undertake more advanced research in this and related areas of literary studies and language acquisition.

A 2000 word essay 50% (due late in the semester); class presentation and translation exercises 25% (completed throughout the semester); class quizzes on grammar and translation 25% (completed throughout the semester). Assessment submitted late without a formal extension will bepenalised at a rate of 1% per day late. Assessment will not be accepted in electronic format.

Note: Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts:
  • A Guide to Old English (B. Mitchell & R. Robinson), Blackwell, 6th ed
Recommended Texts:
  • Anglo-Saxon Poetry (A J Bradley), Dent/Everyman
  • The Age of Bede (Farmer), Penguin
  • Alfred The Great (S Keynes & M Lapidge), Penguin
  • Old English Literature (Daniel Donoghue), Blackwell 2004
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have acquired specific generic skills in the following areas:

  • developing critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape persuasive arguments;

  • applying research skills (especially in library and on-line resources) and critical methods to an emerging field of inquiry;

  • communicating arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in group discussions;

  • detailed readings of a range of texts in different media;

  • thinking critically about the relations between academic and popular forms of knowledge of the past.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient and Medieval Studies
Ancient and Medieval Studies
Ancient, Medieval && Early Modern Studies Major
English Language Studies
English Language Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major
European Studies

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