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The Transmission of "Beowulf" – Language, Culture, and Scribal Behavior - Cornell Scholarship Online
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The Transmission of "Beowulf": Language, Culture, and Scribal Behavior

Leonard Neidorf


Beowulf is a foundational work of Western literature that originated in mysterious circumstances. This book addresses philological questions that are fundamental to the study of the poem. Is Beowulf the product of unitary or composite authorship? How substantially did scribes alter the text during its transmission, and how much time elapsed between composition and preservation? The book answers these questions by distinguishing linguistic and metrical regularities, which originate with the Beowulf poet, from patterns of textual corruption, which descend from copyists involved in the poem’s tra ... More

Keywords: Beowulf, poem, Old English poems, linguistic change, cultural change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9781501705113
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501705113.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Leonard Neidorf, author
Nanjing University