All these titles are available from Anglo-Saxon Books.
Runes: Literacy in the Germanic Iron Age
This book is the result of four decades of research in to early history of runic writing in Northern Europe.
This up-to-date survey investigates the origins of the runes and the reasons for their creation. The culture which devised the runes must have been familiar with one or more existing alphabets, but what combination of factors impelled the script’s creation? How was it transmitted from generation to generation? Who used it, when and how?
The author divides the thousand-year history from inception to widespread adoption into phases and traces the runes’ transition from the secret of a closed social class to the common property of entire societies. In doing this he takes into account recent finds from Britain, Scandinavia and the Continent together with new interpretations of old finds.
Paperback: 428 pages. Publisher: Anglo-Saxon Books (25 July 2016). ISBN-10: 1898281750. ISBN-13: 978-1898281757.
Remaking the Sutton Hoo Stone: The Ansell-Roper Replica and its Context co-authored with Paul Mortimer
The Sutton Hoo stone has been described as a ‘whetstone’ and as a ‘sceptre’. The making of a museum-quality replica by accomplished craftsmen has revealed much about the skill of those who made the original and the symbolism it contains. The book includes a detailed account of the making of the replica, the processes involved, materials and tools. The authors go on to discuss some aspects of the symbolism of the stone, and its implications for kingship and religion in Conversion Period England. Illustrations – 33 colour and 106 black and white. Also includes background articles about Anglo-Saxon society, and a summary of the main literature about the Sutton Hoo stone.
The Elder Gods: The Otherworld in Early England
The earliest physical evidence for a Germanic presence in Britain is found in 1st century AD inscriptions from the area of Hadrian’s Wall. From at least that time until the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon kings in the late 600s Britain had a heathen Germanic culture. The beliefs and superstitions that were part of that broad culture varied from place to place and from time to time but most sprang from a common origin.
After a presence of six centuries a new wave of heathens arrived in Britain. Scandinavians brought with them beliefs, attitudes and a world view that were much like those promoted by Anglo-Saxon heathenry. Although their outlooks shared the same roots and were very similar, they had evolved differently. This Scandinavian addition extended the heathen period to almost a thousand years during which heathen beliefs developed in line with social and ideological change, which included competition with Christianity. The latter had the great advantage of being promoted by a powerful centralised organisation which heathens did not have.
The purpose of the work is to bring together a range of evidence for pre-Christian beliefs and attitudes to the Otherworld drawn from archaeology, linguistics, literary studies and comparative mythology. The English tradition was rich and varied, and influenced the worldview of the later mediaeval and Norse societies. Aspects of this tradition are with us still in the 21st century.
Tamworth – Ancient Capital of Mercia
A short examination of the place of Tamworth and the history of Mercia in the Anglo-Saxon period.
Wayland’s Work – Anglo-Saxon Art, Myth and Material Culture 4th-7th Century
Stephen Pollington with Lindsay Kerr and Brett Hammond
This book is big in size and scope. Here you will find new analysis, images and information about early English art and the culture that inspired it. Wayland’s Work contains 226 black & white drawings and 62 colour plates. Nearly all of these images were commissioned for this book – many show previously unpublished artifacts. Nothing on this scale has been achieved for nearly 100 years. This is the book about the origins and cultural significance of Anglo-Saxon art.
It has sometimes been suggested that in all the metalwork and archaeological oddments we have from the Anglo-Saxon period, there is nothing one could call ‘art’. The contributors to this book believe that not only was there considerable artistry in the output of early Anglo-Saxon workshops, but that it was vigorous, complex and technically challenging.
The designs found on Anglo-Saxon artefacts is never mere ornament: in a society which used visual and verbal signals to demonstrate power, authority, status and ethnicity, no visual statement was ever empty of meaning. The aim of this work is to prompt a better understanding of Anglo-Saxon art and the society which produced it.
All three contributors have collaborated on the book with Stephen Pollington responsible for the text, Lindsay Kerr for the black and white drawings, and Brett Hammond for (with the exception of the Staffordshire Hoard) artefact research and colour photography. Between them they have assembled in these pages much information and many previously unpublished illustrations which show a wide variety of artefacts, designs and motifs. It is hoped that this will help bring about a wider knowledge and appreciation of Anglo-Saxon art. 226 black & white illustrations – 62 colour plates. ISBN 978 1898281566 544 pages 30cm x 30cm.
This book has been written as a series of simple questions and concise answers, in the form of an FAQ document. The inspiration for the book comes from the many occasions when the author was asked questions such as “Did they have fire?” or “Didn’t they all just wear skins?” or “Did they really have metal?” Perhaps the inability to distinguish between Anglo-Saxons and Palaeolithic cave-dwellers stems from the fact that the Anglo-Saxons are almost invisible in our modern educational time-line – the salient points are ‘Romans’, ‘Vikings’, ‘Normans’, ‘Tudors’ and ‘Victorians’ and everything else melds into a generic groups of fur-wearing, club-wielding savages. More serious – and much harder to answer in a few words – are questions such as “How do you know what Old English sounded like?” or “Couldn’t they have kept worshipping their heathen gods away from the church, so it would never have been recorded?” or “What makes you think they had sails on their ships?” These are intelligent questions about which many books and articles have been written, and the answers are perhaps still not accepted as definitive by all. In these pages you will find an attempt to answer some of those awkward questions you want to ask – or would rather someone else asked. 32 illustrations – 11 in colour 128 pages soft covers ISBN 978 1 898281 50 4.
Anglo-Saxon Burial Mounds
Most people have heard of the ship burial at Sutton Hoo. Many are aware that there were other similar mounds nearby which once contained rich graves. Perhaps less well known is that the magnificent royal burial in Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo was only the most splendid so far discovered of a series of rich graves of the same period. This is the first book-length treatment of Anglo-Saxon Barrows in English. It brings together some of the evidence from Sutton Hoo and elsewhere in England for these magnificent burials and sets them in their historical, religious and social context. Part 1 describes the physical construction and symbolic meaning of these monuments. Part 2 provides a comprehensive listing of known Anglo-Saxon barrows with notes on their contents and the circumstances of their discovery. The appendices deal with literary and place-name evidence. 22 illustrations – 11 in colour 264 pages soft covers ISBN 978 189828151 1.
The English Warrior from earliest times till 1066
Anglo-Saxon warriors, weapons and warfare. This important work is not intended to be a bald listing of the battles and campaigns from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other sources, but rather it is an attempt to get below the surface of Anglo-Saxon warriorhood and to investigate the rites, social attitudes, mentality and mythology of the warfare of those times. “An under-the-skin study of the role, rights, duties, psyche and rituals of the Anglo-Saxon warrior. The author combines original translations from Norse and Old English primary sources with archaeological and linguistic evidence for an in-depth look at the warrior, his weapons, tactics and logistics. A very refreshing, innovative and well-written piece of scholarship that illuminates a neglected period of English history.” Time Team Booklists, Channel 4 Television Appendices offer original translations of the three principal Old English military poems, the battles of Maldon, Finnsburh and Brunanburh. 38 figures and illustrations. 272 pages 10″ x 7″ (255mm x 180mm) hardback ISBN 1-898281-10-6.
Part 1 – The Warrior; Status of the Warrior; Warriors of the English Conquest; Earliest Times?; King, Warrior and Tribe; Warrior Rituals; Beasts of Battle, Gods of War; The Warrior as Poet; The Beginnings of English Warriorhood; The Warrior’s Way; Shield-maidens – Women at War; Bearshirts and Wolfcoats; The English Military: from the Beginnings to the First Danish XE “Danes, Danish” Wars; Later Anglo-Saxon Military Organization; Part II – Weaponry; Weapon Vocabulary; The Sword; The Spear; The Axe; The Shield; The Body Armour; The Helmet; The Seax; The Bow; Miscellaneous (War-hammer, pole-arms, whetstone, standard, horn); Part III – Warfare; The Nature of War in Anglo-Saxon England; Strategy and Tactics; On the Field of Battle; Horses and Waggons; Earthworks and Strongholds; After the Battle; Appendices; The Battle of Brunanburh; The Battle of Finnsburh; The Battle of Maldon; Bibliography.
Mead Hall – The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England
Communal meals were an important part of Anglo-Saxon society. They were enjoyed by nobles and yeomen, warriors, farmers, churchmen and laity. Some of the feasts were informal communal gatherings (gebeorscipe) while others were formal ritual gatherings (symbel). Using the evidence of Old English texts – including the epic Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, Stephen Pollington shows that the idea of feasting remained central to early English social traditions long after the physical reality had declined in importance. The words of the poets and saga-writers are supported by a wealth of archaeological data dealing with halls, settlement layouts and magnificent feasting gear found in many early Anglo-Saxon graves. Three appendices: Hall-themes in Old English verse; Old English and translated texts; The structure and origins of the warband. 24 illustrations 288 pages 10″ x 7″ (248mm x 170mm) hardback ISBN 1-898281-30-0.
Rudiments of Runelore
The purpose of this book is to provide both a comprehensive introduction for those coming to the subject for the first time, and a handy and inexpensive reference work for those with some knowledge of the subject.
The Abecedarium Nordmannicum and the English, Norwegian and Icelandic rune poems are included as are two rune riddles, extracts from the Cynewulf poems and new work on the three Brandon runic inscriptions and the Norfolk Tiw runes. Headings include: The Origin of the Runes; Runes among the Germans; The Germanic Rune Row and the Common Germanic Language; The English Runic Tradition; The Scandinavian Runic Tradition; Runes and Pseudo-runes; The Use of Runes; Bind Runes and Runic Cryptography. Includes rune tables and illustrations. 96 pages A5 soft covers ISBN 1-898281-16-5.
Wordcraft – Concise English to Old English – Dictionary and Thesaurus
Wordcraft provides Old English equivalents to the commoner modern words in both a dictionary and thesaurus. Previously the lack of an accessible guide to vocabulary deterred many would-be students of Old English. Wordcraft combines the core words relating to everyday life with a selection of terms connected with society, culture, technology, religion, perception, emotion and expression to encompass all aspects of Anglo-Saxon experience. The Thesaurus presents vocabulary relevant to a wide range of individual topics in alphabetical lists, thus making it easy to find specific areas of interest. Each thematic listing is cross-reference from the Dictionary. The two sections will be of invaluable assistance to students of the language, as well as those with either a general or a specific interest in the Anglo-Saxon period. 240 pages A5 soft covers ISBN 1-898281-02-5 Cover design may vary from illustration.
An Introduction to the Old English Language and its Literature
The purpose of this general introduction to Old English is not to deal with the teaching of Old English but to dispel some misconceptions about the language and to give an outline of its structure and its literature. Some basic knowledge about the origins of the English language and its early literature is essential to an understanding of the early period of English history and the present form of the language. This revised and expanded edition provides a useful guide for those contemplating embarking on a linguistic journey. 64 pages A5 soft covers ISBN 1-898281-06-8.
First Steps in Old English
If you want to teach yourself Old English (Anglo-Saxon) this is the book. A complete, well presented and easy to use Old English language course which contains all the exercises and texts needed to learn Old English. This course has been designed to be of help to a wide range of students, from those who are teaching themselves at home, to undergraduates who are learning Old English as part of their English degree course. The author is aware that some individuals have little aptitude for learning languages and that many have difficulty with grammar. To help overcome these problems he has adopted a step by step approach that enables students of differing abilities to advance at their own pace. The course includes practice exercises. This revised and expanded edition was published October 2006 256 pages 10 x 6½ inches (245 x 170mm) soft covers ISBN 1-898281-38-6 Some of the texts used in this book are read by the author on the two CDs Old English Poems, Prose and Lessons.
Leechcraft – Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing
An unequaled examination of every aspect of early English healing, including the use of plants, amulets, charms, and prayer. Other topics include: Anglo-Saxon witchcraft, shaminism, tree-lore, omens, dreams, runes, gods, elves, dwarfs, and theories of magic. The author has brought together a wide range of evidence for the English healing tradition, and presented it in a clear and readable manner. The three key Old English texts are reproduced in full, accompanied by new translations: – Bald’s Third Leechbook – Old English Herbarium Apulei – Lacnunga 28 illustrations 544 pages 9.5″ x 6.5″ (248mm x 170mm) soft covers ISBN 1-898281-47-4.
Old English Poems, Prose and Lessons – 2 CDs
These two CDs can be used with First Steps in Old English or just listened to for the pleasure of hearing Old English spoken well. Kings & Dates – CD 1: 1. Capture of the Five Boroughs; 2. Alfred on Athelney – ASC 878; 3. Cynewulf and Cyneheard – ASC 755; 4. The Danes’ Harrying – ASC 997; 5. The Arrival of the English – Bede; 6. Battle of Brunanburh Crime & Punishment; 7. Extracts from the Laws of King Ine; 8. The Ordeal Health & Wellbeing; 9. Leechdoms – medical texts; 10. Charm Against a Dwarf; 11. Charm Against a Wen; 12. Charm Against Waterelf Sickness; 13. Nine Herbs Charm; 14. Journey Charm; 15. Wið Ymbe – for a swarm of bees Verse; 16. Wulf & Eadwacer; 17. Funeral of Scyld Scefing – Beowulf; 18. The Wanderer; 19. Deor; 20. Beowulf’s Greeting – Beowulf; 21. Durham General – CD 2; 22-38. Reading Exercises; 39-41. Pronunciation Guide; 42-46. Conversational Old English 2 CDs ISBN 1-898281-46-7.