Early Germanic Literature and Culture

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Brian Murdoch, Malcolm Kevin Read
Boydell & Brewer, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 334 pages
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The first volume of this set views the development of writing in German with respect to broad aspects of the early Germanic past, drawing on a range of disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, and philology in addition to literary history. The first part considers the whole concept of Germanic antiquity and the way in which it has been approached, examines classical writings about Germanic origins and the earliest Germanic tribes, and looks at the two great influences on the early Germanic world: the confrontation with the Roman Empire and the displacement of Germanic religion by Christianity. A chapter on orality -- the earliest stage of all literature -- provides a bridge to the earliest Germanic writings. The second part of the book is devoted to written Germanic -- rather than German -- materials, with a series of chapters looking first at the Runic inscriptions, then at Gothic, the first Germanic language to find its way onto parchment (in Ulfilas's Bible translation). The topic turns finally to what we now understand as literature, with general surveys of the three great areas of early Germanic literature: Old Norse, Old English, and Old High and Low German. A final chapter is devoted to the Old Saxon Heliand.Contributors: T. M. Andersson, Heinrich Beck, Graeme Dunphy, Klaus Dwel, G. Ronald Murphy, Adrian Murdoch, Brian Murdoch, Rudolf Simek, Herwig Wolfram.Brian Murdoch and Malcolm Read both teach in the German Department of the University of Stirling in Scotland.
  

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Contents

The Concept of Germanic Antiquity
25
The Literature of German Origins
39
Germania Romana
55
Germanic Religion and the Conversion to Christianity
73
Orality
103
Klaus Diiwel
121
Brian Murdoch
149
Old NorseIcelandic Literature
171
Robinson
205
Old High German and Continental Old Low German
235
The Old Saxon Heliand
263
Bibliography
285
Notes on the Contributors
317
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Brian O. Murdoch is Emeritus Professor of German in the School of Languages, Cultures, and Religions at Stirling University, Scotland.

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