Sunday, August 7, 2005

Sidelights On Teutonic History During The Migration Period

Sidelights On Teutonic History During The Migration Period Cover

Book: Sidelights On Teutonic History During The Migration Period by Mg Clarke

THE following chapters are the outcome of two periods of stud}7 undertaken during the tenure of research scholarships awarded by Girton College, and form an attempt to discover the amount of historical truth under lying the allusions to persons and events in the Old English heroic poems. The essay deals with an aspect of these poems, which has not, so far as I know, been treated systematically byanyone who has previously written on the subject. Thus, in the absence of any model, I have had to work on independent lines, especially as regards the grouping and arrangement of different traditions, and the method of discussion followed in the several chapters. The actual arrangement has been adopted for convenience of discus sion, according to the nationality of the persons concerned, except in cases where a particular section forms a complete epic narrative with a personal (as opposed to a national) interest of its own: in these cases the tradition has been discussed under the heading of the poem in which it is contained, or that of the character round whom the
narrative centres.

Each chapter is arranged thus :

I. An account of the tradition respecting the nation or hero in question, pieced together from the scattered allusions in the poems.
II. The evidence of other authorities dealing with the same traditions or with the same characters.
III. A comparative view of the evidence of these authorities in its relation to the substance of the Old English poems.
IV. A summary of the inferences as to historical truth which may justifiably be deduced from the allusions in the poems.

The positive results obtained are often extremely meagre, and in no case do they make any claim to finality. Though much work has been done in this direction, much still remains: and any value which this study may possess lies chiefly in exploring new possibilities and in indicating the paths along which further research may in time lead to more definite conclusions.

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