Titles from Witan

(Coming Soon) Alfred Becker’s The King’s Box

Author: Dr. Alfred Becker

Summary: The runic and Roman texts appearing on the Franks (Auzon) Casket are well-known to students of Old English. The iconography is likewise familiar but contains many unusual features which are seldom discussed in detail. Dr. Becker submits the runes and imagery to close examination using heuristic principles. The result of his study is a re-evaluation of the entire iconographic and textual program of the box as a heroic course of life and the prosperity of a warrior king, based on a sequence of conceptual runes whose meaning determines the choice of images as emblems. At the same time, the number and value of the runes establish an eternal calendar backed by an astronomical cycle (comparable to the Nebra sky disk). A separate chapter is devoted to the only image referring to Norse sources, a representation of Welund, the mythical goldsmith, the emblem of prosperity.

Titles from Witan

Ælfric of Eynsham’s Letter to Sigeweard: An Edition, Commentary, and Translation

Author: Larry J. Swain
Published: May 2017
ISBN: 9781386074472
Cost: $3.99

Summary: The Letter to Sigeweard, also known by the title it bears in one of the manuscripts, Libellus de Veteri Testamento et Novo, is Ælfric’s response to a request from an Anglo-Saxon nobleman to provide texts from Ælfric’s pen. The letter is in part a review of Christian doctrine and in part a review, book by book, of the Christian Bible, its meanings and its contents.

Titles from Witan

Elizabeth Elstob’s “English-Saxon Homily on the Birth-day of St. Gregory”

Author: Timothy Graham
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 9781536502725
Cost: $3.99-19.95

Summary: Timothy Graham’s facsimile edition of An English-Saxon Homily on the Birth-Day of St. Gregory stands as a monument both to 10th/11th century learning as well as 18th century learning. This homily, written by the great Ælfric of Eynsham, was then edited by Elizabeth Elstob in 1709. Elstob stands both as one of the great Anglo-Saxonists of the early period, and also as a feminist icon, attaining her own stunning intellectual acumen despite opposition from early 18th-century society, as well as from her own family.

In this edition, Timothy Graham presents Elstob’s own version in facsimile form, complete with her commentary, offering a fascinating look at the work of both Ælfric and Elstob. Graham offers his own introductory material and commentary, contextualizing Elstob for contemporary readers. Audiences can read the book either in the original facsimile version, or in a provided transcription.

Titles from Witan

Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century

eBook Cover of Steven Muhlberger's "Format Combats in the Fourteenth Century"

Author: Steven Muhlberger
Published: August 2013
ISBN: 9781386892526
Cost: $3.99

Summary: Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century presents the lifetime of scholarship by respected professor Steven Muhlberger in an accessible format that will engage both scholars and amateur enthusiasts alike. Adapted from various scholarly addresses over Muhlberger’s career, each chapter represents a different element of formal combat. Muhlberger presents formal combats as neither senseless violence, nor stylized maneuvering, but rather as controlled violence with deep personal and political implications. He examines formal combats both among nobles and non-nobles, questioning what these deeds meant practically, culturally, and morally.

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Alfgar’s Stories from Beowulf

Alfgar's Stories from Beowulf Book Cover

Author: Edward L. Risden
Published: January 2013
ISBN: 9781386749332
Cost: $3.99

SummaryAlfgar’s Stories from Beowulf is a work of original fiction by noted medieval literary scholar Edward L. Risden adding to the traditional tale of Beowulf, a heroic Scandinavian monster-slayer. Inspired by the original epic, Risden has created a work of gripping adventure and deep emotion. In “Grendel’s Mother,” Risden approaches Beowulf from the perspective of the feral monster of the same name from the epic. “Lay of the Last Survivor” tells of a fated man who finds himself alone, the sole inheritor of a violent and greedy culture. “Scyldingasaga” goes back to the past before Beowulf, to the exploits of Scyld, Beowulf’s legendary ancestor, events that ultimately set the stage for the famous poem. In “Freawaru’s Lament,” Risden builds on a digression in Beowulf to the story of a woman whose marriage leaves her trapped between two families in conflict that can only end in tragedy for her.

Titles from Witan

Beowulf: A Verse Translation for Students

Author: Edward L. Risden
Published: January 2013
ISBN: 1230001674699
Cost: $3.99

SummaryBeowulf: A Verse Translation for Students offers the famed Anglo-Saxon epic in Modern English. Noted Beowulf scholar Edward L. Risden has crafted a translation that is accessible even to students with no previous familiarity with medieval literature, preserving the beauty of the original verse without sacrificing accuracy. Risden’s translation presents the tale of the warrior Beowulf and his lifetime of intrigue, heroic deeds, and battles with monsters, and his ultimate confrontation with a dragon. Risden’s Beowulf is the exciting yarn of adventure that should electrify the imagination of every student.

Titles from Witan

Drout’s Quick and Easy Old English

Author: Michael D. C. Drout, Bruce D. Gilchrist, Rachel Kapelle
Published: September 2012
ISBN: 9781536538892
Cost: $3.99

Summary: Michael D.C. Drout has now transformed his classic “King Alfred’s Grammar” into a comprehensive guide for learning Old English. Appropriate for students and enthusiasts alike, Drout’s Quick and Easy Old English presents the basics of the language in an accessible form. Even the most novice student can learn to read the classics of medieval literature in their original language with this system. Drout’s Quick and Easy Old English covers:

  • The history of Old English
  • Orthography, covering the unfamiliar characters of Old English writing
  • Pronouncing Old English
  • Grammar, from nouns and verbs to pronouns and adjectives
  • Tricks for translation

With the help of Bruce Gilchrist and Rachel Kapelle, Drout provides exercises to reinforce the lessons. After years of testing in classrooms and online, these exercises have been thoroughly vetted for accuracy by scholars around the world, and have guided countless students through their first lessons in Old English.

Titles from Witan

Insular Art Forms: Their Essence and Construction

Author: Robert Stevick
Published: January 2012
ISBN: 9781386148890
Cost: $3.99

Summary: Dr. Robert Stevick’s Insular Art Forms: Their Essence and Construction emerges as the most innovative work of his long and illustrious career. Building on years of research into medieval manuscript design and construction, Stevick has produced a masterpiece examining the ingenious ways in which insular scribes used geometry and mathematics to produce complex and beautiful designs. In addition to a detailed academic description of these processes, Stevick provides videos clearly illustrating the methods he describes, and materials for practical hands-on recreation of their methods. Insular Art Forms is the only guide that offers both a true scholarly study of these methods and the means for modern readers to reproduce them.

Included along with Insular Art forms is the Insular Art Online Companion, a collection of videos created by Dr. Stevick to explain certain concepts within the work.