I. Beowulf_ an Anglo-Saxon poem. II. The fight at Finnsburh_ a fragment.
- The Fight at Finnsburh
- List of Names
Preface to the Project Gutenberg Edition of Beowulf
This text is a revised and corrected version of the fourth edition ofHarrison and Sharp in its entirety. It comes in two basic versions. Thebase version (available in 8-bit (Latin-1) text and HTML) presents theoriginal text as printed. It preserves the source-text's idiosyncratic useof accented vowels with the exception of y-circumflex (ŷ), which isreplaced by y-acute (ý) to fit within the Latin-1 character set.Manifestly unintentional errors in the text have been corrected. Ingeneral, this has only been done when the text is internally inconsistent(e.g., a quotation in the glossary does not match the main text). Formsthat represent deliberate editorial choice have not been altered, evenwhere they appear wrong. (For example, some of the markings of vowel lengthdo not reflect current scholarly consensus.) Where an uncorrected problemmay confuse the reader, I have inserted a note explaining the difficulty,signed KTH. A complete list of the changes made is appended at the end ofthe file. In order to make the text more useful to modern readers, I havealso produced a revised edition, available in Unicode (UTF-8) and HTML.The file you are reading is this revised version. Notes from thesource text that indicate changes adopted in later editions have beenincorporated directly into the text and apparatus. Further, long vowels areindicated with macrons, as is the common practice of most modern editions.Finally, the quantity of some words has been altered to the values currentlyaccepted as correct. Quantities have not been changed when the differenceis a matter of editorial interpretation (e.g., gśst vs. gǣst in l. 102,etc.) A list of these altered quantities appears at the end of the list ofcorrections. Your browser must support the Unicode character set to usethis file. To tell if your browser supports the necessary characters, checkthe table of vowel equivalents below. If you see any empty boxes orquestion marks in the "revised" columns, you should use the basicversion.
Explanation of the Vowel Accenting
In general, Harrison and Sharp use circumflex accents over vowels to marklong vowels. For ash, however, the actual character 'æ' represents the longvowel. Short ash is rendered with a-umlaut (ä). The long diphthongs (ēo,ēa, etc.) are indicated with an acute accent over thesecond vowel (eó, eá, etc.).
Vowel Equivalents in Different Versions:
AN ANGLO-SAXON POEM.
II. THE FIGHT AT FINNSBURH:
WITH TEXT AND GLOSSARY ON THE
BASIS OF M. HEYNE.
EDITED, CORRECTED, AND ENLARGED, BY
JAMES A. HARRISON, LL.D., LITT. D.,
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH AND MODERN LANGUAGES,
WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY,
ROBERT SHARP (PH.D. LIPS.),
PROFESSOR OF GREEK AND ENGLISH,
TULANE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA.
FOURTH EDITION. REVISED, WITH NOTES.
GINN & COMPANY
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1883, by
JAMES ALBERT HARRISON AND ROBERT SHARP
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
PROFESSOR F. A. MARCH,
OF LAFAYETTE COLLEGE, PA.,
FREDERICK J. FURNIVALL, ESQ.
FOUNDER OF THE "NEW SHAKSPERE SOCIETY,"
THE "CHAUCER SOCIETY," ETC., ETC.
PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
The favor with which the successive editions of "Bēowulf" have beenreceived during the past thirteen years emboldens the editors tocontinue the work of revision in a fourth issue, the most noticeablefeature of which is a considerable body of explanatory Notes, now forthe first time added. These Notes mainly concern themselves with newtextual readings, with here and there grammatical, geographical, andarchśological points that seemed worthy of explanation. Parallelismsand parallel passages are constantly compared, with the view of makingthe poem illustrate and explain itself. A few emendations and textualchanges are suggested by the editors with all possible diffidence;numerous corrections have been made in the Glossary and List of Names;and the valuable parts of former Appendices have been embodied in theNotes.
For the Notes, the editors are much indebted to the various Germanperiodicals mentioned on page 116, to the recent publications ofProfessors Earle and J. L. Hall, to Mr. S. A. Brooke, and to theHeyne-Socin edition of "Bēowulf." No change has been made in thesystem of accentuation, though a few errors in quantity have beencorrected. The editors are looking forward to an eventual fifthedition, in which an entirely new text will be presented.
NOTE TO THE THIRD EDITION.
This third edition of the American issue of Bēowulf will, the editorshope, be found more accurate and useful than either of the precedingeditions. Further corrections in text and glossary have been made, andsome additional new readings and suggestions will be found in twobrief appendices at the back of the book. Students of the metricalsystem of Bēowulf will find ample material for their studies inSievers' exhaustive essay on that subject (Beitršge, X. 209-314).
Socin's edition of Heyne's Bēowulf (called the fifth edition) has beenutilized to some extent in this edition, though it unfortunately cametoo late to be freely used. While it repeats many of the omissions andinaccuracies of Heyne's fourth edition, it contains much that isvaluable to the student, particularly in the notes and commentary.Students of the poem, which has been subjected to much searchingcriticism during the last decade, will also derive especial help fromthe contributions of Sievers and Kluge on difficult questionsappertaining to it. WŁlker's new edition (in the GreinBibliothek) is of the highest value, however one may dissentfrom particular textual views laid down in the 'Berichtigter Text.'Paul and Braune's Beitršge contain a varied miscellany of hints,corrections, and suggestions principally embodying the views of Kluge,Cosijn, Sievers, and Bugge, some of the more important of which arefound in the appendices to the present and the preceding edition.Holder and Zupitza, Sarrazin and Hermann MŲller (Kiel, 1883), Heinzel(Anzeiger f.d. Alterthum, X.), Gering (Zacher's Zeitschrift, XII.),Brenner (Eng. Studien, IX.), and the contributors to Anglia, haveassisted materially in the textual and metrical interpretation of thepoem.
The subject of Anglo-Saxon quantity has been discussed in several ableessays by Sievers, Sweet, Ten Brink (Anzeiger, f.d. Alterthum, V.),Kluge (Beitršge, XI.), and others; but so much is uncertain in thisfield that the editors have left undisturbed the marking of vowelsfound in the text of their original edition, while indicating in theappendices the now accepted views of scholars on the quantity of thepersonal pronouns (mē, wē, þū, þē, gē, hē); the adverbnū, etc. Perhaps it would be best to banish absolutely allattempts at marking quantities except in cases where the Ms. has themmarked.
An approximately complete Bibliography of Bēowulf literature will befound in WŁlker's Grundriss and in Garnett's translation of thepoem.
JAMES A. HARRISON,
WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY,LEXINGTON, VA., May, 1888.
NOTE TO THE SECOND REVISED EDITION.
The editors feel so encouraged at the kind reception accorded theiredition of Bēowulf (1883), that, in spite of its many shortcomings,they have determined to prepare a second revised edition of the book,and thus endeavor to extend its sphere of usefulness. About twentyerrors had, notwithstanding a vigilant proof-reading, crept into thetext,—errors in single letters, accents, and punctuation. These havebeen corrected, and it is hoped that the text has been renderedgenerally accurate and trustworthy. In the List of Names one or twocorrections have been made, and in the Glossary numerous mistakes ingender, classification, and translation, apparently unavoidable in afirst edition, have been rectified. Wherever these mistakes concernsingle letters, or occupy very small space, they have beencorrected in the plates; where they are longer, and the expense ofcorrecting them in the plates would have been very great, the editorshave thought it best to include them in an Appendix of Corrections andAdditions, which will be found at the back of the book. Students areaccordingly referred to this Appendix for important longer correctionsand additions. It is believed that the value of the book has been muchenhanced by an Appendix of Recent Readings, based on late criticismsand essays from the pens of Sievers, Kluge, Cosijn, Holder, WŁlker,and Sweet. A perplexed student, in turning to these suggestedreadings, will often find great help in unravelling obscure or corruptpassages.
The objectionable ä and æ, for the short and the long diphthong, havebeen retained in the revised edition, owing to the impossibility ofremoving them without entirely recasting the plates.
In conclusion, the editors would acknowledge their great indebtednessto the friends and critics whose remarks and criticisms havematerially aided in the correction of the text,—particularly toProfs. C.P.G. Scott, Baskervill, Price, and J.M. Hart; to Prof. J.W.Bright; and to the authorities of Cornell University, for the loan ofperiodicals necessary to the completeness of the revision. While thesecond revised edition still contains much that might be improved, theeditors cannot but hope that it is an advance on its predecessor, andthat it will continue its work of extending the study of Old Englishthroughout the land.
The present work, carefully edited from Heyne's fourth edition,(Paderborn, 1879), is designed primarily for college classes inAnglo-Saxon, rather than