Andreas: An Edition

Edited by Richard North and Michael Bintley

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ISBN: 9781781382714

Publication: January 20, 2016

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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This is the first edition of Andreas for 55 years, also the first to present the Anglo-Saxon, or rather Old English, text with a parallel Modern English poetic translation. The book aims not only to provide both students and scholars with an up-to-date text and introduction and notes, but also to reconfirm the canonical merit of Andreas as one of the longest and most important works in Old English literature. The introduction to our text is substantial, re-positioning this poem in respect of nearly six decades’ progress in the palaeography, sources and analogues, language, metrics, literary criticism and archaeology of Andreas. The book argues that the poet was Mercian, that he was making ironic reference to Beowulf and that his story of St Andrew converting pagan Mermedonian cannibals was coloured by King Alfred’s wars against the Danes (871-9, 885-6, 892-6). Andreas is here dated to Alfred’s later reign with such analysis of contexts in history and ideology that the author’s name is also hypothesized. The Old English text and Modern English translation of Andreas are presented in a split-page format, allowing students at whatever level of familiarity with the Anglo-Saxon vernacular to gain a direct access to the poem in close to its original form. The translation follows the poem’s word order and style, allowing modern readers to feel the imagination, ideology and humour of Andreas as closely as possible. The text of the Old English poem is accompanied by a full set of supporting notes, and a glossary representing the translation.

Michael Bintley is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature at Canterbury Christ Church University and the co-editor of Trees and Timber in the Anglo Saxon World (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Professor Richard North teaches at University College London. His previous publications include The Origins of ‘Beowulf’: From Vergil to Wiglaf (Oxford University Press, 2006).

List of Figures List of Abbreviations Introduction 1. The Poem and its Analogues 2. The Manuscript 3. Language and Dialect Phonology Vocabulary Linguistic conclusion 4. Metre and Prosody 5. Poetic Style Poetic allusions to Cynewulf Poetic allusions to Beowulf 6. Mermedonia Boundaries and meeting-places Burial mounds Pagan sites and Christian churches Roman spolia and the Mermedonian prison Pathways in Andreas Mermedonia as a Roman city Mermedonia as a WS burh Summary 7. Date and Authorship Anti-Danish animus WS royal patronage Alfred’s church of St Andrew Alfred’s ‘wealth’ and ‘wisdom’ Note on the Text and Translation Text and Translation List of Emendations Commentary Bibliography Glossary List of Proper Names Index

A highlight of this new edition is the presence of a translation, in modern English, on the same page, the old-English text above, the translation down. Quite literally, the translation closely follows the original, making the rich vocabulary and complex syntax of the poem more accessible. ... The critical apparatus also includes a substantial glossary and a bibliography, supplemented by an index that covers both the introduction and the commentary. It is therefore an excellent edition that provides Anglicist medievalists with all the critical tools to both understand Andreas and follow the arguments of R.N. and M.B. (Translated from French)
Leo Carruthers, Le Moyen Âge


“Two major critical editions of [Andreas] were published during the twentieth century [...] but the new edition from Richard North and Michael D.J. Bintley is sure to displace them and become the standard edition cited in professional scholarship. An extraordinary amount of labor appears to have been invested in this massive work, which offers much more than its predecessors. […] An infectious enthusiasm for the poem and its possible connections to Anglo-Saxon intellectual and material culture pervades the book and is bound to spread to some of its readers. North and Bintley’s rich edition should stimulate a wave of new interpretations of Andreas and inspire new investigations into its date of composition and historical context. It is in many respects an exemplary edition, which could serve as a model for new editions of other Old English poems that have been satisfactorily edited before.”
Leonard Neidorf, Studia Neophilologica, June 2017


Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

320 Pages

ISBN: 9781781382714

Publication: January 20, 2016

Series: Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

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