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Reading Laȝamon’s Brut

Approaches and Explorations



Edited by Rosamund Allen, Jane Roberts and Carole Weinberg



Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, NY 2013. XII, 768 pp. (DQR Studies in Literature 52)

ISBN: 978-90-420-3694-9 Bound

ISBN: 978-94-012-0952-6 E-Book



Online info: http://www.rodopi.nl/senj.asp?BookId=DQR+52



For Laȝamon, or Lawman (both forms are used), a parish priest living on the Welsh March c.1200, the criteria of language, race and territory all provided ways of defining the nation state, which is why his Brut commands a diverse readership to-day. The range of view-points in this book reflects the breadth and complexity of Laȝamon’s own vision of the way his world is moulded by past conquests and racial tensions. The Brut is an open-ended narrative of Britain, its peoples, and its place-names as they changed under new rulers, and tells, for the first time in English, the rise and fall of Arthur, highlighting his role in the unfolding history of Britain. Beginning with its legendary founder, Brutus, the story is imagined anew, and although it concludes with an Anglo-Saxon kingdom, Laȝamon’s closing words remind us that changes will come: i-wurđe ţet iwurđe: i-wurđe Godes wille. Amen.

This book offers detailed discussion and new perspectives. Its contributors explore aspects of behaviour and attitudes, personal and national identity and governance, language, metre, and the reception of Laȝamon’s Brut in later times. Comparisons are made with Latin writings and with French, Welsh, Spanish and Icelandic, placing Laȝamon firmly within a European network of readers and redactors.

The book will interest those working on medieval chronicles, as well as specialists in medieval law, custom, English language and literature, and comparative literature.



Contents

Ackowledgements

Abbreviations

List of figures

Rosamund Allen, Jane Roberts and Carole Weinberg: Introduction

Approaching the Brut

Rosamund Allen: Did Lawman Nod, or Is It We that Yawn?

Haruko Momma: The Brut as Saxon Literature: The New Philologists Read Lawman

Simon Meecham-Jones: “ţe tiden of ţisse londe” – Finding and Losing Wales in Laȝamon’s Brut

Andrew Wehner: The Severn: Barrier or Highway?

Behaviour and Customs

Eric Stanley: The Political Notion of Kingship in Laȝamon’s Brut

John Brennan: Queer Masculinity in Lawman’s Brut

Kenneth J. Tiller: Laȝamon’s Leir: Language, Succession, and History

Joseph D. Parry: Losing the Past: Cezar’s Moment of Time in Lawman’s Brut

Daniel Donoghue: Lawman, Bede, and the Context of Slavery

Andrew Breeze: Drinking of Blood, Burning of Women

Charlotte A.T. Wulf: The Coronation of Arthur and Guenevere in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae, Wace’s Roman de Brut, and Lawman’s Brut

Barry Windeatt: Laȝamon’s Gestures: Body Language in the Brut

Words and Meanings

Hannah McKendrick Bailey: Conquest by Word: The Meeting of Languages in Laȝamon’s Brut

Ian Kirby: A Tale of Two Cities: London and Winchester in Laȝamon’s Brut

Margaret Lamont: When Are Saxons “Ćnglisc”?: Language and Readerly Identity in Laȝamon’s Brut

Joanna Bellis: Mapping the National Narrative: Place-name Etymology in Laȝamon’s Brut and Its Sources

Christine Elsweiler: The Lexical Field “Warrior” in Laȝamon’s Brut – A Comparative Analysis of the Two Versions

†Deborah Marcum: The Language of Law: lond and hond in Laȝamon’s Brut

Scott Kleinman: Friđ and Griđ: Laȝamon and the Legal Language of Wulfstan

Erik Kooper: Laȝamon’s Prosody: Caligula and Otho – Metres Apart

Jane Roberts: Getting Laȝamon’s Brut into Sharper Focus

Sources and Explorations

Carole Weinberg: Julius Caesar and the Language of History in Laȝamon’s Brut

Neil Cartlidge: Laȝamon’s Ursula and the Influence of Roman Epic

Gail Ivy Berlin: Constructing Tonwenne: A Gesture and Its History

Judith Weiss: Wace to Laȝamon via Waldef

Sarah Baccianti: Translating England in Medieval Iceland: Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannie and Breta sǫgur

Jennifer Miller: Laȝamon’s Welsh

M. Leigh Harrison: The Wisdom of Hindsight in Laȝamon and Some Contemporaries

Gareth Griffith: Reading the Landscapes of Laȝamon’s Arthur: Place, Meaning and Intertextuality

Elizabeth J. Bryan: Laȝamon’s Brut and the Vernacular Text: Widening the Context

Bibliography

Notes on Contributors

Index



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