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Perspectives on the Old Saxon Heliand

Introductory and Critical Essays, With an Edition of the Leipzig Fragment

edited by Valentine A. Pakis

Publication Year: 2010

Heliand, the Old Saxon poem based on the life of Christ in the Gospels, has become more available to students of Anglo-Saxon culture as its influence has reached into a wider range of fields from history to linguistics, literature, and religion. In Perspectives on the Old Saxon Heliand, Valentine Pakis brings together recent scholarship that both addresses new turns in the field and engages with the relevant arguments of the past three decades. Furthering the ongoing critical discussion of both text and culture, this volume also reflects on the current state of the field and demonstrates how it has evolved since the 1970s.

Published by: West Virginia University Press

Series: Medieval European Studies

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-x

This anthology is the first of its kind since J

I. Introductions to the Heliand and its Language

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The Historical Setting of the Heliand, the Poem, and the Manuscripts

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pp. 3-33

The Old Saxon telling of the Gospel, titled Heliand, (Savior) by J. A. Schmeller in his edition of 1830, was not written in a vacuum but was, as is everything, a product of its place and time. The Heliand,was composed in what is now part of northern Germany in the first half of the ninth century. ...

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The Old Saxon Heliand

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pp. 34-62

The Heliand is over a thousand years old, and is the oldest epic work of German literature, antedating the Nibelungenlied by four centuries. It consists of approximately 6,000 lines of alliterative verse, twice the length of Beowulf, which shares just enough imagery and poetic phraseology with the Heliand that it ...

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An Overview of Old Saxon Linguistics, 1992–2008

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pp. 63-90

The early Germanic languages all tend to appeal to different constituencies. Old English and Old Norse tend to attract significant attention from both literary scholars and linguists; Gothic seems to appeal the most to Indo-Europeanists and theoretical phonologists (as demonstrated by the attention paid to ...

II. The Diatessaronic Tradition

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The Parable of the Fisherman in the Heliand: The Old Saxon Version of Matthew 13:47–50

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pp. 93-119

The reason for this study is the interesting theory of my Utrecht colleague Prof. Dr. Gilles Quispel concerning the Tatianic background of the Heliand:.2 This theory may be illustrated with an example that appeals to our imagination, namely his view on the parable of the man who cast his net into the sea.3 ...

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(Un)Desirable Origins: The Heliand and the Gospel of Thomas

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pp. 120-164

The appellation “Fifth Gospel” betrays the anxiety that has surrounded the Gospel of Thomas since its discovery, not sixty years ago, among the Nag Hammadi codices. The Fifth Gospel occupies a liminal position, since Western efforts to exteriorize this text, compelled by its “exotic” and “heretical” origins, ...

III. Orality and Narrative Tradition

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Was the Heliand Poet Illiterate?

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pp. 167-207

The question posed in the title seems outlandish.2 The Heliand has come down to us in several manuscripts and may have been written to be read aloud at monastic tables, especially for the benefit of lay brothers, for whom it would make the Christian message, as it is in the Bible itself, accessible ...

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The Hatred of Enemies: Germanic Heroic Poetry and the Narrative Design of the Heliand

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pp. 208-234

Germanic heroic poetry – like all heroic poetry – tells of conflict and hostility, but its hero, oddly enough, is not a victorious one. On the contrary, he often must accept his own demise and the death of those close to him, and his heroism displays itself with decidedly greater clarity in demise than in victory. ...

IV. The Portrayal of the Jews in the Heliand

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The Jews in the Heliand

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pp. 237-253

In the beginning (of German literature) was the Heliand. There are a few other contenders for the honor – a few prayers, charms, and fragments – but the Heliand is our earliest epic. It is a unique work of literature in that it is the story of Jesus transposed, retold as if it had all occurred in the Viking-era ...

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Jesus Christ between Jews and Heathens: The Germanic Mission and the Portrayal of Christ in the Old Saxon Heliand

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pp. 254-278

In 1934, the Berlin missiologist Johannes Witte wrote a brochure entitled How did Christianity Come to the Germanen?2 Contrary to the position of the nationalist movement (v

V. The Discovery of the Leipzig Fragment (2006)

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A New Heliand Fragment from the Leipzig University Library; Image plates

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pp. 281-304

On April 20, 2006, Mr. Thomas D

Works Cited

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pp. 305-335

E-ISBN-13: 9781935978350
E-ISBN-10: 1935978357
Print-ISBN-13: 9781933202495
Print-ISBN-10: 1933202491

Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Medieval European Studies