Tuesday, 24 April 2007


As part of one of my jobs I get to edit some Anglo-Saxon charters, specifically the archive of Wilton Abbey. The problem is that there have always been easily enough other things going on to fill up my half-time work on that project; but this week I decided just to ignore them all and get on with the editing. It's making me happy. It's not a surprise to me that I'm enjoying the writing, but it's been so long since I did the thing where you write something and send it off and it comes back covered in scribbled corrections and suggestions. Editing Latin isn't too much of a problem -- I find that if I sit down and translate it very carefully that helps to catch any errors I or the scribe have made. But editing Old English boundary clauses is a new thing for me. It involves making annotated translations, so that this:
Ærest on roddan pol nioþeƿeardne
First to the lower-part of ? Rodda’s pool (? gen. pers. n. Rodda or river-name cf. R. Rodden, Salop, or *rodde, ‘club, pole’; + pol, ‘pool in a river’).
Then ideally I work out where Rodda's pool is, and the next step in the bounds (langan hlinc, the long bank) and so on until I've oulined the whole Anglo-Saxon estate -- probably it coincides with the parish boundaries. Luckily Susan Kelly, queen of charters, is helping me.

Learning stuff is fun. Yay!

If you live near Didlington or Chalbury in Dorset help would be appreciated. Plus once I've done this one there's another 33 to go.

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