A great podcast tracing the etymology of many Modern English words, and their ancestors throughout history. It is also a great vocabulary tool for learning Old English words and their semantic range as it changes throughout history. The general themes of each episode help you retain a lot of the words that seems to fly by quickly, but more importantly, you gain a very deep understanding of the similarities and differences between Modern and Old English.

The History of England Podcast by David Crowther
       A wonderful podcast that takes you on a journey through England's fascinating history, from the very earliest arrival of Germanic tribes, to who knows where. David builds a string of narratives, mainly utilizing the King and Queen's perspective, but this is not solely a history of the English Monarchy; it covers all aspects from military, to bureaucracy, from Royalty, to peasant. It adds great context to the study of the Old English language, and to the English language as a whole.

     Davids new podcast focusses more heavily on the Anglo Saxon period of England's history. Though conceptualized as a re-do of his early episodes of The History of England, not only do his original not need reworking, but this podcast can easily stand on its own.

The History of Rome by Mike Duncan
       There is no need for an excuse to recommend this podcast. While it's a little outside the scope of our studies, nonetheless, The History of Rome is a great podcast about, well . . . The History of Rome. Wars, rebellions, revolutions, scandal, murder, corruption, religion, power, all the things that make history interesting. More towards our topic, it shows how the Empire abandoned the British Isles due to "more pressing issues", and how it's eventual collapse dictated the fate of much of the next few centuries.


A Guide to Old English by Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson
       One of the most used textbook in the Old English language.
Introduction to Old English by Peter S. Baker
       The other most used textbook for the subject, though you don't need to buy it.
First Steps in Anglo-Saxon by Henry Sweet
       A little dated, but a very gentile and useful introduction to Old English. 
The Cambridge Old English Reader by Richard Marsden 
       Once you're comfortable reading in Old English, the notes and commentary in this text are invaluable.

Online Resources

       Seriously, just bookmark it now! It is a great refernce for some of the more boring minutia of grammar. This and A Guide to Old English are the typical introductory texts for classes in Old English.

          ** As of October 2015, this site is no longer up, which is a shame, but I still highly recommend the book. 

King Alfred Grammar by Micheal D. C. Drout
       Another grammar book online. Cross-referencing between these two sources is very helpful.
A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by John R. Clark Hall
       This is a collection of the scanned pages of the 2nd edition (1916) of this great dictionary.
The Student's Dictionary of Anglo Saxon by Henry Sweet
       Henry Sweet's dictionary aimed at the beginning student.
      Useful, but here's the disclaimer: 
As with most online translators, it cannot work perfectly. This is not the programmers fault, it is just not a capability of machine translations. It will give you the correct inflection for most words which is useful in the beginning stages, but it will not always give you the best definition, nor the best word to use in a given situation. Always beware machine translations, but remember, if used properly, they are just another useful tool.

1 comment:

  1. Peter S. Baker has an OE translation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on Amazon. "Æðelgyðe Ellendæda on Wundorlande" Since I know the story well, it's very fun to pick out the words and grammar that I've learned.