Notes

black text = note on Old English text
red text = gloss of kennings

blue text = explanatory commentary on a section




(Old English version notes)

Old English text of Bede excerpt based on:
 Oxford, Bodleian MS Tanner 10(9830)[=MS T1] (10th-c.) [Gneuss 668]

with readings from:
 Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 41 [=MS B] (11th-c.) [Gneuss 39],
 Cambridge, University Library MS Kk.3.18 [=MS Ca] (late 11th-c.) [Gneuss 22],
  Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS 279 pt. ii [=MS O] (late 10th- or early 11th-c.) [Gneuss 673];

[1] Abbess Hild's monastery for monks and nuns at Strenęshalc (=Whitby).

[2] belumpon : from MS O -on, MS T1 -en

[3] MS T nothing ; from MS Ca

[4] gefultumod : from MS O -mod, MS T1 -med

[5] MS nothing ; from MS Ca

[6] sceoldon : from MS B, MS T1 sealde

[7] for scome : MS T1 for forscome

[7.5] There is some dispute as to whether the text reads þú meaht singan or þú mé áht singan - see Mitchell (1969), 'Postscript of Bede's mihi cantare habes'.

[8] žara : from MS O, MS T1 žęre

[CH 1] we : from MSS Ca & O (superscript)

[CH 2] MS T1, B astealde ; reading from MSS M

[CH 3 - ylda/eorðan variation]
note the differences: aelda barnum ('sons of men') in Northumbrian MSS M, L; eordu barnum (sons of the Earth) in Northumbrian MSS Di, P; eoršan bearnum (sons of the Earth) in West Saxon MSS Alfredian Bede, T1, C, O, Ca, B; ylda bearnum ('sons of men') in Latin MSS H, W, Bd1, Ln, Mg, Tr 1; eorše bearnum (sons of the Earth) in Latin MSS Ld1, Hr. Zupitza (1878) argued that the Alfredian translation (with eoršan) was a genuine Old English version going back to an original text. Wuest's discovery of the Northumbrian texts Di & P, with their reading eordu established an eošan- group in Northumbria as well. This suggests that at a relatively early stage, two different versions of the text arose, one with aelda (> ylda in West Saxon) and one with eoršu (> eorðan/eorðe in West Saxon). The appearance of aelda in the two oldest MSS, along with Bede's Latin paraphrase of the relevant verse of Cædmon's text as filiis hominum suggests that aelda may be the original form. This latter reading aelda/ylda b(e)arnum ('sons of men') sounds more 'Christian' than eorðan bearnum ('sons of the Earth'). However, none of this decisively establishes either 'text' as more original or even older -- assuming that Bede's account of Cædmon is largely true, one can easily imagine Cædmon himself producing multiple 'recensions' of his 'Hymn'. On the development/transmission of Cædmon's Song, see further esp. O'Donnell (1996a, b), O'Keeffe (1987), Kiernan (1990).

[CH 3] geard of middangeard is the ancestor of modern English yard, though the OE meaning is obviously different (broader) than the modern sense(s). But still, middangeard (usually translated as 'Middle-World' or 'Middle-Earth') is indeed most literally, 'Middle-Yard', with the sense of this (Middle)-Earth (the one we live in/on) as an enclosed space (a 'Yard'). This sense of Middle-Earth as an enclosed space is further developed in the poem with the ideas of the heavens as Earth's Roof.

[10] žęt : from other MSS, MS T1 ža

[11] gehwyrfde : from MSS Ca, O; MS T gehwerfde

[12] untrymman : from MS O; MS T1 untrumran

[13] lædan : from MS O; MS T1 lædon

[13.5] housel : Housel is another name for the Eucharist; that is 'consecrated bread and wine' (=blood & body of Christ)

[14] he : from other MSS

[14.5] made the sing of Christ's Rood : Rood = Cross. He makes the sign of the cross; he crosses himself

[15] onhylde : from other MSS; MT T1 ohhylde

[16] he : from other MSS

[17] þe : from other MSS

[18] seo tunge....betynde : as Sweet (An Anglo-Saxon Reader, pg. 208) observes, syntactically the subject of betynde seems to be seo tunge, the OE translator mistook the Latin illa lingua as nominative rather than ablative. The proper form here should be: (he) betynde (his lif).




(Notes on the different recensions of Cædmon's Song)




[Northumbrian-aelda 1a] scylun] scilun (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 1b] hergan] hergen with the second e dotted beneath for deletion and a written above it (M); herga (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 1c] hefaenricaes] hefenricæs (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 2a] maecti] mehti (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 2b] end] and (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 2c] modgidanc] modgithanc (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 3a] gihuaes] gihuæs (L)

[Northumbrian-aeldau 4a] dryctin] with yc altered from in (M)

[Northumbrian-aelda 5a] aerist] ærist (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 5b1] aelda] ældu (L)

[5 - ylda/eorðan variation]
note the differences: aelda barnum ('sons of men') in Northumbrian MSS M, L; eordu barnum (sons of the Earth) in Northumbrian MSS Di, P; eoršan bearnum (sons of the Earth) in West Saxon MSS Alfredian Bede, T1, C, O, Ca, B; ylda bearnum ('sons of men') in Latin MSS H, W, Bd1, Ln, Mg, Tr 1; eorše bearnum (sons of the Earth) in Latin MSS Ld1, Hr. Zupitza (1878) argued that the Alfredian translation (with eoršan) was a genuine Old English version going back to an original text. Wuest's discovery of the Northumbrian texts Di & P, with their reading eordu established an eošan- group in Northumbria as well. This suggests that at a relatively early stage, two different versions of the text arose, one with aelda (> ylda in West Saxon) and one with eoršu (> eorðan/eorðe in West Saxon). The appearance of aelda in the two oldest MSS, along with Bede's Latin paraphrase of the relevant verse of Cædmon's text as filiis hominum suggests that aelda may be the original form. This latter reading aelda/ylda b(e)arnum ('sons of men') sounds more 'Christian' than eorðan bearnum ('sons of the Earth'). However, none of this decisively establishes either 'text' as more original or even older -- assuming that Bede's account of Cædmon is largely true, one can easily imagine Cædmon himself producing multiple 'recensions' of his 'Hymn'. On the development/transmission of Cædmon's Song, see further esp. O'Donnell (1996a, b), O'Keeffe (1987), Kiernan (1990).

[Northumbrian-aelda 6a] heben] hefen (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 6b] til] to (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 6c] hrofe] hrofæ (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 6d] haleg] halig (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 6e] scepen] sceppend (L).
O'Donnell (1996a:52) remarks: 'M scepen is either a mistake for sceppend (the reading in L and, with orthographic and dialectal variation, the witnesses to all other recensions of "Cædmon's Hymn" with the exception of the late To and metrically irregular Ld Hr CArms) with assimilation of nd and graphic simplification of -pp-, or the sole example in Old English of a cognate of [Old High German] scaffin, sceffin "judge", Fris[ian] skeppena "juryman", from WGmc *skapinaz.'

[Northumbrian-aelda 7a] middungeard] middingard (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 8a] foldu] foldv(M); foldu (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda 8b] allmectig] allmehtig (L)

[Northumbrian-aelda] Primo cantauit caedmon istud carmen] nothing (L)



[Northumbrian-eordu 1a] wue] puc (Br, P1); pue (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 1b] sciulun] scinlun (Br); sciulin (P1); sciulun (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 1c] herga] horga (Br)

[Northumbrian-eordu 1d] hefunricaes] hesim | ruica es (Br); ?-hesin rinca es (P1); hefunricaes with n added above the line (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 1e] wueard] pueard (Br, P1, Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 2a] metudaes] metundaes (Br), metuudaes (P1), metuda es (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 2b] modgedanc] modged auc (Br); modged | anc (P1); modgedeanc (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 3a] wuerc] puere (Br, P1); puerc (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 3b] wuldurfadur] fadur (Br, P1); puldur fudur (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 3c] he] hae (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 3d] wundra] pundra (Br, P1, Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 3e] gihuaes] gi hnaes (Br)

[Northumbrian-eordu 4a] drichtin] droch tin with o cancelled and i written above it (P1)

[Northumbrian-eordu 4b] astalde] astnl | de (Br)

[Northumbrian-eordu 5a] he] her (P1)

[Northumbrian-eordu 5b] aerist] aeirst (P1); uerst with a written above u (Di)

[5 - ylda/eorðan variation]
note the differences: aelda barnum ('sons of men') in Northumbrian MSS M, L; eordu barnum (sons of the Earth) in Northumbrian MSS Di, P; eoršan bearnum (sons of the Earth) in West Saxon MSS Alfredian Bede, T1, C, O, Ca, B; ylda bearnum ('sons of men') in Latin MSS H, W, Bd1, Ln, Mg, Tr 1; eorše bearnum (sons of the Earth) in Latin MSS Ld1, Hr. Zupitza (1878) argued that the Alfredian translation (with eoršan) was a genuine Old English version going back to an original text. Wuest's discovery of the Northumbrian texts Di & P, with their reading eordu established an eošan- group in Northumbria as well. This suggests that at a relatively early stage, two different versions of the text arose, one with aelda (> ylda in West Saxon) and one with eoršu (> eorðan/eorðe in West Saxon). The appearance of aelda in the two oldest MSS, along with Bede's Latin paraphrase of the relevant verse of Cædmon's text as filiis hominum suggests that aelda may be the original form. This latter reading aelda/ylda b(e)arnum ('sons of men') sounds more 'Christian' than eorðan bearnum ('sons of the Earth'). However, none of this decisively establishes either 'text' as more original or even older -- assuming that Bede's account of Cædmon is largely true, one can easily imagine Cædmon himself producing multiple 'recensions' of his 'Hymn'. On the development/transmission of Cædmon's Song, see further esp. O'Donnell (1996a, b), O'Keeffe (1987), Kiernan (1990).

[Northumbrian-eordu 5c] bearnum] peannum (Br); pearnum (P1)

[Northumbrian-eordu 6a] hefen] he | fen (Br); efen (P1, Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 7a] ða] da ('with what looks like a cross (slightly smudged) above the letter a'. (O'Donnell 1996:161)) (Br); dá (P1); da (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 7b] middumgeard] middum | gaerd (Br)

[Northumbrian-eordu 7c] moncinnes] moneinnes (
Br, P1)

[Northumbrian-eordu 7d] weard] peard (Br, P1, Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 8a] eci] eei (Br, P1)

[Northumbrian-eordu 8b] drichtin] drichtim (P1); drintinc (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 8c] aefter] ef - | ter (Di)

[Northumbrian-eordu 8d] tiade] cia de (Br)

[Northumbrian-eordu 9a] on] ol (Br, P1)

[Northumbrian-eordu 9b] frea allmechtig] freall | mechtig (Br)



[Wessex-eorðan 1a] nu] ne(?) (C)
Kiernan (1990[2002]:123n28) says 'A second Alfredian Bede, BL Cotton MS B.xi., supposedly read Ne sculon, "not must", but this part of the manuscript was destroyed in the Cotton fire of 1731. This misreading in fact comes from a sixteenth-century transcript, now BL Additional MS 43, 703, by Laurence Nowell, who presumably conflated Nu and we in the Cotton text.')

[Wessex-eorðan 1b] we] nothing (T1); nothing with we added above the line (O); we (Ca, B1)

[Wessex-eorðan 1c] sculon] sculan (O); sceolan (Ca); sceolon (To) / sculon herigean] herigan sculon (B1)

[Wessex-eorðan 1d] herigean] hergean (C); herian (O, To)

[Wessex-eorðan 2a] meotodes] metodes (C, O, Ca, B1)

[Wessex-eorðan 2b] meahte] mihte (C, O, Ca, B1)

[Wessex-eorðan 2c] and] ond (C)

[Wessex-eorðan 2d] modgeþanc] modgeþonc (C, O)

[Wessex-eorðan 3a] weorc] weoroda (C); wera with a altered from o (O); wera (Ca)

[Wessex-eorðan 3b] wuldorfæder] wuldorgodes [B1]; wulderfæder (To)

[Wessex-eorðan 3c] wundra gehwæs] wuldres gehwæs (Ca); wundra fela (B1)

[Wessex-eorðan 4a] drihten] dryhten (O)

[Wessex-eorðan 4b] or] oórd with d added above the line (O); ord (Ca, B1); ær (To)

[Wessex-eorðan 4c] onstealde] astealde (B1, To)

[Wessex-eorðan 5a] ærest] æres (Ca)

[Wessex-eorðan 5b] sceop] scop (C); gesceop (O); gescop (Ca)

[Wessex-eorðan 5c] eorðan] eorþú (C); with e crowded in after the rest had been written (Ca)

[Wessex-eorðan 5d] bearnum] an erasure of two or three letters after this word (O)

[5 - ylda/eorðan variation]
note the differences: aelda barnum ('sons of men') in Northumbrian MSS M, L; eordu barnum (sons of the Earth) in Northumbrian MSS Di, P; eoršan bearnum (sons of the Earth) in West Saxon MSS Alfredian Bede, T1, C, O, Ca, B; ylda bearnum ('sons of men') in Latin MSS H, W, Bd1, Ln, Mg, Tr 1; eorše bearnum (sons of the Earth) in Latin MSS Ld1, Hr. Zupitza (1878) argued that the Alfredian translation (with eoršan) was a genuine Old English version going back to an original text. Wuest's discovery of the Northumbrian texts Di & P, with their reading eordu established an eošan- group in Northumbria as well. This suggests that at a relatively early stage, two different versions of the text arose, one with aelda (> ylda in West Saxon) and one with eoršu (> eorðan/eorðe in West Saxon). The appearance of aelda in the two oldest MSS, along with Bede's Latin paraphrase of the relevant verse of Cædmon's text as filiis hominum suggests that aelda may be the original form. This latter reading aelda/ylda b(e)arnum ('sons of men') sounds more 'Christian' than eorðan bearnum ('sons of the Earth'). However, none of this decisively establishes either 'text' as more original or even older -- assuming that Bede's account of Cædmon is largely true, one can easily imagine Cædmon himself producing multiple 'recensions' of his 'Hymn'. On the development/transmission of Cædmon's Song, see further esp. O'Donnell (1996a, b), O'Keeffe (1987), Kiernan (1990).

[Wessex-eorðan 6a] hrofe] rofe (Ca)

[Wessex-eorðan 6b] scyppend] scypend (C); drihten (To)

[Wessex-eorðan 7a] þa middangeard] ða middongeard (O); þe middangeard (B1)

[Wessex-eorðan 7b] moncynnes] manncynnes (B1)

[Wessex-eorðan 8a] drihten] dryhten (O); driht with stroke above t (Ca)

[Wessex-eorðan 8b] æfter] æft with stroke above t (Ca)

[Wessex-eorðan 8c] teode] an erasure of one letter (d?) after o (O); eode (C)

[Wessex-eorðan 9a] firum] finú (C); fyrum (B1)



[Wessex-eorðe 1a] sceolan] sceolon (CArms)

[Wessex-eorðe 1b] herian] herian herian with second herian underlined for deletion (Ld1)

[Wessex-eorðe 3a] seorc (CArms)

[Wessex-eorðe 3b-5a] wundra....He] nothing - presumably a case of scribal haplography between he(l.3b) and he(l.5a) (Hr)

[Wessex-eorðe 3b - semantics note] Dobbie ('Manuscripts', pp.39-40) remarks 'In l.3, gehwilc is quite ungrammatical since a genitive (gehwæs in the other texts of the Hymn) is required here after ord, l.4'.

[Wessex-eorðe 4a] ord onstealde] nothing, with þa added before he(l.5a) (Ld1)

[Wessex-eorðe 5a] (þa)] see above note 4a

[Wessex-eorðe 5b] sceop] scop (CArms)

[5 - ylda/eorðan variation]
note the differences: aelda barnum ('sons of men') in Northumbrian MSS M, L; eordu barnum (sons of the Earth) in Northumbrian MSS Di, P; eoršan bearnum (sons of the Earth) in West Saxon MSS Alfredian Bede, T1, C, O, Ca, B; ylda bearnum ('sons of men') in Latin MSS H, W, Bd1, Ln, Mg, Tr 1; eorše bearnum (sons of the Earth) in Latin MSS Ld1, Hr. Zupitza (1878) argued that the Alfredian translation (with eoršan) was a genuine Old English version going back to an original text. Wuest's discovery of the Northumbrian texts Di & P, with their reading eordu established an eošan- group in Northumbria as well. This suggests that at a relatively early stage, two different versions of the text arose, one with aelda (> ylda in West Saxon) and one with eoršu (> eorðan/eorðe in West Saxon). The appearance of aelda in the two oldest MSS, along with Bede's Latin paraphrase of the relevant verse of Cædmon's text as filiis hominum suggests that aelda may be the original form. This latter reading aelda/ylda b(e)arnum ('sons of men') sounds more 'Christian' than eorðan bearnum ('sons of the Earth'). However, none of this decisively establishes either 'text' as more original or even older -- assuming that Bede's account of Cædmon is largely true, one can easily imagine Cædmon himself producing multiple 'recensions' of his 'Hymn'. On the development/transmission of Cædmon's Song, see further esp. O'Donnell (1996a, b), O'Keeffe (1987), Kiernan (1990).

[Wessex-eorðe 6a] (halig scyppend)] line omitted here but halig scyppeod inserted after frea ælmihtig

[Wessex-eorðe 8a] drihten] drihtent (Hr)

[Wessex-eorðe 8b] æfter] efter (Hr)

[Wessex-eorðe 8c] teode] nothing (CArms)

[Wessex-eorðe 9a] fyrum] fyrú (Hr)

[Wessex-eorðe 9b] (halig scyppend)] line transposed from l.6b (??)



[Wessex-ylda 1a] sculon] sculun (Ln); sceolon (Tr1)

[Wessex-ylda 1b] herian] herian heri with heri underlined for deletion (W); herion (Tr1)

[Wessex-ylda 1c] heofonrices] heofenrices (Tr1)

[Wessex-ylda 2a] metudes] metoddes with first d dotted beneath for deletion (W)

[Wessex-ylda 2b] mihte] myhte (H, Bd); michte (Ln)

[Wessex-ylda 3a] wurc] weorc (Ln, W)

[Wessex-ylda 3b] wuldorfæder] with o corrected from u (H)

[Wessex-ylda 3b - semantics note] Dobbie ('Manuscripts', pp.39-40) remarks 'In l.3, gehwilc is quite ungrammatical since a genitive (gehwæs in the other texts of the Hymn) is required here after ord, l.4'.

[Wessex-ylda 3c] gehwilc] gehwylc (Ln); [gehw]ylc with y corrected from i (Bd)

[Wessex-ylda 4a] ece] eche [Ln]; ecce (SanM)

[Wessex-ylda 4b] drihten] dridhten (SanM)

[Wessex-ylda 4c] ord] word (W)

[Wessex-ylda 4d] astealde] astalde (Mg); astald (SanM)

[Wessex-ylda 5a] He] Hu (or Nu?) (Tr1)

[Wessex-ylda 5b] ærest] ærust (Ln); erust (Tr1); [æ]ræst (W)

[Wessex-ylda 5c] gescop] gesceop (H)

[5 - ylda/eorðan variation]
note the differences: aelda barnum ('sons of men') in Northumbrian MSS M, L; eordu barnum (sons of the Earth) in Northumbrian MSS Di, P; eoršan bearnum (sons of the Earth) in West Saxon MSS Alfredian Bede, T1, C, O, Ca, B; ylda bearnum ('sons of men') in Latin MSS H, W, Bd1, Ln, Mg, Tr 1; eorše bearnum (sons of the Earth) in Latin MSS Ld1, Hr. Zupitza (1878) argued that the Alfredian translation (with eoršan) was a genuine Old English version going back to an original text. Wuest's discovery of the Northumbrian texts Di & P, with their reading eordu established an eošan- group in Northumbria as well. This suggests that at a relatively early stage, two different versions of the text arose, one with aelda (> ylda in West Saxon) and one with eoršu (> eorðan/eorðe in West Saxon). The appearance of aelda in the two oldest MSS, along with Bede's Latin paraphrase of the relevant verse of Cædmon's text as filiis hominum suggests that aelda may be the original form. This latter reading aelda/ylda b(e)arnum ('sons of men') sounds more 'Christian' than eorðan bearnum ('sons of the Earth'). However, none of this decisively establishes either 'text' as more original or even older -- assuming that Bede's account of Cædmon is largely true, one can easily imagine Cædmon himself producing multiple 'recensions' of his 'Hymn'. On the development/transmission of Cædmon's Song, see further esp. O'Donnell (1996a, b), O'Keeffe (1987), Kiernan (1990).

[Wessex-ylda 6a] heofon] heofen with second e underdotted for deletion and o written above it (W)

[Wessex-ylda 6b] hrofe] rofe (Mg, W)

[Wessex-ylda 6c] scyppend] scippend (W)

[Wessex-ylda 7a] middangearde] middanear[de] (W); [mid]danea[r]de (Bd)

[Wessex-ylda 7a - semantics note] Dobbie ('Manuscripts', pp.39-40) remarks 'In l.7, middangearde, as a dative-instrumental, has no conceivable relation to its context'.

[Wessex-ylda 7b] mancynnes] mankynnes (Ln, Tr1); manncynnes (W)

[Wessex-ylda 7c] weard] letter e erased after this word (Ln)

[Wessex-ylda 8a] ece] eche (Ln); ecce (SanM)

[Wessex-ylda 8b] epter (Tr1)

[Wessex-ylda 8b - semantics note] Dobbie ('Manuscripts', pp.39-40) remarks 'The form tida, in l.8, for teode in the eorðan group, is apparently not a verb at all, but the accusative plural of tid, "after periods of time," and the two vowels, i and a, of tida can be explained only on the assumption that the word is the result of a misunderstanding of tiadæ, or a similar form, in the Northumbrian version; tida must therefore go back to the first rendering of the ylda group in the West-Saxon dialect'.

[Wessex-ylda 9a] firum] fyrum (W), pirum (Tr1)

[Wessex-ylda 9a - semantics note] Dobbie ('Manuscripts', pp.39-40) remarks '[T]he phrase on foldum, l.9, as a dative plural, makes no sense here, for folde, in the sense of "earth", is not recorded in the plural, and in fact could hardly have a plural meaning'.

[Wessex-ylda 9b] frea ælmihtig] frea ælmyhtig (H); frea ealmihti with erasure (of [o?]) between frea and ealmihti (W); euca elmihtig (Tr1)






(Latin text notes)
(Latin text taken largely from Garforth, F.W. Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica: a selection. London: Bell, 1967.)

based largely on the text of:
 MS. Kk.v.16, University Library, Cambridge [=the 'Moore Bede', C.H. rec. M] (c. or after 737) [Gneuss 25]
(modern English translation of the Latin source from Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, Book IV, translator not clearly indicated (But it seems to be L.C. Jane's 1903 Temple Classics translation), introduction by Vida D. Scudder, (London: J.M. Dent; New York E.P. Dutton, 1910).

Source: Medieval Sourcebook's version. Their permissions notice: "The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use. © Paul Halsall December 1997, [email protected]")

[unless otherwise indicated, notes on the Latin are taken from F.W. Garforth's Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica: a selection. London: Bell, 1967.]


3. divinis litteris: i.e. Holy Scripture, the Bible.

4. pusillum: understand tempus.

5. compunctione: The word means literally 'pricking' and was used in later Latin for pricking of conscience, remorse; it refers here to the effect (described in the next sentence) which Caedmon's poetry had on those who heard it.

7. saeculi: 'the world', i.e. this world, contrasted with vita caelestis.

11. per hominem: 'through human agency'

13. poematis: genitive depending on nihil.

15. in habitu saeculari...constitutus: Caedmon was not at this time a monk, nor need it be supposed that he was in any way connected with the monastery.

20. citharam: 'harp'.

21. repedabat: 'returned'.

22. dum: translate as cum.

24. competenti: 'proper', 'suitable'.

30. habes: 'have to', 'must', as in modern English.

32. creaturarum: 'creatures', 'created things'.

33. conditoris: 'the Creator'.

37. miraculorum: 'wonders', 'marvels'.

[note on difference between OE & Latin texts] here the OE translation omits this phrase - understandably since the OE translator presumably knew (or thought he knew - see Kiernan (1990)) the OE poem Bede based his Latin translation on. Or he knew the OE poem from an independent source. [note from B. Slade]

42. ad verbum: 'literally'. The truth of Bede's comment in this clause is apparent to any who have attempted the translation of poetry.

47. vilicum: 'steward', 'bailiff' (of a farm), or possibly an official or magistrate of the town.

50. quid vel unde: 'the nature and source'.

52. Exponebant: 'explained'.

54. sermonem: 'passage'. eum: for the classical ei (dat.) after praecipio modulationem carminis: 'the rhythm of verse', or simply 'verse'.

57. amplexata: 'accepting', 'welcoming'.

59. propositum: 'vow', 'rule'.

63. quasi mundum animal ruminando: 'by chewing it over like a clean animal'. 'Clean' here refers to Hebrew law (see Leviticus, XI, vv. 1-8) which permitted the eating only of those animals which were both ruminant and cloven-footed; these were 'clean', the rest 'unclean'.

64. resonando: 'by repeating', literally, 'by echoing back'.

65. sui: gen. sing. of the reflexive pronoun.

67. in terram repromissionis: 'the promised land'.

68. historiis: 'events'.

72. poenae gehennalis: 'the punishment of hell'. Gehenna is the Jewish equivalent of hell as a place of torment; the name is derived from the valley of Hinnom on the south-west of Jerusalem, where the refuse of the city was burnt and children were once sacrificed to the god Moloch.

75. ad dilectionem...actionis: 'to love and apply themselves to good deeds'. The meaning of sollertia has shifted from the classical 'skill', 'ingenuity' to the application of it in action.

76. multum: adverb with religiosus.

77. regularibus: 'of monastic rule'.

78. zelo: 'zeal'; a Greek word.

82. diebus: for the classical acc. of duration.

84. ingredi: 'walk'. in proximo: 'near by'.

90. aliqua: n. pl., object of loquerentur.

93. si: for the classical num, as also in l.97 eucharistiam: 'the Eucharist', intended by Caedmon to be his last sacrament, the viaticum referred to in l.102.

94. habes: 'have to', 'likely to'.

95. sospes: 'in good health'.

102. vitae: gen. depending on ingressui (which is dat. after paravit).

103. quam prope: 'how near'.

107. cervical: 'pillow'

111. lingua: ablative.

112. conditoris: 'the Creator'. ultima...verba...clauderet: 'uttered (literally, 'closed', 'finished') his final words'.