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A Store of Common Sense - Gnomic Theme and Wisdom in Old Icelandic and Old English Wisdom Poetry | Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Store of Common Sense: Gnomic Theme and Wisdom in Old Icelandic and Old English Wisdom Poetry

Carolyne Larrington

Abstract

This is a comparative study of Old Icelandic and Old English wisdom poetry. It examines problems of form, unity, and coherence, and how the genre responds to social change, both reflecting and shaping the thinking of the communities that originate it. The author analyses the differences between the pagan wisdom of Norse, ranging through everyday practical advice, rune magic, and spells, and the Christian, socially oriented ideals of Old English wisdom poetry, strongly rooted in Christian concepts of ‘natural’ order and hierarchy in God’s Creation. Close reading in primary texts, both runic and ... More

Keywords: wisdom poetry, Old Icelandic, unity, narrative verse, social change, Norse texts, pagan wisdom, Norse, rune magic, spells

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1993 Print ISBN-13: 9780198119821
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119821.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Carolyne Larrington, author
St John’s College, Oxford