Book/Printed Material The Waning Sword : Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth In 'Beowulf'
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- The Waning Sword : Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth In 'Beowulf'
- "The image of a giant sword melting stands at the structural and thematic heart of the Old English heroic poem Beowulf. This meticulously researched book investigates the nature and significance of this golden-hilted weapon and its likely relatives within Beowulf and beyond, drawing on the fields of Old English and Old Norse language and literature, liturgy, archaeology, astronomy, folklore and comparative mythology. In Part I, Pettit explores the complex of connotations surrounding this image (from icicles to candles and crosses) by examining a range of medieval sources, and argues that the giant sword may function as a visual motif in which pre-Christian Germanic concepts and prominent Christian symbols coalesce. In Part II, Pettit investigates the broader Germanic background to this image, especially in relation to the god Ing/Yngvi-Freyr, and explores the capacity of myths to recur and endure across time. Drawing on an eclectic range of narrative and linguistic evidence from Northern European texts, and on archaeological discoveries, Pettit suggests that the image of the giant sword, and the characters and events associated with it, may reflect an elemental struggle between the sun and the moon, articulated through an underlying myth about the theft and repossession of sunlight. The Waning Sword: Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth in 'Beowulf' is a welcome contribution to the overlapping fields of Beowulf-scholarship, Old Norse-Icelandic literature and Germanic philology. Not only does it present a wealth of new readings that shed light on the craft of the Beowulf-poet and inform our understanding of the poem's major episodes and themes; it further highlights the merits of adopting an interdisciplinary approach alongside a comparative vantage point. As such, The Waning Sword will be compelling reading for Beowulf-scholars and for a wider audience of medievalists."--Publisher's website.;
- Pettit, Edward, 1968- author
- Open Book Publishers, publisher
Created / Published
- Cambridge : Open Book Publishers, 2020.
- Acknowledgements -- Signs and Abbreviations -- 1. Introduction: Beowulf, an Early Anglo-Saxon Epic -- Part I. Ice, Candle and Cross: Images of the Giant Sword in Beowulf. 2. The Giant Sword and the Ice ; 3. The Giant Sword and the Candle ; 4. The Giant Sword and the Cross -- Part II. Sun-Swords and Moon-Monsters: On the Theft and Recovery of Sunlight in Beowulf and Other Early Northern Texts. 5. Whose Sword Is It, Anyway? ; 6. Ing, Ingvi-Freyr and Hroðgar ; 7. Freyr, Skírnir and Gerðr ; 8. Lævateinn and the Maelstrom-Giantess ; 9. Freyr's Solar Power and the Purifying Sword ; 10. Freyr, Heorot and the Hunt for the Solar Stag ; 11. A Tale of Two Creatures: The Theft and Recovery of Sunlight in Riddle 29 ; 12. Another Tale of Two Creatures: The Loss and Recovery of the Solar Draught-Beast in Wið Dweorh ; 13. The Solar Antler in Sólarljóð ; 14. Grendel, His Mother, and Other Moon-Monsters ; 15. The Sun in the Pike ; 16. Conclusion: Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon Song of Ice and Fire -- Supplementary Note -- List of Illustrations -- Index -- Bibliography.
- - Beowulf
- - Germanic philology
- - Old Norse literature--History and criticism
- - Swords in literature
- - Swords--Mythology
- Electronic books
- - Includes bibliographical references and inex.
- - Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (Open Book Publishers website ; viewed on 2020-03-24).
- 1 online resource (xxi, 537 pages) : color illustrations
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Library of Congress Control Number
- Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International. CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode External
- Unrestricted online access
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Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Pettit, Edward, Author, and Publisher Open Book Publishers. The Waning Sword: Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth In 'Beowulf'. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2020. Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/2019452964/.
APA citation style:
Pettit, E. & Open Book Publishers, P. (2020) The Waning Sword: Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth In 'Beowulf'. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2019452964/.
MLA citation style:
Pettit, Edward, Author, and Publisher Open Book Publishers. The Waning Sword: Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth In 'Beowulf'. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2020. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2019452964/>.