Key Terms for Old English

These words form part of the discussion of the readings for this section, and you should become familiar with them. You can find them defined separately in the Glossary in the back of our textbook, as well as the online glossary on this site.

Old English / Anglo-Saxon
wynn, thorn, eth, ash
long vowel
i-mutation (umlaut)
short syllable, long syllable
nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental
strong and weak verbs
grammatical gender, natural gender
parataxis vs. hypotaxis

449, traditional date for the arrival of Hengest and Horsa, the first Anglo-Saxon invaders/settlers of Celtic Britain
ca. 675 Caedmon

ca. 8th century, creation of Beowulf
735 death of Bede
793 Sacking of Lindisfarne
849-899 King Alfred
10th century, Benedictine revivial
ca. 1000, Beowulf manuscript copied
1066 Norman Conquest