Maxims in Old English Poetry

Front Cover
Boydell & Brewer, 1999 - 205 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Maxims abound in Old English literature, but have rarely been studied extensively, and many questions remain about their use: what kind of expression is a maxim? Why and when were they used? Do they offer evidence for popular, pagan folklore? This book aims to offer answers through a detailed investigation of various issues, texts and formulas, leading to a better understanding of Old English literature in general. It takes account of comparable material in other Old Germanic languages and the Bible, and shows that maxims had recognisable functions in literary and social discourse, recording knowledge and according value. Dr Cavill also applies new developments in current scholarship on formulaic theory, proverb performance theory and sociology of knowledge; sheds new light on popular poems like The Battle of Maldon and Beowulf; and suggests a place and purpose for the Maxims poems in an oral society.
Dr PAUL CAVILLteaches at the University of Nottingham.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Maxims in the Old Germanic Languages
The Maxim the Proverb and the Riddle
A Gnomic Formula
The Social Function of Maxims and The Battle of Maldon
Christian or Not?
The Old English Maxims

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information