From Yuletide to Nativity Christmas in Early England
with Dr Sam Newton
at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
We begin the day with a look at the Old English calendar, which reveals how the pre-Christian year was structured. We shall then consider how this calendar was transformed into the Christian year – how, for example, did Módra Niht, “Mothers’ Night” become Christmas Eve? We shall also consider some of the ways in which the feast of Yuletide and the legend of the Nativity came to be celebrated in England, using examples from Anglo-Saxon art and from Old and Middle English literature.
|10.00||Coffee on arrival|
|10.15||The Old English Calendar|
|11.30||The Old English Yuletide|
|14:00||What has Ingeld to do with Christ?|
|15:15||Christmas at Camelot –Sir Gawain and the Green Knight|
Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D in 1991 and published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993. Since then he has been lecturing and writing as an independent scholar in Early Medieval Studies. His latest book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, was published in 2003. He is also now a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and Time Team historian.
Anderson, E.R., “The Seasons of the Year in Old English”Anglo-Saxon England 26 (1997), pp.321-263.
Barron, W.R.J. (ed. & tr.), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: text and facing translation (Manchester 1974).
Bengtsson, Frans G., The Long Ships, trans. M.Meyer (London 1954, 1956).
Harrison, K., The Framework of Anglo-Saxon History to AD900 (Cambridge 1976), pp.1-14.
Hutton, R., The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (Oxford 1996).
Mitchell, B., An Invitation to Old English and Anglo-Saxon England (Blackwell 1994).
Tolkien, J.R.R. (tr), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Orfeo, ed. C.Tolkien (Unwin 1975).
Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)