IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 101: Esoteric Knowledge in Anglo-Saxon England, I: Imagining and Creating

Monday 1 July 2019, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Caroline R. Batten, Faculty of English Language & Literature, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Rachel Burns, Department of English, University College London
Paper 101-aWays of Knowing in the Early Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Helen Foxhall Forbes, Department of History, Durham University
Helen Foxhall Forbes, Department of History, Durham University
Index terms: Education, Language and Literature - Comparative, Science, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 101-bSynchronicities in the Old English Rhyming Poem
(Language: English)
Harriet Soper, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Harriet Soper, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Mentalities, Rhetoric
Paper 101-c'He was offered great gifts to read those letters': Secretive Gibberish in Early Medieval England
(Language: English)
Ciaran Arthur, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Ciaran Arthur, School of Arts, English & Languages, Queen's University Belfast
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Language and Literature - Old English, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Medicine
Abstract

These three linked sessions examine the creation, presentation, and communication of ‘esoteric knowledge’ in Anglo-Saxon England: forms of knowledge, or modes of conveying knowledge, that may not have been readily available to a wide audience or that were intentionally enigmatic in register or content. Each session explores performances, translations, and uses of materials that are obscure, inexplicable, or mysterious. We will also strive to address forms of knowledge in Anglo-Saxon England that are treated as esoteric or ‘unsolvable’ by modern scholars, and investigate what literary, scientific, or religious understanding can be gained through their close examination. Our first session examines the ways in which esoteric knowledge in a range of religious, scientific, and literary texts is codified.