Collective beowulf

Martin WHEELER mwheeler at
Mon May 20 16:57:23 PDT 2002

On Mon, 20 May 2002, Fitch, Chester wrote:

> But - anybody enough of a linguist to know what the ancient Celtic word for
> "war party" was?

Ummm .. knowledge of the celtic dialects spoken in these isles in
the 8th and 9th centuries isn't going to help much with the people who
composed and recited the Beowulf.  They were Angles; and/or Saxons; and
in fact spent much of their time beating the stuffing out of the local
celtic-speaking crowd.  ('Sasseneach' -- Saxon -- is still a term of
comtempt in the far N.W.)

Haven't got my Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Grammar to hand, and my well-thumbed
Sedgefield isn't much help; but as a pacifist descendant of the warrior
invaders, I'd prefer a term like 'moot' (as in "starlings' moot" or
"witanegemot") to convey the idea of a cluster of these things.

Just a thought.

'A moot of Beowulfs' -- yeah, sounds OK to me.

Martin Wheeler <mwheeler at> gpg key 01269BEB @

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