Ancestral Voices: the Earliest English Literature (Course)


Ancestral Voices: the Earliest English Literature (Course)


Educational resource


A complete course providing an accessible introduction to the earliest extant English literature. The aim of this course is not for participants to learn to read or speak Old English; the texts explored will be offered in translation. Optional activities and directions for further exploration, however, enable those who wish to learn some Old English grammar and vocabulary to do so. This course aims to dispel the popular myth that Old English literature is either dreary or solely concerned with battles, and will introduce participants to the range of Old English literature, from stirring tales of heroism, courage, and fellowship, to poignant elegies of love and loss; from passionately devout to earthily humorous. Areas covered include: Anglo-Saxon history and culture; an introduction to Old English texts; in-depth exploration of selections from Old English texts in translation; an introduction to and taster of a variety of Old English; Old English script and runes; manuscripts; tools for close critical analysis; the heroic tradition; Beowulf; women in Anglo-Saxon culture. This submission contains all the files needed to run the course locally. Please note while every effort has been made to clear all content on the course, any items attributed to another user must be cleared for use. It can also be downloaded from


Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford



Date Created



5. 1st Level Higher Education (e.g. undergraduate degree, and taught Masters) or Adult Education Programmes (Continuing Education)



Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, “Ancestral Voices: the Earliest English Literature (Course),” Woruldhord, accessed April 15, 2021,