West-Saxon eorðan recension

A critical edition of the probable recension archetype

Based on T1 with collations from B1, Ca, N, O[1], To.

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    Nu sculon[2] herigean      heofonrices ƿeard,

    meotodes meahte,      ond his modgeþanc,

    ƿeorc ƿuldorfæder      sƿa[3] he ƿundra gehƿæs,

    ece drihten,      or onstealde!

5     He ærest sceop      eorðan bearnum

    heofon to hrofe,      halig scyppend;

    þa[4] middangeard,      moncynnes ƿeard,

    ece drihten,      æfter teode

    firum foldan,      frea ælmihtig.

Apparatus (All witness readings (analytic))

1a Nu] {([Nu T1 Nu O (Pre-Correction)])([Ne N])}{([Nuƿe B1 Nu ƿe To Nu\ƿe/ O (Post-Correction) Nu ƿe| Ca])}.

1a sculon herigean] {([sculon herıgean T1][sculan herıan O][sceolon herıan To][sceolan herıgean Ca][sculon her gean N])}{([herıgan sculon| B1])}.

1b heofonrices] {([heofon|rıces T1 heofonrıces B1 heofonrıces To heofon rıces N heofon|rıces O heofon rıces Ca])}.

1b ƿeard] {([ƿeard T1 ƿeard B1 ƿeard· To ƿe:|ard N ƿeard O ƿeard Ca])}.

2a meotodes] {([meotodes T1][metodes B1 metodes To metodes N metodes O metodes Ca])}.

2a meahte] {([meahte T1][hte| B1 mıhte To mıhte· N mıhte O mıhte Ca])}.

2b ond] {([Ond N][ T1 B1 To O Ca])}.

2b his] {([hıs T1 hıs B1 hıs To hıs N hıs O hıs Ca])}.

2b modgeþanc] {([modgeþanc T1 mod ge þanc B1 mod|geþanc· To mod ge þanc· Ca][mod geþonc N mod ge þonc| O])}.

3a ƿeorc] {([ƿeorc| T1 ƿeorc B1 ƿeorc To])}{([ƿeoroda N])}{([ƿero O (Pre-Correction)])}{([ƿer{a} O (Post-Correction) ƿera| Ca])}.

3a ƿuldorfæder] {([ƿuldor fæder T1 ƿul:|dor fæder N ƿuldor fæder O ƿuldor fæder· Ca][ƿulder fæder To])}{([ƿuldor godes| B1])}.

3b sƿa] {([sƿa T1 sƿa B1 sƿa To sƿa N sƿa O sƿa Ca])}.

3b he] {([he T1 he B1 he To he N he O he Ca])}.

3b ƿundra] {([ƿundra T1 ƿund ra B1 ƿundra To ƿundra N ƿundra O])}{([ƿuldres Ca])}.

3b gehƿæs] {([gehƿæs T1 gehƿæs· To ge hƿæs| O ge hƿæs Ca])([geh{ƿ}hƿæs N])}{([fela B1])}.

4a ece] {([ee{c}e T1 éce B1 ece To ece N ece O ece Ca])}.

4a drihten] {([adrihten T1 drıhten B1 drıhten To drıhten N drıhten· Ca][dryhten O])}.

4b or] {([or T1 or| N][oór O (Pre-Correction)])}{([ord| B1 ord Ca][oór\d/ O (Post-Correction)])}{([ær| To])}.

4b onstealde] {([on|stealde· T1 onstealde N onstealde O onstealde Ca])}{([astealde B1 astealde· To])}.

5a He] {([he T1 he B1 He To he N he O he Ca])}.

5a ærest] {([ærest T1 ærest B1 ærest N ærest O][ærost To])([æres Ca])}.

5a sceop] {([sceop T1 sceop B1 sceop· To][scop N])}{([gesceop| O][ge|scóp Ca])}.

5b eorðan] {([eorðan T1 eorðan B1 eorðan To eorðan O |e|orðan Ca])}{([eorþū N])}.

5b bearnum] {([bear|num B1 bearnu{m}{::} O (Post-Correction)][bearnū T1 bearnū To bearnū N bearnū Ca])}{([bearnunum O (Pre-Correction)])}.

6a heofon] {([heofon T1 heofon B1 heofon To heofon N heofon O heofon Ca])}.

6a to] {([to T1 to B1 to To to N to O to Ca])}.

6a hrofe] {([hrofe| T1 hrofe B1 hrofe· To hrofe| N hrofe O][rofe Ca])}.

6b halig] {([halıg T1 halıg B1 halıg| To halıg N halıg| O halıg Ca])}.

6b scyppend] {([scyppend· T1 scyp|pend B1 scyppend O scyppend· Ca][sc\y/pend· N])}{([drıhten· To])}.

7a þa] {([þa T1 þa To þa N þa Ca][ða O])}{([þe B1])}.

7a middangeard] {([mıddangeard T1 mıddan geard B1 mıddan geard N mıddan geard Ca][mıddon geard O][mıddan eard To])}.

7b moncynnes] {([moncynnes T1 moncynnes N moncynnes O mon|cynnes Ca][mann cynnes| B1][mancynnes To])}.

7b ƿeard] {([ƿeard T1 ƿeard B1 ƿeard To ƿeard N ƿeard| O ƿeard Ca])}.

8a ece] {([ece| T1 éce B1 ece To ece| N ece O ece Ca])}.

8a drihten] {([drıhten T1 drıhten B1 drıhten To drıhten N][dryhten O][drıh Ca])}.

8b æfter] {([æfter T1 æfter B1 æfter N æfter O][æfť To æf Ca])}.

8b teode] {([teode T1 teode| B1 teode·| To teo{:}de O (Post-Correction) teode Ca])([teodde O (Pre-Correction)])}{([eode N])}.

9a firum] {([n{r}um T1 fırum To fırum O][fyrum B1][fırū Ca])([fınū N])}.

9a foldan] {([foldan T1 foldan B1 foldan· To foldan N folda\n/ O (Post-Correction) foldan Ca])([folda O (Pre-Correction)])}.

9b frea] {([frea T1 frea B1 frea To frea N frea| O m{fr}ea Ca])}.

9b ælmihtig] {([ælmıhtıg· T1 ælmıhtıg| B1 ælmıhtıg·| To ælmıhtıg· N ælmıhtıg· O ælmıhtıg· Ca])}.


[1]The scribe of O has altered his text considerably by correction (see above, Chapter 4: Manuscripts (O) and Chapter 7: Editorial introduction, West-Saxon eorðan recension). Pre- and post-correction forms are collated separately (where applicable) except in the All readings (parallel) apparatus.

[2]sculon] sculon is either first person plural with an unexpressed subject (i.e. [ƿue/ƿe] sculon), or third person plural with ƿeorc ƿuldorfæder, 3a, as subject. The former interpretation is supported by the form in Bede’s paraphrase, debemus; but the latter interpretation is suggested by a lack of convincing syntactic parallels in Old English (see especially Mitchell 1985b), and, perhaps, similar syntax in the Benedicite (Stanley 2002, 3). See above, §§ 5.18-5.20 and 2.43. sculon (and variant spellings) appears without a pronominal subject in all witnesses to the Northumbrian aelda recension (i.e. P and M) and the earliest witnesses to the West-Saxon eorðan recension (N, O [Pre-Correction], and T1). All other recensions and later manuscripts of the West-Saxon eorðan recension have a variant of ƿue/ƿe as subject.

[3]sƿa] Howlett suggests that sƿa may be intended as an adverb (“thus”) rather than a causal conjunction (“as, because”). For a discussion of the evidence, see above, § C.9. The punctuation here assumes sƿa is a conjunction.

[4]þa] þa can be construed as either a causal conjunction (“when”) or an adverb (“then”). While the reading has considerable effect on our understanding of the poem’s structure and theology (see above, § C.9, and esp. Blockley 1998, 20-26), neither reading can be ruled out conclusively. The punctuation in this edition follows that of most modern editions in treating þa as an adverb.