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 (parallel))

1a Nu] Nu T1 Nuƿe B1 Nu ƿe To Ne N Nu\ƿe/ O Nu ƿe| Ca.

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

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] T1 B1 To Ond N 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 geþonc N mod ge þonc| O mod ge þanc· Ca.

3a ƿeorc] ƿeorc| T1 ƿeorc B1 ƿeorc To ƿeoroda N ƿero{a} O ƿera| Ca.

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

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 fela B1 gehƿæs· To geh{ƿ}hƿæs N ge hƿæs| O ge hƿæs Ca.

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 dryhten O drıhten· Ca.

4b or] or T1 ord| B1 ær| To or| N oór\d/ O ord Ca.

4b onstealde] on|stealde· T1 astealde B1 astealde· To onstealde N onstealde O onstealde Ca.

5a He] he T1 he B1 He To he N he O he Ca.

5a ærest] ærest T1 ærest B1 ærost To ærest N ærest O 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 eorþū N eorðan O |e|orðan Ca.

5b bearnum] bearnū T1 bear|num B1 bearnū To bearnū N bearnun{m}um{::} O bearnū Ca.

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 drıhten· To sc\y/pend· N scyppend O scyppend· Ca.

7a þa] þa T1 þe B1 þa To þa N ða O þa Ca.

7a middangeard] mıddangeard T1 mıddan geard B1 mıddan eard To mıddan geard N mıddon geard O mıddan geard Ca.

7b moncynnes] moncynnes T1 mann cynnes| B1 mancynnes To moncynnes N moncynnes O mon|cynnes Ca.

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 æfť To æfter N æfter O æf Ca.

8b teode] teode T1 teode| B1 teode·| To eode N teod{:}de O teode Ca.

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

9a foldan] foldan T1 foldan B1 foldan· To foldan N folda\n/ O foldan Ca.

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.