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"The Eschatological Conclusion of the Old English Physiologus"
Frederick M. Biggs
Medium Aevum, 58:2, 1989, 286-297
 

"Much of the criticism of the Old English Physiologus has quite properly focused on the final fragmentary sections - conveniently called 'The Partridge' - since the differing interpretations of these lines provide strikingly different views of the shape of the entire work. The textual problem at this point in the Exeter Book is straightforward: after the opening phrases that identify the subject as a bird, the poem breaks off in mid-sentence at the bottom of folio 97b; the following folio begins mid-sentence, but does not explicitly mention a bird. ...it now seems likely that a single leaf, and not an entire gathering, has been lost at this point ... the two passages either may be or may not be part of the same poem. In this essay, I should like to strengthen the claim that they are part of a single poem about the partridge, by arguing that the final fragment differs from the moral gloss of the Latin source because the Anglo-Saxon poet has included eschatological motifs, and thus makes the conclusion of the work similar to other Old English poems that end with references to the Last Judgement." - Biggs

Language: English


 
ISSN: 0025-8385
 
  
 
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