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Old English: Grammar and Reader (Arabic Edition) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0814315101 ISBN-10: 0814315100

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Old English: Grammar and Reader (Arabic Edition) + A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary + Word-Hoard: An Introduction to Old English Vocabulary, Second Edition (Yale Language Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press (January 1, 1970)
  • Language: Arabic
  • ISBN-10: 0814315100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814315101
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

An excellent introduction to learning Old English.

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Customer Reviews

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A very useful and fun text from which to learn!
FrKurt Messick
Baker's book you should buy it because you want a better understanding of grammar not because you want more samples of Old English.
Jonathan M. Phillips
I give the book 5 stars because the author does exactly what he says he will in the introduction.
Dubrl.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Cinna the Poet on August 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the only book for Anglo-Saxon that I know of, besides some editions of Beowulf, which has PARALLEL TEXTS for all of the readings. This is a huge help and will save you a whole lotta knock-shloggin' (looking words up), so you can study Old English kicked back with your feet up. Plus, the translations are nice and literal, and where they can't be literal, the translator gives the word-for-word meaning in parentheses.
Another nice thing is that, unlike most all other Old English readers, none of the selections here are translations of Latin works (and so not influenced by annoying Latin syntax), but all original Anglo-Saxon compositions, including some of the most important works: Caedmon's Hymn, The Battle of Brunanburg, The Battle of Maldon, The Dream of the Rood, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Wife's Lament, The Whale, selections from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Alfred vs. the Vikings--hooray!), and others.
Mr. Diamond says that this book "is intended to make learning Old English as easy as possible", and he does a great service by publishing it. True, there are no lessons or exercises, but if you've been studying your German or your Icelandic then you'll have no problem with the very to-the-point treatments of grammar, Umlaut, metrics, etc. (If, on the other hand, you haven't been working on your modern German, then what the heck are you already jumping to Old English for?!)
This book, good also for review, will get you reading Anglo-Saxon texts very soon if not immediately, and the mix in them of a hardy Germanic character and a very familiar Englishness is pure pleasure.
(P.S. If you want a really helpful edition of Beowulf, get George Jack's (OUP), and if you want a nice overview of all Old Germanic, try Robinson's Old English and its Closest Relatives.)
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A. Holt on March 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This text, in conjunction with Robinson's 'Old English and its Closest Relatives' (which you may want to read first if you're a monolingual English speaker)brings the world of early Germanic language and culture into a sharper focus. I feel that Old English is an essential study for anyone interested in Germanic languages. It serves as a solid base by which languages like Gothic and Old Norse are more easily and quickly understood.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the first Old English grammar I studied, nearly 25 years ago, and it remains perhaps the best one-volume introduction to Old English around. Concise, simple, and accessible, this text has both a reader and a grammar in one cover, containing selections from the major Old English poems and prose works.

The prose works include 'The Voyages of Ohthere and Wulfstan', selections from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and the preface by Alfred the Great to the medieval work on Pastoral Care by Pope Gregory. There are relatively few Old English prose works that have survived into the present day; there are even fewer authentically Old English pieces, as many Old English prose works are in fact translations of Latin pieces, and for some reason adapted their grammar to the Latin original rather than the Old English natural pattern.

The poetry exhibits the paired-verse pattern (although the translations accompanying them do not strive to keep the metrical pattern). The poetry include majors works such as Caedmon's Hymn, The Battle of Brunanburg, The Battle of Maldon, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, maxims, riddles, and other poems. There is no Beowulf contained here, nor any other heroic poems (such as Deor), as Diamond states that these are the most likely follow-up readings after one gains a grounding in Old English, and the poems contained here are often overlooked by students save for the most dedicated of scholars.

The texts here are normalised to Early West Saxon dialect, with a grammar very simplified; concepts are introduced that are directly useful for the texts contained herein. The glossary is similarly normalised, and cross-referenced for various verb forms and other vocabulary links such as prefixes and alternatives.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 1997
Format: Paperback
Author Robert E. Diamond presents a sufficient, though incomplete, guide through Old English Grammar; and, to a student unaquainted with the syntax and grammar of inflected langauges, it proffers very good introductory information, supplying super paradigms, requisite for basic readings. The reader section, however, providing both prose and poetry selections, is far superior, comprising readable poetic paragons, and with its prose section epitomizes some basic tenets of Old English literature. An informative and detailed chapter on verse serves as an excellent supplement, and a comprehensive (for the purposes of the reader) glossary aids greatly in translation
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Thomas W Hall on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Excellent for use with, for example, the new Beowulf translation. Diamond does a good job providing a nice balance between pronunciation, grammar, readings, and a dictionary. The dictionary could be longer, and I am sure our knowledge has progressed since 1973 (another edition, Robert?) but overall this book achieves very well what it sets out to do: provide a nice introduction to OE.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan M. Phillips on August 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought both Prof. Diamond's Old English Grammar and Prof. Baker's Introduction to Old English after checking them out from my local library. They are both excellent works, but I prefer Prof. Diamond's book for a couple of reasons.

First, although trivial, I have learned other inflected languages such as Greek and Latin and they always present noun declensions for the various cases in the following order: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative, etc. Prof. Diamond presents noun declensions in the same way while Prof. Baker's book presents them in the order nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, etc. It throws me off just enough to be irritating when I am trying to memorize the case endings.

Second, as mentioned in other reviews, Prof. Diamond presents translations with each text. This makes it possible to learn a few words and them jump straight into the texts without having to guess whether or not you understood the various pieces.

Prof. Baker's book has its merits such as its companion website and its more detailed discussion of grammar, but I would recommend starting to learn Old English with Prof. Diamond's book.

One more point - if you are considering buying both keep in mind that many of the literary samples in both overlap so if you buy Prof. Baker's book you should buy it because you want a better understanding of grammar not because you want more samples of Old English.
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