(Resources were checked and updated on 6/28/14. Please note that in the online resources section, Northvegr is under new management and seems to be having intermittent availability issues. So if you click on a link and the url directs to the Northvegr site and the page doesn’t load, try again later or a different browser.)
Germania by Tacitus in English and Latin (1st part trans. by A. J. Church and W.J. Brodribb 1877; 2nd part trans. by Thomas Gordon) The Germania, written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire
Tacitus, the Agricola and Germania Trans. by R.B. Townshend 1894
The Works of Tacitus Trans. by A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb 1877
Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation 1903 translation by L. C. Jane The Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (in English: Ecclesiastical History of the English People) is a work in Latin by Bede on the history of the Christian Churches in England, and of England generally; its main focus is on the conflict between Roman and Celtic Christianity. (Please note that there are 5 books and they aren’t all on the same page—click on links at top) I have not been able to find a copy of the OE version online.
Asser’s Annals of the Reign of Alfred the Great trans. by G. A. Giles ; pdf, 2000 Asser was a Welsh monk who in 893 wrote a biography of Alfred
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons.
The Nine Worts Galdor or Nine Herbs Charm in English and Anglo-Saxon
The Roman and the Teuton Charles Kingsley Also on Amazon as free kindle and as a book
Maxims I (OE and NE – not the whole poem) Maxims I can be found in the second section of the Exeter Book. The author(s) of this poem is unknown. Although dating can be tricky, scholars generally think that this poem was copied down in the latter half of the tenth century. The maxims in Maxims I discuss topics ranging from the afterlife, nature, and the social standing of women. Contains the famous line “Woden worhte weos.” (“Woden fashioned idols, the Ruler of all fashioned heaven and the spacious skies”.)
Maxims II which were written by a monk contain gnomes of a religious nature.
Deor (OE and NE) “Deor” (or “The Lament of Deor”) is an Old English poem found in the late 10th century collection the Exeter Book. In the poem, Deor’s lord has replaced him. Deor mentions various figures from Germanic mythology and reconciles his own troubles with the troubles these figures faced, ending each section with the refrain “that passed away, so may this.” The poem consists of 42 alliterative lines.
The Complete Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Poetry (in OE)
The Origin of the English Nation H. M. Chadwick
Anglo-Saxon Metrical Charms In OE and in NE trans. Gavin Chappell 2000 Twelve Metrical Charms survive in Old English, in two medieval manuscripts, Bald’s Leechbook (9th century) and Lacnunga (10th to 11th century). They are:
- Against a Dwarf
- Against a Wen
- A Journey Charm
- For a Swarm of Bees
- For Loss or Theft of Cattle
- For Delayed Birth
- For Water-Elf Disease
- Nine Herbs Charm
- Wið færstice
Widsith (NE only)
Wulf and Eadwacer An Old English poem of famously difficult interpretation. It has been variously characterised, (modernly) as an elegy, (historically) as a riddle, and (in speculation on the poem’s pre-history) as a song or ballad with refrain. The most conventional interpretation of the poem is as a lament spoken in the first person by an unnamed woman who is or has in the past been involved with two men whose names are Wulf and Eadwacer respectively
- OE and NE with links to readings in both languages
- OE and NE – different translation
- NE translation with OE reading
- YouTube reading in OE with NE translation
- Ethelwerd’s Chronicle
- Asser’s Life of Alfred
- Geoffrey of Monmouth’s British History
- The Works of Gildas
- Nennius’ History of the Britons also
- Richard of Girencester’s Ancient State of Britain
The Wanderer in OE and NE The Wanderer is an Old English poem preserved only in an anthology known as the Exeter Book, a manuscript dating from the late 10th century. The Wanderer conveys the meditations of a solitary exile on his past glories as a warrior in his lord’s band of retainers, his present hardships and the values of forbearance and faith in the heavenly Lord. The warrior is identified as eardstapa (line 6a), usually translated as “wanderer”, who roams the cold seas and walks “paths of exile” (wræclastas). He remembers the days when he served his lord, feasted together with comrades, and received precious gifts from the lord. Yet fate (wyrd) turned against him when he lost his lord, kinsmen and comrades in battle and was driven into exile.
The Seafarer in OE and NE The Seafarer is an Old English poem recorded in the Exeter Book, one of the four surviving manuscripts of Old English poetry. It is told from the point of view of an old seafarer, who is reminiscing and evaluating his life as he has lived it. Though this poem begins as a narrative of a man’s life at sea, it becomes a praise of God. At line 66b, the speaker again shifts, this time not in tone, but in subject matter. The sea is no longer mentioned; instead the speaker preaches about the path to heaven.
The Exeter Book Riddles Among the other texts in the Exeter Book, there are over ninety riddles. They are written in the style of Anglo-Saxon poetry and range in topics from the religious to the mundane.
The Merseberg Charms The Merseburg Incantations or Merseburg Charms (German: die Merseburger Zaubersprüche) are two medieval magic spells, charms or incantations, written in Old High German. Each charm is divided into two parts: a preamble telling the story of a mythological event; and the actual spell in the form of a magic analogy (just as it was before… so shall it also be now…). In their verse form, the spells are of a transitional type; the lines show not only traditional alliteration but also the end-rhymes introduced in the verse of the 9th century.
Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology Deutsche Mythologie (Teutonic Mythology) is a seminal treatise on Germanic mythology by Jacob Grimm. First published in Germany in 1835, the work is an exhaustive treatment of the subject, tracing the mythology and beliefs of the Ancient Germanic peoples from their earliest attestations to their survivals in modern traditions, folktales and popular expressions.
Teutonic Mythology by Jacob Grimm Trans. James Steven Stallybrass 1882
Anglo-Saxon and Norse Poems N. Kershaw ed. and trans.
The Vikings in Brittany Neil S.Price
Anglo-Saxon Aloud A reading of all Anglo-Saxon poems written in Old English, as MP3 podcast.
William Morris and Alfred John Wyatt 1895 translation
Lesslie Hall 1892 translation
Francis Barton Gummere 1910 translation
James A. Harrison and Robert Sharp translation
Johann Köberl translation (OE and NE version)
Chauncey B. Tinker 1902 translation
- also here
A. D. Wackerbarth 1849 translation (free Google ebook)
Wentworth Huyshe 1907 translation
H. W. Lumsden translation 1883 (free Google ebook)
Clarence G. Child translation 1904
Seamus Heaney translation 2000
Beowulf on Steorarume website
“Survivals of the Cult of the Matronae into the Early Middle Ages and Beyond” Alex G. Garman, Ph.D.
“The Germanic Thunderweapon” Lotte Motz
“Paganism to Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England” William A. Chaney
“The Making of Beowulf” G. V. Smithers
“Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics” J.R.R. Tolkien
“A Tale of Wade: The Anglo-Saxon origin myth in an East Saxon setting” Phillip Heath-Coleman
“4,000-Year-Old Burial with Chariots Discovered in South Caucasus” Article on the discovery of a two king’s wains in a burial mound in the southern part of the Caucasus in Georgia. (Besides Nerthus’ [Neorþe] and Frey’s [Ing] wains, kings used them too. In fact, it’s interesting that three hundred years after the Franks were converted to Christianity, Einhard records that Childeric III still used a sacred wain as transportation when attending the “assembly of the people.”)
“THE STORY OF VICTORIAN FUNERAL COOKIES” (Think Winternights and ancestors here)
“The Rohirrim and the Anglo-Saxons ” (just for fun :P)
Other Online Resources: (Also see end of page)
A good source for a lot of Norse and other Germanic online resources is here
T. W. Curtis’ Box Mostly Norse, but some variety (Posted with permission)
T. W. Curtis’ Dropbox Mostly Norse, but some variety (Posted with permission)
T. W. Curtis’ Reconstructionist Method Resources page on FB for other material (posted with permission)
Roman History byAmmianus Marcellinus
Proto-Indo-European Religion website
“Ibn Fadlán and the Rúsiyyah” James E. Montgomery Contains a translation of Ibn Fadlán’s account of the Rús.
Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England Barbara Yorke
Books: (Variety of material)
A Piece of Horse Liver: Myth, Ritual and Folklore in Old Icelandic Sources Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson Also try here
Agricola and the Germania Tacitus. The Agricola is both a portrait of Julius Agricola-the most famous governor of Roman Britain and Tacitus’s respected father-in-law-and the first known detailed portrayal of the British Isles. In the Germania, Tacitus focuses on the warlike German tribes beyond the Rhine, often comparing the behavior of “barbarian” peoples favorably with the decadence and corruption of Imperial Rome.
Anglo-Saxon England Frank Stenton
Anglo-Saxon Magic Godfrid Storms Out of print but a classic if you can find it.
Anglo-Saxon Mythology, Migration & Magic Tony Linsell
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition)Seamus Heaney (Translator)
- Kindle (Not bilingual)
Beowulf: A Verse Translation Daniel Donoghue, Editor. An annotated translation, with no assumption of reading knowledge of Old English.
Complete Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Mark Atherton Not as organized as Pollington’s book
Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Leo Sherley-Price trans.) Bede. Written in AD 731, Bede’s work opens with a background sketch of Roman Britain’s geography and history. It goes on to tell of the kings and bishops, monks and nuns who helped to develop Anglo-Saxon government and religion during the crucial formative years of the English people
Elves in Anglo-Saxon England Alaric Hall. The book interprets the cultural significance of elves as a cause of illness in medical texts, and provides new insights into the much-discussed Scandinavian magic of seidr. Elf-beliefs, moreover, were connected with Anglo-Saxon constructions of sex and gender; their changing nature provides a rare insight into a fascinating area of early medieval European culture.
English Heroic Legends Kathleen Herbert. The author has taken examples from heroic poetry and turned them into stories. Sources include Beowulf, The Husband’s Message from the Exeter Book and runes. The second part of the book examines the original texts and extracts themes which are an endless supply of inspiration for modern storytelling.
Finn and Hengest J.R.R. Tolkien
First Steps in Old English Stephen Pollington. A complete and easy to use Old English course for the beginner which contains all the exercises and texts needed to learn Old English. A step by step approach enables students of differing abilities to advance at their own pace. You have to buy the CD below separately.
- Old English Poems, Prose and Lessons: Anglo-Saxon Language Stephen Pollington CD
Gods of the Ancient Northmen Georges Dumézil. It explores the theory that Indo-European societies were traditionally structured in a tripartite manner and are patterned after the divine order and the various roles of the gods themselves.
Hammer of the Gods: Anglo-Saxon Paganism in Modern Times Swain Wódening’s classic book on Anglo-Saxon Heathenry
Heathen Gods in Old English Literature Richard North
How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics Calvert Watkins
Indo-European Poetry and Myth M. L. West
Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult Roger
Language and History in the Early Germanic World D. H. Green
Leechcraft: Early English Charms, Plant-Lore and Healing Stephen Pollington
Looking for the Lost Gods of England Kathleen Herbert. A scholarly work seeking to find the names of the gods of the Anglo-Saxon pantheon.
Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe H. R. Ellis Davidson. Compares and contrasts Celtic, Germanic and Scandinavian religions.
Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia Edward Oswald Gabriel Turville-Petre (Pricey but it’s also on Scribd so you can read it on your Ipad, etc.)
Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs John Lindow. Norse Mythology explores the magical myths and legends of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Viking-Age Greenland–outlining along the way the prehistoric tales and beliefs from these regions that have remained embedded in the imagination of the world.
Pagan Goddesses in the Early Germanic World: Eostre, Hreda and the Cult of Matrons Philip A. Shaw. This book focuses on the cult of Matrons, and the goddesses Eostre and Hreada.
Path to the Gods: Anglo-Saxon Paganism for Beginners Swain Wódening’s beginner book on Anglo-Saxon Heathenry.
Peace-Weavers and Shield-Maidens: Women in Early English Society Kathleen Herbert. An account of the earliest Englishwomen; the part they played in the making of England, what they did in peace and war, the impressions they left in Britain and on the continent, how they were recorded in chronicles and how they come alive in heroic verse and jokes.
Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons Gale Owens
Teutonic Mythology, Vol. 1 Jacob Grimm
Teutonic Mythology, Vol. 2 Jacob Grimm
Teutonic Mythology, Vol. 3 Jacob Grimm
Teutonic Mythology, Vol. 4 Jacob Grimm
The Ancient City: A Study on the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges
The Anglo-Saxons James Campbell
The Anglo-Saxon Way of Death Samantha Lucy
The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved P. V. Glob
The Elder Gods: The Otherworld of Early England
Stephen Pollington. An overview of the deities and beliefs surrounding of ancient ASH. Note, this book needs to be used with care. The author presents various theories on the gods from other scholars without qualifying them.
The English Settlements J.N.L. Myres
The Faces of the Goddess Lotte Motz
The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity James C. Russell.
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun J.R.R. Tolkien. The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún is a previously unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien, written while Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford during the 1920s and `30s, before he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It makes available for the first time Tolkien’s extensive retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales of Sigurd the Völsung and The Fall of the Niflungs.
The Lost Gods of England Brian Branston. One of the first scholarly works looking at the Anglo-Saxon gods.
The Mead-Hall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England Stephen Pollington. This book is vital for anyone planning feasts, not to mention those doing the rite of symbel.
The Origins of England N. J. Higham He has written a three book series covering the history of Anglo-Saxon Britain from the Saxon invastion to the Conversion. The titles are The English Conquest: Gildas and Britain in the Fifth Century, An English Empire: Bede, the Britons, and the Early Anglo-Saxon Kings, and The Convert Kings: Power and Religions Affiliation in Early Anglo-Saxon England.
The Return of the Dead: Ghosts, Ancestors, and the Transparent Veil of the Pagan Mind Claude Lecouteux. Demonstrates how Medieval Christianity transformed the more corporeal ghost encountered in pagan cultures with the disembodied form known today. Explains how the returning dead were once viewed as either troublemakers or guarantors of the social order.
The Road to Hel: A Study of the Conception of the Dead in Old Norse Literature Hilda Roderick (Ellis Davidson (Author) . Funeral practices of the ancient heathens.
The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion Mircea Eliade (The chapters on sacred time and space are especially worthy.)
The Saga of the Volsungs Jesse L. Byock, trans.
The Way of the Heathen: A Handbook of Greater Theodism
Garman Lord. A handbook of the group or solitary practice of the alternative religious discipline known as Greater Theodism. Theodism, or Theodish Belief, is a revived Prechristian European form of folk-religious polytheism, the primary goals of which are religious and historical authenticity.
We are Our Deeds: The Elder Heathenry, Its Ethic and Thew Eric Wódening. This book should be required reading for every Heathen. It is the only Heathen book that covers in detail ancient Heathen beliefs in good and evil, as well as the major thews of Heathenry.
Wordcraft: New English to Old English Dictionary and Thesaurus Stephen Pollington
Wyrd Words: A Collection of Essays on Germanic Heathenry Swain Wódening
Wyrdstaves of the North Nigel Pennick
- Amazon UK (where I got mine)
Beowulf with Benjamin Bagby. Benjamin Bagby accompanying himself on an Anglo-Saxon harp, delivers this gripping tale — in the original Old English — as it could have been experienced more than a thousand years ago. Sung in Old English with optional Modern English subtitles.
P. D. Brown (storytelling)
- Fire and Ice: Ten Tales of the North
- Sword-Song and Swan Maidens
- At Saga’s Stream
- The Battle of the Trees
More Old English Resources:
A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (Clark Hall
Old English Dictionary (OE to NE & NE to OE) (Not available)
LP Old English app (for both Ipad and Android)
- Flash cards that can be used independently or used along with the LP Old English app