This book is planned for an introductory course in Anglo-Saxon. The glossary has been constructed so as both to facilitate the use of a grammar and to reduce the necessity of grammatical notes. Cook’s excellent translation of Sievers’ Grammar has made available for reference the best exposition of Anglo-Saxon phonology and inflection. March’s Grammar will assist the teacher in matters relating to syntax.
In the choice of texts by which the student is to introduced to the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon times, an editor is compelled, in view of the practical end, to suppress many considerations: there must be gradation that may contradict chronology, or dialectal relationship; there must be a degree of variety that may do violence to completeness. An adjustment in partial harmony with all reasonable requirements is as much as can be hoped for.
The West-Saxon dialect, though not exactly in the line of the subsequent development of the language, is yet best adapted to the conditions of the beginner, for it possesses sufficient uniformity in phonology and inflection, the grammars are based upon it, and it embraces most of the literature. The style and the character of the literature also determine the easiest introduction to be through the later form of this dialect. The following texts have been selected and arranged in accordance with these views. The first