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Perspectives on the Old Saxon Heliand

Edited by
Valentine A. Pakis
May 2010
PB  978-1-933202-49-5
PDF  978-1-935978-35-0
PDF  (120 Days)


Heliand, the Old Saxon poem based on the life of Christ in the Gospels, has become more available to students of Anglo-Saxon culture as its influence has reached into a wider range of fields from history to linguistics, literature, and religion. In Perspectives on the Old Saxon Heliand, Valentine Pakis brings together recent scholarship that both addresses new turns in the field and engages with the relevant arguments of the past three decades. Furthering the ongoing critical discussion of both text and culture, this volume also reflects on the current state of the field and demonstrates how it has evolved since the 1970s.

Volume 12 in the Medieval European Studies Series.


  1. Preface
    Valentine A. Pakis
  2. Introductions to the Heliand and its Language
    • The Historical Setting of the Heliand, the Poem, and the Manuscripts
        James E. Cathey
    • The Old Saxon Heliand
        G. Ronald Murphy
    • An Overview of Old Saxon Linguistics, 1992–2008
        Marc Pierce
  3. The Diatessaronic Tradition
    • The Parable of the Fisherman in the Heliand: The Old Saxon Version of Matthew 13:47-50
        Tjitze Baarda
    • (Un)Desirable Origins: The Heliand and the Gospel of Thomas
        Valentine A. Pakis
  4. Orality and Narrative Tradition
    • Was the Heliand Poet Illiterate?
        Harald Haferland
    • The Hatred of Enemies: Germanic Heroic Poetry and the Narrative Design of the Heliand
        Harald Haferland
  5. The Portrayal of the Jews in the Heliand
    • The Jews in the Heliand
        G. Ronald Murphy
    • Jesus Christ between Jews and Heathens: The Germanic Mission and the Portrayal of Christ in the Old Saxon Heliand
        Martin Friedrich
  6. The Discovery of the Leipzig Fragment (2006)
    • A New Heliand Fragment from the Leipzig University Library
         Hans Ulrich Schmid
  7. Plates
    1. 1. Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, omas 4073 (MS), outer side
    2. 2. Leipzig, Universitätsbibliothek, omas 4073 (MS), inner side
  8. Works Cited