Complete Old English

Complete Old English

Dr Mark Atherton


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Designed for complete beginners, and tested for years with real learners, this enhanced ebook edition of Complete Old English offers a bridge from the textbook to the real world, enabling you to learn the grammar, understand the vocabulary and even how to translate such canonical texts as Beowulf and the earliest version of the Lord's Prayer from a critical point in our history.

Structured around authentic material, using online audio to aid pronunciation, and introducing both a grammar perspective and a full introduction to essential vocabulary, this course also features:

-22 learning units plus maps and verb guide
-New edition features key set texts in an Appendix, in a title suitable for classroom or self-study use
-Authentic materials - language taught through key texts
-Teaches the key skills - reading and understanding Old English grammar and vocabulary
-Culture insights - learn about the culture and religion of the Anglo-Saxons
-Self tests and learning activities - see and track your own progress

This journey to the heart of Old English takes the reader back over fifteen centuries to Anglo-Saxon times, and the language used then. It uses only original and primary materials to teach the earliest known historical form of the English language as it was spoken by the Anglo-Saxon settlers and their descendants.

Complete Old English draws on extracts from canonical texts such as Beowulf and the earliest version of the Lord's prayer to teach the language in a way that assumes no prior knowledge on the part of the student. It introduces each new grammatical point systematically and thoroughly, ensuring complete understanding before progressing to the next stage and with emphasis on a deeper understanding. Throughout the book, grammar is explained and reinforced with a wide range of readings and exercises, including translation practice.

This course enables readers to understand Old English literature, manuscripts and historical documents in their original form, removing the barrier of translation and allowing a deeper understanding of the culture, religion and society of the time. From the earliest point, the reading material is taken from primary sources, avoiding 'made up' phrases or reading exercises and helping the reader gain confidence in their ability to read the language. With full audio support, and further insights into Anglo Saxon history, this is an ideal language course for anyone interested in the writings of this formative age, offering an enhanced appreciation of their significance.

Please note that not all devices support the audio/video component of enhanced ebooks. We recommend you download a sample to check compatibility with your device.

Alternatively, you'll be able to access the audio for free via the Teach Yourself Library app or online from


Dr Mark Atherton:
Dr Mark Atherton is a Fellow of Regents Park College Oxford, a tutor of Old and Middle English and of the History of English. He is widely published on the subject of Old English, both from a linguistic and literary perspective; he is the author of numerous academic papers and several textbooks. He is also the author of There and Back Again: JRR Tolkien and the Origins of The Hobbit, and has appeared at several literary festivals, including the Oxford Literary Festival, in this capacity.



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