The Wanderer Project


Manuscript TypeSet PoeticTS Trans.1 Trans.2 Trans.3 Trans. 4 Glossary Home
Basics The Project The Author Comments

About the Links:


Images from the Exeter Book represented eleven lines at a time and linked to Type Set, Type Set with Poetic breaks, and two different translations.

Type Set Manuscript

Using Poetic Transcriptions of the text and an examination of manuscript pictures I have created a typeset version of the manuscript in its original, non-poetic lineation. 

Poetic Type Set Manuscript

A type script transliteration of the manuscript with poetic breaks, following a number of scholarly sources, most importantly Bernard Muir's 1994 Text of the Exeter Book.

Translation 1

The Translation of "The Wanderer" by Robert E. Diamond.

Translation 2

The Translation of "The Wanderer" by Benjamin Thorpe.

Translation 3

A Translation by Michael Alexander where he attempts to create a more poetic rendering of "The Wanderer" into English--inspired by Pound's Seafarer translation.

Translation 4

My own Translation which tries to maintain some of the openess of the text's original meaning.


This Glossary attempts to provide the reader/translator of "The Wanderer" with access to multiple meanings for the words used in the text.  There is an attempt to identify not only the root words but each individual word in the text as to its part of speech, conjugation, declension etc.  (The hope is that it facilitates more open reading of the text and eases translation while helping with the assimilation of Old English.)


I have included some very basic pronunciation charts and an explanation of the basic idea of cases in Old English.  I felt this would offer students a useful introduction that would allow them to more effectively use other elements of this page.  I expect this section will be expanded as I receive more student feedback about the project.

About the Project

As a medievalist in a four-year college, I get to talk about Anglo-Saxon a fair amount, but I doubt I will ever actually teach many Anglo-Saxon texts in their original language.  

In considering what was important about translations of the text I revisited some ideas I discussed in my dissertation about the need to free up interpretation and translation of texts by creating a more comprehensive lexicon of Anglo-Saxon and providing easy access.  

Much is lost if one only reads these in translation, and I wondered if it would be possible to combine the elements I think necessary for a good understanding of the text (and a good translation of it) into one electronic format.

As I work on this project, I discover a lot that I had never learned (or forgotten) about Anglo-Saxon grammar, but I remain convinced that Anglo-Saxon grammar is not as cut and dried as its presentation often suggests.

I will continue to add to the offerings that are part of this project. I'm not sure how much I will take away.  Projects like this look big from the outside, but from within they are truly enormous.  I had no idea the amount of work I was creating for myself.     


Why The Wanderer?

I selected "The Wanderer" for a number of reasons.  It was short, but not too short. It is an interesting poem that has created some controversy in how it is translated and interpreted, and it exists in a manuscript form that I could transfer to an electronic source.



About The Author:

I am Rick McDonald.  I received my Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in 1997.  I am primarily concerned with the way language works in medieval texts, and I am probably more comfortable with Middle English. (I suppose we all are.)

As part of my training and now one of my supervisory roles, I have taught English classes using computers and the World Wide Web.  I have taught very little that one might classify as medieval in computer environments.

So when I began thinking about the need to open up translation of medieval texts and how to expose students to the intricacies of translation, I began considering authoring a small electronic project.

I make no claims to being an extraordinary scholar of Anglo-Saxon language or computer programming wizard.  I saw a problem that I thought I could address electronically and jumped into a project that is now testing (and refining) my language and computer skills.


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The contents of all original pages of the WandererWeb are copyright 2001  Rick McDonald.