In Anglo-Saxon England wisdom was essentially handed down in the oral tradition. It was concrete, obvious, communal and popular and therefore accessible to all. The Anglo-Saxons valued wisdom which is why they expressed it in maxims, gnomes, and proverbs. The gnome, maxim, proverb or brief, pithy, sententious saying was employed in Anglo-Saxon verse sometimes to expound proverbial or folk wisdom, sometimes more elaborately to affirm a moral, or define a virtue or a vice. The concise brevity of gnomes, their invariable appositeness, framed in the alliterative pattern of Anglo-Saxon verse, endows them with a forthright memorability that is the outstanding feature of the type. To the Anglo-Saxon poet - of whose literary and folk heritage they formed a part - gnomes provided a fund of moral aphorisms from which he was able to draw whenever a particular episode in a poem needed to be enlightened, or its significance enforced, by the sententious assertion of a widely accepted truth.

Tornaghi, P., Biblical Echoes in Exeter Gnomes, in Finazzi, R. B., Pontani, P., Dal mondo classico all’universo medievale: nuove modulazioni di lingue e culture,, EDUCatt, Milano 2013: 157-184 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/43262]

Biblical Echoes in Exeter Gnomes

Tornaghi, Paola
2013

Abstract

In Anglo-Saxon England wisdom was essentially handed down in the oral tradition. It was concrete, obvious, communal and popular and therefore accessible to all. The Anglo-Saxons valued wisdom which is why they expressed it in maxims, gnomes, and proverbs. The gnome, maxim, proverb or brief, pithy, sententious saying was employed in Anglo-Saxon verse sometimes to expound proverbial or folk wisdom, sometimes more elaborately to affirm a moral, or define a virtue or a vice. The concise brevity of gnomes, their invariable appositeness, framed in the alliterative pattern of Anglo-Saxon verse, endows them with a forthright memorability that is the outstanding feature of the type. To the Anglo-Saxon poet - of whose literary and folk heritage they formed a part - gnomes provided a fund of moral aphorisms from which he was able to draw whenever a particular episode in a poem needed to be enlightened, or its significance enforced, by the sententious assertion of a widely accepted truth.
Inglese
978-88-8311-991-0
Tornaghi, P., Biblical Echoes in Exeter Gnomes, in Finazzi, R. B., Pontani, P., Dal mondo classico all’universo medievale: nuove modulazioni di lingue e culture,, EDUCatt, Milano 2013: 157-184 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/43262]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10807/43262
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact