tonybaldwin | blog

non compos mentis

Old English text found in New Haven basement

with one comment

I found these papers in my basement.


click to enlarge

page 2 / page 3.

PDF version, all 3 pages

Now, we weren’t hit so bad with all of the flooding going on in the state, but, we did have a slight issue in the basement. It wasn’t so bad, since, about month ago, with snow melt and rain, we’d had a problem and the landlord sent over the maintenance guy to clean out the drain and repair the pump, etc., but, it seems the foundation has cracked, and there was water coming in.
I hadn’t been down to the basement, since we hadn’t had any issues (last time, with the flooding, the pilot light went out in the water heater), until I went down this morning to bring up some bicycling gear, what with the weather warming up.
When I got down there, I saw a couple of cinder blocks out of place back in one corner of the basement. There was mud and water seeping in, slowly, but, more important, there was a space large enough to push my hands back in there, and even see back into the gap. I saw a cylinder, which appeared like one of those tube thingies you see drafting students carrying around, for transporting rolled up drafting drawings, or whatever. I pulled it out. It appeared to be made of wood (mostly rotted) covered in some form of leather (also rotted, but not entirely).
I opened it up, and, well, within I found these pages.

Now, I studied Beowulf in college, being an English major, and even read the portions thereof in Old English. I even still recall a very few lines (hwear eart þu nu, ge-fera? = where are you now, friend?).
I’m pretty sure the text on these pages is Old English.

Yeah. I find that quite odd, too. Nonetheless, I recall reading speculation that the stone dwellings in the Gungywamp Forest area of Groton may have been built by Europeans, long before the arrival of our Puritan forefathers (vikings?), since they are decidedly not like any type of dwelling constructed by the local, native Algonquian tribes.
I don’t know. It’s all kind of weird, to me…
But, there you have it folks.

I have what appears to be some Old English manuscript in my hands.


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Written by tonybaldwin

April 1, 2010 at 7:02 am

One Response

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by tony baldwin, tony baldwin. tony baldwin said: Old English text found in New Haven basement http://goo.gl/fb/aGri7 #language #literature #news #ct #manuscript […]


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