Title Background

The Evidential Basis for Old English Metrics.

The Evidential Basis for Old English Metrics.

Argues that a more adequate metrical grammar can be formulated for ME alliterative verse, many poems of which exist in more than one manuscript, than for OE poetry, the poems of which exist in single, non-autograph manuscripts. On the basis of the twelve manuscripts of P3A, The Siege of Jerusalem, and The Wars of Alexander, determines that the poets wrote with a high degree of metrical regularity and composed their b-verses to a very restricted rhythmic system in which the metrist must count syllables if he wishes to understand the form.’ Argues that irregular metrical patterns found in one version are scribal when metrically regular readings that make good sense exist in other manuscripts, and determines that there are three metrically acceptable b-verse rhythms in ME alliterative verse: xx(x) // (x), xx(x) / x / (x), and (x) / xx(x) / (x).


SP 85 (1988): 145-63.


Duggan, Hoyt N.