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Utterance instructions in the Anglo-Saxon charms

Utterance instructions in the Anglo-Saxon charms Utterance instructions in the Anglo-Saxon charms The utterance instruction is a distinguishing structural feature of that group of Anglo-Saxon charms covered by the following definition: "any magical or medicinal recipe that contains a magical formula designed to be spoken, chanted, or sung: that is, any recipe containing a recongnisable incantation". The utterance instruction generally states the way in which its accompanying incantation is meant to be uttered; it may also indicate other significant factors, such as the author's attitude to the incantation involved. This paper investigates the forms of the utterance instruction and the relationship between categories of utterance instruction and incantation. The Old English verbs used most frequently in utterance instructions are cweban and sinzfln. Utterance instructions containing cwepan may accompany various types of incantation. The simplest type, certainly preChristian in origin, is the prose statement commanding or petitioning a certain substance to become potent in some specified manner. Such incantations generally form part of a series of magical actions which were evidently felt to result in an efficacious medicine or a truly protective amulet. For instance, to guard against weariness on a journey, the patient is advised to cairy some mugwort, and to explain his needs http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Parergon Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

Utterance instructions in the Anglo-Saxon charms

Parergon , Volume 3 (1) – Apr 3, 1985

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Publisher
Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Copyright
Copyright © The author
ISSN
1832-8334
Publisher site
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Abstract

Utterance instructions in the Anglo-Saxon charms The utterance instruction is a distinguishing structural feature of that group of Anglo-Saxon charms covered by the following definition: "any magical or medicinal recipe that contains a magical formula designed to be spoken, chanted, or sung: that is, any recipe containing a recongnisable incantation". The utterance instruction generally states the way in which its accompanying incantation is meant to be uttered; it may also indicate other significant factors, such as the author's attitude to the incantation involved. This paper investigates the forms of the utterance instruction and the relationship between categories of utterance instruction and incantation. The Old English verbs used most frequently in utterance instructions are cweban and sinzfln. Utterance instructions containing cwepan may accompany various types of incantation. The simplest type, certainly preChristian in origin, is the prose statement commanding or petitioning a certain substance to become potent in some specified manner. Such incantations generally form part of a series of magical actions which were evidently felt to result in an efficacious medicine or a truly protective amulet. For instance, to guard against weariness on a journey, the patient is advised to cairy some mugwort, and to explain his needs

Journal

ParergonAustralian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

Published: Apr 3, 1985

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