Dumbarton rock across Clyde Source: wikipedia/Dave souza

The Heroic Age

Early Medieval landscapes, Anglo-Saxon ideas of Paradise and Alcuin on the virtues and vices are only some of the fine articles in the recent issue of the journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe called The Heroic Age

The Heroic Age. A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe recently published its 16 issue. The Heroic Age is a fully peer-reviewed academic journal and focuses on Northwestern Europe during the early medieval period (from the early 4th through 13th centuries).  It seeks to foster dialogue between all scholars of this period across ethnic and disciplinary boundaries, including—but not limited to—history, archaeology, and literature pertaining to the period.

The articles are published as open-source and are free for all to enjoy.


Holocene Relative Sea-Level Changes in Western Scotland: The Early Insular Situation of Dun Add (Kintyre) and Dumbarton Rock (Strathclyde)
By Richard Lathe, Pieta Research, Edinburgh, UK, and State University of Pushchino, Russia & David Smith, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University, UK

Dun Add, an important center of the Dalriadic Scots, was established on a rocky outcrop that now protrudes from the land-locked flats of Crinan Moss, an unlikely situation for a defensive fortification. Given well-established post-glacial changes in sea levels, the outcrop was clearly once an island in Crinan Bay; however, it is not known whether the stronghold was first constructed on an island or later, when falling sea-levels had already abandoned the outcrop above the shoreline. Consideration of the present situation of the site above local mean sea level, the extent of peat deposition overlying buried estuarine terraces, and post-glacial uplift in the vicinity, indicates that when the fortification was first constructed (circa 300 BC) the outcrop was largely surrounded by the sea, and retained promontory or island status as late as AD 460–770. To validate uplift data, relative sea-level changes were compared against historical records for Dumbarton Rock. These records (i) provide independent validation of the model for local post-glacial uplift and (ii) demonstrate that the first fortifications at this second site, in or before the sixth century, were also constructed when the outcrop was an island. Post-glacial uplift could have contributed to recorded siege and seizure of Dun Add in the sixth/seventh centuries.

Neorxnawang: Aelfric’s Flawed Anglo-Saxon Paradise
By Sandra M. Hordis, Arcadia University

Aelfric’s use of the word neorxnawang for the Latin place-name Paradise in his translation of Genesis presents many difficulties in negotiating the relationship of Anglo-Saxon and Christian thought. Aelfric uses the Old English compound clearly to situate the idea of Eden in the Anglo-Saxon cultural, poetic, and religious frameworks but ultimately fails to accomplish a smooth integration because of his inconsistent use of the word, unclear meaning, and muddled functionality.

Translation of Alcuin’s De virtutibus et vitiis liber. (Book about the virtues and vices)
By Rachel Stone, Department of History, King’s College London

Year in Archaeology (2012 – 2013)
By John Soderberg, University of Minnesota

Continental Business. A review of a Dutch edition of The Voyage of Saint Brendan
By Michel Aaij, Auburn University Montgomery


Dumbarton rock across Clyde. Source: Wikipedia/Dave souza


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