The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel by Murphy G. Ronald

The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel

Murphy G. Ronald
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  • ISBN
    9780195073768 / 0195073762
  • Title The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel
  • Author Murphy G. Ronald
  • Category Poetry
  • Format
  • Year 1992
  • Pages 256
  • Publisher
    Oxford University Press, USA
  • Imprint Oxford University Press Inc
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 140mm x 20mm x 209mm


The Heliand has a unique aura in the history of world literature. Its contemplative integration of Northern-European magic, sooth-saying, wizardry, fatalistic warrior virtues, personal mysticism, and the Christian gospel story give it a compelling power and charm. The Heliand was written in Old Saxon over a thousand years ago in the first half of the ninth century by an author whose mysterious identity has remained unknown.

Publisher Description

A spirited retelling of the Gospel story in a Germanic setting, the ninth-century A.D. Old Saxon epic poem The Heliand is at last available in English in Ronald Murphy's graceful new translation. Representing the first full integration and poetic reworking of the Gospel story into Northern European warrior imagery and culture, the poem finds a place for many Old Northern religious concepts and images while remaining faithful to the orthodox Christian teaching of the Gospel of St. Mark. Accessible to students of medieval and comparative literature, Murphy's introduction and notes provide valuable insight and a cultural context for this unique masterpiece.

'it provides a fascinating insight into a world of which we knew little, assisted by Murphy's Introduction and footnotes ... Besides its fascination, the book raises many hermeneutical issues for the modern reader of the Gospels.' The Expository Times

Author Biography

G. Ronald Murphy, S.J. is Professor of German at Georgetown University. He is the author of several titles, including The Heiland: The Saxon Gospel and The Owl, the Raven, and the Dove: The Religious Meaning of the Grimms' Magic Fairy Tales.

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The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel