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"Genesis" 549-51 and 623-25: narrative frame and devilish cunning.

In the Old English poem Genesis B, the tempter, having failed against Adam, turns to Eve, persuades her to eat of the fruit, and exhorts her to approach Adam. At the beginning and at the end of this temptation are two passages each of which makes some reference to eafor(-) "posterity" 550 and 623. In his recent edition of the poem, A. N. Doane in my view misconstrues the syntax of the first passage and confuses tempter and narrator as the voice in the second. The consequence is that the bearing of the two passages on one another and of both on the temptation as a whole is obscured and that the deeper perception which one might have had of the tempter's cunning and rhetorical skill and therefore of the poet's inventiveness and daring is precluded.

The first passage, immediately preceding the tempter's first speech to Eve, is lines 549b-51a:

...cwaed paet sceadena maest

eallum heora eaforum aefter siddan

wurde on worulde.(1)

Whereas it might have seemed, for reasons which will become apparent, that the subject of cwaed 549 should be inferred from wradmod ... he 547 and that sceadena maest 549 should be the subject of wurde,(2) i.e., the subject of a clause of indirect discourse, Doane takes sceadena maest as the subject of cwaed:

Editors gloss sceadena as "injury, harm," though such a meaning is barely attested for OE and OS (cf. OFris, skatha, OHG scado, ON skadi, "injury"; Go skapis, "wrong"); in OE and OS the usual meaning is "enemy," "devil" (cf. [Genesis] 606 sceada of the tempter, [Heliand] 5427b-28a (C) uuamscathono mest, Satanas selbo). Nevertheless, it is held that some general expression of the ill to befall Eve is needed, thus: "(he) said that the greatest of evils to all their sons would be forever in the world." Vickrey ingeniously tries to avoid sceada in this pale and questionable sense by taking sceadena maest as a reference by the devil to God: "he said that the greatest of enemies to all her sons would be ever after"; this stretches the semantic field of the word (perhaps we might expect such if these words were actually in the devil's mouth) and seems unidiomatic. J. R. Hall (personal communication) probably solves the crux by explaining paet as either modifying maest: "Spoke that greatest of enemies to all their sons ever after to be in the world ..."; or as an appositional: "Spoke that one, the greatest of enemies .... "Another possibility, if the neuter is a problem, is to take paet (written) as a miswriting of pa, adv.: "Then the greatest of enemies to all their sons (that) would ever after be in the world spoke."(3)

Doane does not explain adequately why sceadena maest as "greatest of enemies" and "as a reference by the devil to God" might be admissible, if only barely, in direct speech but not in indirect. Considerable evidence supports the inference that sceadena maest is the subject of wurde, hence of a clause of indirect discourse. That God would come as sceadena maest to posterity must then be taken either as the narrator's extrapolation from the lies put forward in the speeches which follow or as his summary of other words not reported as direct speech.(4)

Doane's argument might have more weight if sceadena maest 549 means "(of) devils." Certainly "enemy," "devil" or equivalent terms are included in the principal dictionaries s.v. sceada.(5) In my dissertation I gave "fiend," "enemy" for sceada though I gave "greatest of enemies" for sceadena maest 549. But the basic meaning of sceada is "one who injures." Julius Pokorny, although he defines OE sceada and OS scatho as not only "Schadiger" but also, respectively, as "Teufel" and "Feind," indicates that the IE root means "beschadigen." The obvious relation between injury and enmity explains why "injurer" and "enemy" are often given. For Old Saxon skado Edward Sehrt gives "Schadiger, Uebeltater, Feind" and Peter Ilkow "Schadiger, Verderber, Verbrecher, Feind." Arthur Brodeur notes "the somewhat abstract sense of the simplex ([sceada] "harmer," hence "foe")." We need not suppose, then, even though the tempter is called se sceada 606 and Satan in Heliand 5427 (C) is called uuamscathono mest, that sceadena must mean "(of) fiends, devils." It might mean "(of) injurers" or "(of) enemies." Since "the somewhat abstract sense" of sceada suggests a vague though real danger, we need not choose between "injurer" and "enemy." Whether as extrapolation or summary, neither term is unlikely, given the number and magnitude of the tempter's lies in his speeches to Eve.(6)

Not only is the meaning of sceada no obstacle to taking sceadena maest as the subject of wurde, but considerations of style and syntax tell strongly against the alternative readings. To take paet as part of the subject of cwaed "as either modifying maest ... or as an appositional" or "to take paet... as a miswriting of pa" means that paet cannot be a subordinating conjunction for a clause of indirect discourse as object of the verb cwaed); rather, in all three readings, cwaed must introduce the direct speech beginning in line 551b without an intervening indirect speech. But such readings ignore what might well have been the state of affairs at this point in the Old Saxon antecedent of the Old English poem. Andreas Heusler notes the fondness of Old Saxon biblical epic for indirect discourse: "reich an indirecter rede ist nur die geistliche dichtung der Sachsen; sie lasst die der Englander weit zuruck." More significant is his observation concerning Old Saxon quedan:

Von den westgermanischen denkmalern scheiden die deutschen ganz aus: sie kennen kein quedan, quedan vor directer rede, die einzige ausnahme, [Genesis 355], he pAa worde cwaed, kommt somit auf rechnung des englischen ubersetzersim Heliand ist quedan das ubliche verbum einerseits in der bloss graphischen einschaltung ... anderseits vor oratio obliqua.(7)

Specifically: apart from cwaed 355 and the "bloss graphischen einschaltung" (e.g., OE cwaedhe 278) and exempting cwaed 549, quedan / cwedan in the Saxon Genesis is transitive and its object, although conjunctive that / paet is not always present, is a clause of indi-rect discourse: OS 56, 98, 245, 277; OE 265, 274, 276, 344, 500, 503, 529, 581. To argue that cwaed 549 introduces direct discourse without a mediating clause of indirect one should show that cwaed 549 also "kommt somit auf rechnung des englischen ubersetzers." In line 355, worde tends to confirm Heusler's surmise. But so far as I can see, Genesis 549 offers no such evidence.(8)

To translate "spoke that greatest of enemies" or "spoke that one, the greatest of enemies, to all their sons ever after to be in the world" (with "to all their sons" having for reasons of context to go with "greatest of enemies" rather than with "spoke") means that unless wurde is somehow referred to eaforum--a grammatical incompatibility, to say the least--then (paet) sceadena maest must be taken not only as the subject of cwaed but also as a conceptual subject, or perhaps as an antecedent, of wurde. But the text offers no relative pronoun for wurde and the translation "to be" regards it as a non-finite form.(9)

Taking paet as modifying mast ("that greatest ...") violates syntax and gender consistency. In the poetry, adjectival Old Saxon mest, Old English maest when strongly declined is without an article; with an article it is weakly declined, and article and adjective stand next to each other.(10) And Doane is right in seeing that neuter paet might be a problem either as modifier or appositional. Elsewhere, and in the vicinity of paet 549, the tempter's gender is masculine: he 453, 454, 494, 547; se lada 489, 496; hine 491,493, 547, se sceada 606, se forhatena 609, and so on.

One cannot avoid problems by taking paet as a scribal error for pa. The translation "(that) would ever be in the world" would seem to mean that Doane takes aefter siddan wurde on worulde as a relative clause, dependent, apparently, on sceadena maest "the greatest of enemies" since wurde is singular and eallum heora eaforum is plural. Either way, "(that)," the relative pronominal subject of "would ... be," finds no equivalent in the Old English text. One must posit then either that at some point a scribe failed to copy the pronoun or that it was never present in the exemplar, i.e., that it was a "zero-relative." In other words, one must posit either a second scribal error or a syntactical mode that at best was rare in both Old Saxon and Old English.(11)

In sum, taking sceadena maest as the subject of cwaed fails not only because the meaning of sceadena maest does not require this but also because it violates rules of style and syntax. There is no a priori perception "that some general expression of the ill to befall Eve is needed"; whether "the ill" is "injury" or, as I conclude, "injurer" or "enemy," the passage must be read not as words about the tempter but as an implication of the words of the tempter.(12)

The second passage is lines 623-25. Set forth without internal punctuation, it appears as follows:

swa hire eaforan sculon aefter lybban

ponne hie lad gedod hie sculon lure wyrcean

betan heora hearran hearmcwyde and habban his hyldo ford.

It has long been in doubt whether the passage represents a comment of the narrator or the end of the tempter's second speech to Eve. Doane's arguments in behalf of the former view seem to me mistaken; other arguments, especially in regard to the problem of hire 623, remain to be made in behalf of the latter.(13)

Doane fails to address the point that when taken as the narrator's the lines are incompatible with gnomic passages on the subject of offending God not only elsewhere in the poem itself but in other Old Saxon and Old English poems and indeed beyond, even that "these lines defy the consensus reflected in biblical and classical proverbs and epitomized perhaps in Galatians 6:7(8) `Quae enim seminaverit homo, haec et metet.'"(14) Susan Deskis observes that "... the corpus of proverbs and gnomes in Old English displays a marked concord," and gnomic passages elsewhere in Old English poetry on the subject of offending God are pessimistic and minatory, typical of the generally conservative tone which pervades Old Saxon and Old English gnomic verse. Thus lines 623-25 are at variance with Heliand 2617-20, also a huldi gnome, or with such sayings in Old English wisdom literature as Precepts 17-19, 70-72, Vainglory 5256, 74-77, Maxims I 35, Order of the World 98-102.(15) Within Genesis itself the lines are remarkably incompatible with lines 634-35, just ten lines farther on, where the possibility of repentance and restoration to hyldo is not admitted: if full wa befalls him pe hine ne warnad 635, why say that after offending, a person can lufe wyrcean, etc.? To try to defend the lines as the narrator's by claiming them as "one of those favorite interspersed moralizations" or "one of many such moralizing glosses" in the poem is not only to overlook their anomalousness but also, as we shall see, to fail to grasp their subtler implications.(16)

Alone, so far as I know, among editors, even those who regard the passage as the narrator's, Doane takes the clause ponne hie lad gedod 624 as dependent on the preceding swa ... clause rather than the hie ... clause following. This solution, indicated by the colon after gedod and not after lybban, implies that "afterwards" refers to that time ponne "when" or "whenever," but if so, aefter appears superfluous or even simply incorrect, if what the narrator meant was nu "now." It seems likely, moreover, that lines 623-25 had their counterpart in the Old Saxon Genesis.(17) In the Heliand and Saxon Genesis Old Saxon libbian / Old English lybban is a verb of very broad meaning; it normally means the whole span or the remaining span of a human life, or a large part of that span. To take ponne ... with the swa clause is to limit this breadth and to reduce lybban to mean virtually "proceed, whenever ..." When ponne . . . is taken with hie sculon 624, lybban has its normal latitude: the eaforan must "afterwards" live (all their lives) in such a way that whenever they do something hateful ... But the delivery of aefter from superfluousness restores the expectation that together with the present of sculan it mean something. AEfter generally presupposes a point of reference; in the passage in question this would appear to be the temptation of Eve. If the passage is the tempter's lie, sculon after makes sense. But if it is the narrator's gloss, sculon and after together are a serious problem, for each compromises what the other might imply: an allusion either to the time of or after the narrator or to the time of the Redemption itself, before which mankind, with a few exceptions, found no hyldo at all; it was the devil's treasure and in his possession.(18)

Doane says that lines "623-625 speak of true remission of sins through difficult penance," and that "the poet intervenes ... to state the true course of salvation history" in which Eve's disobedience condemns posterity "to lives of hard rather than easy obedience." But despite its universal propositions the passage does not rigorously show the general Christian bearing which this phrasing would imply. Besides the problem of eerier, the meaning of the term hyldo, the only word in the passage bearing at all specifically on the relationship between God and mankind, is somewhat ambiguous: its bearing might be Christian, but it need not.(19) The passage indicates expressly neither that penance is difficult nor for that matter easy. Any severity which sculon 623 might bode dissipates in the highly ungnomelike leniency of habban his hyldo ford 625.

Moreover, although, as Doane observes, "postlapsarian men are inevitably sinful, not least in their words," the only sin the passage specifies is hearmcwyde 625. Now harmquidi in Old Saxon and hearmcwide elsewhere in Old English mean "Schmahrede, Spottrede, Verleumdung; calumny, slander," that is, the injury, revilement, or accusation of the innocent.(20) Doane fails to explain both why the passage refers to men's sinning in words but not to their sinning in deeds and why it specifies calumny. Eve so far has sinned in deed only, and her temptation of Adam will not entail hearmcwyde.

The inappropriateness of hearmcwyde when the passage is taken as the narrator's vanishes when it is taken as the tempter's. Peter Lucas notes the "continuity of thought" from lines 621-22 through 624-25: hearmcwyde 624 echoes the tempter's lie that Adam had tendered him womcwidas "slanders" 621, just as lad 624 echoes the lie that Adam had tendered him fela... lades 622. The tempter's promise that if posterity will amend it will have God's favor is mutatis mutandis the same as his promise in lines 618-21 that if Adam will do as the tempter bids he will share Eve's vision. The adverb swa 623, Old Saxon so, "oft mit allgemeiner Hindeutung auf das Vorhergehende, ... dementsprechend, demgemB, desgleichen," helps to make the connection.(21)

If moreover the passage is the narrator's, habban his hyldo ford 625 appears inadvertent, if not feckless: to climax his moralizing gloss the narrator follows verbatim the tempter's mendacity in line 567 that if Eve will obey him she will habban his hyldo ford. Lines 564-67 and 623-25 are in fact parallel in sense: both declare that if someone will obey some command, that person or persons will have favor. If the latter passage is also the tempter's, the echo makes his speech more insidious, since it helps Eve to think that posterity will be favored as she thinks she has been.

In saying that the tempter's malice "would hardly allow him words of comfort or truth," Doane confuses the tempter's means with his ends and assumes that the tempter knows all truths that are germane. He misses the point that what the tempter's malice here is allowing him is not what he thinks is truth but what he thinks is a lie. The tempter is no more counselling wisdom or truth than he is, say, in lines 562-63, where he tells Eve that by taking his advice she can avert punishment, or in lines 576-77, where he urges her to make Adam accept her counsel, lest they become hateful to God. Doane's view, moreover, that lines 623-25 "do not fit the sentiments we can imagine the tempter expressing at this delicate moment" fails to see how far the tempter's argument shifts from his first speech to Eve, in lines 551-87, to his second, which begins at line 611. His first speech, though flattery and promises are not absent, entails a dose of terror. His second, Eve in the meantime having succumbed to fear and the tempter's demand and having been given the promised vision, is less hostile, ostensibly more friendly, in order to make her a weapon against Adam. At the end of the second, the "delicate moment," the tempter cajoles her with much the same kind of promise concerning posterity which in lines 564-67 he had cajoled her concerning herself and which in lines 618-22 he had cajoled her concerning Adam: you have offended; but do as I say and you will be restored to favor. By lines 623-25 the tempter's malice has twice allowed him "words of comfort."(22)

Like other editors, Doane accepts that to take the passage as the tempter's one must emend ms hire 623 to hi[s] or to [inc]re.(23) But though I think that the passage is the tempter's, I think too that such emendations are not only unnecessary but fail to perceive the real extent of the tempter's cunning and malice.

Doane believes that the Old Saxon Genesis would have been spoken or, it would seem, performed before" ... a noble, lay audience" which" ... looked forward to enjoying the pleasures of the traditional oral poetic situation, with all the dramatization and `voicing' that implies." Yet he overlooks the possibilities for "dramatization and `voicing'" which the Old Saxon equivalent of lines 623-25 would have offered when taken as the tempter's.(24) Possibly a change in voicing coincided with the onset of the passage. I have suggested elsewhere that as he speaks these lines, the tempter, proclaiming what he wishes Eve to think will be the state of affairs in the future, might be pretending, with appropriate gestures and changes in voice, either "that his words are gnomic in the sense that he is quoting someone else" or "that his words are a prophecy."(25)

Especially if the gnome purports to convey the very words of God, it might represent the most ambitious, the most egregious, of the tempter's deceits. But it comes when Eve is most disposed to credence: by now she has disobeyed God and eaten the fruit, and the vision of God on His throne which the tempter gave her to reward complicity is, as lines 614-15, 616, and 617-18 suggest, still in her eyes, a proof of his veracity. Moreover, the passage is a variation on a theme which the tempter has all along been playing for both Adam and Eve, as in lines 497-508, 549-59, 583-87, 615-16: that he is close to God, that the ways and purposes of God and of heaven are known to him. That speech in Germanic narrative often has recourse to memorized wisdom, to gnomes or proverbs--for gnomes as well as proverbs "carry the force of time-tested wisdom"(26)--gives color to the tempter's effort "to imply a countermand to God's own spoken command, in lines 235-36, not to eat of the fruit."(27) And since gnomes often show some independence of their immediate linguistic context, the use of third person hire with eaforan while the tempter speaks in the presence of Eve would lend authenticity to the imposture by implying that the gnome preexisted the present occasion.

The pattern, moreover, of Old Saxon and Old English genitive nouns or pronouns with headword abaro(-) / eafora(-) suggests that ms hire, heretofore given as the principal evidence that the lines are the narrator's, should instead be taken as further evidence that they are the tempter's.

So far as I know, the phrase hire eaforan has, of and by itself, seemed quite inoffensive to modern readers of the poem. But it is possible that an early audience might have taken it as an offensive, almost unnatural, expression, a violation of what was for that audience a habit of speech which arose anciently out of a very patriarchal society. If, as Hilding Back says concerning the reporting of children, "in olden times the sons only were taken into account," it is also broadly true that in Old Saxon and Old English texts fathers only were acknowledged as parents of children.(28)

In certain circumstances, those for instance which concern a woman's obligation to her own child, a noun or pronominal adjective as genitive of parentage will denote the female parent: pas wiif, pa de heora bearn . . . odrum to fedenne sellad; modor gif heo ofslea hire bearn.(29) But in other contexts, including those in which the concern is to indicate personal or family or tribal lineage or to indicate more remote as well as immediate descendants, the overwhelming preference is to indicate the male parent or progenitor. Specifically, in Old Saxon and Old English poetry, with the nouns barn / bearn, sunu, and abaro / eafora there are few genitives of parentage which refer to a female, with barn /bearn and sunu not even a dozen. A distinct subset is that in which the woman's son is dead or dying: Fortunes of Men 47, Beowulf 1115, 1546, 2121, Heliand 739, 5608; cf. Beowulf 1278, 2119. A smaller group shows the result of translation: Paris Psalter 85. 15 and 115.6 pinre peowan from ancillae tuae. This leaves Genesis 2614 hire (agen) and Christ 339 pinre (sylfre). The one may help to imply the depravity of Ammon as one of the filii Loth ex filiabus nati, the other the glory of Mary as "a figure of power."(30)

The contexts of Old Saxon abaro and Old English eafora, the former meagerly, the latter much more extensively attested, show much the same bias. A woman might bring forth eaforan--Genesis 2394 of idese bid eafora waecned, 2607 idesa wurdon eacne, eaforan brohton, cf. Genesis 1054, 1076. But even in matters of birth or child-bearing, translations or paraphrases can in contrast to the source show a certain disposition to emphasize paternity. Thus Genesis 4.25 reads ... et peperit filium vocavitque nomen eius Seth. Genesis 1104-105 turns this into pa weard adame ... eafora on edle oper feded; whereas Genesis allows Eve to say that God has given her another son, the Old English with its passive weard ... feded acknowledges Adam, and not Eve, as the person favored on abeles gyld and assigns Eve's speech to Adam, ord moncynnes 1111. Similarly, Ms. B of the Heptateuch gives Adam both the naming of Seth and Eve's speech: Eft Adam gestrynde sunu done he nemde Seth, and flus cwaed: ...(31)

When the emphasis is not simply on child-bearing or birth, the genitive adjuncts to eaforan / abaron widely acknowledge the father, the mother but rarely. In this syntactical plight the mother almost never can claim the eaforan as solely her own; about the best she can do is to share with the father. This is shown once by proper names, in Genesis 967 Adames and Euan aforan, where the mention of both names is perhaps prompted by Genesis 4.1 Adam vero cognovit Havam uxorem suam. Somewhat more often it is shown by genitive duals or plurals of possessive adjectives, though even these are few: Beowulf 1185 uncran eaferan, Genesis 550 eallum heora eaforum, Juliana 504 and Phoenix 405 ond hyra eaferum swa; also Guthlac 826-27 ond hyra bearnum swa, eaferum aefter. The context of eaferum with hyra in the last three of these is the Fall and its consequences, with both Adam and Eve being named in the Juliana and Guthlac passages, and the reluctance elsewhere to acknowledge the female parent suggests that "their" serves to confirm what the context otherwise makes clear, that Eve as well as Adam is responsible for their ruin.

Much more often the headword eaforan / abaron with genitive possessive adjective or proper noun declares the relationship of posterity to a usually single male ancestor or father: Beowulf 19 Scyldes eafora, Daniel 671 his aferan, and many others. The context of Heliand 5485 usa abaron, Jesus before Pilate, suggests that usa was thought of as referring mostly to male persons. The contexts of abaron with genitive Israheles suggest that abaron here means the Jewish people as distinguished, implicitly or otherwise, from other folk, so that the name Israhel would seem to refer to the patriarch Jacob.(32) The mothers of all these abaron / eaforan resemble those wives of founding fathers in the Icelandic Landnamabok who are, in Carol Clover's phrase, "implied and nameless."(33)

It might be thought that the almost exclusively male genitives of parentage with eaforan result merely from the strongly male orientation of extant Old English poetry as a whole and that a larger corpus, were it available, would on occasion show more numerous female genitives. Yet the phrase in question occurs in Old English and Old Saxon about forty-five times.(34) Moreover, the two attested departures from the rule, other than Genesis 623, are so exceptional as to suggest a deliberate exploitation of the rule. The one, Beowulf 1546-47 wolde hire beam wrecan, angan eaferan, is not an entirely clear case, since, strictly speaking, hire, i.e., Grendel's mother, modifies beam and not eaforan. But since both nouns refer to the same being, Grendel, a relation hire ... eaforan seems implied. The other is Riddle 15, 12-13, the vixen's avowal that when aware of an enemy she removes her cubs, forpon ic sceal of edle eaforan mine forhtmod fergan, fleame nergan, and having left the lair either evades the pursuer or faces him in battle.

Concerning these two, surmise is not difficult. Grendel's mother and the vixen have now roles of vengeance and defense which, at least in most human societies, have been male roles. The implication that the eafora is hers alone may augment that sense of unnaturalness and ambiguity which is the aura of Grendel's mother, a sense which Beowulf acknowledges through a pun: wif unhyre hyre bearn gewrcec 2120-21. In any case, hire beam 1546 belongs to the aforementioned subset.(35) The phrase eaforan mine accords with Jean I. Young's comment that the vixen is "noted for gallantry in defence of her young"; in the riddle it is consistent with the assertion that after she hides her cubs she may close with the enemy.(36)

Concerning Genesis 623, surmise is difficult only if the lines are taken as the narrator's. The reason which holds in Beowulf 154647 and Riddle 15, 12-13 no longer holds: Eve is not said to be defending posterity; grammatically, the eaforan here do not stand as object of such verbs as wrecan or fergan but as subjects of sculon lybban. The offense specifically ascribed to posterity, hearmcwyde "calumny," was not Eve's offense, and both doctrine and passages elsewhere in the poem--lines 235-45, 643-46, 694-703, 720-24--indicate that posterity's sinfulness derives from the offense of both Adam and Eve. But Adam is the more important: Romans 5.12 per unum hominem peccatum in hunc mundum intravit implies as much, and Satan's resolve paet we on adame ...and on his eafrum swa some andan gebetan 398-99 and the prior temptation of Adam would suggest that he was the real target.

Moreover, the subject hire eaforan no more than its predicate ... habban his hyldo ford seems at home in a text which as a moralizing gloss would comment on the relation between God and humankind. The predicate, contradicting "gnomic or other preceptive passages elsewhere in Old English and Old Saxon which `address the consequences of angering God,'" is suspect thematically.(37) The subject, violating the Saxon disinclination to specify a woman as sole genitive adjunct to eaforan / abaron, disregards the usually conservative tone of Old English and Old Saxon gnomic statement. Subject as well as predicate works to thwart the expectation that gnomic form will entail a conservative, traditional message.

If we dismiss taking the lines as the narrator's, the phrase hire eaforan can be seen as not only the first of the several signals, coming as it does so very early in its passage, but also in itself a strong cue that the lines were still the tempter's. The reason is clear. As the word of the tempter, the emendations hi[s] or [inc]re would of course make some sense. Yet not only does the fact that hire is the manuscript reading support its retention -- a view that weighs heavily with those who take the passage as the narrator's--but also, when the passage is taken as the tempter's, hire in the phrase hire eaforan enlightens the text by making a point which the emendations cannot make. The point is the exclusion of the male parent, which however perverse from the point of view of the audience might very well be gratifying from Eve's. If, as J. R. Hall says, the poet uses the shift from the pronoun git "you two" 554 to the singular pu "you" 559 and 561 in order "to drive a wedge" between Adam and Eve, so he may use the shift from heora 550 to hire 623 in order "to divide and rule."(38) Despite, or rather because of, the wonted syntactical affiliations of eaforan and even after nine verses with several references to Adam (618-22), the tempter ignores Adam and speaks of hire instead of hi[s] or [inc]re so that by excluding Adam and referring to posterity--including, of course, the audience of the poem--as hers he can appeal to Eve's vanity.(39)

The phrase hire eaforan is another example in the poem of the topsy-turviness of language which marks the ruin of Adam and Eve. The phrase exploits, without condemning, a disinclination apparently congenial to the Saxon mind, however offensive the habit, when perceived, might be to modern sensibilities: a reluctance to specify a woman as sole genitive with a term meaning "offspring, descendant." The reluctance should not be very surprising to these sensibilities; not only the Old Saxon and Anglo-Saxon culture and language but also certain narrative and lexical features of the poem itself reveal similar attitudes.(40) The disinclination may have been stronger with eafora than with other words of like meaning, for its derivation from IE *apo- "ab, weg" and its primary meaning "one who comes after" was probably conducive to a meaning "posterity" in the plural, so that when speaking of Adam and Eve what was at stake in the possession of eaforan was humankind as a whole.(41)

So far as I know, the view of Adeline Courtney Bartlett that Genesis B contains few of the rhetorical patterns so very evident in Old English poetry otherwise has never been questioned.(42) Yet envelope or ring-structures can be said to be an important stylistic feature in the temptation of Eve. In lines 551b-59a, just after the first of the passages in question, the tempter tells Eve that when he reports their disobedience God will be so angered that He will come to confront them. His words to this effect are a chiasmus with two, or possibly three, concentric rings. The outer ring is lines 551b-52a and 558b-59a; the inner is lines 552b-54a and 556b-58a. Elements of verbal or morphemic repetition in each half enhance the sense of unity of each of the rings as a whole: abolgen wyrd 552 and 558 in the outer ring, bodscipe 552 and boda beodan 558, selfa 553 and sylf 556 in the inner. At the heart of the rings lies the tempter's damning meiosis: pet git ne laestan wel hwilc aerende swa ... 554b-55a. Again, in lines 600-9, when Eve has just eaten of the fruit, the poet declares (a) in an outer ring, lines 600b-1a and 607b-9a, and in the center of the chiasmus, lines 603-5a, that the tempter lent her greatly enhanced vision of heaven and earth, (b) in a middle ring, lines 601b-2b and 606b-7a, that the tempter deceived her, and (c) in an inner ring, in lines 602b and 605b-6a, that the vision came through a diabolical and not a human agency. Morphemic or lexical repetition in the ring-halves helps to establish their unity: wide 600 and 608, laen 601 and onlah 607, beswac 601 and swicode 607. Lines 551-59 provide the basis for the threat which immediately precedes; lines 600-9 help to emphasize that the collocation tacen (-)iewan "(to) manifest a sign" in Genesis 653, 714, and 774 does not mean, as it does elsewhere in Old English and Old Saxon, "the edification, the protection, the admonishment of lesser beings.'"(43)

When we see that lines 549-51 are "an implication of the words of the tempter" and that lines 623-25 are to be taken as the end of the tempter's second speech to Eve, we can see that these passages appear to constitute an envelope pattern.(44) The circumstance that as an envelope the first passage is indirect discourse whereas the second is direct finds a parallel in lines 277 and 29t, though the envelope in question not only includes many more intervening lines but entails much greater complexity. The tempter, even if only obliquely so in the first, is the speaker in both. The elements common to both are the alliterative sequence eafor(-) ... aefter 550 and 623 and the circumstance that both passages entail assertions in one direction or another as to the relation between God and posterity. The material enclosed, the temptation of Eve, is with the envelope itself a discrete segment of the narrative.(45)

The two parts of the envelope, the first terrifying, the second ostensibly friendly, serve to emphasize the shift in message and tone from the beginning to the end of the tempter's addresses to Eve and therewith to show the extent of her collapse. Her apparent susceptibility to the intimidation of the first passage is evidence of her distance from wisdom; her susceptibility to the blandishments of the second reveals how far she succumbs in the meantime to the tempter's will. The harshness of the words imputed to the tempter in the first passage and the egregiousness of his prophecy in the second demonstrate the seductive powers which effect this change. Though in indirect speech, the threat that an enemy will afflict posterity is dramatic in presentation: sudden in onset (the tempter had, more or less, introduced himself to Adam); superlative and extreme in its phrasing: "greatest of enemies," "ever afterwards"; and hysterological and inclusive, in that "(to) all their descendants" subsumes and anticipates the dual pronouns of the following direct speech.

In his second speech to Eve, when he has already moved her to sin, the tempter's need is to use Eve as a weapon against Adam. In contrast to the first passage, so sudden and terrifying, the second is deliberate and solemn, assuasive, exhilarating even, in its comfortingly outrageous anomalies. The very grammar of the passages conduces to Eve's sensations first of fear and then of release from that fear: in the first, sceadena maest as subject and agent acts upon posterity; in the second, hire eaforan ... hie ... hie as subjects and agents can, it is averred, act in their own behalf. Yet the second passage does more than to cancel the fright and hostility of the first.

The pseudo-gnome flatters and emboldens Eve, about to embark on the temptation of Adam. To confirm her allegiance, the tempter's threat that God would afflict posterity becomes his insinuation that posterity is hers and assurance that posterity can recover hyldo. The gnomic form imbues the message with weight and authority and thus invites her credence; its seeming disclosure of a heavenly commonplace reinforces the tempter's pretense that he belongs to heavenly society and confirms his new role as teacher and friend, helping him to conceal from Eve that the present message quite contradicts his earlier one. It gives legitimacy, as far as Eve is concerned, to the anomalies of its message and to the tempter himself, who has just alluded indignantly to Adam's suspicions about his identity. For ability to prophesy was taken as evidence of spirituality.

The deceit isolates Adam and lowers him in Eve's esteem. The subject hire eaforan wedges them apart. Eve has come round to the tempter's will, and posterity, the predicate implies, can do likewise. Only Adam is recusant. The "continuity of thought" from lines 621-22 through 624-25 means that posterity's offenses are defined so as to identify them not with what the tempter knew was Eve's offense but with what he said was Adam's. If the eaforan are Eve's, their sins are Adam's.

That the passage is the tempter's and therefore not what Doane calls a moralizing gloss does not mean that it loses consequence as a moralizing text. Not only Eve's apparent complacency but her credulity might have distressed an early audience: "Et qui diuinos uel diuinas, id est pitonissas, per quos demones responsa dant [consulit], qui ad eos ad interrogandum uadet et eis, que dixerint, credet, uel ad scultandum uadet, ut aliquit de demoneis audeat, non christianus, sed paganus est."(46) Moreover, the poem offers no evidence, so far as I can see, that the tempter any more than Eve knows of the Redemption to come; sharing the expectation of his master, he thinks that when Adam sins the devils will have humankind once and for all.(47) Thus the tempter cannot know that what he is promising resembles Christian atonement. The evidence which argues that the passage is his does not hide the resemblance. Yet Christian atonement presupposes Christ's redemptive act. To an audience which perceived the unwitting allusion, the passage might give rise to a reflection both moral and ironic: Christian atonement, which the tempter's promise helps to bring about, is not only the likeness of what he is promising but what above all else he would wish to prevent. His malice implies his folly.(48)

Taken as the narrator's, "the passage is awkward" -- though "inept" is a better word.(49) But taken as the tempter's, it becomes a tour de force. Indeed, the cunning and rhetorical skill of the tempter implies the remarkable talents of the poet. Rather than nodding here, he reveals his inventiveness and daring through the tempter's deadly manipulation of traditional values and beliefs.


(1) For the two passages discussed here see A. N. Doane, The Saxon Genesis: An Edition of the West Saxon Genesis B and the Old Saxon Vatican Genesis (U.of Wisconsin Press, 1991), pp. 220 and 223; or George Philip Krapp, The Junius Manuscript, The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records I (Columbia U. Press, 1931), pp. 20 and 22. References to the Old Saxon Genesis are from Doane's edition, References to other Old English poems are from the ASPR. Citations of the Heliand are from Otto Behaghel, Heliand und Genesis, 9th ed., ed. Burkhard Taeger (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer, 1984).

(2) Whereby the form wurde would have the sense "would come"; see Edward H. Sehrt, Vollstandiges Worterbuch zum Heliand und zur altsachsischen Genesis, 2 ed. (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1966), s.v. werdan 4) "kommen, gelangen";Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toiler, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (Oxford U. Press, 1898), weordan IV 1 "to come, get"; cf. Genesis 369, Exodus 294.

(3) Doane, The Saxon Genesis, p. 285.

(4) Andreas Heusler, "Der Dialog in der altgermanischen erzahlenden Dichtung," ZfdA 46 (1902): 257, observes that "das kwap belehrt uber anlass, inhalt oder art der nachfolgenden rede; uber ihre beziehung zur denkweise oder stimmung des redners." A "kwap", i.e., `ein handlicher ausdruck fur die formelhaften oder individuellen wendungen, die die rede ankfindigen" (p. 245), is in Old Saxon very often an inference from or an implication of the words of the following direct discourse: cf. Heliand 520, 723, 1300, etc.

Doane, The Saxon Genesis, pp. 143-45, discusses the nature of the tempter's lies to Eve.

(5) Bosworth-Toller, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary; John R. Clark Hall, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 4th ed., with a Supplement by Herbert Dean Meritt (Cambridge U. Press, 1960); Theodor Braasch, Vollstandiges Worterbuch zur sog. Caedmonschen Genesis, AF 76 (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1933). For Genesis 549 sceadena Bosworth-Toller gives "scathe, harm, injury"; Clark Hall "injury"; and Braasch "Schaden."

(6) John Frederick Vickrey, Jr., "Genesis B: A New Analysis and Edition" (Indiana U. diss., 1960), pp. 219, 312; Julius Pokorny, Indogermanisches etymologisches Worterbuch (Bern: Francke, 1959), 1:950; Sehrt, Vollstandiges Worterbuch, p. 468; Peter Ilkow, Die Nominalkomposita der altsachsischen Bibeldichtung (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1968), p. 359; Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur, The Art of Beowulf (U. of California Press, 1960), p. 264.

(7) Heusler, "Der Dialog," pp. 243 and 264; cf. Fr. Klaeber, "Zur jungeren Genesis," Anglia 49 (1926): 371, note 1: "(Alts. quedan, ahd. quedan kommen nicht vor direkter Rede vor)." An exception to the rule is Heliand 1599 than quedad gi, so ic iu leriu, where, since quedad is imperative, the sense demands direct discourse to follow (especially since it is The Lord's Prayer).

Heusler, p. 264, note 1, includes Genesis 315 (= 549) as one of the dozen times in the Heliand and Saxon Genesis in which "quad, ohne weiteres redeverbum, erst indirecte, dann directe rede hinter sich hat ..." See also Heusler, pp. 280-81.

(8) For the Heliand and OS Genesis see Sehrt, Vollstandiges Worterbuch, s.v. quedan 3). F. Holthausen, Altsachsisches Elementarbuch, 2nd ed. (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1921), Par. 531, Anm., observes that "nach quedan kann that fehlen"; for cwedan see Michiko Ogura, "Verba Dicendi in Old English Poetry," Bunken Ronshu 3 (1978): 4. Heusler, "Der Dialog," pp. 265-67, cites instances of cwedan with forms of word

(9) Whereas wurde 551 with sceadena maest as its subject would reflect normal Old Saxon and Old English employment of a subjunctive in indirect discourse after quedan / cwedan. See Holthausen, Altsachsisches Elementarbuch, par. 531; Bruce Mitchell and Fred C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English, 4th ed. (Oxford and New York: Basil Blackwell, 1986), p. 156.

(10) Sehrt, Vollstandiges Worterbuch, s.v. mest, p. 377; Otto Behaghel, Die Syntax des Heliand (Vienna, 1897; rpt. Wiesbaden: Martin Sandig, 1966),par. 42 (p. 22); J. B. Bessinger, Jr., and Philip H. Smith, Jr., A Concordance to the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records (Cornell U. Press, 1978), pp. 771-72. In Maldon 223 me is paet hearma maest, paet is a demonstrative pronoun; see John C. Pope, Seven Old English Poems (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966), p. 191.

(11) Behaghel, Die Syntax des Heliand pars 462-68 (pp. 304-9), gives no examples of a relative clause without a relative pronoun. Bruce Mitchell, Old English Syntax (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 2, pars. 2305 and 2306, says "the phenomenon [the "zero-relative"] manifests itself most frequently in OE with forms of the verb hatan" and that "indisputable examples involving other verbs are few." He gives no examples with weordan. In Old English mss, scribal p for pa or pe occurs, though infrequently, as (possibly)in Beowulf 15.

(12) The latter reading is apparent, one way or another, in the following studies, though sceada is generally taken as "injury": Benjamin Thorpe, Caedmon's Metrical Paraphrase of Parts of the Holy Scriptures, in Anglo-Saxon (London, 1832), p. 35; K. W. Bouterwek, Caedmons des Angelsachsen biblische Dichtungen (Gutersloh, 1854), pp. 22 (comma after cwaed), 204 (trans.); C. W. M. Grein, Dichtungen der Angelsachsen stabreimend ubersetzt, 2nd ed. (Kassel and Gottingen, 1863), 1:17; Christian W. M. Grein, Bibliothek der angelsachsischen Poesie, ed. Richard Paul Wulker (Leipzig, 1894), 2:347 (comma after cwaed); C. W. M. Grein, Sprachschatz der angelsachsischen Dichter, ed. J. J. Kohler (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1912), s.v. sceaden "damnum" (citation of paet clause); Paul Piper, Die altsachsische Bibeldichtung (Stuttgart, 1897), p. 474 (comma after cwaed); Vickrey, "Genesis B: A New Analysis and Edition," pp. 217-19; Ute Schwab, Die Bruchstucke der altsachsischen Genesis und ihrer altenglischen Ubertragung: Einfuhrung, Textwiedergaben und Ubersetzungen, Abbildung der gesamten Uberlieferung, with contributions by Ludwig Schuba and Hartmut Kugler (Goppingen: Kummerle, 1991), p. 105; Braasch, Vollstandiges Worterbuch zur sog. Caedmonschen Genesis, s.v. paet "daB" 2., pp. 127-28; Charles W. Kennedy, The Caedmon Poems (London: Routledge, 1916), p. 25; Watson Kirkconnell, The Celestial Cycle (U. of Toronto Press, 1952), p. 33; R. K. Gordon, Anglo-Saxon Poetry, rev. ed. (Dent: London, 1976), p. 105; Jane Chance, "Eve in Genesis B," in Woman as Hero in Old English Literature (Syracuse U. Press, 1986), p. 73; Eric Jager, The Tempter's Voice: Language and the Fall in Medieval Literature (Cornell U. Press, 1993), p. 162. See also the Heusler and Klaeber references in note 7 above. I discovered, some while after I had concluded that sceadena maest meant "greatest of enemies," that the first editor of the poem, Franciscus Junius, would not greatly have disagreed with either "injurer" or "enemy": Ms. Junius 2, p. 491 (recto, col. 1), glosses the lemma sceadena maest as "latronum maximus."

(13) See Doane, The Saxon Genesis, pp. 146-47 and 290-91; and John F. Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," English Studies 70 (1989): 97-106; also "Genesis B and the Anomalous Gnome," Mediaevalia 14 (1991 [for 1988]): 51-62. The ms exhibits scribal points before swa and after lybban (but not after sculon 623), gedod, wyrcan, hearmcwyde, and ford. At pp. 147 and 290-91, Doane notes that Ute Schwab, "Ansatze zu einer Interpretation der altsachsischen Genesisdichtung," Istituto Universitario Orientale Annali 17 (1974): 160, shares his view that the lines are the narrator's. But in her edition, as is clear from her text of the Old English (p. 110) and her translation (p. 111), she takes the lines as the tempter's.

(14) Vickrey, "Genesis B and the Anomalous Gnome," p. 52.

(15) Susan E. Deskis, "The Gnomic Woman in Old English Poetry," PQ 73 (1994): 133-49, esp. p. 136. For a fuller indication of the passages in Genesis B and other Old English and Old Saxon poems "which emphasize that to anger God entails disaster" see Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," pp. 101 and 106. On the conservativeness of Old English gnomic verse see Deskis, p. 145. The Heliand gnomes, assembled and discussed in Carroll E. Reed, "Gnomic Verse in the Old Saxon Heliand," PQ 30 (1951): 403-10, appear to be about as conservative as the Old English. Reed fails to acknowledge lines 2617-20 as gnomic. Robert B. Burlin, The Old English Advent: A Typological Commentary (Yale U. Press, 1968), p. 94, citing the allusion to Galatians 6.7-8 in Christ 85-87, remarks that "the Old Testament mentality is perhaps apparent in the proverbial folk-wisdom, with its gloomy sense of justice."

(16) Fr. Klaeber, "Notes on Old English Poems," JEGP 12 (1913): 253; Doane, The Saxon Genesis, p. 147.

(17) For this inference see Paul Cavill, "Notes on Maxims in Old English Narrative," N&Q 33 (1986): 145-48; for a minor qualification of his point see Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," p. 103, note 21.

(18) The problem of sculon and aefter is discussed more fully in Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," p. 103.

(19) Doane, The Saxon Genesis, p. 147. J.R. Hall, "Geongordom and Hyldo in Genesis B: Serving the Lord for the Lord s Favor," Papers on Language and Literature 11 (1975): 303, says that "hyldo designates the favor a follower wins for yielding his master geongordom." Ute Schwab, "Huld und Huld-verlust in der as.-ags. Genesis,' in Scritti in Onore di Salvatori Pugliatti, 5 (Milan: Mori, 1978):962-63, notes the "semantische Polyvalenz" of hyldo in Genesis B: "Es wird ... sowohl in seiner allgemeineren Bedeutung `freundschaftliche Gesinnung, Wohlwollen,' als auch in seinem spezifisch juristischen Sinn `Huld des Herrschers (gratia, clementia usw.)' verwendet und erscheint auch daneben oder gleichzeitig als gratia in theologischem Sinn."

(20) Doane, The Saxon Genesis, p. 291. Sehrt, Vollstandiges Worterbuch, s.v. harm-quidi; cf. Ilkow, Die Nominalkomposita, p. 176; and Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," p. 98.

(21) Peter J. Lucas, "'Genesis B' 623-5: Part of the Speech to Eve?" N&Q n.s. 17 (1970): 244; Sehrt, Vollstandiges Worterbuch, s.v. s6, p. 482.

(22) Doane, The Saxon Genesis, pp. 147 and 291 For more on the relationship of lines 621-25 to their context see Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," pp. 104-105.

(23) Lucas, "'Genesis B' 623-5," 243-44, proposes the emendation to [inc]re. The successive editions of Otto Behaghel's text emend to hi[s]; Schwab, Die Bruchstucke der altsachsischen Genesis, p. 110, also emends to hi[s]. Fr. Klaeber, The Later Genesis and other Old English and Old Saxon Texts relating to the Fall of Man, 2nd ed. (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1931), p. 52, suggests hira for ms hire.

(24) Doane, The Saxon Genesis, p. 112. R. Derolez, "Genesis: Old Saxon and Old English," English Studies 76 (1995): 421, is sceptical of Doane's Identification of that audience as the court, in Doane's words, "a place where noble bishops and abbots, magnates and courtiers, and perhaps even the king, met with relative equality" (p. 112).

(25) See Vickrey, "Genesis B and the Anomalous Gnome," pp. 56-58. No sharp distinction can be drawn between gnome and prophecy since by its nature gnomic utterance tends to include the future, as well as the present and past.

Eric Jager, "Invoking/Revoking God's Word: the Vox Dei in Genesis B," English Studies 71 (1990): 314 and note 24, infers that by the phrase Strangre stemne "with strong voice" 525. "Adam is very likely indicating that God spoke m a loud, even thundering manner." Cf. Ps. 17:14, 28:4-5. So as to simulate the vox Dei, lines 623-25 might have been delivered in a tone louder than the lines preceding. Karen Cherewatuk, "Standing, Turning, Twisting, Falling: Posture and Moral Stance in `Genesis B,'" Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 87 (1986): 537, says that the poet externalizes the inner and spiritual event, i.e., the Fall ...." through a pervasive pattern of imagery which describes the fall in terms of physical posture." This imagery might have been a useful clue for performers of both the Old Saxon and Old English poem.

(26) Neal R. Norrick, How Proverbs Mean.' Semantic Studies in English Proverbs, Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs 27 (Berlin, New York, Amsterdam: Mouton, 1985), p. 28.

(27) Vickrey, "Genesis B and the Anomalous Gnome. ," p. 56. Jager, "Invoking / Revoking God's Word," p. 309, comments, without reference to lines 623-25, that the tempter succeeds "by convincing the humans to neglect their memory... of [God's] command and to accept instead a fictitious report of God's word that is supposedly based on the Tempter's own auditory memory."

(28) Hilding Back, The Synonyms for "Child," "Boy," "Girl" in Old English: An Etymological-Semasiological Investigation, Lund Studies in English 2 (Lund: Gleerup, 1934), p. 9. For eafora see pp. 67-71.

(29) The Old English Version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. Thomas Miller, EETS 95 (London, 1890), 1.1.76-78; Confessionale Egberti, in Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, ed. Benjamin Thorpe (London, 1840), 5' 355; both cited in Back, The Synonyms for "Child," "Boy," "Girl" in Old English, p. 3.

(30) On Genesis 19.37-38 see Bede, In Genesim, 4, xix, 31-32 (CCSL, 118A, 230-31); on Mary see Burlin, The Old English Advent, pp. 144-49.

(31) Ms. C, however, faithful to the Latin, gives both to Eve. See S. J. Crawford, ed., The Old English Version of the Heptateuch, EETS 160 (Oxford U. Press, 1922), pp. 94-95.

(32) The distinction is especially apparent in Heliand 491 and 3000, but see also lines 65, 69, 2126, 2221; cf. Sehrt's comment, Vollstandiges Worterbuch, s.v. abaro, that the word occurs "stets in bezug auf die Juden." G. Ronald Murphy, S.J., The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel A Translation and Commentary (Oxford U. Press, 1992), p. 173, note 269, comments that "`nation' in the Heliand is a familial entity based on birth into a specific clan territory ...."

(33) Carol J. Clover, "The Politics of Scarcity: Notes on the Sex Ratio in Early Scandinavia," in New Readings on Women in Old English Literature, ed. Helen Damico and Alexandra Hennessey Olsen (Indiana U. Press, 1990), pp. 100-34, esp. p. 122.

(34) For eafora I count thirty-eight such constructions in the Microfiche Concordance to Old English (under afar-, afer-, afor-, eafer-, eafor-, eafr-). Not in the MCOE is raedwealdes eoferan, in Thomas Miller, ed., The Old English Version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, EETS 110 (Oxford U. Press, 1898), 2:1.226. For abaro see Sehrt, Vollstandiges Worterbuch.

(35) Note also how Beowulf 1261163 speaks of Abel's murder: Cain slew (his) own brother, (his) faederenmaege "paternal relative" (Bosworth-Toller, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary). Back, The Synonyms for "Child," "Boy," "Girl" in Old English, pp.12-14, s.v. bearn 2a. "'son' in the first degree," includes [[Beta].sup.1]) bearn + the name of the father, but the only subset for the name of the mother that at all corresponas is [Gamma]) Son of the Virgin. On Grendel's mother see Edward B. Irving, Jr., A Reading of Beowulf(Yale U. Press, 1968), pp. 113-20; and Rereading Beowulf (U. of Pennsylvania Press, 1989), pp. 70-73; Jane Chance, Woman as Hero in Old English Literature, pp. 95-108.

(36) Jean I. Young, "Riddle 15 of The Exeter Book," RES 20 (1944): 305; Quoted in Craig Williamson, The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book (U. of :North Carolina Press, 1977), p. 174. The riddle is Riddle 13 in Williamson's text. As Williamson indicates, solutions other than the fox or vixen have been offered; Young, pp. 305-306, makes a case for the weasel.

(37) Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," p. 106.

(38) J.R. Hall, "Duality and the Dual Pronoun in Genesis B," Papers on Language and Literature 17 (1981): 141.

(39) Doane, The Saxon Genesis, pp. 143-45, shows in some detail how the tempter appeals to Eve's pride.

(40) See John F. Vickrey, "Selfsceaft in Genesis B," Anglia 83 (1965): 154-71. On "topsy-turviness" see Eric Jager, "Tempter as Rhetoric Teacher: The Fall of Language in the Old English Genesis B," Neophilologus 72 (1988): 434-48; and John Vickrey, "Adam, Eve, and the Tacen in Genesis B," PQ 72 (1993): 1-14.

(41) Pokorny, Worterbuch, 1, 53-54; and Back, The Synonyms for "Child," "Boy," "Girl" in Old English, p. 67.

(42) Adeline Courtney Bartlett, The Larger Rhetorical Patterns in Anglo-Saxon Poetry (Columbia U. Press, 1935), p. 25, pp. 115-16. On "envelope pattern" see also John D. Niles, Beowulf.' The Poem and Its Tradition (Harvard U. Press, 1983), pp. 152-62 ("Ring Composition").

(43) Vickrey, "Adam, Eve, and the Tacen in Genesis B," p. 6.

(44) The passages in question may be part of a larger pattern. Lines 547-49 and 626-27 resemble an envelope or perhaps an incremental pattern, with the narrative segment introduced by the first element enclosed by lines 549-51 and 623-25 as an envelope pattern. See Vickrey, "On Genesis 623-5," pp. 104-105 and note 26.

(45) Bartlett, The Larger Rhetorical Patterns, p. 9: "... there must be content unity or logical completeness if the name Envelope pattern is justified."

(46) On prophecy as a sign of spirituality see P. L. Henry, The Earliest English and Celtic Lyric (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1966), p. 26; Bertram Colgrave, Two Lives of Saint Cuthbert (Cambridge U. Press, 1940), at various points in the anonymous life and in chs. 8, 24, 27, 34 of Bede's life (pp. 182, 234-36, 242-48, 262-64), and at pp. 321-22 (with references). On the gnome and prophecy as instrument ] am indebted in a general way to Norrick, How Proverbs Mean, pp. 24-30.

(47) C. P. Caspari, Eine Augustin falschlich beilegte Homilia de sacrilegiis, 5 (Christiania, 1886), pp. 6-7. Caspari, pp. 66-73, is inclined to regard the homily as of the eighth century and from the northern part of the Frankish kingdom. The Capitulatio de partibua Saxonie, 23, indicates that "divinos et sortilegos ecclesiis et sacerdotibus dare constituimus'; the Indiculus superstitionum et paganiarum, 14 is "De divinis vel sortilegis"; see MGH: Legum Sectio H. Capitularia Regum Francorum (Hanover, 1881), 1:69 and 223. Albert Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, 8th ed. (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1954), 2, 404, note 2, comments that "Die Homilie [de sacrilegiis] erscheint wie eine Parallele zu dem verlorenen Schriftstfick, dessen Uberschriften im Indiculus erhalten sind."

(48) Cf. Hall, "Geongordom and Hyldo in Genesis B: Serving the Lord for the Lord's Favor," p. 304; and Vickrey, "Genesis B and the Anomalous Gnome," p. 58. Heliand 5427-34 indicates that Satan became certain of Christ's identity and purpose when the soul of Judas came down to hell.

(49) The case is like that of the vision of God on His throne which the tempter has just given to Eve: neither tempter nor Eve could know that the vision suggests the Judgment to come. See John F. Vickrey, "The Vision of Eve in Genesis B," Speculum 44 (1969): 86-102.

(50) Doane, The Saxon Genesis, p. 290, note also "(even if we can think of better ways the text might go)"; and Krapp, The Junius Manuscript, p. 169.
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Title Annotation:Old English poem
Author:Vickrey, John
Publication:Philological Quarterly
Date:Sep 22, 1997
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