The role played by the german and scandinavian tribes on english language — страница 4

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the idea of God the Creator was expressed by scieppend (one who shapes or forms), fruma (creator, founder), or metod (measurer). Native words like f aider (father), dryhten (prince), wealdend (ruler), beoden (prince), weard (ward, protector), hldford (lord) are frequent synonyms. Most of them are also applied to Christ, originally a Greek word and the most usual name for the Second Person of the Trinity, but U friend (Savior) is also commonly employed. The Third Person (Spiritus Sanctus) was translated Halig Cast (Holy Ghost). Latin diabolus was borrowed as deofol (devil) but we find feond (fiend) as a common synonym. Examples might be multiplied. Cross is rod (rood), treow (tree), gcalga (gallows), etc.; resurrection is zerist, from ansan (to arise); peccatum is synn (sin),

while other words like mân, firen, leaJıtor, woh, and scyld, meaning 'vice', 'crime', 'fault', and the like, are commonly substituted. The Judgment Day is Doomsday. Many of these words are translations of their Latin equivalents and their vitality is attested by the fact that in a great many cases they have continued in use down to the present day. It is im­portant to recognize that the significance of a foreign influence is not to be measured simply by the foreign word's introduced but is revealed also by the extent to which it stimulates the language to independent creative effort and causes it to make full use of its native resources. CHAPTER II The Scandinavian Influence: The Viking Age. The end of the Old English period English underwent a third foreign influence, the

result of contact with another important language, the Scandinavian. In the course of history it is not unusual to witness the spectacle of a nation or people, through causes too remote or complex for analysis, suddenly emerging from ob­scurity, playing for a time a conspicuous, often brilliant, part, and then, through causes equally difficult to define, subsiding once more into a relatively minor sphere of activity. Such a phenome­non is presented by the Teutonic inhabitants of the Scandinavian Peninsula and Denmark, one-time neighbors of the Anglo-Saxons and closely related to them in language and blood. For some centuries the Scandinavians had remained quietly in their northern home. But in the eighth century a change, possibly economic, possibly political, occurred in

this area and provoked among them a spirit of unrest and adventurous enterprise. They began a series of attacks upon all the lands adjacent to the North Sea and the Baltic. Their activities began in plunder and ended in conquest. The Swedes established a kingdom in Russia; Norwegians colonized parts of the British Isles, the Faroes and Iceland, and from there pushed on to Greenland and the coast of Labrador; the Danes founded the dukedom of Normandy and finally conquered England. The pinnacle of their achievement was reached in the beginning of the eleventh century when Cnut, king of Denmark, obtained the throne of England, conquered Norway, and from his English capital ruled the greater part of the Scandinavian world. The daring sea-rovers to whom these unusual achievements were

due are commonly known as Vikings,1 and the period of their activity, extending from the middle of the eighth century to the beginning of the eleventh, is popularly known as the Viking Age. It was to their attacks upon, settle ments in, and ultimate conquest of England that the Scandinavian influence upon Old English was due. The Scandinavian Invasions of England. In the Scan­dinavian attacks upon England three well-marked stages can be distinguished. The first is the period of early raids, beginning according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 787 and continuing with some intermissions until about 850 The raids of this period were simply plundering attacks upon towns and monasteries near the coast. Sacred vessels of gold and silver, jeweled shrines, costly robes, valuables of

all kinds, and slaves were carried off. Note-Worthy instances are the sacking of Lindisfarne and Jarrow in 793 and 794. But with the plundering of these two famous mon­asteries the attacks apparently ceased for forty years, until re­newed in 834 along the southern coast and in East Anglia. These early raids were apparently the work of small isolated bands. The second stage is the work of large armies and is marked by widespread plundering in all parts of the country and by extensive settlements. This new development was inaugurated by the arrival in 1850 of a Danish fleet of 350 ships. Their pirate crews wintered in the isle of Thanet and the following spring captured Canterbury and London and ravaged the surrounding country. Although finally defeated by a West Saxon army