Anglo-Saxon Word of the Week: Rod

ruthwellcross This week’s word is a bit of a gimme; it’s already been an incredibly busy week, and  I lost a day in travel, coming back from my St. David’s Day holiday – about which,  more soon!

For this week, we have rōd, pronounced [rode], with a long o vowel. It’s a noun  which, aside from being an archaic unit of land measurement, also means cross or  crucifix, and is where we get the word ‘rood’ is the translated title of the Old English  poem “The Dream of the Rood.” Parts of the poem can be found inscribed on the  Ruthwell Cross, an 18-foot-high carved stone cross that likely dates from the 8th  century. 

Some background information on the poem, as well as a wonderful, comprehensive  translation (with a glossary!) can be found here, courtesy of the University of  Glasgow.

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