Mudcat Café message #563449 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22617   Message #563449
Posted By: IanC
02-Oct-01 - 12:09 PM
Thread Name: Origin: High Germany
Subject: RE: High Germany, who wrote it?

Always seemed likely that it was Marlborough's wars (see above) but BruceO has challenged the earlier date, and I thought it would be worth following it through. I'm aware that the earliest definite date you have for a song is in fact the LATEST POSSIBLE DATE but other people think it's "safer" to stick with this as the earliest it existed. My argument is that you should try to make a best estimate, as sticking to "safe" dates in this way can lead to serious distortions of history which are only occasionally corrected later.

There is an interesting example in an Anglo-Saxon poem called "The Dream of The Rood". The earliest known version of this was in an 11th Century manuscript and all sorts of comments were made by scholars, based on the assumption that it was a late piece. They said it was a debased late Anglo-Saxon poem of no literary or historical merit etc. etc. Then someone deciphered a runic inscription on the 7th/8th Century standing cross at Ruthwell near Dumfries, Scotland and found it was a quite similar version of some of the stanzas of the poem.