Cotton Vitellius A.x.v. 129 r. As reproduced in Julius
Zupitza's Beowulf: Autotypes of the Unique Cotton
MS Vitellius A.xv. in the British Museum with a Transliteration
and Notes.E.E.T.S. O.S. 77. London: Trubner &
(You will need scratch-paper)
#1: Try to create an alphabet
for this scribe. Identify and write down what his
a's look like, his b's, and so on. Are they any letters
you do not recognize? Make a list of these letters.
Compare this version with what you have in the textbook
in order to figure out what sound they represent.
some letters may look like modern letters, but
actually be a different
letter altogether. Several letters he uses no longer
exist in modern English. Click
here for more information.
letter "wyn" looks
kind of like a capital <P> but it represents
a /w/ sound like the letter <w>. Likewise,
the letter "thorn"
also looks a bit like the letter <p> with an
elongated vertical bar, but it represents a /-th/
sound. The letter "eth" looks a bit like a a lower-case
<d>, but it also represents a /-th/ sound.
#2: Transcribe (copy) the first
few lines by hand. If you have have trouble, you can
click here to look at a neater computer
the same page against a white back-ground. When you
are done, check what you write against what appears
in your textbook.
#3: Note the line-breaks. Where
does the line break in the manuscript? Where do the
lines break in your textbook? Where do the line-breaks
appear in the Zupitza
do you think Zupitza made those line-breaks where