Neophilologus

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 149–164 | Cite as

The Land of Mermedonia in the Old English Andreas

Article

Abstract

In the Old English poem Andreas, God sends St. Andrew on a mission of mercy to the land of the cannibalistic Mermedonians. Compared to its Greek, Latin, and Old English prose analogues, Andreas elaborates the monstrous customs of the Mermedonians and the geography of their land so as to systematically heighten the otherworldliness of Mermedonia. This emphatic distance between Mermedonia and the rest of humankind develops through the Andreas-poet’s use of␣repetition, of intertextual echoes, and of episodic parallelism within the poem␣itself. Not only does the otherworldliness of Mermedonia heighten the impact of the country’s eventual conversion to Christianity; paradoxically, it also turns Mermedonia into a theological microcosm of the whole world, undergoing its own abbreviated history of salvation.

Keywords

Andreas Beowulf Cannibalism Christianity Elðeodig Exile Geography Harne stan Landscape Mermedonia Miracles Otherworldly places 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Centre for Medieval StudiesUniversity of TorontoTorontoOntario

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