The Saxon Savior


By Ronald Murphy, Published in 1995



This study is an interpretation and appreciation of the art of he Heliand, the 9th century Saxon epic poem in which the Christian Gospel of the four evangelist is translated in Germanic terms. Murphy examines in detail the ingenious and sensitive poetic analogies through which familiar texts–the Nativity, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer, the Passion and Resurrection–are transformed into Germanic settings and concepts. The first book in English on The Heliand, this study offers a new socio-political explanation of the possible motives of the unknown author in undertaking this enormous and brilliantly realized poetic task.

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