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PREFACE.

THE scope of this book is described in the Introduction (chapter i.) and in the Editor's account of the whole series, in the next volume, so that there is the less need for a formal Preface. It may be explained, however, that some freedom has been used in the selection and arrangement of matter. Old English literature has been treated, for example, with less detail than Icelandic, because it is more familiar ground in this country, and has been well described in many recent works. In Icelandic, the poems of the Elder Edda have been taken as more important than anything else, but very little is said of the problems of their date and origin. The notes on Irish and Welsh literature are intended merely as illustrations of certain general topics; a fuller account was hardly possible: as it is, this chapter trespasses too far in regions where the author has no special credentials. At the end of the book it was found unnecessary to

make any recapitulation, because things are summed up already, to the best of the writer's power, in chapter ii. (The Elements), and also because the way is easy and unimpeded from Roncesvalles at the close of this volume to the French heroic poetry in the next period. I regret that the newly discovered Chancun de Willame should have appeared too late to be recorded in its proper place. I take this opportunity of referring to the article on the subject by M. Paul Meyer in Romania, and of thanking the unknown benefactor who has printed this epic of William of Orange-older, it would seem, than the poem of Aliscans.

The following works, among others, have been of very great service: Ebert, Allgemeine Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters in Abendlande, 1874-1887; Gröber's account of mediæval Latin literature in his Grundriss der romanischen Philologie ; Mone, Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters, 1853-1855; Edélestand du Méril, Poésies populaires latines antérieuses au douzième Siècle, 1843 (in which will be found the specimens of Latin popular poetry quoted in chapter iii. pp. 208-217); Poole, Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought, 1884; Paul, Grundriss der germanischen Philologie ; Corpus Poeticum Boreale, edited by Gudbrand Vigfusson and. F. York Powell, Oxford, 1883; Eddica Minora, by Ranisch and Heusler, 1903, containing the old-fashioned Northern poems that are not included in the great Copenhagen manuscript;

Finnur Jónsson's history of old Norwegian and Ice-
landic literature (Den oldnorske og oldislandske Litter-
aturs Historie, 1894); Kelle, Geschichte der deutschen
Litteratur, 1892-1896; Krumbacher, Geschichte der
byzantinischen Litteratur, second edition, 1897.
Mr Stevenson's welcome edition of Asser, with
strong arguments in favour of the Life of Alfred as
an authentic work, has only been published within
the last few days.
I am greatly indebted to Mr H. W. C. Davis of
Balliol for many suggestions in chapter iii.; to Dr
Kuno Meyer for advice about Celtic literature; and
to Mr Saintsbury for his editorial care throughout.

W. P. K. LoNDON, 25th January 1904.

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