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Anglo-Saxon Plant Name Survey (ASPNS): Fifth Annual Report, January 2004


Dr. C. P. Biggam, Director of ASPNS

ASPNS is delighted to welcome three new collaborators who joined us in 2003. Firstly, we have two new contributing authors. The first to join was Prof. Richard Coates, Dept of Linguistics and English Language, University of Sussex; second was Alaric Hall, currently of the Dept of English Language, and the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Glasgow, and also of the Dept of English, and the Research Unit for Variation and Change in English, University of Helsinki, Finland. We also have a new expert adviser, Dr. Tony Hunt of St. Peter's College, Oxford, who is Faculty Lecturer in Medieval French Literature in the Faculty of Modern Languages, University of Oxford. Dr. Hunt will advise, of course, on Medieval French language and literature.

I gave two lectures in Cambridge last year, one to the Dept of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic entitled "The Limits of Understanding: Semantic Research into Anglo-Saxon Plant-Names'," and another to the Women's Group at Clare Hall, entitled "Women's Medicine in Anglo-Saxon England."

Undoubtedly, however, the proudest moment for ASPNS last year was the publication, by Editions Rodopi of Amsterdam and New York, of the proceedings of the first ASPNS symposium, held in 2000. Details of the book and its papers appear in the appendix below.

I would like to thank all those who have helped with ASPNS queries in the past year, but in particular, Dr. Allan Hall of the University of York. Thanks are also due to the Department of English Language, and Institute for the Historical Study of Language, both at the University of Glasgow.

The work of the ASPNS may be followed on its website, http://www2.arts.gla.ac.uk/SESLL/EngLang/ihsl/projects/plants.htm.



Biggam, C. P., 'Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey (ASPNS): Third Annual Report', Old English Newsletter 35.3 (Spring 2002), 10-11 [received 2003].

Biggam, C. P., ed., From Earth to Art: the Many Aspects of the Plant-World in Anglo-Saxon England: Proceedings of the First ASPNS Symposium, University of Glasgow, 5-7 April 2000. Costerus New Series 148. Amsterdam & New York: Editions Rodopi, 2003.

Papers in From Earth to Art, in order of their appearance:

  • Hooke, Della, "Trees in the Anglo-Saxon Landscape: the Charter Evidence."
  • Hough, Carole, "Place-Name Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Plant-Names."
  • Forbes, Ralph S., "Criteria for Assessing the Native Status of British Plants: Some Case Histories."
  • Hall, Allan R., "Investigating Anglo-Saxon Plant Life and Plant Use: the Archaeobotanical Angle."
  • Banham, Debby, "Be hlafum and wyrtum: Food Plants in Anglo-Saxon Society and Economy."
  • D'Aronco, Maria Amalia, "Anglo-Saxon Plant Pharmacy and the Latin Medical Tradition."
  • Bierbaumer, Peter, "Real and Not-So-Real Plant-Names in Old English Glosses."
  • Sauer, Hans, "The Morphology of the Old English Plant-Names."
  • Rusche, Philip G., "Dioscorides' De materia medica and Late Old English Herbal Glossaries."
  • Biggam, C. P., "The Æspe Tree in Anglo-Saxon England" (ASPNS Word-Study, no. 1).
  • Esposito, Anthony, "Medieval Plant-Names in the Oxford English Dictionary."
  • Rydén, Mats, "William Turner as Botanist and Plant-Name Scholar."
  • Hawkes, Jane, "The Plant-Life of Early Christian Anglo-Saxon Art."
  • Neville, Jennifer, "Leaves of Glass: Plant-Life in Old English Poetry."
  • "Lexical Indexes"