“þa Gewiton Hi Swa Swa Smic”

Millefiori Stud

Millefiori Stud

We’re intending to see tomorrow the parts of the Staffordshire Hoard which are on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries, queues or no queues. To which end we may have been stalking the blogosphere in search of writing to whet our appetite, and perhaps also to illuminate ourselves a little further about what has already been speculated regarding the origins and import of the find.

Hat-tip to Mercurius Politicus (to whom belated congratulations – both for submission and new arrivals) for this lovely piece from Jonathan Jarret: “What we are looking at here may be a tribute payment, demanded in silver and gold by weight (which might explain the apparently roughly proportional allotment of each metal).”

Following the links outwards, Brandon Hawk has some analysis of what is fast becoming the most famous piece in the hoard, the gold strip with a biblical inscription: making a link with Felix’s Life of Saint Guthlac, he says the piece “hearkens to a warrior’s need to keep himself safe from his all-too-real opponents.” (As he says in the comments to Hawk’s post, Jeffery Hodges has some objections to the Guthlac stuff here.)

JJ Cohen at In The Middle spins off Hawk’s post, too, and develops something well worth reading in its own right. If nothing else, it shows how it is possible, contra Karl Steel (also writing at In The Middle), for material finds to deepen and change our understanding of their correspinding (if currently still rather vague and disputed) period.

And, as if to remind us yet again of Sutton Hoo and The Dig, the fight over who gets to display the hoard permanently has begun. We know how this ends.


3 thoughts on ““þa Gewiton Hi Swa Swa Smic”

  1. Nick says:

    It’s a great post by Jonathan Jarret, isn’t it? In those immortal words, it’s “not my period” but I still find it completely spell-binding.

    Thanks for the good wishes by the way – and in return thank you for your own blog, which is one of the most consistently rewarding of my RSS feeds even if I spend more time lurking than commenting!

  2. danhartland says:

    Nick: yes, as I said in an earlier post, it’s just one of those finds which transcends ordinary interests. And many thanks for the praise – really appreciated from one of my own favourite bloggers!

    Jeffery – apologies, and fixed! More to the point, thank you for writing the post in the first place.

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