Some Swedish Seafarer words: anflygare, efter, grus, holme, hg, må, ovrn, skura, skte, stten, srja, valväg (valplats), varþer, vng.
Some linked Anglish words: anfloga, eft, hrusan, holma, hyge, mg, unwearnum, scur, sceata, sias, sorge, wl weg, hreer, wongas


Lucretius admires his poem
Below: extract from The Secret Archives of the Vatican:


Does the original Latin letter to Candidus say English or Anglish ?
This passage was published 1969, not 1996, as currently stated by Wikipedia; note 81.
Ambrosini's work is curious, but there is no reason to doubt the above extract.

Lucretius Again
with some revision of previous page.

10 August 2019 AD. Time to consolidate thoughts assembled during the last few weeks. Time to present a definite, contentious, theory about the author of the poem known as The Seafarer. Those wishing to feel insulted are very welcome. Difficult to tell why this page is headed Lucretius Again, but it needed a heading. Frivolity disarms criticism.

All previous speculation about the author of The Seafarer is resolutely binned. As far as I'm concerned the only possible author is a monk of learning and linguistic skill. He was also an overtly committed Christian, who aimed to reconcile the values of a pagan past with those of a new faith; and at the same time persuade his hearers of the benefits of this faith. He was obliged to promote this message, in order to humour his superiors, to whom he owed his living. But his words are ambiguous, which has given his composition its appeal.

This Christian monk, the author of the poem, might well have started life as one of the Angels noticed by Pope Gregory. Those slaves, noticed some time pre-590 AD, were just as likely to have come from Angulus as England. The Romans left Britain in 410. In Gaul they could still be collecting slaves from Scandinavia. If the seafarer poet had progressed from being an Anglian child slave, or prisoner, in Rome, to becoming a monk destined for missionary work in England, he would be usefully bilingual. Catch 'em young He was aged perhaps about 12 or 15. He was wholly versed in the mythology of his fathers; and also linguistically gifted, and an avid reader of everything he came across, which would have been written in Latin.

The ethnicity of, and migrations into, the British Isles, during the years before about 500 AD, seem recently to have become a free-for-all topic, with several experts entering the fray. Bede, who was quite a punster, was writing perhaps some multiple hundred years after the alleged events. The consensus appears to be that he was more creative than strictly correct in his historiography, and that the "facts" are up for some hefty revision. This is in spite of the saying that it is a pity to spoil a good story with the truth.

Here is that truth, as I see it. There were no Germanic Saxons in England. A Saxon, to the Romans and natives in Britain, was a man who carried a seax. That seax had been forged in Angulus, and the man who carried it was an Anglian. He was therefore called an Anglo-Saxon. The "Saxon Shore" was a shore manned and maintained by people known to their masters and enemies as Saxons, but to themselves as Anglians. Bede's statement was that the Anglii, before coming to Britain, dwelt in a land called Angulus, "which lies between the province of the Jutes (ie Goths) and the Saxons, and remains unpopulated (?) to this day." See Wikipedia for the complexity of aspects of this matter, with which I certainly do not agree. I consider that the name was derived from the northern name Ing or Yngve. Why is England pronounced Ingland ? I do not for a moment believe that Angel, or Angulus, has anything whatever to do with "narrow", or a "fisherman's hook." I consider Angulus was a land which has since become southern Sweden. See David Burns. This explains why the language I call Anglish is closer to modern Swedish than other modern language. Friesian perhaps excepted, its antecedents Anglian.

In 1417 AD de rerum natura, composed circa 55 BC, was discovered in a German monastery. Whatever its philosophy, its survival can only have been due to it having been copied by monks. Copies must therefore have existed in other monasteries.

It is with a certain sense of excitement that I've come to believe that the author of the poem known as The Seafarer was familiar with the verse masterpiece of Lucretius, and especially Book III; Mortality and the Soul. I can't help feeling that Lucretius was an infinitely greater influence upon the poet than Lactantius. Had the poet been subjected to a compare and contrast exercise ? You tell me.

Check Thomas Nail on Lucretius: "if all movement is also death .. Living is dying, and dying is living. The two are united in the same kinetic process." "Lucretius offers to free us from anxiety about death, in his third book: 'Then Death is nothing to us'." The more I think about it, the more certain I become that the Seafarer poet was well familiar with Lucretius. Nail intrigues with these words...

It is necessary, needless to say, to have a correct understanding of the Anglish words if any suspected influence of Lucretius is to be fully appreciated. Those words are far, far more closely related to Modern Swedish than to Modern English. Failure to appreciate the closer kinship of Anglish to Modern Swedish leads to one textual misreading after another. Obvious examples are the emendation of wl to read hwl, ie reading "death" as "whale"; and the ludicrous interpretation of sceat as "sheet", or "spreading regions", when the word means "bosom" or "lap". A key link to Lucretius is provided by a correct interpretation of unwearnum, meaning "helpless", usually idiotically rendered as "irresistibly". These links will not be perceived by English monoglots, and Swedes are often likely to be too courteously well-mannered. It's worth comparing the curious attitude of Mr Magoun towards a perceptive Swede: see here. Scroll down. The more I contemplate the meaning generally assigned to anfloga, the sillier it seems.

New versions of The Seafarer keep appearing, year in, year out. Sadly, these "translations", or "refractions" appear to pay no attention to the recommendation of Anderson/Arngart, who advised that: "the only way to find the true meaning of The Seafarer is to approach it with an open mind, and to concentrate on the actual wording, making a determined effort to penetrate to what lies beneath the verbal surface." Instead, these newcomers lean towards the baleful influence of Ezra Pound, who succeeded in distorting understanding of the poem for at least 50 years. His followers use the original composition as a jumping-off point for their own convoluted creations, which bear minimal resemblance to the original..

It was pointed out by David Burns (RIP) that there are over a thousand place-names in modern Sweden which start Angel, Engel or Ingel. Virtually no continental Saxon place-names occur in England. This was perceived long ago by Isaac Taylor. See here. An Anglo-Saxon wielded a seax, but hailed from Angeln, somewhere in Sweden. See Anglia, Mercia, Essex and Middlesex coats of arms.

There are few countries in Europe concerning which the average Englishman knows so little as Sweden; this is the more remarkable, for there are many reasons for believing that the English race originated in Sweden.         from Unknown Sweden: Steveni: 1925

The bipartite construction of The Seafarer is examined here. And here (click).

See further comments on anfloga here.

more forgotten anfloga notes

now for the hard part

another page
anfloga again
favourite topics    journey's jargon
The C O E Reader. Scroll down for Borges.
The Seafarer and The Wanderer. G.V.Smithers
An, Ân, & Eft: Old English Grammar. A. Campbell
Pretentious Fake
R.I.Page and the DOE
Hugr, Hyge, Håg
The prefix un- in Anglo-Saxon
the central crux of the seafarer
Biblical Echoes
re: unwearnum
visualizations of the anfloga

frosted (?) feathers

ice-feathered tern


essays and papers
lucretius & seafarer

© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2019
all rights reserved

A Handy Reading List

Greenblatt, Stephen
Thomas Nail
Of the Nature of Things
Lucretius, Poet, Philosopher
De Rerum Natura
The Nature of the Universe
The Nature of Things
The Swerve
Lucretius I:
NOTE:    translator/subtitle/other
A Metrical Translation. William Ellery Leonard
President, St John's, Cambridge
M.Ferguson Smith: Latin/English text
A.E.Stallings & Richard Jenkyns
How the Renaissance began; pp 185 - 199
An Ontology of Motion

Ontology = branch of metaphysics dealing with the theory of pure being or reality

"Time by itself does not exist ..... It must not be claimed that anyone can sense time apart from the movement of things.
Lucretius: Book 1, line 459. Quoted in New Scientist, 6 July 2019.

Wayne Leman: "Translation accuracy is measured by the degree to which users get the same meaning as the original."