The Solomon and Saturn dialogues in Old English comprise what are often read as four distinct works — two poems and two prose works — found across three manuscripts from the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries. The tenth-century Red Book of Darby, now held at the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, contains a verse dialogue followed by a prose dialogue and then an addition passage (or passages) in verse. The opening lines of the “Red Book” are also found in the margins of an eleventh-century copy of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, though in a later idiom and with quite a large number of changed words; it is also in the Parker Library. The twelfth-century manuscript Cotton Vitellius A.xv, which is held by the British Library and also contains the unique text of Beowulf, includes another dialogue between characters named Solomon and Saturn, but the contents are quite different from those of the Cambridge manuscripts.
This edition of the text is based on an examination of the manuscripts and of previous editions of the Dialogues. The texts are being published in digital form to allow for open access and so that users can view facsimile images of the text alongside transcription, edition, and translation.
As a digital edition, this material is experimental and a work in progress; comments and suggestions are welcome. A draft version of a translation into Modern English is available now; transcriptions and edited versions of the Old English text will be posted in searchable TEI form over the next several months.
Please feel free to use the text as a scholarly or pedagogical resource, but provide credit.
The Solomon and Saturn Dialogues by Heide Estes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Heide Estes is Professor of English at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, USA. For the academic year 2014-15 she is Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall and Honorary Research Associate of the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge.