Apollonius of Tyre
Hyper-Text Project for The History of The English Language

This is the Olde English version of "Apollonius of Tyre", a story which was translated from the original Latin into Olde English. Every word within the text is linked to that word's particular history.

Note: Even if the word does not look like it is linked, it is. I have kept all links the same color as the plain text in an effort to make reading easier. Assume that all bold words are links. Some words have many forms. If a word has more than one form the link will take you to information only on the first form used.

The following passage is passage twenty-four. I chose this section to work with because it is one of the few passages which can be removed from the main-text and still make some sense.

Secondary Menu:
  • Olde English version of Passage Twenty-four.
  • Modern English Translation of Passage Twenty-four.
  • Complete Main-text in Olde English.
  • Complete Main-text in Modern English.
  • Unique aspects of Olde English.
  • Word List
  • Some important Notes.

    There are a few unique aspects of Olde English that you may notice as you examine the following text:

  • Notice the Synthetic nature of Olde English. Where Modern English relies on sentence structure to convey meanings (i.e. possesion, direct object, etc) making it a natural language, Olde English relies on sufixual endings to achieve this, making it a synthetic language more like the modern day German and French languages in structure and style than like Modern English.
  • Olde English also has some unique spelling characters. These are:
  • "þ" and "Þ"(thorn representing the "th" sound.)
  • "ð" and "Ð"(eth also forming the "th" sound.)
  • "æ" and "Æ"(ash representing the "a" sound as in the word "ash.)
  • "&" (ampersand used instead of "and")
  • One other thing which you may notice is that there are some words which no longer exist in the Modern English language. These "lost words" are ones which were removed or replaced by various events during the History of the English Language.

    "Apollonius of Tyre"
    Passage XXIV


    Ða eode heo ut & het feccan hire hearpan. & sona swa heo hearpian ongan. heo mid winsumum sange gemægnde þare hearpan sweg. Ða ongunnon ealle þa men hi herian on hyre sweg-cræft. & apollonius ána swigode. Ða cwæð se cyningc. Apolloni. nu ðu dest yfele. forðam þe ealle men heriað mine dohtor on hyre sweg-cræfte. & þu ána hi swigende tælst. Apollonius cwæð. Eala ðu góda cyngc. gif ðu me gelifst. ic secge þæt ic ongite þæt soðlice þin dohtor gefeol on sweg-cræft. ac heo næfð hine na wel geleornod. ac hat me nu sillan þa hearpan. þonne wást þu þæt þu nu git nást. Arcestrates se cyning cwæð. Apolloni. ic oncnawe soðlice þæt þu eart on eallum þingum wel gelæred. Ða het se cyng sillan apollonige þa hearpan. Apollonius þa út eode & hine scridde & sette ænne cyne-helm uppon his heafod & nám þa hearpan on his hand & in-eode. & swa stód þæt se cyngc & ealle þa ymbsittendan wéndon þæt he nære apollonius ac þæt he wære apollines ðara hæðenra god. Ða wearð stilnes & swíge geworden innon ðare healle. & apollonius his hearpe-nægl genám. and he þa hearpe-strengas mid cræfte astirian ongan. & þare hearpan sweg mid winsumum sange gemægnde. & se cyngc silf & ealle þe þar andwearde wæron micelre stæfne cliopodon & hine heredon.


    Then she went out, and bade her harp be fetched; and as soon as she began to harp, she with pleasant song mingled the sound of the harp. Then began all the men to praise her for her music; and Apollonius alone was silent. Then said the king, "Apollonius, now thou dost evilly; because all men praise my daughter for her music, and thou alone findest fault by being silent." Apollonius said, "O thou good king! if thou allowest me, I will say what I feel, that truly your daughter hath failed in her music, for she hath not well learned it; but bid the harp be now given to me, then thou soon shalt know what thou yet knowest not." Arcestrates the king said, "Apollonius, I know in sooth that thou art well instructed in all things." Then the king bade the harp be given to Apollonius. Apollonius then went out, and clothed himself, and set a crown upon his head, and took the harp in his hand, and went in, and so stood that the king, and all those sitting around, thought that he was not Apollonius, but that he was Apollo the god of the heathens. Then there was stillness and silence within the hall, and Apollonius took his harp-nail, and he began with skill to move the harp-strings, and the sound of the harp mingled with pleasant song: and the king himself, and all that were there present, cried with a loud voice and praised him.

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    Some notes:
  • "OE" refers to Olde English
  • "ME" refers to Middle English
  • "ModE" refers to Modern English.
  • "GVS" refers to the Great Verb Shift.

    Ða --> Then
    Ð forms the "th" sound giving us [tha].
    the "n" on the end of the ModE "then" was probably added for ease of

    eode --> went
    According to my translation "eode" ment went. However I am unable to
    make the connection between the two words. "eode" was either lost and
    replaced with "went" or perhaps it became "goed" which in ModE is

    heo --> she
    No one is sure why "heo" become "she", but some think that it had
    to do with the influence of the demonstrative form of "heo" which was
    "seo". IPA --> [heo]

    ut --> out
    This is one of the more obvious changes. Due to a verb shift the "u" in
    "ut" (pronounced as in "you") became "ou" (pronounced as in "ow").

    & --> and
    Same as ModE "&".

    het --> bid
    This is another word that my translation translates, but that I am unable to
    find a modern conection to.

    feccan --> fetch
      The connection between the OE "feccan" and the modern "fetch" can be seen visually. "-an" is a case ending which was eventually dropped due to the French and their effort to graph the language as they heared it they most likely account for the change of the final "c" to a "ch" and the addition of the "t".

    hire --> another declension of "heo"

    hearpan --> harp
      As has happened before the "-an" ending was dropped due to a loss of inflection in the language. The root "hearp" was then changed to "harp" through a verb shift from "ea" --> "a".

    sona --> soon
      An extra "o" was added in the middle of the word, most likely by the French, to show the long vowel sound, and the final "a" was dropped as the language lost inflection. However, when you say the word "soon" you can still hear the ghost of that final "a".

    swa --> so, as
    Usually thought to mean "so", however, my translation translates it
    as "as".

    ongan --> began
      Some simularities can be seen at a glance. The "-gan" ending is virtually unchanged except for a slight verb shift in the "a" from [a] to the "shwa" sound (which I cannot figure out how to do on the computer). It is unsure how the initial "on-" became ModE "be-", but one idea which may help to explain this is as follows. In ModE the prefix "be-" can be used to mean roughly "on" and perhaps through an orthographic shift, or through association.

    mid ---> with

    winsumum --> pleasant
      "Winsumum" does not change to "pleasant". As far as I can tell this word does not exist in the ModE language. However, one possiable word could be "winsome". If you remove the sufix "-um" and attribute this to the loss of inflection, you get the root "winsum". Now if you change the "u" to an "o" and allow this to have happened due to the GVS or to some other minor shift, you get "winsom". The French then come into play. During the French years the French attempted to graph the english language. While doing this they "frenchified" many words to make them look more "french". One way in which they accomplished this was to add a final "-e" to many words thus giving them a visual simularity to french. So if you add the "e" to the end you get "winsome", which in ModE is usually used to describe a young woman of inordinant and somewhat sad beauty, and of course this would be a narrowing of meaning. This change from "winsumum" to "winsome" is only a guess though.

    sange --> song
      The final "-e" was dropped due to the change from inflection to noninflection and the change from "a" --> "o" can be attributed to the GVS.

    gemægnde --> mingled
    "ge-" dropped giving us "mægnde"
    "æ" to "e" --> "megnde"
    "e"--> "i" --> "mignde"
    "g" and "n" switch due to pronunciation--> mingde
    "de" switched to "ed" --> minged
    The "l" was probably added by the French in an effort to liken it to
    their own word for mingle which is "meler".

    sweg --> sound of the harp
      "Sound of the harp" is what my translation says this translates to, however in a more exact sense it means "music" or "sound of music".

    ealle --> all
      The initial "e" was dropped due to a merging of the "e" and "a" vowels. The final "e" was most likely an ending which dropped of with loss of inflection, leaving "all".

    þa --> the
    þ = th
    [a]--> shwa

    men --> men
    No change

    hi herian --> to praise her
    unsure of change.

    on --> on/in
    Meaning depends on use.

    hyre --> her
      A dialectual variation on the OE third person genitive "hyere". This was then simplified to the possesive "her" due to the change from synthetic to natural structures.

    sweg-cræft --> music or skill of music
      This is a compound word created from the OE sweg (meaning "song") and cræft (meaning "skill or ability"). In "cræft" the "æ" changed to "a" due to verb simplification. The meaning of "cræft" in ModE is "skill" which is a narrowing of meaning.

    ana --> negation

    cwaeð --> said
      Acctually closer to ModE "quoth". The OE "c" was used to represent the "K" sound which now "q" is also used to represent in some cases. The "w" was changed to to "uo" which using ModE vowel sounds gives an approxiamt "w" sound as well as a phantasm "shwa" sound. And the "ð" changes to "th".

    se --> the
      The demonstrative form of the personal pronoun which was later simplifyed to either he or the depending on use.

    cynge --> king
    C--> K as stated earlier.
    Y-->I which was a common change.
    The final "e" dropped due to a loss of inflection.

    Apollonius --> Any word linked here is a version of Apollonius's name.

    Apollo --> The God Apollo

    nu --> now
      "u" to "o" due to a vowel shift and the "u" was changed by the French to graph sounds they heard but did not see.

    ðu --> thou
    "ð" --> "th"
    "u" --> dipthong "ou".

    dest --> dost
    Vowel shift from "e" --> "o" ; no change in meaning.

    yfele --> evil
    "y"--> "i"
    "f"--> "v"
    Dropped dative "e"
    Verb shift "I" --> "e" and "e" --> "i"

    forðam --> because

    þe --> thy
    þ--> th
    Confusion with "the" so removed "e" and added a "y".

    heriað --> heareth

    mine --> my
    Grammer change.

    dohtar --> daughter
    o--> au GVS
    a--> e verb shift
    In OE the "h" had a gutteral sound so the French added a "g" to the
    spelling so as to note the sound.

    þu --> thou
    þ--> th
    u-->ou through a vowel shift.

    he --> he
    No change

    eala --> O'
    Unsure of how this changed

    goda --> good
    The sufix "a" drops off and another "o" is added to show the long vowel sound.

    gif --> give
    f--> v
    French added final "e".

    me -->me

    gelifst --> permit
    According to translation.

    id -->I
    Changed due to a change in inflection and simplification.

    his -->his

    secge --> say

    swigode --> silent

    þæt --> that
    æ--> a

    gefeol --> failed
    "ge-" dropps off
    due to vowel shift o--> i

    þin --> thine
    þ--> th
    French add final "e"

    ic --> I

    souðlich --> truth/sooth

    ac -->for

    na --> not
    Simple negation

    wel -->well
    An extra "l" was added to show longer sound.

    gelearnod --> learned/instructed
    You can see the simularities between the OE and the ModE words.
    The "ge-" dropped off---loss of inflection and dependence of prefixes
    o--> e GVS

    þonne -->then
    þ --> th
    dative "e" dropped
    to one "n" for simplification
    o--> e GVS

    nast ~~> not
    Negation. No exact translation.

    git --> yet
    g--> y
    i--> e GVS

    oncnawe --> know
    "on-" dropped off due to loss of inflection and dependance on prefixes.
    c--> K
    Dative "e" drops off
    a--> "shwa"

    eart --> art
    "e" dropped off when "e" and "a" combined.

    þingum --> thing
    "þ" --> th
    "-um" drops off
    And you have the ModE "thing".

    het --> bade

    sillan --> give

    hine --> he
    Another version of "he" later dropped in favor of "he".

    scridde --> dressed

    sette --> set
    The dative "e" dropped off
    Simplified to just one "t"

    ænne --> an
    "-e" drops off
    æ--> a
    Simplification to one "n"

    cyne-helm --> crown
    Literally "king-helm". A combination of OE "cyne" and "helm" (which
    remains unchanged).

    uppon --> upon
    Dropped to one "p".

    wast --> was
    Dropped the "t" sufix. Still used today in archaic events.

    heafod --> head
    "od" dropped off
    f--> d

    nam --> took

    hand --> hand

    in-eode --> went in
    Perhaps a combination of "In he goed"

    stod --> stood
    An other "o" was added to show a lengthened vowel sound.

    ymbsittendan --> all those sitting around
    Literally "them that be sitten down". This is the ultimate in OE compound
    ym--> them
    b--> be
    sitten--> sitting

    wendon --> wonder

    waere --> were
    ae--> e
    Negative version is "naere" which is a combination of the negative
    prefix "na" and "waere".

    ðare --> their
    ð--> th
    dative "e" dropped
    a--> ai through verb shift.

    hæþenra --> heathen
    "ra" sufix drops off
    æ --> ea

    god -->god
    No Change

    wearð --> was
    The past tense form of OE "art", formed by adding the prefix "we" and
    the sufix "h"

    stilnes --> stillness
    Doubled the "l" and "s" to lengthen the sound.

    innon --> with in
    Compound of "in" and "on"

    healle --> hall
    Loss of dative "e"
    Vowel simplified and "ll" shortend to a single "l".

    This Word is a Word Which I Could not figure out the meaning of from the Translation.

    hearpe-nægl --> harp-nail
    Compound word of "hearpe" and "nægl"
    "nægl"---> nail
    æ --> ai
    g--> y--> i

    genam --> took
    past tense of "nam" using prefix "ge-".

    hearpe-strengas --> harp-strings
    Another compound using "hearpe"
    strengas--> strings
    "as" drops off
    e--> i
    and in ModE we add an "s" to show plural.

    craeft --> skill

    astirian --> move/pluck

    silf --> himself
    verb shift i--> e
    later made a compound by adding the personal pronoun "him" to form

    þar --> there
    Another form of ðara.

    wæron --> were/present
    Form of wæra.

    andwearde --> and were
    Compound of "and" and "were" (-de dropped off).

    micelre --> loud

    stæfne --> voice

    cliopodon --> cried

    hine --> he
    Form of the ablative "he".

    heredon --> praise

    Arcestrates -->The King's Name

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    This document was scanned and corrected from Thorpe's edition and converted to HTML by Catherine N. Ball, Department of Linguistics, Georgetown University. cball@guvax.georgetown.edu.

    History of the English Language Hyper-Text Project by Michael Williams 3/12/96


    Synthetic Language -- A Synthetic Language is on which relies on case endings to represent number, possesion, direct object, etc.

    Natural Language -- A natural language is one which relies on word order to express the aspects of number, possesion, direct object etc.