Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!

Do you ever do an image search of a word or phrase just to see the variety of pictures that come up?

I decided over the weekend that I’d like to get back into doing calligraphy projects, and spent part of this evening relearning the typical features of Anglo-Saxon lettering: thorns, yoghs, Ws that resemble nothing so much as the letter P, and all three varieties of S.  Since it’s been some 4.5 years since I’ve done much with this script, I couldn’t remember the rules governing the different esses.  Was one meant to start words and another to finish them?  No matter how I wrote Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg, that double-s looked stupid.

Hoping Google would provide an answer, I put the whole phrase in.  “That passed; so may this,” in Anglo-Saxon, brings up…
2 skulls6 statues4 haters5 Rhinocerus

Quite the variety!  Granted, there are about 5 sites (3 of them fora) responsible for most of the pictorial diversity, but I was amused nonetheless.

Google also brought up the following tattoo:Thaes Oferode tattooThis makes me chuckle because it is not the tendency of non-henna tattoos to pass away.

It also makes me go “Hallelujah” because presumably the tattooee verified how the s situation ought to be handled before having it inked into his (her?) flesh.

Here are my own scribal efforts:
swa maeg 1aswa maeg 1 swa maeg 1bswa maeg 2

And then I wrote out Caedmon’s Hymn: a fitting way to close the day.

Caedmon's HymnCaedmon's Hymn 2

One thought on “Þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!

  1. Pingback: Alphabooks: Q is for Quote | Egotist's Club

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