Register | Login


Likely as a consequence of an earlier negative attitude toward medieval medicine generally (see Remarks in Preface) research into the botanical vocabulary of Old English was an entirely neglected area until the 1970s. At that time, Peter Bierbaumer published his three-volume study Der botanische Wortschatz des Altenglischen (1975-79), in which the relevant vocabulary of the texts and glosses (see Preface) was completely documented and interpreted. Further, the situation concerning Old English plant-name studies has improved substantially over the last few years thanks to research published by the Munich Anglicist Hans Sauer and thanks to the Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey founded by Carole Biggam, at the University of Glasgow.

Coincidentially, Bierbaumer was planning an electronically accessible dictionary of the botanical vocabulary of Old English and Sauer was working on a dictionary of Old English plant names (albeit with slightly different focuses), using Bierbaumer´s earlier study as a starting point. Both scholars felt much could be gained from collaborating in the publication of this project. This collaboration was established in 2004 at the Munich conference of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, organised by Hans Sauer. Whereas Bierbaumer focuses on documenting and identifying of the plant names, Sauer will mainly deals with morphological and etymological aspects.