This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others. 

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Anglo-Saxon England: Bede and Beowulf

Embark on a captivating journey through the rich tapestry of Anglo-Saxon England with Professor Joseph Peace, where the writings of Bede and the epic tale of Beowulf come to life.

Total classes: 6

Prerequisite: The ability to read and enjoy the works

Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th

Suggested credit: 1/2 semester credit of Literature or English. Follow with Poems Every Catholic Should Know for a full semester credit.


This will be an interdisciplinary course, integrating history, literature, and theology, focusing on the rich Catholic culture of Anglo-Saxon England (596 AD – 1066 AD), especially in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England and in the epic poem, Beowulf.


Week One: Setting the Scene: Who were the Anglo-Saxons?

Week Two: Bede pages 51-77 & 103-104 & 146-7

Week Three: Bede pages 284-94 & 321-328

Week Four: Beowulf lines 1-1250

Week Five: Beowulf lines 1251-2199

Week Six: Beowulf lines 2200-3182

Materials and Homework

Course materials: Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Penguin Classics); and,

Beowulf: A Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney (Norton Critical Edition)

Homework: The reading assignment for each class is detailed in the Course Outline above. Students should complete the assigned reading for each class beforehand. Students should highlight the passages discussed in class and review this for the quiz assigned for each class. The estimated time for homework for each class, i.e. for the assigned reading and reviewing for each quiz, should be about 90 minutes.

Important Dates

Class dates: Wednesdays, September 4 to October 16, 2024 (No class Sept. 25.)

Starting time: 1:00 PM Eastern (Noon Central; 11:00 Mountain; 10:00 Pacific)

Duration per class: 55 minutes

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