Sobriety And 'Symbel': Integrating The Germanic Drinking Ritual in Anglo-Saxon Literature
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The literature produced in Anglo-Saxon England is fascinating, as has been established earlier, because of its investment in integrating the pagan Germanic culture into a Christian literary framework. This research paper takes a specific look at how this works regarding the Germanic drinking ritual, a subject previously much overlooked. By close examination of a broad selection of primary Anglo-Saxon texts I tried to distill the general points of view with regard to drinking. The outcome of this was a clear division of the negative and positive portrayal of drinking, in which especially the positive descriptions where heavily influenced by the Germanic culture. This means that the Anglo-Saxons, although not always positively, were quite aware of their Germanic ancestors, so much that they decided this specific tradition deserved a place in their literature.