The following reading lists are designed for both prospective and current students and aim to give an impression of the subject matter of each of the various papers. We do not expect that you will read everything on these lists before you arrive in Cambridge, but we strongly recommend that you engage in some background reading for the papers that you intend to study. In most cases the books listed below are relatively inexpensive (most are paperback: pb), and may be available from (or can be ordered from) any normal bookseller or your local library.

Paper 1 - England before the Norman Conquest

  • J. Campbell, E. John & P. Wormald, The Anglo-Saxons (pb, Penguin)
  • M. Lapidge, et al., ed., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, (pb, Blackwell)
  • F.M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (pb, Oxford University Press)
  • Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred and other Contemporary Sources, trans. S. Keynes & M. Lapidge (pb, Penguin Classics)
  • Bede: Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. L. Sherley-Price, rev. R.E. Latham & D.H. Farmer (pb, Penguin Classics)

Paper 2 - Scandinavian history in the Viking Age

  • P. Foote and D.M. Wilson, The Viking Achievement (pb, Sidgwick and Jackson)
  • J. Graham-Campbell and D. Kidd, The Vikings (pb, British Museum Publications)
  • G. Jones, A History of the Vikings (pb, Oxford University Press), and The Norse Atlantic Saga (pb, Oxford University Press)
  • R.I. Page, Chronicles of the Vikings (pb, British Museum Publications)
  • P. Sawyer, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings (pb. Oxford University Press)

Paper 3- The Brittonic-speaking peoples from the fourth century to the twelfth

  • T. M. Charles-Edwards, Wales and the Britons, 350-064 (Oxford, 2013)
  • W. Davies, Wales in the Early Middle Ages (Leicester, 1982; 1989)
  • K. Maund, The Welsh Kings (Stroud, 2002)
  • Julia M.H. Smith, Province and Empire: Brittany and the Carolingians (Cambridge, 1992)
  • S. M. Foster, Picts, Gaels and Scots (London, 1996)
  • J. Fraser, From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795 (Edinburgh, 2009

Paper 4- The Gaelic-speaking peoples from the fourth century to the twelfth

  • T.M. Charles-Edwards, Early Christian Ireland (Cambridge University Press)
  • N. Edwards, The Archaeology of Early Medieval Ireland (Batsford)
  • K. Hughes & A. Hamlin, The Modern Traveller to the Early Irish Church (pb, Four Courts)
  • D. Ó Cróinín, Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200 (Harlow, 1995)
  • A. Woolf, From Pictland to Alba, 789-1070 (pb, Edinburgh University Press)
  • D. Ó Corráin, Ireland before the Normans (Dublin, 1972)

Paper 5 - Old English language and literature

  • B. Mitchell, An Invitation to Old English and Anglo-Saxon England (pb, Blackwell)
  • B. Mitchell and F. C. Robinson, A Guide to Old English, 7th ed. (pb, Blackwell)
  • S.A.J. Bradley, Anglo-Saxon Poetry (pb, Dent: Everyman)
  • M. Swanton, Anglo-Saxon Prose (pb, Dent: Everyman)
  • M. Godden and M. Lapidge, The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature (pb, Cambridge University Press)

Paper 6 - Old Norse language and literature

  • The Sagas of Icelanders, A Selection (pb, Penguin Classics)
  • Snorri Sturluson: Edda, trans. A. Faulkes (pb, Dent: Everyman)
  • The Poetic Edda. trans. C. Larrington (Oxford World's Classics)
  • A. Faulkes, ed., A New Introduction to Old Norse, Part II Reader (pb Viking Society)
  • M. Clunies Ross, ed., Old Icelandic Literature and Society (Cambridge University Press)

Paper 7 - Medieval Welsh language and literature

  • R. Bromwich, ed. and trans., Dafydd ap Gwilym: a Selection of Poems (pb, Penguin)
  • A. Conran, trans., The Penguin Book of Welsh Verse (pb, Penguin; reptd as Welsh Verse, by Poetry Wales Press)
  • D.S. Evans, A Grammar of Middle Welsh (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies)
  • O.J. Padel, Arthur in Medieval Welsh Literature (pb, University of Wales Press)
  • The Gododdin, trans. K.H. Jackson (pb, Edinburgh Univ. Press); or Aneirin: Y Gododdin, trans. A.O.H. Jarman (Gomer Press)
  • The Mabinogion, trans. G. & T. Jones (pb, Dent: Everyman), or J. Gantz (pb, Penguin Classics)

Paper 8 - Medieval Irish language and literature

  • G. Murphy, Early Irish Lyrics (pb, Dublin: Four Courts)
  • J. Gantz, trans., Early Irish Myths and Sagas (pb, Penguin Classics)
  • F. Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law (pb, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies)
  • The Táin, trans. T. Kinsella (pb, Oxford University Press)
  • D. Ó Cróinín, Early Medieval Ireland, 400-1200 (pb, Longman)

Paper 9 - Insular Latin language and literature

  • M. Lapidge, 'The Anglo-Latin Background', in S.B. Greenfield & D.G. Calder, A New Critical History of Old English Literature (New York University Press)
  • R. C. Love, 'Insular Latin Literature to 900', in The Cambridge History of Early Medieval English Literature, ed. C. A. Lees (Cambridge, 2013), pp. 120-57
  • The Age of Bede. Bede: Life of St Cuthbert. Eddius Stephanus: Life of Wilfrid. Bede: Lives of the Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow. The Voyage of St Brendan, trans. J.F. Webb & D.H. Farmer (pb, Penguin Classics)
  • Bede: Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. L. Sherley-Price, rev. R.E. Latham & D.H. Farmer (pb, Penguin Classics)
  • Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and Other Works, trans. M. Winterbottom (pb, Phillimore)
  • St Patrick: His Writings and Muirchú's Life, trans. A.B.E. Hood (pb, Phillimore)

Paper 10 - Palaeography and codicology

  • J. Backhouse, et al., ed., The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Art 966-1066 (pb, British Museum Publications)
  • B. Bischoff, Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages (pb, Cambridge University Press)
  • M. Brown, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600 (British Library)
  • L. Webster, et al., ed., The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (pb, British Museum Publications)
  • L. Webster & M. Brown, ed., The Transformation of the Roman World AD 400-900 (pb, British Museum Publications)