Quaestio Insularis

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Quaestio Insularis, the Colloquium's affiliated academic journal, publishes the best papers presented at each year's conference.

About Quaestio Insularis  |  Contact Us  | 
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About Quaestio Insularis

Quaestio Insularis contains the peer-reviewed proceedings of the Cambridge Colloquium in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (CCASNC), the annual colloquium run by a committee elected from the postgraduate community in the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. A selection of papers given at CCASNC are published in Quaestio Insularis, as well as the paper given by the colloquium's keynote speaker (usually a renowned scholar in the field).

CCASNC was held for the first time in 2000. It is organised by the graduate students in the Department. A plenary paper is given by an invited speaker, generally from outside the University, and shorter papers are given by graduate students from Cambridge and elsewhere, on the designated theme. Initially focusing on the literature and history of the early mediaeval British Isles and Scandinavia, CCASNC has, as it has developed, come to include papers on the all aspects of the early Insular world, including material culture, theology, palaeography, art history and musicology

Contact Us

To contact us about Quaestio or to order back issues, please email: quaestioinsularis@gmail.com. Please see 'Order Back Issues' for prices and shipping information. Contributors are advised to read the 'Instructions for Contributors' page and to contact us with any questions that may arise before submitting.

To contact the current Colloqiuum Committe or for questions about the colloquium, please email: ccasnc@gmail.com. See the Department's website for further information on the current colloquium.

Instructions for Contributors

For Colloquium Participants

  • Please submit articles of no more than 8000 words as MS Word files.
  • Our stylesheet is MHRA 3rd edition; failure to adhere to the stylesheet will result in your article being returned to you.
  • Upon submission of articles, we will ask you to sign a Contributor's Agreement, acknowledging that your work has not already been published or submitted elsewhere for publication. Authors retain copyright of their own work, but Quaestio Insularis reserves the right to make unlimited offprints of an article and to publish it online. (Please note that submission of an article and acknowledgement of our agreement does not guarantee an article will pass peer-review.)
  • After our peer-review process, proofs will be returned for correction as soon as possible. On publication, contributors normally receive a free copy of the volume and a digital PDF of their own article.
  • Do not hesitate to contact us with questions (quaestioinsularis@gmail.com) and we look forward to hearing from you!

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To order a copy of Quaestio Insularis, please email quaestioinsularis@gmail.com.


Quaestio Insularis 19

published 2018 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 978-1-909106-22-2

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  • Ruairí Ó hUiginn, In Song and in Story: Aspects of the Performance of Medieval Irish Saga Literature, 1-29
  • James McIntosh, Performance v. Providence: Anglo-Saxon Perceptions of Salvation and the Legend of Saint Eustace, 30-51
  • Kathryn A. Haley-Halinksi, 'The Eagle's Oars are Feathers' - Skaldic Practice and Perception Beyond Performance, 52-69
  • Bianc Patria, Quotations with a Twist: Aware Intertextuality in Skaldic Verse, 70-91
  • Steven Breeze, Greeting the Lyre: Instrumental Interrelationships in the Anglo-Saxon Cultural Imagination, 92-125
  • Caitlin Ellis, Perceptions of the Slave Trade in Britain and Ireland: 'Celtic' and 'Viking' Stereotypes, 126-156

Quaestio Insularis 18

published 2018 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 978-1-909106-17-8

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  • Alex Woolf, Imagining English Origins, 1-20
  • Thomas Kearns, Ideology in the Landscape: Reassessing Benedictine Approaches to History and Identity in the Tenth Century, 21-45
  • Katherine Marie Olley, Labour Pains: Scenes of Birth and Becoming in Old Norse Legendary Literature, 46-77
  • Ben Allport, The Construction and Reconstruction of Regional Collective Identity in Viking Age Norway, 78-119

Quaestio Insularis 17

published 2017 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-1-909106-13-0

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  • Nancy Jiang, Exploring the Positive Exilic Hero in Christ and Satan and Guthlac A, 1-19
  • Thomas Spray, Faith in Translation: Friðþjófs saga Revisited, 20-47
  • Jonathan Y. H. Hui, The Fornaldarsaga in a Dream: Weaving Fantastical Textures in Stjörnu-Odda draumr, 48-73
  • Harriet Soper, Eald æfensceop: Poetic Composition and the Authority of the Aged in Old English Verse, 74-100
  • Jesse Harrington, Vain Spells or Vain Songs? The Meaning of the 'uanissima carmina et friuoleas incantationes' in the Hagiography of Saint Dunstan of Canterbury, 997-1130, 101-126

Quaestio Insularis 16

published 2016 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-1-909106-07-9

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  • Professor Stefan Brink, Early Law in the North, 1-15
  • Julia Bolotina, The Lacnunga: Controlled Communication, or Physician's Notebook?, 16-59
  • Ryder Patzuk-Russell, Ideologies and Rhetoric of Language in the Icelandic Grammatical Treatises, 60-89
  • Samuel Ottewill-Soulsby, Al-Bakrī and the Bretons, 90-105
  • Albert Fenton, Anglo-Saxon Writs: Aspects of their language, form and function, 106-116
  • Alexander J. Wilson, 'Ef eigi kœmi troll milli húss ok heima': Monstrousness and the Communication of Power in Sverris saga, 117-142

Quaestio Insularis 15

published 2014 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-1-909106-06-2


  • Dr Oliver Padel, Change and Development in English Place-Names: What Counts as Corruption, 1-21
  • Rebecca Merkelbach, The Monster in Me: Social Corruption and the Perception of Monstrosity in the Sagas of the Icelanders, 22-37
  • Camilla Pedersen, In the Claws of One's Self: A Comparative Study of "Voluntary" Shape-Shifting in the Literary Traditions of Old Norse and Medieval Irish Narrative, 38-53
  • S. C. Thomson, Manuscript Stability and Literary Corruption: Our Failure to Understand the Beowulf Manuscript, 54-71
  • Ben Guy, A Second Witness to the Welsh Material in Harley 3859, 72-91
  • Dale Kedwards, Wind Diagrams in Medieval Iceland, 92-107
  • David Callander, The Corruption of Evidence in a Critical Tradition: Welsh and Old English Elegies, 108-125

Quaestio Insularis 14

published 2013 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-1-909106-04-8

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  • Professor Barbara Yorke, Ingeld, Weland and Christ, 1-14
  • Jo Shortt Butler, Balancing the Books in the Brave New World: Getting Uneven in Vatnsdœla Saga, 15-37
  • Stefany Wragg, The New Bravery: Cynewulf's Fates of the Apostles, 38-55
  • Eoghan Ahern, The Influence of Irish Learning on Bede's Cosmological Outlook, 56-87

Quaestio Insularis 13

published 2013 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-0-9571862-3-1


  • Dr Barbara E. Crawford, OBE, The Norse Earldoms of Orkney and Caithness: Joint Earldoms and Divided Loyalties, 1-27
  • Dr Erika Sigurdson, Máldagabækur and Administrative Literacy in Fourteenth-Century Iceland, 28-49
  • Jonathan Paletta, Borough Foundation and Ethnic Identity in English Towns after 1066, 50-68
  • Eystein Thanisch, Flann Mainistrech’s Götterdämmerung as a Junction within Lebor Gabála Érenn, 69-93
  • Georgia Henley, Rhetoric, Translation and Historiography: the Literary Qualities of Brut y Tywysogyon, 94-123

Quaestio Insularis 12

published 2012 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-0-9571862-2-4

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  • Prof Malcolm Godden, The Old English Orosius and its Context: who wrote it, for whom, and why?, 1-30
  • Dr Paul Russell, Revisiting the ‘Welsh Dictator’ of the Old English Orosius, 31-62
  • Michael Rush, British and Germanic Cultural Interaction in Early Anglo-Saxon East Anglia, 63-84
  • Robert Avis Conflict, Cooperation and Consensus in the Law of Njáls saga, 85-108
  • Brian J. Stone, Rhetorical Re-tellings: Senchas Fagbála Caisil and Twelfth-Century Reform in Ireland, 109-125
  • Victoria Symonds, Reading and Writing in the Runic Riddles of the Exeter Book
  • Christine Voth, Biblical Parallels in Alfredian Law and the Early Compilation of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 173, 149-172

Quaestio Insularis 11

published 2010 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 978-0-9562353-7-4


  • Dr Carolyne Larrington, Family Drama in the Heroic Poetry of the Edda, 1-20
  • Stephanie Fishwick, Unnatural Affections: Problems with Fosterage in the Íslendingasögur, 21-35
  • Veronica Phillips, Exile and Family in Medieval Irish Literature, 36-53
  • J. Shortt Butler, “Megi faðir sinn ráða því, en helzt vili hann þó heima sitja”: Snorri goði, his Sons, and the Weight of Expectation, 54-74
  • Edward Carlsson Browne, Roger of Howden and the Unknown Royalty of Twelfth-Century Norway, 75-96
  • Erin Michelle Goeres, Constructing Kin(g)ship: Eyvindr Skáldaspillir as Spokesman for the Earls of Hlaðir, 97-119
  • Eric Denton, Family Matters? Attitudes towards the Care of Kith and Kin in the Tenth-Century Miracles of St. Swithun, 120-168
  • Helen F. Leslie, ‘The Matter of Hrafnista’, 169-209
  • Dr Andrew Breeze, Bede’s Castella: Homesteads or Castles, 209-214

Quaestio Insularis 10

published 2009 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-0-9562353-5-0


  • Michael Winterbottom, Bede’s Castella, 1-7
  • Kirsty March, The Anglo-Saxon Bride of Christ: Text and Image, 8-26
  • Daniel Thomas, Literal and Spiritual Depths: Re-Thinking the "drygne seað" of Elene, 27-44
  • Natalia I. Petrovskaia, East and West in De Principibus Instructione of Giraldus Cambriensis, 45-59
  • Jennifer Lorden, Rewriting Beowulf: Old English Poetry in Contemporary Translation, 60-74
  • Dominic Gibbs, The Baptism of Edwin: Contrary Traditions, 75-95

Quaestio Insularis 9

published 2008 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-0-9562353-4-3


  • Daniel Huws, From Song to Script in Medieval Wales, 1-16
  • Paul Gazzoli, Knud the Holy and the Metamorphosis of Danish Kingship, 17-33
  • Matthias Ammon, Piercing the rihthamscyld -- a New Reading of Æthelberht 32, 34-51
  • Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Transforming the Trolls: the Metamorphosis of the Troll-woman in Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss, 52-62
  • Andy Woods, Reinterpreting Metamorphic Analyses: Coinage and Minting in Viking-Age Ireland, 64-98
  • Conan Doyle, Dweorg in Old English: Aspects of Disease Terminology, 99-117
  • Carolyn Twomey, From Nave to Chancel: the Metamorphic Implications of Anglo-Saxon Altar Placement, 118-128
  • Robert Gallagher, Aediluulf's De abbatibus: a Soteriological Reading, 129-143

Quaestio Insularis 8

published December 2008 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-0-9554568-8-6


  • Janet L. Nelson, 'Knowledge and Power in Earlier Medieval Europe,' 1–18
  • Hannah Burrows, '"In This Country What Is Found in Books Is to Be Law": Legal Knowledge, Literacy and the Shifting Spheres of Power in Commonwealth-Period Iceland', 19–35
  • Helen Foxhall Forbes, 'The Power of Binding and Loosing: the Chains of Sin in Anglo-Saxon Literature and Liturgy', 51–65
  • Stephanie Fishwick, 'Crossing the Thresholds: the Relationship between Knowledge, Power and Death in Hávamál,' 66–81
  • Sally Lamb, 'Knowledge about the Scandinavian North in Ninth-Century England and Francia', 82–93
  • Erik Niblaeus, Th'e Beginnings of Lund Cathedral Chapter and Its German Connections', 94–112
  • Natalia Petrovskaia, 'Edling or Penteulu? Ambiguities in the Status of Gwalchmei, Nephew of Arthur', 113–28
  • Abigail Queen, 'Ring-Givers and the "Metal-Strife of Princes" in Atlakviða', 129–50
  • Benjamin Snook, 'Bishops and Pawns: Parallels between "Caesaropapism" and Crusade Ideology in Tenth-Century England and Thirteenth-Century Denmark', 151–78

Quaestio Insularis 7

published November 2007 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-0-9554568-3-1


  • David N. Dumville, 'Post-Colonial Gildas: a First Essay', 1–21
  • Abdullah Alger, 'The Metrical Pointing of The Ascension', 22–56
  • Denis Casey, 'An Eighth-Century Royal Conversation: Cathal mac Finnguini and Áed Allán at Tír da Glás, AD 737', 57–71
  • Helen Imhoff, 'Dialogue, Exchange and the Presentation of the Past in Nornagests Þáttr', 72–88
  • Rory Naismith, 'An Offa You Can’t Refuse? Eighth-Century Mercian Titulature on Coins and in Charters', 89–118
  • Michael F. Reed, 'Intercultural Dialogue in Late Saxon Norwich: the St Vedast Cross', 119–37
  • Jonjo Roberts, 'Gregory the Great’s Dialogi and the Narration of Dreams in Medieval Icelandic Literature', 138–60
  • Fiona Salisbury, 'The Figure of Arthur in Chwedyl Iarlles y Ffynnawn and Ystorya Gereint uab Erbin', 161–79

Quaestio Insularis 6

published August 2006 • ISSN 1745-8676 • ISBN 978-0-9554568-0-0


  • Thomas Owen Clancy, 'The Needs of Strangers in the Four Branches of the Mabinogi', 1–24
  • Harriet Thomsett, 'Migration of Manuscripts across the Sea of Moyle: a Case Study', 25–41
  • Anna Zanchi, 'Female Immigration in the Íslendingasögur: the Case of Unnr djúpúðga and Guðriðr Thorbjarnardóttir',42–61
  • Mark Zumbuhl, 'The Men Who Would Be King? The Ua Briain Exiles in the North, Revisited', 62–81
  • Ross Woodward Smythe, 'Did King Eadwig Really Abandon his Coronation Feast to Have a Ménage à Trois with his Wife and Mother-in-law? What’s the Story behind this Story?', 82–97
  • Toby Levers, 'The Construction of Subjectivity in the Caedmon Story', 98–119
  • Elizabeth Boyle, 'Stranger in a Strange Land: an Irish Monk in Germany and a Vision of the Afterlife', 120–34

Quaestio Insularis 5

published April 2005 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 0-9532172-5-6


  • Judith Jesch, 'Skaldic Verse and the Roots of History', 1–22
  • Bridgitte Schaffer, 'Statements of Power in the Language of Genealogy: St Ailbe's Roots', 23–41
  • Emily Lethbridge, 'Who Says What in Gísla saga Súrssonar? Speaker Attribution in the Three Versions of the Saga', 42–61
  • Michael T. Connaughton, 'Alcuin’s Computus: a Case for Alcuin's Authorship of Ratio de luna XV and De cursu lunae', 62–97
  • Peter A. Stokes, 'Shoots and Vines: Some Models for the Ascenders and Descenders of English Vernacular Minuscule, '98–110
  • Flora Spiegel, 'The Heroic Biography of Æthelflæd of Mercia and the Old English Judith: a Reexamination', 111–44

Quaestio Insularis 4

published December 2003 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 0-904708-01-3


  • Thomas Charles-Edwards, ‘Ireland and Its Invaders, 1166–1186’, 1–34
  • Geraldine Parsons, ‘“Never the Twain Shall Meet”? East and West in the Characterization of Conchobar mac Nessa’, 35–56
  • Hywel Williams, ‘Pope, Progaganda and Unchristian Saint in the Life of the Soldier, Collen’, 57–69
  • Augustine Casiday, ‘Thomas Didymus from India to England’, 70–81
  • Catherine Rooney, ‘Gerald of Wales and the Tradition of the Wonders of the East’, 82–97
  • Ross Smythe, ‘King Alfred’s Translations: Authorial Integrity and the Integrity of Authority’, 98–114
  • Juliet Hewish, ‘Eastern Asceticism versus Western Monasticism: a Conflict of Ideals in the Old English Translations of the Works of Sulpicius Severus?’, 115–28

Quaestio Insularis 3

published December 2002 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 0-95431-86-8-4


  • Patrizia Lendinara, 'Was the Glossator a Teacher?'', 1–27
  • Verity Allen, 'Bede: Educating the Educators of the Barbarians', 28–44
  • Kaele Stokes, 'The Educated Barbarian? Asser's Life of King Alfred and Welsh Learning', 45–58
  • Caroline Smith, 'A Barbarised Coinage? Copper Alloy in Pre-Viking Northumbrian Coinage', 59–75
  • Claudia di Sciacca, 'Isidorian Scholarship at the School of Theodore and Hadrian: the Case of the Synonyma', 76–106
  • Harriet Thomsett, 'Meeting on Whose Terms? The Equation of Latin and Vernacular Literary Terminology in the Old Irish Glosses', 107–20

Quaestio Insularis 2

published December 2001 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 0-9532172-5-6


  • Katherine O'Brien O’Keeffe, 'Guthlac's Crossings', 1–26
  • Siân Duke, 'From Bede to Ari: Extending the Boundaries of Christendom', 27–42
  • Antje G. Frotscher, 'Old Norse Prose Sennur: Testing the Boundaries of a Genre', 43–61
  • Alaric Hall, 'Old MacDonald Had a fyrm, eo, eo, y: Two Marginal Developments of <eo> in Old and Middle English', 62–90
  • Slavica Ranković, ‘Emerging from the “Horizon of Expectations”: the Evolutionary Quality of the Sagas of Icelanders and Serbian Epic Poetry’, 91–106

Quaestio Insularis 1

published December 2000 • ISSN 1471-3314 • ISBN 0-9532172-2-1


  • Richard North, 'Goð geyja: the Limits of Humour in Old Norse-Icelandic Paganism', 1–22
  • Christopher Abram, 'In Search of Lost Time: Aldhelm and The Ruin', 23–44
  • Lawrence P. Morris, 'Did Columba’s Tunic Bring Rain? Early Medieval Typological Action and Modern Historical Method', 45–65
  • Ralph O’Connor, 'Not Drowning But Waving: the Sagas of Icelanders after the Golden Age', 66–81
  • Emily V. Thornbury, ‘Eald enta geweorc and the Relics of Empire: Revisiting the Dragon's Lair in Beowulf', 82–92