By John Bierhorst
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HALL AND CITY The figure of the hall merges in Old English poetry with that of the city. The city provides an evocative symbol of community and security which Anglo-Saxon verse shares with the wider tradition of Christian literature. In Christian tradition the city is an image both of the world from which Christians must detach themselves (the 'earthly city') and also of the perfect community to which they aspire. Heaven itself is the city in which God's people will find eternal community. The initial harmony of heaven was subverted by the arrogant rebellion of Lucifer and his followers, who as a result had to live in hopeless exile.
24-40. 20 21 Christ and Satan, line 362. Ibid, line 294. Ibid, line 2923 Ibid, line 138. Genesis, line 584. , lines 738-40: 'and through your great pride many have forfeited in the heavenly kingdom tall buildings, pleasant enclosures'. 40 Images of communal life Earthly cities may reflect the goodness of this heavenly city, like Bethulia in Judith, or they may be inversions of it, like Mermedonia in Andreas. Mermedonia is hell-like, but (unlike Satan's hell) is redeemable. The first part of Guthlac, Guthlac A, ends with an image of the heavenly Jerusalem to which the saint goes after his eremitic life on earth.
Thorpe II, 353). Judith, line 1 6 7 ; Andreas, line 1 6 3 7 . Feasting and d r i n k i n g are discussed in E. B u d d e , Die Bedeutung der Trinksitten in der Kultur der Angelsachsen (Duisburg, 1906). They are m u c h mentioned by O l d English scholars b u t there has been no general study since B u d d e . O n Germanic feasting, see P. Bauschatz, ' T h e Germanic Ritual Feast', in The Nordic Languages and Modern Linguistics. General 3> Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Nordic and Linguistics, ed.