cempa

cempa, m.n: a soldier, warrior. (“chem-pa”)

Today is the feast day of St George (a Roman cempa). Learn more about St George on the BBC’s website. A Clerk of Oxford did a great blog post on An Anglo-Saxon Story of St George.

george

St George. Missel romain. Northern Italy (Bologna), 1373. Avignon, BM, MS. 136, f. 236. Image of Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes – CNRS.

5 thoughts on “cempa

  1. This reminds me of the difficulty of settling on OE pronunciations. Is there a rule to explain why this is “kempa” instead of “chempa”? More recently I’ve run into “wolcn.” Is the c a k because there’s no e, or a ch because the e is invisible?

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    • It should be “chem-pah”, actually, that’s a mistake on my part. I’ll fix it! I know what you mean about wolcn – it seems wrong saying “wool-chen”, especially when it’s spelled like this. I wonder if the differences in spelling for wolcen/wolcn indicate different pronunciations depending on where/when exactly the scribes were writing.

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  2. Here’s a related query. I saw a website on OE pronunciation that said the G in Engel is pronounced the same way as the G in our angel. I would like that to be true but I was surprised. The modern speaker does not like having different G’s in Engel and englas. So the same question arises as with wolcn. Do syncopated e’s live on to soften preceding c’s and g’s?

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