Anglo-Saxon Psychologies in the Vernacular and Latin Traditions

Old English verse and prose depict the human mind as a corporeal entity located in the chest cavity, susceptible to spatial and thermal changes corresponding to the psychological states: it was thought that emotions such as rage, grief, and yearning could cause the contents of the chest to grow warm, boil, or be constricted by pressure. While readers usually assume the metaphorical nature of such literary images, Leslie Lockett, in Anglo-Saxon Psychologies in the Vernacular and Latin Traditions, argues that these depictions are literal representations of Anglo-Saxon folk psychology.

This book is part of the Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series, and is available from University of Toronto Press.