Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Edward J. Christie

Second Advisor

Scott Lightsey

Third Advisor

Steve Harris


This thesis attempts to create a more comprehensive catalogue of the appearance of the word aglæca throughout the Old English corpus. While the majority of these instances of the word appear in Beowulf, it also appears in such texts as Christ and Satan, Juliana, The Whale, Andreas, Daniel, Elene, and several of the Riddles from The Exeter Book. While Klaeber’s widely accepted binary glossing of “warrior/monster” is usually perfectly functional for translation, it is worth examining all instances of the word in attempt to better understand what the word would have meant to the contemporary Anglo-Saxon audience. A glossing that indicates “formidable adversary,” with the understanding that a figure characterized as aglæca exhibits a specific set of traits – strength, aggression, and skill – without commentary on that figure’s ethical makeup.