The Ormulum or Orrmulum is a twelfth-hundredyear outlay of the Holy Book, written by an English monk named Orm (or Ormin). The writ is made up of slightly under 19,000 strings of early Middle English writing. Thanks to the one-of-a-kind speechwriting handled by the writer, the work shows the way English was spoken in the time of tung shift during the Normish Take of England. Thus, it is forworthy to yorewordlorers in learning the unfolding of the English tung.
After a foreword and beteaching, the Ormulum is made up of lorespells sweetling the readings of the Holy Book handled in mass throughout the church year; it is meant to be read in bits for consultation, for it is againening when read straight through. Only about a fifth of the first work is found in the one handwrit that overlives, which is kept in the Bodleish Bookhouse in Oxford.
In his work, Orm was worried with priests' skill in reading the mothertung, and made a new spelling framework to lead readers in the breathening of selflouds. He also brooked a narrow leeth mete to make known what wordbits were to be stressed. Today's lereds handle these two things to rebuild Middle English as it would have been spoken by Orm.
Oddly for work of the time, the Ormulum is named, and the writer does not go nameless. The writer names himself at the end of the beteaching:
Icc was þær þær i crisstnedd was
Orrmin bi name nemmnedd
Where I was christened, I was
named Ormin by name
At the start of the foreword, the writer gives his name again, using another spelling, he also gives the work a name:
Þiss boc iss nemmnedd Orrmulum
forrþi þatt Orrm itt wrohhte
This book is named Ormulum
for that Orm wrote it
The writers name, "Orm", is derived from Old Nordish, and means worm, snake or wyrm. With the ending of "myn" for "man" (hence "Ormin"), was a yemen name in Danelaw, England. The name of the work "Ormulum" is bestattled on the Latin word speculum "looking-glass". The word was very yemen in the titles of works at the time, so that works of the kind are sometimes given the name "looking-glass booklore", in New English "speculum literature".The Ormulum is written in the East Midlands byleid, which is kindish of Danelaw. The writ has many Old Nordish sayings (where English and Nordish words are banded), however, French borrowings or English words shifted by French are seldom found. Another work also written in the East Midlands, likely before the Ormulum; The Peterborough Chronicle, shows a great deal of French inflow. The unlikeness in wordstock between the two works shows both the slugishness of the Normish inflow in the former Danish lands of England and the akining of Old Norse shapes into early Middle English.
Orm writes in the book's beteaching that he wrote the Ormulum at the behest of his brother Walter, who is both his flesh kin and a fellow monk of the Augustinish brotherhood. Knowing this, and owing to the byleid in which the work is written, it is mightsome to set the outspring of the handwrit. While some lereds have held that the likely outspring is Elsham Monkhouse in north Lincolnshire, as of the mid-1900s, Bourne Monkhouse has been thought of as the more likely wellspring of the Ormulum. The time of writing cannot be said narrowly. Orm wrote the book over a time of ten years, and the handwrit shows many rightenings done through time. It is thought that the handwrit was done by 1180, but Orm could have begun to work as early as 1150.
The Ormulum overlives in only one handwrit, which is kept in the Boldleish Bookhouse as MS Junius 1. The handwrit kept now is unwhole; the book's forelist says that there were 242 lorespells, but only 32 still blive. It seems likely that the work was never ended as thought when the forelist was written, but shares of the handwrit could have also been lost by the weakening binding of the book. Such losses have happened even in nowa times, as Netherlandish tunglearner Jan van Vliet, one of the 17th-hundredyear owners of the handwrit, wrote down strings of the Ormulum which are not found in the writ kept today. The bydrafting in the writ and the likely loss of gatherings lead J. A. W. Bennett to say that "only about one fifth overlives, and that in the ugliest of handwrits".
The bookfell in which the Ormulum is written is of the lowest sunderkind, the handwriting is untidy, seeking to take up as little room as maybesome; laid out in non-stop stings, heavily bydrafted and often crammed together. Lered Robert W. Burchfield thinks of the writ as a "workshop draft" which was to be recopied by a writer at a later time. In the foreword, Orm says that he wishes for his brother Walter to rid the work of any wording that he finds clumsy or wrong. It is somewhat unknown from whence the writ came before the 17th hundredyear. From the written name of van Vilet on the flyleaf it is known that the handwrit was in his care in 1659. It was sold in 1666 after his death, likely being bought by Franciscus Junius, the Yonguer, from whom it was gifted to the Bodleish Bookhouse.
Rather than openseely written winst, the main worth of the Ormulum is the sunder spelling framework in which it is written. Orm says in the writ that since he dislikes the way in which folk are missaying English, he will spell words exactly as they are spoken, and thus comes up with a framework in which selfloud length and worth are always straightforward.