Going Online

The fourth edition of Electronic Beowulf 4.0 is a free, online version of Electronic Beowulf that supersedes all previous editions. The online edition is designed to meet the needs of general readers, who require a full, line by line, translation; of students, who want to understand the grammar and the meter and still have time in a semester to study and appreciate other important aspects of the poem; and of scholars, who want immediate access to a critical apparatus identifying the nearly 2000 eighteenth-century restorations, editorial emendations, and manuscript-based conjectural restorations.

The third edition of Electronic Beowulf was an html application on DVD that used a Java applet and JavaScript. When first published, major internet browsers could run the html application on PCs and Macs. However, security problems with Java in Summer 2013 forced all major browsers to disable unsigned Java applets compiled with earlier versions of Java. As it was compiled in 2011, Electronic Beowulf 3.0 was then disabled.

To fix the problem in 2013 we compiled a new signed applet with Mac and PC installers that moved Electronic Beowulf 3.1 from the read-only DVD to the owner's hard disk. By 2014, however, this solution was beginning to have problems, because Java kept changing its security protocols. To solve the problem, we decided to stop using Java altogether and to re-engineer Electronic Beowulf using only JavaScript. At the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies in May 2014, Emil Iacob explained the technological issues and Andrew Prescott announced in a plenary lecture celebrating the twenty-first anniversary of Electronic Beowulf that the fourth edition would be going online in 2015.

Everyone, including owners of the previous CD and DVD editions, should now use the free online fourth edition of Electronic Beowulf 4.0. Please let us know if you encounter any problems and we will try to address them as soon as possible. For best results, use your browser's full screen. Enjoy!

Kevin Kiernan, Editor
Electronic Beowulf 4.0

Emil Iacob, Software Engineer
Electronic Beowulf 4.0