How to use
the Old English Aerobics Anthology

Getting started

First, make sure you’re using a reasonably recent browser (Internet Explorer 8 or later, or any recent version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera). iPads and most Android tablets should work well; sorry, phones do not. Javascript must be enabled; if cookies are enabled Old English Aerobics will remember your preferences, but no attempt will ever be made to track your usage or identify you. Pages will probably load somewhat faster if you have the Junicode font installed on your computer.

Looking up information

When you first start up an Old English Aerobics text, it looks like this:

OEA screenshot

You can get information about the Old English text that begins below the headnote by clicking on it. By default, clicking or tapping a word brings up a glossary entry:

Word lookup in OEA

Click on another word to display a new entry. Click anything that is not a word (the white space in the text) to close the dialog box.

Many texts also have information about the clauses they contain: this will help you identify clause boundaries and types. To get information about clauses, click the “clause” button at the top of the screen. Clauses that you can get information about are highlighted:

Clauses in Alfred's Preface

Most Old English Aerobics texts have information only about subordinate clauses. Clauses can contain other clauses, of course; nested clauses have different colors from those they are nested in. The prose of the famously hypotactic King Alfred can become quite colorful.

Click in any highlighted area to get information about a clause. The dialog box will give you information about the clause in which you clicked, and this is also outlined so that you can see which clauses are nested in it.

Clauses in Alfred's Preface

Click anywhere that is not a clause to close the dialog.

In an Old English Aerobics text, an “idiom” is a short stretch of text that can’t be translated word for word. These appear in red. When you click the “Idioms” button at the top of the screen, all idioms are highlighted and become clickable. Click on one for a translation:

An idiom in Wulfstan's Sermo Lupi

All texts have notes (serving roughly the same function as a footnote in a book). These are in blue. Click on the ”Notes” button at the top of the screen and these will become highlighted and clickable.

A note to The Husband's Message

Some notes contain links: click on one of these and a page will open in another window or tab.

Finally, some texts have associated sound files. To hear the audio, click the “audio” button at the top of the screen and click on any stretch of text to hear it read.

Clauses in Alfred's Preface

For a summary of these instructions click the “?” button at the upper-right corner of the screen.


You can control some aspects of the appearance of the Old English Aerobics Reader. Click the Options button (the one with the gear icon) at the top right to bring up a dialog:

The Options Dialog

Click the “+” and “–” buttons (repeatedly, if you want) to make the text larger or smaller; click the third (“↩”) button to restore the text to its original size and make Old English Aerobics forget its font settings.

You can hide all headnotes, if you find they get in the way. If the little animations that Old English Aerobics uses for such things as scrolling and displaying dialog boxes don’t work well on your computer, you can turn them off by unchecking “Use animation.”

If you don’t like the way dialog boxes move around, trying to be close to the object they are annotating, uncheck “Dialog boxes move”: the dialogs will remain wherever you put them.

(The movement of dialog boxes is also temporarily disabled whenever you move one out of the way. If you have not unchecked "Dialog boxes move," the dialogs will resume their normal behavior after you have closed or double-clicked one.)