Friday, February 20, 2009

AD: "The Wanderer" to Bede's Ecclesiastical History

Anonymous. British. 700. Poetry. “The Wanderer.” Alliterative. Dramatic monologue of warrior, now homeless and kinless. He laments the passing of former glories and companions; elegy of times gone by.

Anonymous. British. 700. Poetry. Beowulf. Anglo-Saxon, Old English epic. 3200 lines. Alliterative. Combines Norse legends, historical events and Christianity. Colorful picture of life at that time. Unferth’s insult and the swimming contest. Finn and Hildeburh. Beowulf and 14 warriors vs. Grendel and Grendel’s mother. Final fight is with a fire-breathing dragon after all have deserted Beowulf except Wiglaf. They kill the dragon, but Beowulf receives his death wound and a stately burial.

Anonymous. British. 700. Poetry. The Fight at Finnsburg. Old English. 50-line fragment. King Finn of the Frisians marries Hildeburh of the Danes. Finn kills her brother Hnaef and his followers while they are his guests. The following spring, the Danes kill Finn and take Hildeburh to Denmark.

Anonymous. British. 700. “The Dream of the Rood.” Old English. 156 lines. Alliterative. Dreams that True Cross talks to him, urging a cult. Dream changes his life.

Bede. English. 731. History. Ecclesiastical History of the English People. From the Roman invasion of England to 731. Contains both historical and legendary information.

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