Anonymous: Andreas

(761 words)
  • Jasmine Kilburn (Independent Scholar - Europe)

The 1722 line Old English poem, Andreas, is found in a tenth-century manuscript, now known as the Vercelli Book (Vercelli, Cathedral library, MS CXVII, folios 29b-52b). The date of composition of the poem is not known and like most Old English texts, Andreas is anonymous. Previous generations of scholars debated whether or not Andreas was the work of Cynewulf, who “signed” in runes his name in two other Vercelli Book poems Elene and The Fates of the Apostles, but this debate is not of current interest.

Andreas is of the hagiographical (“saints' life”) genre and it retells the apocryphal Acts of Andrew and Matthew in the land of Mermedonia. The apocryphal …

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Kilburn, Jasmine. "Andreas". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 November 2002
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]