Cynewulf (1057 words)


Cynewulf is generally recognised as one of the two named Anglo-Saxon poets whose work survives in the vernacular, the other being Cædmon. Cynewulf’s name comes down to us in runic “signatures” in four Old English poems: “Juliana”, “Elene”, “Christ II” (also called “The Ascension”), and “The Fates of the Apostles”. The last is complicated by damage to the manuscript and some difficulties in interpretation. The four poems are preserved in two manuscripts: Exeter Cathedral Library, MS 3501 (the Exeter Book), and Vercelli, Biblioteca Capitolare, MS CXVII (the Vercelli Book). Both of these manuscripts date from the second half of the tenth century, but most scholars have argued that Cynewulf …

Citation: Stokes, Peter Anthony. "Cynewulf". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 October 2006 [, accessed 25 June 2021.]

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