Aldhelm was one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon writers of Latin prose and poetry. He died in 709 or 710, but his year of birth is unknown; Aldhelm offers little information about himself in his own writings, and most of the reliable information from other sources relates to his later ecclesiastical career. Aldhelm’s birth-place is also unknown, but was almost certainly in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, since he became abbot of Malmesbury and later bishop of Sherborne, and he seems to have had connections to the West Saxon royal court. The kingdom of Wessex (or at least its royal house) was converted to Christianity by an Italian missionary, Birinus, who baptised the West Saxon king Cynegils (611-42) in 635; it is likely therefore that Aldhelm was born and grew up in a newly…

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Citation: Foxhall Forbes, Helen. "Saint Aldhelm". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 August 2016 [, accessed 08 December 2023.]

64 Saint Aldhelm 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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