The Vercelli Book

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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The Vercelli Book contains a mixture of Anglo-Saxon texts in Old English, twenty-three of which are prose and six verse. It is named after its present location, Vercelli in northern Italy, where it has been certainly since the seventeenth century, and probably since the eleventh. It is one of the four surviving major manuscripts of Old English poetry, the other three being the

Beowulf

Manuscript, Junius 11, and the Exeter Book, all of which have their own entries in this encyclopedia.

The Vercelli Book is properly known by its full shelf-mark which is most often given as Vercelli, Biblioteca Capitolare CXVII (or in English sometimes Vercelli, Cathedral Library MS 117). However, the manuscript is sometimes referred to as being in the chapter archive instead of the library, as, for example,

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Citation: Stokes, Peter Anthony. "The Vercelli Book". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 January 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=5767, accessed 25 May 2024.]

5767 The Vercelli Book 2 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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