Anonymous: The Battle of Brunanburh (770 words)


The Battle of Brunanburh is a 73-line poem found in four extant manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Corpus Christi College Cambridge 173, Cotton Tiberius A. vi, Cotton Tiberius B. i and Cotton Tiberius B. iv) and one manuscript now lost, but copied and published before 1731 when the original was destroyed (Cotton Otho B. xi). The poem constitutes the complete entry for the year 937 in the manuscripts with the only addition of the annal number. Like the other tenth-century poems in the Chronicle, The Capture of the Five Boroughs (942), The Coronation of Edgar (973) and The Death of Edgar (975), the poem is a panegyric. It is composed in regular Old English verse, and uses the full repertoire of …

Citation: Cavill, Paul. "The Battle of Brunanburh". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 October 2002 [, accessed 23 October 2020.]

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