Anglo Saxon Literature
The famous literary works of this period have survived for the most part in four manuscripts such as:
Exeter Book: It is an anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry. The most famous elegiac poems of this manuscript are: The Ruined Burg or The Ruin, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Wife’s Lament, The Husband’s Message The Battle of Maldon, Deor’s Laments, Widsith and others are Maxims I, Riddles 1-59, , Riddle 30b, Riddle 60, Riddles 61-95.
Junius manuscript: It is also known as the Caedmon manuscript and contains poetry dealing with Biblical subjects. The famous Christian poems of this manuscript are – Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, Christ and Satan.
Vercelli Book: It is an anthology of Old English prose and verse. This manuscript was probably compiled and written in the late 10th century. The poems of Cynewulf of this manuscript are “The Fates of the Apostles” and “Elene”. The book contains 23 prose homilies or religious discourses and a prose vita or C. V. of Saint Guthlac including with six poems:
- The Fates of the Apostles
- Soul and Body
- Dream of the Rood
- a fragment of a homiletic poem
Nowell Codex: This manuscript contains the unique copy of the epic poem Beowulf, national poem of England.