Anglo-Saxon literature


7th century CE Caedmon, a shepherd-turned-monk at Whitby Abbey, writes a hymn that is the first-known example of a poem in Old English.

c.8th century CE Fragments of runic inscription carved on the Ruthwell Cross—now in Scotland but once part of the kingdom of Northumbria—are lines from a poem now known as “The Dream of the Rood,” which blends warrior imagery with the Crucifixion story.


c.1000 The epic poem Waldere is transcribed. Only two fragments have survived, but they offer insights into the Anglo-Saxon warrior ideal.

10th century Benedictine monks compile an anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry now ...

Get The Literature Book now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.