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Beowulf , written in Old English sometime before the tenth century A.D., describes the adventures of a great Scandinavian warrior of the sixth century.

A rich fabric of fact and fancy, Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic in British literature.

Beowulf exists in only one manuscript. This copy survived both the wholesale destruction of religious artifacts during the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and a disastrous fire which destroyed the library of Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631).

The poem still bears the scars of the fire, visible at the upper left corner of the photograph. The Beowulf manuscript is now housed in the British Library, London.

An actual photograph of an original page from the Beolwulf manuscript
The first page of the Beowulf manuscript.

Please enjoy our adaptation from the Old English version by Dr. David Breeden.

A note on the translation by Dr. David Breeden.


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