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Essential Old English Classics

  • The Beowulf Manuscript
  • The Old English Boethius
  • The Old English and Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition
  • The Old English Poems of Cynewulf
  • Old English Legal Writings

The perfect introduction to classic works in Old English. Discover more classics in translation from the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library.

Author - Editorial Staff

Date - 3 November 2023

Time to read - 1 min

  • The Beowulf Manuscript

    The Beowulf Manuscript

    Complete Texts and The Fight at Finnsburg

    R. D. Fulk

    For the first time, this bilingual edition presents Beowulf in translation along with the other four texts from its sole surviving manuscript: Passion of Saint Christopher, The Wonders of the East, The Letter of Alexander the Great to Aristotle, and Judith.

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  • The Old English Boethius

    The Old English Boethius

    with Verse Prologues and Epilogues Associated with King Alfred

    Susan Irvine, Malcolm R. Godden

    The Old English Boethius boldly refashions a great literary monument of the late antique world, The Consolation of Philosophy. Writing from prison around 525 CE, Boethius transformed his distress into a powerful meditation on fate, free will, and the human capacity for virtue in a flawed, fallen world. King Alfred and his scholars shaped the Latin original for a new audience in Old English.

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  • The Old English and Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition

    The Old English and Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition

    Andy Orchard

    What offers over seven hundred witty enigmas in several languages? Answer: The Old English and Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition. Often brief and always delightful, medieval riddles provide insights into the extraordinary and the everyday. This multilingual edition assembles, for the first time ever, an astonishing array of riddles composed before 1200 CE.

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  • The Old English Poems of Cynewulf

    The Old English Poems of Cynewulf

    Cynewulf, Robert E. Bjork

    We have no biographical details about Cynewulf, not even the most basic facts of where or when he lived. Unusually, his name has come down through the Old English poems attributed to him at a time when most vernacular poets are anonymous. The poems themselves attest to a powerfully inventive imagination, deeply learned in Christian doctrine and traditional verse-craft.

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  • Old English Legal Writings

    Old English Legal Writings

    Wulfstan, Andrew Rabin

    Archbishop Wulfstan of York (d. 1023) was a powerful clergyman and the most influential political thinker of pre-Conquest England. He authored the laws of King Aethelred and King Cnut, and also pushed the clergy to return to the ideals of their profession. Old English Legal Writings is the first publication to bring together Wulfstan’s works on law, church governance, and political reform.

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