The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 29 September 2022


The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity
Helen Foxhall ForbesHelen Foxhall Forbes

The longest surviving poem in *Anglo-Saxon (3,182 lines), though it recounts heroic deeds which occurred in Scandinavia, among the Geats, the Swedes, and the Danes. The first part of the poem narrates how the hero, Beowulf, saves King Hrothgar and the Danes by defeating Grendel, a monster descended from Cain (lines 1–2199); the second part describes how Beowulf, now much older and King of the Geats, fought and killed a fire-breathing dragon, but died in doing so (lines 2200–3182). The poem’s date is uncertain: dates ranging from the later 7th century to the early 11th have been suggested. The only surviving manuscript copy (in London, BL, Cotton Vitellius A. xv) was written by two scribes, probably in the late 10th or early 11th century; on the other hand, some of the poem’s events or figures (such as the Geatish King ... ...

Access to the complete content on Oxford Reference requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.