B1 Anglo-Saxon Era

c. 450-c. 1066

B1 Evangéliaire_de_Trèves_fol10r_-_incipit_avec_deux_anges, Anglo-Saxon EraThe Anglo-Saxon Era of British literature, also known as the Old English Period, began sometime after 450 following the conquest of Celtic England by a series of Germanic tribes, including the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians. Only about a dozen writers of this period are known today and their writings survive primarily in the form of fragments or references in later works, so very little is known about most of them.

What can be known with some certainty is that literacy in this period was restricted to an elite group of theologians and Church scholars or scribes who formed some B1 Nuremberg_Chronicle_Venerable_Bede, Anglo-Saxon Eraof the earliest evangelical movements of Christianity into the former Roman territories. Consequently, their writings were almost exclusively religious prose or poetry.

An exception would be the epic of Beowulf, which is believed to have originated in ancient Nordic or Scandinavian tradition but was among the first works to be recorded in what came to be known as Old English. As such, it is included in most curricular studies of the earliest British literature.

Anglo-Saxon Literature

The following authors in our database represent the Anglo-Saxon Period of British Literature:

Anonymous: BeowulfBook Icon (c. 800s AD) CaedmonBook Icon (d. 670 AD)
Anonymous: The Dream of the RoodBook Icon (600s AD) CynewulfBook Icon (800s AD)
Bede, The VenerableBook Icon (672/3 AD-735 AD)

Click on any of the above names to open the corresponding biographical essay.

Click on the red book icon Book Iconto the left of any name in the list to access that author’s bibliography and our collection of direct links available for the associated titles as hosted by a wide variety of professional and academic Web sites.

Are there other authors you think should be included in this category?

Let us know and we’ll try to add them whenever possible.

Register now for a Free Membership to CurricuLit.com and you will receive notices of special features and updates as they become available.