Widsith

A Study in Old English Heroic Legend

Widsith

One of the few records of German heroic poetry, Widsith was found in the Exeter Book, a manuscript of Old English poetry compiled in the late tenth century. The tale, in which the wandering poet and narrator Widsith recounts his travels across northern Europe, is often seen as a catalogue of tribes, people and heroes who existed between the third and fifth centuries. Yet it is also, in Raymond Wilson Chambers' words, a rare and valuable 'record of lost heroic song'. Originally published in 1912, Chambers' study provides an introduction to the background of the German heroic tradition, as well as detailed analyses of specific aspects of Widsith, such as the metre, geography, and critical reception of the poem. This scholarly edition also includes an annotated version of the poem, and maps, as well as an appendix which will be valuable to students and scholars of Old English literature.

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