Cædmon is the earliest English poet whose name is known. An
Anglo-Saxon herdsman attached to the double monastery of
(Whitby Abbey) during the abbacy of St. Hilda, he was originally
ignorant of the art of song but learned to compose one night in the
course of a dream. He later became a zealous monk and an
and inspirational religious poet. Cædmon is one of twelve
poets identified in medieval sources, and one of only three for whom
both roughly contemporary biographical information and examples of
literary output have survived. His story is told to us in the
ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum by St. Bede. Cædmon's only known
surviving work is Cædmon's Hymn, the nine-line alliterative
praise poem in honour of God he supposedly learned to sing in his
initial dream. The poem is one of the earliest attested examples of
Old English and is, with the runic Ruthwell Cross and Franks Casket
inscriptions, one of three candidates for the earliest attested
example of Old English poetry.
Read the rest of this article:
Today's selected anniversaries:
Joan of Arc was acquitted of heresy posthumously.
American forces led by Commodore John D. Sloat occupied Monterey and
Yerba Buena, beginning the annexation of California.
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident marked the beginning of the Second
The Slovenian War formally ended with the signing of the Brioni
A series of four bomb explosions struck London's public transport
system, killing 56.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are
invented nonsense." -- Robert A. Heinlein