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Widsith


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A poem of 143 lines in Old English, named from its opening word, in the Exeter Book. It is constructed around three ‘thulas’ (i.e. mnemonic name‐lists), connected by the ostensible experience of the eponymous minstrel: the first names great rulers; the second lists the tribes among whom the minstrel claims to have travelled; and the third speaks of people that the minstrel sought out. The poem is thought to date substantially from the 7th cent. and thus to be the earliest poem in the language. There are important editions by R. W. Chambers (1912) and K. Malone (1962).

Subjects: Literature.


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