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  Battle of Maldon poem

The poem is the only substantial account we have of the battle, but even it is not complete. 325 lines of the poem have survived, but the original copy was destroyed in 1731 so we have to depend upon a transcript made by Thomas Hearne and published in 1726.

The origin and date of the poem are uncertain, although it does appear to be near contemporary to the events. It has been suggested that it was compiled for Brihtnoth’s widow, who also gave to Ely abbey a textile hanging depicting the battle, an early precursor to the Bayeux Tapestry’s record of the battle of Hastings.

There is also some dispute over the accuracy of the poem as an historical record of the events of the battle. What is certain is that the poem cannot be taken as a simple historical account and that the truth has to be distilled from the literary embellishment.

For a digital copy of the poem ‘The Battle of Maldon’ CLICK HERE


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