Cynewulf

/kin"euh woolf'/, n.
fl. 9th century A.D., Anglo-Saxon poet.
Also, Cynwulf.

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or Kynewulf or Cynwulf

flourished 9th century AD, Northumbria or Mercia

Anglo-Saxon poet.

He is the author of four Old English poems from late 10th-century manuscripts: Elene, about St. Helena; The Fates of the Apostles, on the mission and death of each Apostle; The Ascension, part of a trilogy by different authors; and Juliana, a life of St. Juliana. Nothing is known of the poet outside of the text; its evidence suggests he was a learned cleric of Northumbria or Mercia. Runic characters woven into the text are thought to spell his name.

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▪ English poet
also spelled  Cynwulf  or  Kynewulf 
flourished 9th century AD, Northumbria or Mercia [now in England]

      author of four Old English poems preserved in late 10th-century manuscripts. Elene and The Fates of the Apostles are in the Vercelli Book, and The Ascension (which forms the second part of a trilogy, Christ, and is also called Christ II) and Juliana are in the Exeter Book. An epilogue to each poem, asking for prayers for the author, contains runic characters representing the letters c, y, n, (e), w, u, l, f, which are thought to spell his name. A rhymed passage in the Elene shows that Cynewulf wrote in the Northumbrian or Mercian dialect. Nothing is known of him outside his poems, as there is no reason to identify him with any of the recorded persons bearing this common name. He may have been a learned cleric since all of the poems are based on Latin sources.

      Elene, a poem of 1,321 lines, is an account of the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena. (Helena, Saint)

      The Fates of the Apostles, 122 lines, is a versified martyrology describing the mission and death of each of the Twelve Apostles.

      Christ II (The Ascension) is a lyrical version of a homily on the Ascension written by Pope Gregory I the Great. It is part of a trilogy on Christ by different authors.

      Juliana, a poem of 731 lines, is a retelling of a Latin prose life of St. Juliana, a maiden who rejected the suit of a Roman prefect, Eleusius, because of her faith and consequently was made to suffer numerous torments.

      Although the poems do not have great power or originality, they are more than mere paraphrases. Imagery from everyday Old English life and from the Germanic epic tradition enlivens descriptions of battles and sea voyages. At the same time, the poet, a careful and skillful craftsman, consciously applies the principles of Latin rhetoric to achieve a clarity and orderly narrative progress that is quite unlike the confusion and circumlocution of the native English style.

Additional Reading
Robert E. Bjork (ed.), Cynewulf: Basic Readings (1996).

▪ king of Wessex
died 786

      king of the West Saxons, or Wessex (757–786), in England who succeeded to the throne following the deposition of Sigebert. Cynewulf was constantly at war with the Welsh. In 779 Offa of Mercia defeated him and took Bensington. In 785 he was surprised and killed, with all his thanes present, at Marten, in modern Wiltshire (Merantune), by Cyneheard, the brother of the deposed Sigebert.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cynewulf — es uno de los doce poetas anglosajones cuyo nombre se conoce hoy en día, y uno de los cuatro cuyas obras se conservan. Es famoso por sus composiciones religiosas, y es considerado una de las preeminentes figuras de la poesía cristiana en inglés… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cynewulf — • That certain Anglo Saxon poems still extant were written by one Cynewulf is beyond dispute, for the author has signed his name in them by spelling it out in runic letters which may be so read as to make sense in the context of the poem. It is,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Cynewulf —   [ kyːnə , englisch kɪnɪwʊlf], altenglischer Dichter der 2. Hälfte des 8. oder der ersten Hälfte des 9. Jahrhunderts; vermutlich Kleriker; über sein Leben ist nichts bekannt. Vier Dichtungen können ihm sicher zugeschrieben werden: »Christ II«,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cynewulf — war ein christlich religiöser Dichter, der vermutlich gegen Anfang des 9. Jahrhunderts im englischen Königreich Northumbria oder Mercia lebte. Obwohl sonst so gut wie nichts über ihn bekannt ist, können ihm aufgrund seiner Runen Signatur vier… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cynewulf — (engl. Gesch.), so v.w. Ceonwuls …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cynewulf — Cynewulf, angelsächs. Dichter, s. Kynewulf …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cynewulf — (Kynewulf), angelsächs. Dichter des 8. Jahrh., schrieb: »Leben der Juliane«, »Elene oder die Auffindung des Kreuzes Christi«, Hymnen, Rätsel etc. (hg. von Grein 1857 64; deutsch 1857 59). Vieles wird ihm fälschlich zugeschrieben. – Vgl. Trautmann …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cynewulf — For other uses, see Cynewulf (disambiguation). Cynewulf (  /ˈkɪ …   Wikipedia

  • Cynewulf — (ca. 770–ca. 840)    Cynewulf was an OLD ENGLISH poet active in the late eighth and early ninth centuries. Four works are attributed to him by modern scholars: The Fates of the Apostles and Elene (both preserved in the VERCELLI BOOK), and Juliana …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Cynewulf — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cynewulf (homonymie). Cynewulf est l’un des douze poètes de la période anglo saxonne dont le nom soit resté. Bien que son identité n’ait pas encore été explicitée, il a vraisemblablement vécu en Mercie ou en… …   Wikipédia en Français

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