(600 - 670 / England)

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Cædmon is the earliest English poet whose name is known. An Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals and was attached to the double monastery of Streonæshalch (Whitby Abbey) during the abbacy (657–680) of St. Hilda (614–680), he was originally ignorant of "the art of song" but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream, according to the 8th-century monk Bede. He later became a zealous monk and an accomplished and inspirational religious poet.

Cædmon is one of twelve Anglo-Saxon 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 related... more »

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