What is The Battle of Maldon poem about?

“The Battle of Maldon” is the name given to an Old English poem of uncertain date celebrating the real Battle of Maldon of 991, at which an Anglo-Saxon army failed to repulse a Viking raid. Only 325 lines of the poem are extant; both the beginning and the ending are lost.

Why is The Battle of Maldon and important literary peace?

Only The Battle of Maldon (and The Battle of Brunanburh, which celebrates an English victory over Danish and Scottish forces in 937) provide insight into how an Anglo-Saxon poet might view his own age in the light of Germanic literary and cultural tradition.

What is the essential conflict in The Battle of Maldon?

The central conflict in The Battle of Maldon is not between Anglo-Saxons and vikings but between heroism and cowardice; the narrator sets the noble desire for honor against the base impulse toward survival.

What manuscript is The Battle of Maldon in?

Manuscript sources In the Cotton library, the “Battle of Maldon” text had been in Otho A xii. The Elphinstone transcription is in the Bodleian Library, where it is pp. 7–12 of MS Rawlinson B. 203.

Why did The Battle of Maldon happen?

Why did it happen? A sizeable Viking fleet had pillaged Folkestone and the surrounding area, then Sandwich followed by Ipswich. They landed at Maldon, tempted by the Royal Mint held in the town. Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman (Earl) of Essex, had assembled an army of East Saxons to defeat them.

How does The Battle of Maldon depict the heroic code of action?

The heroic retainers who refuse to leave the battlefield deliver their heroic speeches which, although varied and individual, recur always to the same theme – not only do they “tell of Birhtnoth’s exhortations, his skill in front of the battle, and his heroic death” (Gordon, 27), the men also pledge to keep fighting …

Is Byrhtnoth a hero?

For example, In the Battle of Maldon, the orally transmitted poetry that illustrated the grand battle led by English earl Byrhtnoth against invasion of Viking raiders, the tragic hero Byrhtnoth was portrayed to represent the ideal definition of Anglo-Saxon heroism with both his self-dignity and national pride.

Did the Vikings invade Essex?

The Vikings had already pillaged Folkestone, Sandwich and Ipswich before they were confronted by Brihtnoth at Maldon. The Vikings had established their temporary base on Northey Island, which is linked to the Essex mainland by a causeway, only accessible at low tide.

Did Vikings land in Maldon?

It is believed that the Viking boats landed on Northey Island to the east of Maldon and that the East Saxon army cornered them there. Needing to bring the enemy to battle and defeat them, if he was to protect East Anglia from further destruction, Byrhtnoth withdrew and allowed the Vikings to across to the mainland.

What was Byrhtnoth’s order at the Battle of Maldon?

Beowulf 2.0 Privacy Policy Battle of Maldon        “…should it become broken.” (1) Then Byrhtnoth ordered each of his warriors to release their horses, to hurry them far away, and to go forwards, mindful of their hands and their stout courage.

What is the origin of the word ofermode?

From ofer + mōd. Compare German Übermut (“high spirits”), Dutch overmoed (“overconfidence”), Danish overmod (“overconfidence”). Ða se eorl ongan for his ofermode / alyfan landes to fela laþere ðeode. Then the earl began, in his great pride / to give too much ground to those loathed people.

What is the best book to read about the Battle of Maldon?

Scragg, D. G., ed. The Battle of Maldon. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1981. For the purpose of reviewing earlier criticism of the poem, E. V. Gordon’s 1937 edition, republished in 1976 with a supplement by Scragg, is most helpful.

Was alderman Byrhtnoth killed at Maldon?

In an Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for the year 991, there is a simple report that Alderman Byrhtnoth was slain at Maldon; no other details are preserved in that source.