Biography

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Nothing is known of the author of Beowulf.

The poem itself was written in England, although it cannot be dated exactly. Some scholars believe that it may have been composed in the eighth century A.D., but others suggest an earlier time, as early as the seventh century or as late as the tenth.

The events described in Beowulf are partly historical, and took place in Scandinavia several centuries before the poem was written.  The historical King Hygelac of the Geats was killed in about A.D. 521.

Only one manuscript of the poem survived, which was discovered in the sixteenth century. The manuscript was damaged by fire in 1731 and was first printed in 1815.

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