Cædmon


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Cædmon

(kăd`mən), fl. 670, English poet. He was reputed by BedeBede, Saint
, or Baeda
(St. Bede the Venerable), 673?–735, English historian and Benedictine monk, Doctor of the Church, also called the Venerable Bede. He spent his whole life at the monasteries of Wearmouth (at Sunderland) and Jarrow and became probably the
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 to be the author of early English versions of various Old Testament stories. According to Bede, Cædmon was an ignorant herder who received his poetic powers through a vision. During his later years he became a lay brother in the abbey of Whitby. In 1655, Franciscus JuniusJunius, Franciscus,
1589–1677, French philologist; son of Franciscus Junius (1545–1602), French Huguenot theologian. The younger Franciscus Junius was born in Heidelberg and lived chiefly in Holland and England.
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, a French scholar, published the text of several Old English poems, including "Exodus" and "Daniel," and ascribed them to Cædmon; modern scholars dispute this conclusion.

Bibliography

See E. V. K. Dobbie, Cædmon's Hymn and Bede's Death Song (1937); study by S. H. Gurteen (1896, repr. 1969).

Caedmon

7th-century English religious poet supposed to have heard his verses in a dream. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 156]

Caedmon

(b. 671) earliest English Christian poet. [Br. Hist.: Grun]
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Then she commanded Caedmon, "in the presence of many learned men, to tell his dream and repeat the verses that they might all give their judgment what it was and whence his verse came.
And he who was wont to creep away in dumb shame, fearing the laughter of his fellows, sang now with such beauty and sweetness that they were all of one mind, saying that the Lord Himself had, of His heavenly grace, given to Caedmon this new power.
Then these learned men repeated to Caedmon some part of the Bible, explained the meaning of it, and asked him to tell it again in poetry.
Caedmon gladly did her bidding, and when he had been received among them, his brother monks taught to him all the Bible stories.
But Caedmon could neither read nor write, nor is it at all likely that he ever learned to do either even after he became a monk, for we are told that "he was well advanced in years" before his great gift of song came to him.