The Only Surviving Manuscript of Beowulf
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that survives in a single copy in the manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. It has no title in the original document but has become known by the name of the story’s hero.
The poem is known only from a single manuscript, which is estimated to date from around 975–1025.
The manuscript dates either to the reign of Æthelred the Unready or to the beginning of the reign of Cnut the Great from 1016.
The Beowulf manuscript is known as the Nowell Codex, gaining its name from the 16th-century owner and scholar Laurence Nowell.
The earliest surviving reference to the Nowell Codex was made about 1650, and the prior ownership of the codex before Nowell remains a mystery.
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