Skip to main content Accessibility help

Royal wisdom and the Alfredian Context of Cynewulf and Cyneheard

  • Francis Leneghan

The often-anthologized story of Cynewulf and Cyneheard is typically regarded as the earliest example of heroic English prose, perhaps a summary of an earlier oral tale. Until recently, relatively little attention has been paid to its context within the A MS of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Given this text's association with King Alfred, this article locates the tale within the broader context of Alfredian writing on the morality of rule and, in particular, royal wisdom. Rather than simply endorsing the loyalty of fighting men to their lord, the tale also warns of the dangers of royal folly and the consequences of unrighteous rule.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Anglo-Saxon England
  • ISSN: 0263-6751
  • EISSN: 1474-0532
  • URL: /core/journals/anglo-saxon-england
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed