Another great poetry must read includes The Battle of Maldon.
Written in Old English, this terrific poem narrates the stand of the Anglo-Saxons against the fierce Viking invasion of 991AD that was fought near Maldon in Essex. While the received text is incomplete: the remaining verses convey the intense battle scene masterfully – telling with poignant clarity the final stand of Earl Byrhtnoth and his thegns against the Viking mauraders.
- Byrhtnoth – still urging his thegns onward – dies in battle, commending his soul to God. How will his troops respond once they know that their war-leader is dead?
- King Aethelred soon hears the news of the battle’s outcome. What steps can he now take to protect his people?
Want to know more?
- Read Hickey’s verse translation of The Battle of Maldon online
- Read The Battle of Maldon in Old English (with notes and word translations) online