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p. 1Introduction

Endings and Beginningslocked

  • Elaine Treharne


The ‘Introduction’ explains that medieval literature in Britain and Ireland spans over a thousand years from the Fall of Rome in c.410 ce to the shifting tides of the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. This period is marked by conversion, conquest, crusade, and cultural innovation, all of which dramatically influenced the literature that emerged. The earliest British and Irish literature used the signs of the Ogham and Runic inscriptions and combined images, words, Germanic runes, and Christian subjects. There is a pervasive religious core that inspires much of medieval literature, which was one of the ways medieval people tried to understand and fathom their place in the world.

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