centuries) Begun by Alfred the Great in the 890s, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records the history of the Anglo-Saxon settlement in England. Alfred ordered that the chronicle be copied and distributed to monasteries and priories, and that it be updated frequently. Nine manuscript copies survive. Three provide continued coverage after the Norman Conquest, with the last entry being dated 1154. All nine are composed in Old English, though one contains translations of the chronicle into Latin, and one displays evidence of early Middle English. Each chronicle began as an exact copy of the "original" but then was updated independently. The result is varying descriptions of "national" and world events—as well as careful records of local events not otherwise noted. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle provides important records of history, as well as of the shifts in English linguistics. Moreover, the Chronicles are an important step in establishing the presence of the vernacular, as well as in the development of historiography.
Bredehoft, Thomas A. Textual Histories: Readings in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
Savage, Anne. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2000.
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