Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

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Heroic literature
(746 words)

The Anglo-Saxon period produced heroic literature in Old English, the most famous example being the poem Beowulf. Poets typically focus on weapons and armour, but not on non-metallic dress. The Beowulf poet often refers to helmets including one described as 'hwita' (shiny), with a wire inlaid crest, both features paralleled on the helmet found in the Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, Ship Burial, which is probably early 7th-century (though the poem only survives in an 11th-century manuscript). Gold-adorned boars, placed over the cheek pieces of the helmets worn by Beowulf's warri…

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Gale R. Owen-Crocker and Mark Zumbuhl, “Heroic literature”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 01 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_COM_371>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503

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