The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology Short Essay - Answer Key

Kevin Crossley-Holland
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1. According to the author of the introduction to "Heroic Poems," what purpose do/did the heroic poems serve historically?

Anglo-Saxon heroic poems help to link the ancestry of Anglo-Saxons to their origins in continental Europe. These poems remind and educate people about the traditions and values that early Anglo-Saxons held and celebrated. Given that there was no written tradition, these poems provided a way for history to be passed down from generation to generation through oral traditions.

2. In what way were the histories and legends passed down during the Anglo-Saxon period?

Because no written tradition existed during the Anglo-Saxon period, histories and legends were passed down orally. These legends and histories were generally sung in an attempt to entertain and educate.

3. What is the Germanic Code?

The Germanic Code is a set of values that the Anglos lived by. The values were meant to set up expectations and descriptions regarding the following: the lord-retainer relationship, loyalty, bond to kinsmen, physical and moral courage and blood feuds.

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