Medieval Literature

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Definition

Medieval literature is defined broadly as any work written in Latin or the vernacular between c. 476-1500, including philosophy, religious treatises, legal texts, as well as works of the imagination. More narrowly, however, the term applies to literary works of poetry, drama, romance, epic prose, and histories written in the vernacular, though some histories were in Latin.

More about: Medieval Literature

Timeline

  • 476 CE - 1500 CE
    Medieval literature written during the Middle Ages.
  • c. 600 CE - c. 900 CE
    Beowulf composed in Britain, possibly in East Anglia.
  • c. 650 CE
    Caedmon's Hymn composed at Whitney Abbey, Northumbria.
  • c. 650 CE
    Dream vision poem The Dream of the Rood composed.
  • c. 995 CE
    The Battle of Maldon composed.
  • c. 1040 CE
    The epic poem Song of Roland composed in France.
  • c. 1160 CE - c. 1190 CE
    Chretien de Troyes writes his chivalric romances in southern France.
  • c. 1319 CE
    The Italian poet Dante Alighieri completes his epic the Divine Comedy.
  • 1335 CE - 1341 CE
    Giovanni Boccaccio writes his first poetry work, including Diana's Hunt, The Lovestruck, and Teseida.
  • c. 1353 CE
    Giovanni Boccaccio completes his masterpiece, the Decameron.
  • c. 1370 CE
    Chaucer writes his first long poem, Book of the Duchess.
  • c. 1392 CE
    Chaucer writes his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales.
  • 1485 CE
    William Caxton publishes Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur.
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