Unesco lists Exeter Book among “world’s principal cultural artefacts”

[via The Guardian]  The Exeter Book, an Anglo-Saxon poetry anthology dating back more than 1,000 years, which has inspired writers from WH Auden to JRR Tolkien, has been granted Unesco status as “the foundation volume of English literature”.

Housed in Exeter Cathedral since it was given to the institution by its first bishop, Leofric, in the 11th century, the Exeter Book was written around 970. It contains some 40 poems and 96 riddles, a number of which are found nowhere else. On Tuesday, June 21st 2016 it was placed on Unesco’s Memory of the World register, where it will sit alongside works such as the Magna Carta, the Bayeux Tapestry, the Book of Kells and the Diary of Anne Frank.

“It is one of only four surviving major poetic manuscripts in [the Old English] vernacular,” said Unesco. “Since it is the largest and probably the oldest of them, and since its contents are not found in any other manuscript, it can claim to be the foundation volume of English literature, one of the world’s principal cultural artefacts.”

Read more about this on The Guardian.

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