THE FATES OF THE APOSTLES

[The Fates of the Apostles follows Andreas in the manuscript and possibly forms the epilogue to it. If it is part of Andreas, the runic signature shows Cynewulf to be the author of the whole work. The command to the disciples, 'Go ye therefore and teach all nations,' gave rise to stories of the wanderings and adventures of the different apostles. Here we have merely a list of the apostles with a brief indication of the work and death of each.]

Lo! weary of wandering, sad in spirit, I wrought this song, gathered it from far and wide, of how the heroes bright and glorious showed forth their courage. There were twelve, illustrious in acts, chosen by the Lord, beloved while they lived. Wide through the world spread the praise, might, and fame of the Master's servants, no mean majesty. Fate guided the sacred band where they should glorify the law of the Lord, make it manifest before men. Some in Rome, brave and warlike, Peter and Paul, laid down their lives through Nero's cruel cunning; widely are the apostles honoured among the nations.

Likewise Andrew in Achaia ventured his life before Ægeas; he feared not for the might of any monarch on earth, but chose eternal unending life, light everlasting, when amid the shouting of the multitude he lay on the cross after the conflict, fearless in the fight.

Lo! we have also heard men learned in the law tell of John's lineage. He was, as I know, because of his kindred, dearest to Christ among men of mortal nature, when the King of glory, the Prince of angels, the Father of mankind, came to earth through the womb of a woman. He constantly taught the people in Ephesus; journeying thence he sought the way of life, bright joys, the radiant glorious habitation. His brother was not backward, slow to set forth, but among the Jews by the stroke of the sword James was destined before Herod to part from life, the breath to leave his body. Philip was among the people of Asia; thence straightway he sought life everlasting by death on the rood, when in Hierapolis he was hanged on the cross by a warlike troop.

Verily, the event was openly known far and wide, that Bartholomew, a strong man in battle, ventured his life in India.

-178-

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Anglo-Saxon Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xiii
  • Beowulf 1
  • Finnesburh 63
  • Waldhere 65
  • Widsith 67
  • Deor 71
  • The Wanderer 73
  • The Seafarer 76
  • The Wife's Lament 79
  • The Husband's Message 81
  • Wulf and Eadwacer 83
  • The Ruin 84
  • Charms 85
  • Genesis 95
  • Exodus 112
  • Daniel 121
  • Christ and Satan 127
  • Juliana 165
  • The Fates of the Apostles 178
  • Andreas 181
  • Elene 211
  • The Dream of the Rood 235
  • The Phoenix 239
  • Physiologus 252
  • Guthlac 256
  • The Soul's Address to the Body 280
  • Doomsday 284
  • Riddles 289
  • Gnomic Poetry 309
  • The Arts of Men 316
  • The Fates of Men 318
  • Judith 320
  • The Battle of Brunanburh 327
  • The Battle of Maldon 329
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