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History 101: The Rise of European Civilization: In-class Source Evaluation Exercise

Evaluating Sources

In this activity, you'll be working in pairs to evaluate a set of secondary and tertiary sources.  Your primary source is Beowulf and your initial research question is, "How did kingly succession work in Anglo-Saxon England?"

Familiarize yourself with each of the three sources below and evaluate how well each one might help you answer the following questions in light of your research question:

Who is the author of Beowulf?
Who is the intended audience of Beowulf?
What is the historical context of Beowulf?

Source 1:  "Beowulf," Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England (click the link to Ebook Central Academic Complete, then navigate to page 65).

Source 2:  North, Richard. The Origins of Beowulf: From Vergil to Wiglaf. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. [The link takes you to the catalog record; click on "view it," and then "Academic Complete" to access the ebook.]

Source 3:  Biggs, Frederick M. "The Politics of Succession in "Beowulf" and Anglo-Saxon England." Speculum 80, no. 3 (2005): 709-41.