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About this Item


  • Heliand.


  • The Heliand is an epic poem in Old Saxon that was first written down in around 830--840. The poem, whose title means "savior," recounts the life of Jesus in the alliterative verse style of a Germanic saga. At about 6,000 lines, the Heliand is the largest known work written in Old Saxon, the precursor of modern Low German. The name of the poet is unknown, but some information about him and the origins of the poem can be gleaned from a Latin preface printed by Matthias Flacius Illyricus in 1562 from a manuscript that has since been lost. The Heliand is considered one of the finest religious epics of the Middle Ages, a work that combines the pre-Christian Germanic poetic tradition with an affirmation of Christian belief. This manuscript, written in the script of Carolingian minuscule, was the work of two scribes at the Abbey of Corvey in the middle of the ninth century. It has some lacunae, but it is the only Heliand manuscript that preserves part of the story of the Ascension, which may have been the ending of the original work. One other later, nearly complete manuscript of the Heliand survives, along with four fragmentary versions.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [800 to 899]


  • -  Germany
  • -  1 to 99
  • -  Epic poetry
  • -  Jesus Christ


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "BSB shelfmark: Cgm 25"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 76 pages, vellum ; 27.3 x 20.3 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Bavarian State Library.
  • -  Content in Old Saxon.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667660

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Heliand. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 800 to 899, 0800] Pdf.

APA citation style:

(0800) Heliand. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 800 to 899] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Heliand. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 800 to 899, 0800] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.