Wessobrunn Prayer

Ranked #250 on the list Best Poem of All Time

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The Wessobrunn Prayer, sometimes called the Wessobrunn Creation Poem (German: Wessobrunner Gebet, Wessobrunner Schöpfungsgedicht), believed to date from c790, is among the earliest known poetic works in Old High German. The poem is named after Wessobrunn Abbey, a Benedictine monastery at in Bavaria, for centuries the repository of the sole manuscript, which is now in the Bavarian State Library in Munich (ref: Clm 22053, III, ff 65b/66a). The date of composition is put at around 790 or a little later, while the surviving manuscript dates from about 814. The author of the verses is unknown, although from the content and a couple of linguistic features (see below), it seems highly probable that it was composed after an Anglo-Saxon model for use in the Christian missions to the heathen taking place in Germany at this time. The place of origin of the manuscript is also unknown. It was not written in Wessobrunn; a number of Bavarian religious establishments could have produced it, the most likely being Augsburg or Regensburg. The conspicuous oddity in this manuscript of the use of the star-rune as a shorthand symbol for the syllable "ga-" is shared by only one other manuscript, also

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