The origins of these two works are most dissimilar. Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon heroic poem of 3,182 lines. One of its primary virtues rests in the fact it is one of the earliest extant pieces of literature in the English language. The date of Beowulf has long remained a mystery, but from all evidence it is safe to place the initial writing between the years 550 and 750 A.D., with its present, final form having been composed/edited circa 1000 A.D., that being the date of the only known manuscript. The language is known as Old English, with strong Germanic qualities, almost a foreign language in terms of translation requirements, from that original.