Outlines of English and American Literature Anglo-Saxon Chronicle byLong, William J.
At that time it was customary in monasteries to keep a record of events
which seemed to the monks of special importance, such as the coming of a
bishop, the death of a king, an eclipse of the moon, a battle with the
Danes. Alfred found such a record at Winchester, rewrote it (or else caused
it to be rewritten) with numerous additions from Bede's History and other
sources, and so made a fairly complete chronicle of England. This was sent
to other monasteries, where it was copied and enlarged, so that several
different versions have come down to us. The work thus begun was continued
after Alfred's death, until 1154, and is the oldest contemporary history
possessed by any modern nation in its own language.