A history of English poetry might begin with Tacitus, and his report of the traditional hymns sung by the tribes of Germania in the first century ad; or it might begin with the landing of St Augustine in Kent in 597 and the Christian mission to the Anglo-Saxons. Evidence of the Germanic inheritance is unquestionably present in the extant poetry, in a whole range of allusion in Widsith, Deor and Beowulf to the legends of the Volkerwanderung, the great tribal migrations of the fourth to the sixth centuries, and to early Germanic history. The important conclusion of all this for the history of poetry is that writing was entirely in the hands of clerics: what they would record of pagan heroic tradition would be what their creed sanctioned or what appealed to them in some way. Widsith and Deor, both in the Exeter Book, are examples.