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'þæm tungerefan, þe his ealdorman wæs' - Caedmon's social status and means of life are obscure. He works as a cowheard and is supported by his lord's mead-hall. Who then is this tungerefan (Bede has uilicum, which could be a mere town inhabitant) who is his ealdormon and master (qui sibi praeerat)?