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Bards or Scops were the Old English poets. Their job was to travel and tell the tale of the great heroes, and so it is becaue of these traveling performers epics like Beowulf were preserved in an oral tradition until they were finally written down.  These positions were respected in the Anglo-Saxon society, for the only way to gain fame in the Anglo-Saxon time was to perform a duty worthy enough to be remembered and told by the scops.  The rhythm and rhyme of the epics were often crafted in such a way to assist the scop in remembering the details.