Explanatory Notes on Beowulf
Beowulf is rightly considered to be about Beowulf, the greatest Geat hero and king. After all, the poem is framed by Beowulf's fight with and killing of, first. Beowulf A Geat, son of Edgetheow and nephew of Hygelac, lord of the Geats. The hero of Danes (Dene) A tribe living in part of the area now called Denmark. The Swedish-Geatish wars refer to semi-legendary 6th century battles between Swedes and . ), where Sigurd Hring was victorious and became the king of both Swedes, Geats and Danes. From this battle and onwards, all of Geatland is .
The sun shone from the south on the stones of earth, then green leeks grew on the ground". They lacked no gold, until three came to them from the world of the giants, giant-maidens with terrifying power". Apparently, the rejoicing in Heorot ll.
Grendel's descent from Cain is narrated at ll. The name Grendel is of obscure etymology. The name has variously been derived from grindan 'to grind' 'to destroy? Icelandic grandi 'a sandbank' and Low German dialectal grand 'coarse sand'. Interestingly, the word grendel grindle, etc. In modern English a "pit" is an artificial hole which is generally dry: Here it is a hole, and we may be sure that, with the willow-mere and the red slough on the one side, and the black pool and the marsh on the other, the hole was full of water' Chambers - Intro, pg.
If, as has been suggested by Napier and Stevenson, a trace of this pit still survives in the name Pitt farm, the mere must have been in the uplands, about feet above sea level' Chambers - Intro, pg.
Praedicta siquidem tellus his terminis circumcincta clarescit First at the border of the hedge?? Stafford, by Kind Eadred to his thane Burhelm 14thth c.
II, 6 - see Birch, Cart. The bottom of the basin thus formed must have been a swamp Anyway, there is nothing exceptional in this use of "gate" in connection with a water-spirit [i. Necker, on the Continent, also had his "gates".
Swedish–Geatish wars - Wikipedia
Thus there is a "Neckersgate Mill" near Brussels, and the name "Neckersgate" used also to be applied to a group of houses near by, surrounded by water [see Wauters, Histoire des Environs de Bruxelles, III, ' Chambers - intro, pp. The Saxons of Transsylvania are supposed to have emigrated from the neighbourhood of the lower Rhine and the Moselle, and there is a Grindelbach in Luxemburg which may possibly be connected with the marsh demon' pg However, Lars Hemmingsen pers.
This word is preserved in the names of several Suffolk watercourses, such as the Grundles of Wattisfield and Stanton, or Grindle Lane, Sproughton'. In this tradition, Cham inherits the curse of Cain: And it is therefore that overthrow was brought on the descendants of Cham, and that their land was given to the sons of Israel in token of the same curse. Cursed be Chanaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren'. See further, Mellinkoff There is also an Islamic tradition that some believed that the daughters-in-law of Noah were of the race of Cain see al-Tabari I, However, Hutcheson points out that even if we accept the reading camesthe first syllable may still be long, as in Genesis A l.
The story connecting Cain to evil giants seems to derive from a tradition established by the apocryphal Book of Enoch and early Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Book of Genesis: In the apocryphal 'Noah fragments', this relationship is elaborated, including a cannibalistic element: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men.
And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood' I Enoch VII. And further, possibly connecting the giants with the biblical Flood: And they shall produce on the earth giants not according to the spirit, but according to the flesh, and there shall be a great punishment on the earth, and the earth shall be cleansed from all impurity' I Enoch CVI.
See further MellinkoffEmersonCrawford, Williams XXIV ; in the early glosses derived from Aldhelm's works, the word helrunan appears as an alternative to wiccan witches in glossing p h itonissam. The principal questions of such an interpretation are is he Grendel or Hrothgar and is the gif-stol Hrothgar's or God's?
What does gretan mean?
Anglo-Saxon and Germanic Culture: The Historical Setting in Beowulf
What is the sense of myne? As Klaeber notes, the passage is awkward and more than one editor has suspected that, like below, these two lines may be the result of an inept interpolation. Generally he is thought to refer to Grendel - Kock, for instance, translates, '[Grendel] could not partake in the festivities of the day, not step, like the others, before the precious throne to salute the Monarch and receive his gifts ; for he was prevented by the Creator, a stranger to Him', though some have taken the gif-stol to be God's.
Tripp points out that taking he as Grendel along these lines is rather odd, for if God would allow Grendel to enter the hall in the first place, why would he have warded Grendel off from the throne in paticular? He, like Sievers, Holtzmann, Trautmann and others, takes he as referring to Hrothgar. Wrenn suggests that these lines have been transposed from their right place though they are still an interpolation in his opinion and belong betweenwith he referring to Cain and the gif-stol being God's.
I particular I follow Robinson's : The compound gretinghus glossing [Latin] salutatorium suggests that the sense "saluting a superior" for greting I would add also that Beowulf l.
15. Denmark's history - Danes, Heruls, Angles and Jutes
See further Estrich and Chanev. The 'Idolatry' of the Danes] These lines are much debated. And of the 11 verse half-lines in Beo. However, the passage forms a thematically appropriate conclusion to the preceding lines, and it is important in defining the situation which the Danes find themselves in after Grendel begins his persecution of Heorot: Further, the references to their idol-worshipping and damning prayers to the 'Gastbona' are in sharp contrast to the actions of Beowulf when he arrives to succour these much-harried Danes.
Beowulf's speeches often emphasise Heroic Action, and his deeds do not belie his words! Part of the criticism which the poem offers here seems to be at least as much to do with 'idle-ness' as 'idol-ness'; that is, the sin here is more Inaction than Idolatry. More on this view follows below, but before that, one should understand that this is not necessarily the received view on this passage.
Tribe relationships in Beowulf by Sandy Fu on Prezi
This latter interpretation, in a variety of forms, has been argued by many critics of the poem. Stanley opens his interpretation of this passage with the basic argument that 'the poet, deliberately By the standards of [Christian] asceticism the Germanic heroic ideals are ultimately insufficient.
The poet depicts the ideal of secular Germanic society in such a way that it seems glorious, with the emphasis for the most part on the glory, but sometimes on the seeming' pg. Following a number of insightful close-readings and examinations of other texts relevant to Beo.
His poetic art is poor in proclamations and assurances, but rich in dark hints and ambiguities. One thing, however, may be discerned clearly in Beowulf, that though a heathen may be virtuous, his life being without [Christian] faith is, in the strictest sense of the words, without hope.
That is why we reread the poem with sadness and compassion of an ideal that avails nothing' pg. I feel that this approach to the interpretation of the poem as a whole is very much at odds with the actual text of the poem, although in the context of this passage in particular, Stanley's argument is a strong one. However, the analysis which I find closest to my own understanding of this passage described briefly above, as being more a critique of 'Idle-ness' than of 'Idol-ness' is that of Anne Payne 'Danes' Prayers to the "Gastbona"', NMwho focusses primarily on the purpose of this passage in the context of the poem, and less on the question of Heathen v.
Christian import, as Payne herself says, rather than see this passage as a late interpolation or in some way as out of harmony with the rest of the poem, she 'propose[s] the possibility instead the poet was consciously drawing on the Christian-heathen dichotomy for a convenient metaphor to describe a state of mind which he found perpetually possible, perpetually destructive to his own society as well as to the heroic society he writes about' pp.
These sources concern a raid into Frisiacawhich is also described in Beowulf.ATTILA - Viking Forefathers DLC - UNITS & TRAITS (Danes, Jutes, Geats)
Some decades after the events related in this epic, Jordanes described the Geats as a nation which was "bold, and quick to engage in war".
When written sources emerge approximately at the end of the 10th centurythe Geatish lands are described as part of the still very shaky Swedish kingdom, but the manner of their unification with the Swedes is a matter of much debate.
The actual story in Beowulf, however, is that the Geatish king helps a Swede to gain the throne. What historians today think is that this realm could just as well be the force behind the creation of the medieval kingdom of Sweden.
The historians make a distinction between political history and the emergence of a common Swedish ethnicity. The Hervarar saga is believed to contain such traditions handed down from the 4th century.
According to that work, when the Hunnish Horde invaded the land of the Goths and the Gothic king Angantyr desperately tried to marshal the defenses, it was the Geatish king Gizur who answered his call, though there is no actual evidence of a successful invasion. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. August Learn how and when to remove this template message The Geats were traditionally divided into several petty kingdomsor districts, which had their own things popular assemblies and laws. Surprisingly, it would be the Geatish name that became the common term in the Swedish kingdom. Stenkila Geat, was elected king of Sweden, and the Geats would be influential in the shaping of Sweden as a Christian kingdom.
However, this election also ushered in a long period of civil unrest between Christians and pagans and between Geats and Swedes. Inge would retake the throne and rule until his death c. For example, Saxo wrote about a situation that happened well before his birth, where one of the participants had to be pictured in black.
For Saxo, Magnus Nielsen was a bad person. In his Gesta Danorum book 13the Danish 12th-century chronicler Saxo Grammaticus noted that the Geats had no say in the election of the king, only the Swedes, but Saxo did not know how kings were chosen in Sweden around