Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Beowolf--the Goth?

Expand Messages
  • sig
    Dear listmembers, Gothic-L seems to have slipped into a state of post-Christmas lethargia? Or did her baby Germanic-L devour her? Many members are for the
    Message 1 of 22 , Jan 12, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear listmembers,

      Gothic-L seems to have slipped into a state of post-Christmas
      lethargia? Or did her baby Germanic-L devour her? Many members are
      for the moment more active on that list but I miss the Gothic
      stuff.

      I would like to call into action the private investigator in
      y'all and try to see the Gothic connection here, if any:

      The year is around 520 and the scene an island at the mouth of
      Rhine, occupied by the Attuarii. An enemy force under the
      leadership of one Chlochilaicus (later Huiglacus, Higlacus,
      Hygelac) attacked unsuccessfully and the leader was killed.
      He was of giant stature and his bones were left on the island and
      were shown to travellers from afar. The mystery, as we all know,
      is why he would be called, first (in Historia Francorum 500+)
      leader of the Danes and later (in a Frankish history book from
      around 700+) "rex Getarum".

      A popular view not least among nationalists in "Thule-land" is
      that these Getarum just have to be identified with the
      South-central Swedish tribes of Gauthai (first mentioned by the
      Greek geographer Ptolemaios in the 3rd century, by th Byzantine
      Procopios in the middle of the 6th century and in latin by his
      contemporary Jordanes).

      Now, what suggestions as to any (even remotest possible) "Gothic"
      or "Getic" embedding of this story? From the scene at the estuary
      of the Rhine; from where could issue a throng of warriors under
      Gothic/Gethic leadership around 520?


      Sekimuntr/Seigmund/

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • sig
      Thank you Frank, I notice that none of these suggestions involve any Gothic leadership, which in a way is surprising, given the fact that this southern outpost
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 12, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Thank you Frank,

        I notice that none of these suggestions involve any Gothic
        leadership,
        which in a way is surprising, given the fact that this southern
        outpost of Frisian territory was surrounded by Franks but, most of
        all, no farther away than Normandy were the Visigoths in their
        kingdom (or was it Svagrius?).

        Anyway, the troops were Danes, agreed, and Beowolf had reason to
        get there with his kin to avenge the killing of Hygelac (and took
        a brave swim home with a backpack of some dozen chainmail if I
        remember this right..) so I understand why this Gaetic leadership
        seems far flung to interprete as Gothic.

        I brought this up after having found an Internet page questioning
        any Scandinavian ties whatsoever with Beowulf. One thing was
        interesting; The same people found support for this from their
        failure to find any Scandinavian name like Beowulf. However, it
        didn't take me long to find the name Baulf on a rune stone
        inscription. Ba- does sound very like Beo- and -ulf is -wulf
        undoubtedly (compare Ulfila--Wulfila e. g.).

        I'd love to have anything more on this, i. e. your other
        "possibility.."

        Best,

        Sig

        Frank Kermes wrote:
        >
        > Hey,
        >
        > Ah, a subject I know well. First, who was Hygelac?
        >
        > In Beowulf, he's the Geatish king. The Geatas in Beowulf seem quite clearly
        > associated with Scandinavia. Their wars with the Swedish Scylfing dynasty
        > are mentioned regularly.
        >
        > Also, their name is mentioned in conjunction with "Weder," either as a
        > compound or as another name, ie. "Weder-Geatas," or "Wederas." Many
        > translations (Crossley-Holland, Raffel,) gloss this as an epithet- the
        > "Weather Geats," the "Storm-Loving Geats." Chickering, however, leaves it
        > as it is, and Chambers I think (a century ago!) suggested that this was the
        > lake in South Sweden, the Wetter.
        >
        > The Scylfingas, the Geats' Swedish opponents, correspond roughly to the
        > Ynglingas in the later "Ynglingasaga," "Hrolfssaga Kraka," and _Gesta
        > Danorum_. Eadgils corresponds to Adhisl, Onela to Ali, etc. All of these
        > kings are linked to Uppsala in these sources.
        >
        > Gregory of Tours calls Hygelac a Dane. That has been explained as a generic
        > term for all Scandinavians. Now, that is true, in Anglo-Saxon sources
        > nearly a half-millenium later, but I have been unable to find any uses
        > contemporary to Gregory. The Frankish sources of the same period as the AS
        > use the term "Normanni," the Northmen.
        >
        > I'll post more later, if there's interest--to explain another possibility
        > for Greg's usage...
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Frank
        > _________________________________________________________________
        > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
        >
        > You are a member of the Gothic-L list. To unsubscribe, send a blank email to <gothic-l-unsubscribe@egroups.com>.
        > Homepage: http://www.stormloader.com/carver/gothicl/index.html

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • sunburst
        Hails! ... Also it might be noted that Hrothgar s nephew Hrothwulf (Hrolf Krake) has been identified as King Roduulf of the Heruli. The reference, is, I
        Message 3 of 22 , Jan 12, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          Hails!

          > I notice that none of these suggestions involve any Gothic
          >leadership,
          >which in a way is surprising, given the fact that this southern
          >outpost of Frisian territory was surrounded by Franks but, most of
          >all, no farther away than Normandy were the Visigoths in their
          >kingdom (or was it Svagrius?).


          Also it might be noted that Hrothgar's nephew Hrothwulf (Hrolf Krake) has
          been identified as King Roduulf of the Heruli. The reference, is, I
          believe, to be found in the Troels Brandt's article "Hypothesis of the
          Heruls." If this is true, what does that say about the origin of the
          Scyldings? If the line of descent could be considered accurate, (which may
          be doubtful), that might place the origin of Scyld Scefing in the Tanais
          region. Could the story of Beowulf be of east Germanic origin? All of the
          main east Germanic heroes are at least mentioned in Beowulf. If so, it
          could have been brought to Scandinavia in the remigration of the Heruls.

          Albareiks
        • Frank Kermes
          Hey, Ah, a subject I know well. First, who was Hygelac? In Beowulf, he s the Geatish king. The Geatas in Beowulf seem quite clearly associated with
          Message 4 of 22 , Jan 12, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            Hey,

            Ah, a subject I know well. First, who was Hygelac?

            In Beowulf, he's the Geatish king. The Geatas in Beowulf seem quite clearly
            associated with Scandinavia. Their wars with the Swedish Scylfing dynasty
            are mentioned regularly.

            Also, their name is mentioned in conjunction with "Weder," either as a
            compound or as another name, ie. "Weder-Geatas," or "Wederas." Many
            translations (Crossley-Holland, Raffel,) gloss this as an epithet- the
            "Weather Geats," the "Storm-Loving Geats." Chickering, however, leaves it
            as it is, and Chambers I think (a century ago!) suggested that this was the
            lake in South Sweden, the Wetter.

            The Scylfingas, the Geats' Swedish opponents, correspond roughly to the
            Ynglingas in the later "Ynglingasaga," "Hrolfssaga Kraka," and _Gesta
            Danorum_. Eadgils corresponds to Adhisl, Onela to Ali, etc. All of these
            kings are linked to Uppsala in these sources.

            Gregory of Tours calls Hygelac a Dane. That has been explained as a generic
            term for all Scandinavians. Now, that is true, in Anglo-Saxon sources
            nearly a half-millenium later, but I have been unable to find any uses
            contemporary to Gregory. The Frankish sources of the same period as the AS
            use the term "Normanni," the Northmen.

            I'll post more later, if there's interest--to explain another possibility
            for Greg's usage...

            Cheers,
            Frank
            _________________________________________________________________
            Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
          • Bertil Häggman
            Albareiks, The Goths appear in _Beowulf_ perhaps as Hredh-menn (line 445). So there is a case of Goths appearing in the poem. Am not a Beowulf expert but I
            Message 5 of 22 , Jan 13, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              Albareiks,

              The Goths appear in _Beowulf_ perhaps as
              Hredh-menn (line 445). So there is a case
              of Goths appearing in the poem.

              Am not a Beowulf expert but I have never seen a
              suggestion that it was based on an East Germanic
              theme.

              Gothically

              Bertil

              > Also it might be noted that Hrothgar's nephew Hrothwulf (Hrolf Krake) has
              > been identified as King Roduulf of the Heruli. The reference, is, I
              > believe, to be found in the Troels Brandt's article "Hypothesis of the
              > Heruls." If this is true, what does that say about the origin of the
              > Scyldings? If the line of descent could be considered accurate, (which may
              > be doubtful), that might place the origin of Scyld Scefing in the Tanais
              > region. Could the story of Beowulf be of east Germanic origin? All of the
              > main east Germanic heroes are at least mentioned in Beowulf. If so, it
              > could have been brought to Scandinavia in the remigration of the Heruls.
            • Tore Gannholm
              Hi! Weder is a ram. the one year old sheep male. Professor Sune Lindqvist has analyzed this in Beowulf Dissectus 1958. The ram is the national symbol of
              Message 6 of 22 , Jan 13, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi!

                Weder is a ram. the one year old sheep male.
                Professor Sune Lindqvist has analyzed this in "Beowulf Dissectus" 1958.
                The ram is the national symbol of Gotland. Already in the 13th century it
                was the official seal of the Gotlandic republic.
                you can see it on http://gotland.luma.com

                Regards Tore Gannholm


                >Hey,
                >
                >Ah, a subject I know well. First, who was Hygelac?
                >
                >In Beowulf, he's the Geatish king. The Geatas in Beowulf seem quite clearly
                >associated with Scandinavia. Their wars with the Swedish Scylfing dynasty
                >are mentioned regularly.
                >
                >Also, their name is mentioned in conjunction with "Weder," either as a
                >compound or as another name, ie. "Weder-Geatas," or "Wederas." Many
                >translations (Crossley-Holland, Raffel,) gloss this as an epithet- the
                >"Weather Geats," the "Storm-Loving Geats." Chickering, however, leaves it
                >as it is, and Chambers I think (a century ago!) suggested that this was the
                >lake in South Sweden, the Wetter.
                >
                >The Scylfingas, the Geats' Swedish opponents, correspond roughly to the
                >Ynglingas in the later "Ynglingasaga," "Hrolfssaga Kraka," and _Gesta
                >Danorum_. Eadgils corresponds to Adhisl, Onela to Ali, etc. All of these
                >kings are linked to Uppsala in these sources.
                >
                >Gregory of Tours calls Hygelac a Dane. That has been explained as a generic
                >term for all Scandinavians. Now, that is true, in Anglo-Saxon sources
                >nearly a half-millenium later, but I have been unable to find any uses
                >contemporary to Gregory. The Frankish sources of the same period as the AS
                >use the term "Normanni," the Northmen.
                >
                >I'll post more later, if there's interest--to explain another possibility
                >for Greg's usage...
                >
                >Cheers,
                >Frank
                >_________________________________________________________________
                >Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
                >
                >
                >You are a member of the Gothic-L list. To unsubscribe, send a blank email
                >to <gothic-l-unsubscribe@egroups.com>.
                >Homepage: http://www.stormloader.com/carver/gothicl/index.html
              • keth@online.no
                ... In Norway we have Berulf which is quite common. Also Bergulfr , Bjorgulfr (Thulur). Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Bjolfr (Bjúfr,
                Message 7 of 22 , Jan 13, 2001
                • 0 Attachment
                  > I brought this up after having found an Internet page questioning
                  >any Scandinavian ties whatsoever with Beowulf. One thing was
                  >interesting; The same people found support for this from their
                  >failure to find any Scandinavian name like Beowulf.

                  In Norway we have "Berulf" which is quite common.
                  Also "Bergulfr", "Bjorgulfr" (Thulur).
                  Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
                  "Bjolfr" (Bjúfr, Bjúgr, Bjúg)
                  (The various forms are quoted from the ON dictionary)


                  >However, it
                  >didn't take me long to find the name Baulf on a rune stone
                  >inscription. Ba- does sound very like Beo- and -ulf is -wulf
                  >undoubtedly (compare Ulfila--Wulfila e. g.).

                  >>
                  >> Also, their name is mentioned in conjunction with "Weder," either as a
                  >> compound or as another name, ie. "Weder-Geatas," or "Wederas." Many
                  >> translations (Crossley-Holland, Raffel,) gloss this as an epithet- the
                  >> "Weather Geats," the "Storm-Loving Geats." Chickering, however, leaves it
                  >> as it is, and Chambers I think (a century ago!) suggested that this was the
                  >> lake in South Sweden, the Wetter.

                  I think it is spelled Vätteren.

                  >>
                  >> The Scylfingas, the Geats' Swedish opponents, correspond roughly to the
                  >> Ynglingas in the later "Ynglingasaga," "Hrolfssaga Kraka," and _Gesta
                  >> Danorum_. Eadgils corresponds to Adhisl, Onela to Ali, etc. All of these
                  >> kings are linked to Uppsala in these sources.

                  And Atle = Adils = Attila, who is however not a Hun,
                  but a king from northern Germany (Doest). See the WILKINA SAGA,
                  which should always be taken into account as supplement to
                  the Icelandic sources, because the WILKINA SAGA is based upon
                  sources from Northern Germany and came to Norway/Sweden, where it was
                  written down, via Denmark.


                  >> Gregory of Tours calls Hygelac a Dane. That has been explained as a generic
                  >> term for all Scandinavians. Now, that is true, in Anglo-Saxon sources
                  >> nearly a half-millenium later, but I have been unable to find any uses
                  >> contemporary to Gregory. The Frankish sources of the same period as the AS
                  >> use the term "Normanni," the Northmen.

                  Old Norse: Hugleikr,

                  today: HUGLEIK
                • Troels Brandt
                  I am not able to participate in this discussion now as I am leaving for a week, but I need to comment Albareik s quotation of my homepage
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jan 13, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I am not able to participate in this discussion now as I am leaving
                    for a week, but I need to comment Albareik's quotation of my
                    homepage http://www.geocities.com/troels_brandt/heruls.html
                    which could be misunderstood.

                    --- In gothic-l@egroups.com, "sunburst" <sunburst@j...> wrote:
                    ...
                    > Also it might be noted that Hrothgar's nephew Hrothwulf (Hrolf
                    Krake) has
                    > been identified as King Roduulf of the Heruli. The reference, is, I
                    > believe, to be found in the Troels Brandt's article "Hypothesis of
                    the
                    > Heruls." If this is true, what does that say about the origin of
                    the
                    > Scyldings? If the line of descent could be considered accurate,
                    (which may
                    > be doubtful), that might place the origin of Scyld Scefing in the
                    Tanais
                    > region. Could the story of Beowulf be of east Germanic origin?
                    All of the
                    > main east Germanic heroes are at least mentioned in Beowulf. If
                    so, it
                    > could have been brought to Scandinavia in the remigration of the
                    Heruls.

                    Actually the first sentence is only a reference to Niels Lukman, who
                    claimed the Danish king Rolf Krake never existed. He claimed the
                    legends of Rolf Krake to be copies of the legends of the Herulian
                    king Roduulf living in Pannonia around 500 AD. This is not my opinion
                    if you read my homepage "The Heruls" – although a few
                    legends
                    following the Heruls of Procopios might be mixed up by later
                    chroniclers. Rolf was very early mentioned in Widsith as a Danish
                    king together with his uncle Hrodgar (Roar), and the "Style
                    II" and the boar crests of helmets found in boat graves both in
                    the
                    Uppsala-region of Sweden and Mercia/East Anglia indicate together
                    with the Beowulf poem a connection between this English region and
                    Scandinavia in the 6th and 7th century – maybe because of kinship
                    between the dynasties.

                    I regard the poem of Beowulf to be independent fragments of
                    Scandinavian history and certain events from the Channel Region
                    framing the fairytale of the hero Beowulf. He is not mentioned
                    anywhere else and the only role of this mythical hero is to kill
                    dragoons. Does this connecting link sound historical?

                    Chochillaicus was obviously a historical person who got his history
                    incorporated in Beowulf as Hugleik, but this does not necessarily
                    mean he is connected to the other historical persons in the poem. In
                    poems like Widsith the key figure is also meeting historical persons
                    never connected at all and living in different times.

                    Please notice that the necklace of Hugleik (probably a symbol of
                    royalty) in Beowolf was connected to the Ostrogothic king Ermanaric
                    living in the Black Sea region in the 4th century, where he defeated
                    the Herulian king Alaric.

                    Chocillaicus might as example be a Western Herul, a Visigothic
                    chieftain migrating after the defeat in Southern France in 507 or a
                    chieftain from one of the "Danish" tribes joining the invasion of
                    England - and we do not know if he lived in England, Frisia or
                    Denmark. Often later chroniclers had difficulties separating the
                    origin of the attacking Germanic people of Northern Europe.

                    Could the name Beowulf - the mythical hero - be a combination of bear
                    and wulf?

                    My "Hypotheses of the Heruls" - including the line from Pannonia to
                    Scandinavia - is not dependent of connections between England and
                    Scandinavia.

                    Troels Brandt
                  • sig
                    Here is the site that inspired me to start this thread on Beowulf: http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/plus/beowulf.html From the Introduction: Beowulf the inventable
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jan 13, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Here is the site that inspired me to start this thread on Beowulf:

                      http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/plus/beowulf.html

                      From the Introduction:
                      Beowulf the inventable
                      ====================================================
                      The matter of this webscreed is simple enough: to introduce (or
                      forward) the
                      notion that the Beowulf-hero, the central character in the Old
                      English epic, is
                      fictional than historical, and the Beowulf-poem a composite of
                      narrative
                      invention, making only light use of pre-existing legendary
                      detail or written
                      sources.
                      ====================================================
                      It prints out on 19 pages. If someone wants it I'll be glad to
                      send the file
                      as an atachement to your private mail adress.

                      Sig

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • M. Carver
                      Maybe someone could come up with Gothic versions of all the names in Beowulf? Matþaius
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jan 14, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Maybe someone could come up with Gothic versions of all the names in
                        Beowulf?

                        Matþaius

                        on 1/14/01 3:26 PM, Philip Rusche at ruschep@... wrote:

                        > The name Beowulf is "Bee-wolf", usually taken to mean a bear, since bears
                        > like honey and are thus around bees.
                        >
                        > Philip Rusche
                        >
                        >>
                        >> Could the name Beowulf - the mythical hero - be a combination of bear
                        >> and wulf?
                        >>
                        >> Troels Brandt
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > You are a member of the Gothic-L list. To unsubscribe, send a blank email to
                        > <gothic-l-unsubscribe@egroups.com>.
                        > Homepage: http://www.stormloader.com/carver/gothicl/index.html
                        >
                        >
                      • Philip Rusche
                        The name Beowulf is Bee-wolf , usually taken to mean a bear, since bears like honey and are thus around bees. Philip Rusche
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jan 14, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          The name Beowulf is "Bee-wolf", usually taken to mean a bear, since bears
                          like honey and are thus around bees.

                          Philip Rusche

                          >
                          >Could the name Beowulf - the mythical hero - be a combination of bear
                          >and wulf?
                          >
                          >Troels Brandt
                        • andreas.schwarcz@univie.ac.at
                          ... Sorry to disappoint you, but Normandy never was part of the Visigothic kingdom. Nominally it may have been part of the realm of Syagrius (a Roman,
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jan 14, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On 13 Jan 2001, at 2:19, sig wrote:

                            > Thank you Frank,
                            >
                            > I notice that none of these suggestions involve any Gothic
                            > leadership,
                            > which in a way is surprising, given the fact that this southern
                            > outpost of Frisian territory was surrounded by Franks but, most of
                            > all, no farther away than Normandy were the Visigoths in their
                            > kingdom (or was it Svagrius?).
                            >
                            Sorry to disappoint you, but Normandy never was part of the
                            Visigothic kingdom. Nominally it may have been part of the realm of
                            Syagrius (a Roman, therefore not Svagrius), afterwards under the
                            suzerainty of Clovis.
                            Regards
                            Andreas Schwarcz
                            ao.Univ.Prof.Dr.Andreas Schwarcz
                            Institut fuer oesterreichische Geschichtsforschung
                            Universitaet Wien
                            Dr.Karl-Lueger-Ring 1
                            A 1010 Wien
                            Oesterreich
                            tel.0043/1/42-77/272-16
                            fax 0043/1/42-77/92-72
                            email andreas.schwarcz@...
                          • jdm314@aol.com
                            In a message dated 1/14/01 10:02:25 PM, you wrote: A couple of them
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jan 14, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              In a message dated 1/14/01 10:02:25 PM, you wrote:

                              <<Maybe someone could come up with Gothic versions of all the names in

                              Beowulf?


                              Mat aius>>


                              A couple of them were done by David Salo back in his Gothic lessons.
                            • sig
                              Re Beowulf, The super-sceptics at http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/plus/beowulf.html make big noice about this name as being invented without cognates in the
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jan 15, 2001
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Re Beowulf,

                                The super-sceptics at
                                http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/plus/beowulf.html
                                make big noice about this name as being invented without cognates
                                in the Scandinavian sphere.

                                However, in the runic database I found this name on a rune stone:
                                Baulf.
                                As for the Ba- part, it's shredding as much (or meagre) light on
                                its meaning as Beo- but very unlikely bee- (Swe. 'bi', as
                                suggested by Phil).

                                As for the -ulf part there is no reason to seek any other meaning
                                than -wulf/wolf (the ortographic problem is the same as that for
                                Wulfila vs Ulfila).

                                Keth has already given several Norwegian name cognates:
                                > In Norway we have "Berulf" which is quite common.
                                > Also "Bergulfr", "Bjorgulfr" (Thulur).
                                > Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
                                > "Bjolfr" (Bjúfr, Bjúgr, Bjúg)
                                > (The various forms are quoted from the ON dictionary)


                                Respectfully,

                                Seigmund


                                Philip Rusche wrote:
                                >
                                > The name Beowulf is "Bee-wolf", usually taken to mean a bear, since bears
                                > like honey and are thus around bees.
                                >
                                > Philip Rusche
                                >
                                > >
                                > >Could the name Beowulf - the mythical hero - be a combination of bear
                                > >and wulf?
                                > >
                                > >Troels Brandt
                                >
                                > You are a member of the Gothic-L list. To unsubscribe, send a blank email to <gothic-l-unsubscribe@egroups.com>.
                                > Homepage: http://www.stormloader.com/carver/gothicl/index.html

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Frank Kermes
                                ... Mainly because Gregory (that _is_ who I meant by Greg, BTW ;)--I get silly sometimes when all I do is read!) said Hygelac (Chocillaicus) was a _Dane_, and
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jan 15, 2001
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  > > I notice that none of these suggestions involve any Gothic
                                  > > leadership,
                                  > > which in a way is surprising, given the fact that this southern
                                  > > outpost of Frisian territory was surrounded by Franks but, most of
                                  > > all, no farther away than Normandy were the Visigoths in their
                                  > > kingdom (or was it Svagrius?).

                                  Mainly because Gregory (that _is_ who I meant by Greg, BTW ;)--I get silly
                                  sometimes when all I do is read!) said Hygelac (Chocillaicus) was a _Dane_,
                                  and Gregory clearly knew who the Visigoths and Ostrogoths were, having used
                                  those names throughout his history.

                                  The other possibilities for his usage were, I think, already touched upon
                                  when Matt mentioned Toefler and Hrothulf = Hrolf Kraki, and Troels I think,
                                  too.

                                  Niels Lukman was the first scholar I read (though not the first to write, I
                                  don't think) who related the Scyldingas of Beowulf to the Heruls basically
                                  in the territory of Dacia--Dacians becoming confused with Danes, and
                                  resulting in the "importation" of these Heruli into Danish legend.

                                  So could it have been at all possible that Chocillaicus and his "Danes" were
                                  re-migrating Heruli? I hesitate to strongly endorse that opinion, as weak
                                  as it is, but <shrug.>

                                  Although: Wulfgar, Hrothgar's coastguard is refered to as "Wendla leod" in
                                  line 348, which could be "prince of the Vendels" (Scandinavian/N Germanic)
                                  or "Vandals," E. Germanic, Hrothgar mentions _somewhere_ that he hired
                                  Gepidic mercenaries, though I can't remember where.

                                  Basically, I think (as has already been mentioned) that Beowulf is a
                                  collection of various threads of oral tradition--Roduulf the Heruli
                                  cheiftain killed by Langobards is one thread that was adopted into Danish
                                  legend, and Hygelac may have been another thread, with little connection to
                                  the historical Dane of Gregory of Tours, much like the Dietrich von Bern's
                                  connections with the history Theoderic--and Hygelac's necklace of the
                                  Brosings was stolen from Eormenric by Hama, possibly _not_ the Ermanareiks
                                  of history, but (already) the legendary Ermenerich and Heime of the Dietrich
                                  cycle.

                                  To matters Gothic, someone mentioned Eadgils as equivalent to an Attila;
                                  (and I _know_ that it's not necessarily the Hun!) Attila is a Gothic
                                  diminuitive, with corresponding ON Atli and MHG Etzel; but while Eadgils
                                  corresponds phonologicaly (kind of), it's still a duotheme, Ead-, plus
                                  -gils, which in other Germanic languages (cf. Frankish names) is -gisl. And
                                  Eadgils corresponds to the Yngling Adhisl at the same time the language
                                  contain "Atli." It's not inconceivable that the language have two
                                  corresponding forms of the same name, but the fact that Eadgils has a
                                  semantic meaning (significant or not) persuades me otherwise.

                                  Same problem I have with Lukman's idea that Healfdene/Halfdan = the Hun
                                  Uldin.

                                  Cheers (and sorry that it was only tangetially Gothic)
                                  Frank
                                  _________________________________________________________________
                                  Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
                                • trbrandt@post9.tele.dk
                                  I am sorry I am a little late to take up this thread again. Just before leaving two weeks ago I sent a mail, where I referred to Ermaneric in the discussion
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jan 27, 2001
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    I am sorry I am a little late to take up this thread again. Just
                                    before leaving two weeks ago I sent a mail, where I referred to
                                    Ermaneric in the discussion about the Geats. As I have not seen any
                                    reactions I will try to explain a little more.

                                    In Beowulf we can read:

                                    "......
                                    Ne'er heard I so mighty, 'neath heaven's dome,
                                    a hoard-gem of heroes, since Hama bore
                                    to his bright-built burg the Brisings' necklace,
                                    jewel and gem casket. -- Jealousy fled he,
                                    Eormenric's hate: chose help eternal.
                                    Hygelac Geat, grandson of Swerting,
                                    on the last of his raids this ring bore with him,
                                    under his banner the booty defending,
                                    the war-spoil warding; but Wyrd o'erwhelmed him
                                    what time, in his daring, dangers he sought,
                                    feud with Frisians. Fairest of gems
                                    he bore with him over the beaker-of-waves,
                                    sovran strong: under shield he died.
                                    Fell the corpse of the king into keeping of Franks,
                                    gear of the breast, and that gorgeous ring;
                                    weaker warriors won the spoil,
                                    after gripe of battle, from Geatland's lord,
                                    and held the death-field.
                                    ......"
                                    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgibin/browse-mixed?
                                    id=AnoBeow&tag=public&images=images/modeng&data=/lv1/Archive/eng-
                                    parsed

                                    Why did the author connect the Geatic king Hugleik dying in Frisia
                                    around 520 AD with the Ostrogothic king Ermaneric dying in the Black
                                    Sea region around 375 AD - and the mythical Hama? Why should we care
                                    about Ermaneric and Brisings' necklace unless they represent the
                                    background of our hero?

                                    Once this necklace - Brisingamen/The sun - was probably told to
                                    belong to Freja, but in the Christian version this cannot be the
                                    reason. Even to day elected mayors and chairmen of clubs sometimes
                                    wear a golden chain as a symbol of power. The royal crown was without
                                    doubt earlier a ring around the neck (or sometimes a helmet?).
                                    Ingemar Norgren has written an article about the ring as an important
                                    Germanic symbol of oath and power. The above mentioned necklace in
                                    Beowulf was probably the "crown" of the people of Hugleik -
                                    the
                                    unknown Geats.

                                    If so the authors idea behind the Geats could be that they had been
                                    in contact with Ermaneric near the Black Sea region.

                                    In a report from the camp of Attila all the followers of the Huns
                                    were called Goths by Priscus, and in cronicles from that time (a.o.
                                    Jordanes) Goths in the Dacian region were sometimes confused with the
                                    Getes, who were an earlier Tracian tribe like the Dacians.

                                    The episode of Hugleik took place 50 years after the army of Attila
                                    was disbanded. At this time Gregory of Tours called the people of
                                    Hugleik Dani and Liber Monstrorum called them Getorum.

                                    Around 1000 AD Dudo wrote: "... the Getae, also known as Goths,
                                    Sarmatians and Amacsobii, Tragoditae and Alans ...".
                                    (http://orb.rhodes.edu/ORB_done/Dudo/chapter02.html ). These people
                                    seem to be followers of the Huns together with Rugians, Heruls and
                                    Gepides. He also told about Danes being Dacians from Dacia, where
                                    both Attila, the Goths and the Getes settled.

                                    Dudo wrote his "Gesta Normannorum" at the same time as our
                                    version of Beowulf was written down. Are the names in our version of
                                    Beowulf based on the same information as Dudo? Were the Geats of
                                    Hugleik a Gothic tribe or one of the tribes Ermaneric subdued?

                                    Are our problems with the Geats/Getes/Getae/Getorum all results of
                                    the same old and wellknown mistake?

                                    This makes the Geats a tribe with Eastgermanic connections settled
                                    around the Bay of Helgoland from Jutland to the Rhine or in England.
                                    Therefore they could tell about Beowulf swimming home. However we
                                    should not expect a tribe from this area to fight against the Swedes
                                    around Uppsala as well as we should not expect a tribe from Western
                                    Sweden attacking the Francs as early as around 500. Therefore the
                                    narrator of Beowulf must also have mixed up stories about Hugleik and
                                    the Geats with Scandinavian stories about the Swedish Goetes.

                                    Just an idea! It includes of course many misunderstandings and many
                                    unreliable historians - but this has always been the problem with the
                                    dragonkiller Beowulf.

                                    Troels Brandt
                                  • andreas.schwarcz@univie.ac.at
                                    ... Hello Troels Brandt, I like your conclusions and I think you are right. We must not forget that a heroic poem is not historiography and that it may use
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jan 28, 2001
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      On 28 Jan 2001, at 0:56, trbrandt@... wrote:

                                      > Why did the author connect the Geatic king Hugleik dying in Frisia
                                      > around 520 AD with the Ostrogothic king Ermaneric dying in the Black
                                      > Sea region around 375 AD - and the mythical Hama? Why should we care
                                      > about Ermaneric and Brisings' necklace unless they represent the
                                      > background of our hero?

                                      > Are our problems with the Geats/Getes/Getae/Getorum all results of
                                      > the same old and wellknown mistake?
                                      >
                                      > This makes the Geats a tribe with Eastgermanic connections settled
                                      > around the Bay of Helgoland from Jutland to the Rhine or in England.
                                      > Therefore they could tell about Beowulf swimming home. However we
                                      > should not expect a tribe from this area to fight against the Swedes
                                      > around Uppsala as well as we should not expect a tribe from Western
                                      > Sweden attacking the Francs as early as around 500. Therefore the
                                      > narrator of Beowulf must also have mixed up stories about Hugleik and
                                      > the Geats with Scandinavian stories about the Swedish Goetes.
                                      >
                                      > Just an idea! It includes of course many misunderstandings and many
                                      > unreliable historians - but this has always been the problem with the
                                      > dragonkiller Beowulf.
                                      >
                                      > Troels Brandt

                                      Hello Troels Brandt,
                                      I like your conclusions and I think you are right. We must not forget
                                      that a heroic poem is not historiography and that it may use
                                      teleological means and shortenings for its story. It may take peoples
                                      and persons from the fourth century and make them close relatives
                                      of persons in the fifth. It tells us something about tradition, but
                                      nothing about actual genealogy or family relations.
                                      Regards
                                      Andreas Schwarcz
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > You are a member of the Gothic-L list. To unsubscribe, send a blank email to <gothic-l-unsubscribe@egroups.com>.
                                      > Homepage: http://www.stormloader.com/carver/gothicl/index.html
                                      >


                                      ao.Univ.Prof.Dr.Andreas Schwarcz
                                      Institut fuer oesterreichische Geschichtsforschung
                                      Universitaet Wien
                                      Dr.Karl-Lueger-Ring 1
                                      A 1010 Wien
                                      Oesterreich
                                      tel.0043/1/42-77/272-16
                                      fax 0043/1/42-77/92-72
                                      email andreas.schwarcz@...
                                    • Tim O'Neill
                                      I m coming to this a little late, so forgive me if I m asking questions which have already been answered. trbrandt@post9.tele.dk wrote: [The Ermanaric/Hama
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jan 28, 2001
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        I'm coming to this a little late, so forgive me if I'm
                                        asking questions which have already been answered.

                                        trbrandt@... wrote:

                                        [The Ermanaric/Hama episode passage snipped]

                                        > Why did the author connect the Geatic king Hugleik dying in Frisia
                                        > around 520 AD with the Ostrogothic king Ermaneric dying in the Black
                                        > Sea region around 375 AD - and the mythical Hama? Why should we care
                                        > about Ermaneric and Brisings' necklace unless they represent the
                                        > background of our hero?

                                        I'm very puzzled by this. It's a common technique in OE
                                        poetry to emphasise the significance of a point or deed
                                        by drawing a parallel between it and a similar element in
                                        an older story. We see this in several places in Beowulf,
                                        such as where his feats against Grendel and his Mother
                                        are compared to the dragon fight of Sigemund.

                                        In this passage the narrator makes it clear that he's
                                        making such a 'renown comparison' when he says:

                                        'Ne'er heard I so mighty, 'neath heaven's dome,
                                        a hoard-gem of heroes, since Hama bore
                                        to his bright-built burg the Brisings' necklace,
                                        jewel and gem casket.'

                                        He's comparing Hygelac's hoard with the legendary
                                        story of the theft of Ermanaric's treasure by the
                                        adventurer Hama, and drawing on the associations and
                                        resonances that story has by evoking the tale and
                                        giving a exposition on its main points.

                                        There's no indication that this story represents 'the
                                        background of our hero' - it's a reference to and
                                        evocation of a story which was common knowledge throughout
                                        the Germanic world. The Beowulf poet's English audience
                                        would have been familiar with the Ermanaric/Hama story
                                        already.

                                        > Once this necklace - Brisingamen/The sun - was probably told to
                                        > belong to Freja, but in the Christian version this cannot be the
                                        > reason.

                                        The 'Brosinga mene' of Beowulf and the 'Brisinga men' of
                                        ON myth seem to be related in some way, though there's no
                                        indication that the OE version of the story paralleled the
                                        later, mythological version we find in the ON corpus.

                                        > Even to day elected mayors and chairmen of clubs sometimes
                                        > wear a golden chain as a symbol of power. The royal crown was without
                                        > doubt earlier a ring around the neck (or sometimes a helmet?).
                                        > Ingemar Norgren has written an article about the ring as an important
                                        > Germanic symbol of oath and power.

                                        All quite true.

                                        > The above mentioned necklace in
                                        > Beowulf was probably the "crown" of the people of Hugleik -
                                        > the unknown Geats.

                                        Sorry, I can't see your reasoning behind this. The poet
                                        tells us of a great treasure and then compares it to
                                        another great treasure of legend - the treasure stolen
                                        by Hama from Ermanaric which included the 'Brosinga mene'.
                                        He is clearly referring obliquely to another legend of
                                        treasure from long ago - he doesn't imply any connection
                                        between Hygelac and the Geats and Ermanaric or Ermanaric's
                                        treasure. To interpret the passage this way is a bit like
                                        taking a WWII journalist's figurative comment that
                                        Winston Churchill was 'the greatest British leader since
                                        King Arthur' as being historical evidence Churchill was
                                        keeper of the Holy Grail.

                                        In other words, you seem to be overinterpreting a literary
                                        device. Beowulf is *literature* and should not be read
                                        too closely as *history*.

                                        I also don't understand what you mean by 'the unknown
                                        Geats'. We don't know much about them, but they are
                                        referred to, with Hygelac, as a southern Scandinavian
                                        people in a number of sources other than Beowulf.
                                        There's no connection between them and the Goths of
                                        Ermanaric's Ukrainian kingdom that I can see.

                                        > If so the authors idea behind the Geats could be that they had been
                                        > in contact with Ermaneric near the Black Sea region.

                                        ??? But the author doesn't say or imply anything like
                                        that. He makes a literary digression for poetic
                                        effect. The only connection between the Ermanaric
                                        story and that of the Geats is the *poetic*
                                        comparison of the size and richness of the treasures
                                        being discussed. The poet makes no connection between
                                        the Scandinavian Geats and the far off kingdom and
                                        ancient kingdom of Ermanaric.

                                        > In a report from the camp of Attila all the followers of the Huns
                                        > were called Goths by Priscus,

                                        ???
                                        Priscus makes it clear that there were many Goths in
                                        Attila's camp, but that's not the same as saying all
                                        Attila's followers 'were called Goths'.

                                        > and in cronicles from that time (a.o.
                                        > Jordanes) Goths in the Dacian region were sometimes confused with the
                                        > Getes, who were an earlier Tracian tribe like the Dacians.

                                        Which was a common confusion at the time. These Thracian
                                        Getae had nothing to do with the Goths, who in turn had
                                        little to do with the Scandinavian Geats, though the Goths
                                        and Geats may have once shared a common, cultic origin in
                                        Scandinavia many centuries before.

                                        > The episode of Hugleik took place 50 years after the army of Attila
                                        > was disbanded. At this time Gregory of Tours called the people of
                                        > Hugleik Dani and Liber Monstrorum called them Getorum.

                                        The episode recorded by Gregory of Tours and its
                                        parallels elsewhere, including in Beowulf, all make it
                                        clear that Hygelac was a *Scandinavian* king of a
                                        *Scandinavian* people. Are you saying that they were
                                        refugees from Attila's kingdom and came from the
                                        steppes?

                                        In ships? ;>

                                        > Around 1000 AD Dudo wrote: "... the Getae, also known as Goths,
                                        > Sarmatians and Amacsobii, Tragoditae and Alans ...".
                                        > (http://orb.rhodes.edu/ORB_done/Dudo/chapter02.html ). These people
                                        > seem to be followers of the Huns together with Rugians, Heruls and
                                        > Gepides. He also told about Danes being Dacians from Dacia, where
                                        > both Attila, the Goths and the Getes settled.

                                        Such folk etymological confusions are common in writers
                                        of this period, especially when writers tried to account
                                        for 'new' peoples (like the Danes) by having them
                                        descended from 'known' peoples (like the Dacians). This
                                        was done because it was thought the ancient authorities
                                        on ethnography couldn't have simply been ignorant of these
                                        'new' peoples, so they had to be simply offshoots of
                                        peoples 'known' through the ancient sources. Unlikely
                                        etymological connections like 'Danes=Dacians' were thus
                                        invented.

                                        > Dudo wrote his "Gesta Normannorum" at the same time as our
                                        > version of Beowulf was written down. Are the names in our version of
                                        > Beowulf based on the same information as Dudo?

                                        There's every indication that Hygelac, the Geats etc
                                        and the cycle of tales about their wars with the
                                        Swedes had been part of the nother western Germanic
                                        oral literature since the sixth century and had
                                        found its way to England with some of the earliest
                                        Germanic invaders. Everything about these legends
                                        indicate that they have their origins in some obscure
                                        tribal wars in Scandinavia and I can't see any evidence
                                        in the poem or in the extensive scholarly literature
                                        on the subject of the Geat/Swede elements in the poem
                                        that it has anything to do with far off Gothic
                                        kingdoms rather than its clear Scandinavian setting.


                                        > Were the Geats of
                                        > Hugleik a Gothic tribe or one of the tribes Ermaneric subdued?

                                        Given that every piece of information we have about
                                        the Geats indicate that they were a southern
                                        Scandinavian tribe, I don't think so.

                                        > This makes the Geats a tribe with Eastgermanic connections settled
                                        > around the Bay of Helgoland from Jutland to the Rhine or in England.
                                        > Therefore they could tell about Beowulf swimming home. However we
                                        > should not expect a tribe from this area to fight against the Swedes
                                        > around Uppsala as well as we should not expect a tribe from Western
                                        > Sweden attacking the Francs as early as around 500. Therefore the
                                        > narrator of Beowulf must also have mixed up stories about Hugleik and
                                        > the Geats with Scandinavian stories about the Swedish Goetes.

                                        Gregory the Great, the _Gesta Francorum_ and several other
                                        sources, including Beowulf, make it clear the raiders
                                        under Hygelac came from Scandinavia. I can't see anything
                                        in what you've written to make that seem in any way
                                        unlikely and I can't see any reason to think the Geats
                                        had anything to do with the Goths of Ermanaric.

                                        > Just an idea!

                                        Interesting, but Beowulf scholars have been going over
                                        that poem and all of its analogue material for centuries
                                        now. If there was any hint of what you're suggesting I'm
                                        sure someone would have noticed. The fact that the
                                        Ermanaric passage you place so much weight on is not
                                        an historical connection with Hygelac at all but a
                                        literary device seems to me to weaken your case quite
                                        a bit.

                                        But I have come to this thread a little late, so
                                        maybe I missed some other evidence.
                                        Cheers,

                                        Tim O'Neill
                                      • Tore Gannholm
                                        Troels, Perhaps it is not so strange. Theoderik tried to get all possible support from relatives and friends in the Baltic area to help him fight the Franks.
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jan 28, 2001
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Troels,
                                          Perhaps it is not so strange.
                                          Theoderik tried to get all possible support from relatives and friends in
                                          the Baltic area to help him fight the Franks.
                                          If Hugleik leads a Gotlandic-Danish army in Frisia, Gregor of Tours might
                                          see them as Dani.

                                          If we accept that Beowulf is about Gotland and that the Goths emigrated
                                          from Gotland, all this with the Brisinga necklace and Frisland makes sense.
                                          We must not forget the Gotlandic tradition with golden necklaces. The
                                          famous Havor necklace from the first century that was stolen from the
                                          Gotlandic museum (Fornsalen) and still is missing.

                                          A similar golden necklace can be seen on a mosaic with Alexander the Great
                                          called the Alexander Mosiac from Pompeij or Herculaneum. It is now on a
                                          wall in the museum in Naples Italy. It depicts the Perser king Dareus with
                                          the golden necklace as the symbol of power.

                                          Furthermore the latest theories from the University of Uppsala is that the
                                          similar golden necklaces such as the one found at Vittinge in Västergötland
                                          also are made in Gotland. (Fornvännen 1996/1 Sagan om ringarna av Erik
                                          Nylén)
                                          Tore



                                          >
                                          >Why did the author connect the Geatic king Hugleik dying in Frisia
                                          >around 520 AD with the Ostrogothic king Ermaneric dying in the Black
                                          >Sea region around 375 AD - and the mythical Hama? Why should we care
                                          >about Ermaneric and Brisings' necklace unless they represent the
                                          >background of our hero?
                                          >
                                          >Once this necklace - Brisingamen/The sun - was probably told to
                                          >belong to Freja, but in the Christian version this cannot be the
                                          >reason. Even to day elected mayors and chairmen of clubs sometimes
                                          >wear a golden chain as a symbol of power. The royal crown was without
                                          >doubt earlier a ring around the neck (or sometimes a helmet?).
                                          >Ingemar Norgren has written an article about the ring as an important
                                          >Germanic symbol of oath and power. The above mentioned necklace in
                                          >Beowulf was probably the "crown" of the people of Hugleik -
                                          >the
                                          >unknown Geats.
                                          >
                                          >If so the authors idea behind the Geats could be that they had been
                                          >in contact with Ermaneric near the Black Sea region.
                                          >
                                          >In a report from the camp of Attila all the followers of the Huns
                                          >were called Goths by Priscus, and in cronicles from that time (a.o.
                                          >Jordanes) Goths in the Dacian region were sometimes confused with the
                                          >Getes, who were an earlier Tracian tribe like the Dacians.
                                          >
                                          >The episode of Hugleik took place 50 years after the army of Attila
                                          >was disbanded. At this time Gregory of Tours called the people of
                                          >Hugleik Dani and Liber Monstrorum called them Getorum.
                                          >
                                          >Around 1000 AD Dudo wrote: "... the Getae, also known as Goths,
                                          >Sarmatians and Amacsobii, Tragoditae and Alans ...".
                                          >(http://orb.rhodes.edu/ORB_done/Dudo/chapter02.html ). These people
                                          >seem to be followers of the Huns together with Rugians, Heruls and
                                          >Gepides. He also told about Danes being Dacians from Dacia, where
                                          >both Attila, the Goths and the Getes settled.
                                          >
                                          >Dudo wrote his "Gesta Normannorum" at the same time as our
                                          >version of Beowulf was written down. Are the names in our version of
                                          >Beowulf based on the same information as Dudo? Were the Geats of
                                          >Hugleik a Gothic tribe or one of the tribes Ermaneric subdued?
                                          >
                                          >Are our problems with the Geats/Getes/Getae/Getorum all results of
                                          >the same old and wellknown mistake?
                                          >
                                          >This makes the Geats a tribe with Eastgermanic connections settled
                                          >around the Bay of Helgoland from Jutland to the Rhine or in England.
                                          >Therefore they could tell about Beowulf swimming home. However we
                                          >should not expect a tribe from this area to fight against the Swedes
                                          >around Uppsala as well as we should not expect a tribe from Western
                                          >Sweden attacking the Francs as early as around 500. Therefore the
                                          >narrator of Beowulf must also have mixed up stories about Hugleik and
                                          >the Geats with Scandinavian stories about the Swedish Goetes.
                                          >
                                          >Just an idea! It includes of course many misunderstandings and many
                                          >unreliable historians - but this has always been the problem with the
                                          >dragonkiller Beowulf.
                                          >
                                          >Troels Brandt
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >You are a member of the Gothic-L list. To unsubscribe, send a blank email
                                          >to <gothic-l-unsubscribe@egroups.com>.
                                          >Homepage: http://www.stormloader.com/carver/gothicl/index.html
                                        • trbrandt@post9.tele.dk
                                          Tim! You normally seem more sure than I am - but I don t see how we can be sure of anything in Beowulf. ... Yes this is one of the obvious possibilities - but
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jan 28, 2001
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Tim!

                                            You normally seem more sure than I am - but I don't see how we can be
                                            sure of anything in Beowulf.

                                            --- In gothic-l@y..., Tim O'Neill <scatha@b...> wrote:

                                            ......
                                            > He's comparing Hygelac's hoard with the legendary
                                            > story of the theft of Ermanaric's treasure by the
                                            > adventurer Hama, and drawing on the associations and
                                            > resonances that story has by evoking the tale and
                                            > giving a exposition on its main points.

                                            Yes this is one of the obvious possibilities - but I have always
                                            wandered why Ermaneric should have any value as an example in England
                                            and why he was a key figure in Widsith, if there was no connection
                                            between a tribe Ermaneric met in his far off region and one of the
                                            tribes invading England. Apart from his dubious role in Getica he was
                                            not one of the great figures of the history according to the sources
                                            around his own region. Therefore I have looked for another
                                            explanation.

                                            .......
                                            > > The above mentioned necklace in
                                            > > Beowulf was probably the "crown" of the people of Hugleik -
                                            > > the unknown Geats.
                                            >
                                            > Sorry, I can't see your reasoning behind this.
                                            The poet
                                            > tells us of a great treasure ......

                                            Isn't it a little careless to bring the great treasure of your people
                                            with you on a raid - if it is only a treasure? As you agreed in your
                                            mail the necklace is often being a symbol of power. This is an
                                            obvious explanation here.

                                            .....
                                            > In other words, you seem to be overinterpreting a literary
                                            > device. Beowulf is *literature* and should not be read
                                            > too closely as *history*.

                                            I agree. Probably I did not explain myself clearly.

                                            .....
                                            > I also don't understand what you mean by 'the unknown
                                            > Geats'. We don't know much about them, but they are
                                            > referred to, with Hygelac, as a southern Scandinavian
                                            > people in a number of sources other than Beowulf.

                                            You repeat this three times in your mail. Which source except Beowulf
                                            has described the "Geats" and referred them to Scandinavia? If you
                                            believe they were Scandinavians because Chochillaicus was called a
                                            Dane then the Geats were the Danes. This conclusion will give you
                                            some troubles interpreting Beowulf. If you use names similar to
                                            the "Geats" you can find a lot of them.

                                            ......
                                            >
                                            > > In a report from the camp of Attila all the followers of the Huns
                                            > > were called Goths by Priscus,
                                            >
                                            > ???
                                            > Priscus makes it clear that there were many Goths in
                                            > Attila's camp, but that's not the same as saying all
                                            > Attila's followers 'were called Goths'.

                                            Sorry! Here I did not refer my source properly. According to Priscus
                                            there was a Hunnic speaking and a Gothic speaking group (also having
                                            different barbarian tongues). Several followers of the Huns were not
                                            mentioned at all in that period, which in combination with Priscus
                                            indicates they were regarded as one group - probably called Goths.
                                            This may have caused the mistake.

                                            ......
                                            > Which was a common confusion at the time. These Thracian
                                            > Getae had nothing to do with the Goths, who in turn had
                                            > little to do with the Scandinavian Geats, though the Goths
                                            > and Geats may have once shared a common, cultic origin in
                                            > Scandinavia many centuries before.

                                            Exactly. That is my point.

                                            ....
                                            > > The episode of Hugleik took place 50 years after the army of
                                            Attila
                                            > > was disbanded. At this time Gregory of Tours called the people of
                                            > > Hugleik Dani and Liber Monstrorum called them Getorum.
                                            >
                                            > The episode recorded by Gregory of Tours and its
                                            > parallels elsewhere, including in Beowulf, all make it
                                            > clear that Hygelac was a *Scandinavian* king of a
                                            > *Scandinavian* people. Are you saying that they were
                                            > refugees from Attila's kingdom and came from the
                                            > steppes?
                                            >
                                            > In ships? ;>

                                            I did not say they came directly from Attila. Hugleik was killed at
                                            least 60 years after the death of Attila. Actually I suggested
                                            England as one of several possibilities.

                                            >
                                            > > Around 1000 AD Dudo wrote: "... the Getae, also known as Goths,
                                            > > Sarmatians and Amacsobii, Tragoditae and Alans ...".
                                            > > (http://orb.rhodes.edu/ORB_done/Dudo/chapter02.html ). These
                                            people
                                            > > seem to be followers of the Huns together with Rugians, Heruls and
                                            > > Gepides. He also told about Danes being Dacians from Dacia, where
                                            > > both Attila, the Goths and the Getes settled.
                                            >
                                            > Such folk etymological confusions are common in writers
                                            > of this period, especially when writers tried to account
                                            > for 'new' peoples (like the Danes) by having them
                                            > descended from 'known' peoples (like the Dacians). This
                                            > was done because it was thought the ancient authorities
                                            > on ethnography couldn't have simply been ignorant of these
                                            > 'new' peoples, so they had to be simply offshoots of
                                            > peoples 'known' through the ancient sources. Unlikely
                                            > etymological connections like 'Danes=Dacians' were thus
                                            > invented.

                                            I am sure this is a part of the explanation.

                                            .....
                                            > There's every indication that Hygelac, the Geats etc
                                            > and the cycle of tales about their wars with the
                                            > Swedes had been part of the nother western Germanic
                                            > oral literature since the sixth century and had
                                            > found its way to England with some of the earliest
                                            > Germanic invaders. Everything about these legends
                                            > indicate that they have their origins in some obscure
                                            > tribal wars in Scandinavia and I can't see any evidence
                                            > in the poem or in the extensive scholarly literature
                                            > on the subject of the Geat/Swede elements in the poem
                                            > that it has anything to do with far off Gothic
                                            > kingdoms rather than its clear Scandinavian setting.

                                            Yes. As I wrote an English writer might have confused the Goetes (or
                                            Guter) in Sweden with Hugleik the Geat (or Goth?) in Frisia. As you
                                            said: Beowulf is 'literature'.

                                            ....
                                            > > Just an idea!
                                            >
                                            > Interesting, but Beowulf scholars have been going over
                                            > that poem and all of its analogue material for centuries
                                            > now. If there was any hint of what you're suggesting I'm
                                            > sure someone would have noticed.

                                            But I think most scholars agree that a satisfying answer has not been
                                            found yet. I don't claim I have found it, but if all scholars argued
                                            as in your last sentence, it is temptating to claim, that we do not
                                            need scholars reading ancient history.

                                            Troels
                                          • Tim O'Neill
                                            ... I ve studied Beowulf for many years, so i certainly wouldn t disagree with that! But there s a big difference between saying we can t be certain of
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jan 29, 2001
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              trbrandt@... wrote:

                                              > You normally seem more sure than I am - but I don't see how we can be
                                              > sure of anything in Beowulf.

                                              I've studied Beowulf for many years, so i certainly
                                              wouldn't disagree with that! But there's a big difference
                                              between saying we can't be certain of anything in Beowulf
                                              and saying that we can't, therefore, subject any proposed
                                              interpretation to critical scrutiny.

                                              The interpretation you've proposed is a fairly radical
                                              departure from the way this passage is usually interpreted,
                                              so, before we suppose Geats who are Goths from eastern
                                              Europe ending up in north-western Europe, I think it's
                                              best to take some other, less radical, interpretations
                                              into account first.

                                              > --- In gothic-l@y..., Tim O'Neill <scatha@b...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > ......
                                              > > He's comparing Hygelac's hoard with the legendary
                                              > > story of the theft of Ermanaric's treasure by the
                                              > > adventurer Hama, and drawing on the associations and
                                              > > resonances that story has by evoking the tale and
                                              > > giving a exposition on its main points.
                                              >
                                              > Yes this is one of the obvious possibilities - but I have always
                                              > wandered why Ermaneric should have any value as an example in England
                                              > and why he was a key figure in Widsith, if there was no connection
                                              > between a tribe Ermaneric met in his far off region and one of the
                                              > tribes invading England.

                                              Why is Attila ('AEtla') part of the English tradition?
                                              The Anglo-Saxons had no contact with the Huns. And why
                                              is Albion ('Aelfwine') part of the English tradition?
                                              Or Sigmundr ('Sigemund')? Or any of the many and various
                                              heroes and kings of the Germanic oral tradition who had
                                              no contact with the people of England and/or their
                                              original Continental homeland?

                                              The answer is that all these figures became part of a
                                              corpus of story traditions and oral folklore which usually
                                              left the historical personages far behind and took on a
                                              life of their own as these stories were told across the
                                              Germanic world over many centuries. The audience of
                                              Beowulf knew nothing of the historical 'Airmanareiks', but
                                              the literary character of 'Eormenric' was as familiar to
                                              them as King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes or James Bond is
                                              to us - part of a cultural heritage which stretched
                                              well beyond England.

                                              > Apart from his dubious role in Getica he was
                                              > not one of the great figures of the history according to the sources
                                              > around his own region. Therefore I have looked for another
                                              > explanation.

                                              There are nine separate Germanic sources that I can think
                                              of, in various languages ranging over several centuries,
                                              which preserve versions of the legend of Ermanaric/
                                              Eormenric/Jormanrekkr. Clearly he was a major figure
                                              in early Germanic oral legend, beginning with poems
                                              and songs of his own people and then spreading
                                              throughout the Germanic world. Jordanes says that
                                              he was a 'Gothic Alexander' and Ammianus attests
                                              that his fame was known in the Roman Empire as well.

                                              He was far from an obscure figure in the Germanic
                                              tradition - in fact he was one of the most important
                                              and enduring. It is no mystery that he should
                                              be referred to in Beowulf. We have only a handful of
                                              heroic poems and fragments in Old English, yet
                                              Eormenric appears in no less than *three* of them.
                                              Clearly he was a major figure in this Europe-wide
                                              oral tradition.

                                              > > > The above mentioned necklace in
                                              > > > Beowulf was probably the "crown" of the people of Hugleik -
                                              > > > the unknown Geats.
                                              > >
                                              > > Sorry, I can't see your reasoning behind this.
                                              > The poet
                                              > > tells us of a great treasure ......
                                              >
                                              > Isn't it a little careless to bring the great treasure of your people
                                              > with you on a raid - if it is only a treasure? As you agreed in your
                                              > mail the necklace is often being a symbol of power. This is an
                                              > obvious explanation here.

                                              That it had significance as a piece of artistry and portable
                                              wealth and therefore a symbol of Hygelac's lordship and
                                              power is hard to question. It seems a logical leap to
                                              go from this to assuming it was the 'crown' of the Geats.
                                              This conclusion goes far beyond what the evidence says and
                                              it doesn't seem 'obvious' at all. The text says it was
                                              a rich ring won when the Geats were in their ascendancy
                                              (ie when Beowulf aided Hrothgar) and lost as they began to
                                              be eclipsed (when Hygelac falls).

                                              In other words, it's another literary device of a kind the
                                              Beowulf poet often uses.

                                              > > I also don't understand what you mean by 'the unknown
                                              > > Geats'. We don't know much about them, but they are
                                              > > referred to, with Hygelac, as a southern Scandinavian
                                              > > people in a number of sources other than Beowulf.
                                              >
                                              > You repeat this three times in your mail. Which source except Beowulf
                                              > has described the "Geats" and referred them to Scandinavia?

                                              Gregory of Tours, the _Liber Monstrorum_, the _Gesta
                                              Francorum_, Saxo Grammaticus, and the _Heimskringla_ all
                                              mention Hygelac. Three make him a 'Dane', one (Snorri) a
                                              Swede and one (_Monstrorum_) has him as king of the 'Getae'.

                                              All have him coming from Scandinavia, though the author of
                                              the _Monstrorum_ may have confused the Geats with the
                                              classical Dacian 'Getae'. Whether the two Frankish authors
                                              really thought him a 'Dane' or was using this as a
                                              term for any Scandinavian raiders (much as later English
                                              writers used the term for any Vikings) is not clear.

                                              Saxo also says Hygelac ('Hugletus') killed Eanmund of
                                              Sweden ('Homothus'), showing that this element at least
                                              of the Beowulf allusions to the war/feud between the
                                              Swedes and the Geats in southern Scandinavia was known
                                              elsewhere as well.

                                              > If you
                                              > believe they were Scandinavians because Chochillaicus was called a
                                              > Dane then the Geats were the Danes. This conclusion will give you
                                              > some troubles interpreting Beowulf. If you use names similar to
                                              > the "Geats" you can find a lot of them.

                                              I believe Gregory of Tours and other such writers probably
                                              didn't have a very good grasp of which northern raiders
                                              came from where. All of the sources I cite above have
                                              Hygelac as a Scandinavian king. One has him as a king of
                                              'Getae' and another has him fighting and killing rulers
                                              in Sweden. All this squares very well with the Beowulf
                                              poet's depiction of the Geats as southern Scandinavian
                                              neighbours of the Swedes who weren't adverse to raids
                                              across the Baltic into Frisia and Frankia.

                                              > > > In a report from the camp of Attila all the followers of the Huns
                                              > > > were called Goths by Priscus,
                                              > >
                                              > > ???
                                              > > Priscus makes it clear that there were many Goths in
                                              > > Attila's camp, but that's not the same as saying all
                                              > > Attila's followers 'were called Goths'.
                                              >
                                              > Sorry! Here I did not refer my source properly. According to Priscus
                                              > there was a Hunnic speaking and a Gothic speaking group (also having
                                              > different barbarian tongues). Several followers of the Huns were not
                                              > mentioned at all in that period, which in combination with Priscus
                                              > indicates they were regarded as one group - probably called Goths.
                                              > This may have caused the mistake.

                                              Okay, but I'm still having trouble seeing the relevance
                                              of this to Beowulf and the Geats in Scandinavia.

                                              > > Which was a common confusion at the time. These Thracian
                                              > > Getae had nothing to do with the Goths, who in turn had
                                              > > little to do with the Scandinavian Geats, though the Goths
                                              > > and Geats may have once shared a common, cultic origin in
                                              > > Scandinavia many centuries before.
                                              >
                                              > Exactly. That is my point.

                                              The (possible, but far from certain) common cultic
                                              origins of the Goths and Geats? Even if this is
                                              true, and it's far from proven or even provable,
                                              all this means is that, 500-600 years before the
                                              period in which the poem seems to be 'set' and
                                              possibly as much as 1000 years before it was
                                              composed, the ancestors of the people who later
                                              came to be called 'the Goths' belonged to the same
                                              cultic league as the people who later came to be
                                              called 'the Geats'.

                                              This doesn't mean 'Geats' are 'Goths' and that Beowulf
                                              is therefore 'a Goth'.

                                              Have I misunderstood you? Is this really what you
                                              mean when you say 'Beowulf - the Goth'?

                                              > > > The episode of Hugleik took place 50 years after the army of
                                              > Attila
                                              > > > was disbanded. At this time Gregory of Tours called the people of
                                              > > > Hugleik Dani and Liber Monstrorum called them Getorum.
                                              > >
                                              > > The episode recorded by Gregory of Tours and its
                                              > > parallels elsewhere, including in Beowulf, all make it
                                              > > clear that Hygelac was a *Scandinavian* king of a
                                              > > *Scandinavian* people. Are you saying that they were
                                              > > refugees from Attila's kingdom and came from the
                                              > > steppes?
                                              > >
                                              > > In ships? ;>
                                              >
                                              > I did not say they came directly from Attila. Hugleik was killed at
                                              > least 60 years after the death of Attila. Actually I suggested
                                              > England as one of several possibilities.

                                              The poem suggests southern Scandinavia and there's nothing
                                              in the other sources to discourage this idea. Where does
                                              England come into it?

                                              > > There's every indication that Hygelac, the Geats etc
                                              > > and the cycle of tales about their wars with the
                                              > > Swedes had been part of the nother western Germanic
                                              > > oral literature since the sixth century and had
                                              > > found its way to England with some of the earliest
                                              > > Germanic invaders. Everything about these legends
                                              > > indicate that they have their origins in some obscure
                                              > > tribal wars in Scandinavia and I can't see any evidence
                                              > > in the poem or in the extensive scholarly literature
                                              > > on the subject of the Geat/Swede elements in the poem
                                              > > that it has anything to do with far off Gothic
                                              > > kingdoms rather than its clear Scandinavian setting.
                                              >
                                              > Yes. As I wrote an English writer might have confused the Goetes (or
                                              > Guter) in Sweden with Hugleik the Geat (or Goth?) in Frisia. As you
                                              > said: Beowulf is 'literature'.

                                              The English writer seems to have been drawing on a very
                                              well known oral tradition about a tribal war in southern
                                              Scandinavia and the other writers mentioned above seem to
                                              have preserved parts of some garbled versions of the same
                                              tale. What none of them indicate is *any* connection with
                                              the Goths of Ermanaric's kingdom, or any later Goths
                                              descended from them.

                                              The only connection you've made between the Geats of
                                              Beowulf and the Goths proper is via the Eormenric/Hama
                                              passage, which *doesn't* connect Hygelac and the Geats
                                              with the Goths, it simply says the precious ring Hygelac
                                              gained from Hrothgar via Beowulf was as precious as
                                              the one stolen from Eormenric by Hama. If we knew more
                                              of the details of this latter story it's very likely
                                              the literary point the Beowulf-poet is making here would
                                              be clearer, but as it is it seems clear enough - the
                                              poet is drawing a literary parallel between the two
                                              rings.

                                              What he certainly *doesn't* seem to be doing is making
                                              any historical claims about the Geats actually being
                                              Goths.

                                              > > > Just an idea!
                                              > >
                                              > > Interesting, but Beowulf scholars have been going over
                                              > > that poem and all of its analogue material for centuries
                                              > > now. If there was any hint of what you're suggesting I'm
                                              > > sure someone would have noticed.
                                              >
                                              > But I think most scholars agree that a satisfying answer has not been
                                              > found yet.

                                              Mainly because the details of the Eormenric/Hama story are
                                              lost, as I said above. I can't think of any scholar who's
                                              suggested the poet is making some historical claim about the
                                              origins of the Geats in this passage.

                                              > I don't claim I have found it, but if all scholars argued
                                              > as in your last sentence, it is temptating to claim, that we do not
                                              > need scholars reading ancient history.

                                              But the passage in question is literature and doesn't
                                              seem to be anything to do with history. ;>
                                              Cheers,

                                              Tim O'Neill
                                            • trbrandt@post9.tele.dk
                                              Tim! Our common mail was now covering 5 pages, but I do not think we are so far from each other as it looks, so I will try to cut the mail down. You said in
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jan 29, 2001
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Tim!

                                                Our common mail was now covering 5 pages, but I do not think we are
                                                so far from each other as it looks, so I will try to cut the mail
                                                down.

                                                You said in your first letter, that you did not follow this thread
                                                from the beginning. Thats OK, but then I have to correct a mistake: I
                                                did not start up this thread, the "headline" was not mine,
                                                and it was
                                                not my idea, that Beowulf was a Goth - as you suggest. In my opinion
                                                he never existed, but I will not exclude that Hygelac was a Goth, a
                                                Western Herul or anything else.

                                                In my opinion Beowulf was a fanthasy figure in a framework of various
                                                historical fragments not connected at all – just like in Widsith.
                                                Many of these fragments were maybe a result of a connection between
                                                Scandinavia and Mercia/East Anglia in the 6th and 7th centuries, but
                                                not all of them. I believe the figure Hygelac was based on
                                                Chochillaicus, but this does not prove he was a part of the
                                                Scandinavian history.

                                                In my opinion your sources about Hugleik do not add any knowledge or
                                                certainty to my first statement about Scandinavia. Gesta Francorum
                                                contains as far as I remember the same information as Gregory (I do
                                                not have this later source aviable), and I doubt the Francs always
                                                knew, where these attackers came from. The two Scandinavian Hugleik-
                                                names mentioned by Snorre and Saxo were not connected to any raid or
                                                killing in Frisia or France and they were written 700 years later
                                                –
                                                this only tells you, that the name was known in both Germanic areas,
                                                which is not surprising as you are able to find Alaric at the Meotic
                                                Sea, Roduulf in Pannonia, Alaric in Rome and Spain, Hrodulf in Mercia
                                                and Rolf and Alrik in Scandinavia. You still have the problem, that
                                                if Hygelac was a Dane as Gregory and Gesta Francorum wrote, this does
                                                not correspond to Beowulf – making the source useless for your
                                                purpose.

                                                I wrote that Eormanric was not so wellknown in history as Jordanes
                                                wanted, but I agree that he was used in some Germanic legends.
                                                Actually this was the background for my question: Why did they use
                                                this Gothic suicider from the Black Sea region so eagerly in
                                                Northwestern Europe?

                                                Troels
                                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.