Did Grendel live on the island of Møn - some of the mystery in Beowulf solved?

Aug 2011
1,610
Sweden
Errrr, no Starkodder. The story itself doesn't give a precise dating as 'setting'. It is assumed that Snorri's description of the grave mounds is correct. And it is assumed these are precisely dated. This is indeed evidence, at it may well be correct. But that is not certainty.
I'm a bit curious though. Since the tribal name of the 'Geats', may also refer to a deity they believed they were descended from. A obvious source of tribal pride.
It seems the West Saxons originally called themselves 'Gewisse' and this might also be a deity. Meaning "certain, sure or reliable". Appears to be characteristic of Tyr. Perhaps a 'son' of Tyr?

So what of 'Gaut'. Said to be a son of Odin or an alternate name for Odin.

Claiming it means 'to pour'. Perhaps a reference to Odin disgorging the mead of inspiration for the Aesir, after its theft?

Another possibility. Seeing the Yates packets of seeds. The term produced a strong emotional effect in me.
Most scholars place Beowulf in the 6th century anyway. Wulfgar is only mentioned briefly two times in the text. Nothing is said of his life there.
 
Nov 2015
757
Australia
Most scholars place Beowulf in the 6th century anyway. Wulfgar is only mentioned briefly two times in the text. Nothing is said of his life there.
But how magnificent was that mention. Beowulf was unknown and untried. But it was Wulfgar who sees the potential. That man the known warrior of credential. And still a fearsome warrior was Wulfgar, while Hrothgar has grown old. What did Wulfgar see in Beowulf? Something of Wulfgar himself when he was younger. What a talent scout when all and sundry would have disregarded Beowulf?
Yes, maybe few lines. But he looms large indeed and is critical.
So what was it with Wulfgar? Why was he the guardian of that threshold?
"Most Scholars". Well now, when has history been the constant decision of that whore called 'democracy'?
Now if Wulfgar thought "if only I had a simple monster to fight"? And how young the world seemed fresh and new. He smells
the ash of the hearth on the next morning and felt the pungent odor of the charcoal. And he must have thought, "if only If only I could be Beowulf, the fresh and innocent young warrior". As I knew myself once long ago?
But perhaps he had larger concerns and had become weary with them.
 
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Aug 2011
1,610
Sweden
But how magnificent was that mention. Beowulf was unknown and untried. But it was Wulfgar who sees the potential. That man the known warrior of credential. And still a fearsome warrior was Wulfgar, while Hrothgar has grown old. What did Wulfgar see in Beowulf? Something of Wulfgar himself when he was younger. What a talent scout when all and sundry would have disregarded Beowulf?
Yes, maybe few lines. But he looms large indeed and is critical.
So what was it with Wulfgar? Why was he the guardian of that threshold?
"Most Scholars". Well now, when has history been the constant decision of that whore called 'democracy'?
Now if Wulfgar thought "if only I had a simple monster to fight"? And how young the world seemed fresh and new. He smells
the ash of the hearth on the next morning and felt the pungent odor of the charcoal. And he must have thought, "if only If only I could be Beowulf, the fresh and innocent young warrior". As I knew myself once long ago?
But perhaps he had larger concerns and had become weary with them.
Yes the 6th century Mr Higson. You seem to give Wulfgar some qualities which he simply doesn't have in the text.
 
Nov 2015
757
Australia
Yes the 6th century Mr Higson. You seem to give Wulfgar some qualities which he simply doesn't have in the text.
Well we have rough ideas about grave mounds. And more often than not, they turn out to be the wrong ones.
But on the other hand a Germanic Wendel, says earlier than the 6th century.

Wulfgar began to speak --he was the Wendels' leader,
his courage was well-known to many,
war-skill and wisdom--:
He's awesome!

Although Wulfgar has what might be called a bit part, he's pretty awesome. In addition to being a herald and officer for King Hrothgar, he's a chief of his people, the Wendels. His presence at Heorot demonstrates Hrothgar's power. His role in welcoming Beowulf to Heorot marks a key event in the poem.
https://study.com/academy/lesson/wulfgar-in-beowulf.html
 
Aug 2011
1,610
Sweden
A well spent hour today to see the first of three programs in the series "Vikingarnas tid" (The age of the Vikings), in Swedish TV. Guided by the archaeologist and author Jonathan Lindström, together with other experts.

Whole series (only in Swedish except for foreign experts):

https://www.svtplay.se/vikingarnas-tid

Starting off in Rome, to explain the development in Iron age Scandinavian societies. To make it more personal and interesting, also with investigations of special skeletons.

First of these was the Lau man from a large grave field on SE Gotland. Buried before 200 AD already in his 30s, he was a large warrior standing nearly two meters tall and by profession also a silversmith. He had unusually high levels of led in his body, probably the reason why he died early. JL speculates that he could have been in Roman service earlier in his live, before returning to his native soil (stated by strontium analyses).

Passing through the Sandbyborg massacre on Öland in 480 AD up to the iron and fur export area in Medelpad in mid Sweden, close to the chieftain HQ at Högom. Skeletons found buried in an unusual way face down at inland Torp. One man had a fresh cut high up on the inside of his femur (near his groin).

The scull of one of the women in the group was taken to Belgium for a digital face reconstruction, revealing the look of a sleeping person around 500 AD. Strontium analyses showed she grew up locally. But DNA showed she had origins far south, from Ukraine, Hungary or Croatia. Suggesting her mother travelled all the way up to mid Sweden in the 5th century.

Face 46 min

DNA 51 min
 
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Aug 2011
1,610
Sweden
Was there once upon a time a temple at the Skjoldung HQ Old Lejre on Zealand? In a description from 1643 by Ole Worm, the mound Kirkehøj ("Church mound") to the west of the village was said to have been the location of a "temple" in old days. Whether this meant a pagan or a Christian building is unknown. Today there is a heap of stones at the spot, and older finds included a cremation grave and a stone coffin. New archaeological investigations will reveal if there ever was a "temple" of some sort at Kirkehøj.
 
Aug 2011
1,610
Sweden
During my search for Grendel, I recently came across the book by Claude Lecouteux “Phantom armies of the Night. The Wild Hunt and the Ghostly Processions of the undead”.

https://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Armi...preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

This book penetrates all old and new traditions concerning the Wild Hunt, including the Scandinavian versions like Oskorei. It is clear that the Swedish celebration of the Christian martyr Sankta Lucia on the 13th of December has old pagan roots in what is called “lussiferdi” which is a sort of version of the Wild hunt. All taking place around the darkest winter days, that in the old calendar was app. at this date.

On Grendel’s dark moor, which in my view is located on the islands of Falster and Møn, traditions of the wild hunter are widespread, like in many other places. Open gates, the last sheaf for the horse, hunting the elf woman etc are typical ingredients in the stories. It seems that some of the traditions got mixed into what we read in Beowulf, Rolf Kraki’s saga and Thidrekssaga. In one old article describing traditions on Falster, I also came across another strange local being called horsejageren (the horse hunter or the hunter of the horse, difficult to translate). People were afraid of this creature, which was active at night, scaring the herds into fleeing and therefore risking the lives of the herdsmen by trampling.

The sound of horsejageren was in Danish: “How høj, herom herop” or “hov hov” like the sound of a man shouting with all his power in a storm. This could sometimes be heard for a long distance from the woods.

One witness från Vålse village in the early 19th C got caught with his herd in such a horsjagerdrift at night, and this man could describe the being quite well: ”His eyes flashed in the dark like a cats. He was twice as tall as a human, had a human face and large bent horns like a ram. I could not see his body in the dark but I heard how he trampled the earth with his cow legs.” The man and the herd was chased into Vålse Vesterskov and escaped only at morning when horsjageren disappeared behind some old stone dolmens.

The description of this being in old local traditions is somewhat similar to the Grendel look, like the glowing eyes and the large size. Apart from this similarity, to me it is quite clear what the herdsman had witnessed in real life: the eagle owl!

This large owl has indeed glowing orange eyes, two horn like raised feathers on the head and perhaps also in bad light a humanlike face. Sitting in a tree it looked taller than a man. And also its scary hooting OH-HO during winter and spring. This sound is what the locals were afraid of to scare the livestock. And probably also some sort of ingredient in the Wild hunt experience.

Today the eagle owl is long gone from Falster, but it has made a comeback in Jutland and Scania as well. We have a breeding pair in a quarry close to my home town. Impressive raptor.
 
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Aug 2011
1,610
Sweden
Driving through county Halland today in sunny and warm weather, I passed the famous stones Hagbards stenar (Hagbard's gallows) by the side of the road at Asige village, some distance inland from the coast. In this area you can find lot of remaining large grave mounds, raised stones etc.

Hagbard's gallow consists of two pair of large stones, each of them weighing four tonnes. On one of them you can see concentric circles like a sort of sun dial, and also cup marks. The stones were probably raised already during the Bronze age, but traditions connect them with the Nordic Romeo and Juliet story of Hagbard and Signy. Is is told that Hagbard was hanged between on of the stone pairs, after being discovered with her his lover. This legend has also been located elsewhere such as Zealand, Blekinge and Närke.

A nice spot anyway, with a fine view over the valley.





 
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