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The Origins of Beowulf – From Vergil to Wiglaf - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Origins of Beowulf: From Vergil to Wiglaf

Richard North


This book suggests that the Old English poem Beowulf was composed between the reigns of Kings Beornwulf (823-6) and Wiglaf (827-9 and 830-39) of Mercia, in the winter of 826-7, in the monastery of Breedon on the Hill in NW Leicestershire, by Abbot Eanmund (ruled 814x816-c.848). The premise seems clear enough in the Beowulf–Wiglaf sequence in the last fifth of Beowulf. With Old Norse analogues, Beowulf's kinship with Hygelac, friendship with Hrothgar, interest in Freawaru, later role as king and kinship with ‘Wiglaf’ are all argued to be the poet's invention, one fashioned partly on the model o ... More

Keywords: Aeneid, Beornwulf, Beowulf, Cenwulf, Mercia, Offa of Angeln, Vergil, Wiglaf

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199206612
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206612.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard North, author
Reader in English, University College London
Author Webpage