Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Origins of BeowulfFrom Vergil to Wiglaf$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard North

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206612.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 April 2019

‘Thryth’ and the Reign of Offa

‘Thryth’ and the Reign of Offa

Chapter:
(p.225) 8 ‘Thryth’ and the Reign of Offa
Source:
The Origins of Beowulf
Author(s):

Richard North (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206612.003.08

This chapter begins to place Beowulf in Mercian history by reconsidering parallels between Offa of Angeln (I) and ‘Thryth’, in lines 1925-62 of Beowulf, also in Widsith, and King Offa (II) and Queen Cynethryth of Mercia (757-96). ‘Thryth’ is argued to be an unnamed princess, yet one whose blood-thirsty tale is told to allude to Cynethryth in her fictional role as the instigator of Offa's murder of King (later Saint) Æthelberht of East Anglia (died 794). This deduction is made on the basis of charters, Alcuin's letters and other Anglo-Saxon evidence, as well as on such twelfth- and thirteenth-century texts as the Hereford Passio s. Athelberti, Roger of Wendover's Chronica maiora, and the St Albans Vitae duorum Offarum. It is concluded that Beowulf, though not composed for Offa II, nonetheless uses the continental Offa to allegorize him as the first in a sequence of great Mercian kings.

Keywords:   Alcuin, Cynethryth, Mercia, Offa II, Thryth, Vitae duorum Offarum, Widsith

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .