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The Origins of BeowulfFrom Vergil to Wiglaf$
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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

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Hygelac and Beowulf: Cenwulf and Beornwulf

Hygelac and Beowulf: Cenwulf and Beornwulf

Chapter:
(p.254) 9 Hygelac and Beowulf: Cenwulf and Beornwulf
Source:
The Origins of Beowulf
Author(s):

Richard North (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206612.003.09

This chapter uses charters and other varied evidence to supplement the parallels between the Offas and their queens in Chapter 8 with nine more, to do with Hygelac and his nephew Beowulf on one hand, and Kings Cenwulf (796-821) and Beornwulf (823-6) on the other: both Hygelac and Cenwulf are shown to save their people but then rob them of land; Beowulf is a friend and kinsman of Hygelac, as Beornwulf appears to have been of Cenwulf; both Hygelac and Cenwulf endow the younger men; both Beowulf and Beornwulf reveal a lesser royal blood; both Hygelac and Cenwulf die on raids in pursuit of treasure, to be avenged by the younger men; both Beowulf and Beornwulf are made king after the failed reigns of their elders' kinsmen; and both restore stolen land to its previous owners; die unmarried, childless and officially free of intrigue; but likewise in pursuit of treasure.

Keywords:   Beowulf, Beornwulf, Cenwulf, charters, Hygelac

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