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Beowulf from the island of Gotland
"Magnus Ringgren on a winding interpretation of one of world literatures most mysterious poem"

"In one ring corner, we have sagoberättaren and lärdomsgiganten J R R Tolkien. In the second is Bo Gräslund, retired and slightly spjuveraktig but equally erudite arkeologiprofessor in Uppsala. Holmgången comes Beowulfkvädet, a long and stately poem in old English that school children in England and the united states still is reasonably well acquainted with."

"Who wrote the poem? What is it about? Was unfolding it?"

"Beowulfs the primary story is simple. Beowulf is the king of geatarnas country. In the poem's beginning he travels across the sea to the danerna to rid them of a monster named Grendel. So this is what happens when Grendel empties a hövdingahall:"

"”He found in there."

"he laid hold of among the sleeping"

"to his camp again.”

"Beowulf manages to kill the monster. A modern reader will be disappointed that the Grendel is described as sparse. We may really only know that it takes four man to carry his severed head on a pole. Today's popular culture has of course taken the damage again – it is insatiable in the old fairy tales with swords and dragons in. The monster itself tells its story better in John Gardner's brilliant little novel Grendel (1971)."

"the Worldview is basically pagan, and fits well with what we think we know about the nordic beliefs. "

"But it is not enough with the Grendel. Beowulf must also have killed Grendel's mother, an even more harrowing träskmonster living down in a lake. After the victory over them both travelling Beowulf home again and get some decent decades as the ruler of their homeland. Finally starting a dragon or a jätteorm terrorize the country. Beowulf is able to kill also, but dies himself in the process and buried in a sublime ceremony. Twelve young men to ride around his funeral pyres."

"Embedded in the poem are the episodes on the warlike exploits in various parts of northern Europe. People often go to identify from historical sources. We encounter kings from the early migration period. Beowulf seems to have relatives on the island of Zealand, where raids Grendel – and among Sveakungarna in the Mälardalen region. One episode takes place at the Rhine estuary, and it can be preserved in the old frankish chronicles."

"the Poem has been the form we know around the year 700. The only manuscript that exists is from approximately the year 1000. The events you can trace in the occurred during the first half of the 500's. So far, the researchers are reasonably agree."

"to come back to J R R Tolkien so he claimed in a famous essay that the poem was written by an anglo-saxon writer in an English monastery. But here is Bo Gräslund deeply disagree with sagofarbrorn. He argues instead that the poem from the beginning is nordic, oral traderad and not a work of any individual präntande author. He argues that the christian elements in the text are very superficial påmålade."

"the Worldview is basically pagan, and fits well with what we think we know about the nordic beliefs. And with English scenery and English history has vortopetso nothing to do. If you compare with the archaeological material, we end up also in the Nordic countries. The poem may have come orally to England with, for example, a bard who followed a nordic stormansdotter, who had married an emigrant, a northerner. The skriftlösa cultural memory can endure over centuries."

"All of this is likely to offend the british (and the americans) a part, and it is well partial sentence. But there's more."

"Was lived Beowulf? Bo Gräslund suggests Burs parish on the south-eastern Gotland. The reasoning is winding and richly detailed, fascinating but perhaps not waterproof. "

"He identifies ”geatarna” with ”gutarna”, especially when they are called ”wedergutar”. ”Weder” can mean ram, and Gräslund link to the longtime seal with a behornat may which is punishable already in the early middle ages."

"it is five hundred years between the seal and the Poem is of course a little bothersome. There should be more pictures in the archaeological material with the horned rams for you to be convinced that they really were gotland totem animals (like the pig was the main in the Mälardalen region). But sure, the longtime landskapsflaggan a special meaning when you know the idea. On the flag has a ram, and the kristnats and become a pious lamb of god who carries a korsflagga."

"Even more exciting will be Gräslunds production when he interprets the poem's three monsters symbolically. In the year 536, and a decade forward caused three enormous volcanic eruptions that the sun disappeared and the earth was unable to bear fruit. A climate catastrophe. In the nordic sagas, it is Fenrir who eat up the sun. "

"There seems to be some kind of Ragnarok affects the Beowulf-kvädets world in approximately the year 550. Farms are being deserted, the world plunges. The archaeological picture becomes very quickly a different. "

"It may be that the three monsters are symbols of the great disaster, and Beowulf himself is a knight who slays the dragon (Sigurdu002FSigfrid mentioned actually in the poem) but yourself, go in as a true tragic hero."

"Beowulf is the northern the world's response to the homeric poems. Thankfully, we have good opportunities to become familiar with it. In Sweden, Björn Collinders stylish interpretation – I have quoted a few lines from it. To the modern English recognized the nobel prize winner Seamus Heaney poem in the 90's. He, however, thought more of the Tolkien than what Bo Gräslund do."

"the Book of Beowulf is published by the Royal Swedish academy of sciences. The Gustav Adolf Academy, our least-known of the academy, which is most concerned with ethnology. This is interdisciplinarity seriously, rich in facts and stories from the long ago past. It is not so considerably about the author has the right in all things. It is the trying thought that counts."

"Good humanities research similar to the great modernist novels – Proust, Joyce, Musil. The details are flowing and overflowing. Thoughts meander about each other and shifting imperceptibly our picture of the world. We just thought turned into what we now abandon for something else. Humanities is the kind of science which accepts contradictions and doubts, that affirms the wayward meanderings."

"Beowulfkvädet – nordic background."

"the Royal Swedish academy of sciences. Gustav Adolfs Akademien for svensk folkkultur"

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