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  • noun [ masculine ]
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Beó-wulf, es; m. [ = Beado-wulf a war-wolf, = Icel. Böðúlfr a warwulf]
BEOWULF, a celebrated warrior of the Scyldings' race, a record of whose heroic deeds is given in the Anglo-Saxon poem bearing his name. It appears most probable that Beowulf was originally an Old Norse heathen Saga, written in the language common at the earliest age in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, but now only spoken in Iceland. This Saga it is hoped may yet be found in some Swedish library. The story informs us that Hrothgar built a splendid palace at Heorot in the north of Jutland. This palace was soon made a scene of slaughter, in consequence of the nightly attacks of a monster called Grendel, who carried off at one time no less than thirty thanes, for the purpose of devouring them in his retreat. These dreadful visitations are continued during a period of twelve years. Intelligence of this calamity having reached the heroic Beowulf, a relation of Hrothgar, Beowulf resolves to rid the Danish land of this monster; and, in pursuance of this design, sails from home with a company of fifteen warriors. In terrific conflicts he kills Grendel and his mother. - It was the first heroic poem by any Germanic nation, and must have been translated into Anglo-Saxon by a Christian, as is evident by Grendel's mother being spoken of as a descendant of Cain, and numerous Christian allusions, when the Danish sovereignty in England was at its height, perhaps in the reign of Canute, about A. D. 1020. If it were originally written in the Old Norse or Icelandic the Saga would be called Böðúlfr, and the translator into Anglo-Saxon would naturally write it Beado-wulf contracted to Beó-wulf
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Beówulf wæs bréme, Beowulf was renowned, blǽd wíde sprang the glory of Scyld's offspring Scyldes eaferan widely spread Scede-landum in, in the Swedish lands.
    Beo. Th. 35-38; B. 18, 19.
  Heorot [Hróþgár] eardode [Hrothgar] occupied Heorot, sincfáge seld [MS. sel], the richly variegated seat.
    Beo. Th. 335; B. 166.
  [Grendel] atol æglǽca; [Grendel] the fell wretch; him on eaxla wearþ a deadly wound was manifest syndolh sweotol, in his shoulder, seonowa onsprungon, the sinews sprang asunder, burston bánlocan : the bone-inclosures burst : Beówulfe wearþ to Beowulf gúþhréþ gyfeðe; warlike fierceness was given; scolde Grendel ðonan Grendel, death-sick, feorhseóc fleón, must thence flee.
    Beo. Th. 1636-1644; B. 816-820.
  Geféng ðá be eaxla The War-Goths' lord Gúþ-Geáta leód seized then by the shoulder Grendles módor. Grendel's mother. Brægd ðá beadwe heard, Then the fierce warrior dragged feorhgeníðlan, the mortal foe, ðæt heó on flet gebeáh : so that she bowed on the place :
    Beo. Th. 3078-3085; B. 1537-1540.
  - - bil eal þurhwód, — the falchion passed through all fǽgne flǽschoman, her fated carcase, heó on flet gecrong. she sank on the ground.
    Beo. Th. 3139-3141; B. 1567, 1568.
Linked entries
v.  Beado-wulf.
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  • Beó-wulf, n.