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The Waning Sword: Conversion Imagery and Celestial Myth in 'Beowulf'
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Contents

Acknowledgements

xvii

Signs and Abbreviations

xix

1.

Introduction: Beowulf, an Early Anglo-Saxon Epic

1

Part I. Ice, Candle and Cross: Images of the Giant Sword in Beowulf

33

2.

The Giant Sword and the Ice

35

Prior Views on the Melting of the Giant Sword

37

Old Norse Ice-Swords

42

3.

The Giant Sword and the Candle

47

Vargeisa’s Candle-Sword

51

Grýla’s Icicle-Candle

65

The Giant Sword as Solar Candle

71

Sörli and Sigrljómi ‘Victory-Light’

79

The Giant Sword as Paschal Candle

84

4.

The Giant Sword and the Cross

93

The Cross in the Lake

94

Three Old English Heavenly Candle-Crosses

98

Sword-Hilts, Sword-Blades and Crosses

100

Beowulf and Christ as Bearers of the Sword-Cross

112

The Battle-Standard and the Cross

113

Wiglaf as Sword-Bearer and Cross-Bearer

118

Part II. Sun-Swords and Moon-Monsters: On the Theft and Recovery of Sunlight in Beowulf and Other Early Northern Texts

121

5.

Whose Sword Is it, Anyway?

123

Giant-Forged and Giant-Stolen?

124

The Giant Sword and the Theft of Mllnir

129

The Cup-Thief, Grendel’s Glove and Grendel’s ‘Un-Sword’: Aspects of Recurrent Thievery in Beowulf

131

The Basis for Detecting Germanic Myth in Beowulf

137

6.

Ing, Ingvi-Freyr and Hroðgar

143

The Ingwine ‘Ing-Friends’ and Ing, Son of Man

143

Ing and Ingi-/Yngvi-Freyr

145

Freyr, the Friendly God

147

Worship of Ing in England?

147

Ing in the Old English Rune Poem

148

The Inge-Peoples and the Sun-God of Psalm 112

156

Hroðgar and Danish Worship of an Unnamed Devil

158

Hroðgar, Healfdene’s ‘Firebrand’ and the Incgelaf

159

Ingunar-Freyr and Freyr’s Sword

166

Hroðgar as Frea

167

Wealhþeo’s Brosinga Mene and Freyja’s Brísingamen

168

Freawaru

169

The Danes and the ‘Life-Lord’

169

7.

Freyr, Skírnir and Gerðr

171

r Skírnis and Beowulf’s Mere-Episode

172

Lokasenna, Gylfaginning and the Gifted Sword

184

Gymir and Gerðr as Sea-Giants

185

Hjálmþér, Ýma and Margerðr

188

The Burning Candle and the Barley Isle

194

8.

Lævateinn and the Maelstrom-Giantess

197

Svipdagr’s Quest for Menglǫð

197

Loki’s Taking of the Twig

206

More About Lævateinn and Mistilteinn

210

Saxo’s Hotherus, Balderus and the Sword of Mimingus

212

Lævateinn in the Lúðr

216

The Maelstrom-Giantess in Sagas of Hjálmþér, Grettir and Samson

219

Grendel’s Mother as Maelstrom-Giantess

222

9.

Freyr’s Solar Power and the Purifying Sword

225

Solar Aspects of Freyr in the Eddas

225

Skírnir as Purifier

227

Beowulf and the Giant Sword as Purifiers

230

Freyr as Thawer

232

10.

Freyr, Heorot and the Hunt for the Solar Stag

235

Freyr, Beli and the Hart’s Horn

235

Heorot, the Hart-Hall

236

The ‘Hunted Hart’ Passage in Beowulf

238

The Solar Stag in Early Europe

244

The Hunt for the Sun

251

The ‘Battle-Thief/Wolf of the Sky-Shield’

252

Skǫll and Hati

252

The Old One, the Pitchforker and Mánagarmr

255

Wolf-Snake versus Sun-Stag: Norse Myth on the Gosforth Cross

261

Hunted Stags on Other Anglo-Saxon Crosses

279

The Ovingham Stone

281

One Man (in the Moon) and His Dog

282

11.

A Tale of Two Creatures: The Theft and Recovery of Sunlight in Riddle 29

287

The Lunar Thief and Grendel

289

The Solar Repossessor and Beowulf

291

12.

Another Tale of Two Creatures: The Loss and Recovery of the Solar Draught-Beast in Wið Dweorh

293

An Old English Dwarf-Horse-Deer?

298

A Headache(?)-Causing Dwarf from Denmark

304

Another Headache-Causing Dwarf and a Radiant Sword

305

The Sun as Healer, Especially in Old English Remedies

308

The Dwarf and Grendel as ‘In-Going’ Fever-Demons

309

13.

The Solar Antler in Sólarljóð

315

The Buried Antler and Christian Legends, Especially of the Cross

317

The Solar Antler, the Dwarf-Horse-Stag(?) and a Solar Sword

321

Svafrlami and Dvalinn

324

Dvalinn and the Deaths of Alvíss and Hrímgerðr

328

Runes of Resurrection

335

Sólarljóð and Beowulf

337

14.

Grendel, His Mother and Other Moon-Monsters

339

Trees of Sun and Moon, and a Monster Called Quasi Caput Luna

340

Grendel the Wan

346

Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tale 175: Der Mond ‘The Moon’

351

The Dead Moon, a Blickling Homily and Beowulf

352

Nið ‘Waning/Dark Moon’(?) in Beowulf

358

Grendel and Glámr, the Monster with Moonlit Eyes

368

Grendel’s Mother and Norse Moon-Giantesses

372

Mána, Moon-Giantess and Thief

373

Mána and Brana

374

Skjaldvör, the ‘Dark-Moon Chest’ and More about the Nið-Dragon

376

Hyndla at the ‘Darkness of Darknesses’

388

Þórgunna, Mána-Ljótur and the Half-Moon

390

The Old One and the Pitchforker, Again

391

Ýma and the Boatforker

395

Two More Male Forkers and a Sword of Lunar Waning

399

King Dagr and the Hayforker

399

Kolr the Gibbous, His Fork-Wielding Son and the Sword Angrvaðill

400

Anger, Death and the Dismembered Moon

406

The Lunar Head and the Solar Head

408

15.

The Sun in the Pike

411

Three Golden Eggs, a Fallen Spark and a Pike

412

Tyrfingr and the Pike

413

Mistilteinn and the Pike

414

Hrómundr Gripsson, Þráinn and Mistilteinn

415

Grendel’s Mother as Pike

418

16.

Conclusion: Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon Song of Ice and Fire

425

Bibliography

471

Supplementary Note

519

List of Illustrations

521

Index

523