University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Ringler, Dick / Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery (May 2005)

Previous Previous section

Next section Next



 

LIST OF PROPER NAMES WITH BRIEF EXPLANATIONS

(The figure in square brackets following each entry is the number of the verse in which the name first appears.)

Abel    Old Testament figure, son of Adam and Eve, killed by his brother Cain. [215]
Ælfhere    A kinsman of Wiglaf. [5206]
Æschere    A counselor and friend of Hrothgar, killed by Grendel's mother. [2646]
Battle-Rams    A people living in the area of Romerike in southern Norway. [1039]
Beanstan    Father of Breca. [1046]
Beowulf   
(1) Beowulf the Dane:    Son and successor of Scyld Scefing. He is to be distinguished from Beowulf the Geat, the hero of the poem. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [35]
(2) Beowulf the Geat:    Son of Ecgtheow and nephew of Hygelac. The hero of the poem. His mother was a daughter of the Geatish king Hrethel. See genealogy of the Geatish royal house. [686]
Breca    A prince of the Brondings, son of Beanstan. [1012]
Brondings    Name of a tribe; it is not known where they lived. [1042]
Brosings    In ancient Scandinavian legend, the Brosings (Brísingar) were fire-dwarfs who made a magnificent golden necklace for the goddess Freyja. [2397]
Cain    Old Testament figure, the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel. In Beowulf he is presented as the progenitor of giants and monsters (including Grendel). [214]
Dæghrefen    A warrior of the Franks, killed by Beowulf the Geat. [5002]
Danes    A Scandinavian people, inhabitants of Denmark. [93]
Danish    See Danes, Denmark. [3]
Denmark    An early Scandinavian kingdom that consisted of the territory of modern Denmark plus the southern portion (Skåne) of present-day Sweden. [12]
Eadgils    A Swedish prince (later king), son of Ohthere. After his father's death, the Swedish throne was seized by his uncle Onela, but he later gained it for himself with the help of Beowulf the Geat. See genealogy of the Swedish royal house. [4785]
Eagle Bluff    A seaside cliff in the land of the Geats. [6062]
Eanmund    A Swedish prince, son of Ohthere, killed by Weohstan, the father of Wiglaf. See genealogy of the Swedish royal house. [5223]
Ecglaf    Father of Unferth. [998]
Ecgtheow    Father of Beowulf the Geat. Like Weohstan and his son Wiglaf, Beowulf's loyal follower and successor, Ecgtheow was a member of the family (or tribe) of the Wægmundings, which appears to have had interests in the realms of both the Swedes and the Geats. See genealogy of the Geatish royal house. [526]
Ecgwela    An otherwise unknown Danish king. [3423]
Eofor    A warrior of the Geats, slayer of the Swedish king Ongentheow. [4972]
Eomer    Son of Offa. [3920]
Eormenric    A king of the Ostrogoths, notorious in later Germanic legend for his covetousness and treachery. [2401]
Finn    A king of the Frisians. [2135]
Finns    Lapps (Sami) living in the northern part of Norway (Finnmarken). [1160]
Fitela    Nephew of Sigemund. [1759]
Folcwalda    A Frisian king, father of Finn. [2178]
Frankish    See Franks. [2422]
Franks    A powerful Germanic people who occupied much of the territory of present-day France and Germany. [5825]
Freawaru    Daughter of Hrothgar, betrothed to Ingeld, a king of the Heathobards. [4045]
Frisia    A Germanic kingdom extending northward from the mouth of the River Rhine toward Denmark. [2140]
Frisian    See Frisia. [2135]
Frisians    A Germanic people, inhabitants of Frisia and closely allied to the Merovingian Franks. [2187]
Froda    A king of the Heathobards, father of Ingeld. [4050]
Garmund    Father of Offa. [3923]
Geatish    See Geats. [747]
Geats    A Scandinavian people who once occupied much of the southern portion of present-day Sweden. Their kingdom appears ultimately to have been absorbed into that of their powerful neighbors the Swedes, as foretold---by implication---toward the end of Beowulf. [388]
Gepid    See Gepids. [4990]
Gepids    An East Germanic people closely related to the Goths.
Grendel    A cannibalistic giant descended from Cain. He ravages the Danes and their hall Heorot until killed by Beowulf the Geat. [203]
Guthlaf    A follower of the Danish leader Hnæf. [2295]
Hæreth    Father of Hygd, the queen of Hygelac. [3852]
Hæthcyn    A king of the Geats, the second son of Hrethel, killed in a battle with the Swedish king Ongentheow. See genealogy of the Geatish royal house. [4873]
Halga    Youngest son of the Danish king Healfdene and father of Hrothulf. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [122]
Hama    A Germanic hero associated with the Gothic kings Theoderic and Eormenric. According to a thirteenth-century Scandinavian source, he ultimately repented of his sinful life and entered a monastery, bestowing his possessions upon it. [2396]
Healfdene    A Danish king, son of Beowulf the Dane and grandson of Scyld Scefing. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [114]
Heardred    A king of the Geats, son and successor of Hygelac. After Heardred's death at the hands of the Swedes, his cousin Beowulf became king of the Geats. See genealogy of the Geatish royal house. [4741]
Heathobard    See Heathobards. [4051]
Heathobards    A Germanic people, enemies (and perhaps neighbors) of the Danes. [4076]
Heatholaf    A warrior of the Wylfings. [917]
Helmings    The people of Wealhtheow, Hrothgar's queen. [1240]
Hemming    A kinsman of Offa and Eomer. [3888]
Hengest    A follower (and later the successor) of the Danish leader Hnæf. [2164]
Heorogar    A Danish king, eldest son of Healfdene and father of Heoroweard. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [121]
Heorot    The name of the great hall built by the Danish king Hrothgar, ultimately destroyed by fire during hostilities between the Danes and the Heathobards. Danish chroniclers consistently locate the hall of the Scylding kings at Lejre, Zealand, and the remains of three great halls have now been found at that site. [156]
Heoroweard    A Danish prince, son of Heorogar. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [4321]
Herebeald    A prince of the Geats, eldest son of Hrethel, killed by his brother Hæthcyn. See genealogy of the Geatish royal house. [4869]
Heremod    A Danish king infamous for stinginess and treachery, possibly the last member of the dynasty of kings that preceded Scyld Scefing and his descendants. [1804]
Hereric    Brother of Hygd, the queen of the Geatish king Hygelac, and therefore the uncle of Heardred. [4412]
Hetware    A Frankish people living somewhere south of the mouth of the River Rhine. [4725]
Hildeburh    Sister of the Danish leader Hnæf and wife of the Frisian king Finn. [2141]
Hnæf    A Danish chieftain, son of Hoc and brother of Hildeburh, slain during a visit to his sister's husband Finn in Frisia. [2143]
Hoc    A Danish chieftain, father of Hildeburh and Hnæf. [2152]
Hondscioh    A warrior of the Geats and companion of Beowulf, killed by Grendel. [4152]
Hrethel    A king of the Geats, father of Hygelac and maternal grandfather (and foster-father) of Beowulf. See genealogy of the Geatish royal house. [746]
Hrethric    A Danish prince, older son of Hrothgar and Wealhtheow. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [2377]
Hrothgar    A Danish king, second son of Healfdene. It is during his reign that the monster Grendel terrorizes the Danes until killed by Beowulf the Geat. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [121]
Hrothmund    A Danish prince, younger son of Hrothgar and Wealhtheow. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [2377]
Hrothulf    Son of Halga and nephew of Hrothgar. Later Scandinavian sources imply that after Hrothgar's death he assumed the Danish throne, excluding Hrothgar's sons Hrethric and Hrothmund. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [2029]
Hrunting    The name of Unferth's sword. [2911]
Hunlafing    The name of Hengest's sword. [2288]
Hygd    Hygelac's queen. [3851]
Hygelac    A king of the Geats, youngest of the three sons of Hrethel; husband of Hygd and father of Heardred. Beowulf the Geat is his nephew, the son of his sister. See genealogy of the Geatish royal house. [389]
Ingeld    A king of the Heathobards, son of Froda; betrothed to Hrothgar's daughter Freawaru. [4049]
Jutes    A Germanic tribe living in mainland Denmark (Jutland). It is just possible that the word eotenas — in the original of verses 1806, 2145, 2187, and 2290 — should be translated "giants" instead of "Jutes." [1806]
Jutish    See Jutes. [2162]
Merovingian    See Merovingians. [5842]
Merovingians    A dynasty of Frankish kings.
Modthrytho    A beautiful but evil queen, "tamed" by Offa. [3862]
Nægling    The sword of Beowulf the Geat. [5360]
Offa    A king of the Angles while they still lived on the continent, before their migration to sub-Roman Britain; married to Modthrytho. [3887]
Ohthere    A Swedish king, older son of Ongentheow; father of Eanmund and Eadgils. See genealogy of the Swedish royal house. [4757]
Onela    A Swedish king, younger son of Ongentheow; married to the daughter of the Danish king Healfdene. See genealogy of the Swedish royal house. [124]
Ongentheow    A Swedish king, father of Ohthere and Onela, killed by Eofor (a follower of Hygelac). See genealogy of the Swedish royal house. [3938]
Oslaf    A follower of the Danish leader Hnæf. [2295]
Ravenswood    A forest in Sweden. [5850]
Rhineland    The area watered by the River Rhine. [5829]
Scandinavia    The part of northern Europe inhabited by the Danes, Geats, and Swedes. [38]
Scyld    See Scyld Scefing. [34]
Scyld Scefing    "Scyld the son of Scef," founder of the dynasty of Danish kings of which Hrothgar represents the culmination in terms of political power and glory. Scyld's descendants and successors, and sometimes the Danish people as a whole, are called Scyldings. It is possible that Scyld came to the throne after a period of anarchy caused by the exile and death of Heremod. See genealogy of the Danish royal house. [7]
Scylding    See Scyldings. [1197]
Scyldings    An alternate name for the Danes, derived from the name of their great king Scyld Scefing. [702]
Sigemund    Son of Wæls. A famous hero of the Germanic peoples (Sigmundr in Old Norse sources). [1751]
Storm Mountain    A hill in the land of the Geats. [4956]
Sweden    The kingdom of the Swedes. [4788]
Swedes    A Scandinavian people. [5845]
Swedish    See Swedes, Sweden. [126]
Swerting    Uncle of Hygelac. [2404]
Unferth    Son of Ecglaf; the official spokesperon (þyle) at Hrothgar's court. It is possible that this figure's name is really Hunferth, which is how the manuscript regularly spells it, though it always alliterates with vowels and is thus regularly emended by editors to Unferth. [997]
Wægmundings    The people (or family) to which Beowulf the Geat, Weohstan, and Wiglaf belong. [5214]
Wæls    Father of Sigemund. His name in Old Norse sources is Völs and his descendants are called Völsungar (Volsungs) after him. [1752]
Wayland    The famous semidivine smith of Scandinavian legend. [812]
Wealhtheow    Hrothgar's queen, mother of Hrethric andHrothmund. [1224]
Wendel    The Wendels were a Germanic tribe who lived in what is now Vendelsyssel in North Jutland (Denmark). [696]
Weohstan    Father of Wiglaf and slayer of the Swedish prince Eanmund. [5204]
Whale Headland    Site of Beowulf the Geat's burial mound. [5608]
Wiglaf    Son of Weohstan; a Geatish warrior and kinsman of Beowulf. [5203]
Withergyld    A warrior of the Heathobards. [4104]
Wonred    A Geat, father of Eofor and Wulf. [5944]
Wulf    A warrior of the Geats, brother of Eofor. [5930]
Wulfgar    Hrothgar's herald and door-keeper at Heorot. [697]
Wylfings    A Germanic tribe who lived in the neighborhood of the Danes and the Geats, probably somewhere south of the Baltic. [916]
Yrmenlaf    A Dane, the younger brother of Æschere. [2648]

Previous Previous section

Next section Next




Go up to Top of Page