Old Icelandic poetry
Old Icelandic poetry can be divided into Eddic and Scaldic poetry.
Eddic poetry deals with themes from Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends. Scaldic poetry handles with themes from its own poets´time1
The Elder Edda has to be distinguished2
from Snorri´s Edda3
which is a treatise on poetics for the guidance of the scalds.
"The Elder Edda"4
is a collection of mythological and heroic songs: of thirty-three such songs, twenty -nine are contained in the famous "Codex Regius"5
, the most important of the Eddic manuscripts. This codex was found in Iceland in 1643 by Bishop Brynjólf Sveinsson. Anyway the Elder Edda contains poems, portions of which are also cited in the Snorri´s Edda. Brynjólf Sveinsson assumed that the priest Sæmund (1056-1133), whose reputation for learning had become proverbial, was the author, or at least, the collector of these songs. They were composed either in Norway, or in Norwegian settlements like Iceland and Greenland. As to their age, it is conceded that none dates earlier than the middle of the ninth century, and that some were written as late as in the thirteenth century.
The mythologic songs
Among the Eddic mythological poems the most famous is the "Völuspá" (the prophecy of the volva or sibyl), the most important source for our knowledge of Norse cosmogony. Important also in this respect are the "Vafðrúðnismál" and "Grímnismál", where Óðin' s superior wisdom is set forth.
Of the songs dealing with Thor the best known is the "Þrymskviða" (The song of Thrym), relating Thor's quest of his hammer. The sententious wisdom of the Northmen is represented by the "Hávamál" (sayings of the High One, i.e. Óðin).
The heroic songs
Concerning the heroic poems, at least 12-14 of them has to be dated around the year 900- latest 1000 A.D.6
. This datation can be furthermore described in details: Völundarkviða, Hamðismál (925), Helgakviða Hundingsbana II and Gudhrúnakviða II (925), Fáfnismál, Brot af Sigurðakviðu, Sigrdrífumál, Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar and Atlakviða (half- end of 900), Reginsmál Guðrúnarkviða I and Guðrúnarkvöt (1000). Helgakviða Hundingsbana I and Guðrúnarkviða III (after 1000).
- The contents of the heroic songs in Edda will be here briefly recognized. Völundarkviða tells the story of Daidalos and the tyrann Nidud.
- The three Helge poems, with the dominance of the letter H, tell stories connected with the Danish Sköldungarssaga.
The groups of songs 3-4-5 and six are considered the Nibelung´s tale in Edda.
- In the the seven (maybe eight) Sigurðsongs we find the chief theme of the heroic Edda (and also of this study of comparison): the lays of the dragonhunter Sigurth Fafnesbane and the saga of "Niflungs"7. Unfortunately this cycle of poems is incomplete, owing to a great gap of about eight leaves in the "Codex Regius"; but an idea of the contents of the lost poems may be gained from the prose version of the "Volsungasaga"8 .
- Gjukungargruppen (Guðrúnarkviða II and III; Oddrúnnargrátr-Iceland 1000; Atlakviða and Atlamál, Nordbokolonien, Grönland end of 1000) or dicts about the fall of Burgunderna are connected to the end of Sigurð´s saga. For the connection between Sigurð´s story and the fall of Burgunderna and Attila´s (Etzel-Atle) saga see below.
- Connected to them the so called "gothic group" of Guðrúnarkvöt and Hamðismál.
- As conclusion of the Sigurð poems Gripisspá ( Iceland late 1100) contains a sort of index of the events9.
One of the ground themes in the Older Edda is, as said, the story of Sigurð, Brynhild, Krimhild and Atli, the Norse parallel to the German Nibelungenlied.
It is evident that the Poetic Edda, as we now know it, is no definite and plainly limited work, but rather a more or less haphazard collection of separate poems, dealing (with Norse mythology and) with hero-cycles unrelated to the traditional history of Scandinavia or Iceland. The tales underlying the heroic lays are clearly of foreign origin: the Helgi story comes from Denmark, and that of Völund from Germany, as also the great mass of traditions about Gundahari (Gunnar in the Edda, Gunther in the Nibelungs), Sigurð (Siegfried), Hildico (Gúðrun in the Edda, Krimhild in the Nibelungs), the sons of Gjuki, Jórmunrek (Ermanarich), Atli (Atle in the Edda, Etzel in the Nibelungs, Attila in the Longobardic chronic by Paolus Diaconus of year 700). Frankich-merovingic origin in the case of Brynhilds saga, the first part of the Sigurð´s tale in the poems (the second one is about Brunhild and Atle), probably coming from the tale about the power war between the wonderful and evil queen Fredegunde and the vestgothic king´s daughter Brunhild whose husband Sigbert I was murdered by Fredegunde in the year 57510
This great geographical distribution of the legend, and the variety of forms in which it appears, make it difficult to know where we must seek its real origin. The Norse version is in many respects older and simpler in form than the German, but still it is probable, as said, that Norway was not the home of the saga11
. This can be said also with the support of the names: the name Brynhild means Brynjans Hild (=valkyrja) and it has south germanic origin, frankish or visigotic. Gunnar himself is called "king of Gothes" in Gripisspá (strofe 35) and Lord of the Gothes (Goternas härskare- Þjódhann) in Atlakviða.
How these, for the most german, sagas came to Scandinavia and how did they then become the Poetic Edda? Just when the legend migrated to Scandinavia we do not know, but certainly at an early date, perhaps during the opening years of the sixth century. It may have been introduced by German traders, by slaves captured by the "Northmen" on their frequent marauding expeditions, or, as such other believes, may have been taken by the Heruli on their return to Norway after their defeat by the Langobards.
Åke Ohlmarks admits the possibility of a connection between Danish-Swedish epic and Gothic migrations of the years 500-600 that are reported in "De Origine Actibusque Getarum"12
. According to the so called "german theory" this epic took its rise in Germany along the banks of the Rhine among the ancient tribes of the Franks, as it is, one more time, shown by the many geographical names in that zone, that are reminiscent of the characters of the tale, such as a Siegfried "spring" in the Odenwald, a Hagen "well" at Lorsch, a Brunhild "bed" near Frankfurt, and the well-known "Drachenfels", or Dragon's Rock, on the Rhine.
By whatever channel, however, the story reached the North, it became part of Scandinavian folklore, only certain names still pointing to the original home of the legend and it is also to Norway, that we must go for our knowledge of the story. In fact, with the exception of the "Nibelungenlied" and of the popular ballad, German literature has preserved almost no trace of the legend, and the elements of the original tale in these literary sources suffered an alteration (see below) not borne by Edda. In the ninth century, when Harald Harfagr changed the ancient free constitution of the land, many Norwegians migrated to Iceland, taking with them these acquired legends, which were better preserved in this remote island of ice and fire because of the peaceful introduction of Christianity14 15
, than on the Continent, and especially in Germany, where the Church was more antagonistic to the customs and legends of the heathen period.
(for the consequences of this concerning the differences between Edda and Nibelung see below).
Eddic legend and elements in Nibelungs and Beowulf
The above illustrated connection between Germany and Eddic poetry concerning the material seems to be universally acknowledged. Even some authors, among whom Peter Hallberg, who deny the possibility of a correspondence between the mythological part of Edda and poetry from other countries than Nordic16
, accept the german theory of the connection between Edda and extra Nordic countries ( i.e. Germany) concerning the material of the heroic songs, illustrated above. Furthermore, it can be said that even the material of the german heroic poem Hildebrandslied (year 800) and of the epic poem in old english Beowulf (700) have to be considered parallel to Edda ´s stories. It is though important to point out that Beowulf is partly based itself on Scandinavian legends, even if it is written from a Christian point of view and with Virgil as a model17
So, for what is about the story´ s material, we can individuate Edda, Beowulf and Nibelungenlied as three sources about the same heroic motif.
Furthermore, alliteration is an essential metric form in the whole Germanic poetry18
intended as proper of the whole northern part of Europe and not only of Scandinavia. It can, therefore, be interesting to see how, a common heroic theme is told in these works by using the alliterative verse in different metric variants. This analysis will conducted in the second part of this work.
The tale in the three poems
Before describing the differences in metrics between the three works, it is important to point out some more details about their contents.
The story is actually, as said, a common point between Nibelungenlied (written in Austria or in Bayern19
between 1190 and 1204)20
and Edda, while in Beowulf we find isolated motifs which are common to the first two works.
In the greatest and oldest of Germanic heroic sagas, that of Siegfried, the nucleus is in fact a primitive Low German tale of greed, murder and cruel vengeance, amplified by motifs like those of the "Sleeping Beauty" ( see the sleep of Brynhild) and the "dragon-fight" that we find again in Beowulf21
. Siegfried, who owns a treasure, is murdered by his covetous brother-in-law (Grimhild´s brother) Hagen. Grimhild (Kriemhild in the Nibelungs, Gúðrun in the Edda), Siegfried's widow, marries another king, Atli, who actuated by greed, murders Hagen. Grimhild in revenge murders her second husband. This seems to be the bare outline of the old tale, which was combined with a new historic saga, traceable to the destruction of the Burgundians by the Huns in 437, and the sudden death of the great Hunnish king, Attila, after his marriage to a German princess, Hildico (i.e. Hilde), in 452 (for the blend of historic elements and legends in this tale and for a further comparison with Beowulf in these regards see below).
- Different atmospheres
The Norse version ("Edda", "Völsungasaga") and the German version of the "Nibelungenlied" both tell of Kriemhilde´s (Grímhildur) revenge, even if the german poem is in many regards more extensive and contains details and episodes not contained in Edda22
. On the other hand these new elements, as well as the old ones, have in the Nibelungenlied, the elegant shining light of the Medieval23
court´s gold rather than the Viking rough steel felt in every verse of Edda. In other words, the original shadows of paganism and the genuine character of "barbarian legend", proper of the original tale grown among the german tribes, are definitely better preserved in the older version (Edda, Völsungasaga) in despite of the stronger loss of material suffered by Edda itself and due to the more numerous centuries of exposition to adaptments and stratifications in comparison with the younger version of Nibelungenlied. The reduced catholicization of Edda, at the origin of the more genuine barbarian character of its story, is due to a more tempered influence of the Church of Rome in Iceland as explained above. The catholic influence is felt in Nibelungenlied, for example, where the Burgundians "go to Mass as catholics"24
. Catholic elements are found in Beowulf as well, but not in the same extent as in the Nibelungenlied, this maybe due to the circumstance that Beowulf was composed some centuries before Nibelungenlied (see above).
- Discrepancies between the tales
The significative difference between the German version and the former version (Edda) is that in Edda Kriemhilde kills her husband, the slayer of her brother, as in the older form of the legend as resulting from other sources such as Paolo Diaconus; in the latter version (Nibelungenlied) she kills her brothers25
, in revenge for the murder of her husband Sigfrid26
. The historical basis of the tale is, as said the fall of the Burgundians of the year 436-437 and Attila´s dead of the year 453.
Necessary to point out that on a strictly historic point of view the Burgundians´ fall is confused in the chronicles with another battle between the Romans and Gunther´s (Gunnar-Gundhari) Gothes who were about invading the Gallia27
. These unclear historical events are then connected to legendary elements such as the birth of a flood from the blood of the death warriors where the surviving ones slaked their thirst and the later death of the Hunnish king Attila (who a legend told to perish during his second marriage by the hands of Hildico). The above described blend of legends and uncertain historic events is successively drawn down in the popular tale constituting the "humus" of the nordic poems, Edda firstly and then Nibelungs. Unclear historical elements are therefore mixed with legends in the material of both Edda and Nibelungs (for the same element in Beowulf see below). For the comparison between Edda and Nibelungenlied concerning the first part of the original tale:
- Tale of Sigurð and the dragon- see below "the dragon motif" and
- Tale of Sigurð and Brynhild- see above "motif of the sleeping beauty".
The motif of combination of legend and history is typical also in Beowulf. The prince of the Geátas, comes to help the Danish king, Hrothgar, against Grendel, a fiendish monster, who had ravaged the Danish realm. In two mighty combats Beowulf slays both Grendel and Grendel' s mother. Returning, he becomes king of his people, over whom he rules happily for fifty years.
The Dragon motif: Beowulf, Edda, Nibelungenlied and Norse Mythology
Once more, the aged hero Beowulf goes forth to battle with a fire-breathing dragon that devastates the land: the Babylonian "motif of the dragon" comes along in Beowulf as a central element of the history and, as said above, it is found also in the Christian tradition of St. George28
and, before, in the Germanic tales both Edda and Nibelung. The motif is also present in Norse mythology: for example in "Ragnarökslaget"29
, where the role of dragon hunter is divided between Thor (against Midgårdsormen) and Odin (against Fenrisulven). The drake is nothing else than something in the middle between those two beasts30
In Edda and Nibelung not only the motif, but also the story itself is the same and, sometimes, even in the smallest details: the dwarf Regin forges for Sigurð a new sword from the pieces of his father's sword, which his mother had preserved. Sigurð first avenges the death of his father and then sets of with Regin to attack the dragon Fafnir holding the treasure. At the advice of Regin, Sigurð digs a ditch across the dragon's peth and pierces him from below with his sword, as the latter comes down to drink. In dying the dragon warns Sigurð against the treasure and its curse31
, and against Regin, who is planning Sigurð's death, intending to obtain the treasure for himself.
Beowulf kills the monster as well, but he dies of the injuries sustained in the fight. It is generally believed that the Beowulf saga is of Scandinavian origin, as said above, but whether this epic arose and developed in Scandinavia or in England is a question that has not been decided. Interesting to notice that both in Ragnarök32
and Edda the battle with the dragon takes place on a "holmr" (strofe 14 of Fáfnismál)33
called "Oskópnir" in strofe 15 of Fáfnismál34
while in Beowulf the battle against Grendel takes place in the palace of king Hrodgar (verses 710 to 835, specifically verse 716-717 and 720)35
The text of the mentioned verses, in old English, follows with the key words in relief:
Beowulf- v. 715
Ne wæs þæt forma sið
þæt he Hroþgares ham gesohte
næfre he on aldordagum ær ne siþðan
heardran hæle, healðegnas fand.36
On the other hand, concerning the drake battle in Beowulf, is said that the drake "guards its treasure on the top37
of a mountain"(steapne)38
in "a cave"39
Beowulf- v. 2211
se ðe on heaum hofe hord beweotode,
; stig under læg,
Beowulf- v. 2215
þær on innan giong
, se ðe neh gefeng
hæðnum horde, hond ......,
Edda elements and characters in Beowulf
Beowulf does not only common motifs, but also many common elements and characters as in the Edda: Beowulf mentions for example the ruler Onela.42
Beowulf- v. 2616
"...brunfagne helm, hringde byrnan,
eald sweord etonisc; þæt him Onela
his gædelinges guðgewædu,
fyrdsearo fuslic, no ymbe ða fæhðe spræc,
þeah ðe he his broðor bearn abredwade."43
To be noticed that Onela (in old swedish Ale- Åle), who Snorri erroneously says to be king of Oplandene I Norway44
, and the rulers Öthere and Eadgils correspond in Beowulf to the Eddic Áli45
and Adhils of the Yngling dinasty47
. Hyndluljóð strofe 18 is actually a concentrate of refers to Beowulf. A comparative analysis of the strofe 18 of Hyndluljóð with Beowulf´s verses 5 and 53 to 63 follows.
Hyndluljóð strofe 18
vas áðr /öflgastr manna,
fyrri/ ha-estr Skjö,ldunga
frægv´öru folkvíg, þaus framir gerðu,
harfa þóttu verk/ með himins skautum.48
- Auði =Áli= Onela, in Beowulf.
- Halfdanr - haestr =Halvdan- den höje also named in Beowulf49 (Healfdene v. 55 see below)
- Skjöldunga are the kings of Denmark, and Yngling dynasty according Ynglingatal, a genealogical poem, are a Swedish family from Uppsala and they are cited by Snorri in the prologue to Heimskringla50. Both Danish and Swedish families are cited in strofe 15 of Hyndluljóð51 while Beowulf starts with the words "Ofta tog Skyld"52 and tells about the origin of the same Danish family. Scyld (Beowulf)- Skjö-ldunga (Hyndluljóð).
Beowulf- v. 5:
Oft Scyld Scefing
monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah,
Beowulf- v.53- 63.
leof leodcyning, longe þrage
folcum gefræge (fæder ellor hwearf,
aldor of earde), oþþæt him eft onwoc
; heold þenden lifde,
gamol ond guðreouw, glæde Scyldingas
ðæm feower bearn forð gerimed
in worold wocun, weoroda ræswan,
Heorogar ond Hroðgar
ond Halga til;
hyrde ic þæt wæs Onelan
It is furthermore interesting, regarding king Hjörvarðr to note that in Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar54
the name Hjörvarðr, there indicated as king of Norway, has the same name as the Danish king Heoroweard of Beowulf55 56
(see the verse 60 above). Beowulf is king of the Geátas and Jordanes calls so the Gothes in his work about their migration "De Origine Actibusque Getarum" mentioned above57
In this measure, it can be sustained that the tradition of Beowulf could also have arisen among the Gothic populations who bore, as said above, the legend of Sigurð from Europe to Scandinavia in 500-600 to become the Edda. In other words, the myth of Beowulf and Sigurð could have had the same fathers58
. This should explain the too many similarities between the three poems preserving these myths in the centuries: Edda, Nibelung and Beowulf.
- Beowulf 1998 Björn Collinder Natur och Kultur Pocket
- Snorre Edda, 1982 Fabel Pocket
- Snorre Heimskringla I, 1982, Fabel Pocket
- Edda, 1982 Fabel Pocket
- Nibelungen Sången. 1998 övers John Evert Härd
- Jordanes, De Origine Actibusque Getarum
- Paolus Diaconus, Historia Longobardorum
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
- Wilhelm Grönbech 1982 Nordiska myter och sagor, Stockholm
- Finnur Jónsson 1932 Hegakviða Hjörvarðssonar in De Gamle Eddadigte, København
- Finnur Jónsson 1932 Hyndluljóð- De Gamle Eddadigte København
- Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm
- Peter Hallberg 1962 Old Icelandic Poetry
- Peter Hallberg 1960 Den isländska sagan
- Kristinn Jóhannesson 1997 Ísland þjóð og tunga Göteborgs
- Karl- Hampus Dahlstedt 1962 Stilstudier över ett eddamotiv Gudruns Sorg Scripta Islandica X
- Jónsson, 1894-1902 Den Oldnorske og Oldislandske Litteratura Historie II København
1. Peter Hallberg. 1962. Old Icelandic Poetry. University of Nebraska page 11
2. Kristinn Jóhannesson 1997" Ísland þjóð og tunga" Göteborgs page 25 ff.
3. For the "Snorri´s Edda" consult Jónsson, 1894-1902 "Den Oldnorske og Oldislandske Litteratura Historie". Copenhagen. II, 77-90, 672 ff.
4. For the "Elder Edda" consult Jonsson,, op.cit., I 9-321
5. Kristinn Jóhannesson 1997" Ísland þjóð og tunga" Göteborgs page 27
6. Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm page 18
7. Karl- Hampus Dahlstedt. 1962." Stilstudier över ett Eddamotiv, Gudruns Sorg" Scripta Islandica, X page 25
8. Other sources of the heroic epic of Nibelungs in Scandinavia are Snorri´s Edda which recalls some episodes and the images on rune stones and church portals.
9. Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm 1954 page 18,19,20.
10. Nibelungen Sången. 1998. John Evert Härd. Introduction page 13
11. Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm 1954 page 17.
12. For the connection between Gothes, Getarum gens and Beowulf, and by this waay between Germanic-Eddic tales and the Anglo-Saxon tale see the end of the paper.
13. Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm pages 9 and 17
14. Kristinn Jóhannesson 1997" Ísland þjóð og tunga" Göteborgs page 17
15. More on the blend of Christianity and Ásatrún in Iceland in Peter Hallberg 1960 Den isländska sagan,pages 8-9
16. Peter Hallberg 1962 Old Icelandic Poetry page 11 31
17. Peter Hallberg 1962 Old Icelandic Poetry page 14- 60
18. Peter Hallberg 1962 Old Icelandic Poetry page 11 och 14
19. The language make one think about Austrian or Bayern´ s origin but the author himself, at least two times in the text, writes in such a way to put himself out of discussion the second alternative. More on this point in Nibelungen Sången. 1998. John Evert Härd. Introduction pages.
20. Nibelungen Sången. 1998. John Evert Härd. Introduction page 9
21. As well in the following centuries tradition until J.R.R. Tolkien ´ s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
22. Peter Hallberg 1962 Old Icelandic Poetry page 94 " it willingly makes concession to chivalric poetry ´s taste for brilliant sceneries, festivities and tournaments with an abundance of beautiful women, knights, pages and minstrels."
23. Peter Hallberg explains the phenomenon with eloquent words: "The heaten Germanic heroic poetry has thus been transposed into the world of medieval chivalry". Peter Hallberg 1962 Old Icelandic Poetry page 94 and note 20 above.
24. Peter Hallberg Old Icelandic Poetry page 945
25. Nibelungen Sången. 1998. John Evert Härd. Introduction pages 16-17
26. Peter Hallberg Old Icelandic Poetry page 94
27. Nibelungen Sången. 1998. John Evert Härd. Introduction page 11-12
28. Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm 1954 page 31
29. Wilhelm Grönbech 1982 Nordiska myter och sagor, Stockholm
30. Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm 1954 page 36-37
31. The element of the dangerous gold is fully reprised even in modern English literature for example by J.R.R. Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings.
32. Wilhelm Grönbech 1982 Nordiska myter och sagor, Stockholm
33. Finnur Jónsson.1932. "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 241 strofes 14
34. Finnur Jónsson.1932. "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 241 strofes 15
35. Beowulf Björn Collinder1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket "Striden mot Grendel" verses 710 ff.
36. http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a4.1.asp for the entire text of Beowulf in old english online. Beowulf in modern English can be found at http://wiretap.area.com/Gopher/Library/Classic/beowulf.txt
37. The motif is found also in the modern epic of J.R.R. Tolkien
38. Beowulf Björn Collinder1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket verse 2212-2213
39. Beowulf Björn Collinder1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket verse 2215
40. http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a4.1.asp for the entire text of Beowulf in old english online. Beowulf in modern English can be found at http://wiretap.area.com/Gopher/Library/Classic/beowulf.txt
41. http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a4.1.asp for the entire text of Beowulf in old english online. Beowulf in modern English can be found at http://wiretap.area.com/Gopher/Library/Classic/beowulf.txt
42. Beowulf Björn Collinder1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket verse 2616
43. http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a4.1.asp for the entire text of Beowulf in old english online.Beowulf in modern English can be found at http://wiretap.area.com/Gopher/Library/Classic/beowulf.txt
44. Beowulf Björn Collinder. 1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket End notes
45. Finnur Jónsson.1932. Hyndluljóð "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 146 strofe 18 ….
46. Finnur Jónsson.1932. Hyndluljóð "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 146-147 strofe 16- 20-21-24
47. Peter Hallberg Old Icelandic Poetry page 113
48. Finnur Jónsson.1932. Hyndluljóð "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 146 strofe 18; http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/eddan/se-13.htm for the entire text of Hyndluljóð (Hyndlas sång) online, in Swedish
49. Finnur Jónsson.1932. Hyndluljóð "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 146 footnote n.18 to strofe 18
50. Snorre Heimskringla, Fabel Pocket page21 ff.
51. Finnur Jónsson.1932. Hyndluljóð "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 146 footnote n.15 to strofe 15 (where Sjöldunga, Skilfinga and Ylfinga are named) In the note is said that Sjöldunga is the Danish family while Skilfinga are probably considered a family in Österleden ( = the Swedish Ynglinga) and the Ylfinga´s origin is unsure.
52. Beowulf Björn Collinder1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket "Striden mot Grendel" verses 5 ff.
53. http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/library/oe/texts/a4.1.asp for the entire text of Beowulf in old english online. Beowulf in modern English can be found at http://wiretap.area.com/Gopher/Library/Classic/beowulf.txt.txt
54. Finnur Jónsson.1932. Hegakviða Hjörvarðssonar in "De Gamle Eddadigte" København page 195 strofe 1. page 199. prose § 5 page 203 prose § 6. The entire text of Hegakviða Hjörvarðssonar (Kvädet om Helge Hjorvardsson) in swedish online at http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/eddan/se-15.asp
55. Åke Ohlmarks 1954 Eddans Hjälte Sånger Stockholm 1954 pages 60 and 213
56. Beowulf Björn Collinder 1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket end notes
57. Beowulf Björn Collinder 1998 Natur och Kultur Pocket Intoduction page VIII
58. The conclusion is strictly personal
Tack till Giuseppe Privitera som inlämnade denna artikel till Ginnungagap.