1 Beowulf: a regime of enforcement Frank Battaglia Marking alliances at the highest levels of Germanic society, Migration Period vian gold bracteates increasingly are viewed as a 'political medium.' 329 D-forms 0-plus bracteates depict a defeated monster. If ever we would expect monster have been current in Germanic Europe, it would have been then. So we may look gin of the Beowulf poem in the period of D-bracteate production and circulation. ontinuation of society required the death of such creatures, we may conceive the rationalizing a regime of enforcement on which were based many early Germanic. Eliminating opposition might provide control, but divine descent gave the elite a aim to authority. Divine favor warranted the shift of religious practice from natural constructed sacred sites at new centres.' Gudme, Funen, the earliest Scandinavian l may have preceeded this development. Eleven ceramics from the area, probably rary with the hall, incorporated crushed, burnt, possibly-human bone as temper, estige of the ritual endo-cannibalism of early Danish farmers, acknowledged even idge Ancient History. Another such vestige is a human shoulder blade ritually Forlev Nymølle, the Danish fertility site in use for six centuries until 400 C.E. that lly exemplifies veneration like that recorded of the dísir. Besides fertility religion, Grendel and his mother represent an alternative gender ng suppressed in the poem. Beowulf, like Sigemund, avenged nìî, manhoodng insult (attested in 6 th century Gaul, later elaborated as an institution, with scorn well as a type of poetry, then forbidden in Old Norse society). The poem sketches le behavior for elite women. Advisories are provided [sèlre...wrece... êonne...murne] ly normative hyper-masculinity that would first be formulated in law under y ethnic labels. ds: Beowulf, enforcement, D-bracteates, fertility religion, endo-cannibalism, bog deposits, war-god religion, militant orthodoxy, nìî. ***** ng alliances at the highest levels of Germanic society, Scandinavian gold bracteates gly are viewed as a 'political medium' representing elements of Germanic y that would not be given written form for centuries. 1 This evaluation has followed rpretation of the "iconographic context" of the images presented on these pendants, by Karl Hauck and associates over the last quarter century. 2
2 st 329 D-forms of these 1000-plus bracteates depict a defeated monster (Figure 1). 3 e would expect monster stories to have been current in Germanic Europe, it would while D-bracteates were being exchanged. 4 So we may look for the origin of the poem in stories circulating during the period of D-bracteate production and n roughly the 6 th century. Heroic narratives and origin myths associated with the 'served to create identities for warrior elites', and can be conceived as rationalizing of enforcement on which were based many early Germanic kingdoms. 5 oach the Beowulf text as a discourse valuable in the process of constituting early kingdoms, specifically, Denmark and those which would give name to England. I about the possible relationship between the poem and events in Denmark, then ow similar connections may have obtained in early Britain. 2 shows a proposed area for the early Danish kingdom, with South Jutland, Funen nd at its core, and North Jutland, South Halland, Scania and Bornholm as close. 6 Although the data are not enough for certainty, I incline to the view of Jyette Ulf Näsman, Lotte Hedeager and Karen Høilund Nielsen that a Danish kingdom ared not later than the end of the Migration Period, in the 6 th century. 7 One of such a development is the adoption of a uniform weapons kit across the region, a f uniform weaponry after which all areas supported similar kinds of armed groups umably, similar social organization. 8 A second and analogous indicator is that elite ess, which had been marked by contrasting ornamentation in some parts of the me to display a uniform style (Figure 3). 9 We may imagine a Danish kingdom at having an over-king who exercised authority over lesser kings. 10 rst Danish kingly hall (Figure 4) had been erected prior to this period, perhaps end of the 3 rd century, at Gudme on Funen, one of eleven Danish sites whose name ome of gods.' 11 In the vicinity of Gudme, Funen other place names also denote a dscape. Five areas of Funen have 'indicators of wealth, power and cult.' 12 Gudme ought to have been erected by a confederation of districts on the island. 13 Of the hich formed this confederation, only the Gudme area 'cannot be associated with any rifices', prompting the suggestion that it was a 'sacrosanct meeting place and a onal sanctuary.' 14 ious practices of South Scandinavia show continuity through the Iron Age until the first millennium C.E. in the use of wetlands as devotional places. Forlev Nymølle, e largest fertility religion sites of northern Europe, has been excavated in the Illerup hed of east central Jutland. The site was in use for about seven centuries, until about with observances beginning with what Silkeborg Museum characterized as the f a 10-foot-tall natural wood form representing a goddess (Figure 5). 15 At one of ncentrations at Forlev Nymølle where animals or pottery had been sacrificed was iece of human shoulder blade that had been carried as an amulet before its deposit. of the treatment of this bone suggest it is a late vestige of a ritual endo-cannibalism ted in the older Danish past. 16 That religious tradition of endo-cannibalism may also ented by eleven ceramics recovered in the Gudme area which had used crushed, sibly human bone as a temper. Figure 6 shows a fragment of one of those ceramics d been used as a amulet that the pottery analyst thought was considered to have ower because of the bone-tempering. Since the bone tempered ceramics of the
3 rea date from the late 2 nd through early 4 th century, they were very likely in use e time when the excavated great hall was standing. while, late in the second century, a new ritual began to be carried out across South via, the deposit in a bog, after defacement, of weapons from a defeated enemy. 17 sh war booty sacrifices in bogs have been studied for about 150 years. The most y excavated, Illerup in Jutland, yielded over 15,000 objects from three major two of the 3 rd century and one of the early 5 th. 18 Such sacrifices are plausibly d as communal thank-offerings for victory, and war-deities have been hypothesized ended recipient of such devotions. 19 The Illerup booty sacrifices are in the same as Forlev Nymølle, where deposits continued until about the end of the 4 th century. lusion that weapons deposits were to war deities may be overly simple. But in some uch as southwest Funen, fertility sacrifices ended with the booty sacrifice at 20 deposits of weapons tapered off in the 5 th century in South Scandinavia, ying a general decline in the use of watery sites for even individual votive ns. Religious practice shifted from natural places to 'constructed sacred sites at new 'Religious objects are found hoarded in settlement contexts, sometimes and this phenomenon... in the postholes of the great halls of the magnates. This indicates a hereby the elite has taken over the control of religion in a new way: they have made l institution of religious practice.' 22 5 th century also sees the development of metalwork displaying Germanic Animal ut the motifs of Salin's Style I, the figural mounts of Anglo-Saxon shields, and the teates, Tania Dickinson has observed that the 'ornament seems to focus on images ous, underworld embodiments of death and evil, and on gods or sorcerers, or their ansformation, who can defeat or offer salvation from them.' 23 Especially worthy of just as the bogs are being abandoned as locations of sacrifice, an artistic style which sees the watery world as evil, the source of monsters to be killed, the older y become demonic. acteates represent a concentrated version of this perspective, because the threatening s not just an element, but the central motif. It is perhaps not surprising then that D- have been suggested as representing a different political and ideological spectrum, ing power structure' to that found in the areas where A-, B-, and C-bracteates are Karen Høilund Nielsen, who offered this analysis, thought that consolidation of the areas where D- and other kinds of bracteates were found was the last stage in the ent of the Danish kingdom. h brings us to Beowulf, where a hero from an area with D-bracteate concentration elps stabilize the kingdom of the Danes. ecial relationship between a ruler and a deity - of the sort that justified the shift of practice from natural sites to constructed ones - is certainly represented in the poem: der of wonder granted world honor' woroldàre forgeaf - to Scyld's son (line 17); ar was war-success given' - wæs Hròîgàre herespèd gyfen (line 64). 25 Skjoldunga viving as an abstract, offers testimony that 'has arisen independently in the north' of
4 scent from Odin. 26 All but one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies claim cestry. 27 exclusive association of one deity name with places of community worship in late nmark has led to the conclusion that a single god, Othin, played a completely role in the public cult. 28 This militant orthodoxy may have expressed the ethos of cteates, which considered its opposition as monstrous. I see in that ethos an element sness, of willingness to destroy anyone or anything standing in conflict, a drive to hers, with little capacity to accept them as equals. uccess of the ideological program of pagan henotheism or monotheism, a militant y, has been said to show the concentration of political power in the hands of the istocracy. Enactment of such power is represented by the 8 th century burial of two males on a magnate's (lesser king's?) farm at Tissø in western Zealand. 29 ian Hald concluded his analysis of Danish theophoric place names showing public with an observation whose possible significance for the Beowulf poem has never ued: the complete dominance of a single god in the public cult was of great ce in bringing about the relatively painless transition to the new monotheistic Christianity. 30 I suggest that the 'stirring verse' about 'Beowulf s deeds' which aid we can be 'practically certain' existed before the current form of the poem d the power of the war god Woden/Othin, especially in the hanging of Grendel's presence of bone-tempered ceramics at Gudme and in nearby communities during d of the excavated great hall stands in marked contrast to the perspective of the two points the poem does seem to acknowledge that Grendel represents an alternate He is said to want to 'mark his moor retreats' - mearcaî mòrhopu (450) - with body. It sounds exactly like a ritual activity which the poem is declaring to be, the use of the bogs as religious sites. Even more pointedly, Beowulf complains in that the Danes have allowed Grendel 'to sacrifice', with the verb sendan usually by editors because of its connection with 'old heathen sacrificial terminology.' 32 The anish tradition of endo-cannibalism has been transformed in Beowulf to exom, with Grendel who practices it hardly human and certainly not a Dane. 33 es fertility religion, Grendel and his mother represent an alternative gender order pressed in the poem. 34 The Beowulf poem's program for a new masculinity comes relief when we consider one of the repeated terms, nìƒ, in relation to its nd. 35 The lexeme has a complicated and charged history with both the meaning and the meaning 'insult' in several languages, notably Old English and Old Norse. 36 g to linguist Thomas Markey, 'at its oldest derivational level nìƒ implied a curse masculinity.' 37 In Scandinavia, nìƒ had extensive elaboration as a ritual taunt to this th a kind of poetry, níƒvísur, and/or a physical display, the erection of a scorn-pole, with or without runes or carved caricatures or a slaughtered animal s head all for f attacking the masculinity of another man. 38 ermanic society of the first millennium CE a quite violent homophobia emerged. It easured in a provision of the Grey Goose Grágás of Icelandic law that if a man
5 her man one of three words, ragr, stroƒinn... sorƒinn, 39 all indicating penetrated e-sexuality, the victim has the right to kill in retaliation. 40 Earg, the Anglo-Saxon ragr occurs in Beowulf as the hero advances on the dragon. Line 2541 establishes ter by litotes: ne biî swylc earges sìî! 'such is not an earg way!' 41 word nìƒ occurs in Beowulf at least forty times, both as a simplex and in ds. 42 Friedrich Klaeber and Robert Fulk have glossed the term variously as 'ill-will,' olence,' 'hostility,' 'rancor,' 'persecution,' 'trouble,' 'affliction,' 'battle,' 'contest' or Another meaning which seems appropriate at points is manhood-challenging he first occurrence, in lines much emended, follows the building of the hall: ne wæs à gèn,/ æt se ecghete à umswèoran/ æfter wælnìƒe wæcnan scolde (lines 83b-85). nslates: nor was it then much longer til the sword-hate would wake for the oathafter slaughter nìƒ. Rather than an anticipation of trouble with Ingeld, the lines may eadly challenge to the masculinity of the builders of the hall. e poem s next use of the term, Grendel is said to carry out hate-nìƒas (152). To s special misery, this was manifestly and sadly known in song, undyrne cùƒ/ òmore (150-51), words even more resonant if Grendel s nìƒas had a sexual taunt to further reference to nìƒ calls Grendel s violent persecution nìƒgrim (193). Robert sed this as cruel, and it may have been as cruel as a sexual taunt. The ely following line is: Êæt fram hàm gefrågn Higelàces egn (194), That, from home, gelac s thegn. Beowulf s trip to Denmark is in response to hearing about a nìƒ rothgar. e lines suggest, I hope, that nìƒ is an important term in the argument of the poem. may give a fuller sense of why this is the case. When Beowulf first speaks to he says that he has heard of the ing of Grendel, his 'meeting' (409), because of hall stands idle. Diplomatically, Beowulf does not use with Hrothgar the term nìƒ has gone on in Denmark, although the word will be used for events in his own land. continues that he was advised to seek Hrothgar by those who knew he came from odied by enemies where he bound five, destroyed the kin of giants, and on the w nicors by night ( ). I endured severe distress, he says, adding: wræc ìƒ (423), I avenged the nìƒ of the Weders, that is, of his own people. From nìƒ evidently entails some kind of insult. But what insult? Beowulf does not say in of giants or the nicors did anything to the Weders to affront them. Why was e necessary? answer, I think, is that the giants and the nicors were associated with the older eligion of the North whose links to the former authority of women made such themselves an affront to the new male dignity. Ritual practices at sites like Forlev likely were considered earg. Earlier in the millennium, exhibits of sacrificed heads, hides and forelegs had marked fertility sacrifices, but now they appeared as womanishness in níƒ displays. tenderness of Germanic male sensibilities in this matter is suggested by a níƒ n Egils saga. 44 In Chapter 57 Egil raises a níƒ-pole (níƒstông) against Norwegian Bloodaxe on grounds stated in an accompanying verse, including that he is
6 by his wife. 45 Surely it was worse to be linked to the ancient society where as based on female lineage and women held significant authority. Grendel flees, mortally wounded, the poet says: hæfde à gefålsod... /...sele / genered wiƒ nìƒe (825-27). Beowulf had then cleansed the hall of Hrothgar, it against nìƒ," which, we see, has been the essence of the problem of Heorot. es sketching permissible behavior for elite women, the poem provides advisories wly normative hyper-masculinity. For example, Beowulf tells Hrothgar, the king friend Æschere is killed: 'Ne sorga... Sèlre biî...wrece... êonne...murne' 'Mourn not. r [for each that he] avenge than... mourn' ( ). Such discourse shaped the of the Germanic military class which is now understood to have been formalized in apparently ethnic labels that, in fact, described social function rather than race. 46 w remarks about the English context of the poem. The proportion of Scandinavian teates found in England which are D-designs, that is, depicting monsters overcome c heroes, is more than twice as high (68%) as their ratio in the bracteate corpus as a 3%), which probably has a connection with Woden's regnal potency among the know that, especially after 580, Anglo-Saxons took over ritual enclosures of the mano-british elite and converted them to their own use. 48 This may have been the n attitude similar to that which would produce Othinic monotheism in Denmark. my understanding that some deity names in Beowulf have been changed to ze it. But if I am correct, core sentiments of the poem express war god religion. ulness of such militancy is not far to seek in the Anglo-Saxon period. For g the killing of 1200 Christian monks at the Battle of Chester, Bede, in my view, to be notorious. Of Oswald Bede says: 'He wished the whole whom he was to rule to be initiated into the grace of the Christian faith, which he had already put st searching test in defeating the barbarians.' In a paradigm-shifting moment, Eric said of this passage: 'The sentiment is centered on Christ instead of Woden, but it is sentiment.' 49 Reveling at the killing of hundreds of monks at the Battle of Chester, Bede zed them as 'perfidious' perfidi, 50 echoing the term used by another cleric to the armed rebellion of Paul at Septimania in In Languedoc, as in Britain, s no rhetorical space for disagreement, whether ideological or political, even as the. changed line." 52 The same was true in Beowulf on gender and earlier religious well.
7 s Andrén,'Guld och makt en tolkning av de skandinaviska guldbrakteaternas, in Samfundsorganisation og Regional Variation, ed. Charlotte Fabech and Jyette d (Moesgård: Jysk Arkåologisk Selskab, 1991), , 253; Marit Gaimster, avian Gold Bracteates in Britain. Money and Media in the Dark Ages', Medieval logy 36 (1992): 1-28; Idem, 'The Scandinavian gold bracteates', in Roman ns in Scandinavia (Rome: L Erma di Bretschneider, 1996), , 219. stem now commonly used to identify bracteates, with IK numbers from their place onographische Katalog, "iconographic catalogue," was developed by Hauck and cluding Morten Axboe, Urs Clavadetscher, Klaus Düwel and Lutz von Padberg, dbrakteaten der Völkwanderungszeit, 3 Vol. (Munich: Fink, 1985, 1986, 1989); now ented by Morton Axboe, Charlotte Behr and Klaus Düwel, 'Katalog der Neufunde', Goldbrakteaten der Völkwanderungszeit, Auswertung und Neufunde, ed. Wilhelm n and M. Axboe (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011), and Tafeln. bracteates known in 2010, Axboe, Behr and Düwel, 'Neufunde,' 893; 329 D- s as of 1990, Morten Axboe and Anne Kromann, 'DN ODINN P F AUC? Germanic l Portraits" on Scandinavian Gold Bracteates', Acta Hyperborea 4 (1992), 279. oming, Frank Battaglia, Beowulf and the bracteates', in The Dating of Beowulf: A ment, Essays on the Theme of the Harvard University Conference, September 2011, y Leonard Neidorf and Joseph McMullen (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval aissance Studies). Hedeager, 'Migration Period Europe: The Formation of a Political Mentality', in of Power, From Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages, ed. Frans Theuws and Nelson (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 15-57, 17, with the later writing down of elements of literature representing 'the Germans' integration into the Classical Roman imperial (Ibid., 18); Charlotte Behr, 'Do bracteates identify influential women in Early l kingdoms?' in Kingdoms and Regionality, ed. Birgit Arrhenius (Stockholm: ogical Research Laboratory, 2001), 95. n, Kuml, 2006, 225, Fig. 6, 226. an 1999, 8; Hedeager 1992a; Høilund Nielsen 1998, 5; Jytte Ringtved, 'The hy of power: South Scandinavia before the Danish kingdom', Anglo-Saxon Studies eology and History, 10 (1999), 49. rm sets of weapons and a large component of equestrian equipment are in evidence 550 C.E. (Nørgard Jørgensen 1997, 206). d Nielsen 1998, 5; 1991, 132-5, Fig. 5. n Callmer, 'Aristokratiskt präglade residens från yngre järnåaldern i gshistorien och deras problematick', in '...GICK GRENDEL ATT SÖKA DET HÖGA.', Arkeologiska källor till aristokratiska miljöer i Skandinavien under yngre r, ed. Johan Callmer and Erik Rosengren (Halmstad: Hallands länsmuseer, 1997), gtved, 'Geography of power', 60-61; Lars Jørgensen, 'From tribute to the estate 3 rd 12 th century', in Kingdoms and Regionality, ed. Birgit Arrhenius (Stockholm: logical Research Laboratory, 2001), 80; Birgit and Peter Sawyer, 'The Making of
8 dinavian Kingdoms', in Die Suche nach den Ursprüngen, ed. Walter Pohl (Wien: chischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2004), Battaglia, 'Not Christianity versus Paganism, but Hall versus Bog: The Great Shift Scandinavian Religion and its Implications for Beowulf', in Anglo-Saxons and the Essays Reflecting the Theme of the 10 th Meeting of the International Society of axonists in Helsinki, August 2001, ed. Matti Kilpiö, Leena Kahlas-Tarkka, Jane and Olga Timofeeva (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance 2009), Radiocarbon testing placed the building later in the Iron Age than had cavation reports, but early and very late date for wood in fill material creates great nty about the results. The majority of the samples, which were of fill material, not om the structure, produced datings with an 60% likelihood (1 sigma) of being C.E. (Rasmussen, Rahbek, and Sørensen 1995, 56, Tab. 1). Stilborg ed the chronological position of the hall 'an open question' (1997, 63). Jørgensen g Petersen think the building was used until the beginning of the 5 th century, then ucted in another Gudme location where late 5 th and 6 th century treasures have been 998, 202, 204). otte Fabech, 'Reading Society from the Cultural Landscape: South Scandinavia Sacral and Political Power', The Archaeology of Gudme and Lundeborg, ed. P.O. K. Randsborg, and H. Thrane (København: Universitetsforlaget, 1994), 177. Sørensen, 'Gudmehallerne, Kongeligt byggeri fra jernalderen', Nationalmuseets mark (København, 1994), 25-39; Fabech, 'Sacral and Political Power', , Fig. glia, 'Great Shift', 56. h, 'Sacral and Political Power', 177; John Hines, 'Ritual Hoarding in Migrationcandinavia: A Review of Recent Interpretations', Proceedings of the Prehistoric 55 (1989), 196, Fig. 1. Crumlin-Petersen 1991 'peace of Nerthus. B. van der Sanden and Torsten Capelle, Mosens Guder/ Immortal Images rg, 2001), Fig. 90; Jørgen Lund, Forlev Nymølle, En offerplads fra yngre sk jernalder, Kuml 2002), glia, 'Hall versus Bog', 66; Ibid., 'Cannibalism in Beowulf and older Germanic presented at MANCASS 2010, University of Manchester and forthcoming in a edited by Gale Owen-Crocker. r Storgaard, 'Himlingøje, Barbarian empire or Roman implantation?', in Military of the Aristocracy in Barbaricum in the Roman and Early Migration Periods, ed. B. d (Copenhagen: National Museum, 2001), 97; Ilkjær 2003, 52. Dating chart, Jørgensen 2003, 200. Recent contributions include The Spoils of Victory, The the shadow of the Roman Empire, ed. Lars Jørgensen, Birger Storgaard and Lone Thomsen (Copenhagen: Nationalmuseet, 2003); Susan Möller-Wiering 2011;, 'Hall versus Bog', , , 195. sen, Kuml h an 1999, quoted in Battaglia 2009, 48.
9 son 2011, 650. nd Nielsen 1998, 6. Fulk, Robert E. Bjork, and John D. Niles, ed., Klaeber's Beowulf and The Fight at rg, 4 th Ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008); all references to this Although associated with female deities, the metaphor of one's fate being 'given' e been so deeply embedded in the mid-first-millennium Scandinavian world view as necessary to use it to be understood Frank Battaglia, 'Gifeîe as "granted by Beowulf', In Geardagum, 23 (2002), 52. This article has a lengthy errata sheet, from 2002, 66. ille Hedeager is among those who see this claim as related to Germanic Art 'Political Mentality.' 963, 108. Jørgensen, 'En storgård fra vikingetid ved Tissø, Sjælland en foreløbig tion', ed. Larsson and Hårdh, 1998, ; hung man and other deviant burial, ristensen 1997, , 108. n 1984, I expect to offer discussion elsewhere about the display of Grendel's king use of H.M. Chadwick, The Cult of Othin (London: Clay, 1899, 19). In a argument, the poem names the female deity Gefion linked with the Danes or Scyld of the sources, and discredits her Frank Battaglia, 'The Germanic Earth Goddess ulf', Mankind Quarterly, 31 (1991): lia, 'Hall versus Bog', post-foucauldian truism that they who successfully define and superintend a crisis, g its lexicon and discursive parameters, successfully confirm themselves the of power, [with] the administration of crisis operating to revitalize ownership of the nts of power even as it vindicates the necessity of their use' - Heng and Devan 7. e poem's critique of matriliny, Battaglia, 'Earth Goddess?' , 430. ates of nìƒ are attested from all of the older Germanic languages: OHG nid, OS,, OIc., OE nìƒ, Goth. neiî' - Markey, 'Níîvísur,' 14. meaning manhood-challenging insult for Old English is established by a gloss of, nìƒlice as muliebriter, i. enerviter (Napier, An. Oxon. I 744, in Markey, "Níîvísur," y, "Níîvísur," 18; Jochens, "Old Norse Sexuality"; Clover, "Regardless," ; racht Sørensen, Unmanly, 11; Bo Almqvist, Norrön niddiktning, nshistoriska studier i versmagi, 1, Nid mot furstar, (Stockholm: Almqvist & 1965). tive function in ancient Germanic fertility religion for the display of an animal head t is suggested by bog finds at Rislev in Denmark and Oberdorla in Germany, where heads with the skin and the foot bones left on [may have been] mounted on poles Christiansen, The sacrificial bogs of the Iron Age, The Spoils of War, ; J.
10 d and K. Ferdinand, Jernalderofferfund i Valmose ved Rislev, Kuml (1961): 47- r sites: Bertha Stjernquist, The Basic Perception of Religious Activities at Cult h as Springs, Lakes and Rivers, The World-View of Prehistoric Man, Lars Larsson tjernquist, ed. (Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 57-78; Stuart Piggott, Heads and Hoofs, Antiquity, 36 (1962): ]. This ritual become derogated in the religious shift from bog to hall, earth/fertility deities to deities, Vanir to Æsir [Battaglia, 'Hall versus Bog'; Anne Monikander, "Borderlandand Stalking-Horses, Horse Sacrifice as Liminal Activity in the Early Iron Age," Swedish Archaeology, 14 (2006): , 156]. A story of a religious ritual ng a horse penis (Vôlsa Êáttr ) is preserved within the Saga of Saint Olaf in ók (II, 331) [E.O.G. Turville-Petre, Myth and Religion of the North (NY: Holt, and Winston, 1964), ; further refs., idem, Fertility of Beast and Soil in Old iterature, Old Norse Literature and Mythology, Edgar C. Polomé, ed. (Austin: U, 1969), , 263n74]. Of a mare s body being used to set up a ní pole in a saga, Meulengracht Sørensen has offered a fair guess that the mare is a symbol bsent man [not having appeared to answer a challenge to combat], who by this accused of cowardice (Unmanly, 29, 38). second word sor inn is the same as sor it, from ser a, for the male role in xual intercourse. Another word with the same meaning, stre a, was created by is. The past participles of these two words, sor inn and stro inn, were joined by the ragr [.which] had a broad semantic range that included both lack of courage and ral condition of effeminacy, whereas the two other words referred explicitly to the n which one man designated as having been stro inn or sor it played the passive ile the other performed the action of stre a or sor it. These three words constituted se ní, defined as general accusations of effeminacy and/or specific charges of homosexual behavior. Such insults resulted in outlawry or even the killing of the. However, noted Jochens, the law did not penalize the two performers of the x act, but an outsider, a third person who accused one of the men of having played ive role (Jochens, "Sexuality," 382). See also Fulk, "Homoeroticism," 29n81. observed that for all its associations with the female body, the word argr (ergi, agr, etc.) finally knows no sex (Clover, "Regardless," 385). 393 in Jochens, "Sexuality," 382; Kari Ellen Gade. Homosexuality and Rape of n Old Norse Law and Literature, Scandinavian Studies, 5 (1986): , 132; racht Sørensen, Unmanly, 100; Markey, "Níîvísur," 9. inscriptions datable to the mid 7 th century in Southern Sweden appear to threaten: who desecrates the stones will be *ergia, 'a substantive corresponding to West gi' (Markey, 'Níîvísur,' 8; Fulk "Homoeroticism," 29n81). e Corso, 'Some Considerations of the concept "Ni " in Beowulf,' Neophilologus, Between 550 and 570, a Frankish count Palladius seems to have taunted a bishop Parthenius in an act of nìƒ (Pizarro, 'Nìƒ'). The event, including divine
11 ce, was recorded by Gregory of Tours in the same History of the Franks (IV.39) in e reported Hygelac s raid in Frisia (III.3). ich Klaeber, Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, 3 rd ed. (Lexington, MA: Heath, 80; Fulk et al., Beowulf, 418. r refers to 'the frantic machismo of Norse males, at least as they are portrayed in the, [which] would seem on the face of it to suggest... being born male precisely did er automatic superiority,... distinction had to be acquired, and constantly reacquired, ting it away from others' ('Regardless,' 380). 'Frantic machismo' describes the by Gunnarr of Hlí arendi, a main character in Njáls saga, to being accused of because of a cheek wound: he and his brother avenge this affront by killing eight s. 53 and 54) (Meulengracht Sørensen, Unmanly, 21). The possibility of structuring insult into or reading it out of almost any utterance etailed prohibitions of poetry in Icelandic law intended to control níî. The section ry' in Grágás opens with a ban on composing any poetry about people: 'No man is to ither praise or blame about another' Hvarke a maîr at yrkia vm mann löst ne löf y, 70, 109). The Konungsbók version of Grágás specifies a penalty of three marks if a mposes a stanza about another man and banishment if he composes three stanzas. son for this prohibition must have been that it was common practice to conceal níî ibly innocent stanzas and therefore one could not feel confident as to what was nd what blame. This problem emerges clearly in the next provision of the law, in he severest penalty, outlawry, is decreed for one who composes a half-stanza ng blame or scorn, "or the kind of praise that he composes in order to insult" eîa hann yrkir til haîungar' (Unmanly, 70, 109). ey, "Ní vísur," 10; Battaglia, 'Cannibalism in Beowulf. Meulengracht Sørensen that the gift of a silk cloak in Njáls saga, as part of wergild payment for a killing, eminine implication and thus is so emotionally loaded with insult it causes illing (Unmanly, 10). Barnwell, Britons and Warriors in Post-Roman South-East England, Anglo-Saxon in Archaeology and History (ASSAH), 12 (2003): 1-8; Heinrich Härke, Early axon Social Structure, The Anglo-Saxons from the Migration Period to the Eighth An Ethnographic Perspective, John Hines, ed. (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 25-70, 150; Patrick Amory, The meaning and purpose of ethnic terminology in the ian laws, Early Medieval Europe 2 (1993): 1-28; Halsall 1998, Of Scandinavian gold bracteates found in England, D-bracteates make up 31 out 68 percent. ecent but not current data, D-bracteates make up 329 of the 1003 known avian gold bracteates. This is slightly less than 33%. 48 John Blair, Anglo-Saxon Pagan Shrines and their Prototypes, ASSAH 8 (1995): Eric John, 'The Point of Woden,' Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History 5 (1992). 2.
13 e 1. D-bracteates from Djurgårdsäng, rgötlnd, Sweden (IK 418, upper left), Nørre m, Westjütland, Denmark (IK 469), Nebenstedt, rsachsen, Germany (IK 468), Killerup, Fyn, ark (IK 455,1, number incomplete) [After Axboe 20; Pesch 2007, 281, 274].
16 end Figure 1. Figure 2. Early Danish kingdom end of Figure 2. Figure 3. Women's dress ornaments, first half of 6 th century.
17 end of Figure 3. Figure 4. The Gudme hall was the largest in Scandinavia in the Roman Period/Migration Period [After Karsten K. Michaelsen and P. Ø. Sørensen, En kongsgård fra jernalderen, Årbog for Svendborg og Omegns Museum 1993 (1994), 24 35].
18 end of Figure 4. Figure 5. The bog shrine at Forlev Nymølle, find concentration I [after Sanden and Capelle, Mosens Guder, Fig. 90].
20 end of Figure 5. Figure 6. Bone-tempered ceramic from Gudme area used as an amulet. (after Stilborg, Shards, Fig. 49). end of Figure 6.
Beowulf: a regime of enforcement Frank Battaglia Abstract Marking alliances at the highest levels of Germanic society, Migration Period Scandinavian gold bracteates increasingly are viewed as a 'political
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