Kirtlan Appendix Finn


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The Finn episode (Chapters XVI. and XVII.) is one of those events in Beowulf that would be quite well known to the first hearers of the song, but to us is lacking in that clearness we might desire. Fortunately, Dr. Hickes discovered a fragment entitled, The Fight at Finnsburgh, on the back of a MS. of the Homilies. From Beowulf and from this fragment we are able to piece together an intelligible story. It is probably as follows:


1. Finn, King of the North Frisians and Jutes.

2. Hoc, a Danish chieftain.

3. Hildeburh, daughter of Hoc.

4. Hnaef, son of Hoc.

5. Hengest, son of Hoc.

6. Two sons of Finn and Hildeburh.

7. Hunlafing, a Finnish warrior.

8. Guthlaf and Oslaf, two Danish warriors.

Finn abducts Hildeburh, the daughter of Hoc, the Dane. Hoc pursues the two fugitives and is killed in the m魩e. Twenty years pass by—Hnaef and Hengest, sons of Hoc, take up the vendetta. In the fighting Hnaef and a son of Finn and Hildeburh are slain. A peace is patched up. Hengest, son of Hoc, [201]is persuaded to remain as a guest of Finn for the winter, and it is agreed that no reference shall be made by either side to the feud between them. Then the bodies of Hnaef, Hildeburh s brother, and of her son are burnt together on the funeral pyre, and great is the mourning of Hildeburh for her son. But Hengest is ever brooding vengeance. The strife breaks out anew in the spring. Hengest is killed, but two of his warriors, Guthlaf and Oslaf, break through the enemy, return to Finn s country, and slay him and carry off Hildeburh. The Fight at Finnsburgh, which is Homeric in style, is the account of the first invasion of Finn by Hnaef and Hengest, and Wyatt fits it in before the Finn episode on p. 75. M�r places it after the phrase, whose edge was well known to the Jutes, on p. 79.


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