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GLOSSARY OF NAMES
The spelling of names in this study guide are based on the Burton Raffel translation. Alternative spellings are given below in parentheses.
BEO - A Danish king. Son of Shild, father of Healfdane.
BEOWULF - Son of Edgetho, nephew of Higlac. King of the Geats. Born in A.D. 495, went to Denmark to battle Grendel in 515, became king of the Geats in 533.
BONSTAN (Beanstan) - Father of Brecca.
BRECCA - Chief of the Brondings. A young companion of Beowulf.
BRONDINGS - A Scandinavian tribe.
BROSING - A possible reference to the Brisings, who made a necklace for the goddess Freyja.
DAGREF (Daeghrefn) - A Frank warrior, killed by Beowulf.
ECLAF (Ecglaf) - Unferth's father.
EDGETHO (Ecgtheow) - Father of Beowulf, married to Hrethel's daughter.
EFOR (Eofor) - A Geat warrior. Kills Ongentho, and is given Higlac's daughter as a reward.
EMER (Eomer) - Son of Offa.
ERMLAF (Yrmenlaf) - A Danish nobleman, brother of Esher.
ERMRIC (Eormenric) - King of the East Goths.
ESHER (Aeschere) - A Danish nobleman, one of Hrothgar's trusted friends. Killed by Grendel's mother. FINN - A Frisian king; husband of Hnaf's sister, Hildeburh.
FITLA (Fitela) - Son of Siegmund.
FRANKS - A West German tribe, located near the Rhine and Meuse rivers.
FREAW (Freawaru) - Hrothgar's daughter. She's given in marriage to Ingeld, in the hope of settling the quarrel between the Danes and the Hathobards.
FRISIANS - A West German people.
FRODA - King of the Hathobards, father of Ingeld.
GARMUND - Offa's father.
GEATS - A tribe from southern Sweden. The exact identification and origin of this people is unknown.
GOTHS - A tribe originating in Poland. Settled near the Danube River in the third century A.D. Were wiped out by the Lombards at the end of the sixth century.
GRENDEL - A monster (descended from Cain) who lives at the bottom of a lake with his mother. Terrorizes the Danes until he's killed by Beowulf.
HALGA - Son of Healfdane, brother of Hrothgar, father of Hrothulf.
HAMA - A character in the series of tales about Ermric.
HARETH (Haereth) - Father of Higd.
HATHCYN (Haethcyn) - Son of Hrethel. He becomes king of the Geats after accidentally killing his brother, Herbald. Killed by Ongentho.
HATHLAF (Heatholaf) - A member of the Wulfing tribe, killed by Edgetho.
HATHOBARDS - A German tribe, who may have lived on the south Baltic coast.
HEALFDANE (Healfdene) - A Danish king. Son of Beo, father of Hergar, Hrothgar, Halga, and Urs.
HEMMING - A friend of Offa.
HENGEST -A Danish warrior. Avenges the death of his leader, Hnaf, against the Finns.
HERBALD (Herebald) - A prince of the Geats, Hrethel's son. Killed accidentally by his brother, Hathcyn.
HERDRED (Heardred) - A king of the Geats, son of Higlac. He is killed by Onela, the Swedish king.
HERGAR (Heorogar) - A Danish king, son of Healfdane.
HERMOD (Heremod) - A Danish king whose bad character undermined his great military prowess.
HEROT (Heorot) - Battle hall built by Hrothgar to celebrate his successes.
HERWARD (Heoroweard) - Hergar's son.
HIGD (Hygd) - Wife of Higlac, daughter of Hareth.
HIGLAC (Hygelac) - A king of the Geats. Uncle of Beowulf, son of Hrethel, brother of Herbald and Hathcyn.
HNAF (Hnaef) - A Danish king, killed by Finn.
HONDSHEW (Hondscio) - A Geat warrior. Accompanies Beowulf to Denmark and is killed by Grendel.
HRETHEL - A king of the Geats. Higlac's father.
HRETHRIC - Son of Hrothgar.
HROTHGAR - A Danish king. Son of Healfdane. While king his country is afflicted by the attacks of Grendel and Grendel's mother.
HROTHMUND - Son of Hrothgar.
HROTHULF - Son of Halga. Though it's not mentioned in the poem, Hrothulf was to seize the Danish throne after Hrothgar's death, killing Hrethric, the legal heir.
HRUNTING - Unferth's sword.