The Relation of the Hrolfs Saga Kraka and the Bjarkarimur to Beowulf
by Oscar Ludvig Olson
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It seems, then, that Bjarki intended to deceive the king. He undoubtedly did; but the deception was not intended to mislead the king. Hott was brave and strong, and Bjarki knew it; and even if Hott's strength and bravery should gain recognition through the employment of a ruse that involved no real test, no harm would be done. The author, however, planned that all should turn out otherwise. The reader will also remember the deception practiced by the shepherd boy in the story from Jn Arnason's collection.[102] The boy, who is there the hero of the story, as is Bjarki in the Hrlfssaga, is represented as deceiving his master, but likewise without doing him appreciable harm, and furthermore without raising reflections on the part of the author as to the rectitude of his conduct.

Panzer says that Hott's explanation that the repeated breaking-in of the monster is due to the fact that the king's best men do not return home at that time of the year is a strange explanation.[103] But in regard to Hott's statement a distinction must be made between fact and opinion. It is a fact, as the saga immediately afterwards shows, that the king's berserks are not at home; but it is only Hott's opinion that, if they were at home, they would be able to put an end to the depredations of the monster. It was quite natural, however, that he should think so; for to such an abject coward as he was, it must have seemed that nothing could resist such warriors as these berserks were. That they were not at home was due to the fact that they were on one of their regular expeditions. But why they had not been retained at home to cope with the dragon is not explained. The first time it appeared, it came entirely unexpected. The next year there may have been a question as to whether it would appear or not. The third year it was definitely expected. It seems, therefore, that preparations would have been made to resist it; and when the berserks are not retained at home to cope with the monster, it is due to the exigencies of the story. The berserks might have been retained at home to cope unsuccessfully with the monster, or avoid coping with it at all as the king's other men did, and thus place Bjarki's feat of slaying it in the strongest relief. But by letting the berserks be absent at Christmas and return later, the author accomplished more than this. Bjarki slew the monster, which, in any treatment of the story, he must be represented as doing. He seized one of the berserks, who demanded that Bjarki recognize him as his superior as a warrior, and threw him down with great violence. This was a more spectacular method of showing superiority to the berserks than merely doing what they dared not attempt to do, or could not do. But it is especially in the treatment of Hott, that skillful manipulation of the story is displayed in having the berserks return home and resume their boastful manner, after Hott has become strong and daring. Compared with the king's best warriors it is still a question as to how strong and brave Hott now is. The question is answered when he is requested to admit his inferiority to the berserks; for he seizes the one who confronts him and treats him as Bjarki is treating one of the others. Thus, in the presence of King Hrolf and the court, Hott displays his superiority to the doughtiest of the king's famous warriors. Finally, poetic justice is also achieved, for the very men who had made fun of Hott and thrown bones at him are now compelled to recognize that he is the master of them all.

Panzer sees a deeper meaning, than evidently is intended, in the statement that, as Bjarki was about to attack the dragon, his sword stuck fast in the scabbard.[104] There is no reason, however, for regarding it as anything more than a melodramatic incident characteristic of medieval romances. It reminds one of the following statement by Wilbur L. Cross, which, with the omission of the reference to "giants" and "Merlin," characterizes the Hrlfssaga quite accurately and shows how it harmonizes with the spirit of medieval literature of its kind, "It is true that they [i.e., the Arthurian romances] sought to interest, and did interest, by a free employment of the marvellous, fierce encounters of knights, fights with giants and dragons, swords that would not out of their scabbards, and the enchantments of Merlin".[105]

The Stories in the BJARKARMUR of Bjarki's Slaying the Wolf and Hjalti's Slaying the Bear.

But what is the relation of this story to the corresponding stories in the Bjarkarmur? The stories in the rmur are as follows:—

"Flestir ọmuu Hetti heldr, hann var ekki mli sneldr, einn dag fru eir t af họll, sv ekki vissi hirin ọll.

Hjalti talar er felmtinn fr, 'fọrum vi ekki skgi nr, hr er s ylgr sem etr upp menn, okkr drepr hn ba senn.'

Ylgrin hljp r einum runn, gurlig me gapanda munn, họrmuligt var Hjalta vir, honum skalf bi leggr og lir.

tpt Bjarki a henni gengr, ekki dvelr hann vi a lengr, họggur sv a hamri std, hljp r henni ferligt bl.

'Kjstu Hjalti um kosti tv, kappinn Bọvar talai sv, drekk n bl ea drep eg ig hr, dugrinn lz mr engi r.'

Ansar Hjalti af rnum m, 'ekki ori eg a drekka bl, ntir flest ef nauigr skal, n er ekki betra val.'

Hjalti gjọrir sem Bọvar bir, a bli fr eg hann lagist nir, drekkur san drykki rj, duga mun honum vi einn a rj.

Hugrinn x en miklast mttr, minst var honum litlu drttr, raunmjọg sterkr og ramr sem trọll, rifnuu af honum klin ọll.

Sv er hann orinn harr i hug, hann hrist ekki jrna flug, burtu er n bleyinafn, Bọvari var hann a hreysti jafn." (IV, 58-66).

"Hann hefr fengi hjarta snjalt af họrum mi, fekk hann huginn og afli alt af ylgjar bli.

grindur vandist grbjọrn einn garinn Hleiar, var s margur vargrinn beinn og va sveiar.

Bjarka er kent, a hjararhunda hafi harm drepna, ekki er hnum allvel hent vi ta kepna.

Hrlfur bst og hir hans ọll a hna stri, s skal mestr minni họll er mtir dri.

Beljandi hljp bjọrninn framm r bli krukku, veifar snum vnda hramm, sv virar hrukku.

Hjalti sr og horfir , er hafin er rma, hafi hann ekki họndum nema hnefana tma.

Hrlfur fleygi a Hjalta eim hildar vendi, kappinn mti krummu br og klti hendi.

Lagi hann san bjọrninn brtt vi bginn hgra, bessi fell brar tt og bar sig lgra.

Vann hann a til frga fyst og fleira sar, hans var lundin lọngum byst leiki grar.

Hr me fekk hann Hjalta nafn hins hjartapra, Bjarki var eigi betri en jafn vi bti skra." (V, 4-13).[106]

These stories seem, indeed, at first sight more rational than the story in the saga, and have features more in harmony with the account in Saxo; but this does not prove that they are earlier than the version in the saga. In the first place, by introducing two animals, where the other versions have only one, the author of the rmur has broken the unity of the story, a feature in which the story in the Hrlfssaga remains intact and as a consequence is nearer to the primitive form of the story as we find it in Saxo. In the second place, the author of the rmur made precisely the changes that were necessary to remove the most irrational features of the story as we find it in the Hrlfssaga. The troll-dragon, which is an unusual creature, has been supplanted by the more conventional creatures, a wolf and a bear; and by the employment of two animals, the necessity of causing a dead animal to be propped up and be apparently killed again, is avoided. Consistency in the treatment of Bjarki as the descendant of a bear is also observed to the extent that he is said to kill a wolf, not a bear; but this consistency has begun to fade and suffer to the extent that Bjarki accompanies Hrolf on a bear hunt. It is probable, however, that consistency in the treatment of Bjarki in this respect is not contemplated, but that when he is said to kill a wolf it is only that the larger and more dangerous animal may be reserved as the one on which Hjalti is to show his strength and courage and in order that an animal worthy of the king's attention may be reserved for the royal hunt. To eat wolf meat in order to gain strength has just as good warrant in Old Norse literature as to drink the blood of a bear;[107] this, in so far, justifies the introduction in the rmur of the wolf. But when Hjalti is made to drink the blood of the wolf, it seems to be another instance of the author's keeping in mind the version of the story in the Hrlfssaga, where Hjalti drinks the blood of the dragon. It is not necessary to go to Saxo's version for this.

It is said in the rmur, "One day they (Bjarki and Hjalti) went out of the hall, so that the king's men did not know of it." Why did they go out of the hall so that the king's men did not know of it? No reason is assigned; the deed is unmotivated. It seems to be a mere harking back to the statement in the Hrlfssaga,[108] that the two men left the hall secretly. But in the saga there is a reason for their leaving the hall secretly; the king has forbidden his men to leave the hall and expose themselves to attack. That, in the rmur, the men are said to leave the hall in the daytime, instead of at night, is a consequence of the substitution of the wolf for the troll-dragon; a wolf is usually hunted in the daytime. It might be surmised that their going out secretly is in imitation of the story as Saxo knew it. But this is not the case; Saxo does not say that Bjarki and Hjalti went out secretly.[109] The weakness of this feature of the story in the rmur has been observed by Panzer, who believes, nevertheless, that the rmur represent an earlier form of the story than the one in the saga. He says, "Zweifeln mchte man nur, ob das Motiv des heimlichen Auszugs der beiden nicht in den Rmur flschlich in den ersten Kampf gesetzt ist, wo es ganz unbegrndet steht, statt in den zweiten, wo es allein motiviert erscheint."[110] But this is not the correct explanation. The author of the rmur for some reason, such as a wish to rationalize the story, but which, however, we can only surmise, decided to make radical changes in it. In the first instance he substitutes a wolf for the dragon, but otherwise, considering the material he is going to use in the story of the fight with the bear, retains as much as he can of the story as it is in the saga. Thus the idea of Bjarki's and Hjalti's going out secretly is retained, but without motivation; and if we did not have the story in the saga for comparison, perhaps this deficiency would not have been noticed. Even as it is, Panzer is the only one who has called attention to it.

Referring to the story as Saxo has it, Mllenhoff,[111] ten Brink,[112] Olrik,[113] and Deutschbein[114] speak of Bjarki's going on a hunt. This is hardly correct and requires a little attention, for, if, in Saxo's version, Bjarki went on a hunt, the account given by Saxo is nearer to the first story in the rmur than if he did not. But Saxo does not say that Bjarki went on a hunt. He says: "Talibus operum meritis exultanti nouam de se siluestris fera uictoriam prebuit. Vrsum quippe eximie magnitudinis obuium sibi inter dumeta factum iaculo confecit, comitemque suum Ialtonem, quo uiribus maior euaderet, applicato ore egestum belue cruorem haurire iussit. Creditum namque erat, hoc pocionis genere corporei roboris incrementa prestari."[115] The circumstances immediately preceding the slaying of the bear were such, that it is highly improbable that, at that particular time, he would go on a hunt. It will be remembered that there was to be a wedding in the royal residence; that Agnar was to marry the king's sister; that Agnar took offense at Bjarki's manner of defending Hjalti, whereupon a fight ensued and Bjarki killed Agnar and his warriors. But if Bjarki did not go on a hunt for the bear, how did he come to meet it, and in a thicket at that? The lack of more details, the lack of motivation for going on a hunt in the midst of, or immediately following, the stirring events just mentioned, and utter lack of connection with what precedes, show that Saxo, who, with this story, begins to set the stage, so to speak, for the last grand act of King Hrolf's life, concluded to insert it at this juncture as the most appropriate and effective place he had for it, and then, to add a touch of realism and supply a retreat where the bear would be unobserved by the men, and unwarned of their approach, until they were close upon it, said that Bjarki met it in a thicket. The idea of supplying a motive and observing such consistency as we find in connection with the corresponding story in the Hrlfssaga never occurred to him. The author of the rmur may have known of the version of the story familiar to Saxo, though it is not probable; but the point here is, that he is not following this version when he represents Bjarki as having slain an animal for which he has presumably (though the rmur do not make the matter clear) gone on a hunt.

The author was under no more obligation than Saxo was, to say that Bjarki and Hjalti went out secretly, and the idea is not contained in Saxo's account. But the author of the rmur, observing what pains the author of the saga took to motivate the going out secretly, felt that this feature of the story was so important that it must be retained, and so he retained it without motivation.

In Saxo, Hjalti shows no fear when the bear is met, and he does not refuse to drink the animal's blood. But in the rmur there is the same kind of fear as in the saga. In the saga, however, the author has found an excellent setting for Hjalti's fear; it is beyond improvement; while the ferocity of the man-eating wolf, in the rmur, is stretched to the utmost limit, in order to preserve the spirit of the heroic. Furthermore, when Hjalti had drunk of the blood of the wolf, he had courage "enough for fighting with one man." How did the author know that he had just courage "enough for fighting with one man"? According to the next statement, namely "his courage increased, his strength waxed, he became very strong, mighty as a troll, all his clothes burst open," he seemed, in fact, to have gained strength enough for fighting with several men. Again, "he was equal to Bothvar in courage." How did the author know it? He knew it from the version of the story in the saga, where it is said that Hjalti had wrestled long with Bothvar, and, thus having tried his strength on Bothvar, told him, "nor shall I be afraid of you henceforth." The saga does not say that Hjalti had courage "enough for fighting with one man" or "he was equal to Bothvar in courage." These statements are deductions that the author of the rmur made from the story in the saga, in the light of subsequent events.

In the rmur, it is said that Hjalti "became very strong, mighty as a troll, all his clothes burst open." Why, or whence, this reference to a troll? Another harking back to the Hrlfssaga, another deduction made from the story in the saga. The saga does not say that Hott acquired any of the characteristics of a troll. He is given the desired strength without any reference to the strength of a troll. But when the rmur say that he became "mighty as a troll," it amounts to saying, "Hjalti is no longer represented as having drunk the blood of a troll and eaten some of its heart, as is the case in the Hrlfssaga, but let it be understood, nevertheless, that the strength he has acquired is no less than that of a troll." The troll-dragon has been eliminated, but so great, in the rmur, has the strength of Hjalti become that it now equals that of the very monster, the troll, which, in the saga, he feared to such an extent that it rendered him pitiable in the extreme. Here again the author of the rmur inserted an element that is wholly foreign to his story and unsuggested by it, but that is suggested by the saga, and that he probably never would have thought of, had he not known of the version of the story that is contained in the saga.

Furthermore, the rmur say, "The folds at Hleidargard were attacked by a gray bear; many such beasts were there far and wide thereabout. Bjarki was told that it had killed the herdsmen's dogs; it was not much used to contending with men." This is still another harking back to the Hrlfssaga, and confirms what has been said on pp. 29 ff., that the monster in the saga is a cattle-attacking monster, not a hall-attacking monster. "The folds were attacked," "it had killed the herdsmen's dogs," "it was not much used to contending with men."

The fact that dogs are here said to be killed, but not in the saga, need hardly be mentioned. The idea of dogs is easily associated with that of cattle, especially when, as here, the dogs are "herdsmen's dogs."

Again, we notice the statement in the rmur that "Hrolf tossed to Hjalti his sword." Has he been informed since the slaying of the wolf, that Hjalti is now a courageous man? Perhaps; but nothing is said about it in the rmur. Since Bjarki took pains to go on the wolf hunt secretly, and since we are not informed that what occurred on that hunt has become known or that it has become known that Hjalti is now a courageous man, the presumption is that the king does not know it, and we are surprised at his unmotivated action in treating Hjalti in this unexpected manner. And if Hjalti is now known to be such a hero that Hrolf feels warranted in placing reliance on him to the extent that he tosses him his sword at this critical juncture, why has Hjalti taken part in the hunt with "nothing in his hands"? In the saga it is not said that Hjalti has nothing in his hands; his motive in asking for the king's sword has no connection with whether he has anything in his hands or not.[116] But the author of the rmur, having apparently missed the point in the saga, assumes that, when Hjalti asks for the king's sword, it is because he has no weapon of his own. Hence, without realizing, apparently, the anomalous situation in which he places Hjalti, who is now strong and courageous, he represents him as taking part in the bear hunt empty-handed, though there is no indication that Hjalti thinks that he can cope with the animal without a weapon.

In the Hrlfssaga, it is said that Bjarki killed a dragon by plunging his sword under its shoulder. In the rmur, it is said that Hjalti killed a bear by plunging his sword into its right shoulder. This is another harking back to the Hrlfssaga. Hjalti has now become as courageous as Bjarki; he kills a live animal (instead of knocking over a dead one), and he kills it in just the same way that Bjarki killed the dragon. It can not be assumed that the author of the rmur and the author of the saga employed this manner of dispatching the animal without any knowledge on the part of the one as to what was contained in the account of the other. In fact, it is taken for granted by all writers on the subject that the later account is an altered version of the earlier account. Hence, either this episode in the rmur is modeled after that in the saga, and Hjalti is made to kill the bear in the same way that Bjarki killed the dragon, or the episode in the saga is modeled after that in the rmur, and Bjarki is made to kill the dragon in the same way that Hjalti killed the bear. Is there any doubt as to what has occurred? The former is natural and to be expected, and is probably what has taken place, because: 1. in all the versions of the story Hjalti is represented as having undergone a change that has caused him to become very much like Bjarki—"equal to Bjarki," as it is stated in the rmur, where he is represented as having killed a ferocious beast in the same manner that Bjarki, in the saga, killed a winged monster; 2. it was not unusual to represent dragons as having been killed by being pierced under the shoulder,[117] since a dragon had to be pierced where its scales did not prevent the entrance of a weapon into its body; 3. since there is no special reason why a bear, which is vulnerable in all parts of the body, should be represented as being pierced through the shoulder, the manner in which Hjalti is said to have killed the bear is evidently another unmotivated incident in the rmur that is imitated from a motivated incident in the saga.

What the author of the rmur has done to give the story the form in which we find it in his composition is quite plain. He noticed that, as the monster in the saga attacked the folds at Hleidargard, the situation was very much like that at the beginning of the story about Bothvar in the saga, where a bear is said to have attacked the cattle of King Hring, Bothvar's father.[118] But a bear is a real, not an imaginary, animal, and King Hring took a creditable part in the effort to dispatch it. Hence, this story was substituted for the story about the troll-dragon and adapted to the circumstances, King Hrolf himself taking the lead in the hunt and thus acting in a manner that seemed more to his credit than the way he acted in regard to the monster in the saga.

This story, namely that the man whose cattle have been killed by a bear goes with his men and hunts it down and kills it, is the same that we have in connection with the early life both of Ulf and of Bjarki, where the bear is represented as being the great-grandfather of the former, but the father of the latter. The bear-ancestor feature was not applicable in the connection in which the story is used in the rmur; hence, it was omitted. Now, did this story spring up spontaneously and independently in all these three instances? No, Bjarki and Ulf got their reputed ancestry from the Siward story; and this bear hunt story they got from a common source through contact with each other, or Bjarki got it from Ulf. The author of the rmur, liking it better than the last part of the dragon story in the saga, as most modern readers also have done, took it from the version contained in the saga of the early life of Bjarki and used it for letting Hjalti display his courage. As a result, he modified the story where it applies to the early life of Bjarki. He has two sets of three sons each, while the saga has only one set; and, what is still more suspicious, there is a Bothvar in each set. This is the same kind of separation or repetition as the rmur later make with regard to the dragon story, dividing it into a wolf story and a bear story. Again, as Finnur Jnsson, summarizing the account in the rmur of the death of Bjarki's father, says, "Bjrn forflges, flygter ud i et skr og drbes der af jarlens mnd p et skib (en strk afvigelse fra sagaen)."[119] This divergence was plainly introduced to make the story different from the story that, in substance, was replaced and that was transferred to where Hjalti displays his courage. In the saga, Bjarki's mother is called Bera (she-bear),[120] not Hildr, as in the rmur; and that the name Bera is the earlier of the two there can be no doubt.

Furthermore, we find in the rmur another of the characteristic traces that the author left when he tampered with the dragon story. In the saga, in connection with Bjarki's early life, it is said that when the bear was hunted, it killed all the dogs, but was itself soon after killed by the men. From this the author concluded that it was death on dogs, but could not contend successfully with men. Hence, he says, "Bjarki was told that it had killed the herdsmen's dogs;[121] it was not much used to contending with men." This statement must, therefore, mean, if it means anything, that the bear was not really dangerous to men or, at any rate, not as dangerous as one would naturally suppose. Hjalti must have known this as well as Bjarki, for it was probably he who gave Bjarki the information about the beast, as he did in the corresponding situation in the saga and in the story of the slaying of the wolf. If this was the case, the bravery that Hjalti displays in attacking the animal suffers considerably. The statement reminds us of the situation in the Hrlfssaga. Just as Hjalti knocked over a dragon that was not dangerous because it was dead, so, in the rmur, he dispatched a bear that was not particularly dangerous because "it was not much used to contending with men." In the former instance, however, the feat was not the real test of his courage; in the latter instance, it was.

In the saga, Bjarki knew that the dragon was harmless, because he had killed it; and his knowledge of its harmlessness is vital to the latter part of the dragon story. In the rmur, he is informed that the bear is not so dangerous as one would suppose. But his knowledge of this circumstance has no bearing on the story whatever; everything would have proceeded just as it did if he had been without this information. But in spite of the fact that the bear "was not much used to contending with men," "the men fled" when it "ran from its lair and shook its baleful paws." The author is evidently trying to ride two steeds going in different directions. On the one hand, he has in mind the story of the bear with which Bjarki's father was identified and which was killed by the king's men, and the story of the dead propped-up dragon, which was, of course, not dangerous; on the other hand, he wishes to represent Hjalti's feat of killing the bear, which, in the rmur, the king's men avoided, as, in the saga, they avoided the dragon, as a notable achievement.

Finally, "Hrolf and all his men" took part in the hunt; but, as already stated, when the bear appeared, "the men fled." The statement, "the men fled;" introduces a feature that is wanting in the account in the Hrlfssaga of how Bjarki's father, who had been transformed into a bear by his stepmother, was hunted down and killed. It reminds us of the situation in the saga where King Hrolf and his men avoid the winged monster by remaining indoors when it is expected. In the saga, Bjarki, of course, did not avoid the monster; but whether, in the rmur, the king fled is uncertain. He was, in any event, near enough to Hjalti to toss Hjalti his sword. Bjarki, however, must have fled; and while that would be strange under any circumstances, it would be particularly strange in the present instance, since he knew that the bear "was not much used to contending with men."

Considering the dragon story in the saga and the corresponding stories in the rmur, it is apparent that there is no comparison between them as regards skill in composition; and that, while the stories in the rmur throw no light on the story in the saga, the full significance of the rmur stories appears only when they are read in the light of the story in the saga. Therefore, when Finnur Jnsson says, "Sprger vi om, hvad der er oprindeligst, er der i og for sig nppe tvivl om, at rimerne her har af t dyr gjort to (ulvinden og grbjrnen), s at sagaen p dette punkt m antages at have bedre bevaret det gte," he is undoubtedly right; but when he continues, "Dette bestyrkes kraftig ved, at dette hallen hjemsgende uhyre intet andet er end et om end ndret og afbleget minde om Grendel i Bjovulf,"[122] he is, as the evidence also shows, undoubtedly wrong.

The fact of the matter is that the account in the rmur of the killing of the bear, though brief, is so confused and indefinite that it does not bear analysis; and this is further evidence of the fact that the author of the rmur clumsily re-worked material that he found in the Hrlfssaga version of Bjarki's career, and for the dragon story, which is a good story, substituted two poor ones, namely the wolf story and the bear story.

But the troll-dragon having been eliminated and the bear story selected as the one to be used in connection with Hjalti's display of his newly acquired bravery, for which purpose it is, indeed, on account of the presence of the king and his court, more appropriate than for giving Hjalti an opportunity to imbibe secretly an animal's blood, another story had to be devised to account for Hjalti's strength and courage. The wolf was the next fiercest animal available that the author could think of. He therefore invented a wolf story and placed it first; and, as the examination of it has shown,[123] a late and very poor invention it was, bearing manifest traces of the influence of the dragon story in the saga.


The principal results attained in the foregoing consideration of the dragon story in the Hrlfssaga and the corresponding stories in the Bjarkarmur may be stated briefly as follows:—

1. The story in Saxo is the earliest story we have of the slaying of an animal by Bjarki in order that Hjalti may drink its blood and acquire strength and courage.

2. Bjarki having acquired a reputed bear-ancestry from the fictitious story about Siward, the saga consistently takes this into account and substitutes a dragon, also acquired from the story about Siward, for the bear, which, in Saxo's version, is the kind of animal that Bjarki slays.

3. To motivate Bjarki's going forth secretly to slay the monster at night, a well defined type of Christmas-troll story is employed and the dragon is given the nature of a troll that comes on Christmas Eve and attacks the cattle of the king, who, on account of the terrible nature of the monster, commands his men to stay in the house the night it is expected.

4. That Bjarki may be given credit a) for slaying the monster and b) for making a brave man of the coward Hott, and that c) Hott's change of nature may become apparent and d) a suitable opportunity and plausible reason may be devised for changing his name to Hjalti, the dead dragon is propped up and, in connection with the discovery of the ruse, the story is manipulated so that the saga-man realizes his fourfold purpose.

5. It is highly improbable that the sword-name "Gullinhjalti" in the saga is connected with the words "gylden hilt" in Beowulf. The use of the word "Gullinhjalti" in the saga is not arbitrary or artificial, but a logical result of the situation; and, as the discussion of the matter has shown, the attempt to identify Gullinhjalti with the giant-sword in Beowulf is based on a mere superficial similarity, in which a substantial foundation is altogether lacking.

6. The Bjarkarmur are a later composition than the Hrlfssaga.[124] The author of the rmur has discarded the story of the troll-dragon, has substituted for it the story of the bear hunt connected with the account of Bjarki's early life, has invented a new story about Bjarki's early life, and has invented the story about the wolf hunt to give an opportunity for the introduction of the blood-drinking episode. In the stories of the wolf hunt and the bear hunt, the rmur contain several unmotivated statements that are plainly based on the story as we have it in the saga; and, on the whole, the two stories in the rmur represent such decidedly poor workmanship in the art of narration that recourse must be had to the story in the saga for a realization of the significance of some of the incidents contained in the rmur. The rmur must therefore be left entirely out of account in any attempt to identify Bjarki with Beowulf, or in attempting to connect Bjarki's deeds with those of other heroes, as, for instance, that of Hereward in Gesta Herwardi.[125]

In regard to some particulars, these conclusions differ from the conclusions at which others have arrived; in regard to others, they agree with them. This, however, is a mere matter of chance; for, where some have affirmed and others have denied, it is impossible to avoid agreeing with one party or the other, whatever conclusion an investigation may lead to. Nor should there be any desire to strive for what is new, merely for its own sake. The merit of the foregoing discussion, if it has any, lies in the explanation of the story about Bjarki and the dragon in the Hrlfssaga and the explanation of the relation between this story and the corresponding stories in the Bjarkarmur. This explanation is new, and the writer believes that he has given sufficient reasons to prove that it is correct. If it is correct, it shows that the stories in the rmur are less admirable compositions than they are usually held to be; it shows that the dragon story in the saga is a better composition than it is usually taken to be; and, finally, it establishes the fact that the dragon story in the Hrlfssaga has no connection whatever with the Grendel story or the dragon story in Beowulf.[126]



The first appearance of Hroar (Hrothgar) in literature is in Widsith and Beowulf, where we become acquainted with him as the famous King of the Danes. Helgi (Halga) appears first in Beowulf, where he is scarcely more than mentioned. Hroar and Helgi belong to the most famous group of ancient kings in Denmark and appear repeatedly in old Scandinavian literature. The account of them in the Frattr which introduces the Hrlfssaga, is, briefly summarized, as follows.

Halfdan and Frothi were brothers, the sons of a king, and each was the ruler of a kingdom. Halfdan had two sons, Hroar and Helgi, and a daughter, Signy, the oldest of the three children, who was married to Earl Svil while her brothers were still young. The boys' foster-father was Regin. Near Halfdan's capital was a wooded island, on which lived an old man, Vifil, a friend of Halfdan. Vifil had two dogs, called Hopp and Ho, and was skilled in soothsaying.

Frothi, envying his brother the crown of Denmark, attacked his capital with a large army, reduced it to ashes, and took Halfdan captive and put him to death. Regin took his foster-sons, Hroar and Helgi, to the island and placed them in the care of Vifil, in order that they might not fall into the hands of Frothi. Vifil took them to a cave (earth-hut), where they usually stayed at night; but in the daytime they sported in the grove. Frothi made every effort to locate them and make away with them, calling in witches and wise men from all over the land to tell him where they were, but in vain. Then he called in soothsayers, who told him the boys were not on the mainland, nor far from the court. The king mentioned Vifil's island, and they told him to look for the boys there. Twice he sent men to search for them, but the men failed to find them. Then the king went himself. Vifil, who knew the king was coming, met him on the strand as if by chance, pretending to be looking after his sheep; and when the king bade his men seize Vifil, the old man said, "Do not detain me, or the wolves will destroy my sheep," and cried out, "Hopp and Ho, guard my sheep." The king asked him to whom he was calling; he said, to his dogs. But he had told the boys before, that, when he called out the names of his dogs, they should hide in the cave. The king failed to find the boys and returned; but Vifil told the boys that it was not safe for them to remain on the island and sent them to their brother-in-law, Svil, saying that they would some day be famous, unless, perchance, something prevented it.

Hroar was now twelve years old and Helgi ten. The boys returned to Svil, but, calling themselves Hrani and Hamur, did not tell him who they were; and as they always wore masks, their identity remained unknown to him.

Frothi invited Svil to a feast. Hroar and Helgi expressed a wish to join him; but Svil commanded them to remain at home. Nevertheless, when Svil and his retinue had started off, Helgi got an untamed colt, and mounting it with his face toward the horse's tail, set out, acting all the while very foolishly. Hroar also mounted a colt, and joined him; and the two overtook the company. They galloped back and forth beside Svil's retinue, until finally Helgi's mask fell off, and then Signy recognized him. She began to weep, and when Svil asked her the cause of her distress, she informed him of her discovery. Svil tried to get the boys to return home; but, though they now were on foot and remained in the rear, they persisted in accompanying him on his visit to Frothi.

When they arrived at Frothi's, Frothi began to hunt for the boys, and bade a witch, who had come to the hall, to try her skill in finding them. She told him that they were in the hall. Then Signy threw her a gold ring, and the witch said that what she had just stated was false. Frothi threatened to torture her if she did not tell the truth; and she said that unless he soon prevented it, which he would not do, the boys would be his death. But the boys, terrified, fled to the wood. The king ordered his men to seize them; but Regin put out the lights in the hall, and, in the confusion that followed, those who were friendly to the boys used the opportunity to obstruct those who would pursue them. Frothi vowed that he would take vengeance at a more suitable time on those who had assisted the boys, but added, "Let us now drink and feast"; and this they did till the men lay in a drunken stupor in a heap on the floor.

Regin rode out to where the boy's were, but would not return their salutation. In fact, he pretended to be angry. They wondered what this meant, and followed him. Helgi thought that Regin wanted to help them, but without violating his oath to the king. Then Regin said to himself, so that the boys heard it, "If I had a matter to settle with the king, I would burn this grove." They took the hint and started a fire. Svil came out with all his men and bade them aid the boys, and Regin took measures to get all his men and relatives out of the hall. The king awoke from a dream, in which the goddess of the nether world was summoning him. He discovered the fire, and learning who had set it, offered the boys peace on their own terms; but terms of peace were denied. Frothi then retired from the door of the hall, hoping to escape by an underground passage; but at the entrance stood Regin, who blocked his progress, and he returned into the hall and perished in the flames. His wife, Sigrith (now mentioned for the first time), the mother of Hroar and Helgi, refused to leave the hall and perished also.

The boys thanked their brother-in-law, Svil, and their foster-father, Regin, and all the others who had helped them, and gave the men rich gifts. The boys subdued the whole land and seized the late king's possessions; and for a while the time passed without the occurrence of anything worthy of special mention.

At this time there was a king by the name of Northri, who ruled over a part of England. Hroar often passed long intervals at the court of Northri, supporting him against his enemies and defending his land. Hroar married gn, the daughter of Northri, shared the royal power with his father-in-law, and after Northri's death succeeded to the throne of Northumberland. Helgi remained at home, and, by agreement with Hroar, became sole King of Denmark.

In Saxo's seventh book, there is another version of the same story. The features in which it chiefly varies from the version in the Hrlfssaga are as follows.

Halfdan's name has become Harald; Hroar's and Helgi's names have become Harald and Halfdan; Earl Svil has become Siward, King of Sweden; Signy has become a daughter of Karl, governor of Gautland, and wife of Harald (Frothi's brother). Envy and the quarrelsomeness of Frothi's wife and Harald's wife cause Frothi to engage men to murder Harald. Frothi tries to avoid suspicion of being the author of the crime, but in vain; the people believe he is guilty. When he seeks the boys of the murdered king, to put them out of the way, their foster-parents bind the claws of wolves under the boys' feet and let them run about and fill a neighboring morass and the snow-covered ground with their tracks, whereupon the children of bond-women are put to death and the children's bodies torn to pieces and strewn about. This is done to give the impression that the boys have been torn to pieces by wolves. Then the boys are concealed in a large hollow oak, where food is brought them under the pretence that they are dogs. Dogs' names are also applied to them. The episode with the witch is present, but other men and women with superhuman power are not introduced. The whereabouts of the boys begins to be bruited about, and Ragnar, their foster-father, flees with them to Fyen. He is captured and admits that he has the boys in his protection; but he begs the king not to injure them, calls attention to the foulness of doing them harm, and promises, in case they make any disturbance in the kingdom, to report the matter to the king. Frothi, whose severity Ragnar thus transforms into mildness, spares the boys, and for many years they live in security. When they are grown up, they go to Seeland. Their friends urge them to avenge their father's death, and this they promise to do. Ragnar, when he hears of this, reports it to the king in accordance with his promise, whereupon the king proceeds against them with an army. In desperation, the boys pretend insanity; and, as it is considered shameful to attack people who are insane, the king again spares them. But in the night the boys set fire to his hall, after having stoned the queen to death; and Frothi, having hid himself in a secret underground passage, perishes from the effects of smoke and gas. The boys share the crown, ruling the kingdom by turns.

Before proceeding further, it would be well to have a summary of the relations of the Danish kings concerned, up to the last stage of development, the stage with which we are dealing; and this summary is best supplied by quoting the following from Olrik's _Danmarks Heltedigtning:[127]—

"Der er en fortlling, som bar banet Skjoldungsagnene vej til manges hjrter, i vort rhundrede ikke mindre end p selve sagafortllingens tid: sagnene om de to unge kongesnner Hroar og Helge, der m skjule sig for deres faders morder og tronraner, farbroderen Frode, men som efter en rkke ventyrlige oplevelser p den enlige holm og i selve kongsgrden ser lejlighed til at fuldfre hvnen og hve sig p, tronen. En strlende begyndelse p den navnkundige kongets mange skbner! Det er denne fortllings udspring, vi nu skal sge.

"Tidligst foreligger den i en norsk saga fra 12te rh., der bner Sakses 7de bog; men smukkest er den islandske Hrlfssaga. Desuden foreligger den kort og krnikeagtig i den islandske Skjọldungasaga, som lader brodermorderen hedde Ingjald og ikke Frode.

"Med disse kilder nr vi dog kun til det egenlige sagamands-omrde, Norge og Island. I Danmark er fortllingen ukendt; og Sakse og Svend gesn er enige on den lige modsatte overlevering: det er Halvdan, der slr sin broder Frode eller begge sine brdre ihjel for at vinde herredmmet alene. Det er ikke rimeligt, at den danske overlevering skulde have dels forvansket, dels tabt den mere gte norske; ti fortllingen om de forfulgte kongesnner er s let at huske som et ventyr og vil vanskelig g i glemme, naar den frst er hrt.

"Ogs den ldste sagnform, Beovulfkvadets, kender kampen om herredmmet imellem Halvdan og Frode; men der er den forskel, at den ene er konge over Danerne, den anden over Had-Barderne, og det er imellem disse to folkestammer, striden udkmpes. Det synes snarest, som om Frode er falden i kampen (flere forskere opfatter stedet sledes); i hvert fald tillader sammenhngen nppe, at Halvdan kan vre falden imod Frode. For s vidt str denne ldste form nrmest ved den senere danske overlevering, fjrnere fra den norske.

"Som Halvdans broderdrab fortlles hos Sakse og Svend gesn, str det lsrevet, vi kan godt sige meningslst. Det ver ingen episk indflydelse p, Skjoldungernes liv, og der rammer heller ikke Halvdan eller hans t nogen moralsk gengldelse. Med god grund undrer Sakse sig over denne livsskbne, at den grumme drabsmand kan d en fredelig dd i sin alderdom; ti det er ganske mod heltedigtningens nd. Forklaringen derp har vi til dels i den ldre sagnform: broderkampen er opstet af den gamle folkekamp, hvor Had-Barderne l, under for Danerne; men tillige m der vre bristet en episk sammenknytning. I nste slgtled af Skjoldungtten er det et ret gammelt sagnmotiv, at Hrrik overfalder og flder Hroar; ban har sikkert vret opfattet som Frodes sn og hvner, ikke blot i norsk men ogs i gammel dansk overlevering.

"Den srlig norske form er da bleven til, ved at man vendte broderdrabet om. Det er en sagndannelse af ganske samme art som den, der gjorde Hrrik til Hroars drabsmand; heltetten kom til at st skyldfri. Det nste trin var at udvikle denne ny situation med Halvdansnnernes fredlshed og deres faderhvn. Vi har en gammel kilde, der viser, at udviklingen virkelig er get i disse to trin. Grottesangen slutter med spdom on, at 'Yrsas sn [Rolf] skal hvne Halvdans drab p, Frode.' Da kvadet synes digtet af en Nordmand i 10de rh., har vi i alt fire tidsfstede udviklingstrin af sagnet:

"1. Danekongen Halvdan kmper med Hadbardekongen Frode og bar formodenlig fldet ham (Beovulf).

"2. Skjoldungen Halvdan kmper med sin broder Frode on riget og flder ham (danske sagn).

"3. Skjoldungen Frode drber (sin broder) Halvdan, snnesonnen Rolf hvner det (Grottesangen, 10de rh., norsk).

"4. Skjoldungen Frode overfalder sin broder Halvdan og drber ham; snnerne Hroar og Helge redder livet og hvner siden deres faders dd (norsk og islandsk saga, 12te, 13de, 14de rh.).

"Iflge dette m sagaen om Helges og Hroars barndom vre opstet mellem r 1000 (950) og r 1100, snarest nr ved den frste tid.[128]

"Langt vigtigere end tidspunktet er dog arten af denne omdannelse. Vi str her foran det strste skel, der forekommer i heltedigtningens levnedslb: overgangen fra den lse skare af smsagn, der slutter sig forklarende og udfyldende omkring kvadene, til sagaen, der selvstndig og i lbende sammenhng gr rede for heltenes liv. Netop ved Skjoldungsagnene mtte denne overgang blive afgrende. Nr Halvdans mord var det frste punkt i slgtens historie, kunde man umulig unddrage sig fra klart og alsidig at belyse dets flger. Det var selvflgeligt, at Frode ogs strbte at rydde Halvdans to snner af vejen; sledes fremkom sagnene om fosterfdre og venner, der sgte at skjule dem. For Helge og Hroar mtte den eneste vej til deres fdrene trone g gennem kamp; deraf opstod da sagnet on hvn over Frode.

"Enkeite trk i denne digtning bar sagamanden natrligvis hentet fra den overleverede rigdom af sagn. Det er allerede forlngst indset, at vsenlige trk skyldes ln fra sagnet on Amled, den unge kongesn, der redder sit liv ved foregivet vanvid, da hans farbroder bar hvet sig p tronen ved mord p hans fader."

The chapter from which the above is taken contains about a page more. Olrik says, "Sagnet om Helge og Hroar er dog som helhed noget ganske andet end den specielle Amledtype." He refers by way of comparison to the life of Sigurd the Volsung, to the myth of Romulus and Remus, and the corresponding myth of the Greek twins of Thebes, Thessaly, and Arcadia; and concludes thus: "Er der fremmed indflydelse ved dens fdsel [i.e., the story of Hroar's and Helgi's childhood], m den vre svag og let strejfende. Snarere m man opfatte sagnet sledes, at dette mne har en livskraft til stadig at fdes p ny, hver gang den unge belt vokser op efter faderens drab. Motivet er s nrliggende, s ubetinget heltegyldigt, at da Skjoldungsagaerne voksede frem p folkemunde, mtte de bnes med denne digtning; den var stadig—s at sige—lige ndvendig for at stemple den store helteskikkelse."

The story about the Scylding kings in its various phases (except the first, in Beowulf) is found in Denmark and in the Old Norse. Among the Danes and Norwegians (including Icelanders), therefore, we must look for an explanation of this last stage of development. But in the north of England were many Danes and Norwegians, and, as has already been pointed out, the story about Bothvar Bjarki was known in England and acquired distinct features there.[129] To England, then, we turn for an explanation of the main features of the Hroar-Helgi story.

Furthermore, the story is due to a combination of influences. Evidence of this is the fact that it shows unmistakable influence of the Hamlet story, which, however, does not furnish an explanation of the story as a whole. And the fact that the story about Hroar and Helgi was not a native product of England and had no roots in the soil of the country, so to speak, which tended to hold it within bounds, but was an imported story circulating rather loosely, far from the scene of the supposed events related, would make it peculiarly susceptible to extraneous influences adapted to aid in its development.

The first influence to which the Hroar-Helgi story was subjected was plainly the "exile-return" type of story, whose general characteristics are stated by Deutschbein as follows:—

"Das Reich eines Knigs, der nur einen jungen unerwachsenen Sohn hat, wird eines Tages vom Feinde berfallen. Der Vater fllt im blutigen Kampfe. Die Rettung des jungen Thronerben ist mit Schwierigkeiten verbunden—hufig steht dem jungen Frstensohn in der ussersten Not ein getreuer Eckhart zur Seite, eine feststehende Figur in unserm Typus. Der Knigssohn wird in Sicherheit gebracht, in der Fremde zunchst in niedriger Stellung, meist unter angenommenem Namen, wchst er zu einem tchtigen Recken heran, bis zuletzt die Zeit der Heimkehr gekommen ist. Er nimmt furchtbare Rache an den Mrdern seines Vaters und gewinnt sein Erbe zurck; wesentliche Dienste leistet ihm dabei ein oder mehrere treue Anhnger seines Vaters, die in der Heimat zurckgeblieben sind.

"Eine Abart dieses Typus weist einen anderen Eingang auf: statt usserer Feinde sind es nahe Verwandte (Oheim, Stiefvater, Stiefbrder), die den jungen Prinzen seines Vaters berauben und ihm selbst nachstellen. Diese Form bezeichnen wir mit B, die Hauptform mit A."[130]

The Hroar-Helgi story has two young princes; otherwise, it conforms exactly to type B.

Frothi, Halfdan's brother (Hrlfssaga version), attacks him with an army and defeats and slays him. The boys are taken by Regin, their foster-father, to a neighboring island for safety (this, however, is being sent abroad with a limited application of the term), where they live with a shepherd in a cave, responding, when necessary, to the names of dogs. There they remain until they are twelve and ten years old respectively, when they return to their sister and brother-in-law, who, together with Regin, render the boys valuable assistance. They take frightful vengeance on their father's slayer by setting fire to his hall and forcing him to perish in the flames.

The third stage having been reached in the development of the Hroar-Helgi story, in which the brother who is slain is avenged by one of his descendants, it was easy and natural for it to fall in with the "exile-return" type. The type is not an artificial type, it is founded on human nature. The guileless and weak must yield to the designing and strong. History teems with illustrations of the fact that he wears the crown who can win it and hold it. Where a kingdom is the prize, a man is under a mighty temptation when he sees that he can seize it by brushing aside a weak ruler and a still weaker heir, or, the ruler being out of the way, the young heir only. And it is natural that, the young heir surviving, he should avenge a murdered parent, regain the crown, and not permit the usurper to enjoy the fruits of his crime unmolested. Friends each party would also have, actuated, if by nothing else, by self-interest, which is bound up in the success of their chief. What the Hroar-Helgi story in its third stage of development may have been we do not know. We are only told that "Yrsa's son will avenge Frothi's murder of Halfdan." But the story was well prepared for the type it was to assume.

That the story was clearly regarded as one of this type is evident from the fact that in Johannes Bramis' Historia Regis Waldei Frodas is the usurper of the throne which by right belongs to Waldef.[131] It is not necessary to repeat the story; it has all the characteristics of the "exile-return" type. As a whole, it has no connection with the Hroar-Helgi story; and it contains the only instance known of the use of Frothi outside the story where he originally belongs. But he is so typically the same person, with the same unlovable characteristics, that he can be none other than the Frothi who plays such a conspicuous part in the history of the Scylding kings.

The use of Frothi as a typical usurper in the English Waldef story is also a very strong indication that the story in which he has his proper setting was current in England; otherwise, by what channel did he get into the Waldef story?[132]

Our next question is, What stories of the "exile-return" type were current in the portions of England in which the Hroar-Helgi story would naturally circulate? We think, of course, immediately of Havelok the Dane. Deutschbein has shown that Havelok is founded on historical events that occurred in the first half of the tenth century.[133] The gist of the story is that an heir to the Danish throne is deprived of his heritage, suffers deep humiliation, but finally regains his heritage and, through marriage, the crown of Norfolk in England in addition. The story was of a nature to make a strong appeal to the Scandinavians, especially the Danes, in England. It achieved, in fiction, the ambition which the Danes realized under Swen and Canute, when these sovereigns governed both Denmark and England. It was a Danish story; it was developed after 950, which was about the time the third stage in the development of the Hroar-Helgi story had been reached; and it was a creation of the Scandinavians in England, among whom the story circulated.

Closely connected with the Havelok story is the Meriadoc story, the first part of which, as Deutschbein has shown,[134] and in regard to which J.D. Bruce agrees with him,[135] is based on the Havelok story. These stories Deutschbein calls "cymrisch-skandinavische Sage" and says, "Wir sehen, dass den Cymren und den Skandinaviern in England der wesentliche Anteil an der Entwicklung unserer Sage zukommt."[136]

It is evident that in the Havelok and Meriadoc stories we have every condition present for contact between them and the Hroar-Helgi story, namely: time (after 950); place (England); people among whom all the stories would circulate (Scandinavians, coming in contact with the Welsh); and, in the case of the Havelok and Hroar-Helgi stories, a popular theme dealing with Danish princes who regain a lost kingdom. The theme would be all the more popular as the time when the Havelok story was developed was a period of struggle on the part of the Scandinavians in the British Isles to gain and maintain supremacy.[137] Again, the nature of the Hroar-Helgi story was such that its development depended wholly on invention or on contact with other stories.

The first part of the Meriadoc story, with which a comparison will be made, is summarized by J.D. Bruce as follows:—

"In the time of Uther Pendragon, Caradoc ruled over Wales. He had a son and a daughter by his wife, a princess of Ireland, which country he had conquered. As old age approaches, he turns over the government of his kingdom to his brother Griffith and devotes himself to hunting and amusement. Wicked men persuade Griffith to slay his brother and seize the throne. Despite the warning of a dream, Caradoc goes hunting and is slain by hired assassins in the forest.

"The queen dies of grief, and, to turn suspicion from himself, Griffith has the assassins put to death. Before their execution, however, they revealed Griffith's guilt. Caradoc's friends among the nobles wish to get out of Griffith's power their late master's children, who had been committed to the charge of Ivor and Morwen, the royal huntsman and his wife. Griffith determines to kill the children, but, touched in a measure by their appeal, does not have them executed on the spot. He has them taken to the forest of Arglud, where they are to be hanged. The executioners, however, feel compassion and tie them by a slender rope, easily broken, so that they may fall to the ground unharmed. Hearing of the children's disappearance, Ivor sets out for the forest, accompanied by his wife and his dog, Dolfin. To frighten the executioners away, he kindles fires in the four quarters of the forest and throws flesh into these fires to attract the wolves. He then hides himself in a tree. The wolves gather and the men, afraid, conceal themselves in the hollow of the tree to which the children had been hanged. Ivor drives away the wolves and then begins to smoke out the men. They promise to give up the children, if he will let them come forth. He consents, but kills them one by one, as they are crawling out.

"He delivers the children, who have been suspended for half a day, and flies with them and his wife and dog to the Fleventanean forest. Here he takes refuge in a caverned rock, called Eagle Rock, because there were built on it the nests of four eagles who constantly faced the four points of the compass. How Ivor and his wife struck fire from flint, and the peculiar way in which they cooked their food is described. One day Urien, King of Scotland, passing through the forest, carries off the girl from her companion, Morwen. Similarly Kay, Arthur's seneschal, carries off the boy from Ivor. Morwen goes to Scotland to seek Orwen, the girl; Ivor to Arthur's court to seek Meriadoc, the boy.

"The day Morwen reached Scotland, Urien and Orwen are to be married. The latter recognizes Morwen in the throng by the wayside and has her brought to the palace. Ivor comes with a dead stag to Arthur's court and offers it to Kay. Meriadoc recognizes his foster-father and springs clear over the table to greet him. Kay receives Ivor among his attendants. Kay visits Urien and takes Ivor and Meriadoc with him. Mutual recognitions and rejoicings.

"Arthur and Urien determine to take vengeance on Griffith, who fortifies himself at Mount Snowdon. After a long siege he succumbs to famine, surrenders and is executed. Meriadoc succeeds him, but resolves to leave Urien in charge of the kingdom and go forth in search of adventure."[138]

According to Saxo's version of the Hroar-Helgi story, the usurper procures the assassination of his brother and, to avoid suspicion, has the assassins put out of the way. In this the Meriadoc story agrees. In Meriadoc, the queen dies of sorrow. No mention is made of the queen in Saxo's version. In the Hamlet story, the brother slays the king with his own hand, but secretly, to avoid suspicion. He marries the king's widow. In the Hrlfssaga, the brother attacks the king with an army and slays him. In Havelok, Arthur, likewise, attacks the king with an army and slays him.[139] The widow is rescued. In the Hrlfssaga, as appears at the end of the story, the widow is not only rescued, but, as in the Hamlet story, marries the usurper.

In Meriadoc, the murdered king's adherents try to rescue the young prince and princess. This feature is common to both the Hrlfssaga and Saxo's version of the Hroar-Helgi story. In Meriadoc, the usurper gets the children into his power, but, being appealed to, saves them for the time being. This feature is found in Saxo's version, where the usurper agrees to spare the children during good behavior. It is lacking in the Hrlfssaga. In Meriadoc, the usurper plans to have the children hanged in a forest. In Saxo's version, the children having violated the condition on which they are to be spared, the usurper gathers an army to attack them. In the Hrlfssaga, there is a continuous effort on the part of the usurper to make away with the children.

In Havelok, Grim, a fisherman, rescues the prince, who lives as a fisherman's son, under the name of Cuaran. In Meriadoc, the royal huntsman, Ivor, rescues the children and they live in a cave in the woods as a huntsman's children; Ivor is accompanied by his wife and his dog, Dolfin. In the Hrlfssaga, the children live in a cave in the woods as a shepherd's (Vifil's) children, responding, when necessary, to the names of dogs. In Saxo's version of the Hroar-Helgi story, the children are concealed in a hollow tree, food being brought to them under the pretence that they are dogs, and dogs' names are applied to them. In the Hamlet story, the rescue is supplied by the insanity motive, but friends at court are not wanting.

There is no insanity in Meriadoc or Havelok; but it is present in the Hrlfssaga and Saxo's version of the story about the two boys. In the Hrlfssaga, the boys, especially Helgi, cut crazy capers while on the way with Svil when he goes to Frothi's hall in response to an invitation. Helgi rides horseback with his face to the horse's tail, just as Hamlet does; and the horse is an untamed colt, the idea coming from the fact that, when Hamlet is thus riding, a wolf appears and one of the men, to test his sanity, calls the wolf a colt. It would, indeed, be an untamed colt. In Saxo's version, better use is made of the insanity motive. Pretended insanity is the only resort left the boys to save themselves. In the Hrlfssaga, it serves no other purpose than to attract attention to the boys and reveal their identity to Signy and Svil.

In Havelok, the prince returns home, and, with the aid of a faithful friend, Sigar, who has remained at court, the usurper is overthrown and the crown regained. In Meriadoc, Arthur and Urien besiege the usurper, starve him out, and execute him. Meriadoc becomes king. In the Hamlet story, the prince returns from England, whither the usurper has sent him in order to get rid of him, sets fire to the hall in which the usurper's men lie drunk after a feast, and goes to the usurper's chamber and slays him. Nothing is said about the queen, though the presumption is that she perishes also. In the Hrlfssaga, the boys, aided by their foster-father and brother-in-law, trusty friends, set fire to the hall in which the usurper's men lie drunk after a feast; and the usurper's egress through an underground passage having been blocked, he perishes in the flames. The queen, the boys' mother, refusing to leave the hall, perishes also. In Saxo's version, the boys attack the usurper in his hall and set fire to the building; he hides himself in a secret underground passage and perishes of smoke and gas.

It is told of Ivor that when he rescues the children he is accompanied by his dog. Not only that, but the dog's name is given. This looks as if some use is to be made of the dog; otherwise there is no point in the statement that a dog is present, whose name is Dolfin. Bruce says, "It is to be remembered that even this Welsh version, no doubt, passed through the hands of a French romancer before reaching the author of our Latin text";[140] and there is reason to suspect that this is one of the places where the story has suffered. Both Saxo's version of the Hroar-Helgi story, and the Hrlfssaga, show to what use a dog's name could be put; and this specific reference to the dog in Meriadac, and the use that might have been made of him in an earlier version of the story, arouse a strong suspicion that here is the source of the suggestion of using dogs' names in the Hroar-Helgi story to aid in saving the boys. Even if no such use was ever made of the dog in the Meriadoc story, such specific reference to him is in itself very suggestive. That the Hroar-Helgi story employs two dogs' name's is, of course, due to the fact that there are two boys to which they are to be applied, although, so far as the plot is concerned, the matter could have been managed with the use of one dog's name; and the fact that the dogs' names, in the Hrlfssaga, are Hopp and Ho, and that the boys' later assumed names are Hrani and Hamur, is due to a desire to preserve the initial letter, "H," of their names, which is in accordance with Scylding nomenclature.[141]

Furthermore, in the Hrlfssaga it is said that Vifil concealed the boys in a cave in the woods. Likewise, in Meriadoc, Ivor concealed the boy and the girl in a cave in the forest. But in Saxo's version of the Hroar-Helgi story, the boys are concealed in a hollow tree. This also must be an adaptation from Meriadoc. The men who were to execute the prince and princess hanged them on the branch of a large oak-tree (quercus) and concealed themselves inside the tree, which was hollow. Ivor, in an attempt to rescue the children,

"Quatuor igitur ingentes focos e quatuor partibus ipsius saltus accendit, accensisque plurimas quas secum attulerat carnes passim iniecit ilicemque uicinam cum coniuge et cane ascendens delituit. Fumo autem ignium per nemoris latitudinem diffuso, ubi lupi in confinio degentes—quorum inibi ingens habebatur copia—odorem perceperunt carnium, illo contendere et confluere ilico coeperunt."[142]

Here we have the idea of a hollow oak with people in it, wolves in the vicinity, and children at hand who have been hanged, and therefore presumably dead. Had the cord broken by which they were hanged, they would certainly have been torn to pieces by the wolves. But especially striking is the statement that Ivor's dog is concealed in a tree; and this tree is called "ilex" (holly-oak), the very word used by Saxo to designate the kind of hollow tree that Hroar and Helgi (he calls them Harald and Halfdan, as has been stated) are concealed in, under the pretence that they are dogs. Also, pieces of meat are thrown into the fires; and Ivor, as soon as the men in the hollow tree beg for mercy, shoots four wolves and "ceteri omnes lupi in eos qui uulnera pertulerant irruerunt eosque membratim dilacerantes discerpserunt."[143] Here is again the idea of meat for wolves and the bodies of animals torn asunder. The idea of dismembered bodies of children is indeed absent; but the whole passage in Meriadoc is so suggestive of what we find in Saxo, even to the hiding of a dog, whose name is given, in an "ilex," that it would be remarkable if there was no connection between Saxo's story and Meriadoc.

Again, as has already been stated, Saxo says that Frothi perished in an underground passage, of smoke and gas. The men who, in Meriadoc, were to execute the prince and princess concealed themselves in a hollow tree, which had an entrance that was so formed that "depressis humeris, illam necesse erat subire,"[144] which is suggestive of the stooping that would probably be necessary in entering an underground passage. But what is noteworthy in this connection is that, at the entrance to the tree, Ivor starts a fire "cuius calore fumique uapore inclusos pene extinxit."[145] Saxo says that Frothi "Vbi dum clausus delitescit, uapore et fumo strangulatus interiit."[146] Here is the idea of concealment again, but particularly noteworthy is the suffocation by "uapore et fumo," the same words that are used in Meriadoc. In the Hrlfssaga, the account of the events immediately preceding Frothi's death resembles more the account of the corresponding events in the Hamlet story than does Saxo's account; but in the Hrlfssaga also, Frothi attempts to escape by an underground passage.

The use of wolves' claws and the dismembered bodies of children to mislead those who might seek to get possession of the boys is the employment, as Deutschbein has observed, of a form of deceit similar to that practiced by Joseph's brethren.[147]

In regard to the manner in which the children are saved, it is difficult to correlate the Hroar-Helgi story with the Meriadoc story as definitely and simply as one would wish, but the explanation probably lies in the following idea expressed by Bruce, "In conclusion, as to this division there seems to be a certain confusion of motifs in the first part of the Historia Meriadoci with regard to the manner in which the children are saved from execution."[148] The statement, for instance, that the children were suspended for half a day is out of all harmony with the statement that they were to be suspended by slender ropes, easily broken, that would permit them to fall to the ground unharmed. But Bruce's statement quoted above, "This Welsh version, no doubt, passed through the hands of a French romancer before reaching the author of our Latin text," would account for the "confusion of motifs"; and the fact that we have not now that form of the story with which the Hroar-Helgi story came in contact would obscure some of the points of relationship between the two. But the hiding of a dog, whose name is given, in an oak tree of a particular species (ilex) is so definite and unique a point of identification that there is no mistaking it.

But even if we had the Meriadoc story in its original form, we should not expect to find it exactly reproduced in the Hroar-Helgi story. Various causes would operate to introduce changes. Such features as mountain-rocks with their eagle-nests would be modified to bring the topography more into harmony with that of Denmark, so that the caverned rock would naturally become an earth-cave. Characteristics of Scandinavian life and history would supplant what was peculiarly Welsh. Thus the shrewd old shepherd, Vifil, naturally takes the place of the royal huntsman, Ivor; and Saxo, quite naturally, gives the story a marked Danish geographical and historical setting, which he does by introducing such names as Fyen and Seeland, and by connecting the Danish royal family in the beginning of the story with those of Sweden and Gautland.

Allowance must also be made for two lines of oral transmission, one going to Iceland, and the other to Norway and thence to Denmark. This would result in the modification of details in the two versions, such as details connected with the insanity motive and the concealment of the boys, and the omission, in one version, of the dogs' names supposed to be applied to the boys and the insertion of the names in the other.

But this would not explain why Hroar, Helgi, and their father are given other names in Saxo's version, and why such a radical change has been made in the family relationship of Siward and Signy. This, however, as will be explained later,[149] is due to arbitrary action on the part of Saxo, in order to conceal the fact that he twice includes the same group of men in his line of Danish kings.

If the foregoing is substantially correct, much in the Hroar-Helgi story is accounted for, besides some striking differences between the two versions. But it is possible to account for more. We have seen how the Siward story exerted marked influence on the story about Bothvar Bjarki; hence, we might expect it to have exerted some influence on the Hroar-Helgi story, which is also a part of the Hrlfssaga. And this it has done. Siward was historically closely associated with the events of the Macbeth story; but the Macbeth story is of a type that, in one noteworthy particular at least, resembles the Hroar-Helgi story more than do any of the stories thus far considered, and that is in the fact that Duncan has two sons, who flee when their father is murdered. In the Macbeth story, as in the Hamlet story, it may be said that we have not, under a strict interpretation of the term, an instance of the "exile-return" type of story; but Hamlet goes to England and immediately upon his return avenges his father's murder, and, still nearer the type, Malcolm and Donaldbane flee and Malcolm returns and avenges his father's murder. But the matter of type is, in this connection, unessential. There is no doubt that the Hamlet story exerted an influence on the Hroar-Helgi story, nor can there be any doubt that the Macbeth story did the same.

First, attention is called to the fact that in the Hrlfssaga Siward himself is retained in the story under the name of Svil.[150] In Saxo's version of the story about Hroar and Helgi, he is called Siward, but there his proper relationship to the other characters is obscured. Siward was related to Duncan by marriage, some versions, Holinshed's for instance, having it that Duncan was married to Siward's daughter;[151] similarly, Svil was married to Halfdan's daughter. Siward aided Duncan's sons (Donaldbane, however, not being present to take part in the expedition against Macbeth); similarly, Svil aided Halfdan's sons, not by an armed expedition against Frothi, the usurper, but proceeding against him in such manner as the plot of the story permits. It is said of Donaldbane, that he fled to Ireland "where he was tenderlie cherished by the king of that land";[152] similarly, Hroar went to Northumberland, where he received a hearty welcome and later married King Northri's daughter, gn.[153] Siward was first an earl in Denmark; similarly, Svil was an earl in Denmark. Svil did not, however, become Earl of Northumberland, as Siward did; but Hroar took his place, so to speak, in this respect, and, as Siward had done, married the earl's (king's) daughter[154] and became King of Northumberland.

In the Hroar-Helgi story, the usurper is represented as consulting a witch in regard to the whereabouts of the young princes. This feature must also be due to the influence of the Macbeth story; for, though the purpose for which Frothi and Macbeth consult the witch, or witches, is not exactly the same, it is the possible future disposition of the throne that in both instances causes anxiety; and while at first, in both instances, a prediction, or information, is given that is favorable, a prediction in both instances is given in conclusion that is unfavorable. The witches are so conspicuous a feature of the Macbeth story that they would, of course, attract the attention of the saga-man; and we naturally expect this feature of the story to leave its impress on the Hroar-Helgi story. It is a special feature, not found in any of the other stories considered in this connection, and there can be no doubt as to whence the Hroar-Helgi story acquired it. The witch in the saga is called a "seikona." Concerning the kind of witchcraft practised by a "seikona," P.A. Munch has the following: "Som den virksomste, men og som den skjendigste, af al Troldom ansaa vore Forfdre den saakaldte Seid. Hvorledes den udvedes, er ikke ret klart fremstillet ...; den var forbunden med sang ... Men dette slags Troldom ansaaes ogsaa en Mand uvrdigt, og udvedes derfor sdvanligviis af Kvinder, ligesom dette ogsaa stedse synes at have gaaet ud paa noget ondt."[155] Thus the "seikona" is exactly the same kind of creature as the witches in the Macbeth story. Consider, for instance, the disgusting practice in which Shakespeare represents them as engaging, as they go round the cauldron, chanting the refrain, "Double, double toil and trouble," etc. W.J. Rolfe refers to the witches in Macbeth as follows: "Macbeth and his fellow captain Banquo have performed prodigies of valour in the battle, and are on their way home from the field when they are met by the three witches, as Shakespeare calls them, and as they are called in the old chronicle from which he took the main incidents of his plot. They appear simply to be the witches of superstition—hags who have gained a measure of superhuman knowledge and power by a league with Satan, to whom they have sold their souls and pledged their service."[156] The statements at an earlier stage of the story in the Hrlfssaga, while the boys are still on the island, that soothsayers and wise men are called in from all over the land to tell where the boys are, and that wizards, who are also summoned, warn Frothi to beware of the old man Vifil on the island, remind us of the statement by Holinshed that Macbeth "had learned of certeine wizzards, in whose words he put great confidence ... how that he ought to take heed of Macduffe."[157]

Still another feature may have been acquired from the Macbeth story. It is said that Hroar and Helgi were transferred to a neighboring island. Holinshed says that Donaldbane fled to Ireland. The Macbeth story has been treated by a number of chroniclers, who, though they agree in the main, occasionally disagree in regard to details. Thus Johannes Fordun says, "Hi a Machabeo rege expulsi, Donaldus insulas, Malcolmus Cumbriam adibant."[168] This is evidently one version and would supply the hint for transferring the young princes to a neighboring island, which would be a convenient disposition to make of them till the time of their return to regain their heritage. It would also harmonize topographically with the coast of Denmark, where there were many islands covered with trees, the idea of woods as a hiding-place for the boys having been abundantly supplied by the Meriadoc story.

It may be said that this introduces a conflict with the statement that Donaldbane fled to Ireland. It is not possible to know, in a case like this, which variant has influenced the saga, or whether, indeed, both have not been utilized. But there was ample warrant for transferring Hroar to Northumberland without such a suggestion as lay in Donaldbane's flight to Ireland. In any event, imitation of Donaldbane's flight has not been a necessary consideration in making Hroar King of Northumberland. A suggestion of the same nature lay in Hamlet's going to England, where he married the king's daughter; but chiefly, the Scandinavians were numerous in the north of England and regarded themselves as the rightful possessors of that part of the country. The mastery of Northumberland was long an object of contest between Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians, and this was the chief point at issue in the famous battle at Brunanburh, 937. Since Helgi, whom the Hrlfssaga represents as the more forward of the two boys, was made King of Denmark, no more honorable disposition could be made of Hroar than to place him on the throne of Northumberland, and events show that he himself was perfectly satisfied. He thus also became ruler of the land once governed by Siward, who must have made a powerful impression on his countrymen in England; and with one of the two princes reigning in Denmark and the other in England, the glory of the Danes when Canute was king of both countries would be revived in story, as it was in Havelok the Dane, where Havelok, likewise, reigned both in England and Denmark.

No attempt has been made to point out all the respects in which the Hroar-Helgi story resembles the Macbeth story. The Macbeth story has most of the characteristics of the "exile-return" type, and striking resemblances that fall in with features of the stories already mentioned might have been added, but will suggest themselves to the reader. Only such things as point to special influence exerted by the Macbeth story on the Hroar-Helgi story have been mentioned.

It may be urged that some of the material, such as the "seikona," said in the foregoing to be derived from foreign sources, is recognized saga-material. The point, however, is that it is not the material itself, but the suggestion for the use of it, that in such an instance is said to be derived from a foreign source.

The Hroar-Helgi Story in the SKJỌLDUNGASAGA and the BJARKARMUR.

Thus far nothing has been said about the "short and chronicle-like form in the Icelandic Skjọldungasaga, where the fratricide is called Ingjald, not Frothi."[159] The story is, in substance, as follows.

Fridleif, King of Denmark, abducted Hilda, daughter of Ali, King of the Uplands in Norway, and by her had a son who was named Ali; by another woman he had a son who was named Frothi.

Frothi inherited his father's kingdom; but Ali, his half-brother, who was a great warrior, conquered Sweden. Frothi's men feared Ali and persuaded Frothi to try to have him put to death. Frothi yielded to their entreaties, and Starkad, the famous warrior, was dispatched to perform the deed. When an opportunity presented itself, he stabbed Ali to death. "My brother has caused this," said Ali, and died laughing.

Later, Frothi defeated Jorund, King of Sweden, and made him a tributary prince. He also defeated Swelling, a Swedish duke, and treated him in the same manner. Frothi abducted Jorund's daughter, by whom he had a son who was called Halfdan. But taking another woman to wife, a legitimate heir was born to him, and this son was called Ingjald.

Starkad, however, was so filled with remorse for having killed Ali that he did not wish to remain with Frothi. He went, therefore, soon after to Russia and later to Sweden, but, disgusted with the idolatry of the Swedes, returned to Frothi. Ingjald, son of Frothi, had in the meantime married the daughter of Swerting, thus, as it seemed to all, effecting a reconciliation with him.

Jorund and Swerting, however, formed a conspiracy against Frothi, and he was slain one night while sacrificing to the gods. In the meantime, Starkad was absent in Sweden, where, under the guise of friendship, he was detained by gifts, in order that the plot against Frothi might be the more easily executed.

Swerting placated Ingjald, Frothi's son and Swerting's son-in-law; but Halfdan, Ingjald's half-brother, conquered Skne and avenged his father's murder by putting to death Swerting's twelve sons, who had slain Frothi. At the instigation of Starkad, Ingjald put his wife, Swerting's daughter, aside. He also granted Halfdan a third of the kingdom. Swerting's daughter later bore Ingjald a son (Agnar); and by his wife, Sigrith, Halfdan had a daughter, Signy, and two sons, Hroar and Helgi.

Ingjald, however, desiring to rule over the whole kingdom, fell upon Halfdan unexpectedly with an army and slew him. He married Halfdan's widow, and by her had two sons, Hrrik and Frothi. Signy grew up under her mother's care, and later Ingjald gave her in marriage to Svil, an earl in Seeland. But Hroar and Helgi hid from the king on an island near Skne, and when they had arrived at the proper age they slew Ingjald and thus avenged their father's death.

Hroar and Helgi now became Kings of Denmark. Later Hroar married the daughter of the King of England. Hrolf, nicknamed Kraki, who was eight years old when his father, Helgi, died, succeeded him on the throne. Hroar was soon after slain by his half-brothers, Hrrik and Frothi. Hrolf then became sole King of Denmark.[160]

The story in the Bjarkarmur is substantially the same as the story in the Skjọldungasaga. Both are plainly based on the same account, and, within certain limits, are identical with the corresponding story in the Hrlfssaga. Skne, mentioned in the Skjọldungasaga in the phrase "in insula quadam Scani," is not mentioned in the Hrlfssaga. Its insertion in the Skjọldungasaga is due to the fact that Halfdan, the father of Hroar and Helgi, is said to have conquered Skne, and, as a result, would be regarded as having ruled there. But its presence in one account and omission in the other involve no contradiction. In all that belongs peculiarly to the story about Hroar and Helgi, the account in the Skjọldungasaga is identical with the account in the Hrlfssaga. According to both sources, the name of the boys' mother was Sigrith; their father's name was Halfdan; he was slain by his brother, who fell upon him unexpectedly with an army; the fratricide married the murdered man's widow; Signy was the sister of Hroar and Helgi; she married Svil, an earl in Denmark; Hroar and Helgi had to conceal themselves on an island to save their lives (according to the Bjarkarmur, they were brought up by the old man Vifil, a circumstance omitted in the Skjọldungasaga, but contained in the Hrlfssaga); when they had arrived at the proper age, they slew (according to the Hrlfssaga and the rmur, "burnt-in") their father's murderer and thus avenged their father's death; Hroar and Helgi then became Kings of Denmark; Hroar married the daughter of the King of England; Helgi's son was Hrolf, who later became sole King of Denmark.

The essential difference between the story as it is in the Skjọldungasaga and as it is in the Hrlfssaga is that, in the Skjọldungasaga, Ingjald is said to be the brother of Halfdan; while in the Hrlfssaga, Frothi is Halfdan's brother. The Hrlfssaga has, however, preserved the earlier account. The Skjọldungasaga dates from about the year 1200.[161] About the year 950, Frothi is said to be the slayer of Halfdan;[162] and in Historia Regis Waldei, Frothi is made the typical villain in a Hroar-Helgi type of story[163] (the "exile-return" type), so that, in the version of the story that was current in England, Frothi must have been the slayer of his brother. The conflicting statement that it was Ingjald who slew Halfdan requires, therefore, an explanation.

In Saxo's Gesta Danorum, the story about Hroar and Helgi is told twice. It is first told in the second book, where we find the version with which is connected the story about Hrolf Kraki, Yrsa, Athils, and Ingjald and his son Agnar, whom Bjarki slew; it is told a second time in the seventh book, where Hroar and Helgi are called Harald and Halfdan, and where the story about them is another version of the same story that we have in the Hrlfssaga. Not only do Hroar and Helgi appear (disguised under different names), but Frothi and Ingjald again appear.

A comparison of the line of Danish kings as Saxo has it, with the line of the same kings in the Skjọldungasaga,[164] shows that the Skjọldungasaga has the story about Hroar and Helgi just where Saxo's second story about them (i.e., in his seventh book) puts in its appearance. These lines of kings are as follows:—


Humblus I Dan I Humblus II Lotherus Scioldus Scioldus Gram Swibdagerus Guthormus Hadingus Frotho I Haldanus, Roe, Scatus Roe, Helgo Roluo Krage Hiartwarus Hotherus Balderus Roricus Vigletus Wermundus Uffo Dan II Hugletus Frotho II Dan III Fridleus I Fridleifus I[165] Frotho III[166] Frotho I[166] Herleifus Havardus Leifus Herleifus[167] Hunleifus[167] Aleifus[167] Oddleifus[167] Geirleifus[167] Gunnleifus[167] Frotho II Vermundus Dan I Dan II[168] Hiarnus[169] Frotho III Fridleus II[170] Fridleifus II Frotho IV Frotho IV Ingellus Ingjaldus, Halfdanus Olauus[171] Frotho V, Haraldus[172] Agnerus, Roericus, Roas or Roe, Helgo Haraldus,[173] Haldanus,[174] Frotho (V)[175] Rolpho Krag

A comparison of the two lines of kings shows that, beginning with the first Fridleus in Saxo's account and the first Fridleifus in the Skjọldungasaga's account, there are important correspondences. Fridleus I (Saxo) = Fridleifus I (Skjs.). Frotho III, son of Fridleus I (Saxo) = Frotho I, son of Fridleifus I (Skjs.). Fridleus II, son of Frotho III (Saxo) = Fridleifus II, son of Frotho III (Skjs.). Frotho IV (Saxo) = Frotho IV (Skjs.); and in both sources Frotho IV is the Danish king in whose career Swerting plays such a prominent part. By omitting all of Saxo's kings between Scioldus and Fridleifus I, among whom are also the Hroar-Helgi group, the Skjọldungasaga has avoided the difficulty of having to deal with Hroar, Helgi, and Hrolf Kraki where they first occur in Saxo's history.

The paralleling of the two lines of kings also furnishes the key to the explanation of how the different names and a different setting for the Hroar-Helgi story, from those found in other versions, got into Saxo's version. Since the Hroar-Helgi story appears in the same place in his line of kings as in that of the Skjọldungasaga, he must also have known the names that really belonged to the story. But he had told the story about Halfdan, Hroar, Helgi, and Hrolf Kraki (in its second stage of development, see p. 66) once before, and therefore could not consistently tell a different story about the same men. The story was, however, in existence and was too good to be discarded, so he retained it, but disguised it by making arbitrary changes. This explains the loss, which otherwise would be very strange, of such well known names as Hroar, Helgi, and Hrolf Kraki. The only incentive any one could have to change the names would be just that which Saxo had, namely that he had used them before in another connection. He retained the name Frothi, which appears so often in the Danish line of kings that its reappearance would cause no difficulty; and his retention of Frothi as the slayer of his brother is additional evidence that to him, not to Ingjald, was this unenviable rle first assigned. Ingjald, whom he has in his story about Hrolf Kraki, he also retained, but in a different relationship from that in his second book. It will be observed that Saxo merely shifted the name Halfdan from father to son, and that Harald, almost a conventional name, he employed twice. Finally, he introduced a strange person, Olaf, about whom, he says, nothing, practically, was known.

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