It is remarkable that no notice whatever is taken of this fine poem by any AngloSaxon author: and although this is partly to be attributed to theological causes, it also furnishes a presumption that the invention of the work did not fall within the period embraced by their writings. In the absence therefore of all direct testimony, we must content ourselves with such an approximation as internal evidence will allow us to make, to the place and period which may claim the honour of its production. The date of the events described in Beowulf is the middle of the fifth century: Hroðgar and Halga, two of the Danish kings actually reigning at the time, being, as recorded in our poem, the sons and successors of Healfdene the second. As I shall have occasion to refer more than once to the story of these princes, I will give as much of their pedigree as is necessary in order to put the reader clearly in possession of the requisite knowledge. [Gives an account based largely on Saxo Grammaticus, and Danish historians such as Suhm (1776) and Langebek (1772), before moving on to the Hrolfs saga Kraka, in pp. viii-xii.]

The history of Hrolf Kraki, Halga’s son [a note argues that in Beowulf he is the son of Froda, see further below] which is adopted both by Torfaeus [1715] and Holberg [1762], agrees with our poem, l.4223, in giving Froda V. who having murdered his brother Healfdene, was in his turn surprised and burnt to death by Hroðgar and Halga, leaving, according to our poem, a son, probably Hroðwulf [sic: refers to Widsith 89 in a footnote] with whom Hroðgar made a lasting peace, giving him to wife his own daughter Frea-ware, and associating him with himself in the kingly dignity. In the episode of Beowulf, from which we learn these particulars, Ingeld is mentioned as the woman-lover, and so answers to the character given of him by Saxo and Johannes Magnus: the arousing him from his state of lethargic luxury, by

IV was slain. It is worthy of observation, that although all the Norse genealogies [cites Langebek, vols 1 and 2] with the exception of the Flatey Codex where Halga is omitted, agree in making Hroðgar and himself partners in the kingdom, yet the Norse tradition is nearly universal, that after a time, Hroðgar, in consideration of large sums of gold, relinquished his share of it, and betook himself elsewhere [note: ‘The story generally says to Northumberland’]; hence we hear but little of Halga throughout the poem: one account, however, asserts that they so divided the realm, that Hroðgar became lord of all the land, Halga of the water, that the latter was a famous sea-king, and that subsequently to the partition, Hroðgar altered the place of his metropolis, and founded Roskeldia, whence no doubt the story in our poem, of the building of Heort. According to Torfaeus, who I think puts these kings a little too late, Hroðgar was born, A.D.444, and began to reign, A.D.460 [which agrees, Kemble declares, with the kings mentioned in Widsith].