Introduction to Beowulf. Story isn’t about the English—it’s about the Danes and the Geats. So what’s it doing in England? Romans controlled England (up to Hadrian’s Wall) until the 5 th century Waves of post-Roman invasions by Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, and Irish
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Map from C. Warren Hollister,
The Making of England, p. 64
Photos from British Museum
Hwaet! Wē Gār-Dena in geārdagum
þēodcyninga þrym gefrūnon,
hū ðā æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Oft Scyld Scēfing sceaþena þrēatum
monegum mægþum meodosetla oftēah,
egsode eorlas syððan ærest wearð
fēasceaft funden. Hē þæs frōfre gebād,
wēox under wolcnum, weorðmundum þāh
oð þæt him æghwylc þāra ymbsittendra
ofer hronrāde hyran scolde,
gomban gyldan. Þæt wæs gōd cyning!