Saturday, 18 June 2016
Historical Names And Dates
Anderson's Foreword and his text converge. Some time between 512 and 520 AD, the Gota-King Hugleik fell in battle against the Franks. One of the few Gota to escape from the Franks was Bjovulf/Beowulf. Returning home, he declined the kingship but guided the kingdom. This happened shortly after Hrolf's birth.
"Thus Hrolf flourished two or three decades later." (p. xviii)
Hugleik, Beowulf and Hrolf are historical.
"Saxo places Hadding three generations before Hrolf Kraki."
-Poul Anderson, War Of The Gods (New York, 1999), p. 301.
Hrolf's saga is dated to the mid-sixth century. If we call that 550 and a generation twenty years, then Hadding is dated about 490. However:
"...the tale of Hadding is not properly even a legend. It is a myth." (ibid.)
Since one scholar identified King Hadding with the god Njord, Anderson novelized Hadding as an incarnation of Njord. Anderson's tale of Hadding begins not in the late fifth century but with "...the first war there ever was..." (p. 9) - between the gods.