Beowulf and archaeology: Megaliths imagined and encountered in early medieval Europe

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/336898
Title:
Beowulf and archaeology: Megaliths imagined and encountered in early medieval Europe
Authors:
Williams, Howard ( 0000-0003-3510-6852 )
Abstract:
The dragon’s lair in the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf has been widely interpreted to reflect engagement with Neolithic megalithic architecture. Embodying the poet’s sense of the past, the stone barrow (Old English: stānbeorh) of the dragon has been taken to reveal mythological and legendary attributions to megalithic monuments as the works of giants and haunts of dragons in the early medieval world. This chapter reconsiders this argument, showing how the dragon’s mound invoked a biography of successive pasts and significances as treasure hoard, monstrous dwelling, place of exile, theft, conflict and death. Only subsequently does the mound serve as the starting-point for the funeral of Beowulf involving his cremation ceremony and mound-raising nearby. The biography of the dragon’s barrow is a literary one, in which inherited prehistoric megaliths were counter-tombs, antithetical to contemporary stone architectures containing the bodies of kings, queens and the relics of saints.
Affiliation:
University of Chester
Citation:
In M. Diaz-Guardamino, L. Garcia Sanjuan, & D. Wheatley (Eds.), The lives of prehistoric monuments in Iron Age, Roman and medieval Europe (pp. )Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication Date:
2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/336898
Additional Links:
http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/
Type:
Book chapter
Language:
en
Description:
This is the author's version of a book chapter published in The lives of prehistoric monuments in Iron Age, Roman and medieval Europe by Oxford University Press, 2015.
ISBN:
9780198724605
Sponsors:
Sponsored by European Research Council
Appears in Collections:
History and Archaeology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Howarden
dc.date.accessioned2014-12-08T12:08:17Zen
dc.date.available2014-12-08T12:08:17Zen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.identifier.citationIn M. Diaz-Guardamino, L. Garcia Sanjuan, & D. Wheatley (Eds.), The lives of prehistoric monuments in Iron Age, Roman and medieval Europe (pp. )Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.en
dc.identifier.isbn9780198724605en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/336898en
dc.descriptionThis is the author's version of a book chapter published in The lives of prehistoric monuments in Iron Age, Roman and medieval Europe by Oxford University Press, 2015.en
dc.description.abstractThe dragon’s lair in the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf has been widely interpreted to reflect engagement with Neolithic megalithic architecture. Embodying the poet’s sense of the past, the stone barrow (Old English: stānbeorh) of the dragon has been taken to reveal mythological and legendary attributions to megalithic monuments as the works of giants and haunts of dragons in the early medieval world. This chapter reconsiders this argument, showing how the dragon’s mound invoked a biography of successive pasts and significances as treasure hoard, monstrous dwelling, place of exile, theft, conflict and death. Only subsequently does the mound serve as the starting-point for the funeral of Beowulf involving his cremation ceremony and mound-raising nearby. The biography of the dragon’s barrow is a literary one, in which inherited prehistoric megaliths were counter-tombs, antithetical to contemporary stone architectures containing the bodies of kings, queens and the relics of saints.en
dc.description.sponsorshipSponsored by European Research Councilen
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherOxford University Pressen
dc.relation.urlhttp://ukcatalogue.oup.com/en
dc.subjectAnglo-Saxon churchen
dc.subjectarchaeologyen
dc.subjectBeowulfen
dc.subjectbarrowen
dc.subjectbarrowen
dc.subjectcrypten
dc.subjectmausoleumen
dc.subjectmegalithicen
dc.subjectarchitectureen
dc.subjectmemoryen
dc.subjectmortuary archaeologyen
dc.titleBeowulf and archaeology: Megaliths imagined and encountered in early medieval Europeen
dc.typeBook chapteren
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chesteren
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons
All Items in ChesterRep are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.