Moreover, the Karelian and eddic material make etymological sense, as the flour-bin, even when set adrift, is a natural place for milled barley, but not for a shield or a sheaf.
Anyone who has examined the Scandinavian analogues to Beowulf knows it is not unusual for a story about a legendary figure to become attached to his father or son, instead, but in this instance there is even motivation for the story about Beow to have been transferred to his father in England.
Again, the story of Scyld referred to in Beowulf-that he arrived as an unknown child, alone in a boat laden with treasures-is of a type used elsewhere to account for a hero whose origin is unknown.23 Since it is not very probable that the story was transferred backward to Sceaf in the chronicle material and then from him forward to Scyld in Beowulf, the likeliest explanation is that the two versions represent 22 ' The Use in Beowulfof Earlier Heroic Verse', in England wore the Conquest: Studies in Primary Sources Presented to Dorothy It71itelock, ed. independent developments prompted by the considerations Sisam points out, and thus the weight of probability is against Campbell's claim.
Peter Clemoes and Kathleen Hughes (Cambridge, 1971), 290. Transferral of the story to Sceaf is especially easy to understand if originally in English legend Beow was the son of Sceaf rather than Scyld, as suggested both by Erik Bjorkman's assertion that Bedwig Sceafing in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a scribal corruption of Beowi (as the D Chronicle has it, from "Beowius), and by Sisam's conclusion that there was a Scyld in English legend quite different from the Scyld referred to in Danish records, the latter being the one whose name was abstracted from the term Scyldinga~.~~ Thus although the son of Sceaf in Chronicles B and C is Bedwig, Ethelweard and Beowulfput Scyld here. The genealogical material in the various recensions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle referred to here and in the following paragraph can be found in the edition of Charles Plummer and John Earle, Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel, i (Oxford, 1892), 66-7.
AN EDDIC ANALOGUE TO THESCYLD SCEFING STORY NINETEENTH-CENTURY research in the mythological background of Beowulf is characterized by a habit of discerning shamanistic cult figures behind nearly every character in the poem. Magnus Olsen correctly points out that the name Pekko may be derived from Old Norse "beggw-, from Proto-Germanic *beww-, giving Old Icelandic bygg and Old English beow 'barle~'.~ This etymology is That the name Biowulf in 11. Hiofung Pzder bec6m (Exodus 46b) is emended (and therefore unacceptably so); and eaforan bytlian (Genesis '4 2177b) shows the same treatment of second-class weak verbs as in cunnode geome (2847b), etc. of Anthony Faulkes, Edda: Prologr~e and ' G~~lfa Rinrzing' (Oxford, 1982), 11: The sons of Borr killed the giant Ymir. l3 /sleilsk ordab6k handa skdlum og ulnrerriringi, 2nd edn. l6 In the s-stems an alternation between -iz- and -ax- is to be expected, and that explains why there is umlaut in Bergelmir but not in baw: cf.
Thus, for example, in the famous view of Karl Miillenhoff, Grendel comes to stand for the North Sea, flooding the Germanic coast in spring, so that humans must be saved by divine intervention; and the dragon represents the return of harsh weather in the autumn, when the god's power is failing.' Fortunately, such fanciful constructions enjoy little favour now. 18 and 53 of the poem has been substituted for Biow is the usual assumption. I do not think it has been pointed out that there is an independent motive for emendation to Bsou: otherwise verse 53b, Bsouulf Scyldinga, must be categorized as type 1D*l in A. Bliss's system of scansion, a type Bliss finds only in the on-verse in Beouulf, and with double alliteration. The verses sade eft onfon (Daniel 561b) and rarsdon on s6na (Andreas 1334b) might be type D*, but could also simply be exceptions to Kuhn's law (with trisyllabic onfin in the former instance), since such are known. of George Philip Krapp and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie, The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, 6 vols. Eisen, 'uber den Pekokultus bei den Setukesen', Finnisch-ugpische Forschungen, 6 (1906), 104-11. The claim of Georges Dumkzil that Pekko cannot be cognate with Beow is false. Chambers consider the connection probable, even though both are sceptical of mythological conjectures like R/Iiillenh~ff's.~ Proof of Krohn's hypothesis of a barley-figure in Old Norse myth, and of Olrik's connection of the Scyld Scefing story with that barley-figure, comes from a previously unrecognized analogue to the Scyld tale in the poetic Edda. LVhen he fell, so much blood ran from his wounds that they [the sons of Borr] thereby drowned the entire race of frost-giants, except that one escaped with his household. He climbed into his luih-, along with his wife, and stayed there safe, and the races of frost-giants are descended from them.' l2 For another eddic association of a luih-with the sea, see Grkaldr 11 (Se~ipdagsmal ii) In Neckel's edn. (Reykjavik, 1983), 542; see also 12i&u 'kvarnarstokkur', p. l J' Det norrene ord Iuar', .ogrninrze (1946), 49-65; see also Hallfr~d Christiansen, ' Det norr Bne ord luar' and ' Ordene lur og stokk i moderne norsk', both in .21aal og minne (1952), 101-6 and 107-22, resp. the levelling in the paradigms of sta& 'place' (i-stem) and hatr 'hatred' (s-stem).
But what seems especially mythical about the Scyld story is the juxtaposition of Scef 'sheaf' with his grandson BZo(zc) 'barley', suggesting the story originates in animistic myth rather than heroic legend, as has often been remarked.4 The specific form of that myth has never been identified, but light is shed on the problem by certain Estonian folk-practices described by M. The image is generally kept in a grain bin, and in certain instances may be taken into the fields. " Axel Olrik, Uarlnzurks hcltedigtrrtrlg, ii (Copenhagen, 1910), 254-5; Klaeber, p. of Gustav Neckel, Edda: Die Lieder- des Codes regilrs nebst 7.emandten Llenkmalenl, 2nd edn., i (Heidelberg, 1927), 48, 49: '.%n immense number of winters before the earth was created, Bergelmir was born; Pruagelmir was his father, and Aurgelmir his grandfather. But Snorri does add the crucial element not made explicit in the verses, that the lu& is to serve as a floating vessel.12 The key word here is lu&, which ought to refer to a flour-bin. l3 That this is what lhb normally means is clear from most of its other occurrences in the poetic Edda, and from its reflexes in the modern Scandinavian languages, Icelandic luhr and Norwegian lur, as well as Eng. lowder (see the *t' ED),all of which refer to the wooden object in which the stones of a quern rest.
159 (1989) 0Oxford Cnrr.ersity Press 1989 Saltan, and the story of Moses. Pekko, 'mit kurzem e und geminiertem k') with a wax image of him, formed to resemble a three-year-old child. En er hann fell, pa hlj6p sv8 mikit b16a 6r sarum hans at med pvi drektu Feir allri ett hrimpursa, nema einn komsk undan mea sinu hyski. Hann f6r upp 6ldr sinn ok kona hans ok helzk par, ok eru af peim komnar hrimpursa ettir.'" Snorri's account conflicts with the poetic version, as the former presents a Noah-like figure, while the litter has Bergelmir laid (lagi&) in the lub, implying he is an infant, as in the Scyld story.The first of these is the question whether the Danish genealogy that begins Beozculf is of oral Verse 33 (Neckel. 49): ' They said that in the armpit of the frost-giant grew a girl and a boy together; one of the learned giant's legs begot on the other a six-headed son.' '' See Kulturhistonsk leksikon for nordisk middelalder, ii (Copenhagen, 1957), 405-6 (s.v. 20 On this portion of the growth cycle of barley see [lam! Harlan, Some Distinctions h7 Our ('rrlticated Barleys zcith Referem-e to Their CSe 2)t Plartt Breediitg, Bulletin of the US Department of Agriculture 137 (LVashington, 1914), 5-7. Similarly, in the OE Exeter riddle 86 the speaker's 1,200 heads are generally assumed to be cloves of garlic.I was able to confirm this point from an examination of some six-rowed barley grown at the Iron Age Experimental Centre at Lejre, Zealand. 2' Admittedly, the connection with grain in Beozculfis only implicit, in the names Scefitzg and Beoz~(ulfl. He warned against assuming that all the historical material of the poem is derived from old lays, since a story may be based on no more than an annotation to a genealogy.The eddic analogue now suggests this is an insurmountable obstacle.The story originally cannot have belonged either to Sceaf or to Scyld, but to Beow: this is what the Karelian analogue suggests, and it is corroborated by the eddic version.Barley does in fact produce precisely four leaves before tillering.20 The boy and girl in the giant's armpit then can only be the third and fourth leaves, i.e. This explains why a point is made of their sexual differentiation, as well as why just one armpit is mentioned.