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OT: Odoacer/Eadwacer (was Re: Quick language sketch -- Hrondu)

From:Eric Christopherson <raccoon@...>
Date:Saturday, January 27, 2001, 22:37
On Fri, Jan 26, 2001 at 05:04:27PM -0600, Patrick Dunn wrote:
> On Fri, 26 Jan 2001, Eric Christopherson wrote: > > What is "Wulf and Eadwacer"? I've never heard of it, but Eadwacer looks like > > a form of the name of that Germanic (Vandal?) chieftain, Odovaker or > > Odoacer. Am I right?
> Where'd you read about this Vandal chief? Is this the same one who drove > *snaps fingers* damn what was his name? out of Italy for thirty years?
I had to refresh my memory on this. Apparently not a Vandal (unless perhaps the Vandals had other names). From the Columbia Encyclopedia, URL : ODOACER or Odovacar, c.435-493, chieftain of the Heruli, the Sciri, and the Rugii (see Germans). He and his troops were mercenaries in the service of Rome, but in 476 the Heruli revolted and proclaimed Odoacer their king. Odoacer defeated the Roman general Orestes at Piacenza, took Ravenna (the West Roman capital), and deposed Romulus Augustulus, last Roman emperor of the West (until the coronation in 800 of Charlemagne). The date 476 is often accepted as the end of the West Roman Empire. However, Odoacer's action made little difference in the status of Western Rome, which had long been prey to the barbarian armies; the emperors had been mere puppets. Emperor Zeno of the East, considering himself heir to the West Roman Empire, reluctantly recognized Odoacer's authority over Italy and granted him the title of patrician. The Roman administration of Italy continued to function under Odoacer, who retained the chief officers of state. In 488, Zeno sent Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, into Italy to expel Odoacer. Several times defeated, Odoacer consented (493) to a treaty by which he was to share his authority with Theodoric. Invited to a banquet by Theodoric, Odoacer and his son and chief officers were treacherously assassinated; thus Theodoric made himself master of Italy. Interesting stuff! I never knew Ravenna had been a Roman capital. Anyway, I did a Google search on "Odoacer and Eadwacer" and came up with two hits, one being simply and onomasticon and the other being a post on a forum of some sort, at But be warned; this link didn't work for me, so I had to take Google's cached version at Anyway, in the post a Lars Hemmingsen, Ph.D. says:
> As for Odoacer, he appears as Aetgeirr in the saga, and his brother Onoulf >as Vidolf (they are Eadwacer and Wulf in a well known OE poem of their end, >but that is another story). They are some of Didrek's most important >opponents in the legends.
The saga in question is apparently Thidrekssaga, and Didrek/Thidrek is Theodoric, the chief Zeno sent to depose Odoacer. I also looked up the poem. I like it! :) -- Eric Christopherson / *Aiworegs Ghristobhorosyo