Re: OT: Odoacer/Eadwacer (was Re: Quick language sketch -- Hrondu)
|From:||Patrick Dunn <tb0pwd1@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, January 28, 2001, 0:06|
On Sat, 27 Jan 2001, Eric Christopherson wrote:
> 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.
Hmm. That doesn't seem to fit the poem.
I love how he throws that off as if it's fact. *grins* We simply don't
know who Wulf and Eadwacer are. And to complicate matters, there's a son
(of Wulf? Of Eadwacer?) somewhere in the poem (he's described as a whelp,
so that would imply it's Wulf's son -- but maybe not). Then there's the
matter of the speaker having slept with a guardsmen -- Eadwacer? -- when
her husband was absent. If Wulf's her husband. Maybe Eadwacer is and
Wulf is the guardsman. Then there's the fact that Wulf also means
"outlaw." So really the only formal name we have is Eadwacer.
And, just to make it even more frustrating, the poet apparently *expects*
us to know the story.
Perhaps Dr. Hemmingson is right. I hope so. I'd love to know to what the
> 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
> humserv1.hum.gu.se/arkiv/ONN/1998onn/I/msg00289.html. 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! :)
It's one of my favorites, tied or perhaps a little ahead of "Deor."
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