Battle of Finnburg

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Battle of Finnburg
Date ~ 400
Location Finnburg
Result Frisian victory
Participants
Frisians Danes
Commanders and leaders
King Finn Prince Hnaef

The Battle of Finnburg was a battle between the Frisians and the Danes. It was mentioned in two early medieval writings, the Finnesburg Fragment and Beowulf. These may describe a real or a completelymythical event.

Story[change | edit source]

According to the Finnesburg Fragment, the Danish prince Hnaef came with sixty followers to visit and spent the winter at the Finnburg. Finnburg was the fort of his brother-in-law Finn, king of the Frisians.[1] There a fight started between the Frisians and the Danes. A battle took place that lasted for three days.[1] The verses of the story that were found (which is thought to be a small part of the original work) do not explain why the fight started, nor do they give the outcome of the battle.

In a passage of Beowulf, a bard sings a song about the ending of the battle, here named Freswael. This is the same story as in the Finnesburg Fragment. While in less detail, the Beowulf episode is complete. Here it is seen that the Frisians won the battle. The Danish prince Hnaef and Finn's son died in the battle. After the fighting, the parties make peace, and the new Danish leader Hingest (who some have identified as Hengest) is allowed to leave with the surviving Danes.[2]

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Finnesburg Fragment
  2. Beowulf

Sources[change | edit source]