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The role of Æschere’s head

Abstract:

This article draws on evidence from archaeological investigation and land charters to argue for the influence of Anglo-Saxon execution practice on the representation of Æschere’s head in Beowulf. The poet’s depiction of the discovery of the severed head of Hroðgar’s retainer in a space defined as a borderland, where it has been left by his killer, Grendel’s mother, can be seen to reflect the Anglo-Saxons’ own judicial decapitation and display practices, which saw the heads of transgressors di...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed

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Publisher copy:
10.1093/res/hgw137

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
HUMS
Department:
English Faculty
Role:
Author
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Journal:
Review of English Studies More from this journal
Volume:
68
Issue:
285
Pages:
428-447
Publication date:
2016-12-24
Acceptance date:
2016-10-24
DOI:
EISSN:
1471-6968
ISSN:
0034-6551
Pubs id:
pubs:655097
UUID:
uuid:8eaa7b9f-c533-4520-9077-f739a9cf9714
Local pid:
pubs:655097
Source identifiers:
655097
Deposit date:
2016-10-26

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