The Fight at Finnsburh

The fragment of the Finnsburh poem and the Finnsburh reference in Beowulf somewhat overlap. The song sung during the celebration at Heorot follows the events described in the poem. This overlap in narratives is one reason why these two works are studied together.

The original manuscript of the Fight at Finnsburh is now lost, but it is known to have existed on a single leaf in the Lambeth Palace Library, page 489. The text was published in a transcription made by George Hikes in 1705.

The Fight at Finnsburh is an example of a typical Germanic `heroic lay' describing warriors' deeds in battle and the speeches of significant warriors during the battle. The poem resembles others of the same genre such as The Battle of Maldon, and is quite different from the epic form of Beowulf.

Beowulf is the only poem that associates the parties involved as Danes and Frisians.


| The Healf-Denes | The Frisians |
The Healf-Denes: