I read a review recently of a book that suggested the tale of Beowulf originated on the island of Gotland, off the coast of Sweden, in the Baltic. The author dated the story to 550ad.
The argument sounded plausible – but who knows? What drew my eye was a photograph used as an illustration of a ‘picture stone’ set into the wall of the church at Bro on the island.
Isn’t it beautiful? Extraordinary that it’s been dated to the 5th century.
If the dating is right it’s not far off contemporaneous with the Saga – and you can easily imagine Beowulf himself, mightiest of Geats, rocking up to Heorot in it.