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Beowulf’s Great Hall

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John D. Niles reports on the search for the real ­location of the Heorot, the hall where Beowulf feasted before fighting the monster Grendel.

Readers of Beowulf will be familiar with the moment, early in the poem, when Hrothgar, the reigning king of Denmark in the Scylding line of kings, orders that a great hall be built. Soon, the poet says, it was completely finished, ‘the biggest of halls’:

Then, as I have heard, the work of constructing a building 


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