The Geatas of Beowulf
42 , 2016-03 , 法政大学キャリアデザイン学部
Beowulf is an anonymous epic written in Old English. The Geatas is an Old English word which means both Beowulf’s native country and its people. Beowulf came from the Geatas to the Dene to save them from the catastrophe caused by the monsters. Since Higelac, the uncle of Beowulf and the king of the Geatas, was proved to be an actual person by Grundtvig, those questions have been sought, that is, who were the Geatas in the real history and where did they inhabit? Two theories have been presented. One argues that they were the Gautar in Scandinavia and it insists on the phonetic contrast between Geatas and Gautar. The other states that they were the Jutes in Jutland, and it bases its argument on several reasons, one of which is the Geatas found in The Old English Version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People.This paper aims to resolve the problem. First it traces the history of the controversy of the two theories. It surveys the statements in the original Bede’s sentences in Latin, the translation of them in The Old English Version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, and also the description in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Then it examines the views of R.W.Chamber and J.A.Leake, who presented very important achievements about the Geatas in Beowulf. Then the views of Fr.Klaeber and the editors of Klaeber’s Beowulf 4th Ed. are also investigated. The conclusion is to be stated finally and it depends on the Eotan（the Jutes） in the Finn Episode in Beowulf. The nationality of the Geatas will be clarified through the relation between the Eotan （the Jutes） and the Geatas in the story.