THE BIRTH OF THE VIKING NATIONS
IT may be that not all the royalties and nobles of Beowulf were historical personages, but it is certain that some of them at any rate really lived and Played the parts assigned to them in the poem. That this is so is proved not only by the record in Frankish history of Hygelac's raid, but by the mention of some of the Beowulf names, coupled with accounts of their doings resembling those chronicled in the poem, in the traditional Scandinavian history that is preserved in other works. Chief of these is the Ynglingatal, a Norse genealogical poem said to have been composed in the middle of the ninth century, but probably an altered version of an earlier Swedish poem.1 Another, but less important, document is Snorri Sturlason Ynglingasaga, incorporated in the Heimskringla, that was written in Iceland in the thirteenth century, and there is also the Historia Norwegiae that was written about the same time and was based on the older and lost Íslendingabók2 of Ari Thorgilsson that had been compiled at the beginning of the twelfth century.
Of the early Yngling kings of Svitjod there is little need to speak, for fancy alone can say whether they were real people or not.3 But the Ynglingatal and Ynglingasaga, after giving the names of fifteen rulers of the Swedes, make unquestionable allusions to some of the personalities and some of the events that are mentioned in Beowulf. The Yngling king Ottar is Ohthere of Beowulf, and king Adils (Eadgils of the poem) is his son who made war upon king Ali
EARLY KINGS OF SVITJOD