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The first page of the Beowulf manuscript Heorot (Old English pronunciation: [ˈhɛo̯rɔt]; Modern: /ˈheɪ.ɒroʊt/ HAY-orr-oht, sometimes translated Herot) is a mead hall described in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf as "the foremost of halls under heaven." It served as a palace for King Hroðgar, a legendary Danish king of the sixth century. Heorot means "Hall of the Hart" (male deer).[1] The Geatish (Swedish) hero Beowulf defends the royal hall and its residents from the demonic Grendel. Contents 1 Description and symbolism 2 Location of Heorot 3 In popular culture 3.1 Science fiction series 4 References 5 External links // Description and symbolism Beowulf is challenged by a Danish coast guard, by Evelyn Paul (1911). The anonymous author of Beowulf praises Heorot as follows: Then, as I have heard, the work of constructing a building Was proclaimed to many a tribe throughout this middle earth. In time – quickly, as such things happen among men – It was all ready, the biggest of halls. He whose word was law Far and wide gave it the name ‘Heorot’.[2] The men did not dally; they strode inland in a group Until they were able to discern the timbered hall, Splendid and ornamented with gold. The building in which that powerful man held court Was the foremost of halls under heaven; Its radiance shone over many lands.[3] The hall was large enough to allow Hroðgar to present Beowulf with a gift of eight horses, each with gold-plate headgear.[4] It functions both as a seat of government and as a residence for the king's thanes (warriors). Heorot symbolizes human civilization and culture, as well as the might of the Danish kings—essentially, all the good things in the world of Beowulf.[5] Its brightness, warmth, and joy contrasts with the darkness of the swamp waters inhabited by Grendel.[6] Location of Heorot A reconstructed Viking Age longhouse (28.5 metres long) in Fyrkat. Modern scholarship sees the village of Lejre, near Roskilde, as the location of Heorot.[7] In Scandinavian sources, Heorot corresponds to Hleiðargarðr, King Hroðulf's (Hrólfr Kraki) hall mentioned in Hrólf Kraki's saga, and located in Lejre. The medieval chroniclers Saxo Grammaticus and Sven Aggesen already suggested that Lejre was the chief residence of Hroðgar's Skjöldung clan (called "Scylding" in the poem). The remains of a Viking hall complex was uncovered southwest of Lejre in 1986-88 by Tom Christensen of the Roskilde Museum. Wood from the foundation was radiocarbon-dated to about 880. It was later found that this hall was built over an older hall which has been dated to 680. In 2004-05, Christensen excavated a third hall located just north of the other two. This hall was built in the mid-6th century, all three halls were about 50 meters long.[6] Fred C. Robinson is also convinced by this identification: "Hrothgar (and later Hrothulf) ruled from a royal settlement whose present location can with fair confidence be fixed as the modern Danish village of Leire, the actual location of Heorot.[8] The most recent publication on Lejre and its role in Beowulf is by Marijane Osborn and John Niles, Beowulf and Lejre.[9] In popular culture The 2007 film Beowulf, directed by Robert Zemeckis, depicts Heorot as a loud and boisterous place, and suggests that the noise is the source of Grendel's anger.[citation needed] In the novel Grendel (1971) by John Gardner, Heorot is referred to as "Hart" (male deer). In the video game Grendel's Cave, Heorot Hall is the starting location in the game and a safe place, except from the AI Monster Grendel, to sleep. Science fiction series The Heorot series by Steven Barnes, Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven is named after the hall. It contains the following books: The Legacy of Heorot (1987) Beowulf's Children (1995) References ^ "Kent place names - H", BBC Homepage. See under "Hartlip". ^ Beowulf, lines 74-79. ^ Beowulf, lines 306-11. ^ Beowulf, lines 1035-37 ^ Halverson, John. “The World of Beowulf” ELH, Vol. 36, No. 4. (Dec., 1969), pp. 593-608. JSTOR. Online Database. 6 Dec. 2006. ^ a b Niles, John D., "Beowulf’s Great Hall", History Today, October 2006, 56 (10), pp. 40-44 ^ Lapidge, Michael; Malcolm Godden (1991). The Cambridge companion to Old English literature. Cambridge UP. pp. 144. ISBN 9780521377942. http://books.google.com/books?id=-e5YuuS_yicC&pg=PA144. Retrieved 22 May 2010.  ^ Robinson, Fred C. (1984). "Teaching the Backgrounds: History, Religion, Culture". In Jess B. Bessinger, Jr. and Robert F. Yeager. Approaches to Teaching Beowulf. New York: MLA. pp. 109.  ^ Osborn, Marijane; John Niles (2007). Beowulf and Lejre. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. ISBN 9780866983686.  External links Baldwin, Stanley P., and Elaine Strong Skill. CliffsNotes on Beowulf. Cliffnotes, 2006. Kiernan, Kevin, Guide to Electronic Beowulf, 2003. v • d • e Beowulf Characters Beowulf  · Grendel  · Grendel's mother  · Hroðgar  · Ecgþeow · Hygelac  · Heardred  · Æschere  · Onela  · Wealhþeow  · Wiglaf  · Unferð  · The Dragon Scholars and translators M. H. Abrams  · Michael J. Alexander  · Nora Kershaw Chadwick  · Kevin Crossley-Holland  · Michael D. C. Drout  · Seamus Heaney  · William Morris  · Frederick Klaeber  · Burton Raffel  · J. R. R. Tolkien  · Charles Leslie Wrenn Artistic depictions Literature Grendel · Eaters of the Dead · The Legacy of Heorot · Beowulf's Children · Beyond Beowulf Film Grendel Grendel Grendel · Beowulf (1999) · The 13th Warrior · Beowulf & Grendel · Wrath of Gods · Grendel · Beowulf (2007) Other "The Monsters and the Critics"  · Heorot  · Hrunting  · Nægling  · Nowell Codex