Wermund

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Wermund runs to embrace his victorious son Offa. Illustration by the Danish Lorenz Frølich in a 19th century book.

Wermund or Garmund is an ancestor of the Mercian royal family, a son of Wihtlaeg and father of Offa. Mythology claims him to be a grandson of Odin, but the Danish histories written by Saxo Grammaticus disagree with this concept.

He appears to have reigned in Angel, and his story is preserved by certain Danish historians, especially Saxo Grammaticus. According to these traditions, his reign was long and happy, though its prosperity was eventually marred by the raids of a warlike king named Athislus, who slew Frowinus, the governor of Schleswig, in battle. Frowinus's death was avenged by his two sons, Keto and Wigo, but their conduct in fighting together against a single man was thought to constitute a national disgrace, which was only reconciled by the subsequent single combat of Offa.

It has been suggested that Athislus, though called king of the Swedes by Saxo, was really identical with the Eadgils, lord of the Myrgingas, mentioned in Widsith. As Eadgils was a contemporary of Ermanaric (also known as Eormenric), who died about 370, his date would agree with the indication given by the genealogies which place Wermund nine generations above Penda. Frowinus and Wigo are doubtless to be identified with the Freawine and Wig who figure among the ancestors of the kings of Wessex.

He is mentioned in lines 1958-1963 of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf as Garmund the father of Offa of Angel and grandfather of Eomer.

...forþam Offa wæs
geofum and guðum gar-cene man,
wide geweorðod; wisdome heold
eðel sinne, þonon Eomær woc
hæleðum to helpe, Heminges mæg,
nefa Garmundes, niða cræftig.
...Hence Offa was praised
for his fighting and feeing by far-off men,
the spear-bold warrior; wisely he ruled
over his empire. Eomer woke to him,
help of heroes, Hemming's kinsman,
Grandson of Garmund, grim in war.(Gummere's translation)

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