Beowulf and Bladesmithing
- For his Division III project, Emiliano Carrillo-Aun focused on bladesmithing and Beowulf. He conducted research of archaeological and literary sources, working collaboratively with Hampshire and Five College scholars, then applied his research to an ambitious, original bladesmithing feat.
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The "Beowulf" poem has always been one of my favorite pieces of literature. It tells this tale of a hero, who is kind of an anti-hero. And all of his tools, all of his weapons, they fail him, which is something you don't see in other legend. My [INAUDIBLE] is I'm going to be creating Beowulf's sword from all homemade steel that I've made over the course of a year.
One of the most difficult things about starting a project like this was knowing how to begin it. And what I had to do was look back into the archaeological record, and see these pieces that were partially destroyed or taken apart, and reverse-engineer how they were actually made. I'm doing an independent study at Smith with a professor named Craig Davis. And he's a Beowulf scholar.
We've been able to go back into the original text to better understand what the poem might have been saying. I can't imagine any other place like this. You can come here, and choose your own path of study, and really intensely pursue it.