Beowulf and Bladesmithing


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.

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