(405-6) [Beowulf spoke--on him a byrnie shone, an ingeniously wrought net sewn by the skill of smiths.]
The fact that the byrnie is made from "dracan fellum" (dragon's skin) and imbued with dark magical properties from "deofles craeftum" (devil's craft) make this detail all the more fantastic.
It seems quite possible that Beowulf may have begun the description with a metaphorical interpretation of the skin that likens it to a byrnie or armor, but then shifts at the conclusion of his illustration to a literal report of what he saw.
Whether skin or byrnie, though I favor the former, the first two accounts of the Grendel fight (710-836 and 957-90) provide some possible clues suggesting something more than mere magic may account for Grendel's invulnerability to weapons.
(64) Whatever the case, this passage does work nicely in conjunction with the "glove-as-belly" theory in the sense that whether Grendel wears a byrnie or has the skin of a serpent, he would have been defended against the blows of Beowulfs companions.
Our thanks to Matthew Byrnie
at Routledge for permission to publish this essay.
Byrnie was not hired by the town of Cromwell, Connecticut, he filed a lawsuit against the town claiming that he was discriminated against because of his age.
As a result of the ruling, Byrnie has the right to take his claims to a jury.
While trial courts have broad discretion in imposing sanctions, appellate courts have held any sanction imposed should be "molded to serve the prophylactic, punitive and remedial rationales underlying the spoliation doctrines." Byrnie
(44) [Then he hastily attacked another, so that he burst the man's byrnie
; he was wounded in the breast, through the ring-shirt, at his heart stood the poisonous spear-point.
For example, federal statutes were at issue in Byrnie
My byrnie is multi-colored, likewise a bright wire-ornament rests about the death-gem that the ruler gave me, (5) he who directs me, wide-ranging, to battle.
(5) Williamson reads the "multi-colored byrnie" as a decorated scabbard and the "death-gem" as a scabbard jewel (195).