1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wermund

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WERMUND, an ancestor of the Mercian royal family, a son of Wihtlaeg and father of Offa. 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 form a national disgrace, which was only obhterated 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 (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.

For the story of the aggression against Wermund in his later years, told by the Danish historians and also by the Vitae duorum Offarum, see Offa; also Saxo Grammaticus, Gesta Danorum, edited by A. Holder, pp. 105 ff. (Strassburg, 18S6); Vitae duorum Offarum (in Wats’s edition of Matthew Paris, London, 1640). See also H. M. Chadwick, Origin of the English Nation (Cambridge, 1907).