Beowulf's funeral is not fully typical of traditional Anglo-Saxon or northern Germanic burials. However, there is one feature that aligns with tradition. What is it and what does it traditionally represent?
"Order my troop to construct a barrow on a headland on the coast... it will loom on the horizon at Hronesness..." (2802-2803, 2804).
Beowulf's barrow is built on a high point, which traditionally represents his power and glory.
Wiglaf uses "a group of seven" to help him carry out Beowulf's wishes (3122). Eight (the seven men plus Wiglaf) was considered a magic number by the Anglo-Saxons as it was closely associated with the god Woden.
Beowulf barrow takes "ten days" which traditionally represents his power and glory (3159).
"What remained from the fire they housed inside [a barrow], behind a wall as worthy of him as their workmanship could make it" (3160-3162).
The wall was traditionally used to show a lord's importance above the rest of his people.
"Then twelve warriors rode around the tomb, chieftains' sons, champions in battle..." (3169-3170).
Twelve men would always ride around a burial mound to represent the twelve apostles.