Discuss Unferth's sword, Hrunting.

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The animosity between Unferth, who may have been Hrothgar's official speaker, and Beowulf seems at an end when Unferth offers Beowulf the use of his sword Hrunting as Beowulf prepares to go after Grendel's mother. Hrunting is described as being "etched with venom / tempered in battle-blood," clearly a superior and special weapon. The naming conventions for weapons have always been somewhat of a mystery in Anglo-Saxon studies, but we do have some concrete evidence that weapons were either given names or that their origin was identified on their blades. Several Viking swords dating from the 8th-12th centuries have been found with the name "+Ulfbehr+t" on the blade. These swords are remarkably well made, with blades that have purer iron content (and therefore harder) and fewer impurities than other blades of the period. It is possible, perhaps even probable, that the monk who composed Beowulf had some knowledge of weapons with names like "+Ulfbehr+t" and modeled Hrunting on the +Ulfbehr+t blade.

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