Handwan (king)
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Handwan King
King of the Hellespont

Handwan was a king of Hellespont mentioned in Gesta Danorum. Having lost the war against the Curonians, exiled Prince Hading attacked Handwan's kingdom and eventually captured and ransomed him. Hading used the ransom money to fund the liberation of his kingdom from the Swedish usurper.[1]

He would have resided in the City of "Duna", which happens to be the Germanic name for Daugava and near Curonia.


Gesta Danorum, Book One
So he assailed Handwan, king of the Hellespont, who was entrenched behind an impregnable defence of wall in his city Duna, and withstood him not in the field, but with battlements. Its summit defying all approach by a besieger, he ordered that the divers kinds of birds who were wont to nest in that spot should be caught by skilled fowlers, and he caused wicks which had been set on fire to be fastened beneath their wings. The birds sought the shelter of their own nests, and filled the city with a blaze; all the townsmen flocked to quench it, and left the gates defenceless. He attacked and captured Handwan, but suffered him to redeem his life with gold for ransom. Thus, when he might have cut off his foe, he preferred to grant him the breath of life; so far did his mercy qualify his rage.


  1. ^ "The Danish History, Book One". www.sacred-texts.com.

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