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 Заголовок сообщения: История датских королей
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"Краткая история датских королей" – самое известное произведение Свена Аггесена, датского историка и хрониста. Оно было написано в конце 80-х годов XII в., возможно, ок. 1185 г., по заказу вдохновителя и покровителя исторического описания в Дании, Абсалона, роскилльского епископа (1158-1192) и лундского архиепископа (1178-1201). В качестве источника Свен использовал "Роскилльскую хронику".

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 Заголовок сообщения: Re: История датских королей
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Краткая история датских королей (англ.)



Often, as I was studying the books of the ancients (1) and discovering numerous deeds of early times recorded in the most elegant language, I sighed continually at the perpetual silence to which the mightiest achievements of our own kings and chiefs have been consigned. They were no less great in their merit and in their proven virtue, but their distinction has not been proclaimed aloud to the same extent.

However, as this world grows old and evils gather apace, a man can strive to commemorate the things that ought to be remembered with all the care and industry he can muster, and he will still be wholly unable to deflect the shafts of defamation (2). And so for a long time I was in two minds: should I accept the charge of presumption and write down a short record of the pedigrees and successive reigns of our kings in my own style, unpolished as it is, or should I let them all pass away into silence? However, I thought it better not to avoid displaying my arrogance, and to penetrate the thickets of the neglected past, thus clearing the way for our successors, who will be armed with a sharp and lively intelligence and a fertile store of elegant learning, rather than that I should let the achievements of our famous princes be clouded over by the gloom of oblivion.

However, Martianus tells us that 'the statement of the unknown must not appear to be mixed with falsehood' (3), and lest I should seem to be narrating fable as history, I shall give an abbreviated account of what I have been able to ascertain by questioning aged men and ancient authorities (4). Not all kings have been equally celebrated for their victories, nor have all triumphed alike, and they certainly differed from each other in their claims to the kingdom. Therefore I shall attempt to commemorate those whose famous deeds I found to be known with more certainty. To the deeds of those whom fleeting fame has passed by I shall attend less urgently.

Peasants and princes share the common nature of all men, whereby reputation instigates this man to do well, while love of sloth tarnishes that one (5). This man endeavours to perpetuate his claims to nobility; little cares the other if glorious renown be dimmed. And so our tale will now restore to life the man whom our remotest forebears6 first commended to eternal remembrance.

[1] I have learned that Skiold was the first man to rule over the Danes, and if we may make a pun on his name, he was called this because he used to protect most nobly all the boundaries of the realm with the shielding power of his kingship (7). He was the first after whom kings were called Skioldunger in the poetry of the Icelanders (8).

He left heirs to the kingdom called Frothi and Halfdan (9). These brothers fought each other for the kingdom, and eventually Halfdan killed his brother and obtained the sole kingly authority (10). He begot a son called Helghi to inherit the kingdom, and Helghi was so exceedingly valiant that he became a pirate chief, and occupied himself with constant pirate raids. And since he had laid waste the shores of all the surrounding kingdoms and subjected them to his command with his pirate fleet, he was known as king of the sea (11).

His successor as king was his son, Rolf Kraki (12), who became powerful through his inherited valour, and was killed at Lejre. This was then the king's most famous residence, but now, near the city of Roskilde, it lies scarcely inhabited among quite the meanest of villages (13).

His son Rokil ruled after him, and he was known by the surname of Slagenback (14).

His son succeeded him as king and won a surname by his speed and vigour: in our common tongue people used to call him Frothi the Bold (15).

[2] His son and the inheritor of his kingdom was Wermund, and he so excelled in the virtue of prudence that he acquired a name for that. He is called Wermund the Wise (16).

He had a son called Uffi, who repressed his power of speech until the thirtieth year of his age. This was because of a dreadful disgrace which befell the Danes at that time. Two Danes had set out for Sweden to avenge their father, and together had killed his slayer (17). For at that time it was a shameful disgrace if two men put an end to one, especially as the superstitious heathens of those days (18) tried to devote their energy solely to acts of valour. So Wermund, mentioned above, held the government of his kingdom until his old age, and at last he was so worn out with age that his eyes were dimmed with senility (19).

When the news of his infirmity was spread abroad in the lands beyond the Elbe, the proud Teutons pompously puffed themselves up, for they were never content with their own boundaries. Their emperor sharpened his furious rage against the Danes, with a view to conquering the kingdom and acquiring a new scepter (20). Emissaries (21) were therefore sent to carry the commands of the proud prince to the king of the Danes – to Wermund, that is – and they laid before him a choice of two courses, neither of which was fit to choose. For he ordered him either to resign his kingdom to the Roman empire and pay tribute, or to find a man sufficiently skilled in battle to settle the matter by taking on the emperor's champion in single combat.

When the king heard this, he was dismayed. He called together all the chiefs of the kingdom in a body and questioned them carefully about what was to be done. For the king declared that he was unable to come to a decision. It was his duty to fight, and he was bound to protect the kingdom; but blindness had darkened his sight, and the heir to the kingdom was speechless and had grown slack with inactivity, so that it was commonly held that there was no hope of salvation to be expected from him. For Uffi, whom we mentioned above, had been sunk in gluttony from childhood, and had diligently applied himself to the kitchen and the cellar in the manner of the Epicureans (22). In such matters he had served with diligence rather than with sloth; for in his youth he had decided to preserve the strength of his body unspent. And so the king revealed the ambition of the Germans to the assembled chiefs and to a gathering of the whole kingdom, and the old man made repeated inquiries into how he was to make a choice which was scarcely a choice at all.

And while the whole crowd was sunk in perplexity and plunged into silence, Uffi was the only one who rose to his feet in the middle of the assembly. When all the people caught sight of him, they were astonished beyond words, for a speechless man was taking up an attitude as if to make a speech (23). As every rarity is held to be worth looking at (24), he held the attention of all of them.

Thus risen, from on high his speech he thus began (25).

'Let us not be troubled by the threats of these challengers. That habit of Teutonic turgidity is something they are born with: to brag with bombastic words and to dismay the weak and cowardly by threatening them with flatulent menaces (26). Nature brought me forth to be the sole and true heir of the kingdom: surely you must know that it rests on me alone boldly to meet the test of single combat, and to fall for the sake of the realm. Let us therefore knock the wind out of their threats, and tell them to carry back this message to the emperor: that his son and the heir to his empire, along with his most outstanding champion, must dare to meet me on my own.' He spake, and thus pronounced these words with haughty voice (27).

When he had finished the speech, the old man asked those sitting beside him whose oration it was. And when he heard from the bystanders that it was his own son who had uttered these words, who until then had been as if he were dumb, he ordered him to draw near and let him feel him. He touched him all over his shoulders and chest, his buttocks, calves and shins, and the other limbs of his body, and then he said: 'I call to mind that such a one was I, in the flower of my youth (28).'

What then? The date and place of the combat were fixed, and the envoys went back to their own country with the answer they had received.

[3] All that remains is to gather arms indisputably worthy of the warrior. The king had the best swords in the kingdom sought out and brought together, and Uffi wielded each one of them with his right hand and smashed them into the smallest fragments. 'Are these the weapons,' he asked, 'with which I am to defend my life and the honour of my kingdom?'

And when his father discovered how very outstanding was his skill at arms, he said, 'There is only one refuge left both for our kingdom and for our life.'

He ordered that he be led to a burial mound where he had once hidden a most well-tested sword (29), and, instructed by marks among the characters on the stones (30), he told them to dig up this supreme blade. He seized it at once in his right hand and declared, 'Here it is, my boy. Many a time have I triumphed with it, and it always protected me without fail.' So saying, he handed the sword to his son.

It was not long before the time appointed for the conflict was near at hand. Uncountable masses came together from all directions, and the place of battle was fixed on an island in the River Eider (31) so that the combatants should be separated from the crowds on either side and remain unassisted by any of their supporters. So the Germans sat down together across the river in Holstein, and the Danes were drawn up on this side of the stream. The king chose to sit in the middle of the bridge (32), so that if his only son should fall, he might throw himself into the depths of the river rather than survive the loss of both his son and his kingdom 'to carry his white hairs in sorrow' to the other world (33).

The combatants were let loose on either side and came together on the island in midstream. And when our noble warrior caught sight of the two men who were hastening to meet him as arranged, he roared from his mighty breast like a lion (34) and with a steady heart rushed boldly and without delay towards the two picked men, wearing at his side the blade which his father had kept hidden, as told above, and holding another drawn sword in his right hand.

As soon as he met them, he addressed them both in turn. We seldom read of such an occurrence, but our most rare of champions (35), whose 'remembrance will never be effaced (36),' encouraged his own adversaries to fight (37): 'If longing for our kingdom fires your ambition, and you want to gain possession of our wealth and power and plenty, you ought by rights to go ahead of your retainer. Then you may both extend the boundaries of your kingdom and win a reputation for valour in front of your watching warriors. However, let us set to (38)! Take a lesson in skill from your opponent, and feel the stroke of the smiter.'

But he addressed the champion like this: 'Here is the place to broadcast the proof of your valour. Take the lead now, and make known to the Danes without more ado the prowess you have already exhibited to the Germans (39). Now you will be able to add to your reputation for skill in battle. If you go before your lord and protect him with your defending shield, you will be enriched with a gift of outstanding generosity. I implore you: let the experienced and valiant Germans do their best to instruct the Danes in the finer points of the art of combat (40), so that you may win the longed-for victory at last, and go back to your native land rejoicing in triumph.'

When he had finished his words of encouragement, he struck the champion's helmet with all his might, and the sword he struck with was 'distributed in two' (41). It made a noise that echoed throughout the whole gathering of warriors (42). The German cohort shouted aloud with delight, and the Danish phalanx on the opposite side were stricken with sorrowful despair and groaned in their grief. As soon as the king heard that his son's blade was shattered, he ordered that they should place him on the edge of the bridge.

And suddenly Uffi drew the sword he was wearing, dyed it in gore from that champion's hip, and with no further delay sliced off his head as well.

Thus 'playful Fortune, variable as the moon (43)', now mocked what had happened before, and looked with the unfriendly gaze of a stepmother (44) on those she had just now favoured to their boundless jubilation. When the old man heard of this, he regained his confidence and had himself returned to his former seat.

The victory was not in doubt for long, for now Uffi drove the heir of the empire to the bank of the island and there had no difficulty in slaying him with the sword. Thus he defeated two men on his own, and by his glorious courage he erased with splendour enough the shame which the Danes had incurred long before. The Germans went home ashamed of their dishonour, and their threats and their outrageous verbosity (45) were brought to nothing. After that, far-famed (46) Uffi ruled his kingdom in peace and tranquillity.

[4] He begot a son to whom he gave the name of Dan; Dan also bore the surname of the High-minded or the Proud (47). He was succeeded as king by his son Frothi, who was also called the Old.

After him his son Frithlefer undertook the government of the realm. His son was Frothi Frithgoths, who was also called the Magnificent because he embraced liberality above all other virtues: gold and silver he 'counted as clay (48)'. His son Ingiald succeeded him (49).

After his time no son succeeded his father to the throne for a space of many centuries. It passed to grandsons, or nephews, who, to be sure, were sprung from the royal stock on the one side (50).

The one who succeeded next, Olaf, vigorously subdued all the surrounding countries, even as far as across the River Danube, where he marched in triumph for seven days (51). However, in case I should be accused of making up stories and telling untruths, by stringing together the reigns of kings whom I have learned to be quite widely separated by intervals of time (52), and since I may have passed over many illustrious men, owing not to my idleness but to the unfruitfulness of my research, so I leave the inquiry to my diligent successor (53), that by his careful investigation he may supply what I have left out through memory's eclipse (54).

After this Sighwarth, the son of Regner Lothbrogh, invaded the kingdom of Denmark; having joined battle with the king, he killed the king and gained the kingdom. And while he was in possession of the conquered kingdom he took to his bed the daughter of the slain king (55). When he had had knowledge of her as a wife, the king's daughter asked him what he should call their offspring. The king answered and told her that after she had given birth, the mother would remember her girdle. And when the time of her giving birth had passed, she called the boy Knut, alluding to the word for knot (56), and he was the first who had that name in Denmark. And he was the only one sprung from the royal line after the Frothi whom we mentioned above (57).

While he was still a boy, a landowner from Sjzlland called Ennignup (58) was made guardian of the kingdom; but as soon as Knut came to manhood, he took control of the kingdom. Time passed, and he had a son whom he chose to call Snio (59). He had a son whom he called Klak-Harald (60).

He was followed by his son and heir, Gorm Løghæ, a sluggard who merely indulged in sensuality and regal drinking-bouts (61). His wife was that most glorious queen called Thyrwi, who was surnamed the Ornament of the Realm (62). And I cannot refrain from speaking of her laudable renown. For it is customary to relate the deeds of those whose reputation stands high above the rest.

[5] Now this Thyrwi whom we have mentioned was a woman conspicuous for every virtue. Nature strove to bless her with uncountable gifts. For she was fair of face, and the rose and the lily had been wedded to paint the pinkness (63) of her cheeks; and she was chaste, modest and cheerful, overflowing with an abundance (64) of all manner of courtesy. Furthermore, the kindness of Providence had enlightened her mind with such radiance that she was believed to have drunk from one spring the prudence of Nestor, the cunning of Ulysses, and the wisdom of Solomon. If only she had been cleansed by the spring of baptism, she might indeed be accepted as a queen of Sheba, who came to learn wisdom of Solomon: if only that lady had been orthodox (65).

In those days the emperor, Otto, had made Denmark tributary (66). I think it was because of the inactivity of the king, who was given over to the pleasures of gluttony, as we recorded above. When Otto learned of this, he arrogantly conceived a fierce longing to try and inflict a mark of shame (67) on the kingdom. He even made a thorough attempt to ensnare the modesty of the above-mentioned queen with his wiles. He therefore sent envoys to meet the queen in private under the pretext of collecting the tribute, and they were also given instructions to suggest to her that a queen of her surpassing beauty and prudence ought rather to be an empress, and rule over the Roman empire, than remain the queen of a tributary or no more than middling kingdom. 'So take the wiser course,' say they.' Do not carelessly refuse the powers that are offered you. Cherish the renown of so famous a prince in your inward affection with a lasting and unshakeable return of his love, and just as his love's embrace enfolds you, so let your reciprocal emotion succumb to his friendly vigour (68).'

When she heard those words, she asked for time to deliberate, so that she might reply to such a choice greeting with a kindly and appropriate answer in the same terms. And since they delayed but a short while, the urgency of the matter drove her to collect her thoughts more pressingly. Thus, when they asked her what answer they should take back to their lord, that far-famed and commendably virtuous lady, who alone deserved to be called queen, had devised a stratagem in her cunning mind, and she began to coax them with the most honeyed words (69) – as the saying goes, 'You bear honey in your mouth, but gall lies hidden in your heart (70).'

These were the words she poured forth, as if in prophecy: 'May my tongue cleave to my jaws if I remember thee not (71).' To her questioners she indicated that she consented and was ready to carry out the vow. However, she made it clear that, if she were to scorn the bed of her own husband and fly to the embraces of another man as an adultress, she would be embarking on a momentous undertaking. Much money would therefore be needed to atone for and indemnify so great an undertaking and so infamous a wrong: money to be paid out to the inhabitants of the kingdom, both male and female, to stop the mouths of slanderers. Indeed, she contrived with womanly blandishments that, if they wished to accomplish their purpose, they must concede the tribute to herself for three years in order to atone for that same misdeed.

And so they immediately set out for the emperor at great speed to bring back to him her reply and the condition attached to it. This he accepted with the utmost readiness and joyfully promised what she asked for, provided only that she gave security for their pact with hostages. The envoys hasten back to Denmark and convey the emperor's wishes to the queen, demanding hostages to confirm the agreement. Twelve of the most noble sons of her chief men are selected as hostages without delay, to go to Saxony with the envoys.

[6] Meanwhile the queen sent a decree throughout the kingdom that the entire population of the whole realm (72) should be called together and assemble near Schleswig (73), and all those who had their abode within the kingdom were to set to work with their own hands to build a strong fortification with all speed. However, she helped those who were pressed by lack of worldly goods by supporting them with the tribute: this was how she spent the tribute which she had obtained by deceit. She gave none the privilege of exemption: the young, the old, and all adults who were neither impeded by their infancy nor prevented by the weakness of old age, were obliged to labour at that fortification (74). They all had to obey her, because everyone, rich and poor alike, tilled her fields like tenant fanners. For in those days our kings exercised lordship over all land in the kingdom by right, just as they possessed the power to rule (75). And so it was she, first of all, who built that marvellous work which thereafter always presented the surest defence of the Danes against the fury of the Germans, as if they were fenced in by a hedge (76).

When she had devoted two years' labour to this, news of this enormous construction came to the emperor's ears. Once again he sent envoys to Denmark, and they shrewdly inquired why the queen was applying herself to this kind of work, unless she was trying to break their agreement. The queen always had a ready answer, and this is how she replied to them: 'I cannot adequately express my astonishment that a prince of such outstanding prudence, who by the grace of the Lord has borne aloft his throne almost to the stars (77) and by his penetrating counsel has subjected so many ferocious peoples to his empire, should deign to inquire the meaning of her plans from an incapable woman. For I think what even your intelligence must have deduced cannot have been hidden from his: that there is no way through for the passage of infantry or cavalry in your direction except over a smallish stretch of level ground where I have now erected this enormous obstacle of a wall. Whereas previously the kingdom was patently open to all, now the road is closely blocked by the obtruding wall, and a very narrow gateway will keep in those who wish to leave. Of course, as the faithful servant of my lord I shall carry out his design, and when I have gathered in the entire wealth of the kingdom, I shall surrender myself to your will, and our infuriated people will be held back by the retaining wall. The entrance which will allow us an unhindered passage will remove the possibility of pursuit by the national army.'

When the envoys heard this, they greatly commended the cunning of the woman and went joyfully back to their own country, reassured that she would keep her promise. Meanwhile the queen pushed on all the more earnestly with the work she had begun; and thus the cunning of a woman deceived the inflated vanity of the Germans. And when three years had passed and the building of this ingenious work was brought to a conclusion, and it was properly adorned with bastions, they gave this most magnificent construction the name of Danevirke (78), because it had been accomplished and completed by the sweat of the Danes. As for the queen by whose peerless ingenuity freedom has been won for the Danes to remember for evermore, they gave her the not unworthy name she fully deserved: Thyrwi, the Ornament of Denmark (79).

[7] The emperor immediately orders picked knights of the empire to set out for Denmark with immense parade to meet the queen. A crew of minstrels, making music with viols (80) and harps and 'timbrels and dances' (81), escort them with noisy rhythm. They sent on a few of the more important men into Denmark to sound the mind and wishes of the queen, and pitched their tents by the Eider to await her arrival.

And when she learned of their arrival, she summoned to her the wiser men of her kingdom, and in the hearing of them all she gave the following reply: 'What the emperor demands, I deny. What he desires, I refuse. What he seeks, I avoid (82). I will not play the adultress, and at once disgrace the kingdom, defame my sex, and dishonour the king. You reproach me with the king's inactivity. You may be certain that this suits me very well. The whole kingdom obeys my wishes, and there is not a lawsuit or prosecution which is settled otherwise than at our pleasure. Thus, as you know, I am fully respected both as king and as queen. And you may rest assured that the king is highly distinguished in the nobility of his birth, for he is the offspring of kings on either side. Therefore, even if he cannot match (83) the size of the emperor's power, he is in no way inferior in his royal lineage. And to conclude my short speech: I shall forthwith liberate the Danes from the yoke of servile tribute, and they will owe you no further submission or respect whatever (84).'

The legates were immediately stunned to silence by the dreadful disrespect (85) of this unlooked-for reply, and they hastened in disarray back to the tents of the nobles mentioned above. A crowd of these nobles converged on them in troops, asking what it could be that sped their return at so urgent a pace. Without hesitation the envoys reported directly to all of them that they had been foiled in their intentions and outwitted by the cunning of a woman.

When the emperor discovered this, he ordered that the hostages should undergo sentence of death on the spot. For that most illustrious queen knew a long time in advance that this would be the outcome of the matter, as if she were gifted with knowledge of things to come (86). However, she decided that it was better to redeem the whole kingdom from servitude by the death of a few rather than to serve foreigners to the very end (87).

Then was the ambition of the Germans confounded and their joy turned to grief. Back they went, grieving and lamenting. And when that famous queen and the king her husband had completed their span of years, leaving a son, Harald Bluetooth (88), who was also the heir to the kingdom, Harald had both his parents buried according to heathen rites in almost identical mounds of equal size by the king's residence at Jelling, to serve as glorious mausoleums (89).

[8] This Harald held sway over the kingdom with his royal sceptre for a long time afterwards. This was the first king to reject the filth of idolatry and worship the cross of Christ (90). However, he sent the army to haul the immense rock which he intended to have raised over his mother's mound in memory of her achievements, and disorder began to seethe among the people. It was caused both by the new religious observances and by the unbearable servile yoke (91). Then the commons broke out in rebellion against the king, and all together they drove him from the kingdom. He fled with speed, for 'fear added wings to his feet (92),' and arrived in Slavia as a refugee. There he is said to have had a peaceful reception and to have founded the city which is now called Jomsborg; whose walls I, Sven, saw levelled to the ground by Archbishop Absalon (93).

During his exile his son Sven was raised to the throne; he was surnamed Forkbeard (94). And he adopted as a true worshipper of God the faith which his fugitive father had in the end renounced (95). Reborn in the holy waters of baptism and made orthodox in the faith, he ordered the seeds of God's word to be sown throughout the land.

In the course of time envoys arrived to repair the discord which had arisen between the fugitive father and the son who occupied the royal throne. The king therefore decided that his father and the Slavs should meet him in the straits of Grønsund (96) to make peace. The king arrived there first with the Danish fleet at the time appointed, and waited a long time for his father. The fugitive Harald meanwhile accepted the suggestion of one of his counsellors – that is, of Palna-Toki, a man with two names (97) – and constructed for himself a rapid vessel best suited for rowing. This he manned with the most experienced sailors and put the above-mentioned Palna-Toki in charge, who set off with all speed to meet the king.

When he reached the Danish fleet, he ranged his oarsmen on deck and, with treachery in mind, gave orders that his ship should make for the king's. With his crew in position, at the first light of dawn he quietly roused the king in his resting-place (98). When the king woke, he asked who it was. 'It is us,' he said,' the envoys of your father. We have been sent over to you to discuss peace-terms.' When he gathered this, the king wanted to inquire more closely into how his father was, and he put his head a little way over the gunwale of the ship (99). Then Palna-Toki grabbed him by the ears and the hair, gave a more powerful heave against his unavailing resistance, and dragged him willy-nilly out of his own ship. Although he yelled and shouted, just a little, they made their escape with furious oar-strokes while everyone else slumbered in ignorance. Nor did they heave to until they reached the city of Jomsborg (100).

When the Slavs caught sight of him, the people rose up and condemned the prisoner to various forms of death and refined torture. However, the better sort of their leaders prevailed with wiser counsel. They decided that, rather than put an end to him by killing him forthwith, they would be better advised to have him ransomed for a large tribute; in that way the Danes would be impoverished and Slavia would perpetually rejoice in her wealth. It would yield but little profit to the community if they were to condemn their prisoner to death.

So they charge their envoys to announce to the kingdom that they may buy back their king with three times his weight in gold and silver; and they did so without much delay (101). The Danes collected a levy from almost the entire kingdom, and when the Slavs arrived at Vindinge (102) with the captive monarch, they were eager to redeem their king. But the levy proved insufficient to release him, and in order to ransom him the married women agreed to make up the shortfall in coin with their own jewellery. They topped up the king's levy by adding rings, bracelets, ear-rings, necklaces and all their chains. And when it was complete, the Danes obtained from the king their first common rights over woods and groves (103). Moreover, in recognition of the goodwill and generosity of the married women, he was also the first to concede that in future a sister should share with her brother a half portion of the division of the family inheritance (104); for women had previously been wholly excluded from any share in what was inherited from the father. For he considered it was agreeable to all reason that a display of whole-hearted love and a giving of gifts ought to be rewarded in equal measure, as if to say, 'the same measure with which you have measured shall be measured unto you (105).'

[9] When Sven died, his son Knut succeeded to the kingdom, and they also surnamed him the Old. He widened the boundaries of his kingdom by the amazing force of his valour. By his manifold prowess he added to his own empire the neighbouring kingdoms from farthest Thule almost to the empire of the Greeks. Yes indeed, with not inconsiderable gallantry he subjugated Ireland, England, France, Italy, Lombardy, Germany, Norway, Slavia, and Samland too (106). And while he enjoyed the calm of peace in England, he was the first to make laws for his retainers, which I have outlined above according to the small measure of my slight abilities (107).

He also had a daughter called Gunhild, a famous woman whom the Emperor Henry, son of the Emperor Conrad, took in marriage (108). And when the Romans drove Henry from the royal throne by seditious riot, he went to his father-in-law and begged for his assistance. Seizing the opportunity thus afforded him, the noble and renowned Knut raised his own army and first invaded and ravaged Gaul; and so, marching on, he laid waste Lombardy and Italy, and afterwards forced the Romans to yield their city by his manifold valour. Thus he restored the emperor his son-in-law to the throne (109). After that, he travelled with much rejoicing as far as France, and masterfully carried away with him from Tours to Rouen the relics of the blessed Martin. For Knut loved her more than others, with a special affection (110).

The above-mentioned Knut also begot two sons. He called one of them by his own name, and he was given the surname Hard: it was a name he got not because he was harsh or inhuman, but because there was a province of the same name from which he came originally by birth (111). His father put this son in charge of the kingdom of Denmark. He called the other son Sven and delegated the government of Norway to him. Knut himself ruled England [as king for nearly five quinquennia, and during that time the sons to whom he had committed those kingdoms (112)] paid the debt of Adam and left their father as survivor.

When the king heard that the kingdom of his fathers was bereft of a ruler, he speedily returned to Denmark. Because the church was newly planted in Denmark (113) he brought with him many priests and bishops; some he kept by him and others he sent out to preach. Scattered abroad throughout Sweden, Götaland and Norway, and sent over to Iceland as well, they sowed the seed of God's word and gained many souls for Christ – as it is written, "Their sound has gone out to all lands, and their words to the ends of the earth.' Among them were the bishops Gerbrand and Rodulf, and one of them – that is, Gerbrand – he appointed as the first to rule the church of Roskilde, while to the governance of Rodulf he entrusted the church of Schleswig (114).

Now, as he was unable to attend to several kingdoms on his own, he invested his nephew (Sven, that is), despite his youth, with royal rank and entrusted him with the government of Denmark. His father was Ulf, who was known by the surname Sprakaleg (115), and his mother was the king's sister Estrith.

[10] When King Knut was dead, his nephew, this same Sven who had been placed on the throne by his uncle, undertook the government of the realm. Not long did he rule it in peace and quiet (116), for the Norwegian king, Magnus, son of the blessed King Olaf by a concubine (117), invaded Denmark with his fleet in pursuit of conquest. King Sven met him near Helgenaes and fought a sea-battle with him, in which Magnus triumphed and won Jutland, Fyn and Slavia (118). But while the victor was trying to chase Sven into Scania, he met an unexpected accident in Sjælland: he was thrown from his falling mount (119), hit a tree and died. After that, Sven was restored to the kingdom and held the government of the realm in peace.

The rustics called him 'the father of kings' because he was a most prolific begetter of numerous sons (120), five of whom wore the shining diadem of kingship in succession. I have deemed it superfluous to recount their deeds in full, lest they should be repeated too often and weary my readers, for the noble Archbishop Absalon informed me that my colleague Saxo was working to describe at greater length the deeds of them all in a more elegant style (121).

However, it ought not to be overlooked in passing that it was the primeval custom of our forefathers that, when kings were raised to the throne, all the Danes came together in a body at Is0re, so that royal inaugurations should be enhanced by the consent of all (122). And so, when King Sven died, his son Harald, whom they called the Whetstone because of his complaisant softness, was raised to the throne (123). He was the first to give laws to the Danes in the place where kings were enthroned, which we have mentioned (124).

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[11] When he died, his brother Knut succeeded to the kingdom, and the church of Odense boasts of him as their crowned martyr: killed not, as some consider, on account of his excessive harshness or because of the unbearable yoke which he would have imposed on the plebs as a result of his harshness (125). For the reason why he was persecuted was the following.

At the time when he enjoyed the 'plenitude of power', he grieved that he had not inherited the sovereign sway of his father's uncle. So he summoned an army and a fleet for the invasion and conquest of England, and went to Humlum, which in those days was a harbour connected to the sea; there he ordered the army to assemble (126). He was waiting for a following east wind with the assembled fleet when a sudden rumour reached the king's ears that treachery against the realm had arisen at Schleswig. He hastened there with all speed to put an end to that conspiracy (127) at the outset, and when he arrived there, he arrested and bound the originators of the crime and took them into his own keeping. He then hastened back with extreme rapidity to the fleet he had unexpectedly abandoned, and thought to find his men in the same place where he had unfortunately left them.

However, when he came to the appointed place, he discovered that the whole lot of them had mutinously and disobediently rowed back to their homes. Blazing with over-much fury, he anxiously asks himself how to inflict the signal retribution (128) which so great a misdeed deserved. For the unhappy king was in two minds (129), considering that he ought to be less severe because it would involve the undoing of so many men, nor would he be able to punish so great a communal crime with as much strictness as was needed to deter the misdeed of a private person. Therefore each steersman was made liable to pay a composition of forty marks, just as the rigour of the king had ordained, and the compensation also required of each sailor was three marks, because they had ruined the king's army by their dispersal (130).

While visiting each province he would exact payment with the full rigour of the law (131); and he began to levy the fine among the Vendel-dwellers first of all (132). This was a brutal and uncivilized people, who were thirsting for innocent blood with ferocious cruelty, and instead of their tax they presented their innate fury. Moreover, such a mass of people had come together that not a single householder had the privilege of staying at home. When the king learned of their outrageous-ness, he took instruction from the words of truth, 'If you are persecuted in one city, flee to another (133)'; and he tried to escape their rage and deprive them of the opportunity of doing evil. But the enemy were infected by the suggestions of the Old Prevaricator (134); their frenzy mounts, to threaten the king's head; profane plebeians devise the prince's death (135). Whispering rumour spread, urgently resounding, and with repeated slanders roused the whole body of the realm against the king's harshness.

Good news flies slow, by envy stayed,

Bad news on feather'd wings doth spread (136).

Nor did the frenzy of the infuriated rabble cease (137) before he had been driven out across the Little Belt (138) and pursued to Odense. And there he was crowned with martyrdom, and commended his soul to Paradise (139).

[12] Once he was dead, his brother Olaf was made king, and in his time there was a famine so terrible that the common people called him the Famished; but it lasted no longer than seven years (140). On his death his brother Erik the Good takes his place (141). And at the end of his reign he followed Christ and took the cross upon his shoulders (142). For he set out for Jerusalem and committed his soul to Christ on the way; having removed himself from the prison of this life, he rests in the island of Cyprus. During his reign he was the proud begetter of children from a noble stock, although from various successive hymeneal unions (143). For he begat Knut of Ringsted, father of King Valdemar, [and also Erik, the father of King Sven, and Harald Kesia, the father of Biorn Ironside (144) and his eleven brothers. After] Erik his brother Nicolaus succeeded, and the rabble named him the Old because he governed the kingdom for seven quinquennia (145). He had a son by lawful marriage who was called Magnus, great in name and great in height. For, like King Saul, 'from the shoulder and upwards he stood above' (146) all the warriors of the kingdom and his contemporaries.

[13] During the time of that same king, Knut of Ringsted (147), a man who was wise, discriminating, courteous, energetic and strong in the virtue of honesty, became famous as the duke of Schleswig. He cowed the wild fury of the Slavs by his wonderful vigour and prudence (148) and brought them under his jurisdiction by his extraordinary virtue. Envy meditated on his virtues ... and began to grow sick, for her head is apt to hang low at the prosperity of others (149).

With timorous ambition, Magnus began to plot his death, so that he would not be deprived of the transient kingdom (150) even if he failed to win the everlasting crown. For goodness is always suspect to kings:

...all power will be

Impatient of a consort... (151)

and thus:

Right, law and goodness perish,

And all respect for life and death (152).

For they put aside the ties of kinship and joined together with the same Duke Knut's kinsman – that is, with Henrik the Lame (153) – and took counsel [for the killing of Knut (154)] in covert conclave, as if it were a high matter of state.

So they appointed a place in the wood at Haraldsted (155) to confer with him. And the fearless champion of Christ (156), conscious of his own good faith alone, did not hesitate to meet them. Marked out only by the banner of the Holy Cross, protected neither by shield nor by helmet and escorted by no more than two guards, the lamb stood there ready for the furious wolves. The criminals arrive later, wolves in sheep's clothing (157), with hoods and cloaks concealing coats of mail and helmets. Without delay the enemies of peace make haste to slaughter the 'Israelite indeed (158)', their own cousin, and occupy themselves in sending to Heaven the soul that had previously been held captive within the prison of the flesh. Followers of Christ afterwards bear his lifeless body to Ringsted for burial (159), where by the divine power of the Lord many miracles were worked by Christ before numerous witnesses.

[14] And so this monstrous crime subsequently stirred up a fierce rebellion in the kingdom. Erik is moved by the finger of the Lord (160) to avenge his brother, while his uncle Nicolaus, mentioned above, is still ruling, and he is stirred up to try the issue in battle. Erik was raised to the throne with the title of king and afflicted his uncle with manifold persecutions. They fought each other often but the most famous fields of battle were these.

First they fought at R0nbjerg (161), where Nicolaus won the day, and he captured my grandfather Kristiarn and sent him, bound with iron shackles, to be held in custody at the fort which overlooks the town of Schleswig.

After a while there was another meeting between the contestants at the bridge at Onsild (162), and although the fighting was even fiercer, Nicolaus's party prevailed again. Erik's army turned tail, and he would have been captured on the spot had not the Biorn mentioned above, who was nicknamed Ironside on account of his famous strength, in company with my father Aggi, fought back manfully in the middle of the bridge. They resisted a shower of missiles with such courage that they were thought to be immovable pillars (163). While defending the way across the bridge, they beat back the enraged attackers with such wonderful valour that they might have crossed the bed of the stream dry-shod on the corpses of the slain. Although hampered by numerous wounds, they did not cease to guard the bridge until the king had embarked on his ships and was ready to escape. They followed him at once and accompanied him in his flight to Scania.

King Nicolaus had now triumphed in two encounters (164). Therefore he tries to drive his hostile nephew out of the kingdom altogether. He gathered a fleet and pursued him to Scania, where he made a rapid landing at a place which is commonly known as Fotavik (165) and belongs to Lund. The commons of Scania, who are always mightily upright (166), had called together the entire manpower of the land. This was a well-equipped force, and they had no hesitation in meeting him. Battle was joined, and they hacked and haled to Hades the king's son Magnus, the perpetrator of the crime previously spoken of, along with two prelates (167).

And so King Nicolaus was beaten, and bereft of his son and heir at the same time, and he sailed to Schleswig, and the burghers of that city received him within their enclosing walls and treacherously slew him (168).

[15] Having gained a glorious victory, the above-mentioned Erik, who is known as Ever-memorable (169), held the kingdom after him in peace, and freed the aforesaid Kristiarn from his chains. So he gained the kingdom but, having risen to power, he forgot the reason for the vengeance he had wrought, and began to rage against his own kinsmen more cruelly than the tiger. For with anger in his heart he had his brother, Harald Kesia, summoned to a meeting in the silence of the dead of night (170), while he was staying at his manor of Skibing [?] (171). Bidden from his bed, boding naught baleful, once roused he hastened to the king his brother, weaponless. And in that very place commissioners caught him and cut off his head (172).

Not long after that he meted out a dire retribution to repay his own nephew, the Biorn mentioned above. He seized him, tied him to a millstone, and sank him in the depths of a bottomless pit (173). He ordered Biorn's brothers to be put to death by the sword as well. They numbered ten adults, some flourishing youths and some children (174). In this he bore little resemblance to his father (175).

And since he was the author of so great a crime and had wholly exterminated these budding kinglets (176), the righteous judgment of God's authority went against the exalted power of the king, and the avenger of innocence quickly destroyed the author of the crime 'in the breath of his mouth (177)'. For Plogh the Black ran him through with a spear at the Urne-thing, while he was surrounded by a circle of warriors (178).

[16] And so the king was killed, and another Erik was placed on the throne. They called him the Lamb on account of his sweet and gentle nature, and in his days there was a plenteous abundance of everything (179).

And when he was dead, Knut, the son of that Magnus who had been killed in Scania (as we have recorded above), was made king at the Viborg assembly, and Sven, the son of the above-mentioned cruel Erik, was put on the throne by the Scanians. And while they were engaged in numerous battles, Valdemar, the scion of holy blood, the son of Knut of Ring-sted, gained possession of his father's fief (180) and gave assistance to both in turn, as if he stood between them.

However, after a long time, a council was held in Lolland (181), and the rulers decided to divide the kingdom into equal thirds and to confirm the treaty by an oath. But the treaty did not remain firm for long, as the outcome of the arrangement showed. For after the council had been held, the three we have mentioned came together that autumn in the city of Roskilde for a feast, and they dined first with King Sven (182). The peace and trust between them had been broken, and he had prepared a trap: he plans to kill Knut and Valdemar that evening after vespers by means of commissioners previously instructed (183). When the lights had been snuffed (184), they slew Knut and crowned him with martyrdom (185); but while they were trying to run Valdemar through with a naked sword, he was seriously wounded in the thigh (186), but God's grace preserved him (187) and he escaped. However, as soon as he had recovered somewhat from the pain of his wound, he set out for Jutland and gathered together an army.

[17] Sven, who was king of Scania, hastened after Valdemar, king of Jutland, and they joined battle at Grathe (188). Nor was the victory long in doubt, for Sven was beaten, and killed by the hand of a peasant. And so the glorious victor, King Valdemar, gained possession of the kingdom.

After that he governed the realm for five quinquennia and two years (189). This man secured (190) the boundaries of the kingdom with such glorious valour that, whereas previously the wild Slavs were encouraged by our internal divisions and laid waste all our sea-coasts and our islands as well, he tamed the seaways, brought them under his jurisdiction, and subjugated the Slavs, making them pay tribute to himself.

[18] He accomplished many things worth remembering, but his memory shines with a starry radiance from three of them alone (191).

In the first place, under his rod of iron and outstretched arm (192), he compelled the Rugians to be regenerated in the waters of holy baptism.

And the second remarkable feat was that he was the first to build a tower of fired bricks, on the island of Sprogø (193).

And the third was that he first repaired the rampart of the Danevirke with a brick wall, but he was prevented by his death from completing it (194).

For while he lived he was a man found acceptable in all things: fair of face, courteous, discriminating, wise, most penetrating in counsel, vigorous, an outstanding warrior, an accomplished wit, victorious, popular, always successful; only more cruel towards his own people than was just (195).

[19] This Valdemar took to himself in marriage as his queen Sophia (196), sister of Knut, the king at Roskilde. Nature strove immoderately to enhance the utter loveliness of her appearance. For all the skill of the ancients would fail to describe her (197). However, I borrow no solicited opinions for the 'blazoning of her beauty (198)', for many a time I used to see the much admired masterpiece of Nature with my own eyes.

And in the end, God's grace increased the reputation of the illustrious King Valdemar so widely that surrounding kings and princes strove to pay him honours as if they were his due (199).

[20] And when he had paid the debt of Adam, his son Knut followed by hereditary right and succeeded to his father's kingdom without degenerating from his father's virtue. Indeed, he repressed the wild Slavs with such manful courage that he laid waste the whole territory of the Slavs and the Pomeranians with his fleet (200) and forced their duke, Bugislav, to pay him tribute and homage. This was done aboard the king's ship, glittering with gilding on stem and stern (201), not far from the city which was founded by the fugitive Harald, as we recalled above (202); and I saw it done. And I have decided that it is worth recounting the heavenly sign of that submission.
For after they had concluded the treaty, such a thunderclap rang out that they thought the elements were collapsing. Indeed, we considered that this was done with God's permission by the Old Prevaricator (203) and the Enemy of Peace. For the same violent whirlwind and storm almost swamped and sank the smaller boats, which were carrying the bishop of Kamien (204) and the above-mentioned Bugislav, along with the king's brother Valdemar (205), a young man of the most brilliant natural abilities. When that was concluded, we rowed homeward with immense jubilation. May the Ruler of all things order this conclusion in His peace (206)!


1. perspicabar (A), perspicerem (S): passive for active voice, perhaps by analogy with dep. sus-, con- and de-spicari (Gertz, 174). Sven uses it to mean 'note' or 'perceive', and later, SM, i 140, oculata fide perspicabar is used for his admiring the Queen Mother. This is the sort of eccentricity the S text tends to smooth out. I cannot find an earlier example than in the late twelfth-century Thesaurus Novus, 524. The 'books of the ancients' is a frequent topos among historians of this period, and the demands of unrecorded virtue another; see Curtius, 85-9, and Simon, 71-83. The closest analogue seems to be Regino of Prüm's Preface to his Chronicon. Gertz changed diutius ... gemitibus in A to diumis ... because A reads diurne for divino in the proem to LC. But S has diutinis here, and to sigh every day or all day over this matter seems excessive; cf. Gertz, 139.

2. commendibilia ... guis conatur commendare ... detractionis ... declinabat dispendium: an attempt to reproduce Sven's frequent alliteration has been made in the translation. 'As the world grows old ...' is another common theme, also in LC, p. 31, and in De Profectione Danorum, ch. 1: 'As the world draws to its close, and various evils grow more frequent ...' (SM, ii 460). It can be traced back to St Gregory in his Epistola ad Leandro (Moralia in lob, i 2), and was used in the prologue to Fredegar's Chronicle. In justifying his efforts, Sven employs the same topos as the Encomiast of Emma and Einhard in his prologue to the Vita Karoli: 'the dignity of the subject outweighs the author's failings.' See Simon, 85-7, 91-2.

3. Martianus Capella, viii 831, on the constellations visible from the antarctic circle, which he forbore to describe 'lest my unverified statement appear to smack of falsehood'. See Gertz, 51 and 111, nn., for two possible echoes of Martianus later on: the debt is very small. The appeal to the more learned and polished latinists of the future is also in De Profectione Danorum (SM, ii 459-60). On the topos of humility see Simon, 101-2, 108-19.

4. ab annosis (= living ancients) ef veteribus (- dead authorities); but Gertz preferred 'hos aarrige og gamle Hjemmelsmænd' (HS, 35). The memory of Sven's father and of his uncle, Archbishop Eskil, will have extended back at least to the 1120s, but there is little sign that Sven used any personal recollections or old men's tales in HC. This is another historian's topos; see Simon, 91 and 89-90.

5. A generalization translated quite differently by J. Olrik ('The same disposition is not to be found among all men, for as with peasants, so with princes...', KV, 36) and by Gertz ('For as for peasants, so also for princes and magnates, there is a natural condition to all, that HS, 35), but it comes to much the same thing: different forms of emulation affect man's nature whether he be of high or low birth. Sven is not simply endorsing the anti-rustic proverbs of the time (e.g. Walther, 27001. 27002, 27024a, 27026, 27028), nor the obsequiousness of William of Malmesbury in his epistle to Robert, earl of Gloucester, at the beginning of De Gestis Regum: 'The lower classes make the virtues of their superiors their own by venerating those great actions to die practice of which they cannot themselves aspire' (tr. Giles). Sven later praises the plebs Scanensium (p. 70).

6. retexat oratio: perhaps simply 'narrate', but retexere is used in the sense of 'restore to life' in Ovid, Metamorphoses, x 31 and xv 249. priscorum annositas is lit. 'the agedness of our earliest forbears'.

7. Note the resemblance to the opening lines of Beowulf; but the immediate source must be a version of the pedigree of the Oddaverjar confected by the Icelander Sasrnundr Sigfusson before 1133, on which see Bjarni Guðnason, 175-7, Jakob Benediktsson, 60-1, and A. Olrik, 396-412. To the Icelanders Skjöldr was little more than a name: a son of Oðinn in Skjöldunga saga and the pedigrees in Flat., i 26, 27; a son of Skelfir in Flat., i 25; or of Heremόð in Edda Snorra, 4. The ruler as shielder of his land was a poetic commonplace; see Malmros 1985, 120, for a table of examples from the skalds. The derivation of kingship from the useful function of defence rather than from depredation (latrocinium in St Augustine ) is found in Justin, i 1: 'The custom was to protect the boundaries of empire rather than to push diem outwards; kingship was confined to the native land.'

8. Modis Hislandensibus skiolding (A), Skioldunger (S): see Lexicon Poeticum for many references. It seems likely that a personal name Skjgldr was formed from skjöldungr, 'shield-bearer', rather than vice versa. In Hyndluljόð, st. 16, Skjöldungar, Skilfmgar, Öðlingar, Ynglingar and Ylfingar all appear as descendants of Hálfdan, and Hálfdan himself was 'the highest of the Skjöldungar'.

9. Frothi and Halfdan appeared as father and son in the Icelandic pedigrees seventeen generations below Skiold. Here Sven uses CL, which introduced Helgi and 'Haldanus' as sons of Ro, ruling the sea and the land respectively.

10. According to Skjöldunga saga Hálfdan was killed by Ingjaldr (AJ, 22); but Sven needs a primeval fratricide on the model of Romulus. For the ramifications of the story see A. Olrik, 294-301. Gertz interpreted the super regni ambitione of A and S as simper ...; but super makes sense. 'Sole authority' (monarchia) is in the exordium of the 1186 diploma, DD, i:3, no. 134.

11. In CL, ch. 7, and in Skjöldunga saga Helgi was the Viking and his brother 'Roas' stayed at home and was killed by his nephews, Hrœrekr and Fróði, sons of Ingjaldr (AJ, 26). Sven avoids telling the story of Helgi's rape and incest found in CL (SM, i 47-8), but gives him the Ciceronian title of archipirata.

12. Rolf Kraki; not in A, supplied in S; cf. CL, ch. 7. The full story is in Saxo (GD, 48-62; PF, 51-64) and in Hrόlfs saga kraka. Sven summarizes the account given in CL; on the Hrόlfr of the sagas see Bjami Guðnason, 162-73.

13. CL emphasizes the wealth and importance of Lejre in early times. It was not mentioned in KVJ of c.1230, and appears in the 1688 land-register as a churchless hamlet of six farms within the parish of Allerslev. The recent discovery there of post-holes indicating a large hall suggests that it was not insignificant as late as c. 1000. The bishops of Roskilde owned land in Alierslev in the fourteenth century (SRD, vii 66, 120). and the contiguous manor of Kornerup was assigned to the chapter by the bishop before 1194 (DD, 1:3, no. 118). On the Lejre (Hleiðra) of the sagas see A. Olrik, 324-47, and H. Andersen. It was only of passing interest to Sven, as a topos of vanished greatness, like Walter of Chatillon's lines on Troy, Alexandreis, i 464-7.

14. Rokill ... Slagenback (A), Rokil ... Siaghenback (S): alias Hrœrekr hnöggvan(d)baugi, Hrœrekr slöngvan(d)baugi, two separate rulers in Icelandic sources, one the miser, the other the flinger of rings. This version of the by-name, like Saxo's Roricus Siyngebond, suggests blind copying of a written source (Bjarni Guðnason, 287). In Skjöldunga saga he is the son of Hálfdan, not of Hrόlfr. Sven appears to discard CL at this point because it gave Rolf no son. He returns to the Icelandic pedigree, but picks the wrong Hrœrekr, or gives the wrong by-name to the right one; see A. Oirik, 68-74, for the connexion with Hrethric son of Hrothgar in Beowulf.

15. Frothi hin Frökni (X): the same cognomen is given toLeifr Herleifsson (AJ, 8), but there Frόði is magnus and his brother Áli is hinn fræckne (AJ, 16-17). In Ynglinga saga, ch. 26, Frόði became hinn frœkni; by alliteration? CL made Frothi the grandson of Rolf by a daughter (SM, 152). Saxo put Frothi 'the Active' (vegetus) in quite a different context (GD, 101; PF, 110). The pedigrees in Flat, made Frddihinn frœkni son of Friðleifr and father of Ingjaldr; they made Vermundr the son of an earlier Frόði.

16. Vermundus ... Prudens: Vermundr hinn vitri in Skjöldunga saga; the Wærmund of the Mercian genealogy (Wermundus in the Florence of Worcester appendix), and Wamiundus in the St Albans Vitas duorum Offarum (c.1200). Saxo offers an explanation of the nickname (GD, 94-5; PF, 103-4). The large literature on Vermund and Uffi/Offa is summarized in SG, ii 67-9. Did Sven get the story from England or Denmark or Iceland ? The Icelanders knew the name of Vermundr, and Uffi appears to crop up as Olafr hinn litillati (Flat., i 27); the duel on the Eider escaped their notice. Widsith and Beowulf allude to the duel, which is relocated to the West Midlands in the St Albans Vitas. Sven is the first Northern writer to use this material, and the arguments of Rickert and of Boberg in favour of his borrowing from England are strong, but not overwhelming. The Danish form of the name, Uffi, and the location of the duel on the Eider do not necessarily point to a Danish source. The poet of Widsith placed the fight on the Eider, and Sven was capable of naturalizing names. However, the view of Olrik and Chadwick that Sven and Saxo used an independent Danish tradition is still widely held; see Chadwick, ch. 6, and SG, i 93. As the St Albans Vitas are conventionally dated after 1195 (on insecure grounds), Sven cannot have used the surviving text.

17. An allusion to the story of Keti and Vigi who killed Athisl of Sweden to avenge their father Frovin, told at length by Saxo (GD, 95-6; PF, 104-6) and in AR (DMA, 153). Saxo makes Uffi marry the sister of the avenging brothers but does not explain his speechlessness as a result of their deed – there is no necessary connexion here. Uffi's silence, or inertia, appears to have originated as a play on his English name Offa, which is the Latin for 'lump, shapeless mass, abortion': aufer illam offarn porcinam in Plautus. Miles gloriosus, iii 1. Thus the Offa of the St Albans Vit& was blind to the age of seven and dumb to the age of thirty (Chambers, 218-19). Saxo possibly employed this restraint of the fandipossibilitas (Martianus Capella, iv 335) as a reference to Knut VI's failure to 'speak out' against German influence until after his accession (cf. n. 20 below; Johannesson, 313).

18. Saxo qualified this statement by claiming that Vermund approved of the deed, although among foreigners it became proverbial as a breach of custom (GD, 97; PF, 106). It seems he interpreted Sven's gentiles in a purely ethnic sense rather than as 'the heathen', as in Judith 14:6. As Kemp Malone pointed out, 'the interpretation of a two-against-one fight as shameful or unfair has no place in the Heroic Age; such a point of view belongs rather to ... the Age of Chivalry' (Widsith, 134; and see Ellis Davidson, 199-200, and contra, Stephanius, 21).

19. He is called Wermundus Blinde in AR (DMA, 153) and other Danish sources post 1200; Vermundr hinn vitri in Skjöldunga saga (cf. Boberg, 140-1). In the St Albans Vitas Offa is blind (until his seventh year), Warmundus is merely decrepit.

20. Transalpinas partes (A and S): Transalbinas partes, 'beyond the Elbe ', so Gertz following Langebek; turgiditate Teutonics intumit: cf. n. 26 below. The German claim to Denmark, or to overlordship of the Danish king, had been asserted at various times since the 1130s, but according to Saxo was rejected by Knut VI at Absalon's prompting in 1182/3. There was a state of mistrust and covert hostility between Knut and Frederick Barbarossa thereafter, and some fear of Hohenstaufen reprisals for the subjugation of the Pomeranian duke in 1185; see pp. 25-6 above. Sven evidently read contemporary tensions back to the distant past. In Widsith Offa's opponents were called Myrgingas. In the St Albans Vitæ he fought an ambitious Mercian noble called Riganus or Aliel. But there was another English Offa legend, told by Walter Map, 86- 7, in which the Roman emperor laid claim to his kingdom and was frustrated by the champion Gado.

21. spiculatores (A and S) occurs in Mark 6:27 and the St Albans Vitas (Chambers, 242) in the sense of 'executioners'; similarly in Theodricus (MHN, 51). In the Roman army however speculators were special imperial runners or military messengers, which is what is meant here. Garmonsway and Simpson, 223, prefer the earlier sense of 'spearmen'.

22. Epicureorum more: cf. the several denunciations of Epicureans as 'followers of vain pleasure' in John of Salisbury's Policraticus. According to Salvian of Marseilles, they confused pleasure with virtue, and so God with incuria and torpor(De Gubernatione Dei, i 5); see also Glaber, iii 27.

23. orationem gestus informaret: Cicero uses informare oratorem in the same way in Orator ad Brutum, 9, 33. In the St Albans Vitas Offa also begins to speak ore facundo, sermons rhethorico to the astonishment of his hearers (Chambers, 219).

24. Proverbial, although according to Walther, no. 40258, not found earlier than Gruter's Enchiridion (1625) in the form Rebus admirationem raritate compares.

25. Sic tantus orsus cæpit ab alto in A becomes Sic fatum solio tune orsus cepit ab alto in X, which, as Gertz says, is a Leonine hexameter reminiscent of Æneid, xi 301 or ii 2. But Tandem sic orsus cœpit in S suggests that the original was Sic tandem orsus cepit ab alto, and that the A copyist misread an abbreviated tandem as tantus; no need for a hexameter.

26. Uffi's scorn arms him with rare words: turgiditas is in Thesaurus Novus, 587, as an alternative to turgor. Alan of Lille uses ampullositas twice in De Planctu Naturæ (1179-82; PL 210, 467, 468; on arrogance and envy), probably referring to Horace's proicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba. But comminitatio is Gertz's unwarranted substitute for communicatione (A) and comminatione (S): the latter will do, as in Saxo, sub duelli comminatione (GD, 186; PF, 206). Sven's formation of abstract nouns strongly recalls Alan of Lille who in the passages cited above also uses pompositas and verbositas. Gibes at Teutonic pomposity, guile and arrogance were common: e.g. John of Salisbury in the 1160s, The Letters, i 205-6, 207; ii 54, 592: loquuntur grandia, minis tumenf, and Suger, Vita Ludovici Grossi, 56, 60.

27. For 'haughty voice' Gertz recalls voce superba, Æneid, vii 544; cf. Statius, Thebaid, xi 360, and elsewhere: here there is a hexameter. The assertion of hereditary monarchy resembles the St Albans Vitas, where Offa announces that he will not 'abandon the fatherland which hitherto the successive members of our family have held by hereditary right' (Chambers, 219). In Denmark Valdemar I had devoted many years to ensuring the succession of his son Knut, but Knut had to face opposition, both in Jutland on his accession and in the revolt of two pretenders from collateral branches, Harald Sknenk in 1183 and Bishop Valdemar of Schleswig in 1192.

28. In the St Albans Vitas Offa I is introduced as 'tall of stature, whole of body, and most elegantly shaped' (Chambers, 218-19); Saxo emphasized his hugeness (GD, 98; PF, 107).

29. mucronem expientissimum (A), mucronem experientissimum (S): as in 2 Maccabees 8: 9, in beliicis rebus expehentissimo, 'a captain who in matters of war had great experience'. That must be right, although Gertz preferred mucronem exuperantissimum, which is a superlative used only by Appuleius among the ancients, once in De Platone and twice in De Mundo, of the attributes of the supreme being (Opuscules philosophiques, 72, 146, 150). I doubt that Sven read these pieces or developed exsuperans (Ovid and Aulus Gellius) on his own initiative. Saxo names the sword Skrep and laboriously explains why it was hidden: when brought to light it seemed so brittle and corroded that Uffi durst not test it before battle.

30. intersigniis (X), 'among the characters', following S; inter singulis in A. Intersignum could mean 'brand1 in twelfth-century France (Niermeyer, s.v.), and Alan of Lille used pi. intersigna (AC, iv 188); intersignium (Bailey's appendix to Forcellini). As elsewhere, Gertz's preference is open to doubt. Garmonsway and Simpson, 225, translate 'by means of tokens marked on the rocks'; Gertz, HS, 41, 'anbragt med Mellemrum ved Mærker paa Stenene', which is better. No doubt Sven had runes in mind. On Nordic swords in grave-mounds see SG, ii 69; but a closer analogue is the story of King Ægeus of Athens who left his son Theseus a sword under a rock, and who later cast himself into the sea in the belief that Theseus was dead (Hyginus, Fables, xliii: Ariadne). In the St Albans Vitæ the episode is reduced to 'the king … girded his son with a sword in a solemn royal ceremony' (Chambers, 220). There may be an allusion by Sven to the events of 26 Dec. 1187, when the seventeen-year-old Duke Valdemar was knighted and put in charge of the southern frontier of Denmark at Schleswig (DMA, 76).

31. mediamnia: properly an eyot; defined as a freshwater island by Priscian and others (Ducange, s.v.). According to Saxo, a fort was built on the same site by Sven II's son, Biorn (GD, 334; EC, 96); he probably meant Rendsborg. According to AR, the place was still called Kunengikamp in the thirteenth century (DMA, 154), and this points to Kampen, a royal manor NW of Rendsborg. Others prefer to locate the site nearer the mouth of the river, by Tönning or Dingsbüll. There is no reason to suppose that Sven had a particular site in mind, whatever may have been the folklore of the debatable swamplands. The island merely suits the ON word for duel, hólmganga. The great King Knut was later supposed to have fought for the lordship of England on a similar eyot in the Severn. The settlement of property disputes by (illegal) duels survived in Norway until the nineteenth century; for an example see Bø, 140.

32. In the St Albans Vitæ Warmundus retires to 'a safer place' while his son joins in a full-scale battle against the usurpers (Chambers, 223); his enemy, Riganus/Aliel, is drowned in the Avon after the deaths of his sons. On King Ægeus of Athens see n. 30 above.

33. Genesis 42: 38.

34. tanquam leo pectore robusto infremuit: perhaps from Silius Italicus, xi 247. Like Walter of Chatillon's Alexander, Uffi 'carries a lion in his lofty heart' (Alexandras, i 57; tr. R. Telfryn Pritchard), for 'the virtue of the lion lies in his breast' according to Hugh of St Victor (De Bestiis, ii 1; PL 177. 57). In the St Albans Vitæ Offa charges the foe 'after the manner of the lion and the lioness when their whelps have been taken from them' (Chambers, 222). The seal of Knut VI already bore the Danish arms of three lions passant gardant on a field semée of hearts; see Riis, 192-4.

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35. athleta noster elegantissimus: the viretegans, choice and handsome but not dainty or luxurious, is a type of medieval knighthood rather than a classical figure. On p. 74 the future Valdemar II is described as iuvenis indolis elegantissims.

36. Exodus 17; 14: 'I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek,' and Psalm 9: 6. The memorability of Uffi is a commonplace of all the versions of the story, as in the St Albans Vitæ – possibly as a result of the importance of the Eider as a frontier. Sven's words also echo those of CL on Dania, quod nomen in etemum non delebitur (SM, 1 45).

37. quod raro legitur accidisse: heroes of the classical epics do not incite their foes except by taunting. Even Byrhtnoth was terse in encouraging his enemy Vikings (Maldon, 93-5), and Offa in the St Albans Vitæ was enraged by the 'insulting and shameful words of his opponents' (Chambers, 222).

38. agedum (X), rather than agendum (A); an imperative favoured by Statius in the Thebaid. The sentence is missing in S, mangled in A, and owes everything to Gertz: see Löfstedt, 171.

39. Alamanni: here and on pp. 51, 52, and 54 Sven uses this word for Germans, elsewhere Teutonici. Chadwick suggests it might be derived from the Swæfe of the Offa lines in Widsith, since the Suabi were also called Alamanni (Chadwick, 129, with reference to Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum, hi 18). But Alamanni, Alemanni is normal twelfth-century usage for Germans, especially in France and Italy. In Saxo the foe are Saxons, no doubt because of deteriorating relations with the Schaumburgs and Welfs after 1190. Sven may have had the Hohenstaufen in mind, who were Alamanni in the Suabian sense.

40. vafritiis artis pugillatorias: the adj. from Plautus, Rudens, iii 4, 16.

41. distribueretur: an extraordinary word for the breaking of a sword: perhaps a facetious echo from the schools. 'Distribution' was both a method of argument and a stage in the presentation of a case; it was divided into the two categories of enumeration and exposition; see Ad Herennium, i 10 and 17, iv 35.

42. fragor per universum intonuit exercitum; cf. Æneid, viii 527 and ii 6|29, subitoque fragore intonuit lævum. In the St Albans Vitæ Offa splits the skull of Brutus/Hildebrand after penetrating his helmet, and mortally wounds his brother, Sven (Chambers, 222).

43. Proverb no. 14070 in Walther: Ludus fortunæ variaturin ordine lunæ, | Crescit, decrescit, in eodem sistere nescit.

44. novercali vultu: cf. Henricus Septime liens is, Elegia de Diversitate Fortunæ (c.1192): Numinis ambiguos vultus deprendo: novercam | Sentio fortunam, que modo matererat (PL 204,844, lines 1-2; Walther, no. 19128). Alan of Lille referred to fortuna novercans (AC, vii 369); and see Alexandras, ii 175-81, for Walter of Chatillon's address to Fortune, quis te impulit illi | velle novercari.

45. cassatisque minarum ampullositatibus: see n. 26 above.

46. in pads tranquillitate prsecluis (Wffo) ... regebat: 'tranquillity of peace' (not the same as 'peace of tranquillity', for which see Alan of Lille, Summa de Arte Prædicatoria, ch. 22; PL 205, 156) is used twice in LC (see p. 89, n. 26, and pp. 124, 126, nn. 107, 116). It originates in the prayer, Deus regnorum omnium, regumque dominator, included in the Mass in Time of War in most rites from the Gelasian Sacramentary (c.750) onwards. It is in Alcuin's supplement to the Gregorian Sacra mentary (CBP, 1563 and 143) and in the eleventh-century Canterbury Benedictional (prayer Pro Rege, CBP, 1389), and in the Roman Missal (Blaise, Vocab., s.v. Pax, and Bruyiants, ii 128). It is used by other historians (e.g. EE, 52, Vita Ædwardi, 30, 51), but according to CR it was a catch-phrase of Bishop Peter of Roskilde (1124-34): 'if anything can remain with Mary and James in the tranquillity of peace' (of church property, SM, i 26). The adj. præcluis is probably borrowed from Martianus Capella (i 3 and 24, ix 906), but also occurs in the office for St Kjeld (c.1200; VSD, 280). In Saxo's version of the story Uffi wins not only freedom for the Danes but empire over the Saxons as well (GD, 100; PF, 109): a change of emphasis on which see pp. 21, 26 above.

47. Dan nomen indidit: Dan was a learned eponym in William of Jumieges, writing c.1070 (6-8; a passage used by Roger of Wendover and John of Wallingford), perhaps borrowed by Sxmundr, and transplanted in CL to the Danish islands. He founded Lejre, defeated the Emperor Augustus at the Danevirke, and was elected king of Denmark; his wife was Dannia and his son Ro. Abbot William of Æbetholt and Saxo accepted him as a founding ruler, but the Icelanders grafted him into the pedigree of the Skjöldungar further down the sequence, either as the husband of Ólöf Vermundardottir or as the son of Óláfr hinn lítilláti Vermundarson: see Langfeðgatal, Alfræði, iii 59, and AJ, 8-11. Sven puts him here in obedience to his Icelandic source. Elatus vel Superbus becomes bin Storlatene in AR (DMA, 154); the epithet in AJ is hinn mikilláti, which forms a doublet with hinn lítilláti. In AR it is suggested that he was in fact Olaf, Uffi's son; this was after Saxo had invented three separate Dans.

48. The sequence Frothi – Frithlef – Frothi – Ingiald occurs both in CL and in the Icelandic pedigrees. The duplication of Fróðis and Friðleifs seems to have been originally inspired by the preference of the early twelfth-century chiefs in Oddi for a lineage of 29 or 30 generations, like Christ's from King David in Matthew 1. CL refers to Frothi largus, which Sven explains by using Wisdom 7: 9: 'All gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her.'

49. Alias Ingjaldr Starkaðarfóstri, whose story is elaborated in Saxo's book six but who seems to have played little part in Skjöldunga saga; cf. SG, ii 102. He first appears as Ingeld, son of Froda, in Widsith and Beowulf, or as Alcuin's Hinieldus (Chambers, 20-5). After him Gertz inserted an Olaus and his son Frothi, because the next King Frothi to be mentioned cannot be the Frothi Frithgothse named above. However, neither A nor S has a lacuna at this point, and I doubt whether Sven thought Olaus was a son of Ingiald, since he places him after the break. All the Icelandic pedigrees give Ingjaldr a son, Hrœrekr hnoggvan(d)baugi; cf. p. 106, n. 14, above.

50. nepotes, altera nempe pane regali stirpe editi (A): Gertz qualified nepotes by fiiiarum, 'grandsons through daughters', which is unwarranted – Sven just means 'relations', as in Æneid, vi 864, magna de stirpe nepotum. The pedigree in Flat, carried on undaunted at this point, with Hrœrekr – (Fróði) – Hálfdan – Hrœrekr – Haraldr hilditönn and Ráðbarðr, and CL gave Olavus – Asa. This divergence seems to have troubled Sven.

51. In CL Olaf (Olavus) is the son and successor of Ingiald (SM, i 53); but Saxo commented that 'some offer the doubtful opinion that he was the child of Ingeld's sister' (GD, 181; PF, 201). 'Some' probably means Sven: if so, it would help explain the reference below to Frothi as the last direct transmitter of royalty for several generations. Saxo also states that 'posterity has received little accurate information of his doings,' and he ignores the Danubian triumphs suggested by Sven: it seems that he has already used them in the war of Frothi against the Huns, when the Danes and their allies triumphed after proelio septem dies extracto (GD, 132; PF, 147-8). Battles against the Huns were attributed to King Angantýr in the Saga Heiðreks konungs (using the fragmentary Hlöðskviða); cf. The Saga of King Heidrek, xxi-xxix; SG, ii 82-4.

52. temponim interstitio: Martianus Capella, vi 601. Saxo also uses interstitium in a temporal sense.

53. diligenti ... successori: perhaps a reference to Saxo, who filled the gap between Olaf and Sigwarth with some 27 kings. The Series ac Brevior (c. 1230) made do with 25, and AR (c. 1288) produced 35.

54. ex ecclipsi memorie (cf. Gertz's constructed virtutibus eclipsatus, n. 149 below): Alan of Lille wrote of an 'eclipse' of the sense of touch, of 'the stars of virtue', and of probity (AC, iv 166, 327; De Planctu Naturæ, PL 210, 478).

55. Regneri ... tegnum ... rege ... regem ... regnum ... regno ... regis: humorous alliteration; cf. n. 72 below. Stories about the Viking hero or villain Ragnar Lothbrok were current all round the North Sea in the eleventh century, and Icelanders began to insert him in their pedigrees in the early twelfth. In these he is given a father called Sigurðr ormr-í-auga, who may have had a historical antecedent in the Sigefridus of the Annals of St Berlin (s.a. 882) and Adam of Bremen. Sven rejected this scheme. He may have read in CR that the sons of 'Lothpard' were Norwegian pirates who enlisted the help of unnamed Danish kings to devastate Britain and the continent (SM, i 16-17). He was probably aware that in France the ninth-century raiders were seen as ancestors of the Danish royal family. In 1188, the eloquent abbot, Stephen of Tournai, was trying to raise money from Knut VI and Bishop Valdemar of Schleswig on the grounds that the abbey of St Genevieve in Paris had been destroyed in 857 by Berno, chief of the Loire Northmen; see DD, i:3, nos. 154-6,158-9. This was a somewhat tainted connexion. The grafting of the Ragnar strain on to the royal Danish stock through a son who was not involved in the more lurid deeds of the Gallic Vikings may have been a way of lessening the taint. (Sigefridus was remembered, if at all, for having stabled his horses in the emperor's palace at Aachen, cf. Ann. Fuld., s. a. 881, and CR, SM, i 17, a feat after Sven's own heart, although he doesn't mention it.) It was left for Saxo to make Ragnar a full king of the Danes, with characteristic awkwardness, in his book nine; even there, the connexion is through marriage. Some Icelanders had no such misgivings and produced a perfect male descent from Ingjaldr to Ragnarr in six generations (so in Flat., ii 26-7, seven in the Resen manuscript, on which see Faulkes).

56. At this point Gertz, 154, inserted the words, 'He had been begotten at the first untying of her maidenly girdle, which is called knut by our common people.' There is no gap in A or S here, although the word utpote ought, if used correctly, to introduce an explanation. There is no reason to interpret this tale as Danish folklore; it is probably Sven's own rather jocular gloss. The Icelanders explained the name more cumbrously, from the knotted cloth found with the foundling Knut; but it was the classical poets (e.g. Æneid, i 324), not the Danish peasantry, who used nodus as a synecdoche for a woman's girdle. Saxo omits the story and makes Knut the grandson rather than the son of Sighwarth. For a summary of the large literature on the name Knut see Søndergaard, esp. 157-8.

57. primus in Dacia functus hoc nomine ... solus post Froti ... regali extitit oriundus prosapia: This first King Knut disturbs the numbering originally favoured by Sven's own monarch, Knut, son of Valdemar. In an Odense charter of 20 Nov. 1183 he is referred to as 'the fifth' (corrected to 'fourth' in DD, i:3, no. 116), and in the great Odense donation of 21 March 1183 he is definitely 'the fourth' (DD, i:3, no. 111). This would make Knut, son of Magnus, who ruled 1146-57, Knut HI; St Knut (1080-6) Knut II; and Knut the Great Knut I – Harthaknut not being accepted as a sole king in the Lund king-list or in Sven (see p. 64). It seems that between March and November 1183 someone found another Knut, probably in an Icelandic pedigree – a Knútr fundinn rather than a Hörðaknútr – and Sven makes use of the discovery. Abbot William subsequently introduced one more, by re storing Harthaknut to his place in the king-list after Knut the Great (SM, i 178-9), and so Knut son of Valdemar was retrospectively promoted to Knut VI in e.g. Vedel's translation of Saxo. Sven insists that this Knut primus was a son of a Danish king, even if his father Sighwarth was not. Sighwarth's predecessors had been merely nepotes of kings, all the way back to Frothi; but the last Frothi to be mentioned had been succeeded by his son Ingiald. There is no need to assume with Gertz that a passage about a later Frothi has been dropped. This raises more problems than it solves, because Sven states clearly above (it is in both A and S) that no son succeeded his father directly after the days of Ingiald. Either he meant that after 'the time of King Frothi, who was succeeded by his son, the direct line was broken, or that the last king before Sighwarth had been Frothi, Sighwarth's father-in-law, men tioned but not named above.

58. Sealendensis bondo, after a gap in A: S supplies the name Ennignup ('forehead-crag, beetle-brow'), which appears to refer to the historical King Chnob, known from Adam of Bremen. He was subjugated by Henry the Fowler in 934 and is named as the father of King Sigtryg on Haddeby stones 2 and 4 (gen. knubu; Moltke, 194-6). Saxo also noted that Ennignup was Knut's guardian, and complained that 'some inexpert historians ascribe a moderately important (not 'central', pace PF, 294) place to him in their chronicles' (medium in fastis locum tribuunf, GD, 265; cf. SG, ii 162). According to Saxo, the guardian was chosen by lot. Sven calls him bondo, ODan. bondi, a usual word in Danish charters for 'landowner, freeholder'. By Sealendensis he presumably meant that he came from Sjælland; as adj. or substantive the term does not occur elsewhere in Sven's writings, but it is common in other twelfth- and thirteenth -century Latin texts in that sense. It is perhaps conceivable that the base of the word is pl. sjólönd, which is occasionally found in Icelandic with reference to the Danish islands (those south of Sjælland and Fyn, viz. Møn, Falster, Lolland, Langeland – the usual Icelandic term for Sjælland is sg. Sjá-, Sjóland). Adam of Bremen says that Chnob/Gnupa came from Sweden, and archaeology suggests that his dynasty was strong in the southern islands and Schleswig (cf. Lis Jacobsen; and P. Sawyer, 217-19). The story told by Sven may be an Icelander's way of reconciling an account (Adam's?) of Chnob's rule with the series of Gorm's kingly ancestors in the Oddaverjar pedigree.

59. Snio occurs in CL as a shepherd promoted by the Swedes to be tyrant of Denmark in the days before Rolf kraki (SM, i 49). He appears in the Catalogus Regum Daniæ (1170-82) as the fifth ancient pagan king of the Danes (SM, i 159), and as Snær son of Frosti in the tracts Hversu Nόregr byggðisk and Fundinn Nóregr, Flat, i 21-2, 219-20. Sven may have fitted him in here because he wanted a link between Klak-Harald and Knut, and he connected the first element in Klak-Harald's name with the root in ON klaki, 'frozen ground'. Instead of Snio S has another Frothi, but Snio survived in the chronicles and king-lists because Saxo restored him as an ancient king; see GD, 235-8; PF 258-62; cf. SG, ii 140. In AR he is associated with the year 687 (DMA, 157-8).

60. Kakk-Haraldr in WN texts (e.g. Jómsvíkinga saga, ch. 2), where he appears as a jarl in Holstein and the father of Pyri Danmarkarbót rather than of Gormr. Danes tended to identify him with the King Herioldus who was baptized at Mainz on 24 June 826 and played a well-recorded pan in Franco-Danish relations from 812 to 827; cf. Series ac Brevior (1220-42; SM, i 162) and Annales Lundenses (c.1265; DMA, 37-8). The relative failure of Herioldus as a king, as described in AB, i 15, may possibly have earned him his nickname – if we knew precisely what it meant. In Tilhavne it is equated either with early Dan. klak, 'Smuds, Plef, or with ON klakkr, 'stejl og spids Klippe' (both Klakker and Klack occur as by-names in early Swedish). It is certainly not clear who Sven thought he was. In his persona as the first baptized king of the Danes Harald is not given the by-name Klak in CR, nor in the list of kings in the Lund necrology: on the contrary, Klak-Harald in CR is Harald Bluetooth. Saxo has a third King Harald, but he is described as an exile and a tyrant, not affiliated to the royal family (GD, 253, 255; PF, 282, 284).

61. Gorm Løghæ: Bram Løghæ (A), Górm Loghæ (S). In the Incerti Auctoris Genealogia (SM, i 186) he appears as Gorm Løkæ, and from this form a hypothetical derivation is given from an ODan. adj. *løker, 'træg', related to the Norw. substantive løkje, 'tung, dorsk Person' (Tilnavne, s.n.). The nickname has also been associated with MDan. loj, explained in a seventeenth-century Comenius translation as 'vanmectig og doven', but this loan-word from German cannot be credited in Sven's text. In Icelandic sources he is most often referred to as Gormr the 'Old', but in Jómsvíkinga saga as the 'Stupid' and the 'Mighty' as well. Saxo disposes of the inconsistency by providing three separate Gorms: an active one in book eight, and in book nine one unsuccessful one and another who is inactive, blind and old. See Lukman 3976, 32, 44, for speculations on the subject; Ousager; and SG, ii 162-4.

62. This is the þurui of Jelling stone 1; what follows is Sven's attempt to explain the epithet tanmarkar: but in that same inscription (Moltke, 206). She is described in terms similar to those used of Queen Sophia at the end of HC (p. 73 above), and her story seems to be connected with Sophia's adventures in 1185-7, when she was married to the count of Thuringia, the emperor's nephew, and then repudiated, to the fury of her son, Knut VI. Her daughters were also rejected as consorts by the emperor's sons (Chronica Slavorum, tii 21). Sven offered solace for these rebuffs in his tale of Queen Thyrwi. He may have been inspired by the dominant queens of Justin's Historiæ: Semiramis who 'outdid not only men but women in courage' and fortified Babylon; Tomyris who defied King Cyrus and avenged her son's death by trapping and destroying the Persian army; and most of all, Dido (or Elissa) who practised deceit to liberate the Tynans in order to obtain land on which they could settle and to avoid becoming the wife of a neighbouring king, 'who sued for marriage under threat of waging war' (Justin, i 2 and 8, xviii 5 and 6). On Thyrwi in Sven and Saxo, see L. Weibull; Damsholt 1985, 158-62; and Strand, 156-63, with full refs.

63. et rosa lilio maritata purpureum genis colorem inpinxerat: both Horace and Ovid use 'purple' for rosy or pink, and there are many similar passages in Sven's contemporaries, e.g. Alan of Lille, AC, iii 153-4, and William of Blois, Alda, 130-1 (ed. Cohen, i 135).

64. These phrases are later repeated in the eulogy of Valdemar I, p. 73. Here Gertz prefers perfects to reserta redundabat in A, referta erat in S.

65. Divergences in A and S have here been skilfully reconciled by Gertz. Sven seems to have been influenced by the myth of creation in Bernard Sylvestris and his disciples. In this, Nature (rather than God) 'compounds bodies, the dwelling places of souls, out of the qualities and materials of the elements,' and Noys, or Providence, assists her in the creative act; thus Cosmographia, ch. 2 (tr. Wetherbee, 67-75). Alan of Lille believed that the qualities of the great ones of the past were immanent in the cosmos, at the disposal of the creator: hence Thyrwi's imaginary drinking-companions. The fount they shared was either the 'fount of wisdom' of Proverbs 18: 4, or the founts of wisdom and philosophy referred to by Cicero in Tusculan Disputations, i 3, 6; but it should also be noted that John of Hauteville, Architrenius, ii 291, believed that ordinary wine 'introduces Nestor to our hearts, Ulysses to our tongues.' Sven's comparison with the Queen of Sheba is engagingly maladroit. His wish that Thyrwi had been baptized into the orthodox faith came true in Saxo, who made her an English princess who, some said, 'declined the caresses of the nuptial couch so that by her abstinence she could win her bridegroom over to Christianity' (GD, 266; PF, 295). Osbert of Clare (Vita Ædwardi, 74) was able to compare the Confessor and Queen Edith to Solomon and Sheba unreservedly. See Damsholt 1985,155-7, and on the influence of Alan of Lille and John of Hauteville on Anders Sunesen see Boje Mortensen, in Ebbesen, 209-19.

66. All Northern sources follow Adam of Bremen's mistake, AB, ii 3, where Otto I invades and conquers Denmark. He maintained some kind of hegemony there, but it was his father, Henry the Fowler, who subjugated the Danes in 934 (AB, i 7), and his son, Otto II, who invaded Denmark in 974.

67. infamiæ discrimen: the second word is translated as crimen, 'reproach, shame'; otherwise it would mean 'trial, test, danger', as in famæ suæ discrimen (SM, i 82). Gertz, HS, 48, has 'et Forsøg paa at sattte Riget i Fare for at plettes af Vanære'.

68. virtutique commode mutuus succedat affectus: I have not followed Gertz in preferring occedo, 'go towards' (Plautus) to succedo in A, non prosequi in S. Otto wanted more than a meeting of emotions. We must note that the emperor 'is not in the least interested in Thyra herself, but only in using her as a means of disgracing Denmark. She is an object' (Damsholt 1985, 159 and cf. 162). Feminists make heavy weather of this story.

69. dulcibus alloquiis: Horace, Epodes, 13, 18. Damsholt feels that Thyrwi's stratagem reflects Danish policy towards the Germans: 'we deceived them whenever we could.' I suspect it was the Germans who deceived the Danes, at least in 1152, 1162 and 1181, and Sven felt it was time for a change.

70. LM suspected a Northern proverb here, but Gertz pointed out the resemblance to Plautus, Truculentus, 176: in melle sunt linguæ; sitæ vostræ: atque orationes lacteque; corda in felle sunt sita atque acerbo aceto; and there are several medieval Latin analogues; see Walther, nos. 14574, 14577, 38168e. Alan of Lille gave Logic a flower and a scorpion to hold: Mel sapit ista manus, fellis gerit ilia saporem (AC, iii 27).

71. Psalm 136: 3. The ensuing passage repeats, ironically, the conclusion of the Kristiarn Svensen episode in LC, p. 40: honour has a price. But see Damsholt 1985, 159.

72. regina ... regnum ... regni ... regno: cf. p. 114, n. 55 above, and e.g. Aldhelm, Quam rex extorrem Roma? qui regna regebat (LHL, iv 495), and Rex ruit et regnum rapiens rex alter habebit (MGH, Script., xxiv 240).

73. prope Slesuik: not in A and added by Gertz from S, props Slesvicum. For a summary of the archaeological dating of the Danevirke fortifica tions see Danevirke, i 79- 84. A beginning was made on Danevirke in c. 968, west of Hedeby, but there were no other great works in the tenth century. Sven's story reflects Valdemar I's rebuilding and extension of the old walls from 1163 onwards (DMA, 166), and the connexion of Semiramis with Babylon's walls, cf. p. 117, n. 62 above, and Orosius, ii 6, 8-11.

74. open (S) præfato insudarent: Gertz supplied munimini to fill a gap in A. Valdemar II exacted dues in silver from contiguous districts to maintain the wall (KVJ, i:2, 9-11), but how his father found the labour to build it is unclear.

75. The theory that all land-rights had once been vested in the ruler was advanced by the twelfth-century Italian jurist Martinus (see Gierke, 79 and 178). Cf. however Snorri's account of Haraldrharfagri's seizure of Norwegian lands in his saga, ch. 6, in Heimskringla, and the pervasive folklore of ultimate or primeval royal land-ownership; see Hoebel, 226, and Diamond, 286. 'What no man owns, the king owns' is a statement in the 1241 Jutland Law (DGL, iii 61).

76. tanquam inclusos indagine: Sven means a hedge (as translated by Gertz, HS, 52) rather than a net; see Diefenbach, 293; Ducange, s.v.; Synonyma, line 536.

77. Cf. Vergil, Eclogues, ix 27: 'singing swans shall bear aloft to the stars.' For 'obstacle of a wall', mini obicem, at the end of the next sentence, cf. Orosius, iii 19, muri obice.

78. The name was used c.1170 in CL (Danæwirchi). In that source a wooden stockade had already stood there before the kingdom was founded; it was where Dan defeated Augustus Caesar before he became king (SM, i 44-5). Saxo insisted that Thyrwi built the earthworks after her husband's death (CD, 272; EC, 6); he evidently found Sven's tale too frivolous.

79. Decus datiæ: a translation of tanmarkar: but on the Jelling stone 1, cf. p. 117, n. 62 above. What it means has been too long disputed to be discussed here. Saxo may have tried to do better than Sven, with his Danicx maiestatis caput (GD, 274; EC, 10); see the summary in K. M. Nielsen, 155-60, and Moltke, 207.

80. in fiolis, cytharis: cf. Alexandras, v 483-5. OFr. viole is latinized as vitula, videla or fiola', see Diefenbach, s. v. fiala. The cithara is a stringed instrument played with a bow or plectrum; it is associated with tympana in Genesis 31: 27, Job 21: 12, Isaiah 5: 12 and 30: 32.

81. choris et tympanis: Exodus 15: 20, Judges 11: 34, Psalm 150: 3. Instrumental music is a topos of decadence, as in Saxo (cf. Starkather and the flute-player in GD, 168-9; PF, 186); also of enchantment (GD, 63, 335-6; PF, 69; EC, 98-9). When played by histriones, as here, the worst can be expected.

82. renuto ... recuso ... devito: a formula of rejection from the school-book; cf. e.g. contemnit, renuit, simul abnuit atque recusat (Synonyma, line 536). Gertz preferred the rare renuto to renuntio in A or renuo in S: each is more frequent in the glossaries, and renuntio should stand.

83. parificari non valeat: parifico is used by Suger and by John of Salisbury (Policraticus, iii 14; cf. Ducange, s. v.). Germ's descent from kings 'on either side' of the family is not hinted at earlier; 'on every side' would be better for Sven's undique, cf. 'i enhver Henseende er oprunden af Kongers Æt' (Gertz, HS, 55), 'i alle Maader' (LM, 25).

84. Saxo attributes a similarly defiant speech to Archbishop Absalon, when Landgrave Siegfried of Thuringia made a 'pompous and menacing' request that Knut VI should do homage to the emperor in 1182/3 (GD, 539-40; EC, 606).

85. For reverentiam et vocem (A) Gertz read irreverentiam atrocem (X): but A will do, '... stunned at the awesomeness and tone of this ... reply'.

86. Prophetic powers were attributed to Thyrwi in Jdmsvikinga saga (1962), ch. 3; (1969), ch. 3, and by Saxo when she interprets Gorm's dream (GD, 267; PF, 296).

87. ad institutionem (A), ad internecionem (S), ad interstinctionem (X): Gertz's word is unknown except to Amobius, who used it to mean a 'distribution'. Paulus Diaconus, HR, 238, used intemecio for the destruction of the Ostrogothic realm by Narses: this is better.

88. Blatan: a by-name which occurs first in CR (before 1150), cognomina Blatan sive Clac-Harald(SM, i 17). It was also used in Abbot William's Genealogy (1193/4) and explained as dens lividus vel niger (SM, I 178).

89. quasi masoleis illustribus: 'as if because mausoleum usually meant an ornate burial within a church, as e.g. in William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificum and Adam of Bremen (AB, ii 82, for St Willehad's tomb at Bremen). On the Jelling burials see K. M. Nielsen (with bibliography).

90. As in Adam of Bremen and CR.

91. The dragging of the rock and the rebellion of the army are elaborated by Saxo in his book ten. The mutiny is attested earlier (EE, 8-9). The supposed cause may be a story invented to explain the siting of two memorials away from Jelling, at Læborg and Bække, to a lady called Thyrwi, who may have been identified as Gorm's queen (cf. Moltke, 228-30).

92. Æneid, viii 244, on the flight of Cacus from Hercules.

93. Hynnisburg(h) in A and S, Hyumsburgh in X: a place implicitly identified by Sven and Saxo with Wolin on the Dziwna, now in Poland. Saxo's detailed narrative of the Danish raids on Wolin in 1170 and 1173 (?) suggests that the city was defenceless at the time of the second raid, ruined but not by Absalon (GD, 482, 487, 501; EC, 519, 526, 546). In 1188 the bishop of Pomerania moved his see to Kamien because Wolin 'is deserted on account of war-damage' (Clement III's bull, CPD, no. 63). However, in 1180/1 the Wolinsky had fortified the mouth of the Swina, 23 km west of Wolin, with two forts to keep the Danes out. In August (?) Absalon ordered his brother to burn these forts, and on the way home the king ordered 'the burnt-out ruins of the forts to be levelled with the ground' – solo æquari in Sven's phrase – and the still-glowing foundation stones sunk at sea (GD, 547; EC, 618). This must be the scene Sven remembers; so either he used moenia to mean 'defences fifteen miles away', or else Absalon levelled Wolin's walls on an occasion not mentioned by Saxo. According to Jόmsvíkinga saga (1962), ch. 15; (1969), ch. 13, Pálna-Tóki founded Jómsborg, and Adam of Bremen says that Harald took refuge in lumne (Wolin) when expelled by his son. Sven may have invented the story of a foundation by Harald, and was followed by Saxo. The evidence on the Jómsborg-Wolin question is summarized in Jόmsvíkinga saga (1962), vii-ix; on the modern myth of the Jόmsvikings see Abels, 162-4.

94. Tygheskeg (X), Tycheskeg (A), Tiugeskeg: Ágrip (c. 1190) and later Icelandic sources have tjuguskegg; accurately explained in Abbot William's Genealogy as furcate barba (SM, i 178). The nickname is not in CR or Saxo.

95. As in Abbot William's Genealogy (SM, i 179), but not in Adam of Bremen or CR, where Harald dies a Christian and is buried in Roskilde, 'like a second David' (SM, i 19). However, his ill repute, as a jealous father, appears earlier, in EE, 9. These opposing views endured. Saxo followed Sven but in AR (c.1300) the annalist wrote that Harald was 'blamelessly wounded and made a martyr' (DMA, 255).

96. freto Grönæsund: supplied by Gertz from S, where A has a gap after an initial V. Grønsund is the strait between Falster and Møn, where the fleet sometimes assembled for Valdemar I's raids on the Slavs.

97. binomius extitet (X): i.e., he could be known by a double name (Paulus Festus gives Numa Pompilius and Tullus Hostilius as examples) or by alternative names (Astyages or Assuerus in Otto of Freising, Chronicle, ii 1). In the sagas he is presented as Pámir son of Tóki but regularly called Pálna-Tóki; but see Kousgaard Sørensen, 104-5, who rejects the possibility of a patronymic. To the Icelanders he was the founder of Jómsborg, the foster-father and ally of Sven Forkbeard, and the slayer of Harald Bluetooth. To Saxo he was just Toko, a retainer of Harald's who was tested to the limits of endurance by the king's malice and deserted to Sven. He eventually killed Harald with an arrow, as Pálna-Tóki did in Jόmsvíkinga saga. Saxo exonerated him from the kidnapping of Sven Forkbeard; this was attributed to Sigvaldi jarl in the saga, (1962) ch. 25; (1969) ch. 26. It is uncertain how much of this story was invented by Sven. In Knýtlinga saga, ch. 40, Sven's great-grand mother Þorgunna is described as the daughter of a Vagn Ákason; in Jόmsvíkinga saga Vagn is the son of Pálna-Tóki's son, Aki. Thus, according to mid-thirteenth-century genealogical convention, Sven is here telling the tale of one of his ancestors. However, he gives no sign that he was aware of the connexion. See Appendix, p. 142.

98. in reclinario; a contracted form of reclinatorium (Song of Solomon 3: 10, where it seems to mean a head-rest). The entry in Ducange is misleading: no one else uses the word, although according to Stephanius, 79, 'the older lexicographers interpret it as 'a place for lying down, or a store-room in a ship'. Thus 'Kahytten' (Fenger, 22), 'Soverum' (HS, 58). The oarsmen, ordinatis per foros, 'ranged on deck', could have been 'on their rowing-benches', as in the Gertz translation; but Cicero, De Senectute, ch. 106, uses per foros for 'deck', and Isidore, Etym., I, xix 2, gives 'hollow sides' for fori. Neckam, 166, gives fori ... per que remi exire possint.

99. subgrunda (X) is from S; it is not in A. It means the eaves of a house or overhang of a roof in Varro, Vitruvius and the Digest, and in medieval usage survived as subgrundium, subrunda, subundra (Ducange). Sven appears to use it for the top strake, thus 'over Skibets Raeling' (HS, 58). The top edge would be reinforced with a borðstokkr, with a moulding inside or outside to support a row of shields. Thus there would be a slight overhang, which might suggest the eaves of a house. If he was thinking of a decked ship, then the drainage or scupper-holes in the upper strakes would make subgrunda more appropriate; cf. Fenger, 22, 'Kahytslugen' ('cabin-hatch'). In Saxo King Sven puts back the ship's awning and sticks his head out (GD, 278; EC, 16).

100. Cf. the speech Saxo attributed to the Rugian envoy Domborus (GD, 426-7; EC, 438-40), boasting of the prosperity of the Slavs at the expense of the Danes. Capture for ransom was practised by both sides well into Sven Aggesen's lifetime. In the sagas Sven Forkbeard is compelled to marry Gunnhildr, the daughter of their overlord, Búrizláfr, king of the Wends; Búrizláfr himself marries Þyri, sister of King Sveinn. This is an ingenious combination of two fairly certain facts: that at some period Sven Forkbeard was captured and ransomed, and that he married a sister of Boleslaw Chrobry of Poland (Thietmar of Merseburg, vii 36 and 28, viii 39). The combination was probably made by Oddr Snorrason, the first biographer of Óláfr Tryggvason (c. 1190). Here Sven elaborates one element of the story and avoids the spiritual interpretation of Sven Forkbeard's tribulations found in Adam of Bremen and CR.

101. According to Thietmar, Sven was twice captured by 'Northmen' and twice ransomed 'for an immense price1, and thereafter called a slave by ill-wishers. Adam of Bremen calls his captors Slavs. Saxo improves the ransom-story by speculating on the public benefit of Sven's weight-loss in captivity (GD, 278; EC, 18).

102. in Winningha: a not uncommon place-name; here either Vindinge, west of Nyborg on Fyn, or, more likely, Neder-Vindinge near Vordingborg in southernmost Sjælland (the royal manor of' Wynning' in KVJ, i:2, 20). The name means 'reclaimed land, assart' (Houken, 140), which makes it appropriate for this concession of woodlands.

103. sylvarum etnemomm ... communia: common rights in woods and groves are defined by Anders Sunesen (DGL, i:2, 636-8) and Valdemar I's charter for Glumsten wood in Halland (c.l 177; DD, i:3, no. 66). Saxo distinguishes between forest rights bought communally in East Denmark and purchased by families in Jutland (GD, 277; EC, 16).

104. herciscundæ portione (S), heresundæ portions (A): in Roman law the familiæ herciscundæ actio was a suit brought by co-heirs for the division of their inheritance (Institutes, iv, tit. xvii, div. 4, and tit. vi, div. 20). All Danish codes accept the woman's right to a share in inheritance: 'Sons and daughters shall receive men's shares, but the privilege of sex shall be observed, that the inheritance left to the son shall always be twice as large as the daughter's' (Anders Sunesen's Scanian laws; DGL, i:2, 480).

105. Luke 6: 38. Note that Anders Sunesen saw this system as a male privilege, while Sven (and Saxo) account for it as a concession to women, who had previously got nothing. See B. Sawyer 1985a, 49-50.

106. A longer list than in LC, p. 32 above. Sven adds five countries and substitutes Samia for Finland. Knut's conquests are listed in Óttarr svarti's strophe, Svá skal kveðja (Skj. i A 299, B 275), in EE, 34 (cf. EE, lxii) and in book six of Henry of Huntingdon's Historia Anglorum, whose gessit eleganter foreshadows Sven's eieganter subiugavit.

107. For the 'calm of peace1 see p. 112, n. 46 above; the reference is to LC.

108. From AB, ii, chs. 65 and 74.

109. The tale is an imaginary exaggeration of Knut's journey to Rome to attend the coronation of Conrad II in 1027, which is described by Adam of Bremen. Henry was not married to Gunnhild until 1036, after Knut's death, and was never driven from Rome; nor was Conrad, though he subjugated North Italy in 1026 and the South in 1027. Sven is merely completing a trio of humiliations for the Germans, after Uffi and Thyrwi. See Damsholt 1985, 160.

110. The relics of St Martin helped to repel the Danes from Tours in 841 and 903; they were removed, to escape the Vikings, in 853-4 and 865-77(7); see Gasnault. However, the body was never taken to Rouen, and Knut had no known connexion with Tours. The end of Sven's sentence, eo quod illam præ ceteris specialiter diligebat, has usually been interpreted as meaning that Knut translated St Martin's relics to Rouen 'because he loved that city more than others'. Thus Gertz inserted the word civitatem into X although it occurs in neither A nor S and makes no historical sense in the context. Rouen was a place of transit on Knut's military expeditions, not a beloved residence, and there is no evidence of any Martin relics there in Sven's time or Knut's. On the other hand, such relics existed at Lund when Archbishop Asser dedicated the altar crypt in 1126 (DD, i:2, no. 48); they may have arrived via Hildesheim, since Bishop Bernward there was given relics of Martin at Tours on a journey to France in 1006 (Thangmar, Vita Bernwardi, MGH, Script., iv 776). Thus illam must refer not to the city of Rouen but to Gunnhild, the wife-to-be of Emperor Henry, on whose behalf Knut's expedition to Rome and back was conducted. Knut 'carried away' – asportavit, not apportavit – the relics to the nearest port for England and the North, which was Rouen. This may be nonsense, but it is not quite as nonsensical as the supposed endowment of Rouen, which Saxo, never to be outdone in marvels, made the site of Knut's tomb (GD, 299; EC, 44). Sven may have known that Martin had twice driven Danes away from Tours and that his relics were twice removed to escape them. CR had noted Knut's historical connexions with Normandy (SM, i 20-1).

111. An unlucky gloss, to rectify the explanation of the name in LC: qui et austerus siue durus est cognominatus (p. 64 above). Harthaknut just means 'tough-knot'. The conceit that he was born in Harsyssel, N. Jutland, is also found in Flat., i 98, but the Hgrdaknutr there is King Gorm's father, the supposed son of Sigurdr ormr-í-auga. Harthaknut, Knut's son by Emma, must have been born in England. See EE, 97.

112. The words in parenthesis, missing in A, were supplied by Gertz from S. Sven 's fondness for measuring time in lustra may reflect his reading of Ovid, who used the word fifteen times in his works to mean a period of five years. The inaccuracy of Sven's regnal chronology was no greater than that of other Danish writers of the period: see the king-lists in SM, i 157, 159. All they had to go on were Adam of Bremen's erratic dates: he claimed that Knut 'waged war in England for three years and then ruled for twenty-two (AB, ii, chs. 53 and 73), which make five lustra if added together. Adam also said that Knut put three sons in charge of three kingdoms under his rule (AB, ii, ch. 66), but later made it clear that the sons survived their father (AB, ii, ch. 74). It seems that Sven was using a drastic abridgment of Adam's work, or perhaps the Lund king-list, which has only one Kanutus harthe, ruling from 1015 (ML, 45).

113. Psalm 143: 12; the commonest cliché of mission history. Adam also introduces his account of Knut's bishops by saying that he returned to Denmark (which he did, in 1019 and 1022), to secure the country after the death not of his son but of his brother, Harald, as in AR (DMA, 161).

114. 'Their sound has gone out ...' is from Psalm 18: 5. These bishops are mentioned by Adam (AB, ii, chs. 55 and 71) but are not in CR (but cf. SM, i 21, n.). Gerbrand was appointed in the early 1020s, Rudolf in 1026 (not after 1035 as in AB). Sven is more accurate here but he omits Bishop Bernard of Scania and Bishop Reginbert of Fyn.

115. Ulf... Sprakeleg: Saxo and the sagas agree in giving this nickname to Thrugils/Þorgils, Ulf s father (GD, 288; EC, 30; Knýtlinga saga, ch. 5). Ulf is usually called 'jail1, and according to CR and the sagas Knut had him killed in Roskilde church (SM, i 21).

116. An exaggeration of Sven II's own exaggeration of his youthful importance in his conversations with Adam of Bremen. Events are telescoped by the erasure of Harthaknut's reign, 1035-42, which is also omitted in the Lund list and the Catalogus Regum Danie (SM, I 157, 159). For 'peace and quiet' see p. 112, n. 46 above.

117. AB, ii, ch. 77, and CR (SM, i 20) both mention the concubine, the Alfhildr of the St Olaf sagas, who according to William of Malmesbury later became a much respected anchoress in England. All sources other than Sven agree that Magnus became king of Denmark in 1041 or 1042 and was confronted by a rebellious Sven the following year. Sven Aggesen cannot accept the legitimacy of Magnús's rule as an elected foreigner with no hereditary title. Saxo can (GD, 301; EC, 48).

118. A compression of events from 1042 to 1046/7 which are copiously and variously recounted by Theodricus and in Ágrip, Morkinskinna, Fagrskinna, Heimskringla and Knýtlinga saga, mainly on the basis of ambiguous verses by Arnórr Jarlaskáld, Þjódolfr Arnórsson and Þorleikr fagri. At some point, Magnús won a day-long battle at Helgenæs. Sven's note that he won West Denmark and Slavia thereby suggests: (i) that he knew of Magnús's victory over the Wends at Lürschau/Lyrskov and placed it before Helgenæs, unlike Theodricus and Ágrip; (ii) that he wished his readers to believe that his rival Sven kept control of East Denmark until 1046/7.

119. subvectoris stemacis (A): cf. Æneid, xii 364, equus sternax, and LC, p. 35 above, where subvectus is used for 'carried on horseback' (SM, i 72). According to Saxo, Magnús's horse was scared by a hare and ran him into a tree at Alsted (GD, 303; EC, 51). According to Adam of Bremen, he 'died in his ships', while the sagas say he died on land in Jutland.

120. Sven's lust and offspring are mentioned by Ælnoth (VSD, 89); he is called pater regum only in Sven's work.

121. Absalone reference, contubemalis meus Saxo ... omnium gesta executurus prolixius insudabat: ambiguous. It could mean that 'Saxo was ... using ... Absalon as his source,' but I prefer to follow Gertz (HS, 66), with prolixius rendered 'for a long time', as by Friis-Jensen, 334 n. On contubemalis see Weibull 1918, 187ff., Christensen in SS, 132-3, 140-2, and pp. 2-3 above.

122. A constitutional theory supported by Saxo (GD, 67, 350, 359; PF, 73; EC, 106, 134) but not by others. Other royal inaugurations, down to 1182, took place at Viborg, or at consecutive provincial assemblies. Saxo may have persuaded Sven of Isøre's prior claim (cf. Hoffmann 1976, 45-60, and Hude, 15), misled by Ælnoth's words (VSD, 90) on Harald's 'election by the whole people' in that place, on the spit west of the Isefjord inlet in N. Sjælland. Sven says the election was omni(um) convenientia, but whether he used the noun in Cicero 's sense of 'harmony, agreement' or in the later sense of 'pact, contract' is not clear. However, he uses it later to mean 'assent' (SM, ii, Index i). and S has assentientibus omnium civium suffragiis. For ut ipsa omnium convenientia in X, I read A's utpote omnium convenientia.

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123. intronizatur (X), successit in regno (S): absent in A. Latin Cos represents ODan. Hen, ON heinn, 'whetstone'. Knýtlinga saga, ch. 23, offers a witty gloss to explain the usage, but cf. De Profectione Danorum, ch. 6, where Aki the Crusader is praised because he 'never ceased to piay the whetstone by sharpening up all the men he could' (SM, ii 469).

124. leges Dam's tribuit: from Ælnoth (VSD, 90-1) and CR (SM, i 23) where he is praised highly; but Saxo condemned him as too indulgent. See J. Olrik 1899-1900, Hude, 15-16, Breengaard, 64-5, and Weibull 1986, 24.

125. The Odense view of Knut's sanctity was expressed in the Passio of c. 1095 and in Ælnoth's work (VSD, 62-136). CR records that 'by a new and unheard-of law he compelled the people to pay a tribute which our people called the poll-tax' (SM, i 24); however, this writer recognized the king as a martyr (Breengaard, 53-5, 65), and Sven's remarks are probably directed at popular opinion rather than at this text in particular. The cult flourished alongside a strong tradition of disapproval of the martyr's tyrannous rule. In 1186 Knut VI announced his personal veneration in confirming Knut IV's Lund privilege (DD, i:3, no. 134).

126. Knut's 'plenitude of power' is not an allusion to the canonists' plenitude potestatis (Decretum, pt 2, causa iii, quaest. vi, c. viii), which defines the pope's power over the church, but a more general usage; see Post. Ælnoth wrote of the Danish fleet waiting for the king at the occidentalis portus (VSD, 99), and Sven's Humlum (in Humla S) is a village south of Oddesund, fifteen miles from the western outflow of the Limfjord, then open. AR, a Jutland source, puts the muster at Fiskbæk, near Viborg (DMA, 162). maris continuum in A is better than maris contiguum in X (S has no adj.), 'connecting with the sea' rather than 'next' to it (Weibull 1918, 192).

127. The Passio and Ælnoth (VSD, 67,100) located the conspiracy in the fleet, not at Schleswig. The king's brother Olaf was sent to voice the troops' discontent at the king's delay, arrested at Schleswig and sent to Flanders. Saxo and Knýtlinga saga elaborate. Then, according to Ælnoth, the fleet disbanded with the king's permission. Sven may have followed an independent tradition or he may simply have misread his sources.

128. recumpensatione: see p. 92 above, n. 43. It refers to the lethangwite, reserved as a royal privilege in Knut's 1085 charter to Lund: 'If he shall have neglected the "leding" (expeditio), he shall make amends to the king' (DD, i;2, no. 21). Nevertheless, large-scale derelictions of duty occurred under Valdemar I, and the young Knut VI condoned one mutiny just before his accession in 1182 (GD, 535; EC, 598).

129. Interpreted by Gertz, HS, 69-70, as a reference by the king to a maxim against excessive rigour 'which might be found in Roman law'. There was a proverb, 'It is not always worth enforcing the law with rigour ...' (Walther, no. 18182), which elaborated Proverbs 30: 33, 'the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.'

130. Forty-mark fines for the gravest offences were exacted in Sven's own day, and three marks was the conventional payment in lieu of oarsman's service in the thirteenth century (DGL, iv 104). Ælnoth says nothing of the fine and blames the discontent on royal officials who tried to increase the weight of the slater and to 'pervert judgements' at law (VSD, 102). Sven may have invented this story, but he was followed by Saxo. Again, I have followed A and S, regis rigor, rather than Gertz, legis rigor; cf. Weibull 1918, 186.

131. According to Ælnoth, Knut was on a customary visit to collect his dues (VSD, 104); Sven seems to confuse census and exactio.

132. in Vandalis: Ælnoth says at Børglum, in Vendel 'which means turning'. The Wiener Neustadt Vita of St Knut, composed about 1220, adds that he went 'over the river which is called Limfjord, to the island of Vendel. For it was then an island containing two provinces, that is Thiutha and Wendela [Thy- and Vendsyssel]; today it is called a promontory rather than an island' (VSD, 546). In the next sentence prerogativam ... remanendi is an ironical reference to the right of paying kuærsæta instead of doing military service, conceded in some charters from 1146-57 (Skyum-Nielsen, 159).

133. Matthew 10: 23; from Ælnoth, who applies the text to Knut's retreat from Børglum to Aggersborg (VSD, 105).

134. Ælnoth addressed the Devil at this point as 'the most ancient seducer' (VSD, 112), but Sven liked 'prevaricator' enough to repeat it at the end of his work. For Judas as 'prevaricator' see CBP, 1190.

135. plebs prophana principi letum: but Ælnoth suggests that nobles and commoners combined against the king (VSD, 103). The 'whispering rumour' of the next sentence recalls Ovid, Heroides, xxi 233.

136. For the proverb see Walther, no. 8819.

137. plebicule rabies furiosa: a rage described at length by Ælnoth (VSD, 105-6).

138. Medium Transitum: literally Middelfart, but the Passio and Ælnoth say he sailed from Schleswig; perhaps through rather than over the Belt to enter Odense by the fjord to the north.

139. For a recent evaluation of the lives and cult of St Knut see Knuds-Bogen, especially the articles by Breengaard and Meulengracht Sørensen, with bibliography; also Hoffmann 1975, 101-39.

140. Olavus ... Famelicum: the by-name is Hunger in AR (DMA, 163), Fames in Vetus Chronica Sialandie (SM, ii 23), both from c. 1250. Sven corrects CR, which claimed a nine-year famine (SM, i 24). Ælnoth claimed there was hunger, disease and invasion for eight years and nine months until Knut's remains were elevated (VSD, 129-30). Others blamed the famine on Olaf's failure to ransom his brother Nicolaus, who had taken his place in Flemish custody (Ralph Niger, 86). Knýtlinga saga, chs. 64-9, tells of Sven Aggesen's ancestors, the sons of Þorgunna, undergoing this imprisonment and of their miraculous liberation partly through St Knut's intervention.

141. Spelt Henricus in A, Ericus in S; in CR he is Hericus Bonus. The Ringsted Office (VSD, 189) and other sources give him the surname Egoth, 'Ever-good' (cf. Tilnavne, s.n.). He was commemorated as a benefactor at Lund on 10 July, chiefly for having obtained the pallium for this see from Paschal II (Weeke, 173).

142. crucem baiulando: Luke 14: 27. Erik's 'holy design' of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem was recorded in Robert of Ely's lost Vita of Knut Lavard, Erik's son, composed 1135/7, and it was celebrated 30 years before that in Markús Skeggjason's Eiríksdrápa (st. 28-31; Skj. i A 450-1, B 419-20). Ralph Niger, 86, styled him 'confessor'. In the next sentence 'from the prison of this life1 represents Gertz's final amendment, vite ex ergastulo (SM i, 180) of vitæ segastulo in A; he had earlier preferred vite segregates lute. S has none of that and states that Erik died on his way back from the Holy Land, presumably misled by Abbot William's Genealogy (SM, i 180). The earlier sources make it clear that he died and was buried at Paphos in Cyprus before he reached Jerusalem.

143. licet variis hymenei successibus: so S and X; A reads narus for variis. Variously rendered: 'a high-born posterity of sons, who were the fruit of a series of different alliances' (Olrik, KV, 70); 'a nobly-born brood of sons, although his marital unions were conducted with changeable fortune' (Gertz, HS, 73); 'with various off spring by mating' (Riis, 206). The reference must be to the bastards mentioned in CR (SM, i 25) and later by Saxo, born to different mistresses, rather than to the variable character of the offspring.

144. The words in brackets are not in A but introduced by Gertz from S. Biorn is singled out from his brothers, no doubt because he fought alongside Sven's grandfather at S0nder Onsild in 1132; see pp. 69-70 above.

145. In fact, just over six lustra, 1103-34; see pp. 125-6, n. 132. No other source names him grandevus; for 'old' Knut Sven uses vetus.

146. Samuel 1: 2 and 10: 23. For opposing interpretations of this period see Paludan, and Breengaard, 183-205. Sven stresses Nicolaus's legitimate marriage as a contrast with the union that produced his daughter (pace Riis, 216-17).

147. Alias Knut Lavard, 'the Lord'; commemorated as a martyr by papal canonization from 1170, and the subject of a Vita et Passio, now lost, written by Robert of Ely 1135/7. Sven draws his account from the later work, c. 1170, represented by the lections of the Ringsted Office; see VSD, 189-204, and 175 for borrowings noted by Gertz.

148. Knut bought the crown of the Abotrites from King Lothair and subjugated the Slavs with German assistance; see Helmold, i, ch. 49. Both strenuitas and prudentia were involved, but Nam quæ jure strenuitatis prudentia in A is corrupt, and singular! fortitudine in S must be paraphrase. Gertz gives Nam et mire strenuitatis prevalentia, but mire strenuitatis prudentia, if clumsy, involves less alteration. Saxo invented a 'bequest' of Slavia to Knut by the last Slav ruler (GD, 347; EC, 116-17).

149. cuius virtutibus [M. eclipsatus] languescere cepit invidia, que caput assolet [in prosperis] alterius [rebus dimittere]: this may be another proverb, or a maxim distilled from Horace, Epistles, i 2, 58: 'The envious man grows lean because his neighbour thrives'; cf. Stephen of Tournai: 'Some men burn at the successes of other men' (Ep., 164; Lettres, 191). However, all the words in brackets were invented by Gertz. S merely reads, Sed conspicuis ejus virtutibus incitata, effervescere coepit invidia. The following 'with timorous ambition' is good, but not Sven's own: this is nearly all Gertzian fantasy.

150. regno momentaneo: the use of momentaneus, to distinguish this world from the next, is a common post-Carolingian habit; see NGML, s.v.

151. Lucan, Pharsalia, i 92-3; also cited twice by Theodricus (MHN, 10,25). 152. Statius, Thebaid, i 154-5. Theodricus (MHN, 9) cites Thebaid, i 151, but attributes the line to Lucan.

153. Skatelar. explained in Tilnavne as 'magpie-thigh'; in Knýtlinga saga, ch. 92, he is called Heinrekr halti. The saga also notes there that 'it is the saying of most people' that he struck the death-blow. He was the son of Sven, an elder brother of King Nicolaus, and so a cousin of Knut Lavard. At this point A is defective and S somewhat abridged, with the names of two other conspirators, Ubbi and Hakon, probably added from Saxo. Sven's source is still the Passio known in the Ringsted Office.

154. Added by Gertz from S.

155. in silva penes Haraldstathæ: four miles north of Ringsted, in the middle of Sjælland; from Sven's source, see VSD, 197.

156. Christi athleta: Ælnoth applied this designation of martyrs, common at least from Cassian and Ambrose onwards (Blaise, 230), to Knut IV and his henchmen, but the surviving hagiography does not use it of Knut Lavard.

157. Matthew 7: 15; the hoods and cloaks are from Sven's source, the text known from the Ringsted Office, but there it is Magnus who holds Knut by the caputium of his cappa (VSD, 199).

158. John 1: 47.

159. The soul 'imprisoned in the flesh' was identified by Gertz as a loan from the versicles and responses of the Ringsted Office (VSD, 224). On Knut's burial and miracles see the lections from that Office, Alexander Ill's letter of canonization, and the list in the miracula (VSD, 200-2, 246, 242-5). The cult was renewed in 1186 by a joint donation to the Ringsted houses (DD, 1:3, no. 135).

160. domini instigatus digito: Exodus 8: 19, Digitus Dei est hie, and Augustine, 'The Holy Spirit is called the finger of God' (Sermon 156, 14; PL 38, 857). In his 1135 Lund charter Erik II ascribed his victory in the civil war to God's protection (DD, i:2, no. 65); but CR says that the 'sedition' against Nicolaus and Magnus was merely a pretext for usurpation (SM, i 27), and that God brought about Erik's fall, not his rise (SM, i 31).

161. Primo in Rinebiergh preliantes: what Gertz, 186, calls the 'nominative absolute' construction. The battle of 1132 at Rønbjerg, four miles SW of Skive in Jutland, was not the first between them; there had been an earlier clash at Jelling in 1131(7): see e.g. DMA, 17, 56, and GD, 359 (EC, 135). Erik's first assault on Jutland was there repulsed by King Nicolaus and the bishop of Ribe; evidently Sven's family was not involved.

162. Othenshylle: in N. Jutland, where Erik's troops were retreating over the Skals river to re-embark for Scania. Note that CR describes these troops as 'a collection of all the oathbreakers and villains' (SM, i 27), Saxo mentioned this battle without alluding to the heroic rearguard action of Aggi and Biorn: 'And several of his [Erik's] troops who were embarking too slowly were slaughtered by the oncoming army of the king' (GD, 361; EC, 136). The Danish annals ignore the episode.

163. columpnæ ... immobiles: an ecclesiastical metaphor, used of St Paul by Clement (inspired by Galatians 2: 9, and 1 Timothy 3: 15), iminobilis columna disciplinæ, but more widely later. Geoffrey of Monmouth used 'column' of Robert of Gloucester, Waleran of Meulan and King Stephen in his second and third dedications of the British History, and Stephen of Toumai so described Absalon's kinsman. Peter (c.1188; DD, i:3, no. 53). Saxo called Absalon 'column of the fatherland' and Starkather 'column of battle' (GD, 409, 214; EC 408; PF, 238).

164. Sven leaves out those battles which did not concern his family and friends: the sea-fight off Sejerø in 1132, Nicolaus's reconquest of Sjælland in 1133, and the fights at Værebro and Roskilde described in CR and Saxo.

165. Lundoniarwnque in loco A: the bay on the SW tip of Scania formed by the Skanör peninsula. Weibull 1918, 185-6, dismissed the reading and argued for nundiniamm, 'of the markets', because Skanör did not belong to Lund. The battle was fought on 4 June 1134, and Sven's account can be supplemented by others in CR, Saxo, Helmold and some German annals. It is remarkable that he makes no allusion to the part played in these events by his great-uncle Archbishop Asser, the only prelate to support Erik at this point (so CR; SM, i 28-9).

166. plebs ... pollens probitate: Erik had been proclaimed king in Scania on 11 April 1131, but the Scanians rejected him after he lost Sjælland in 1133, and only 'repented' when he escaped from captivity in Norway in the spring of 1134 (SM, i 27-8); this apparent inconstancy underlies Sven's assertion of Scanian 'probity'. Neither he nor Saxo reveals that Erik was also reinforced by a squadron of 300 German knights, who caught the enemy unprepared while they were disembarking (Erfurt Annals and Annalista Saxo, MGH, Script, vi 539, 768). Nevertheless, according to Saxo, Fotavik was a byword for Scanian prowess in the 1180s(GD, 528; EC, 588).

167. ad tartara trucidantes transmiserunt: cf. Knut VI's immunity-grant to the bishop of Schleswig, 20 Nov. 1187, nidentibus infemi detractos in tananim tradidit (DD, i:3, no. 143). Sven conveys the triumph of the Scanians, CR the deep dismay of the non-Scanian clergy; see Breengaard, 35-9, on the commemoration of the battle ad villam hamar in the Lund Memorials Fratrum and Liber Daticus. Sven's two bishops are presumably those of Roskilde and Vestervig commemorated at Lund (NL, 140-1; Breengaard, 222-3), but CR records several more: the bishops of Ribe, Aarhus and Sigtuna, and the bishop of Schleswig who died of wounds later (SM, i 29).

168. perfide trucidabant: cf. CR, infideliter interfectus est; on 25 June 1134, according to NL; with all his retinue, according to Saxo; Erik II rewarded the citizens for the deed, according to CR (SM, i 30).

169. Henricus iugi commemoratus memoria A, Ericus, æterna dignus memoria S: Emun(i) in AR and Annales Lundenses (DMA, 164 and 57). According to CR, Erik was 'always a profligate man, full of rage and deceit', and the text of Knut Lavard's Passio in the Ringsted Office described him 'slaughtering and sparing no one in avenging his brother with lion-like ferocity' (VSD, 202). In Icelandic sources his nickname is eymunior eimuni, explained in Knýtlinga saga, ch. 99: 'And because many thought they would long have cause to remember his cruelty, he was called Eiríkr the ever-memorable.' Sven and Saxo are more sympathetic, but only Saxo defends his reputation after his triumph in 1134. For a comparison of the sources see Breengaard, 224-36.

170. intempestas noctis silentio: this was a cliché even in the eighth-century Corpus glossary; cf. e.g. Martianus Capella, i 37, and Orosius, 3, 2, 5.

171. Haraldum kesise in curia sua seuiens A, Haraidum Ksesix in curia sua JalingS: Gertz changed seuiens to Scibiensi, because CR called the place 'Scipying' (SM, i 30); Saxo has 'Scypethorp'. Gertz took it to be Skiby manor, close to Aarhus in NE Jutland, which later in the century was held by King Nicolaus's great-grandson, St Nicolaus (VSD, 399; Gertz, 137). St Nicolaus was not however a direct descendant of Harald Kesia (the by-name means some kind of spear or halberd; it occurs more often in Icelandic than in Danish sources) or of Erik Ermine, and it seems that CR's 'Skipying' was probably Skibing in Dover, west of Kolding; see Orluf.

172. stratu suscitatus ... sinistri suspicatus: alliteration heightens the grimness; cf. nihil sinistri suspicatum, of St Ethelbert of East Anglia, in the St Albans Vitæ duorum Offarum (Chambers, 241). Catholiciani corripientes caput: these 'fiscal officers' of the Theodosian Code, Justinian's Codex (9, 49, 9, 3), and the Basilics, seem to be needed for the sake of alliteration rather than of precision; but the word recurs (see n. 183 below), and must mean 'henchmen' here. Cf. LMP, ii 251, for later Polish usage.

173. According to CR, Biorn and his brother, Henry the Deacon, were drowned before, not after, the death of their father (SM, i 31). Saxo gives details and blames Sven's grandfather Kristiarn for egging on the king to murder for raisons d'état (GD, 367; EC, 350).

174. According to CR, eight of Harald's other sons were killed and buried in a pit; Olaf escaped to Sweden; the Scanians are blamed for the murder. Saxo relates that these other sons were captured with their father in January 1135. and CR tells how they were held in irons in Scania until their deaths in August.

175. haul patrisando A: patrisso (Plautus, Pseuodolus, i 5, 27), 'to take after the father'; thus, unlike Erik I and Sven II, great propagators of sons. In the St Albans Vitas Warmundus says of Offa, non degenerest fili me genealis, sed patrissans (Chambers, 224).

176. regulosque pullulantes prorsus extirpasset: not quite, since Olaf the survivor had escaped in women's clothes (Saxo) or disguised as a beggar or pilgrim (CR) and was to rule in Scania c.l 138-41.

177. 2 Thessalonians 2: 8.

178. CR also recognized the hand of God in Erik's assassination, and placed the event near Ribe. The Urne-thing (in vrnensi placito A) was the plenary assembly of the South Jutlanders, held on the eastern side of the peninsula, off the Hærvej near Aabenraa; the date was 18 Sept. 1137 (NL). The 'circle of warriors', militari corona stipatum, recalls Statius, virum stipante corona (Thebaid, i 612), and Walter of Châtillon, iuvenum stipante corona (Alexandreis, iii 128). Transverberavit, the word for Plog's deadly thrust, is, if biblical, from Judith 5: 28. Sven ignores Erik II's expeditions to Norway and Riigen, which Saxo noted to the king's credit.

179. He died at Odense on 27 August 1146 (NL, 215). This Erik was the son of Knut Lavard's sister, Ragnhild. He was criticized by the author of CR as undignified and two-faced, apparently because he imposed Bishop Riko on the Roskilde chapter uncanonically. Sven presents the favourable view of all other sources except Saxo: they call him the 'Lamb' or the 'Pacific' (Spak(e), Icelandic (hinn) spaki). His hard-fought civil war with Olaf, Harald Kesia's son, is ignored, although Sven's uncle, Archbishop Eskil, was much involved in it (cf. GD, 371-5; EC, 356-61).

180. Two sentences summarize the events of 1146-57, which Saxo treats in detail (GD, 375-412; EC, 362-416). Sven's predecessors (the lections of the Ringsted Office, Helmold) either ignore the election of Knut V or, in the case of the source followed by Ralph Niger, insist that he was 'elected by the whole community at Viborg, where it is the custom for kings to be chosen.' Sven ignores the rivals' parity, and avoids saying that it was Sven III who invested Valdemar with the Schleswig duchy in 1148/9. The word feodo in patris feodo is lacking in A and Gertz took it from S. If it stood in the original manuscript, it is its first recorded use in a Danish source. Saxo prefers præfectum and beneficium for the honour. Valdemar appears to have supported Sven III until 1152, and then inclined to Knut. Here Valdemar is described as sacro cruore oriundus, perhaps from Passio Petri et Pauli, 262, 280 (LHL, i 509), and the stress is on his independence rather than his cunning. According to Ralph Niger, 89, Knut raised Valdemar to the kingship.

181. 25/6 July 1157 in Ralph Niger, 89. Saxo reports that Sven III got Scania, after Valdemar had awarded himself Jutland; Knut was left with the islands, including Sjælland; Knýtlinga saga agrees.

182. 8 August 1157. Saxo has a detailed narrative of this episode in GD, 402-8 (EC, 402-10), but he insists that Knut was the host; so does the source used by Ralph Niger (89). The discrepancy with Sven's apud Suenonem is seen as highly significant by R. Malmros, who argues that Sven was using an 'unofficial' account of the murder, which predated the attribution of host-betrayal, as well as other infamies, to Sven III; see Malmros 1979 for a full discussion of the sources and their implications. I am not convinced by the argument. Sven Aggesen may just have deduced that Sven III was the host from a careless reading of hospitem suum (so in Ralph Niger) as 'his guest' rather than 'his host' – although admittedly this would mean that he ignored the preceding passage. Or he may have used apud to mean 'in the presence of'. Saxo says they let Sven as the oldest preside at the feast.

183. catholiciani: see p. 134, n. 172, above.

184. extinctis vero luminaribus; suggests luminaria in the ecclesiastical sense of 'lights, candles' rather than the classical 'windows, shutters'; but cf. Saxo, fenestras reserantibus (GD, 405; EC, 406). They would hardly have tried to kill their victims in pitch darkness. Saxo says they opened the shutters to be sure of finishing off their work.

185. martyrio coronantes interemerunt: the same phrase was used earlier for the martyrdom of St Knut of Odense; and Knýtlinga saga, ch. 114, says, "The Danes declare him [sc. Knut V] to be a saint.' There is no evidence of a formal cult or of requests for papal canonization. Ralph Niger refers to him as christianissimus rex.

186. stricto mucrone confodere molirentur X: echoes Valdemar I's foundation charter for Vitskøl abbey (1157-8; DD, i:2, no. 120), eductis gladiis confodere conati sunt. The following coxa is Late Latin 'thigh' rather than the classical 'hip'; cf. Saxo, femur quam gravissime sauciatus est.

187. divina elapsum conservavit gratia: again the view expressed in the Vitskøl charter.

188. secus Gratham: a large heath sixteen miles south of Viborg, Grathæheth in the Ringsted lections in translations S. Kanuti (VSD, 203), where the battle was fought on 23 Oct. 1157.

189. More lustra (cf. p. 125, n. 112, p. 130, n. 145, above), and another inaccurate dating. Valdemar ruled for only 25 years after 1157, although he had been styled king since 1155. The calculation may however be based on a misdated accession, as in the earliest Lund annals, s.a. 1155 (DMA, 18).

190. persecurizavit X, prosiciscatur A, pacificavit S: one of Gertz's less convincing emendations; persecurizo is a very rare bird, which occurs in a fifteenth-century note on a manuscript of Annalista Saxo (MGH, Script., vi 550). Even if the word had been abbreviated as Gertz suggests, it could hardly have been misread to give the A or S reading. As early as 3170 the in translacione lections of the Ringsted Office included a brief eulogy of Valdemar's rule (VSD, 203); this may have inspired Sven here.

191. Henry of Huntingdon (1153-4), followed by Robert of Torigny, attributed three great achievements to 'old' Knut of England and Denmark. Sven may have known of this. He may also have wished to improve on the passage in the source used by Ralph Niger which attributed two achievements to Valdemar: the conquest and baptism of the Rugians, and the building of a castle 'in the exit of Denmark ' so as to block the way in (Ralph Niger, 89-90; see Anne K. G. Kristensen 1968-9, 432, for refs.).

192. Psalm 2: 9 and Ezekiel 20: 33, but the immediate source was Alexander Ill's bull of 1169(?) putting the newly conquered Rugians under the see of Roskilde (DD, i:2, no. 189).

193. Possibly a reference to Atexandreis, ii 351, where the Persian monarch boasts of the 'fired brick' and the 'tower constructed with bitumen' at Babylon. Sprogø is halfway over the Great Belt on the crossing from Nyborg to Taarnborg (where Valdemar also built). The fort on Sprogø has been replaced by a lighthouse.

194. On the Danevirke see p. 120, n. 78, above. Between 1163 and 1182 Valdemar and Absalon fortified about 4 km from Kurburg to the Dannewerk See with a brick wall 22 feet high and 6- 8 feet thick; see Neergaard. These achievements are recorded in similar style, but with the mention of Sprogø and the Danevirke reversed, on the lead plate which was discovered in Valdemar's grave at Ringsted in 1855. The inscription appears to have been added, perhaps in 1241 or 1250, by a reader of Sven's work (SM, ii 77-9, 87-8). For a comparison with the X and S texts see Christensen, 28-30.

195. The eulogy repeats the facetus and omni urbanitate already used to describe Queen Thyrwi. A omits a word after pius iusto, and S supplies crudelior, which Gertz, 149-50, found difficult to accept, with good reason. A passage in Ralph Niger refers to Valdemar as crudelis et fortis, and if Sven knew such a judgment, he may have wished to tone it down. However, 'just cruelty' is not a quality he commends in other rulers; 'more severe' or even 'more indulgent towards his own' would make better sense. The contrast between cruelty and justice usually needs greater emphasis, as in Geoffrey of Monmouth, 294, on King Morvidus: Hie mm/a probitate famosissimus esset, nisi plus nimie crudelitate indulsisset. Valdemar certainly imprisoned his cousin Buris in 1167, and was later said to have blinded and castrated him, but he adopted an illegitimate cousin, the orphan Valdemar, son of Knut, 'as if he were his own son' (letter of 1205; BD, no. 41).

196. Sophia, half-sister of Knut V, daughter of Prince Volodar of Minsk and Richiza of Poland, married Valdemar in 1157 at the age of sixteen (?), and in 1184 made a second marriage with Landgrave Lewis III of Thuringia, who repudiated her in 1187. She died in 1198 and is buried in Ringsted church. Canuti regis Roschildensis is a title aligning Knut V with the other martyrs, St Knut of Odense and St Knut Lavard of Ringsted; see p. 136, n. 185, above, and Anne K. G. Kristensen 1968-9, 44.

197. syncoparet: a grecism which in twelfth-century usage meant 'voicing only part of a word'; see Ducange (who cites St Bernard, Sermon 40), also Architrenius, i 484, and Alan of Lille's De Planctu Naturæ (PL 210, 454), locutionis syncopatæ, a humorous repetition of the word. Gertz supplies 'the skill of the ancients' to fill a gap in A, but S may be better: 'for to describe her would defeat the eloquence of Cicero, would dry up the fluency of Ovid, and tire the ingenuity of Vergil' (cf. Weibull 1918, 187 n.); a usage much favoured by Alan (PL 210, 464, 468, 479-80).

198. mendicata suffragia: as in Alan of Lille, mendicata mei tandem suffragia denrur (AC, ii 18), and in De Planctu Naturæ (PL 210, 470); formæ preconia: as in Ovid, Amores, hi 12, 9. Behind this courtly praise there is a hint of AC, ii 325-62, where Nature enlists the aid of Sophya, or Fronesis, to form the soul of the New Man: a passage in which Cicero 's eloquence and the poetry of Ovid and Vergil are also extolled. Sven's eulogy may be compared to the elegant skul] of Queen Sophia photographed and described in F. C. C. Hansen, 50. Her image appeared with Valdemar's on some coins.

199. The claim is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Valdemar became increasingly formidable after 1170. In that year Erlingr skakki, the effective ruler of Norway, became his vassal (GD, 480-1; EC, 517-18), and by 1171 Count Bernard of Ratzeburg was his homager for a fief in Jutland (GD, 496; EC, 540). In 1177 the chief men of Sweden attended his son's wedding, and his own father-in-law, Volodar of Minsk, sent him a ship laden with gifts (GD, 512, 517; EC, 564,572). In 1180 Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony crossed into Denmark to ask for his help (GD, 523; EC, 530), and in the winter of 1180-1 the ousted King Magnús Erlingsson of Norway took refuge in Denmark (Sverris saga, chs. 48, 50). In 1181 Count Siegfried of Orlamiinde sued for and married Valdemar's daughter Sophia at Schleswig (GD, 534; EC, 596). That summer Valdemar arrived in Liibeck to meet Frederick Barbarossa; he came 'with a large retinue, and made a show of himself, boasting loudly of his glory' (Chfonica Slavorum, ii 21); and made arrangements for two other daughters to marry the emperor's sons (GD, 532-4; EC, 592-6).

200. S includes here a short eulogy on Knut VI, who 'was a religious man, chaste, noble, handsome, an outstanding warrior ..." The past tense betrays a later hand. According to Saxo's book sixteen, Knut's success in war outdid the achievements of his father, but were attributable mainly to the assistance of Absalon; ignored by Sven. Yet the successful raids of 1184 and 1185 would have been impossible if Absalon's victory over the Pomeranian fleet in May 1184 had not deprived Prince Bugislav of his ships and saved Denmark from invasion. However, this is a book of kings, not of bishops, and Absalon's triumph over Jomsborg has been mentioned above, p. 61.

201. rostris deauratis choruscabat: classical rostrum, 'ram', was later applied to prows and stems; cf. ardebat aurum in rostris, EE, 18, of Knut's invasion fleet in 3015; rostrum deauratum, of Godwin's ship in the B manuscript of Florence of Worcester.

202. Saxo says that Bugislav did homage to Knut after submitting to him outside Kamien, fifteen miles downstream from Wolin (GD, 550-1; EC, 622-3); but neither Saxo nor Knýtlinga saga, ch. 129, is precise about the site, and anywhere between the two towns would be non procul from Wolin (non procul in S, preferred by Gertz; procul in A). Sven was an eyewitness, and the other sources agree that the Danes had been ravaging away from Kamien just before the surrender.

203. ab antiquo pnsuaricatore: see p. 129, n. 134, above. Saxo also records the thunder-clap, and comments that 'it was conjectured by the wise that this event portended the downfall of the kingdom of the Slavs.' He preferred to keep the Devil out of history (GD, 551; EC, 624; Blatt, in SS, 12).

204. Conrad, bishop of Pomerania, who" had moved his see from Wolin to Kamien in 1176; see p. 121, n. 93, above.

205. Valdemar, second son of Valdemar I and Sophia, was bom 28 June 1170, governed Schleswig as duke from 1187 to 1202, and reigned in Denmark from 1202 to 1241. Here he is iuvenis indolis elegantissimæ, which may, but need not, suggest that the words were written before 1202.
206. cunctorum gubematorin sua pace disponat: the valedictory formula which concludes the prayer after the reconciliation of the dying penitent in the Gelasian and other sacramentaries: Hanc igitur oblationem Domine cunctx familiae tax ... diesque nostms in tua pace disponas (Wilson, 67); also found in the opening of a blessing by Alcuin which includes the phrase in pads tranquillitate (CEP, 1563a); cf. p. 112, n. 46, above. Saxo appears to answer Sven's prayer at the end of GD, where he records that Bugislav remained loyal to Knut VI until his death in 1187, and that afterwards Knut acted as guardian of his children.

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