Свен Аггесен



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.

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.

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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