Свен Аггесен



1. reperta is here interpolated by Gertz to help the sense: 'to be discovered by our diligent study'.

2. contubernii iuventus militaris: here used in the classical sense of soldiers sharing a tent or billet, rather than as in Mark 6: 39. In HC, p. 65 above, Sven refers to Saxo as his contubernalis, but the meaning in this case is uncertain; cf. Introduction, pp. 2-3.

3. ut improborum refrenaret audaciam: echoes Gratian, Decretum, pt 1, dist. 4, i: Causa vero institutionis iegum est ut humanam cohercere audaciam et nocendi facultatem refrenare.

4. ODan. witherlogh has several meanings: punishment, retaliation, payment, or exchange fit is used for commutatio in Matthew 16: 26); see Kalkar, s.v. Here it seems to mean 'penalty, penalties' (the only sense of viðrløg in WN laws); and the WR title, Witherlax ræt, is correspondingly 'penal code'. As Sven says, it is not the same as his title, Lex castrensis sive curie. In the ordinances of King Kristofer from the 1250s (DR, 50-1) the withærlogh is the body of men subject to the household law. See A. D. Jørgensen 1876, 56-60.

5. legem castrensem ... militarem ... curiae; the usual meaning would be 'of the camp, military'. However, it appears from ch. 5 that by milites Sven means knights, and from the rest of the text that this is not a 'law of the camp'. Tertullian, De Corona, xii, used castrenses for palace attendants: 'There is also another kind of militia in the royal household, they are called castrenses.' Ducange, s.v, castrum (ad fin.), accepted that this was Sven's usage, and he has been followed here.

6. Absalon, son of Asser the Rich, was bishop of Roskilde 1158-92 and metropolitan archbishop of Lund 1178-1201.

7. Knut VI was bom in 1162. He was crowned as his father's heir on 25 June 1170, and ruled as sole king 1182-1202. He is primi Valdemari filius because Valdemar II, Knut's brother, was already eminent as duke before he succeeded him in 1202. Saxo attests that Knut made his first raid overseas in 1179 under Absalon's protection (GD, 521; EC, 576). There is no other evidence that Absalon fostered him in any formal sense. The word nutricius used by Sven meant 'nurse, fosterer' in classical Latin but acquired the sense of 'pupil' in Carolingian times. Theodricus (MHN, 9) uses it to correspond to ON fόstri: Hocon nutricius Halstani for Hákon Aðalsteinsfostri.

8. in matriculam conscripsit: matricula is 'muster-roll' in Vegetius, but it could mean any sort of list or scroll. Such rules came to be known as skrár after the material on which they were written. Sven's phrase is like ON setja á skrá, skrásetja, 'record in writing, enter in a list'. His next sentence recalls Alan of Lille's prologue to AC: Scribendi novi-tate vetus iuvenescere carta | Gaudet ...

9. The reference is either to Sven's lost genealogy or to HC itself. A sentence which could be Sven's was detected by Gertz, 112-14, 195, at the beginning of the late thirteenth-century Incerti Auctoris Genealogia, a work which owes something to HC. See Introduction, p. 27.

10. qui, quare et ubi: the interrogative mode of the law-schools, cf. e.g. Azo, 871. The same approach had also become a recognised part of rhetorical inventio; cf. e.g. Arbusow, 94, Lausberg, §§ 40-2.

11. tanquam leo frendens auitis potitus successibus: I have translated the last word as successionibus. The lion is from Isaiah 5: 25, and Proverbs 20: 2: 'The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.' In 1 Peter 5: 8 the raging lion is the Devil, but Knut VI and his successors used the shield of lions and hearts. King Sven is also called Tygeskeg, 'fork-beard', in CR, c. 1140, and Abbot William's Genealogy, c. 1193 (SM, i 19, 178); tjúguskegg in the Norwegian Ágrip of about the same date as the Genealogy.

12. Gerionem praecellens Hesperium: Aeneid, vii 662 and viii 202; Silius Italicus, i 277; Justin, xliv 4. The three-bodied monster slain by Hercules was usually celebrated for his monstrosity, not his valour. Peter of Blois (Ep. cxvii) used him as a type of the Devil, but others followed the note by Servius on Aeneid, vii 662, making him the amphibious ruler of the Balearic Isles. The Commentary on the First Six Books of the Aeneid, composed 1125-50 and attributed to Bernard Silvestris, says: 'We read that Geryon was a three-bodied monster, whom historians understand as having been a king who ruled three kingdoms' (Jones and Jones, Commentary, 75). In John of Genoa's Catholicon, a dictionary completed by 1286, he appears, s.n. Gereones, simply as 'a king of Spain '. Knut ruled five kingdoms, says Sven, which was more than Geryon. Gertz, HS, 4, n. 1, makes the unlikely suggestion that Sven merely confused Geryon with his slayer, Hercules.

13. par Alexandro: Gertz considered that Sven would have known of Alexander from one of the romances based on Pseudo-Callisthenes (on which see Cary, 24-61), but both Quintus Curtius and Walter of Chatillon were known to Saxo.

14. Finlandiam (A and S): rejected by Gertz, 154, as a misread semlandiam and as inherently improbable since Knut the Great had nothing to do with Finland. However, when Sven refers to Samland (the Königsberg peninsula in East Prussia ) in HC, he calls it Samia. 'Old' Knut may have had nothing to do with Finland, but young Knut VI sent raids there in 1191 and 1202. No expedition to Samland is known before Valdemar ITs raid of 1210, which falls somewhat outside the terminus ante of Sven's work (see Szacherska 1988). Finland should stand.

15. Oak-leaves, garlanded to reward heroes: see Ovid, Tristia, iv 8, 23; Lucan, Pharsalia, vi 427; Jones and Jones, Commentary, 123.

16. stemmatis titulis florere ...; cf. Sedulius Scottus, Carmina, ii 7, 55; LHL, 262: florenti stemmate fulget. Sven's distinction is not only by birth, but it implies that birth and wealth go together. Saxo fully accepts the coincidence of birth and valour in his Bjarkamál verses (clarissima Martem | Stemmataconfidunt), but he says nothing about this preliminary sifting, which has been seen as inspired by the nobiliary pretensions of the retainers of Sven's day. In the 1150s Sven III had advanced low-born men in his household, 'so that those he enriched might attribute their good fortune to the king's generosity rather than to their own birth' (GD, 388; EC, 381).

17. Gilded, or rather chased and inlaid, axe-heads of the Viking period survive, usually with silver or copper as the applied metal; the examples from Mammen and Bustorf are well known. See Graham- Campbell, 46, 49, 63-5, 244, 245. Plain axes were cheaper than swords; decoration made them acceptable as a status symbol, as borne by Godwin's shipmen in Florence of Worcester, s.a. 1040: gladium deauratis capulis renibus accinctum, Danicam securim auro argentoque redimitam ... Even Alexander the Great was served by men with the dacha bipennis in Alexandras, i 237.

18. A word famuiariter, unknown to the dictionaries, was here substituted by Gertz for familiariter in A, perhaps to avoid the repetition of familiaritas ... familiariter within the same clause. But Sven loves repetition.

19. si cetus eum ... comiteturherilis: echoes Aeneid, viii 462, gressumque canes comitantur herilem.

20. humana proclivis ambitioni conditio: see also n. 29 for another use of the phrase 'human condition', drawn from the Fathers, e.g. Jerome's Commentary on Jeremiah, i 1, 16, vitiis subiacet humana condicio.

21. subputeretur could also mean just 'calculated'. The figure of three thousand is conventional for a picked force: Riis, 230, n. 22, cites 1 Kings 13: 2; 24: 3; 26: 2; 1 Maccabees 9: 5. Gideon's was only three hundred, but that was after two selections. For Tinglith see Introduction, p. 12.

22. quorum ritus dissona … varietate discrepabant: echoes Martianus Capella, ii 102, dissonans discrepantia nationum nee diversi gentium ritus.

23. contectales: 'people living under the same roof, but usually 'married couple' (Niermeyer, s.v., and in Thietmar of Merseburg). Sven's contemporary, Jocelyn of Brakelond, has it for 'house-mate'. The preamble to Consiliatio Cnuti (SE English, c. 1110-30) also presented Knut as a unifier of dissonant customs: 'He decreed, after rational reflection, that as the realm of England was ruled by one king, so it should have one common law' (Liebermann, i 618).

24. Sven's fondness for the 'organological' model of society (see also n. 63 below) recalls John of Salisbury.

25. nisi pene ... praedpitium temperaret excessus (A): Gertz supplies enormitate, inspired by immanitate in S. Both seem too strong for the context.

26. quietis tranquilhtate: variation of pads', see p. 112, n. 46, below.

27. Øpi is a name compounded to form three Sælland Øverups and Øverød near Copenhagen. Eskil is a name that recurs in Sven's own family; see the Appendix, p. 141. Neither occurs in any English record of Knut's reign, and Saxo drops Eskil.

28. experientiae providentiam in A becomes experientiae propter evidentiam in Gertz's reconstruction. Knut selected Øpi and Eskil as his secretarii. That could mean as scribes, secretaries, notaries, porters, ushers, or confidants, but Sven seems not to have a written code in mind — he means they were close to the king.

29. ad transgressionis praedpitium humana sit proclivis conditio: cf. n. 25 above; Augustine, Enarratio in psalm. 145 (PL 37, 1897), Ubi finitur via peccatorum, praedpitium est.

30. singulis praevaricationis casibus accurata ... remedia: the commonplace 'law as medicine' is also in Knut VI's homicide ordinance: huic morbo providere curavimus medidnam.

31. A is very corrupt here, and X most imaginative. Following S, Gertz reads the meaningless Tuscani negotia as a misinterpretation of abbreviated transeamus negotia.

32. priscorum curiahum qui et nunc militari censetur nomine: now they were called riddare, once they were called huskarlaror hirdmenn. The literary evidence suggests that the knightly skills were found in Denmark from the early twelfth century, but the earliest royal charter to be attested by milites is dated 1177 (DD, iii: 1, no. 62). Whatever the term huskarlar had meant in the early eleventh century, by the late twelfth it chiefly meant 'servants', though in Norway, then and later, it was also used of the sworn retainers of kings and great men (cf. Edda Snorra, 162, where the author is describing the early thirteenth-century present, not the past). They are never mentioned in Danish sources except in the compound huskarlastefna; cf. n. 52 below. On housecarls in England see Hooper.

33. alieno cabalio, runcino, paiefrido, dextrario subvectus: four types of horse in ascending value, according to twelfth-century terminology. The cabailus was the plain work-horse, for ploughing or transport. The Vita of St William of Æbelholt has a story about an old roncinus, which began to amble with spirit when ridden by the abbot: evidently a quiet son of horse for an elderly clergyman (VSD, 333). But Abbot William also sent a magnificent 'golden-hued' Danish horse to Stephen of Toumai in 1179-85: the letters they exchanged suggest that Danish breeders knew the French market and would have labelled that horse palefridus. The army laws of Frederick Barbarossa draw a useful distinction: 'If a foreign knight shall come to the camp in peace, sitting on a palfrey without shield and arms, whoever harms him shall be judged a peace-breaker. If however he comes to the camp sitting on a destrier with his shield round his neck, his lance in his hand, whoever shallharm him has not broken the peace' (Rahewin, Gesta Friderici, iii, ch. 28). On Danish horses in German romance see Ohley. For the cooperative grooming Saxo offered a historical explanation: 'Whenever the king undertook a cavalry operation, the warriors who had no horses remained on duty to take turns in grooming them' (GD, 294; EC, 38). The author of WR ignored the whole matter. Sven may have had religious disciplines in mind, e.g. 'Let the brethren wait on one another in turn,' RB, ch. xxxv. Saxo also reminds his readers at this point that Knut waged war by sea oftener than by land, and an attempt has been made to relate the Vederlov to a naval rather than a knightly organization; see Hjärne, esp. 92-110. Sven seems unaware of this possibility.

34. utproporcione pociores etpriores loca capesserent digniora: Gertz's amendment of vtppote [sic] posiores etpriores ... in A, which seems unnecessary. A fixed seating order for hirðmenn is insisted on in Konungs skuggsjá, ch. 37 (tr. Larson 1917, 210), but the principle of allocation is not mentioned. Saxo simplifies it to date of enlistment (militiae vetustas), and adds that not even lateness could disqualify a man from his proper seat. The notion that Knut the Great sat down to dinner with 3000 men is absurd, but Saxo has Valdemar I dining in public with the regia clientela, c.1177, a force which he was able to assemble within his bed-chamber (GD, 506; EC, 554).

35. similem ... culpam par pena condempnat: a maxim which echoes Isidore's Sententiae: Neque enim erit impar supplicio cuius error quisque par est ac vitio (PL 83, 723), also cited c. 1090 by Bonizo in Liber de vita Christiana, 80. The earliest reference by a civilian appears to be in Godefroy's gloss on Novella, 121, ch. 4: Paribus delictis par imponenda est poena. Anders Sunesen, Hex., 6019, has maior poena maiori debits culpae.

36. Archbishop ÆIfheah was pelted with bones, and finally dispatched with an axe, by Thorkel's men in 1012, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (C, D, E, F). What Sven describes here is horseplay, not capital punishment. For other examples in Saxo and Hrólfs saga kraka see SG, ii 74, and Kock, 179-81.

37. communicabit: the change to the future indicative suggests that this is current custom, or about to become so. Again, it was old monastic practice: 'Let that brother who is found guilty of a more grievous offence be excluded from the table ... let none of the brothers consort with him ... separated from the companionship of all, let him eat alone, his portion of wine being taken from him' (RB, chs. xxv, xliii). The Lund Consuetudines (c.l 123) laid down that brothers who harm each other by word or deed should be separated from the common table, and be 'last of all in all places' (Cons. Lund., 149). For degradation after three offences cf. RB, ch. xxiii.

38. calumnie patronisare (A): calumnia is defined by some canonists as 'a plea or refutation which is definitely known to be unjust' (Bernard of Pavia, 30; but cf. n. 90 below). The verb patronisare is apparently not found elsewhere before 1382, and then in the sense of captaining a ship; see Ducange, s.v. The patrocinari of S is better: cf. OFr. patrociner, 'to plead at law'.

39. This provision against favouritism is not found in other versions of the Vederlov, but Saxo inveighs against current indiscipline in similar terms: qui culpae punitor esse debuerat, patronus existat (GD, 298; EC, 44). His target must be Vaidemar II.

40. A difficult sentence in A, not clarified by Gertz's emendations or by the paraphrase in S: 'But as the law had to tee settled on many matters. King Knut instigated it, and it originated from his princely authority. Moreover, he wanted so to suit himself to the wishes of the warriors by his merciful and gentle disposition that he himself might prescribe for them the pattern and the need for obedience'.

41. Placuit igitur exercitatus (A); reconstructed by Gertz as placuit igitur (regem) exerci(tu comi)tatum.

42. This injunction is put near the beginning of WR, and Saxo puts something similar in the mouth of King Athelstan of England (GD, 269; EC, 3-4). Sven's vultus hylaritatem exhibere reflects Proverbs 16: 15, In hilaritate vultus regis vita.

43. recumpensantes: rare, but found by Quicherat in Gregory the Great, Aldhelm and Bede.

44. Frustra ... exigit qui quod debet non impendit: another canonist's maxim. Frustra petit debitum qui quod debet non impendit is no. 35 in the brocards of Damasus (completed 1215-30).

45. principis maiestate illibata could mean 'without committing treason'. The crimen laesae maiestatis is invoked as early as c. 1140 in a charter-writ of King Erik III protecting the monks of Næstved (DD, i:2, no. 79), and in 1158-62 Valdemar I also threatened offenders against his maiestas in his charters for Esrum and Ringsted (DD, i:2, nos. 128, 131).

46. A reference both to the usual calendar and to the January festival of the pagan Romans. Isidore insisted that the church fasted on 1 Jan. propter errorem gentilitatis (De ecclesiasticis officiis, ch. 41; PL 83, 774), and the canonists anathematized those who celebrated the day ritu paganorum (Decretum, pt 2, causa xxvi, quaest. vii, cc. xv-xvi).

47. Saxo dates the discharge as the first of the Kalends of Jan., WR similarly as the eighth evening of Yule (i.e. after nones on 31 Dec.).

48. causis hujusmodiincantationis antidotum: 'enchantment' ('Dølgesang', HS, 13) fits here, but it may be that we should take it that the remedy was inspired by Ovid's song cited below, cf. n. 49, and Sven's phrase rendered 'antidote from the Song'. In Valdemar IV's privilege for Malmö (1360) incantare is used to mean 'warn, give notice' in the legal sense (DGK, 30), but a 'remedial summonsing' here in Sven would be too clumsy.

49. From Ovid, Remedia Amoris, 91-2: Principiis obsta ... It is also cited at the beginning of the Vita (c.1230) of St William of Æbelholt (VSD, 302).

50. This next sentence is not from Ovid, who took the opposite view in Ex Ponto, ii 2,59: Vulnus id genus est... Gertz detected a debt to John of Salisbury's Policraticus, iv 8 (ed. Webb, i 262), but the sentiment is also in the prologue to the Decreti and Panormia (c.1096) of Ivo of Chartres: et nunc ferro secat, cui fomento subvenire non poterat (PL 161, 48); cf, Sven: Ferro enim resecanda suntvulnera, que fomentorum non senserunt medicinam (SM, i 76).

51. iniuriam viz. inferendo: for a fuller definition of personal affronts and actionable insults see e.g. the Norwegian Gulathing Law, chs. 195-6 (NGL, i 69-70).

52. Huskarlastefna: 'muster of retainers', like the Norw. hirðstefna, the house-meeting of the king's followers. This has been seen as the embryo of the Danish parliament (danehof) by e.g. Riis, 256-60, and as the equivalent of the supposed 'thing' of the London þingamenn: for objections see p. 12 above. Saxo avoids giving the court a name and refers to it simply as concio, 'assembly'; but Sven means to insist on the exclusive jurisdiction of this court over members of the household.

53. Witterlog mannæ (A): Saxo deals with the procedure for the prosecution of lesser offences only in connexion with the plea of wrongful displacement at table. Thus the citation of the two proxime circumsedentes as oath-helpers to the plaintiff appears to relate to this kind of charge rather than to others (see n. 61 below). Cf. the Schleswig Law, ch. 15 (DGK, i 6), for a burgher's purgation with 'five neighbours chosen three from his right-hand side and two from his left'. The procedure agrees in principle with the provisions of the Gulathing Law, ch. 187 (NGL, i 68), 'On quarrelling in an ale-house', except that the accused's immediate table-mates (sessar) or his messmates (mötunautar) or his nearby table-mates (násessar) were cited in that order for the defence, or failing them men from among the drinkers in general; and if convicted he paid fifteen marks to the king and double compensation to the injured.

54. There is no provision for rebutting the charge. Saxo (GD, 295; EC, 40) made much of this omission, as proof of the inflexible veracity of the ancients.

55. constitutione... generali cautum est: the civilians (and the canonists) distinguished between the general and the personal constitutio. In this context the distinction is not obviously useful, although the provisions for the treatment of the nithing might perhaps have qualified as personal.

56. controversia de fundis et agris: not in Saxo, but WR, ch. 8, begins Of iortha dela ær. Sven may have had ODan. iorth oc akær in mind-

57. According to Valdemar II's Jutland Law (ii, ch. 44; DGL, ii 219), boran is 'when a man enters another man's enclosure and takes away any of his cattle or clothes or weapons or anything else to the value of half a mark in money.' It is one of several varieties of ran, or daylight robbery. In civil courts, conviction meant compensating the injured party and paying three marks to the king.

58. ius venditionis (A and S): emended by Gertz, following Kinch, 260, to ius vendi(ca)tionis, the Roman law action respecting title to property, as in Digest, 44, 7, 24, and Azo, 215, on Institutes, iv, tit. vi, c. 15, defining vindicatio and condictio.

59. in suo cetu, id est fjarthing: this fourth part of the bird must therefore have consisted of more than seven men, but this makes the total size of the force in Sven's day no easier to calculate, pace Skyum-Nielsen, 205 and n. 13. WR, § 4, says that a man should be summoned in his sveet and in his fiarthing: no proof that sveet was a subdivision of the fiarthing. ON sveit is a common and early word for a band of men, later conventionally numbered at a dozen; cf. Hjärne, 85, 100, and Kinch, 275-6.

60. prescriptionem ... tueatur: in Roman law a title based on 30 years' occupation, but Anders Sunesen used the word to express Dan. hævd, a claim to land made good by three years' possession, like the Roman usucapio', see Azo, 215 and 770, and for the canonist view of prescription, Bernard of Pavia, 53-6; for de prescripcione in Scanian law see DGL, i:2, 510. Saxo says nothing of these property cases.

61. These oath-helpers are the sessar of Norwegian law; see n. 53 above. The vetus constitutio must be the rules prior to Absalon's codification, rather than an imaginary reconstruction of the precepts of Øpi the Wise.

62. humani sanguinis insidiator, prosperitatis emulus, iusticie calumniator: Satan is called insidiator by Anders Sunesen, Hex., 6219, one among many including Gregory the Great. Anders Sunesen was also to blame 'the enemy of the human race' for the homicidal tendencies of the Danes in his Scanian laws, ch. 43 (DGL, i:2, 552).

63. The 'organological' model again; see n. 24 above. Aconite, or wolf's bane, was best known from Ovid, Metamorphoses, vii 416-19, where Medea attempts to poison Theseus with this herb.

64. iracundie accensus furore: another parallel with Alexander the Great who, according to Seneca, Ep. 113, 'though victor over so many kings and peoples, fell victim to anger.' In Saxo's version of the story Knut was drunk.

65. ambigua sententia ... indulgentia: the quaestio is an interesting one, bearing in mind the maxim that 'the rank of the offender aggravates the offence' (Damasus, rule no. 62) and the Roman law presumption in favour of the prince's immunity. In his note on Saxo's book ten Stephanius noted how many ancient legislators were supposed to have broken their own laws: Lycurgus, Pericles, Solon, Zaleucus of Locris, Charondas the Thurian, Tennes of Sidon. Peter of Blois reminded Henry II that 'even Alexander the Great was fearlessly prosecuted by his fellow-soldiers before a military tribunal and condemned' (Ep. 95; PL 207, 302). However, Sven may be arguing for the accountability of kings, or he may be inventing a precedent for the indulgence shown to his own grandfather later on in ch. 12. He may be building on the well-known story that Knut had ordered the killing of his own follower, Ulf Jarl; but that tale involves payment of compensation, to Ulf's widow, Knut's sister, who afterwards apportioned it 'as a tithe' to Trinity church in Roskilde (so in Saxo, GD, 293, EC, 36; straight to the church in which Ulf was killed in Snorri's Óláfs saga helga, ch. 145 in Den store Saga, ch. 153 in Heimskringla). Cf. n. 67 below.

66. ne in poslerum traheretur inconsequentiam (A): Gertz emended the last word to inde consequentiam, in which case it would mean 'so that no consequence was to be drawn from it in future', i.e., that it was not to serve as a precedent. However, inconsequentia occurs in Quintilian, and the prospect of men drawing the 'wrong' conclusion from the king's self-abasement needed to be averted.

67. In Saxo's version the homicide is expiated by a royal submission to the court, followed by a verdict that the king should punish himself. Knut paid a huge fine of 360 marks of silver plus nine marks of gold, to be divided equally among the king, the warriors and the kinsmen of the victim. The king assigned his share to the church. This is a brash distortion of the story Sven tells about his own grandfather in ch. 12, which Saxo omits.

68. nithingsorth: ON níðingsorð or níðingsnafn, the name of utter vileness incurred on conviction of quite a large category of crimes in Norway; see the Gulathing Law, ch, 178 (NGL, i 66). The name of nithing occurs less frequently in Danish codes, but the outlaw status that went with it was the ordinary penalty for varieties of aggravated homicide, rape and arson specified in the ordinances of Knut VI and Valdemar II and in Anders Sunesen's Scanian laws, ch. 63 (DGL, i:2, 552, 721, 732). The name also went with expulsion from the Odense gild.

69. in sequentibus clarius edocebimus: the reference is to HC, see p. 64, where Sven claims that Harthaknut was not in fact harsh or cruel but was named after the province where he was born. Knut is called 'old' Knut in three sets of annals; see DMA, 83, 161, 268.

70. Nicolaus reigned from 1103/4 to 1134. According to Saxo (GD, 342; EC, 108), he reduced his ordinary guard to a detail of six or seven warriors; according to Knýtlinga saga, ch. 94, he maintained a larger following later.

71. Christiernus Suenonis filius: Kristiarn was apparently a magnate in Jutland, an open enemy of King Nicolaus in the civil war of 1131-4, and a king-maker in 1137 (GD, 360-1,367,371; EC, 134-6,350,356). In HC, ch. 14, Sven relates that, after losing the battle of Rønbjerg in 1132, Kristiam was captured by Nicolaus and imprisoned at Schleswig. He was held in irons, the deepest insult of all. After 1134, according to Saxo, he advised Erik II to murder his nephews, for reasons of security.

72. Turidokæ (A), Thukonem Dokæ (S), Thura Doka (WR): Thuri cannot be identified. Tilnavne, s.n., identifies his by-name as either the Frisian personal name Doke or as ON doki, 'strip', but the latter is a nonexistent word, see Fritzner IV, s.v. Thuri's addition might be the same as ON dokka, 'windlass; doll', found as a by-name in Norway; see Personbinamn, 62. Was this the first wounding between the king's men, or the first mitigation of the penalty of outlawry?

73. Asser was archbishop and metropolitan from 1104 to his death in 1137. All contemporary sources confirm Sven's view of his importance.

74. Sven was bishop of Viborg 1133-53. He cannot have been bishop at the time of this incident, which must predate the civil war of 1131-4.

75. The Cistercian author of the Exordium Magnum records that Eskil and his brothers inter ... proceres post regem videbantur sublimiores, and that Eskil fought for King Erik Ernune and died on pilgrimage about 1153-4 (SM, ii 437-9).

76. Sueno filius (A), Sveno filius Trugoti (S), Swen Thrundason (WR): see the Appendix on Sven Aggesen's family, p. 141.

77. Wandalum (A), af Wtenla (WR): i.e. from Vendel or Vendsyssel, the northern extremity of Jutland. Freeman called him 'Boethius the Wend'.

78. taxatio humana: not here in the civil law sense of a 'delimiting clause', but as in Anders Sunesen, Hex., 2866-9: 'certain things cannot by right be bought or sold, since there is no taxatio justa of their value ...' Thus, 'scale, tariff' (of compensations).

79. opere precium: a cliche of medieval latinists, including Theodricus (MHN, 3) and Abbot William of Æbelholt (SM, i 176).

80. gyrsum: ON gersemi, gørsemi, 'jewel, costly and precious thing'. The term is not used in WN or Swedish laws but is explained in Valdemar II's Jutland Law as a payment added to bot to placate the more powerful kinsmen of the injured party (DGL, ii 190, 395-6). Stephanius, 186, noted the proverb, 'Awe makes most gørsum'. In the Scanian Law it is called iwirbøther (cf. WN yfirbœtr) and came to 262/3 silver marks over the 30 mark mantzboodth (DGL, i:2, 755). In the 1284 Schleswig Law gørsum of one gold mark was payable in addition to the bot for homicide (DGK, i 4). King Erik's Sælland Law refers to the stranded whales and sturgeon that belonged to the king' s household as gørsums fisk (DGL, v 354). The tripling of the normal bot of 40 marks for homicide is also found in the ordinances of King Abel and King Kristofer (apparently issued 1251-9) which laid down that 'if a hirdman (decuriori) kills another hirdman, he shall be obliged to pay compensation for homicide three times over, and three sums of forty marks, so that he hands over the first to the heirs of the slain man, the second to the king, and the third to the community of the court' (DR, 44). The same applied to wounding. Here, however, Sven says nothing of the nature of the sums paid by Kristiarn: they are pena, sarisfactio and emendatio, without distinction. It may be that he takes the payment of ordinary compensation for wounding for granted. If this really was the law in the royal household before 1200, it served as a model for the aggravation of penalties for homicide found in the royal ordinances after that date and introduced to the provincial laws. Anders Sunesen complained that in the older law of Scania the payment for homicide never exceeded fifteen marks (DGL, i:2, 522); but in the new law, aggravated homicides incurred additional payments of 80 marks (DGL, i:2, 550). Saxo applies the compensation-story to the account of Knut the law-breaker, and raises the sum to 360 marks plus nine gold marks (GD, 297-8; EC, 43). Thus he sees the payment as sui generis, not as a precedent: a sign of royal magnanimity rather than of royal weakness, as in Sven.

81. The allocation of the third payment to the rest of the warriors anticipates the ordinances of King Abel and King Kristofer (see n. 80 above) and is paralleled by the rules of the gild of St Knut at Flensburg, chs. 4 and 30; see Nyrop, 8. 12.

82. Cf. p. 88, n. 20, above.

83. Aggi thuer (A), Aggo Thuer (S), Aggi Thwer (WR): presumably ODan. thuær, 'cross, contrary', perhaps in the sense 'gaaende paa tværs, skjev'; cf. Tilnavne, s.n. Thwer.

84. Esgi Ebbonis filium in Warwath function viliicatione (A), Æsgi Ebbesun Bryte aff Wartwik (WK); i.e., he was bailiff or reeve in charge of Varde, a royal manor and administrative centre 25 miles NW of Ribe in West Jutland. Ebbe villicus witnessed King Nicolaus's grant of a share in the Lønborg fishery to the Odense churches (DD, i:2, no. 34): Esger's father? Esger's membership of the household is evidence that it included administrative officials, or that members of the household were appointed to act as such; see N. C.Hansen, 89-90. Esger was sub regis ascella (A); for the sense of 'wing, protection' for ascella, 'armpit', see Blaise, 99.

85. in Burgh, in Guidonis ede stabularii (A), at Withe Staller i Byrgh (WR): 'Wide' the staller, with the stallers 'Johannes' and 'Wolff, witnessed King Nicolaus's privilege for StKnut's at Odense (1 104-17; DD, i:2, no. 32). Borg is too common a place-name element for identification, but there is a strong argument for believing it was the hall at Nonnebakken in Odense ; see N. C. Hansen, 84-9.

86. in Lymum (A), in Lynum (S), i Limum (v.l. Lund) (WR): identified as Lime or Lihme, which lies off Venø Bugi at the west end of the Limfjord in North Jutland, in Rødding herred in Sailing. That must be the place, for in the 1 170s another Bo Ketilsen was living at Lime; see N. C. Hansen, 84.

87. Saxo emphasizes the indiscipline and degeneracy of modern warriors about the court, and blames 'the princes of our time', i.e. Knut VI and Valdemar II, for their tolerance and partiality. Here, Sven seems to be alluding to tensions within the household resulting from the civil wars of 1131-57.

88. Blows with the fist or a stick were highly actionable in Danish civil law, classed as Stangehug. Both the Scanian laws and Valdemar's Sjælland Law made all violence against the person without weapons liable to a three-mark fine, and the charge could only be rebutted by a twelve-man oath. If an attack with a stick had been sworn to by two men, it could only be denied by going to the ordeal; otherwise the bot was of six marks. According to Anders Sunesen, 'more shame accompanies the beaten man from the rod than the wounded man from the wound' (DGL, i:2, 560). Saxo states that blows finally became subject to compensation payment, but not blows with a stick 'because this was how dogs were driven off, and our proud ancestors attached deep disgrace to a shameful blow' (GD, 297; EC, 42).

89. eius pedibus geniculari: geniculor in the sense of 'kneel' is postclassical; S prefers the more classical pedibus advolveretur. Saxo says nothing of this.

90. cum sex commilitionibus suam aboleat infamiam (A): Saxo agrees; WR mentions the siax manna eth only in connexion with charges of boran or property claims. Is qui calumniatur: 'he who has brought a claim' rather than a 'false claim'; see Holberg, 271, and Eskil's Villingerød charter of 1176-4 (DD, i:2, no. 184) for a lawful calumpnia by a canon of Lund.

91. aut sciens aut ignarus (A): Saxo has less to say about this class of offence, but Anders Sunesen discusses it in his Scanian laws, ch. 67: 'If anyone wounds another by chance ... the injured party shall not receive less than the whole compensation on that account, because it cannot lessen the injury that it was inflicted by chance rather than by design ... but nothing is owed for this to the king or the bishop.' If challenged by the king's or bishop's officer, the accused can establish his innocence by a twelve-man oath including himself and the injured party (DGL, i:2, 662). The Old Serpent who is blamed for this problem by Sven was tracked by Gertz to Revelations 12: 9 and 20:2. Among many other contexts, he occurs in prayers for the reconsecration of violated churches and cemeteries in the Lund Pontifical (Strömberg, 106, 151).

92. According to Saxo, six oath-helpers were needed to establish inadvertent injury.

93. iuxta formam pretaxatam (X): i.e. by kneeling before the injured party.

94. ignorantia a transgressionis (peccato) non excusare (X): Gertz inserted peccato but reatu (S) seems better: this is a question of liability, not of sin. The maxim is common to many legal systems; Leges Henrici Primi, ch. 90, 11a, claims that 'it is a rule of law that a person who unwittingly commits a crime shall wittingly make amends,' and cites an OE saw to the same effect.

95. Here Gertz inserted a passage, which may be translated: 'that all the warriors serving together in the household must know each other. For that is dealt with in the general ordinance by which it is ordered that ...' The second sentence he took from S. The preceding passage appears to be his own invention but, as he admits, it is an improbable rule (Gertz, 152). The whole in S reads: 'For by the same laws it was forbidden that any man should smirch the flower of military renown with the soot of ignorance. For it is fitting to live honourably, and men of noble blood should not blacken titles of honour with slothful ignorance. Therefore it was determined by a general ordinance that ...' This is awkward too, but may be just as close to the original as X.

96. omnes controversial quae legum discisione stint divisae (A): discissio makes little sense here, but Gertz keeps it; S reads decisio. I suggest a misread legum discussions, in the common ecclesiastical sense of 'trial'; see Niermeyer, s.v.

97. The last word of the sentence is missing in A. Gertz proposed gradum or culmen to agree with u/timum; Kroman preferred cumulum. The ladder of sin is in A, and may be traced from Pseudo-Augustine, for example, although in quite a different sense from Sven's; 'We make a ladder of our vices, if we tread down the vices themselves' (Sermon 176, 4; PL 38, 2082). All other authors, including St Bernard, see the steps of sin as leading downwards; this may be one of Sven's misunderstandings (cf. n. 107).

98. principis suiperditionem vel mortem ... aggreditur machinari: Sven does not name the crimen laesae maiestatis here, pace Fenger 1989,51; the words occur in the chapter-title in S and in the passage supplied by Gertz to make good the following gap in A and S (see n. 101).

99. WR has iudas wærk at winna meth ill rath gen herra sinum; Saxo si maiestati insidias stwxisset. Inspired by WR, Gertz reconstructed quod inde proditoris in A as quod Jude proditoris. This makes good sense. It does not follow that 'Judas's work' was a common phrase for treachery (it occurs nowhere else), but it seems rather that the Danish author of the WR was translating Sven as best he could. See p. 16 above for the significance of Judas, who appeared as the type of treason and regicide in the legenda both of St Knut of Odense and of St Knut of Ringsted (VSD, 114, 116, 151, 198,214).

100. The old Scanian Law, ch. 90 (DGL, i:l, 69), states that the outlaw loses all his goods to the king but not his lands. Anders Sunesen's version, ch. 62 (DGL, i:2, 553), claims that 'in a certain case, the real estate as well as the moveables are awarded to the king's majesty, that is, when anyone dares to enter the kingdom with hostile intent to attack the king.' This is probably a case of clarification rather than innovation. As Riis has pointed out, there are examples of the confiscation of lands for treason going back, in his opinion, to the 1140s. I would suggest further back still, to the 1120s, with the disinheriting and degradation of Jarl Elef as related in Saxo (GD, 344-5; EC, 112).

101. A gap in both A and S at this point is filled by Gertz with a lengthy text confected from Saxo and WR, see Gertz, 44. Saxo's version of the outlawry procedure for graver crimes, including treason, involves three summonses of the accused, an unanswerable attestation of guilt by only two accusers, and a verdict by the whole court. Then the condemned man could choose to depart by land or sea. If by sea, then he was given a boat, food, water, sail and oars. WR, § 4, implies that, on me contrary, the accused could clear himself by going to the ordeal. Whatever the procedure described by Sven, it probably differed little from Saxo's, and was omitted as giving the accused rights curtailed by the legislation of the 1250s, e.g. to an oral summons, superseded by literae ammonitoriae in DR, 45.

102. Favonii favornon affuerit (X), Favonio non favente (S), favoni favor non faverit (A): A is clumsy but should stand: the alliteration and repetition are typical. Favonius just means 'a light, unsteady wind' in Thesaurus Novus, 224.

103. temo quasi classici clangore (X), classico clangore (A and S). Sven evidently intended to liken the yell to the classicum, 'battle trumpet or signal', as in Aeneid, ii 313, vii 637. This rough music is like, but not the same as, the vapnatak, outlawry of a man 'by words, and the clashing and rattle of weapons', described in the Scanian laws (DGL i:1, 112, i:2, 592).

104. si in solo natali extiterit (X): this phrase suggests that the accused was not given the choice of exile as in Saxo (terra profugere maiuisset), but made to float if overseas and take to the wilds if in Denmark.

105. King Erik's Sjælland Law gave the fugitive outlaw the rest of the day and all night to escape into the woods. After that he could be chased or killed (DGL, v 93).

106. Literally, 'shall incur the penalty of throwing out with the word of shameful naming' — probose nuncupationis in S. Saxo repeated this provision, which is in the spirit of his imaginary laws of King Frothi: 'He also ruled that any of the military who sought a name for proven courage must attack a single opponent, take on two, evade three by stepping back a short distance, and only be unashamed when he ran from four adversaries' (GD, 133; PF, 148). In his LC he added to the ceremonies of outlawry a solemn curse by the bishops of Knut's three kingdoms (DR, 39).

107. The image illustrates Priscian's Quanto iuniores, tanto perspicatiores (Institutes, prol.), and was ascribed to Bernard of Chartres (d. 1130) by John of Salisbury (Metalogicon, iii 4). It was used by Alan of Lille in the prologue to AC and by Peter of Blois (Ep., 92; PL 207, 290), and Otto of Freising explained it at length in the preface to book five of the Chronicle of Two Cities. Sven sees himself as a superannuated dwarf, unsupported by the gigantic learning of the Ancients, which will be at the disposal of his successors. Or perhaps, as Gertz imagined, he is saying to those successors: 'It is certainly possible that you can put the theme on which I have written into a finer and more decorative Latin style than I have achieved: but you owe the whole foundation to me1 (HS, 29 n. 1, and Gertz, 158 n.). The passage is not in S.

108. verborum scematibus oratione ... falerata (X): Gertz was reminded of Quintilian's schemata orationis (Institutes, bi 1, l )andof thephaterata dicta of Terence's Phormio, I 500 (3, 12, 16). This is another commonplace: cf. Geoffrey of Monmouth's disclaimer, tametsi infra alienos ortulos falerata verba non collegerim, and rhetoricis fucata schematibus in the prologue of De profectione Danorum (SM, ii 459). Kinch made the unlikely deduction that Sven used the adj. phaleratus, lit. 'ornamented on breast and head', of his oratio, because he was a knight in armour rather than a cleric: demolished by Holberg, 268-9. Sven's own real or assumed modesty, and his insistence on harmony, decorum, and restraint among the knights, cast doubt on Jaeger's claim, 136-7, that 'the vocabulary and concepts of courtliness' are entirely Saxo's contribution to the Vederlov and that 'there is no trace of them in the text of Sven Aggesen.'


1. Ace. pi. with suffixed article, witherloghen, may here mean simply 'the penalties'; cf. p. 86, n. 4. Witherlag, -log is used both of the law that bound the body of retainers and of that body itself; it is kept in the translation and is to be understood according to context.

2. rætta ... rætheligha male therra: 'hand over readily their pay'. The verb rætta is not construed with a dat. object and male is best taken as the relic of an original mala, ace. sg. of mail, 'contracted pay, esp. for military service' (cf. p. 80, n. 36). (The form male was perhaps influenced by at førsta male, 'first', in the opening clause of the sentence.) This word does not seem to appear in dictionaries of older Danish but is common in early Swedish and WN sources. Cf. von Schwerin, 195 and n. 2 there for refs. The clause in WR then answers in all brevity to Sven' s: Opere precium etiam fuit adnectere, ut stipendia militibus suis, cum usus uel necessitas postuiauisset, sine mora omnique contradictions remota ministraret... (p. 36 above).

3. The numbers in, and even the distinction between, these 'company' and fjarthing divisions of the Witherlag are uncertain. Cf. p. 94, n. 59.

4. skulde han ... latæ after sigia thiæneste sin meth twa witherlaghæ mæn: the same construction as in § 4 above: skulde han [the king] ... meth twa witherlagha men latæ hannum ... stefna. On the timing cf. p. 92, n. 47.

5. The text has pi. men.

6. On boran see p. 93, n. 57.

7. (Kristiarn, Aggi) 'used a weapon on': here and at the beginning of the next paragraph for the indeterminate hio of the text.

8. On gørsom see p. 97, n. 80.

9. vnder Niclis kunungs arm: this looks like a literal translation of Sven's sub regis ascella Nicolai (p. 41) but perhaps by someone who did not understand ascella in its postulated metaphorical sense (p. 98, n. 84). At least, there appears to be no record of an idiom 'under someone's arm' in the early Scandinavian languages meaning 'under someone's protection, wing' (pace Alboge, 309), though the phrase undirhendi e-s in that sense is well attested. On Borg see p. 98, n. 85.


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