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implies this fact; for he introduces there a notice of the positions of the Scythians (1), and derives the Goths from them (2); and mentions Ptolemy's description of the world (3). But it is in his Orosius that the extent of his researches is most displayed. The first part of his original is a geographical summary of the nations and kingdoms of the world in the fifth century. Alfred has interspersed in this some few particulars (4), which prove that he had sought elsewhere for the information he loved. Having done this, he goes beyond his original, and inserts a geographical review of Germany, as it was peopled in his time; which is not only curious as coming from his pen, and as giving a chorographical map of the Germanic continent of the ninth century, which is no where else to be met with at that period; but also as exhibiting his enlarged views and indefatigable intellect. No common labour must have been exerted to have collected, in that illiterate age, in which intercourse was so rare and difficult, so much geographical information. It is too honourable to his memory to be omitted in this delineation of his intellectual pursuits.

Alfred's notitia of

"Then north against the source of the Donua (Danube), Germany. and to the east of the Rhine, are the East Francan; south of them are the Swæfas (Swabians); on the other part of the Danube, and south of them, and to the east, are the Bægthware (Bavarians), in the part which men call Regnes-burh (5) ̊; right east of them are the Beme (Bohemians); and to the north-east the Thyringas (Thuringians); north of them are the Eald Seaxan; and north-west of them are the Frysan (Frisians).

"West of the Eald Seaxan is the mouth of the Elfe river (the Elbe), and Frysland; and thence west-north, is that land which men call Angle and Sillende (Zealand), and some part of Dena (Denmark); north of them is Apdrede (6); and east-north the Wilds that men call Efeldan; and east of them is Wineda land, that men call Sysyle (Silesians), and south-east over some part Maroaro (the Moravians); and these Maroaro have west of them the Thyringas and Behemas (Bohemians), and half of the Bavarians; south of them, on the other half of the river Danube, is the land Carendre (Carinthia). South to the mountains that men call Alpis. To these same mountains lie the boundaries of the Bavarian's land, and Swabians: and

(1) Alfred's Boet. p. 39.

(3) Ibid, p. 38. He enlarges on Boetius's account of Etna.

(4) Thus, Orosius says, Asia is surrounded on three sides by the ocean. Alfred adds, on the south, north, and cast. What Orosius calls "our sea," meaning the Mediterranean, Alfred names Wendel sæ. Sarmaticus, he translates sermondisc. O. speaks of Albania. A. says it is so named in Latin, “and we hy hatath nu Giobene." O. mentions the boundaries of Europe; A. gives them in different phrases, mentions the source of the Rhine and Danube, and names the Cwæn sæ. Speaking of Gades, he adds, "On thæm ilcan Wendel sæ on hyre Westende is Scotland." He adds also of the Tygris, that it flows south into the Red Sea. Several little traits of this sort may be observed.

(5) Ratisbon; the Germans call it Regensburgh. The modern names added to this extract are from J. R. Forster's notes. I have in this, as in all the extracts from Alfred's works, made the translation as literal as possible, that his exact phrases may be seen.

(6) The Obotritæ settled in Mecklenburgh.

(2) Ibid. p. 1.

then by the east of Carendra land, beyond the deserts, is Pulgara land (Bulgaria); east of this is Creca land (Greece); east of Marcoro land is Wisleland (1); east of this is Datia, where formerly were the Gottan (the Goths).


North-east of Maroara are the Dulamensan (2); and east of the Dalomensan are the Horithi; and north of the Dalomensan are the Surpe (3), and west of them are the Sysele. North of the Horiti is Magthalond; and north of Magthalande is Sermende (the Sarmata), to the Riffin (Riphæan) mountains..

"South-west of the Denum is that arm of the ocean which lieth about the land Brittannia, and north of them is that arm of the sea which men call Ost Sea (4). To the east of them, and to the north of them, are the North Dene, both on the greater lands and on the islands; and east of them are the Afdrede; south of them is the mouth of the river Elfe, and some part of Eald Seaxna.

"The North Dene have on their north that same arm of the sea which men called Ost; and east of them are the Osti (3) nation, and Afdrede on the south. The Osti have on the north of them the same arm of the sea, and the Winedas and Burgendas (6); and south of them are the Hæfeldan.

"The Burgendan have the same arm of the sea west of them, and the Sweon (Swedes) on the north; east of them are the Sermende; south of them are the Surfe. The Sweon have to the south of them the Osti arm of the sea; east of them are the Sermende; and north over the wastes is Cwenland; north-west are the Scride Finnas; and west, the Northmenn."

Such is the notitia of Germany, which Alfred had inserted in his Orosius. As it displays the ideas of an inquisitive king, on the positions of the German nations in the ninth century, it is valuable to geographers.

To this delineation of Germany, Alfred adds an interesting account of the voyage of Ohthere towards the North Pole (7), and of the voyage of Wulfstan in the Baltic. As it is the king's composition, and gives a curious sketch of several nations in the ninth century, we think it a duty to insert it.

"Ohthere said to his lord, king Ælfred, that he abode the northmost of all the Northmen. He declared that he abode on those lands northward against the West Sea. He said, that that land is very long to the north,

(1) Wisleland is that part of Poland which is commonly called Little Poland, for here the Vistula rises, which in Polish is called Wisla.

(2) Dalamensæ are those Sclavonians who formerly inhabited Silesia from Mora via, as far as Glogau, along the Oder. Wittekind calls them Sclavi Dalamanti.

(3) The Sorabi, Sorbi, or Sorvi, who lived in Lusatia, and Misnia, and part of Brandenburgh and Silesia, below Glogau; their capital was Soraw, a town which still exists. I vary the orthography as the MS. does.

(4) The Germans have for the Baltic no other name than the Ost Sea.

(5) The same whom Wulfstan calls the Estum. The northernmost part of Livonia still bears the name of Estland.

(6) Bornholm, the contraction of Borgundeholm, Wulfstan calls Burgundaland. (7) Whoever now reads Ohthere's voyage will hardly think it possible that any one could have so mistaken it, as to say it was a voyage to discover a northern passage to the East Indies. Yet so Mallet and Voltaire have represented or rather misrepresented it.

and is all waste, except in few places: the Finnas dwell scattered about; they hunt in winter, and in summer they fish in the sea.

"He said, that on some occasion he wished to find out how long that land stretched to the north, or whether any man abode to the north of those wastes. Then went he right north of those lands, leaving the waste land all the way on the starboard, and the wide sea on the back-board (larboard). He was for three days as far north as the whale-hunters farthest go. Then went he yet right north as far as he might sail for three other days; the land bent there right east, or the sea in on that land, he knew not whether; but he knew, that he there expected a west wind, or a little to the north. He sailed thence east of the land, so as he might in four days sail. Then should he there abide a right north wind, because that land inclined right south, or the sea in on that land, he knew not whether. (He knew not whether it was a mere bay or the open sea.)

"Then sailed he thence right south of the land, so as he might in five days sail. Then lay there a great river up in that land. Then returned they up from that river, because they durst not sail forth on that river from hostility, for that land was all inhabited on the other side of the river. Nor had he met before any inhabited land, since he went from his own home, but to him all the way was waste land on the starboard, except the fishers, fowlers, and hunters; and these were all Finnas on his larboard, there was a wide sea.

"The Beormas had very well inhabited their land, and he durst not come there; but Terfinna land was all waste, except where the hunters, or the fishers, or the fowlers settled.

"The Beormas told him many accounts both of their own lands and of the lands that were about them; but he knew not what was truth, because he did not see it himself. He thought the Finnas and the Beormas nearly spoke one language. He went chiefly thither to each of these lands looking for the horse-whales, because they have very good bone in their teeth. He brought some of the teeth to the king; the hides are very good for ship ropes. These whales are much less than the other whales; they are not longer than seven ells long.

"On his own land are the best whales hunted; they are forty-eight ells long, and the largest fifty ells. Of these, he said, that he was one of six who slew sixty in two days.

"He was a very wealthy man in those possessions that be their wealth; that is, in wild deer. He had then yet when he sought the king 600 unbought tame deer; these deers they call hranas (rein-deer). There were six decoy hranas; they are very dear amid the Finnas, because they take the wild hranas with them.

"He was amid the first men in those lands, though he had not more than twenty horned cattle, and twenty sheep, and twenty swine; and the little that he ploughed, he ploughed with horses. But their wealth is most in those gafol that the Finnas pay to them. These gafol are in deer-skins, and in birds' feathers, and whales' bones, and in the ship-ropes that be made of the whales' hides, and of seals.

"Every one pays according to his birth. The best born (or richest) shall pay fifteen martens' skins, and five hranas, and one bear skin, and ten ambra of feathers, and a kyrtel of bears' or otters' skin, and two

ship-ropes, each to be sixty ells long; some are made of whales' hide, some of seals.

"He said, that Northmanna land was very long and very small; all that men could use of it for pasture or plough lay against the sea, and even this is in some places very stony. Wild moors lay against the east, and along the inhabited lands. In these moors the Finnas dwell.

"The inhabited land is broadest eastward, but northward becomes continually smaller. Eastward, it may be sixty miles broad, or a little broader; midway, thirty or broader; and to the north, he said, where it was smallest, it might be three miles broad to the moors. The moors are in some places so broad, that a man might be two weeks in passing over them. In some places their breadth was such that a man might go over them in six days.

"Even with these lands, southward, on the other side of the moors is Sweo-land; to that land, northward, and even with those northward lands, is Cwenaland. The Cwenas make depredations, sometimes on the Northmen over the moors (sometimes the Northmen on them); and there are many great fresh lakes over these moors, and the Cwenas carry their ships overland to the lakes, and thence plunder the Northmen. They have ships very little and very light.

“Ohthere said, the shire was called Halgoland that he abode in. He declared that no man abode north of him. There is one port on the southward of these lands; this men call Sciringes-heale; thither he said a man might not sail in a month, if he rested at night, and every day had a favourable wind : all the while he shall sail by the land and on the starboard, the first to him would be Iraland, and then the islands that are betwixt Iraland and this land; then is this land till he comes to Sciringesheale.

"All the way on the larboard is Norway; against the south of Sciringesheale a very great sea falleth upon that land. It is broader than any man may see over. Gotland is opposite on the other side, afterwards Sillende. The sea lieth many hundred miles up in on that land.

"He said, he sailed from Sciringes-heale in five days to that port which men call æt Hethum. It stands between the Winedum and Saxons and Angles, and belongs to Denmark.

"When he thitherward sailed from Sciringes-heale, Denmark was on his larboard, and on his starboard was a wide sea for three days; and then two days before he came to Hathum, Gothland was on his starboard, and Sillende and many islands; on those lands the Engle dwelt before they came to this country; and for two days the islands were on his larboard that belong to Denmark."

This voyage of Ohthere presents us with an interesting and authentic picture of the manners and political state of a great portion of the north. The next is the voyage of Wulfstan towards the east of the Baltic.

"Wulfstan said, that he went from Hæthum; that in seven days and nights he was in Truso; that the ship was all the way running under sail. Weonothland was to him on the starboard, and on his larboard was Langaland and Leland, and Falster and Sconeg, and


all these lands belong to Denmark; and then Burgenda land was to us on the larboard, and they have to themselves a king.

"Then after Burgenda land were to us those lands that were called first Blecinga-eg and Meore, and Eowland and Gotland on the larboard. These lands belong to Sweon. Weonod-land was all the way to us on starboard to the mouth of the Wisla. The Wisla is a very great river, and towards it lieth Witland and Weonod-land. This Witland belongeth to the Estum, and the Wisle flows out of Weonod-land, and flows in the East Lake. The East Lake is at least fifteen miles broad.

"Then cometh the Ilfing east into the East Lake. Truso stands on the banks of this lake, and the Ilfing cometh out in the East Lake, east of Eastlande, together with the Wisla south of Winodland; and then Wisla takes away the name of Ilfing, and tends west of this lake, and north into the sea; therefore men call it the mouth of the Wisla.

"This Eastlande is very large, and there be a great many towns, and in every town there is a king; and there is a great quantity of honey and fish. The king and the richest men drink mares' milk, and the poor and the slaves drink mead. There be very many battles between them. There is no ale brewed amid the Estum, but there is mead enough.

"And there is a custom amid the Estum, that when there is a man dead, he lieth within, unburnt, a month amid his relations and friends-sometimes two months; and the kings and the other principal men so much longer, as they have more wealth: sometimes they be half a year unburnt. They lie above the earth in their house, and all the while that the body is within, there shall be drink and plays until the day that they burn them.

"Then the same day that they choose to bear them to the pile, his property that remains after this drink and play is divided into five or six parts, sometimes more, as the proportion of his wealth admits. They lay these along, a mile apart, the greatest portion from the town, then another, then a third, till it be all laid at one mile asunder; and the least part shall be nearest to the town where the dead man lieth.

"Then shall be collected all the men that have the swiftest horses in the land, for the way of five miles or six miles from the property. Then run they all together to the property. Then cometh the man that hath the swiftest horse to the farthest portion and to the greatest, and so on one after the other, till all be taken away; he taketh the least who is nearest the town, and runs to it; then each rides away with his prize, and may have it all; and because of this custom the swift horse is inconceivably dear.

"And when the wealth is all thus spent, then they bea the man out and burn him, with his weapons and garments. Most frequently all his wealth is spent during the long lying of the dead man within. What they lay by the way, strangers run for and take it.

"This is the custom with the Estum, that the men of every nation shall be burnt; and if a man finds a bone unburnt, it much enrages him. There is 'with the Estum the power of producing cold, so that there the dead man may lie thus long and not be foul; and they make such cold among them, that if any one sets two vessels full of ale or water, they so do that these shall be frozen the same in summer as in winter (1).”

(1) For a commentary on this periplus, the reader may consult 2 Langbeck's Script. Dan. p. 106-123., and the notes of Mr. Foster added to Barrington's Orosius. As it would occupy too large a portion of this work to do it justice, I have not attempted it here.

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