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The men of ancient times left many things to their posterity, for us to study with diligence (1), and they also took care to make provision for the unity and brotherhood of the court, lest undisciplined young warriors who were serving together (2) should enjoy too much freedom, and should be allowed to provoke each other with insults and escape punishment. To restrain the boldness of the unruly ones (3) they authorized and promulgated a law, which they called the Witherlogh (4) in their language. Although it is a less appropriate name, we can call it 'the law of the retainers and the knights' or 'the law of the court' in the Latin language (5).

As time passed, this law went out of date and was forgotten, because from then onwards there were very few who remem bered the achievements even of the glorious men of old. It was only Absalon, the illustrious metropolitan of the whole kingdom of the Danes (6), with his usual desire for knowledge and after careful and far-sighted consultation with his pupil (that is, with King Knut (7), son of the first Valdemar), who wrote it down in a document (8). For what is held to be out of date and antiquated can often be brought to life with the help of writing. So, as I had found this recorded very briefly in our own language, I approached my task without much confidence in my learning or ability, for I was always afraid that I should seem to have forestalled, with arrogant presumption, those with greater learning than mine. However, I will still attempt to the best of my ability to translate the matter into Latin, however inelegant the style, for the sake of those fine young men who are making a successful study of the rules of composition. And at the end of this little work I shall unravel the pedigrees of the kings and the order in which they reigned (9), as far as I have been able to trace them from what has been reliably handed down by aged men.

First, therefore, I will explain about the makers of the laws of the court: who made them? why? and where (10)?

[1] Knut, the son of King Sven Forkbeard, came into his ancestral inheritance like a raging lion (11), and by his undefeated endeavour he nobly enlarged the boundaries of his empire from farthest Thule to the empire of the Greeks, outdoing Geryon of Hesperus (12) by the force of his valour and almost equalling the great Alexander (13); for he had annexed England, Norway, Slavia, and Finland (14) to his own kingdom, and so increased his might and power with ample splendour. And when he had subjected all the surrounding countries to the government of his own kingdom, warriors came flooding in on all sides, their number comparable to the garlands of Dodona (15), on account of their reputation for courage and victory; and they impetuously vied with each other in doing him homage.

However, they came to him in so great a multitude that it became apparent that they were not all equally worthy, and in the end the king came to the following resolution. He decreed that, whereas his force of warriors had been thrown together, as it were, without any difference of rank, they were to be divided according to their merits and their proven virtue, and those of outstanding virtue were to be brought closer to himself. He wanted to be on more familiar terms with those who he knew were entitled to claim high descent and who rejoiced in plentiful wealth, so that those who came from the better lineages should try to excel in virtue; and they would not be embarrassed by lack of equipment for the wars inasmuch as they had been brought up in richer households (16).

[2] Therefore he published an order and proclaimed by a herald that only those men who honoured the king and adorned the force of warriors by shining resplendent with gilded axe- heads and sword-hilts (17) were to approach the clement king with the privilege of a closer association (18). For it would do honour to the prince if a lordly throng should escort him, attended by a guard of brothers-in-arms (19). And when this resolution had been published, those who were pressed by lack of private means decided that they would be out of place in the phalanx of the richer men.

And all at once, the cities echo with the sound of hammering from the smithies. For every ornament already made of shining gold is melted down to ingots by sweating smiths, so that the metal which the proud warriors formerly esteemed useless should be made to grace axe-heads and sword-hilts by the choice artistry of goldsmiths. So it happened that the human tendency (20) to ambition made them unwilling to spare any expense, and they attempted to outdo their companions in the more elegant workmanship of their weapons. For it is obvious that elegantly decorated weapons are appropriate for those who are brought up under more favourable auspices.

And when the numerous phalanx was gleaming with its new finery, it was decreed that the strength of this band should be fixed by a precise calculation of their number. The total was three thousand picked men. It was decided to name this body the Tinglith in their own language (21).

[3] Now he had brought together men of such divergent national customs into the one household, his task was this: how, within the army of so great a king, gathered, as it were, from various peoples (that is, from all the kingdoms which had been subjected to his authority) and with a variety of usages that jarred against each other (22), the warriors were to put their quarrels and differences to rest, forbear mutual wrangling, and serve together with equal devotion, as befits honest mess mates (23) with the same lord. Untainted by division, malice and envy, they must rather be ready with one accord to obey the commands of the king, like limbs subject to one head (24). As faithful men, they must conceive no hostile mistrust one of another. However, it was no easy matter to pacify a crowd of so many quarrelsome men unless he checked them by punishment from falling into misconduct, so that the correction itself should be severe enough to restrain their bold delinquency (25).

[4] Therefore, when the army was all assembled in England and the king was resting amid his warlike enterprises in the calm of peace (26), he sent for the wiser men; and those he had previously discovered to be wisest of all were Øpi the Wise of Sjælland and his son, Eskil (27). He had no fear of disclosing his own secret counsels to either of these men, because he had proof of their worldly wisdom (28) on account of his earlier choice of them as his privy councillors. With careful delibera­ tion he inquired how to check the unruliness of the young men by a discipline that would restrain their high spirits in future and deter any man, whomsoever he be, from annoying any other with insults. And since human nature is inclined to fall into wrongdoing (29), the task was to make careful provision so that appropriate remedies could be provided for every case of misconduct (30). So they decided to deal very minutely with the deterrence of lesser as well as of greater offences.

In order that we may move on more expeditiously to the harsher remedies, we will first consider the small ones (31). For in their wisdom the ancients tried to eliminate the smallest occasions of dispute, and they applied their best efforts to unite in the bond of brotherly love all those men whose spirits were seething with lust for combat.

[5] This then was the custom among the retainers of times gone by (they call them knights nowadays (32)): each man served the other alternately, and took turns in attendance without any squires or grooms. So they decided that, if a man should lead his comrade's horse to water with his own, he should ride the one horse going there and the other coming back. If it happened that he drove his own horse to water while riding another man's, whether it was work-horse, pony, hack or charger (33), and he was led by dishonourable meanness to come back riding the same horse, and if he was charged three times with the same dishonest offence and convicted on the testi mony of two fellow-warriors, it was decided that he should be seated one place downwards in the dining hall. For it was the custom that the warriors should sit in places assigned to them according to their claim to worth, whether by seniority in age or by the higher nobility of their descent, so that the elders and betters took the more honourable places (34). Clearly, therefore, no man could be moved from his usual seat without shame and dishonour.

A similar sentence befell any man who fed his own horse with his comrade's palfrey and on three occasions should be convicted by the testimony of two men, as above, of having offered the ears of com to his own steed. They also decreed that the same punishment should await any warrior who went upstream against the current while they were watering horses and disturbed the water so that the others could only drink muddy water – always provided that the same testimony es tablished that this had been done three times. He incurred the same sentence, because the same punishment befalls a similar fault (35).

Furthermore, if any man's persistent audacity should mark him as incorrigible after three offences, and he should refuse to come to his senses, they decreed that he should be seated last of all, and pelted with bones at any man's pleasure (36). More over, no man will share either food or drink with him. He is to be content with his own dish and cup, all by himself (37).

However, if his excellency the king should decide to pro­ tect (38) a man from prosecution, to the extent of placing him in the first seat and making him his own neighbour, they allowed him this as an act of clemency by the prince, but with this condition added: that he be entirely deprived of the support of his fellow-warriors and relieved of his former rights and duties under the law (39).

[6] But while the law had to be made to cover many matters, it came into being primarily as a result of the respect in which the prince was held. Just as he laid down the pattern and rule of obedience for his men, so his own conduct should be gracious and familiar (40). Therefore it was enacted that the king with an army in attendance (41), or anyone else entitled to the same honour, should himself display the loyalty he demanded from them. He should present a cheerful countenance, and deny none of them a courteous reception (42). He was also to give them the reward of their labour and pay his warriors their wages without delay or any kind of argument, whenever it was customary or when they were short of money. Once they had received their pay, the men would show the same goodness and generosity in return (43) towards their lords, and would be prepared to obey whatever commands they gave and not fail to carry out their orders. For the man who does not pay what he owes asks in vain for what he wants (44).

[7] The men of old did not forget to prescribe a method by which any man would be able to transfer his homage to another lord, while leaving the majesty of the prince unimpaired and the honour of the warrior undiminished. They decided that on the eve of the Circumcision, which is when the New Year begins according to the superstitious assertion of the gen tiles (46), it was proper for the tried warrior seeking a change of lordship to depute two of his comrades to go to the lord from whose lordship and authority he wished to be free, and they were to resign to him that man's homage and service. Thus it was agreed that he should be able to resort to another homage without any shaming reproach or disrespect to the lord (47).

[8] However, quarrels and insults stir up and encourage a general unruliness, and the men of old in their wisdom re solved to prevent the common bond of brotherly union from being disrupted by divisive anger and weakened by insults offered among the men. They therefore served up a magical antidote for cases of this kind (48), in order to anticipate the discord at source and so eliminate it. As Ovid puts it,

Stop! ere you start; med'cine's too late to stay

Sickness encourag'd by a long delay (49).

For those wounds, 'that by mere poultices will not be heal'd', must be lanced with the knife (50. And so it was decreed that, if any man were to abuse or insult his comrade or start any sort of quarrel by offering a visible affront (51), all his fellow-warriors were to be called together in the presence of the king, and the plea was to be heard in the meeting which is called Huskarla-stefna (52). Because if the plaintiff were able to prove with the witness of two of his fellow-warriors that his comrade was guilty of having insulted him as a Witherlogh man (53), and the witnesses confirmed their testimony with an oath sworn on the sacraments, then it was ordained that the convicted man should be seated one place downwards in the dining hall (54). And it was determined by a general ordinance (55) that all disputes arising between the warriors should not be ended or conducted anywhere except in that same assembly.

[9] It was also laid down by a general ordinance that all disputes arising between fellow-warriors over farms and fields (56), or even over robbery from houses, which is called Boran in our language (57), should be raised and settled within the assembly mentioned above. The man entitled by the judgment of his fellow-warriors to make good his claim to property (58) is obliged to prove that he has been in continuous occupation of the land with the help of six men drawn by lot from his company, that is from his Fjarthing (59), or that his prescriptive title is protected by the appropriate law (60).

Now it was decided to settle lesser disputes with the testi mony of two fellow-warriors, and by the old arrangement it was with the testimony of the two who in the dining hall sat on either side of the man concerned (61). However, the men of today decide that the rigour of the law ought to be softened in many respects, so that even in the matter dealt with in the present clause they bring the case to judgment with the help of two fellow-soldiers got from anywhere in the hall.

[10] The law had not been established for long when the one who lies in ambush for the blood of mankind, the hater of prosperity, the perverter of justice (62), made an attack on the high standing of the prince. He tried to persuade the king to evade the law, so that once the head had been infected with aconite, the corrupting poison would spread through the rest of the limbs (63). For while he was still in England, enjoying peace and tranquillity, the maker of the law, King Knut himself, fell into a passion (64) and drew his sword and killed one of his own warriors. At this, the whole phalanx was convulsed with rage; the legions came pouring in on all sides and ran to arms without delay. But when they discovered that the hand of the king had committed this killing, they gathered into a body and made careful inquiry into what they were to do.

For their opinions were divided, and their verdict was doubtful and uncertain: whether to punish the king with death on account of the novelty of the crime, or was he entitled to pardon (65)? For if the king were to undergo the prescribed sentence, they would be driven out of this foreign country as leaderless fugitives; but if they were swayed by their rever ence for the king, the example of their corrupt indulgence would enable others to commit the same offence.

In the end this sentence was passed by the whole cohort, and no wrong conclusion (66) was to be drawn from it thereafter. The throne was to be placed in the middle of the assembly, and his grace the king was to prostrate himself before it and there await a decision either for pardon or for severity. When that had been done and the king's grace had made atonement and all further consequences of the crime had been eliminated, they raised him up and pardoned him, and all together shouted their unanimous confirmation (67).

However, any man who committed this kind of misdeed in future was to be disqualified from any dispensation, nor was he to make compensation for the crime. He was to expiate the gravity of the offence by submitting to an inexorable sentence of death, or at least, were the law to be relaxed, he was to depart from the whole association of warriors as an exile and a fugitive and an utter outcast, named by the shameful word of Nithingsorth (68).

[11] After the great king had expiated the crime of which he was guilty in the manner recorded above, the code was loyally maintained and remained continuously unbroken through the reigns of eight kings. That is to say, during the time of old Knut, who was also the maker of the law, and of his son Knut, surnamed 'the harsh' or 'the hard' – although he never suc ceeded to the kingdom of his forerunner, he was a sort of helper during the time his father had command of the helm of state, as we shall explain more clearly afterwards (69). And then during the reigns of Magnus the Good and Sven Estrithsen and Harald Whetstone; and of Knut, who was crowned with martyrdom in the church at Odense, and of Olaf, his brother, and of Erik the Good; and it was not violated until the reign of the ninth king, that is of Nicolaus (70). Then Kristiarn Svensen (71) drew his sword and wounded Thuri Doki (72), and he was the first offender to break the law of the retainers and the knights after the king had made his amends.

After that, the king was faced by a difficult decision. For he thought it would be harmful to the authority of his government and would undermine its security, if Kristiarn were to be expelled from the court with the shameful name of Nithings orth. It would also offend all the man's kinsmen, who were the most powerful men in the realm, and all the more so because two of his brothers were greatly renowned bishops at the time. Asser, the elder, was the first archbishop of the see of Lund (73), and the second was Sven, bishop of Viborg (74). The other two brothers, Eskil (75) and Aggi, and their revered father Sven, son of Thrugot, were also respected in their day as foremost among the leaders of the kingdom (76).

These men were more concerned to preserve their honour than their wealth, and they decided that, however heavy the award, it was better to pay compensation for the crime that had been committed than to put their good name in jeopardy. So they made a careful investigation, and in their penetrating enquiries they consulted Bo Hithinsen from Vendel, both because he was very old and because he had been a famous warrior of old Knut, who is held to have made and published those laws (77). They also brought in the older men of the day, those who were used to committing the doings of past times to memory, and asked them whether any of them could remember any similar offence which had been made good by com pensation alone. And when they had made diligent inquiry and were unable to remember any similar breach of the law, that same Bo of Vendel replied with this advice: 'It has not been precisely settled by any man's estimate (78) hitherto. It is worth our trouble (79) to prescribe to our posterity a fixed method of compensation now. Therefore let a penalty be laid down so severe that it will deter all our successors from daring to break the law.'

And so, with the consent of the whole court and with the king's agreement, he promulgated a new ordinance, that 'hereafter whosoever shall dare to violate by his rash and presumptuous audacity the ordinance of the present law – that is, the Witherlogh – by inflicting a wound on his fellow- warrior shall make satisfaction to the king of forty marks, and shall appease the man he injured with another forty, adding as proof of his shame at his own misconduct two marks weight of gold – called Gyrsum (80) in our common speech – and he shall also hand over a third forty marks to all his fellow- warriors bound by the terms of the same law (81).'

However, the human condition is always prone to evil (82), and some time after this Aggi Thver (83) followed the corrupting example and wounded Esger Ebbesen, who had been the bailiff at Varde (84), while Esger was under the wing of King Nicolaus, in the house of Withi the Staller at Borg (85). When that happened, the king was enraged, and he ordered Aggi's arrest at the wish of nearly all his fellow-warriors, but Withi objected and spoke against it. Now he offered the same sort of compen sation and made the same amends as we recalled above that Kristiarn had made. And this is said to have happened in Lime (86) at Bo Ketilsen's house. After this, time passed and, with evil deeds growing more frequent (87), corruption gradually crept in and such payments became rather numerous, follow ing the example of the first payment in reparation for the above-mentioned crime.

[12] However, the inflexible rule of the old law was that, if any man should happen to strike his fellow-warrior in anger with a fist or with any weapon whatsoever, and the fact should be substantiated with the testimony of only two fellow-warriors, then no compensation was to be payable thereafter (88). It is the moderation of the men of today which has brought about the softening of this rule under a new law. Thus, if the fact is well established by evidence or testimony and the accused is unable to defend himself by any sort of denial, it is settled that he must kneel (89) at the feet of the man to whom he has given offence by his insult, so that the most abject shame may be duly expunged by the most humiliating form of reparation. However, if the plaintiff fails to convict the accused with witnesses, it is a general ordinance that this man who brought the charge may remove the infamy with the oaths of six of his fellow-warriors (90).

[13] Provocations to violence are as diverse as the suggestions of the Old Serpent. For it often happens that a man inflicts a wound on another man, either wittingly or in ignorance (91): sometimes he wounds his own comrade, whom he recognizes, but sometimes he thinks that his comrade is not his comrade. If any man ignorantly and unknowingly wounds his fellow- warrior while trying to wound another, or hurts him by accident, and is sued for it, he may vouch with two fellow- warriors (92) that he inflicted the harm in ignorance and unwill ingly. But if he fails at the oath-taking, he shall make satisfac tion by the procedure mentioned above (93).

But when a man wounds his fellow-warrior knowingly and deliberately but unaware that he is bound to that man by the law cited above, it was enacted that this kind of ignorance did not exonerate him from liability for the offence (94). For by the same law it was provided that (95) ... all disputes involving a legal hearing (96) are to be settled either with a group of six fellow-warriors, for the more serious, or, for those that are moderately grave, with two or three, as we have explained above.

[14] Now that we have run through the laws by which lesser disputes are to be settled, it remains for us to pass on to greater matters.

Seeing therefore that by his continual watchfulness the wily foe knows how to circumvent us, he leads us up the ladder of undutifulness to the last step of damnation (97). For while by his baleful suggestions he finds work for his followers in small matters, he is always urging them on to attempt greater infamy. Indeed, he who has been already trained to quarrel with his fellow-warriors at the risk of bloodshed proceeds at the last boldly to contrive the death or betrayal of his lord and prince (98). So if any man should incur this abominable disgrace, and should be stained with the curse of Judas the traitor (99) and commit a crime like his and be sentenced and condemned for making plans to betray his own lord, that man, they decreed, was to lose his life and all his property (100).

To this end they ordained that, if the king were to [accuse] any man of treason or of the crime (101) ... the wind should fill the sail and remove it out of sight of the onlookers; and if the West Wind's favour (102) was not granted, then he had to row across the sea until the oars were seen no longer, while they had to wait on the shore. So, while he was hidden far out to sea, they yelled three times as if giving a signal for battle, and it was decreed that the rights he enjoyed as a former confederate should be annulled (103).

Furthermore, if he should dishonour himself by the afore said crime while in his native land (104) and should be convicted of it, as above, the whole band of warriors was obliged to escort him to a dense wood and wait on the edge of the wood while he withdrew from them and pursued his course into some dark wilderness where he was unable to hear the din of their shouting (105). Then all his fellow-warriors are called to gether in a body, and with all their might they give their yell three times in unison. And after that they are held bound by this law: that whichever one of them meets that man thereafter and has the advantage of him by one man or one weapon at the least and does not attack him, then he shall incur the same penalty of ignominious discharge (106).

So far I have unravelled the law of the knights, albeit in a disjointed style, as far as I have been able to discover it by careful inquiry among old writers and old men. It remains for our posterity, whom one authority considers to be dwarves on the shoulders of giants (107), to beautify this treatise with rhetori cal figures and high-flown language (108) and to supply what is missing by bringing it to a conclusion in a style more elegant.


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.'