Egla, 51

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Chapter 51

Of Olaf king of Scots

Olaf the Red[1] was the name of the king in Scotland. He was Scotch on his father's side, but Danish on his mother's side, and came of the family of Ragnar Hairy-breeks. He was a powerful prince. Scotland, as compared with England, was reckoned a third of the realm; Northumberland was reckoned a fifth part of England; it was the northernmost county, marching with Scotland on the eastern side of the island. Formerly the Danish kings had held it. Its chief town is York. It was in Athelstan's dominions; he had set over it two earls, the one named Alfgeir, the other Gudrek. They were set there as defenders of the land against the inroads of Scots, Danes, and Norsemen, who harried the land much, and though they had a strong claim on the land there, because in Northumberland nearly all the inhabitants were Danish by the father's or mother's side, and many by both.[2]

Bretland was governed by two brothers, Hring and Adils; they were tributaries under king Athelstan, and withal had this right, that when they were with the king in the field, they and their force should be in the van of the battle before the royal standard. These brothers were right good warriors, but not young men.

Alfred the Great had deprived all tributary kings of name and power; they were now called earls, who had before been kings or princes. This was maintained throughout his lifetime and his son Edward's. But Athelstan came young to the kingdom, and of him they stood less in awe. Wherefore many now were disloyal who had before been faithful subjects.

References

  1. Olaf the Red: "Who was the 'Red Man of the Battle of Brunanburh' of the tenth-century Welsh poem ['Taliesin's Song of Praise']? It is curious that Egils saga describes Athelstan's defeat of Olafr 'the Red', a king of Scots who had invaded England. If the Welsh poet meant Olaf Guthfrithason as 'The Red Man of the Battle of Brunanburh', who would increase because of a strong man of the line of Anarawd... he may have had in mind a Welsh alliance with the Northmen of Dublin... Yet it would be foolish to rely much on Egils saga, written in the fourteenth century. That the Norse saga refers to Olafr the Red at Brunanburh, and the Welsh poem to a Red Man of Brunanburh, may be coincidence." Breeze, Andrew. The Battle of Brunanburh and Welsh Tradition (p. 481-82).
  2. many by both: "The words in Egils saga can only mean 'and each of these two groups (i.e. those who were Danish on the father's side and those who were Danish on the mother's side) was numerous'; no mention is made of those who were Danish on both sides, even though such persons must certainly have existed". Evans, David A.H.. Four Philological Notes (p. 356).

Kafli 51

Af Ólafi Skotakonungi

Ólafur rauði[1] hét konungur á Skotlandi. Hann var skoskur að föðurkyni en danskur að móðurkyni og kominn af ætt Ragnars loðbrókar. Hann var ríkur maður. Skotland var kallað þriðjungur ríkis við England.

Norðimbraland er kallað fimmtungur Englands og er það norðast, næst Skotlandi fyrir austan. Það höfðu haft að fornu Danakonungar. Jórvík er þar höfuðstaður. Það ríki átti Aðalsteinn og hafði sett yfir jarla tvo. Hét annar Álfgeir en annar Goðrekur. Þeir sátu þar til landvarnar bæði fyrir ágangi Skota og Dana eða Norðmanna er mjög herjuðu á landið og þóttust eiga tilkall mikið þar til lands, því að á Norðimbralandi voru þeir einir menn, ef nokkuð var til, að danska ætt áttu að faðerni eða móðerni en margir hvorirtveggju.[2]

Fyrir Bretlandi réðu bræður tveir, Hringur og Aðils, og voru skattgildir undir Aðalstein konung og fylgdi það þá er þeir voru í her með konungi að þeir og þeirra lið skyldu vera í brjósti í fylking fyrir merkjum konungs. Voru þeir bræður hinir mestu hermenn og eigi allungir menn.

Elfráður hinn ríki hafði tekið alla skattkonunga af nafni og veldi. Hétu þeir þá jarlar er áður voru konungar eða konungasynir. Hélst það allt um hans ævi og Játvarðar sonar hans en Aðalsteinn kom ungur til ríkis og þótti af honum minni ógn standa. Gerðust þá margir ótryggir þeir er áður voru þjónustufullir.


Tilvísanir

  1. Ólafur rauði: "Who was the 'Red Man of the Battle of Brunanburh' of the tenth-century Welsh poem ['Taliesin's Song of Praise']? It is curious that Egils saga describes Athelstan's defeat of Olafr 'the Red', a king of Scots who had invaded England. If the Welsh poet meant Olaf Guthfrithason as 'The Red Man of the Battle of Brunanburh', who would increase because of a strong man of the line of Anarawd... he may have had in mind a Welsh alliance with the Northmen of Dublin... Yet it would be foolish to rely much on Egils saga, written in the fourteenth century. That the Norse saga refers to Olafr the Red at Brunanburh, and the Welsh poem to a Red Man of Brunanburh, may be coincidence." Breeze, Andrew. The Battle of Brunanburh and Welsh Tradition (s. 481-82).
  2. margir hvorirtveggju: "The words in Egils saga can only mean 'and each of these two groups (i.e. those who were Danish on the father's side and those who were Danish on the mother's side) was numerous'; no mention is made of those who were Danish on both sides, even though such persons must certainly have existed". Evans, David A.H.. Four Philological Notes (s. 356).

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