All the Wends of Saxo Grammaticus – Book XI

Chapter 6

3. His two sons departed with all speed for Denmark accompanied by their sister. Sven, overlooking their father’s true deserts, received them with the kind of affection that befits relatives and gave the girl in marriage to the Russian king, Valdemar, who was also known as Yaroslav by his people. A later inheritor of his stock and name, his grandson by a daughter, became the ruler of our own day. So on the one side British, on the other Eastern blood flowed into our leader at his propitious birth and created an embellishment for both races through his shared lineage.

Chapter 7

1. As soon as Harald had been eliminated (his crimes had earned him a further title, ‘the Bad’), Sven’s realm, which had hitherto been altogether lame, now, rid of its bitterest foe, began to march along with the stride of a more prosperous fortune; the repressed Danish captaincy now unfurled the billowing sails of success. He was famous among men for his generosity, renowned for his munificence, excellent in every feature of philanthropy, for he also made it his closest concern to build and adorn holy churches and brought a motherland still inexperienced in sacred rites to a more refined practice of religion. He spoiled this splendid conduct only by his excessive lust. By plucking the chastity of many respectable girls, he fathered a large number of sons on mistresses, but got none through marriage. From these liaisons came Harald and Gorm, Omund and Sven. To them were added Ubbe, Oluf, Niels, Bjern, and Benedikt, all greatly resembling their father and taking very little after their mothers. A similar mean alliance produced Cnut and Erik, the noblest jewels of their land. A daughter, Sigrid, to whom I must return in a later section, was born to a concubine in the same way, and afterwards came to be the wife of Gottschalk the Wend.

Chapter 11

1. After Harald’s death Cnut was recalled, with the approval of his brothers, to take the most exalted position in the kingdom; while he was in exile he had again entered upon the war against the Easterners which he had begun in early manhood and, having once accepted the throne, he turned his attention to renewing those hostilites with all his might, more with a view to extending the Christian faith than to satisfying his greed; with the improvement of his fortunes he also wished to secure increased renown. Nor did he withdraw his hand from that venture until the dominions of the Kurlanders, Samlanders, and Estlanders had been totally put down.

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March 5, 2018

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