En 08b Wodin and the Magus

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    Ott 2023

    8b. Wodin and the Magus

    [053/12] From this expedition, the history of Wodin was born, as inscribed at the burgs and written here:

    At the Aldergamouth, a former sea king had taken his retirement. Sterik was his name, and the renown of his deeds was great. This old sea dog had three young kinsmen: Wodin, the eldest, lived at Lumkamakia near the Ems Mouth in East Fleeland with his parents. He had once been an army leader; Tunis and Inka were sea warriors and, at the time, they were staying at the home of their uncle by the Aldergamouth.

    When the young warriors had assembled, they chose Wodin as their army leader, or king. The sea warriors chose Tunis as their sea king and Inka as their watch-by-night. The fleet then sailed to the Denmarks, where they took on board Wodin and his brave army. The wind was fair [054] and so they shortly arrived in Skeanland. When the northern brothers had joined him, Wodin divided his powerful army into three. “Frya!” was their war cry, and thus he drove back the Finns and Magyars as if they were children.

    When the magus heard how his men were all being slain, he sent messengers with scepter and crown. They said to Wodin: “O you, greatest of all kings! We are guilty, but all that we have done was done from necessity. You believe that we took on your brothers willingly. But we were whipped forth by our enemies, who are still at our heels. We have often asked aid of your burgmaid, but she ignored us. The magus says that if we persist in fighting and killing one another, the wild herdsmen will come and kill us all. The magus possesses great riches, but he has seen that Frya is more powerful than all our spirits combined. He wishes to lay his head down in her lap. You are the most heroic king on Earth, your folk are of iron. Become our king, and we shall willingly be your slaves. What honor it would be for you if you could drive back the savages! Our trumpets would resound with the tidings and our praises would precede you everywhere.”

    Wodin was strong, fierce, and heroic, but he was not [055] clear-sighted. He was thus ensnared and crowned by the magus. Quite a few steersmen and warriors, who disapproved of this turn, left quietly, taking Kate with them. But Kate, who did not want to face either the mother or the general assembly, jumped overboard. Then a storm arose and dashed the ships upon the Denmark shores, not sparing a single man. Later, this strait was named Kate’s Gate (Kattegat).

    After Wodin was crowned, he attacked the savages, who were all horsemen and charged down on Wodin’s troops like a hailstorm; but like a whirlwind, they turned back and did not dare show themselves again. When Wodin returned, the magus gave him his daughter to wife. He was then incensed with herbs. But among them were magic herbs, and Wodin gradually became so audacious that he dared to disavow and ridicule Frya and Wralda’s spirit while he bent his free neck before images of false gods. His reign lasted seven years, and then he disappeared. The magus said that he had been taken up amongst their gods, and that he ruled over them from there. But our folk laughed at his words.

    When Wodin had been gone for a time, disputes arose. We wished to choose another king, but the magus would not allow it. [056] He claimed that it was his right, given him by his gods. Beyond this dispute, there was yet another quarrel among his own Magyars and Finns, who would honor neither Frya nor Wodin. But the magus did as he pleased because his daughter had born a son by Wodin, and the magus now declared this son to be of high descent. While all were nagging and quarreling, he crowned the boy king and installed himself as his guardian, representative, and counselor. Those who prized a full belly above justice let him have his way. But the good men left. Many Magyars fled with their people back towards their homelands, and the steersmen took ship, accompanied by an army of daring Finns as oarsmen.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.75 cont.] From this expedition the history of Wodin sprang, which is inscribed on the citadels, and is here copied. At Aldergamude[1] there lived an old sea-king whose name was Sterik, and whose deeds were famous. This old fellow had three nephews. Wodin, the eldest, lived at Lumkamakia,[2] near the Eemude, in Oostflyland, with his parents. He had once commanded troops. Teunis and Inka were naval warriors, and were just then staying with their father at Aldergamude. When the young warriors had assembled together, they chose Wodin to be their leader or king, and the naval force chose Teunis for their sea-king and Inka for their admiral. The navy then sailed to Denmark, where they took on board Wodin and his valiant host.

    [p.77] The wind was fair, so they arrived immediately[3] in Schoonland. When the northern brothers met together, Wodin divided his powerful army into three bodies. Frya was their war-cry, and they drove back the Finns and Magyars like children. When the Magy heard how his forces had been utterly defeated, he sent messengers with truncheon and crown, who said to Wodin: O almighty king we are guilty, but all that we have done was done from necessity. You think that we attacked your brothers out of illwill, but we were driven out by our enemies, who are still at our heels. We have often asked your Burgtmaagd for help, but she took no notice of us. The Magy says that if we kill half our numbers in fighting with each other, then the wild shepherds will come and kill all the rest. The Magy possesses great riches, but he has seen that Frya is much more powerful than all our spirits together. He will lay down his head in her lap. You are the most warlike king on the earth, and your people are of iron. Become our king, and we will all be your slaves. What glory it would be for you if you could drive back the savages! Our trumpets would resound with your praises, and the fame of your deeds would precede you everywhere. Wodin was strong, fierce, and warlike, but he was not clear-sighted, therefore he was taken in their toils, and crowned by the Magy.

    Very many of the sailors and soldiers to whom this proceeding was displeasing went away secretly, taking Kat with them. But Kat, who did not wish to appear before either the mother or the general assembly, jumped overboard. Then a storm arose and drove the ships upon the banks of Denmark, with the total destruction of their crews. This strait was afterwards called the Kattegat. When Wodin was crowned, he [p.79] attacked the savages, who were all horsemen, and fell upon Wodin's[4] troops like a hailstorm; but like a whirlwind they were turned back, and did not dare to appear again. When Wodin returned, Magy gave him his daughter to wife. Whereupon he was incensed with herbs; but they were magic herbs, and by degrees he became so audacious that he dared to disavow and ridicule the spirits of Frya and Wr-alda, while he bent his free head before the false and deceitful images. His reign lasted seven years, and then he disappeared. The Magy said that he was taken up by their gods and still reigned over us, but our people laughed at what they said. When Wodin had disappeared some time, disputes arose. We wished to choose another king, but the Magy would not permit it. He asserted that it was his right given him by his idols. But besides this dispute there was one between the Magyars and Finns, who would honour neither Frya nor Wodin; but the Magy did just as he pleased, because his daughter had a son by Wodin, and he would have it that this son was of high descent. While all were disputing and quarrelling, he crowned the boy as king, and set up himself as guardian and counsellor. Those who cared more for themselves than for justice let him work his own way, but the good men took their departure. Many Magyars fled back with their troops, and the sea-people took ship, accompanied by a body of stalwart Finns as rowers.

    Notes Sandbach

    1. Alderga in Ouddorp, near Alkmaar.
    2. Lumkamâkja bithêre Emuda is Embden.
    3. Amering, still in use in North Holland to signify a breath or a twinkling of an eye.
    4. Wodin is Odin or Wodan.


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    En 08a Magyars and Finns ᐊ previous/next ᐅ En 08c Tunis and Inka