Welcome to the Electronic Aethelfrith Site! This edition has been especially prepared for both beginning students and advanced scholars. We have created a new edition of the Davis MS that also incorporates all known variants from both the Linn 458 and Sash B manuscripts. All passages unique to Linn are marked in bold text. All passages unique to Sash B are marked in italics. Those variants common to Linn and Sash B, but missing in Davis, are marked both with bold and italics and have a light yellow background. Access footnotes by clicking on line numbers. This edition also includes a full list of textual variants and a glossary.
1. Listen! We have heard great things about Aethelfrith,
2. son of Aethelbert, protector of the sea-riders,
3. ruler of the whale-road, open waters;
4. not unwelcome was he at the battle, strong at sea,
5. seafaring king, lord of the Sea-Danes.
6. His enemies had no need to laugh,
7. boasting bravely at mead-hall, happy in their hearts.
8. Hroth of the water-people, a man of great boasts,
9. once experienced that misery.
1. The additions from Linn and Sash throw off the alliteration in the Old English, but some scholars believe they indicate a lost half-line in the original text; "Listen": variously translated as "Hark" or "So"; "great things": both Linn and Sash B.
3. "ruler of the whale-road": Sash B.
4. "not unwelcome was he": Linn
5. The reference here to Sea-Danes and sea-riders above (line 2) have led McPherson to relate this story to the arrival of the Angles in Britain.
6. "laugh": With the connotation of scornful, derisive laughter, rather than giggling.
8. Hroth remains unidentified; "water-people": Not likely a reference to whales; "a man of great boasts": Linn.