Life of St. Edmund Translation | 1
Swyðe = very
Hie = they
ᴁ elfric’s Life of St. Edmund (Andreea’s Translation)
A certain very learned monk came from the south over the sea from Saint
Benedict’s place in King Æþelred’s day to archbishop Dunstan three years
Þa = then (or when) before he died, and this monk was called Abbo.
Sum swyðe gelæred munuc com suþan ofer sæ fram sancte Benedictes stowe
wurdon æt spræce: on Æþelredes cynincges dæge to Dunstane ærcebisceope, þrim gearum ær he
literally ‘they became forðferde; and se munuc hatte Abbo.
at conversation’, so 128-131
‘they came into
conversation’ Then they came into conversation until Dunstan explained about Saint Edmund
just as Edmund’s sword bearer himself explain to King Æþelstane when
Swa swa = just as
Dunstan was a young man and the sword bearer was an elderly man.
ða þa or þa þa = when
Þa wurdon hie æt spræce oþþæt Dunstan rehte be sancte Eadmunde, swa swa
stent = present tense Eadmundes swurdbora hit rehte Æþelstane cynincge þa þa Dunstan iung man
wæs, and se swurdbora wæs forealdod man.
Then the monk composed all the narrative in a book afterwards when the book
came to us within a few years, then we translated it in English as it hereafter
Se = the remains.
Þa gesette se munuc ealle þa gereccednysse on anre bec, and eft ða þa seo boc
Eastengla cynincg is com to us binnan feawum gearum þa awende we hit on Englisc, swa swa hit
not King of East Angliaheræfter stent.
but King of the East
Within two years, the monk Abbo returned home to his monastery and was
immediately appointed abbot in the same monastery.
Se munuc þa Abbo binnan twam gearum gewende ham to his mynstre and
wearð sona to abbode geset on þam ylcan mynstre.
The blessed Edmund, King of the East Angles, was wise and honourable, and
always worshipped with his noble customs the Almighty God (or God
Almighty). Life of St. Edmund Translation | 2
or ‘remained’ ‘so
resolute’ (swa anræd) –
‘resolute’ is an adjective, Eadmund se eadiga eastengla cynincg wæs snotor and wurðfull, and
not an adverb wurðode symble mid æþelum þeawum þone ælmihtigan God.
142-146 He was humble and virtuous and persisted so that he did not yield to
shameful vices, nor did turn away from his good practices, nonetheless he
(Thou) do not rise (or raise was always mindful of the true doctrine/teaching you are appointed as
lived (leofode is the 3d He wæs eadmod and geþungen, and swa anræde þurhwunode þæt he
nolde abugan to bysmorfullum leahtrum, ne on naþre healfe he ne ahylde
person singular past tense his þeawas, ac wæs symble gemyndig þære soþan lare.
of ‘libban’ to live) on in
the true faith. 142-146
as a father (swa swa Thou do not rise, but be among people as if you were one of them. He was
generous as a father to beggars and widows and with benevolence directed
his people always to righteousness and he punished the cruel ones and
blessedly lived in the true faith.
Gif þu eart to heafodmen geset, ne ahefe þu ðe, ac beo betwux mannum
swa swa an man of him. He wæs cystig wædlum and wydewum swa swa
fæder, and mid welwillendnysse gewissode his folc symle to rihtwisnysse,
and þam reþum styrde, and gesæliglice leofode on soþan geleafan.
It happened that eventually the “Vikings” set out with fleets (ships)
ravaging and attacked far and wide through land whatever their custom is.
Hit gelamp ða æt nextan þæt þa Deniscan leode ferdon mid sciphere
hergiende and sleande wide geond land swa swa heora gewuna is.
On the ship were on the foremost leaders Hinguar and Hubba united by
means of the Devil and arrived on Northumbrian land with spears and laid
waste that land and the people slain.
On þam flotan wæron þa fyrmestan heafodmen Hinguar and Hubba,
geanlæhte þurh deofol, and hi on Norðhymbralande gelendon mid æscum,
and aweston þæt land, and þa leoda ofslogon.
152-153 Life of St. Edmund Translation | 3
When Hinguar went east with his ship, Hubba remained behind in Northumbria winning victory
Þa gewende Hinguar east mid his scipum, and Hubba belaf on Norðhymbralande, gewunnenum
sige mid wælhreownysse.
When Hinguar came rowing to East Anglia on the year the Great Alfred was in his 20 year and
afterwards the King of West-Saxons, worthy and illustrious and the aforementioned Hinguar
swiftly stalked whatever wolf on land and the people slain, men and women and the guileless
child and shamefully mistreated the innocent Christians.
Hinguar þa becom to eastenglum rowende, on þam geare þe ælfred æðelincg an and twentig
geare wæs, se þe westsexena cynincg siþþan wearð mære. And se foresæda Hinguar færlice swa
swa wulf on lande bestalcode, and þa leode sloh weras and wif, and þa ungewittigan cild, and to
bysmore tucode þa bilewitan Cristenan.
He sent the king a boastful message, that he must bow to his service if he cared about his life.
The messenger came to king Edmund and quickly delivered the Hinguar’s message:
He sende ða sona syððan to þam cyninge beotlic ærende, þæt he abugan sceolde to his
manrædene gif he rohte his feores. Se ærendraca com þa to Eadmunde cynincge and Hinguares
ærende him ardlice abead:
“Hinguar your king, brave and victorious on sea and on land, has control of many people and
will suddenly come now with an army here to land and he must hold his troops and settle here in
the winter quarters.
"Hinguar ure cyning, cene and sigefæst on sæ and on lande, hæfð fela þeoda gewyld, and com nu
mid fyrde færlice her to lande þæt he her wintersetl mid his werode hæbbe.
Now that commands he who shared thine secret hoard of gold and your ancestor’s treasure quick
from he and thou be his undertaking, give thou if you want to be alive, he who successfully can
be competent to hold that a kinswoman can withstand him.
Nu het he þe dælan þine digelan goldhordas and þinra yldrena gestreon ardlice wið hine, and þu
beo his underkyning, gif ðu cucu beon wylt, forðan þe ðu næfst þa mihte þæt þu mage him
wiðstandan." Life of St. Edmund Translation | 4
ræd = advice
moste = motan =
to be allowed
homeland Lo’ what the King Edmund summoned one bishop closes to him and with him
brucan = to reflected how he should answer to someone cruel.
enjoy Hwæt þa Eadmund clypode ænne bisceop þe him þa gehendost wæs, and wið
hine smeade hu he þam reþan Hinguare andwyrdan sceolde.
Worthe = took
Wiðor= rather Then feared the bishop for the sudden misfortune and for the king’s life and said
that his advice is to submit as Hinguar commanded.
Sweltan = to die
Þa forhtode se bisceop for þam færlican gelimpe, and for þæs cynincges life, and
þorfte = needed cwæþ þæt him ræd þuhte þæt he to þam gebuge þe him bead Hinguar.
biggengum = 172-176
/service Then the king was silent and looked to that earth (land) and said that at last to
him regally “everything the bishop shamefully sinned mistreated this inhabitants
and not more agreeable were that I on fight fall against that my people may be
allowed to enjoy their homeland.
Þa suwode se cynincg and beseah to þære eorþan, and cwæþ þa æt nextan
cynelice him to, "Eala þu bisceop, to bysmore synd getawode þas earman
landleoda, and me nu leofre wære þæt ic on feohte feolle wið þam þe min folc
moste heora eardes brucan."
And the bishop said “oh thou beloved king, thy people lie dead and you have to help and be able
fight. And they will come and they will bind you alive unless you defend your life by flight or
you protect yourself thus that you submit yourself to him.
And se bisceop cwæþ, "Eala þu leofa cyning, þin folc lið ofslagen, and þu næfst þone fultum
þæt þu feohtan mæge, and þas flotmen cumað, and þe cucenne gebindað butan þu mid fleame
þinum feore gebeorge, oððe þu þe swa gebeorge þæt þu buge to him."
Then said king Edmund as he was very brave “I desire and wish these things with courage that I
alone may remain alive after my dear servants are slain on their beds along with their children
and wives by the Vikings Life of St. Edmund Translation | 5
forðan þe =
Geæfenlæcan = to Þa cwæð Eadmund cyning swa swa he ful cene wæs, "þæs ic gewilnige and gewisce
follow mid mode, þæt ic ana ne belife æfter minum leofum þegnum þe on heora bedde
Iudeiscan = wurdon, mid bearnum and wifum, færlice ofslægene fram þysum flotmannum.
It was not customary for me to never take flight but I would rather die if I need
for my own homeland and the almighty God knows I do not wish to turn from
his service or that I wish never to turn away from his worship whether I live or