… This about the cakes (1)

Anglo-Saxon Latin is famously hard to fathom at times. But here’s a start, stretching some points a little and shuffling words about with abandon.

Alfred’s army has suffered defeat at the hands of the Danes:

There is a place in the farthest western reaches of Britain-of-the-Angles whose name in the Saxon language is Ethelingaige – which we call the ‘Island of Princes’ [and we call Athelney – Ed.] – enclosed all around by vast salt marshes, and secure in the middle of some level ground. To this place, King Alfred happened to come unexpectedly, an exile alone. So, noticing the hut of (as he later discovered) an unknown swineherd, he made his way towards it. There he begged a quiet lodging place and was granted it. As a guest and a poor man, subdued, he stayed there with them some days, making do with very little.

OS map of Athelney

OS map of Athelney

As, patiently,  he reflected that such things as befell him were the judgement of a just God, he awaited His mercy through the mediation of His servant Neot. From that same man he had conceived that which, mindful, he believed in his heart. For the apostle said, ‘Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’ [Hbr.XII.6] And as well as this, every day he kept fixed before his eyes that just man Job’s wondrous strength of patience. Now, it happened by chance one day that the swineherd was leading his flock, as was his custom, to their usual pasture, and the king had remained alone in the hut with the swineherd’s wife.

And here I will end for the moment as this next bit needs some working out.


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