Lotherus

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Lotherus (Lother) was one of the earliest kings of Denmark according to Saxo Grammaticus's Gesta Danorum.

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Gesta Danorum, 1.1–1.2[1] The Danish History, Book One[2]
Verum a Dan (ut fert antiquitas) regum nostrorum stemmata, ceu quodam derivata principio, splendido successionis ordine profluxerunt. Huic filii Humblus et Lotherus fuere, ex Grytha summae inter Theutones dignitatis matrona suscepti.

Lecturi regem veteres affixis humo saxis insistere suffragiaque promere consueverant, subiectorum lapidum firmitate facti constantiam ominaturi. Quo ritu Humblus, decedente patre, novo patriae beneficio rex creatus sequentis fortunae malignitate ex rege privatus evasit. Bello siquidem a Lothero captus regni depositione spiritum mercatus est; haec sola quippe victo salutis condicio reddebatur. Ita fraternis iniuriis imperium abdicare coactus documentum hominibus praebuit, ut plus splendoris, ita minus securitatis aulis quam tuguriis inesse. Ceterum iniuriae tam patiens fuit, ut honoris damno tamquam beneficio gratulari crederetur, sagaciter, ut puto, regiae condicionis habitum contemplatus.

Sed nec Lotherus tolerabiliorem regem quam militem egit, ut prorsus insolentia ac scelere regnum auspicari videretur; siquidem illustrissimum quemque vita aut opibus spoliare patriamque bonis civibus vacuefacere probitatis loco duxit, regni aemulos ratus quos nobilitate pares habuerat. Nec diu scelerum impunitus patriae consternatione perimitur, eadem spiritum eripiente, quae regnum largita fuerat.

From Dan, however, so saith antiquity; the pedigrees of our kings have flowed in glorious series, like channels from some parent spring. Grytha, a matron most highly revered among the Teutons, bore him two sons, HUMBLE and LOTHER.

The ancients, when they were to choose a king, were wont to stand on stones planted in the ground, and to proclaim their votes, in order to foreshadow from the steadfastness of the stones that the deed would be lasting. By this ceremony Humble was elected king at his father's death, thus winning a novel favour from his country; but by the malice of ensuing fate he fell from a king into a common man. For he was taken by Lother in war, and bought his life by yielding up his crown; such, in truth, were the only terms of escape offered him in his defeat. Forced, therefore, by the injustice of a brother to lay down his sovereignty, he furnished the lesson to mankind, that there is less safety, though more pomp, in the palace than in the cottage. Also, he bore his wrong so meekly that he seemed to rejoice at his loss of title as though it were a blessing; and I think he had a shrewd sense of the quality of a king's estate.

But Lother played the king as insupportably as he had played the soldier, inaugurating his reign straightway with arrogance and crime; for he counted it uprightness to strip all the most eminent of life or goods, and to clear his country of its loyal citizens, thinking all his equals in birth his rivals for the crown. He was soon chastised for his wickedness; for he met his end in an insurrection of his country; which had once bestowed on him his kingdom, and now bereft him of his life.

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References[edit]

  • Davidson, Hilda Ellis (ed.) and Peter Fisher (tr.) (1999). Saxo Grammaticus : The History of the Danes : Books I-IX. Bury St Edmunds: St Edmundsbury Press. ISBN 0-85991-502-6. First published 1979-1980.
  • Elton, Oliver (tr.) (1905). The Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus. New York: Norroena Society. Available online
  • Olrik, J. and H. Ræder (1931). Saxo Grammaticus : Gesta Danorum. Available online
Legendary titles
Preceded by
Humblus
King of Denmark Succeeded by
Skioldus