Tribes of Widsith

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In Widsith, there is a long recital of people, clans and tribes who were known in the Germanic world of the 6th century.

Widsið maðolade,
wordhord onleac,
se þe monna mæst
mægþa ofer eorþan,
folca geondferde;
oft he on flette geþah
mynelicne maþþum.
Him from Myrgingum
Widsith spake,
he unlocked his treasure of words.
He who among men
had travelled most in the world,
through peoples and nations;
he had often in the hall
earned valuable treasures.
He was one of the Myrgings


æþele onwocon.
He mid Ealhhilde,
fælre freoþuwebban,
forman siþe
ham gesohte
eastan of Ongle,
wraþes wærlogan.
Ongon þa worn sprecan:
of noble blood.
He together with Ealhhilde,
the friendly weaver of peace
went for the home
of the king of the Goths (Hreiðgoths)
he was searching
east of the Angles,
wrathful against traitors.
He began to speak:



ond Alexandreas
ealra ricost
monna cynnes,
ond he mæst geþah
þara þe ic ofer foldan
gefrægen hæbbe.
ætla weold Hunum,
Eormanric Gotum,
Becca Baningum,
Burgendum Gifica.
and Alexander's
whole kingdom
together with the men of his clan
and he prospered most
of which I all over the world
have heard the reports.
Attila ruled the Huns,
Ermanaric ruled the Goths,
Becca the Banings,
Gebicca the Burgundians,


Casere weold Creacum
ond Cælic Finnum,
Hagena Holmrygum
ond Heoden Glommum.
Witta weold Swæfum,
Wada Hælsingum,
Meaca Myrgingum,
Mearchealf Hundingum.
þeodric weold Froncum,
þyle Rondingum,
Caesar ruled the Greeks
and Caelic the Finns,
Hagena the Rugians
and Heoden the Gloms.
Witta ruled the Suebi,
Wada the Hälsings,
Meaca the Myrgings,
Mearchealf the Hundings.
Theuderic ruled the Franks,
Thyle the Rondings,


Breoca Brondingum,
Billing Wernum.
Oswine weold Eowum
ond Ytum Gefwulf,
Fin Folcwalding
Fresna cynne.
Sigehere lengest
Sædenum weold,
Hnæf Hocingum,
Helm Wulfingum,
Breoc the Brondings,
Billing the Varni.
Oswin ruled the Aviones
and Getwulf the Jutes,
Finn Folcwalding
the Frisian clan.
Sigar longest
ruled the sea-Daner,
Hnæf the Hocings,
Helm the Wulfings,


Wald Woingum,
Wod þyringum,
Sæferð Sycgum,
Sweom Ongendþeow,
Sceafthere Ymbrum,
Sceafa Longbeardum,
Hun Hætwerum
ond Holen Wrosnum.
Hringweald wæs haten
Herefarena cyning.
Wald the Woings,
Wod the Thuringians,
Saeferth the Sycgs,
Ongenþeow the Swedes,
Sceafthere the Ymbers,
Sceafa the Lombards,
Hun the Chattuarii
and Holen the Wrosns.
Hringweald was called
the king of the war-chiefs.


Offa weold Ongle,
Alewih Denum;
se wæs þara manna
modgast ealra,
no hwæþre he ofer Offan
eorlscype fremede,
ac Offa geslog
ærest monna,
cynerica mæst.
Offa ruled the Angles,
Alewih the Daner;
he was among all men;
the bravest,
but was not braver than Offa,
because the noble
Offa conquered,
before he was a man,
in battle
most of his kingdom


Nænig efeneald him
eorlscipe maran
on orette.
Ane sweorde
merce gemærde
wið Myrgingum
bi Fifeldore;
heoldon forð siþþan
Engle ond Swæfe,
swa hit Offa geslog.
None of his age
showed earlship more.
With single sword
he spread his borders.
Against the Myrgings
marked the bound
by Fiveldor.
Henceforth 'twas held
by Sueve and Angle
as Offa won it.


Hroþwulf ond Hroðgar
heoldon lengest
sibbe ætsomne
siþþan hy forwræcon
wicinga cynn
ond Ingeldes
ord forbigdan,
forheowan æt Heorote
Heaðobeardna þrym.
Hrolf Kraki and Hrothgar
held longest
the peace,
uncle and nephew,
after having repulsed
the Vikings
and Ingeld
bowed down at spear-point,
he was cut to pieces at Heorot
with the army of the Heathobards.



mænan fore mengo
in meoduhealle
hu me cynegode
cystum dohten.
Ic wæs mid Hunum
ond mid Hreðgotum,
mid Sweom ond mid Geatum
ond mid Suþdenum.
Mid Wenlum ic wæs ond mid Wærnum
ond mid wicingum.
to this noble company
in the mead hall,
how my worthy patrons
rewarded me.
I was with Huns
and with Goths,
and with Swedes and with Geats
and with south-Daner.
With Vandals I was and with Varni
and with Vikings.


Mid Gefþum ic wæs ond mid Winedum
ond mid Gefflegum.
Mid Englum ic wæs ond mid Swæfum
ond mid ænenum.
Mid Seaxum ic wæs ond Sycgum
ond mid Sweordwerum.
Mid Hronum ic wæs ond mid Deanum
ond mid Heaþoreamum.
Mid þyringum ic wæs
ond mid þrowendum,
With the Gepids I was and with Wends
and with Gevlegs.
With the Angles I was and with Suebi
and with Aenenes.
With the Saxons I was and with Sycgs
and with swordsmen (Suarines?).
With the Hrons I was and with Deans
and with Heatho-Reams.
With the Thuringians I was
and with the Throwens,


ond mid Burgendum,
þær ic beag geþah;
me þær Guðhere forgeaf
glædlicne maþþum
songes to leane.
Næs þæt sæne cyning!
Mid Froncum ic wæs ond mid Frysum
ond mid Frumtingum.
Mid Rugum ic wæs ond mid Glommum
ond mid Rumwalum.
and with Burgundians,
there they gave me a ring:
there Guthere gave me
a shining treasure,
as a reward for my songs.
He was not a bad king!
With the Franks I was and with Frisians
and with Frumtings.
With the Rugians I was and with Gloms
and with Romans.


Swylce ic wæs on Eatule
mid ælfwine,
se hæfde moncynnes,
mine gefræge,
leohteste hond
lofes to wyrcenne,
heortan unhneaweste
hringa gedales,
beorhtra beaga,
bearn Eadwines.
I was in Italy
with Alboin too:
of all men he had,
as I have heard,
the readiest hand
to do brave deeds,
the most generous heart
in giving out rings
and shining torcs,
Audoin's son.


Mid Sercingum ic wæs
ond mid Seringum;
mid Creacum ic wæs ond mid Finnum
ond mid Casere,
se þe winburga
geweald ahte,
wiolena ond wilna,
ond Wala rices.
Mid Scottum ic wæs ond mid Peohtum
ond mid Scridefinnum;
With the Saracens I was
and with Seres.
With the Greeks I was and with the Finns
and with Caesar,
he who a grand city
treasures and female slaves,
and the Roman Empire.
With the Scots I was and with Picts
and with Saamis.


mid Lidwicingum ic wæs ond mid Leonum
ond mid Longbeardum,
mid hæðnum ond mid hæleþum
ond mid Hundingum.
Mid Israhelum ic wæs
ond mid Exsyringum,
mid Ebreum ond mid Indeum
ond mid Egyptum.
Mid Moidum ic wæs ond mid Persum
ond mid Myrgingum,
With the Lidvikings I was and with Leons
and with Lombards,
with heathens and with heroes
and with Hundings.
With the Israelites I was
and with Assyrians,
with Hebrews and with Indians
and with Egyptians.
With the Medes I was and with Persians
and with Myrgings


ond Mofdingum
ond ongend Myrgingum,
ond mid Amothingum.
Mid Eastþyringum ic wæs
ond mid Eolum ond mid Istum
ond Idumingum.
Ond ic wæs mid Eormanrice
ealle þrage,
þær me Gotena cyning
gode dohte;
and with Mofdings
against the Myrgings,
and with Amothings.
With the East-Thuringians I was
and with Eols and with Ists
and Idumings.
And I was with Ermanaric
during some time,
there the Goth king to me
did his best to do good;

See also[edit]