Wulfstan of Hedeby

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Wulfstan of Hedeby (Latin Haithabu) was a late ninth century traveller and trader. His travel accounts, as well as those of another trader, Ohthere of Hålogaland, were included in Alfred the Great's translation of Orosius' Histories. It is unclear if Wulfstan was English or indeed if he was from Hedeby, in today's northern Germany near the city of Schleswig.

According to this account, Wulfstan undertook a journey by sea from Hedeby to the trading centre of Truso around the year 880. He names the lands the coasts he passes.

Wulfstan said that he went from Haethum to Truso in seven days and nights, and that the ship was running under sail all the way. Weonodland was on his right, and Langland, Laeland, Falster, and Sconey, on his left, all which land is subject to Denmark. Then on our left we had the land of the Burgundians, who have a king to themselves. Then, after the land of the Burgundians, we had on our left the lands that have been called from the earliest times Blekingey, and Meore, and Eowland, and Gotland, all which territory is subject to the Sweons; and Weonodland (the land of the Wends) was all the way on our right, as far as Weissel-mouth.[1]

This may be the earliest recorded use of the word "Denmark" (Danemearcan).


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