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Norse was the Scandinavian language of the Vikings. It was still quite similar to English, and these two languages assimilated in the Viking-settled areas of northern and eastern England. There are many place-names of Norse origin around the coasts of Wales.The audio extract is from a Norse skaldic poem by Þorkell hamarskáld celebrating the victory by Magnus Barelegs at the Battle of the Menai Straits (AD1081). In 1081 a combined Welsh and Norwegian force defeated the Normans at the Battle of the Menai Straits. Viking court poet Þorkell hamarskáld celebrates the victory, in particular the role of Norwegian king Magnós berfœttr (Magnus Barelegs). The poem would have been composed and performed orally around or soon after AD1100. Transcription of the audio passage:Dunði broddr á brynju. Bragningr skaut af magni. Sveigði allvaldr Egða Alm. Stọkk blód á hjalma. Strengs fló hagl í hringa, Hné ferð, en lét verða Họrða gramr í harðri Hjarlsókn banat jarli. English translation:Arrow drummed on mail-coat. The chieftain shot forcefully. The mighty ruler of the people of Agder bent his bow. Blood sprayed on helmets. Bowstring-hail flew into ring-mail, the troop fell, and the prince of the people of Hordaland caused the earl to be slain in a hard fight for land.English translation by Judith Jesch. Source: J. Jesch 1996, 'Norse historical traditions and the Historia Gruffudd vab Kenan: Magnós berfœttr and Haraldr hárfagri' in K. Maund, Gruffudd ap Cynan. A Collaborative Biography, 117-47.Old Norse reading by Professor John Hines, Cardiff University.

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