A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
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The port of Hasthum has occasioned much difficulty to the commentators, as well as that of Sciringes-heal; but all have agreed that it must be Sleswic, as this latter is called Haitha by Ethelwerd the Anglo-Saxon.  A Norwegian poet gives it the name of Heythabae, others call it Heydaboe, and Adam of Bremen Heidaba; and this, in their opinion, is precisely the same with Haethum.  It appears to me, however, that the difference between the words Haethaby and Hasthum, are by no means so inconsiderable.  And I think the situation of Sleswic does not at all accord with the descriptions which are given of Haethum by Ohthere and Wulfstan.  Indeed, if Sleswic be Haethum, I must confess, that I cannot in the least comprehend the course of the voyages of these ancient navigators.  Ohthere tells us, that in sailing from Sciringes-heal to Haethum, he had Denmark to the left, and the open sea, for the space of three days, to the right; but that, for two days before he reached Haethum, he had Gotland and Zeeland to the right, and the islands which belong to Denmark to the left.  If he had gone to Sleswic, he must have found all the Danish islands on his right hand, and not one besides Femeren on his left.  This being considered, I ask how it is possible, consistent with his own description of the voyage, that the situation of Sleswic can be made to correspond with Haethum?  As, in the district of Aarhuus in Jutland, there is an extensive track of land called Alheide, which is in fact a heath, I shall take the liberty to suppose, that the town, in the ninth century, lay higher up towards Al-heide, or All-heath; for the town of Aar-huus is new, and its name signifies in English Oar-house.  The old town, therefore, may have been called Al-haethum, or Haethum; so, that if Ohthere set out from Stockholm for this place, Gotland was on his right hand[4], and so was Zealand.  And as he sailed between Zealand and Funen, or Fyen, all the Danish islands were on his left hand, and he had the wide sea, that is, the Schager-rack, and Cattegat to the right.  Farther, when Wulfsten went from Haethum, or Aarhuus to Truso, he had Weonothland, that is Funen, Fionia, or Fyen to his right; and to the left were, Langeland, Laeland, Falster, and Sconeg; together with Bornholm, Bleking, Moehre, Oeland, and Gotland.  But Wendenland remained on his right, all the way to the mouth of the Vistula.

[1] Forst.  Voy. and Disc. 67.

[2] It appears to me, that the description given by Ohthere, implies,
    that Gotland was directly opposite to Sciringes-heal, or to the east. 

[3] Not surely on going southwards, but after he had again turned to the
    northwards, after doubling the southern point of Sweden.—­E.

[4] This is certainly true during the latter part of his voyage, after
    turning round the south end of Sweden, and standing again to the
    northward, between Zealand and Fyen; but in coasting down the shore of
    Sweden to the south, he must have left Gotland to the left,—­E.

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