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Europe and Asia and North Africa are described in King Alfred's Orosius at length. The descriptions of Asia and Africa are largely from the original by Paulus Orosius in the early fifth century, and that of Asia borrowed much from ancient sources. For Europe however King Alfred wrote an entirely new description, reflecting the world of the ninth century.

The initial description is remarkable. It deals exclusively with the Germanic and Slavic parts of Europe: France, Spain and Italy and not mentioned at all and Greece only in a passing mention though they all come in a later part. Here Alfred refers to all the tribes of Germany and the Slavic lands and where they lie. Only names and positions are given and there is no social nor political nor ethnographic description; he does not say whether they are Christian nor Heathen, Germany or Wendish, and when mentioning the Danes (Dene), Norsemen (Norþmenn) and Swedes (Sweon) he does not make any allusion to what vile depedations those nations were making upon his kingdom and others. It is very restrained.

After the passage below, Alfred's Orosius goes into a diversion, with the lengthy narratives of Ohthere, a Norwegian who explored Cwenland, in the region of the White Sea (Cwensæ) and of Wulfstan, an English merchant trading up the Baltic (Ostæ) to Truso on the Frisches Haff (Estmere).

Only after these narratives does the Orosius get back to describing southern and western Europe; Greece, Italy, Spain, Gaul and then the British Isles, but this is a different sort of desription; more of a classical narrative rather than a contemporary description.

Europe londgemæroEdit

Nu hæbbe we scortlice gesæd ymbe Asia londgemæro, nu wille we ymbe Europe londgemæro areccean swa micel swa we hit fyrmest witon.

From þære ie Danias west oþ Rin þa ea, seo wilð of þæm beorge þe mon Alpis hætt & irnð þonne norþryhte on þæs garsecges earm þe þæt lond uton ymblið þe mon Bryttania hætt, & eft suþ oð Donua þa ea, þære æwielme is neah Rines ofre þære ie, & is siþþan east irnende wið norþan Creca lond ut on þone Wendelsæ, & norþ oþ þone garsecg þe mon Cwensæ hæt: binnan þæm sindon monega þeoda, ac hit mon hæt eall Germania.

Þonne wið norþan Donua æwielme & be eastan Rine sindon Eastfrancan, & be suþan him sindon Swæfas, on oþre healf þære ie Donua, & be suþan him & be eastan sind Bægware, se dæl þe mon Regnesburg hætt, & ryhte be eastan him sindon Bæme, & eastnorþ sindon Þyringas, & be norþan him sindon Ealdseaxan, & be norþwestan him sindon Frisan. Be westan Ealdseaxum is Ælfe muþa þære ie & Frisland, & þonan westnorþ is þæt lond þe mon Ongle hæt and Sillende & sumne dæl Dene, & be norþan him is Afdrede & eastnorþ Wilte þe mon Hæfeldan hætt, and be eastan him is Wineda lond þe mon hætt Sysyle, & eastsuþ, ofer sumdæl, Maroara; and hie Maroara habbað be westan him Þyringas & Behemas & Begware healf, & be suþan him on oþre healfe Donua þære ie is þæt land Carendre suþ oþ þa beorgas þe mon Alpis hæt; to þæm ilcan beorgan licgað Begwara landgemæro & Swæfa. Þonne be eastan Carendran londe, begeondan þæm westenne, is Pulgara land, & be eastan þæm is Creca land, & be eastan Maroara londe is Wisle lond, & be eastan þæm sint Datia, þa þe iu wæron Gotan. Be norþeastan Maroara, sindon Dalamentsan, & be eastan Dalamantsan sindon Horigti, & be norþan Dalamentsan sindon Surpe, & be westan him Sysyle. Be norþan Horoti is Mægþa land, & be norþan Mægþa londe Sermende oþ þa beorgan Riffen. Be westan Suþdenum is þæs garsecges earm þe liþ ymbutan þæt land Brettania, & be norþan him is þæs sæs earm þe mon hæt Ostsæ, & be eastan him and be norþan sindon Norðdene, ægþer ge on þæm maran landum ge on þæm iglandum, & be eastan him sindon Afdrede, & be suþan him is Ælfe muþa þære ie & Ealdseaxna sumdæl. Norðdene habbað be norþan him þone ilcan sæs earm þe mon hæt Ostsæ, & be eatsan him sindon Osti þa leode, & Afrede be suþan. Osti habbað be norþan him þone ilcan sæs earm & Winedas & Burgendan, & be suþan him sindon Hæfeldan. Burgendan habbað þone sæs earm be westan him & Sweon be norþan, & be eastan him sint Sermende, & be suþan him Surfe. Sweon habbað be suþan him þone sæs earm Osti & be eastan him Sermende, & be norþan him ofer þa westenne is Cwenland, & be westnorþan him sindon Scridefinne & be westan Norþmenn.

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