Old English: Þa sloh hine an heora mid anre æxe

Elske_m

Member
Scottish English
I don't know if anyone will be able to help me with this, because it is a question about Old English (ie. English as spoken between the 5th and 12th centuries).

I'm trying to translate this sentence into present day English:
Þa sloh hine an heora mid anre æxe
I've somehow come up with:
Then one hit(/slew?) him with their ax.


Any suggestions would be appreciated. I guess what I have kind of makes sense, it just sounds awkward. Although I guess that what sounds awkward now might not have over a thousand years ago!
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    I'll guess it says:

    Then one of them struck him with an ax.

    Though slew is derived from sloh, I think sloh just means struck.
    Anre is just "one" I think. Wouldn't "their" be hire?
     

    Elske_m

    Member
    Scottish English
    Probably yes :)
    It was the heora that was causing me bother. The reason I stuck a 'their' in is because I thought that heora had something to do with the genitive, and I couldn't think where it slotted in, but I can understand now how it could translate to 'of them'.
    Thank you very much for your reply, it was very helpful!
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    anre is here not genitive. anre æxe (case suffixes in bold) is instrumental/dative. The preposition mid requires the dative, originally instrumental which merged into the dative already during the OE period (with a few exceptions).

    (I don't know if it helps you but the OE declension system is very similar to the modern German one, except that the instrumental has completely disappeared in German.)
     

    Elske_m

    Member
    Scottish English
    anre is here not genitive. anre æxe (case suffixes in bold) is instrumental/dative. The preposition mid requires the dative, originally instrumental which merged into the dative already during the OE period (with a few exceptions).

    (I don't know if it helps you but the OE declension system is very similar to the modern German one, except that the instrumental has completely disappeared in German.)
    Thanks for trying to help, but I already knew that anre was not genitive.
     
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