THE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES

[12] His motibus ita conpositis, Sclavis, qui nostra consuetudine Wilzi, proprie vero, id est sua locutione, Welatabi dicuntur, bellum inlatum est. In quo et Saxones velut auxiliares inter ceteras nationes, quae regis signa iussae sequebantur, quamquam ficta et minus devota oboedientia, militabant. Causa belli erat, quod Abodritos, qui cum Francis olim foederati erant, adsidua incursione lacessebant nec iussionibus coerceri poterant. Sinus quidam ab occidentali oceano orientem versus porrigitur, longitudinis quidem inconpertae, latitudinis vero quae nusquam centum milia passuum excedat, cum in multis locis contractior inveniatur. Hunc multae circumsedent nationes; Dani siquidem ac Sueones, ques Nordmannos vocamus, et septentrionale litus et omnes in eo insulas tenent. At litus australe Sclavi et Aisti et aliae diversae incolunt nationes; inter quos vel praecipui sunt, quibus tunc a rege bellum inferebatur, Welatabi. Quos ille una tantum et quam per se gesserat expeditione ita contudit ac domuit, ut ulterius imperata facere minime rennuendum iudicarent.


Slavic War

[12] After these uprisings had been thus quelled, war was declared against the Slavs who are commonly known among us as Wilzi, but properly, that is to say in their own tongue, are called Welatabians. The Saxons served in this campaign as auxiliaries among the tribes that followed the King's standard at his summons, but their obedience lacked sincerity and devotion. War was declared because the Slavs kept harassing the Abodriti, old allies of the Franks, by continual raids, in spite of all commands to the contrary. A gulf [ie the Baltic Sea] of unknown length, but nowhere more than a hundred miles wide, and in many parts narrower, stretches off towards the east from the Western Ocean. Many tribes have settlements on its shores; the Danes and Swedes, whom we call Northmen, on the northern shore and all the adjacent islands; but the southern shore is inhabited by the Slava and the Aïsti [from whom derive the modern name of "Estonia"]; and various other tribes. The Welatabians, against whom the King now made war, were the chief of these; but in a single campaign [789], which he conducted in person, he so crushed and subdued them that they did not think it advisable thereafter to refuse obedience to his commands.