Franks Casket (Rear Panel)

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The rear panel of the Franks Casket depicts the Siege of Jerusalem of 70 CE, when the future Emperor Titus sacked the city of Jerusalem and famously destroyed the Second Temple. The Jews who inhabited the city are put to flight by the Roman forces.

Left
ᚻᛖᚱᚠᛖᚷᛏᚪᚦ
herfegtaþ

Top
ᛏᛁᛏᚢᛋᛖᚾᛞᚷᛁᚢᚦᛖᚪᛋᚢ    HICFUGIANTHIEᚱUᚴALIM
titusendgiuþeasu    hicfugianthierusalim

Right
ᚪᚠᛁᛏᚪᛏᚩᚱᛖᛋ
afitatores

Bottom-Left Corner
ᛞᚩᛗ
dom

Bottom-Right Corner
ᚷᛁᛋᛚ
gisl

The text of the rear panel, including the words in the bottom corners, with the Roman characters in italics:

Her fegtaþ Titus end Giuþea su.
Hic fugiant Hierusalim afitatores.
Dom.
Gisl.

1   fegtaþ III feohtan 3 pl pres ind ‘they fight’—Giuþea su may perhaps be for Giuþea su[mæ] ‘some of the Jews’ or Giuþea su[na] ‘the sons of the Jews’

2   fugiant fugiō 3 pl pres subj ‘may they flee’—Hierusalim with a rune ᚱ for R and ᚴ, which looks like the Norse kaun rune but obviously stands for S here—afitatores = habitātōrēs ‘inhabitants’; a Latin word written entirely in runes; this erroneous spelling without initial h- suggests that h- was not pronounced in the local variety of Medieval Latin; f for b is a hypercorrection characteristic of Anglo-Saxon spelling (cf. the writing agof for agob in Exeter Book Riddle 46), a result of the fact that the intervocalic allophone of /b/ is [v], spelled f

3   dom ‘judgement, fate’ cf. doom < PIE *dʰóh₁-mos ‘that which is established,’ from *dʰeh₁- ‘put’ (cf. Gk τίθημι ‘to put, make,’ Eng do)

4   gisl ‘hostage, pledge’

The bottom-left corner, labeled dōm ‘judgement,’ shows a judge decreeing that the Jews of Jerusalem be taken as slaves. The bottom-right corner, labeled gīsl ‘hostage,’ depicts the defeated Jews as hostages.

Here Titus and the Jews do battle.
Here may the inhabitants flee Jerusalem.
Judgement.
Hostage.

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