Franks Casket (Rear Panel)

Go to Intro

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.


ᛏᛁᛏᚢᛋᛖᚾᛞᚷᛁᚢᚦᛖᚪᛋᚢ    HICFUGIANTHIEᚱUᚴALIM
titusendgiuþeasu    hicfugianthierusalim


Bottom-Left Corner

Bottom-Right Corner

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.

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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s