Статья посвящена изучению обстоятельств, связанных с рассказом Саксона Грамматика о походе датского короля Нильса (1104–1134) в земли прибалтийских славян. Поставлены проблемы: роль этого рассказа в контексте произведения Gesta Danorum, достоверность сообщаемых сведений, исторические источники Саксона Грамматика.
In XIIIth book of his “Gesta Danorum” Saxo Grammaticus delivered a story about an unsuccessful Danish expedition to “Sclavia” under King Niels (Saxo XIII 2). This article raises three main problems concerning Saxo’s story and the expedition itself. The first one is the problem of the narrative context of the story. While reading Saxo, it becomes obvious that the useless Niels’ expedition plays an ideological role in the text, giving an anti-example to the successful conquest of the Baltic Slavs led by King Valdemar I the Great and Bishop Absalon, who inspired Saxo to write his history of the Danes. The second problem touches upon the issue of credibility of the events related by Saxo in this text. It is not an idle question, since Saxo’s bias and singularity coincide with the silence of other sources. The author provides some reasons that make the story plausible. The expedition is assumed to have taken place in August, between 1112 and 1115. Niels’ ultimate goal is supposed to have been Oldenburg city, the stronghold and base of Prince Henry of the Obodrites. The place-name “Liutcha” (mentioned by Saxo) is conjectured to be a district around the Kossau River mouth in North-Western Holstein. The third problem is the question of the sources used by Saxo. The main and, supposedly, the only source was the oral tradition existing in the noble families, especially among the crowned Knud Lavard’s descendants.