Wulfstan, author of the sole preserved contemporary description of the 9th-century southern Baltic littoral, is an enigmatic fi gure. From archaeology we have learned that the coast he followed was at this time speckled with trading ports, large and small. Yet not only does Wulfstan’s party call in none of these ports, but his description omits them completely, while supplying consistently accurate information on the islands passed to the north. Was Wulfstan therefore badly informed? To approach an answer it will be useful to consider more closely the relationship between the activities he was engaged in and his geographical knowledge
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