The ruler whom Widsith singles out for special attention is Eormanric (or Ermanaric),(3) the legendary king of the Goths, who commands ambiguous attention as both a magnificent host and a waerloga, or "oath-breaker.
Just as the Exeter Book gnomes confirm the natural order of the world by naming its elements and their properties-forst sceal freosan, fyr wudu meltan (frost has the property of freezing, fire consumes wood)(45)--so the poet of Widsith makes unarguable claims about the social order by naming the peoples of the earth and identifying their most famous rulers: AEtla weold Hunum, Eormanric Gotum (Attila ruled the Huns, Eormanric the Goths, 18).
49) The poet names either the Goths or Eormanric no fewer than five separate times.
And I was with Eormanric all the time; there the king of the Goths rewarded me bountifully.
First: why does mention of Eormanric lead directly to mention of the generous queen Ealhhild?