"Saxony" might be confusing, as it refers to more recent political
Could give the impression that specifically the area around Dresden
was meant. Maybe "Germany" or "North Germany" is better after all?
Or even Saxland + footnote.
er á leið várit -- You can see the impersonal nature from other
examples. Zoega quotes 'er á leið daginn' "when the day was far
spent", and with dative 'þá var liðit degi' "the day was far spent".
Another time expression with verb and adverb: 'líða at' +dat. "[it] to
draw near to [a point in time]". Zoega has: er at leið jólinum "when
it drew near to Yule".
Finally, the two dative absolute expressions that I find hard not to
get confused. The 'at' here is not like the adverb in the previous
example, but a preposition, summing up the whole situation:
(1) at liðnum vetri "when winter had passed"
(2) at áliðnum vetri "towards the end of winter"
Maybe it would help to remember it to think of it literally: (1) with
winter [being] GONE. (2) "with winter [being] GONE ON, or been going
on, but not quite over".