Articles

Hjalmar’s Holmgang against 12 Berserkers for Love

The legend of Hjalmar and his Viking Duel against the twelve berserker sons of Arngrim for the hand of princess Ingeborg in marriage. Hjalmar was a might viking warrior who had never lost a battle.  He was one of the mythical Swedish King Yngvi‘s housecarls at Uppsala. Yngvi was a legendary Swedish king of the House of Yngling. He was hailed as a great warrior who always won his battles, the master of all exercises, generous, happy and sociable. He was both loved and famous.  Gamla Uppsala is a parish and a village…

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Gaelic-Irish vs Norse-Gaels in The Battle of Clontarf

The Battle of Clontarf was a battle which took place in 1014 AD at Clontarf on the coast of Ireland between the forces of the High King of Ireland and a Norse-Irish alliance. When the Viking Age began, Norsemen began carrying out raids on the Gaelic Irish in the late eighth century.  These raids continued over the following decades and the Vikings had founded a number of settlements along the Irish coast.  By 838 AD, these Vikings had firmly established themselves in Dublin when they built a fortified longphort. A longphort (plural longphuirt) is a term…

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Naglfar, the Giant(‘s) Ship of Nails

Naglfar

It was foretold that during the events of Ragnarök, a massive ship called Naglfar will carry an army of jötnar to a large field called Vígríðr to host a battle between the forces of the gods and the forces of Surtr (a jötunn). Naglfar (also Óskópnir or Naglfari), means “nail ship” in Old Norse. It is a massive ship which was foretold that will ferry hordes to do battle with the gods – and it is not held together by timber and iron nails, but by finger and toe nails! Yo-ho-yuck is right!   It’s a ship made entirely from the…

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Homosexuality in the Viking World

The Norse Sagas and poems have absolutely no mentioning of any homosexual relationships whatsoever. But that does not mean that there weren’t any gay or lesbian relationships amongst the people of the North. It also does not mean that gay, lesbian, or bisexual relationships weren’t tolerated either. Christian influence, along with other male dominated cultures that came into the Norse world, frowned greatly upon homosexuality in any shape or form.  This stigma has carried itself into the present day as there continues to be a tendency for people to retain some of their prejudices and attitudes towards…

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Ivar the Avenger and other possibilities

Ivar Avenger

Ivar the Boneless was the son of Ragnar Lodbrok and Aslaug. He, along with his brothers, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Hvitserk, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and Ubba, had all grown up and set out to prove themselves as equals to their father, the Legendary Ragnar Lothbrok, the scourge of England and France. Ivar the Boneless is best known as being one of the leaders of the Great Heathen Army that invaded the lands now known as the UK and reaped vengeance on King Ælla for killing their father Ragnar Lothbrok. Read more: – Ivar and the Great…

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The Legendary Viking Heroine Blenda

Blenda is the heroine of a Swedish legend that led the rural women of Värend in an attack on a pillaging Danish army and annihilated the invaders. According to the legend, King Alle of the Geats had led the Geats in an attack against Norway. King Alle mustered not only the West Geats, but also the South Geats (or Riding Geats) of Småland.  The king had mustered so many men had left for Norway that the region was virtually defenseless. When the Danes (probably King Harald Wartooth) learned of Småland’s precarious situation, they took advantage of…

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The Legendary Battle of Bråvalla

The Sagas tell of a legendary battle which took in the 8th Century. The battle was between Sigurd Hring, the King of Sweden and the Geats of Västergötland, and his uncle Harald Wartooth, King of Denmark and of the Geats of Östergötland. The Geats (sometimes Goths) were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting what is now Götaland (“land of the Geats”) in southern Sweden. Legend has it that when King Harald Wartooth realized that he was about to die of old age that he suggested to his nephew, King Sigurd Hring that a great battle should be fought between their…

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Ívarr the Not-So-Boneless

Ívarr

Ímar (Old Norse: Ívarr) was King of the Norsemen of all Ireland and Britain. Ímar, or Ívarr or Ivar, was a Viking leader that came to rule Ireland and Scotland in the mid-late ninth century.  He was the founder of the Uí Ímair dynasty (Dynasty of Ivar), whose descendants continued to dominate the Irish Sea region for several centuries. House of Ivar King Ímar is believed by many scholars to be none other than Ivar the Boneless of the Great Heathen Army. The Fragmentary Annals of Ireland identifies Ímar patrilineality as being the son…

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Guthrum and conquest of the Danelaw

Guthrum (Guðrum) was one of the leaders of the Great Heathen Army and later, King of the Danish Vikings in the Danelaw. Before the year 865 AD, most Viking raids were predominately hit and run operations.  But by that year in 865 AD they changed into invasions with the intent to conquer. It is believed that pressure from tyrannous kings in Nordic regions forced them to seek new lands and start new lives. Norsemen were now looking for farm land to settle their families. The legend in the Sagas of Ragnar’s Sons…

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Who is the Ælle is King Ælla?

King Ælla (or Ælle, and sometimes Aella) was the ruler of the Kingdom of Northumbria in the middle of the 9th century. Although the dates are questionable because sources on Northumbrian history are extremely limited during this period; it is generally believed that in 862 or 863 AD, Ælla had disposed King Osberht (who was possibly his brother) and placed himself as ruler of Northumbria. The now King Ælla had then seized lands belonging to the Church at Billingham, Ileclif, Wigeclif and Crece.  Little more is known of King Ælla, except that he is described by most…

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