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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Get off my Boat! Jarl Haakon resists Conversion

Harald Bluetooth tried to force covert Jarl Haakon, but he and his men weren’t having anything to do with that. Most of the early Christian conversion attempts on the Norse people were done by means of entire communities converting as a whole rather than individual conversions.  Mass conversions were usually carried out by methods such as demanding conversions through subjugation. The subjects of a leader would be forced to convert.  Typically, the Norse leader or King would convert to Christianity themselves and as an opportunity to solidify their power, they…

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Norse Weapons – The Bow

The Vikings used a bow they called a ‘bogi‘ in Old Norse. Bows were predominately used for hunting, but in many cases they were also used for battle, especially in battles or attacks at sea. Even though nautical battles were not common to the Norse who preferred to fight on land, bows were indeed used in sea battles. They could use their bows to fire at an enemy awaiting them on the beach as they tried to land. They used the bow to attack other ships by firing arrows and throwing other…

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Elite Viking Warriors, the Shock Troops used by the Norse

The Vikings also had special troops that would reap fear into the enemy and instill encouragement on the friendly side. One kind of these special warriors were the infamous berserkers. Berserkers were warriors that would work themselves into a battle frenzy so much that they ignored pain and injury. Often, there would be many berserkers formed into groups and would be set loose on the enemy as shock troops. The berserkers believed that the god Odin would personally protect them from harm and so they often wore no armor into…

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Maya Weapons: The Atlatl and Obsidian Dart

The Maya utilized a Stone Age weapon called the Atlatl that matched Spaniard armor. Even though the Maya had and utilized missile technology, such as bows and arrows, the atlatl, blowguns and spear, most combat occurred at close range with hand to hand weapons. Missile weapons were not heavily relied upon because the goal was not to kill your enemy, but capture him if you could (to be later sacrificed to the gods). Weapons that were used by the Maya were crafted mostly from materials such as obsidian and chert, instead…

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