Who 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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Release the Kráka! Aslaug crowed for Ragnar Lodbrok

Aslaug was a queen in Norse mythology. She appears in The Poetic Edda, the Völsunga saga, and in Ragnars saga Loðbrókar as being Ragnar Lothbrok’s wife (Ragnar “Lodbrok” Sigurdsson). In the Völsunga saga, Aslaug is said to be the daughter of the legendary hero Sigurd the dragon slayer (Sigurd “Fafnisbana” Sigmundsson, of Denmark). The dragon Sigurd slew was called Fafnir, the dwarven prince that was cursed into a dragon for possessing Andvari’s stolen gold. The saga also states that Aslaug is the daughter of Brynhildr, the shieldmaiden and valkyrie (Brynhild Budlasdatter). Aslaug is the mother of “Ivar the Boneless,” Björn “Ironside” Ragnarsson, Sigurd “Snake-in-the-eye” Ragnarsson, Rognvald…

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A Bizarre Viking Death: Killed by a bite from a severed head

Jarl Sigurd the Mighty, Viking ruler of Orkney, cut off an enemy’s head and hung it as a trophy from his horse’s saddle. Unfortunately, while riding, Sigurd grazed his leg on the severed head’s teeth and died from the resulting infection. Sigurd Eysteinsson, also known as Sigurd the Mighty, was the second Viking Jarl of Orkney and ruled from 875 to 892 AD. He was a leader in the Viking conquest of what is now northern Scotland. This was when the Viking presence in Scotland began to increase in the 830’s AD.…

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