THE VIKING AGE
The Viking Age saw the Nordic Sea-Peoples of Scandinavia, called "Vikings," also "Varangians," or "North-Men" (Normans), that is, the Norse, who were Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes, roving about the high seas in their dragon-ships as pirates traveling long distances in search of booty and plunder. The seas swarmed with these seafaring marauders from Scandinavia who terrorized Europe for roughly three hundred years attacking unexpectedly without warning, looting, pillaging, and burning villages and towns and massacring their inhabitants.
There are three distinct periods that the Viking Age may be divided into, which are: (1) The early years, from the late 700s/early 800s to the mid-800s, were characterized by sporadic raids made by small, roaming, stray bands of Scandinavian sea-raiders operating independently of each other who were out for plunder. These small bands of seaborne pirates were led by the sons of Scandinavian kings or by the descendants of Scandinavian kings or even by dispossessed Scandinavian kings themselves who left home during this chaotic period in Scandinavian History and made their living as raiders. These raiding-parties were of mixed origin having been recruited by their leaders from all parts of Scandinavia [Ire: Lochlainn], that is, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. (2) The middle period of the Viking Age, from the mid-800s to the mid-900s, saw the frequency and intensity of the Viking-raids gather momentum which developed into large scale expeditions. The raids changed in character from the incursions of many different small uncoordinated Viking groups conducting scattered hit-and-run attacks into the invasions of large armies with large fleets that sailed up the rivers of the British Isles and plundered great tracts of land and began to establish fortified camps, which they would use as their base of operations and/or spend the winter months. The attacks came to resemble not so much indiscriminate acts of piracy as a deliberate attempt by the Vikings to seize land for themselves on which to settle. And, before long, the Vikings began establishing permanent settlements in the British Isles and even founding their own local kingdoms, namely, the Viking Kingdom of York [Jorvik] in England [Danish Deira], the Viking kingdoms of Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick in Ireland, and the Viking Kingdom of Man [the Isle of] and "The Isles," that is, the Sudreys [Hebrides], in the Irish Sea. (3) The later years, from the mid-900s to the mid-1000s [or, more precisely, 1066], were characterized by organized campaigns undertaken by Viking national states, particularly those of Norway, Denmark, and Normandy, whose objective was the total conquest of the whole British nation. These later Viking enterprises were not Viking in character but were rather the national policy of any one of the Viking states, whose aim was conquest and/or colonization of the British Isles. In the last phase of the Viking Age the great fleets no longer came to the British Isles to reinforce their colonies due to domestic politics of the Scandinavian countries, thus, the Viking settlements in the British Isles grew weaker in numbers and less a menace to the native British population. The Viking settlers in the British Isles by this time had already begun intermarrying with the native British population in spite of their differences, adding to the nation's culture, and, with the conversion of the pagan Vikings to Christianity they were integrated into the national-life of the native British people. The Vikings, or Normans, were the fifth race of Medieval Britain. The five races of Medieval Britain were: (1) the Picts, the aboriginese [descendants of Stone & Bronze Age Britons], who were absorbed by later settlers; (2) the Irish, called Scots; (3) the Welsh, who were descendants of Iron Age Britons, Celts, and Romans; (4) the English (Anglo-Saxons); and (5) the Norman-French, that is, the French-speaking Scandinavian inhabitants of Normandy, a Viking-colony in France.
There were three major Scandinavian kingdoms in medieval times, namely, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, which were themselves made up of several minor kingdoms, which in ancient times were all a part of the empire of the ancient Scandinavian kingdom of Scani[a]. The ancient kingdom of Scania [from which Scandinavia derives its name] was centered in South-West Sweden in the Swedish counties of Skaane, Halland, and Blekinge, and extended out to include the Danish Islands and Southern Norway. Scania held sway over the whole of Scandinavia in ancient times and was the dominant power in Northern Europe for nearly a thousand years. The Kingdom of Scania appears to have been the mysterious Kingdom of Thule mentioned by classical writers. Scandinavia and its inhabitants was called "the land of the Hyper-Boreans" by the classics. The dynasty of Scania was called the "Boreades" by classical writers as supposedly the off-spring of Boreas, who was the mythological personification of the "North-Wind," however, according to Teutonic myth, the sun-god Odin (Woden; Votan), incarnate as a man, was Scania's first king.
The Danish kingdom was centered in Zealand, Falster, and Laaland, and its kings sat at Leire, near Roskilde, in Zealand. The first Danish dynasty was of the original Vanir race of Scandinavia. The dynasty was possibly over a thousand years old when it was overthrown around the beginning of our common era by the Scyldings (Skjoldungas) who came from Skaane. The Scyldings were the successors of the original dynasty of Scania, the Boreades, which had itself become extinct. The Scyldings conquered Denmark and transferred their seat there and gave Denmark its second dynasty. The Scyldings, according to mythology, descended from Scyld "Scefing," a babe of unknown parentage or origin found lying asleep on a "sheaf of corn" in a boat that drifted "across the sea" to the coast of Scania. The infant was adopted by Gefjon (Swe: Gerda), "The Snow Queen," the childless daughter and successor of the ancient Scandinavian king Gylfi (Swe: Gymir). King Gylfi was the last male-line descendant of Othni, the first King of Scania. Othni was the personification of the Teutonic deity Odin (Woten; Votan), who, according to mythology, originally led the migration of the AEsir (Aryans), that is, the Battle-Axe People, to Europe in the Bronze Age and founded the ancient kingdom of Scania, circa 1500BC. The myth of the babe in an oar-less boat has its origin in the ancient practice of the Teutonic People of setting adrift unwanted infants and leaving them to their fate. Gefjon "The Snow Queen" was deified in Teutonic Mythology as the goddess of nature, who, unmarried, also presided over virgins and received the souls of unmarried women upon their deaths. She was also the goddess of agriculture, and, as such, was portrayed tilling land with a plow drawn by oxen. Gefjon was sometimes represented as her son's wife, but this was a later perversion. Her adoptive son, Scyld, succeeded his adoptive mother, "the Snow Queen," upon her demise in the kingdom of Scania and founded a new dynasty, the Scyldings, circa 50/25BC. Scyld's epithet "Scefing" is not a patronymic term in this case and should not be translated to mean "son of Sce[a]f," but is a nick-name and should be translated to mean "child of the sheaf" or "sheaf-child." The name "Scyld" itself means "shield" and was probably not his given name [which is unknown], but was a nick-name or another epithet which he earned when he defeated the Romans in battle on the Elbe in 9BC and saved Scandinavia from Roman invasion. He occupied Denmark about that time, and moved his seat there. The Scyldings of Denmark were rivals of the Haleygjas of Norway and the Ynglingas of Sweden during their histories. Three great branches of the Scyldings developed over time, which were: (1) the kings of the "Land-Danes"; (2) the viking-leaders or "sea-kings" of the "Sea-Danes"; and (3) the kings of the "Suth-Danes" (South-Danes). The Scyldings were later dispossessed in Denmark by invading Danes [descendants of the Greek Danaoi, not Hebrew Danites], who came under their tribal chief or king Dan "Mykillate" from the Danish Isle of Schonen [their original home] and conquered the Danish mainland and gave Denmark its name as well as its third dynasty, circa AD 275. The story of the Scyldings is told in the "Skjoldunga Saga," which is also a source of information on the legendary history of Scandinavia. The short-lived dynasty of Dan "Mykillate" ended in co-heiresses (circa AD 375), who married Gothic, Vandal, and Heruli chiefs, who each contended for the Danish crown, and Denmark eventually came into the possession of the Volsungs, which family ruled the country throughout medieval times.
The major Norwegian kingdom was centered in Western Norway in the Trondleg district around the Trondheimsfjord, whose kings, the Haleygja Dynasty, sat at Hlade [Trondheim], and claimed descent from Saemingr (Sampsa), son of Pellav, a sun-god, possibly of Belgic origin? The kings of Trondhelm [Hlade] were high-kings over numerous Norwegian tribal kings. There were several minor regional kingdoms in Norway both native and immigrant in their origins, one of which grew up around the Oslofjord in South-East Norway whose kings were a branch of the Ynglingas of Sweden and sat at Oslo. The Ynglingas at Oslo rose in power and in the ninth century AD conquered the whole of Norway, overthrew the Haleygjas, and gave the country a new national dynasty which ruled the country during medieval times.
The Swedish kingdom emerged as a union of three kingdoms, those of (1) the native Vanir, (2) the Indo-European Svear (Suiones), and (3) the Goths. The kings of the Vanir sat at Uppsala in Eastern Sweden on Lake Malar and claimed descent from the Nordic deity Frey, the son of Njor, the sea-god of the aboriginese of Sweden. The kings of the Svear (Swedes), a tribe of the Teutonic Ingvaeones from Germany, sat at Sigtuna and claimed descent from Yngve, an early Teutonic patriarch, after whom the dynasty was called the Ynglingas. The kings of the Goths sat at Skara and held sway in the Swedish county of Gotarike or East and West Gotland on each side of Lake Wetter and claimed descent from Baldur, a sun-god, after whom the royal house was called the Balthae (Bathi) Dynasty.
There was a minor kingdom in Finland whose kings sat at Turku [Alboa] and descended from the Finnish chieftain Kalew, reckoned to have been Finland's first king, who led the migration of the Finns from Central Asia to Scandinavia, circa AD 475. The genealogy of the old Finnish royal house is now lost, however, the names of some Finnish kings have been preserved in medieval literature. The native Finnish royal house survived into the 1200s when the Swedes began attacking Finland and establishing colonies there, but had disappeared from history by the 1300s when the Swedes occupied the country as conquerors. The fate of the old Finnish royal house is unknown, though the leaders of several Finnish uprisings against the Swedes in the following centuries claimed to have been its heirs. Olaus Magnus, who wrote "History of the Nordic Peoples" (1555), mentions Finland as formerly an ancient kingdom with its own native royal house; the historian Johannes Messenius (1630s) also mentions the ancient Finnish kingdom in his writings; as does Michael Wexionius (1650) too. The old native Finnish kings are referred to by other writers in other works, among which are: the "Schwedische Bibliothek" (1728), by an anonymous author; the "Chronologia" (1768), by Tatishchev, the Russian historian; and, the "Svea Rikes Historia" (1769), by Sven Bring, the Swedish historian. The "Mythologia Fennica" (1789), by Christfrid Ganander, preserves some names and events from early Finnish history in the record of Finnish myths, legends, and lore.
Another race in Scandinavia are the Lapps, who may be identified with the "elves" of Teutonic Mythology. The Lapps are related to the Eskimos of North America, but have lost their original ethnic characteristics due to centuries of intermarriage with the Nordic Race.
The Vikings founded colonies all over Europe, that is, in Britain, Ireland, France, the Benelux Countries, and Russia; and, founded colonies outside of Europe, that is, in Iceland, Greenland, and Canada, in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. The evidence of a Viking settlement in Canada has been discovered in the Ungava Peninsula on Hudson Bay which consists of the ruins of long-houses characteristic of the Viking-style. There is evidence that the Vikings also established outposts in Labrador, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia, and possibly as far south as Martha's Vineyard, whose grapes gave "Vinland" gets its name. The Viking colonies in the British Isles were: (a) Danish Deira, that is, the Viking-kingdom of York; (b) Danish East Anglia; (c) the five Viking jarldoms/earldoms of Danish Mercia, the north-east half of Mercia, which co-existed with the south-west remnant of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, that is, English Mercia; the Viking-kingdoms of (d) Dublin, (e) Waterford, and (f) Limerick; (g) the Viking-kingdom of the Isle of Man, which held sway over the Viking-colonies in Cumberland (Cumbria) [North-East England], the Hebrides, called "The Isles" or "The Sudreys" [Scotland‘s "Western Isles"], and in Pembrokeshire [South-West Wales]; (h) the Viking-colony in Caithness [Northern Scotland], which was subject to the earls/jarls of the Orkney Islands [cap. Scapa Flow], who also held sway over the Shetland Islands [cap. Jarlshof], and the Faroe Islands [cap. Gata, on Austrey Isle], which three groups of islands were collectively called "The Nordreys"; (i) and, the Channel Islands. The lords of the Channel Islands were vassals of the Viking-dukes of Normandy. The Viking colony in France, Normandy, formerly the French province of Neustrie, came to be one of the most formidable powers in Europe, and eventually conquered the British Isles. The Vikings established a colony in Holland, whose medieval dukes descended from Danish royalty. The grand-dukes of Luxembourg were also of Viking/Danish origin. Too, another Viking-leader, Rorek, after raiding towns in Holland, Germany, and Poland, attacked Russia and carried out raids there for three years (859-862), and, in 862, established himself in Russia and founded a Viking-state which gradually extended its territories to cover the whole country, and was its first king. The Russians called the rulers of the Rurikid Dynasty [descendants of Rorek/Rurik] "kings," while the Holy Roman Empire only gave Russia the status of a grand-dukedom and therefore called its rulers "grand-dukes." The grand-dukes of Russia were called "czars" ("tsars") after 1453 as the successors of the Byzantine emperors, and, therefore, became the rivals of the western Holy Roman emperors. The descendants of Rorek (Rurik) ruled Russia for over a thousand years until the Russian Revolution in 1917 when the Bolsheviks overthrew the dynasty. The Viking-colonies in the North Atlantic, Iceland, Greenland, and Canada, called Helluland, Markland, and Vinland respectively in Viking-saga, failed except for Iceland. The first Viking colonists came to Iceland under the leadership of Ingold Arnarson, who established a settlement at Reykjavik, in 874/5. Most colonists of Iceland came not from Scandinavia but from Viking settlements in the British Isles.
The first recorded Viking raid on England took place in Year 787, according to the "ASC." The "ASC" is off two years after a certain point in its chronology and therefore the Year 789 is generally regarded as the correct date. There had been earlier raids we know of from legends however this was the first historical one. This event signals the start of the Viking Age. It was the beginning of a long protracted struggle between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons. This article/chapter is continued from the previous article/chapter about the Anglo-Saxons.
The Vikings attacked England first, then Scotland and its Northern and Western Islands, then Wales, and Ireland, as well as France, in that order. The leader of these early Viking raids was Ogier "The Dane," a scion of the Scyldings of Denmark, who, from his pirate fort at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, sailed the seas with his followers, called "North-Men" or "Normans," whom he recruited from all over Scandinavia, and made raids on the British Isles and other lands. Legend says that Ogier "The Dane" as a teenager was a hostage at Charlemagne's Court. There are varying stories about how he came to be there. Ogier was favored by Charlemagne, and accompanied him on his campaigns. Ogier as a young man fought under Charlemagne as one of his captains, and became one of Charlemagne's paladins. Charlemagne freed Ogier for his service, and gave him permission to return to his homeland. Ogier attracted a band of followers in Denmark, and became the leader of a gang of Viking pirates. Ogier, over the next few years, made raids on the British Isles which are unrecorded in history and are known only from legends. It was during this period that Ogier kidnapped the wife and son of a British king. He married the wife, and adopted her son, Baldwin, as his step-son. Ogier later returned to France with his band of followers and took service under Charlemagne as mercenaries in his hire. It was during this period that Ogier won his epic victory over invading Saracens, which is told in the French epic "Les Enfances Ogier." The situation changed when Ogier's step-son, Baldwin, was murdered by Charlemagne's son, Prince Charles (Charlot), over a chess game that Baldwin won. The French crown-prince became angry that he had lost the game and slew Baldwin for deriding him. Ogier, outraged at the murder, drew his sword, called "Curtana," against Charlemagne's son in revenge, however, according to myth, warned by a voice from Heaven to show mercy, spared him. A feud ensued between Ogier and Charlemagne, and Ogier took his men and joined the service of Desiderius (Didier), King of the Lombards [Italy], with whom Charlemagne was then warring. The war went against Desiderius, and he was defeated by Charlemagne who conquered his kingdom (774). Ogier was captured after the battle and brought before Charlemagne. He refused all offers of reconciliation, and Charlemagne put him in prison. Ogier, however, escaped and made his way back home to Denmark where he raised another war-band and began making raids on France in addition to Britain and Ireland which prompted Charlemagne to create a coast-guard to fend off his attacks. Ogier now totally gave himself over to the life of a Viking. He landed on the southern coast of England at Portland in Dorset in 789 with three boatloads of "North-Men." There they were met by some local officials who fatally mistook them for merchants. The Vikings slew the English officials, and proceeded to sack, thieve, and loot several towns in Southern England before returning to their ships. Some versions of the "ASC" say that the Vikings came from "Herethaland" which is either Hardeland in Denmark or Hordaland in Norway, however, other versions do not mention their place of origin which leads scholars to speculate that this is a later insertion. The insertion may have been added as a learned guess, since the centre of his father's Danish sub-kingdom was Hardeland in Denmark. Ogier and his followers then sailed up the Thames and despoiled London and made raids in the English midlands. And, after that, they made raids in Northern England but withdrew in the face of native resistance which was just then getting organized by the English nation to combat the Viking menace. In 792 the Vikings struck again in England, and, in the following years they began attacking unexpectedly with increasing frequency and more reckless ferocity, so that the calamitous assaults suffered by the English people came to be unbearable. The Vikings were fierce and blood-thirsty, and abominably savage. The Vikings under Ogier "The Dane" looted and burned monasteries in England, Scotland, and Ireland, 793, 794, and 795, seizing their treasures and killing their monks. No place was safe from their attacks. They were the "terrorists" of their time. In 793 Ogier looted the famous monastery at Lindisfarne in England. In 794 Ogier and his gang of cut-throats converged upon the Orkneys Islands and massacred all of its native Pictish inhabitants in a butchery of epic proportions, and established their pirate fort at Scapa Flow which became their permanent base. The native language of the Orkneys disappeared along with its native inhabitants, and the Orkneys remained "Viking" throughout the medieval era. In 795 Ogier harried the Scottish coasts, and looted another famous monastery, the one at Iona in Scotland founded by St. Columba. He raided the monastery at Iona a second time in 802, and following a third attack in 806 its resident abbot and monks relocated to Kells in Ireland and left Iona abandoned for more than a century. The Vikings under Ogier raided the Sudreys [the Hebrides] off Western Scotland in 795, and laid waste to the Isle of Skye. From there Ogier and his men swept into the Irish Sea and landed in Glamorgan, South Wales, and foraged about the countryside until driven out by local Welsh kings. Ogier then with his raiders crossed over the sea to Ireland and began assailing its coasts. The attack on Rathlin, north of Dublin, in 795, was the first recorded Viking raid on Ireland.
OGIER "THE DANE" (HOLGER "DANSKE") increased his attacks on England after Offa's death in 796 and occupied York and founded a short-lived Viking-state called the "Danelaw." He was even crowned by Eanbald II [his chaplain, who took the name of his English predecessor], whom he installed as Arch-Bishop of York to replace Eanbald I, whom he expelled that year. Tradition makes OGIER "THE DANE" a "King of England." It was sort of a restoration since Ogier was a descendant of Havelock "The Dane," a Danish prince, who reigned as "King of England" 560-565. In 798 Ogier raided Scotland again, ravaged the Isle of Man, returned to Ireland and rustled the cattle-tribute which the Irish sub-kings paid to the Irish High-King every year. And, in another incursion into Wales that year, Ogier reeked havoc until driven out by the Mercians. In 799 Ogier attacked France, landed in Aquitaine, but was repelled by its duke. He and his men attacked the Netherlands in 800. And, in 801, Ogier attacked France again, landed in Neustrie [Normandy], and terrorized the countryside until driven out by Charlemagne. Ogier suffered a major defeat in England in 802 fighting the Mercian King Cenwulf, who overran the Viking settlement in England and expelled the Viking colonists from the country. The Viking-state in England, that is, the "Danelaw," dissolved at this time, yet was later revived under Ogier's heirs. Ogier, after the debacle, set out with his men on a five years' odyssey that took him to far and exotic places. Ogier made raids in Spain, Morocco, and Sicily, and on numerous Mediterranean towns and cities. Ogier in his exploits journeyed east and visited Constantinople, where he and his men may have briefly hired themselves out to the eastern emperor as mercenaries and may have served him as his bodyguards. There is a legend that Ogier, after hearing about the great wealth of Ethiopia, attacked that country and plundered its cities. He and his war-band of Viking bandits looted their way east as far as India. Ogier renewed his attacks on the British Isles upon returning west. He made raids in England in 807, in Scotland in 808, and in Wales in 809. His sons, Sveide, Othger, and Svavar, now appear accompanying their father on all of his raids. The Vikings under Ogier made raids in Ireland throughout Ulster, Connaught, and Munster, in 811, 812, and 813. He sacked Cork in 811, appeared in the Owles of Mayo and in Connemara in 812, and raided as far south as Kerry in 813. Ogier returned to France, suffered another defeat this time at the hands of Charlemagne, and was captured after the battle. The story of his reconciliation with Charlemagne is told in the French epic "La Chevalerie Ogier de Danemarche." Ogier, upon Charlemagne's death in 814, according to legend, married his young widow Liutgarde [who had been Charlemagne's fifth wife] as his fifth wife. Ogier thereupon retired from the life of a viking and settled down with his new bride. The viking raids however continued with increasing fury under Ogier's sons, who, after some quarreling among themselves, split-up and became the leaders of separate viking groups. Ogier died three years later in 817. The adventures of Ogier are told in the French epic "Chansons de Geste" as well as in many Danish stories, ballads, and legends. The Vikings under the sons and descendants of Ogier "The Dane" made raids all over Europe, the Near East, and Northern Africa. They sailed the North Sea, the Mediterranean, and the North Atlantic. The Vikings even came to America, for in 967 the Viking-leader Ullman, one of Ogier's descendants, was the guest of the native Indian king Topiltzin, who was then presiding over a "Golden Age" of Classical Mexico.
note: ancestry of Ogier "The Dane" (Holger "Danske") & descendants
a. Ecgwela, a Danish king, scion of the Scyldings of Denmark, begot
b. Ecgdjof, a Danish king, = sister of Hygelac, King of the Getae (Geats), &, begot
c. BEOWULF (ELFHERE), called "King of England" Year 541, d543, = Freawaru, a Danish princess, begot
d. Valdar "The Dane," = Hilde, a Vandal princess, &, begot
e. HAVELOCK "THE DANE," called "King of England" 560-565, = Goldborough, the English heiress, &, begot
f. Endill, who begot
g. Iokull, who begot
h. Snaer "Gamli," the father of
i. Thorir, who begot
j. Gor [had a brother, Nor, the ancestor of a line of Norse kings] begot
k. Heiti [had a brother, Beiti, the ancestor of a[nother] line of Scandinavian kings] begot
l. Gotti [or, Gotto, name corrupted by medieval romance into Godfroi/Geoffrey/Gaufre], a Danish king, King of Hardeland, begot
m. OGIER "THE DANE", called "King of England" 796-802, d817
=1 Gertrude, daughter of the Count of Meaux, mother of Autchar
=2 Belicene, wife of a British king, mother of Baldwin
=3 X, mother of Sveide "The Viking", Othger, & Svavar
=4 Clarissa, mother of Vatnar
=5 Liutgard, widow of Charlemagne, mother of Meurvin
n. Sveide "The Viking" (d832), son by 3rd wife, begot
o. Halfdan "Gamle" (d851?), son, begot
p. Ivar "Oplaendinge" (850), = sister of Hogni, Jarl of the Norwegian Uplands, &, begot
q. Eystein "Glumra" (d879), = Aseda, the Norwegian heiress, begot
r. Rognald, Earl of More, 1st Earl of The Orkneys 875, d894, begot
s. Rollo (Hrolf "Ganger"), 1st Duke of Normandy 911, d932, begot
t. William "Long-Sword," Duke of Normandy (d942/3), begot
u. Richard "The Fearless," Duke of Normandy (d996), begot
v. Richard "The Good," Duke of Normandy (d1027), begot
w. Robert "The Devil," Duke of Normandy (d1035), begot
x. WILLIAM "THE CONQUEROR", King of England 1066
The most active of Ogier's sons was Sveide "The Viking", whose descendants were the most famous lineage of Ogier's house. Sveide hit all over the British Isles during the 820s. He made a raid in France in 818. Sveide made a raid on Howth in Ireland in 821 and carried-off a large number of Irish women to be wives for his men. He worked his way round the whole Irish coastline in 823. Sveide was killed in battle in England fighting King Egbert in 832. He was survived by many children begotten by many wives. His sons took over as the co-leaders of their father's war-band of Vikings, yet soon split-up after their father's death attracting their own followers from their father's old war-band and became the leaders of separate Viking groups. These new war-bands of Vikings resumed the raids on England, Ireland, and France, attacking simultaneously all over the British Isles.
The 830s and 840s saw the beginning of a new phase in Viking operations when the Vikings began to winter in the British Isles and to establish permanent camps. And, once they had established permanent bases in the British Isles their attacks on the islanders accelerated to frightful proportions. The days of isolated raids were gone, and what now followed was persistent attacks by the Vikings with a view of seizing land for themselves and colonization.
Halfdan and Sigfroi (Sigfrid), more of Sveide's sons, had joined forces and were making raids in Britain, Holland, and France. Halfdan and Sigfroi defeated an English army under the Anglo-Saxon Bretwalda Egbert in 836 at Carhampton in Somerset, England, however, in 838 Halfdan and Sigfroi were themselves defeated in battle by Egbert at Hingston Down and were driven out of England. In 839 Halfdan and Sigfroi invaded Scotland with a sizable force and defeated and slew the Pict king Uven (Eoganan) in battle. Halfdan and Sigfroi returned to England after Egbert's death and wrought great destruction in Lindsey, East Anglia, and Kent, in 841. They ransacked London in 842, and when the Mercian king Bertulf went out against them he was defeated and put to flight. Halfdan and Sigfroi left England after that and attacked France. Their appearance in France in 842 is well documented by medieval writers, for their assaults on French towns was of surpassing brutality and terror. In 844 they were back in England and slew the Northumbrian king Redwulf who had marched out to oppose them. They left England again in 844 and attacked Spain; sailed down the coast of Portugal to Lisbon, attacked that city; moved onto Cadiz; ravaged Andalusia, took Seville [except its citadel]; and raided Cordova. Halfdan and Sigfroi and their Viking-horde then passed through the Gibraltar Straits into the Mediterranean Sea and made a raid on Arzilla in Morocco. The next year in 845 Halfdan and Sigfroi joined another Viking-group led by Ragnar "The Raven" on his siege of Paris, France; while, their brothers, each with his own war-band of Vikings, were operating independently of each other in various regions of the British Isles.
In 832, Turgeis, another of Sveide's sons, began raiding Ireland. He and his brothers led the first Viking fleets on Irish inland waterways. In 834 Turgeis captured Armagh, the capital city of Ulster and the ecclesiastical centre or Ireland as the seat of the country's primate. Turgeis evicted the Irish Primate and set himself up as a pagan high-priest in his place. Turgeis founded the earliest Viking-kingdom in Ireland in 835, which, however, was short-lived and dissolved upon his death in 845. In 836 Turgeis made raids in Meath and sacked its capital city of Brega. Turgeis established fortified harbors that became permanent bases that later developed into the towns of Dublin (836), Waterford (839), and Limerick (841). In 837 several Viking fleets under some of Turgeis' brothers appeared in Ireland and attacked Ulster, Leinster, and Munster, and sailed up the island's rivers and ravaged the country's interior. In 839 Turgeis and his brothers made their way up the Shannon and carried out raids in the Irish midlands. In 841 the Viking fleet spent the winter at Dublin. The fame of Turgeis spread over Western Europe. It is therefore not surprising that we find Moorish ambassadors at Turgeis' Court in 843. Turgeis fell by trickery rather than in combat. He was captured by the Irish and drowned in Lough Owel in 845. That year saw the collapse of the first viking-state in Ireland with the death of its founder, Turgeis. In 847 some of Sveide's other sons began campaigning in Ireland to avenge their brother's death, which was met by the individual efforts of the regional Irish kings, for a nationwide effort of the Irish people to resist the invaders had failed to materialize.
The struggle of Ireland's first Viking-colony to survive was maintained by Haakon, one of Sveide's sons, who appears in Irish annals as making raids in Ireland in 847. The next year, in 848, Tomrar, the son of Turgeis, was killed by the Irish while attempting to revive his late father's kingdom. His uncles, Godfred and Sigfroi, other of Sveide's sons, meantime, were in Scotland fighting the Picts; while, their brother, Asgeir, was ravaging France.
The Viking-leader Asgeir (Oscar), another of Sveide's sons, made raids on the northern coasts of France and forays into the French province of Neustrie in 840. In 841 he appeared off the mouth of the Seine, headed upriver, sacked, plundered, and burned Rouen; pillaged the surrounding countryside, and quickly returned to his ships before the local inhabitants of the area could gather and defend themselves. Asgeir joined forces with other Viking groups and made raids on Toulouse, Galicia, and Andalusia in 844. He also joined forces with Ragnar "The Raven" on his siege of Paris in 845. Also, that year, several Viking groups joined forces and sacked Hamburg, Germany, among whom was the Viking-leader Rorek, who later founded a Viking-state in Russia. In 847 the Vikings under Asgeir ravaged Brittany. In 848 Asgeir fought in Aquitaine and took its capital city of Bordeaux. In 849 the Vikings pressed inland deep into the French countryside. Later, that year, 849, Asgeir joined his brothers in Ireland, where they had come to avenge the death of their nephew Tomrar, Turgeis' son. Godfred and Sigfroi came from Scotland where they had been ravaging the country; and Ingeld, Halfdan, and Harold, who were other brothers, came from England, Wales, and Holland, where they had been pilfering, plundering, and pillaging. They together ravaged Ireland for three years, 849-851.
More groups of Vikings began appearing and making raids in the British Isles in the 840s, 850s, and 860s. These groups were led by Ragnar "The Raven" and his sons and relatives, who belonged to the famous Teutonic family called the Volsungs. Ragnar "The Raven," one of the most famous Vikings, was sometimes given the epithet "Lodbrok" by medieval writers who either confused him with one of his ancestors whose name was also Ragnar or because "Lodbrok" had become a dynastic name of the descendants of the earlier Scandinavian conqueror, Ragnar "Lodbrok." The original Ragnar "Lodbrok" was the most illustrious Viking warrior in heroic Scandinavian literature. He was called "Lodbrok," meaning "leather trousers" or "hairy breaches," as a nick-name for a garment made from a bear's hide he wore in winter instead of armor. The arrival of these new Viking groups under Ragnar "The Raven" and his relatives weakened the original group of Vikings under Ogier's descendants and initiated a period of civil wars between them. The Irish Annals refer to the Vikings under Ragnar "The Raven" and his relatives as the "Danish Vikings" and the Vikings under the descendants of Ogier "The Dane" as the "Norse Vikings." His epithet "The Dane" comes from medieval French romance. The Danish Vikings were called the "Dubhgaill" ["black foreigners"] by the Irish, who called the Norse Vikings the "Finngaill" ["white foreigners"]. These Viking groups often fought each other over booty, land, and control; while they also would co-operate with each other to achieve a common objective in their common struggle with the native British population. The history of the various Viking war-bands intertwine so closely that it is almost impossible for them to be picked apart, for many of their contemporary leaders had the same name. The main group of these new arrivals was led by Ragnar "The Raven." His siege and capture of Paris, France, in 845, is well documented by medieval writers. Ragnar "The Raven" and his relatives plundered Paris and occupied the city until King Charles "The Bald" of France paid him 7000 pounds of silver for him to depart in peace and take his plunder with him. The exploits of the sons and relatives of Ragnar "The Raven" are almost as well-known and celebrated as his own in the Viking sagas. His sons, called the "sons of Lodbrok" undertook an expedition to the Mediterranean between 859 and 862, during which they attacked Galicia, sailed around Spain and raided Nekur on the coast of Morocco, attacked the Balearic Islands, then, made their way north to Southern France and plundered several cities in Provence, and went up the Rhone as far as Valence. Next, the "Sons of Lodbrok" attacked Italy and captured several towns including Luna, which is famous in Viking Saga because the town was captured by the Vikings under the delusion that they had taken Rome. From Italy they sailed back around Spain, and returned to the British Isles where they made more raids. They undertook a second Mediterranean expedition in 864, and made raids in Greece, Lebanon, and Egypt, and in 865 laid siege to Constantinople before returning to the British Isles.
Meanwhile, the Viking-leaders Halfdan and Sigefroi returned to England in 851 and stormed London. Halfdan and Sigefroi were defeated with great loss at Oakley (Aclea) in Surrey by the Wessex King Ethelwulf, while his son, Athelstan, put out to sea and won a naval victory off Sandwich over the retreating Vikings. Halfdan and Sigefroi with the remnant of their men withdrew to their island-base on the Isle of Thanet where they spent the winter. The militias of Surrey, Kent, and Sussex were called out by King Ethelwulf in 852 to root out the Vikings from their stronghold on the Isle of Thanet, and the Vikings were forced to leave. Later that year, we find Sigefroi with another brother, Godfred (Godfroi), campaigning in France. Sigefroi and Godfred were both killed in separate raids in France in 852. Their brother Asgeir returned to France in 851 and made raids up and down the Seine 851-852. Their nephew, Olaf "The White," meanwhile, went to Ireland in 851 and established a Viking-kingdom at Dublin, while his brothers Sigtrygg and Ivar established themselves as kings of Waterford and Limerick. Olaf departed Dublin that year and left his uncle Halfdan in charge. The Norse Vikings under Halfdan were challenged by another Viking-group, the Danish Vikings, under Ragnar "The Raven" and his relatives. The control of Dublin was hotly contested by the rivaling Viking groups. Halfdan was killed, and the Norse Vikings were almost annihilated by the Danish Vikings under Ragnar "The Raven," who expelled the Norse Vikings from Dublin in 851 and occupied the city. He soon departed on another expedition and left one of his sons, Horm "The Dane," at Dublin in charge. In 852 Olaf "The White" and his brothers Sigtyrgg and Ivar counter-attacked but were defeated by Horm "The Dane" in battle at Carlingford Lough. The next year, 853, the Norse Vikings returned to Ireland under (another) Olaf [not "The White"] and his brothers Auisle (Audgisl) and Ivar with a great fleet and easily defeated the Danish Vikings at Dublin, who submitted to them, and they speedily restored Dublin to the Norse Vikings. Dublin was re-conquered by the Norse Vikings under Olaf, in 853, who re-founded the Viking-kingdom of Dublin with himself as its king. This time it was the Danish Vikings who were expelled from Dublin. Historians often confuse Olaf "of Dublin" (853) with Olaf "The White" (851), who are sometimes wrongly identified as the same person. This identification rests mainly on the circumstances that each Olaf was said to have conquered Dublin at more or less the same time. However, the identification can not be made, because (a) their parentage is different, (b) their wives are different; and (c) their children are different; and, too, their deaths are different. Olaf "of Dublin" took the title "rex Nordmannorum totius Hiberniae et Britanniae," which suggests that the Norse Dublin kingdom had claims of authority over the Norse Vikings who had settled in North-West England. This explains their quarrels with the neighboring Danish Vikings in North-East England. Horm "The Dane," after relinquishing Dublin to the Norse, turned his attention to other parts of the British Isles. He pillaged the Isle of Man in 853. Horm "The Dane" appears in Brittany, France, in 854, raiding its towns. He went plundering in the upper Severn Valley in Wales and made daring raids into Mercia, England, in 855. Horm "The Dane" terrorized Wales in 855 and was killed fighting the Welsh king Rhodri "Mawr." Meanwhile, Olaf "of Dublin," soon after his initial conquest in 853, returned to Norway and left his brother Ivar in charge at Dublin during his absence. In 854 the Viking-leaders Olaf, Godfred, and Ivar, who were brothers, made raids in Ireland, and also attacked Dublin, but were repelled by their cousin Ivar "of Dublin." Olaf "of Dublin" returned to Ireland in 856, and joined his brothers Ausile and Ivar in raids on Strathclyde, Wales, and Cornwall. In 860 the brothers raided Gower, Glamorgan, and Gwent, in South Wales, and were expelled by the combined forces of the kings of those regional Welsh kingdoms. In 861 the Danish Vikings under the leadership of Ragnar "The Raven" landed on the Hampshire coast, marched inland, and took Winchester, the capital city of Wessex, but were driven out by the Wessex King Ethelbert. In 865, Ragnar "The Raven," after attempting to take Constantinople by siege during his second Mediterranean expedition, returned to Western Europe and launched another campaign in France. Paris suffered from a raid, Chartres held off an attack; and Orleans was sacked. Ragnar "The Raven" then turned on England and invaded the country at the head of a "Great Army" coming ashore in East Anglia. The East Anglians, faced with this invasion, quickly made peace by the payment of a large tribute. Ragnar "The Raven" then sailed up the Humber and began plundering Northumbria, where he met his fate. The next year, in 866, Ragnar "The Raven," following a raid on a town, was captured by the soldiers of the Northumbrian King Elli, who had the great viking-leader lowered into a snake-pit where he died ending his illustrious career.
Ivar, Halfdan, and Ubbe, the sons of Ragnar "the Raven," collected an enormous host, what came to be called the Viking or Danish "Great Army," and invaded England in 867 on the pretense of avenging their father's death, though their true motive was very likely to seize land for themselves and their men, and they proceeded to conquer every Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Northumbria was the first of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to fall to the Vikings. Its last independent king, Elli, was defeated, captured, and executed by "blood-eagle" by the Vikings in 867 effectively ending the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Its capital city, York, was captured, and the whole of Deira was occupied by the Vikings. Ivar, called "The Boneless" because he was double-jointed, founded the Danish kingdom of York [Jorvik], or Danish Deira, with himself as its first king, and revived the "Danelaw." English Bernicia survived for a while as a satellite state of Danish Deira under the rule of puppet-kings set up by the Vikings. Thus, the Angle dynasty of Northumbria, which had earlier succeeded the original native British dynasty, was itself succeeded by a line of Viking-kings.
IVAR "THE BONELESS" is made a "King of England" by tradition. Ivar, after conquering Northumbria, attacked the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia; and wintered in Mercia at Nottingham 867-868. He returned to Danish Deira in 868, and wintered at York 868-869. East Anglia was overrun next by the Vikings following another foray into Mercia, whose king Burgred bought peace by the payment of a large tribute. The army of East Anglia was defeated at Hoxne, Suffolk, in 869, and its king Edmund sued for peace. The Vikings wintered in East Anglia at Thetford 869-870. Edmund, determined to drive the Vikings out of East Anglia, marched against them. He was defeated by Ivar "The Boneless" in battle at Hellesdon. Edmund, called "The English St. Sebastian," after surrendering to the conquerors, was cruelly tortured, flayed, and executed by being tied to a post or tree and shot full of arrows. His heir, Oswald, was installed in East Anglia as a puppet-king by the Vikings, but they later expelled him, in 880, upon which the native dynasty of East Anglia was succeeded by a line of Viking-kings. In 870 Ivar "The Boneless" invaded Scotland and joined the Norse Vikings under their king Olaf "of Dublin" who was fighting the Britons of Strathclyde, while his [Ivar's] brother Halfdan attacked Southern England, and their other brother Ubbe campaigned in Wales. The capture of Dumbarton, the capital city of Strathclyde, after four months siege by the Vikings in 870, signaled the beginning of the end of the history of the Britons outside the boundaries of the Roman Empire. They had remained unconquered until then. In 871, Olaf "of Dublin" returned to Norway, where he was killed the next year, in 872, fighting in the famous Battle of Hafrsfjord when Harald "Fair-Hair" conquered Norway [Ire: Lochlainn] and founded the country's medieval kingdom. Ivar "The Boneless" was drawn to Dublin to break-up the Norwegian monopoly in the Irish Sea; and, during Olaf ‘s absence, took over Dublin as its king. From 871 Ivar "The Boneless" campaigned in Ireland and laid waste to a large part of the island in his attempt to subdue it. Ivar "The Boneless" was killed in Ireland in 873. He was remembered as the king of all the Vikings in the British Isles.
SIGFRID (SIGEFROI), one of Ivar's brothers, meantime, was left in charge at York and kept Northern England in check, while his brother Halfdan assumed the overall leadership of the "Great Army" and campaigned in Southern England which he quickly brought under foot. Halfdan fought Ethelred, the last King of Wessex, in five major battles as well as several minor skirmishes, of which the outcome was indecisive. The Vikings wintered in Wessex at Reading 870-871. Ethelred won a great victory over the Vikings at Ashdown, in which Bagsecg, one of Halfdan's brothers, was killed; but Ethelred did not follow up his success, and the Vikings held the advantage. The Saxons were beaten at Merton [Meredune], where Ethelred was mortally wounded and died soon after from his wounds. The Vikings attacked again the day of Ethelred's funeral at Wimborne and caught the Saxons by surprise, and scattered the Wessex Army and completely overran the country.
HALFDAN occupied London, where the Vikings wintered 871-872, and all England was submissive to him. He called himself "King of England" and had a coin minted for him. The Year 872 saw Ivar "The Boneless" over Ireland, his brother Sigfrid over Northern England, and his other brother Halfdan over Southern England. The death of Ivar "The Boneless" in 873 signaled revolts throughout the British Isles, which his brothers scrambled to suppress.
Native resistance in England was organized by the Wessex prince, Alfred, who began a campaign of guerrilla-warfare against the foreign conquerors. Then, there appeared the "Summer Army" led by Guthrum, Anund, and Oscytel, other "sons of Lodbrok," who joined their brother Halfdan, who was then ravaging Wessex. From Wessex the Vikings proceeded north to Lindsey where they wintered at Torksey 872-873. Meanwhile, in Bernicia, the Northumbrians resented Egbert I, the puppet-king the Vikings had set-up, and expelled him in 872. He fled initially to the viking-camp in Lindsey, and then was given refuge in Mercia where he died the next year. The Vikings under Halfdan marched to Bernicia in 873, suppressed the rebellion, reasserted their authority, and set-up another puppet-king, Ricsige. From there, the Vikings returned to Mercia which had risen up in rebellion, and began to ravage the country. The Vikings wintered in Mercia at Repton 873-874. The Vikings crushed the Mercian rebellion in 874 and expelled their king Burgred who fled to Rome where he later died in exile. His successor, Ceolwulf II, a puppet-king set-up by the Vikings, is usually considered to have been Mercia's last king.
In 874 the Viking armies split-up under their own commanders. Halfdan, the commander of the "Great Army," occupied Northern England, while his brothers Guthrum, Anund, and Oscytel, the joint-commanders of the "Summer Army," occupied Southern England, and another brother, Ubbe, the commander of the "Western Army," continued campaigning in Wales. Halfdan took the "Northern Army" to Northumbria and wintered at Newcastle 874-875; while Gunthrum, Anund, and Oscytel, took the "Summer Army" to East Anglia and wintered at Cambridge 874-875; and Ubbe took the "Western Army" and wintered at Gloucester 874-875. In 875 Halfdan marched through Scotland and defeated its king Constantine in battle at Dollar, Centralshire. He, then, took ships and sailed to Ireland to assert his claim to his late brother's [Ivar's] kingdom, Dublin. There he slew the king of Viking Dublin, Eystein [son of Olaf "of Dublin," the former ally of Ivar], and established himself in Dublin as its king. Halfdan, afterwards, was recalled to England due to a rebellion there. Sigfrid, Halfdan's brother, who had succeeded Ivar as King of York on his death, was killed attempting to suppress the rebellion of the Bernician king, Ricsige. Ricsige, who the Vikings had set-up as a puppet-king in Bernicia, revolted against his Viking-master, Sigfrid "of York," and temporarily reigned as an independent ruler. Halfdan, upon returning to England, campaigned against Ricsige, slew him in battle, in 876, and crushed the uprising. He, then, occupied York and replaced his brother as its king. From 876 the "Northern Army" wintered at York. It is said that Halfdan went insane. He was unpopular with his army which expelled him in 877 and acclaimed his nephew Godfred [Ivar's son] his successor; and Halfdan fled with some followers and returned to Ireland where he was killed in battle at Strangford Lough attempting to restore his authority over the rebellious Vikings there.
GODFRED (GUTHFRITH) adopted a policy of reconciliation between the native English and the Vikings. He set-up another puppet-king in Bernicia, Egbert II, the last one, who reigned for just one year, and was expelled by the Scots, under their co-kings Giric and Eochu, in 878, who drove the Bernicians out of Lothian, and with him disappeared the remnant of what was left of the once great kingdom of Northumbria.
UBBE "THE FEARSOME", who was Godfred's uncle, attacked Cornwall with the "Western Army" in 875, defeated the Cornish in battle, and slew their king, Dungart (Doniert), then, afterwards, campaigned in Wales, where they wintered at Milford Haven 876-876. He made raids all over Wales in 876, slew three local Welsh kings, namely, Iudon of Dyfed, Kanhaethoe of Powys, and Hywel of Gwent, and wintered again at Milford Haven 876-877. In 877, Ubbe, with the support of the Vikings of Dublin, the Isle of Man, and the Hebrides, succeeded in defeating the Welsh high-king, Rhodri "Mawr," in battle, and expelled him from Wales. The "Western Army wintered once more at Milford Haven 877-878. In the spring of 878, Ubbe sailed from Pembrokeshire, Wales, to Devonshire, England, where the "Western Army" was utterly defeated and scattered, and Ubbe was slain in battle fighting local resistance under the shire's ealdorman.
GUTHRUM, AUNUD, and OSCYTEL, the co-commanders of the "Summer Army," wintered in East Anglia at Cambridge 874-875. In 875 they began a three years' campaign to squash native English resistance under Alfred, the Wessex prince. From Cambridge, the "Summer Army" marched through Wessex, suppressing opposition, to Wareham, in Dorsetshire, where the Vikings wintered 875-876. Guthrum, after further operations in Wessex, in 876, marched to Exeter, in Cornwall-Devonshire, where the army wintered 876-877. Then, Guthrum re-entered Mercia, in 877, and partitioned Mercia in halves. The south-west, the English half, was left to Ceolwulf II, and the north-east, the Viking half, was sub-divided among five of the "Sons of Lodbrok" into a rude confederacy of five boroughs (counties) which they ruled as "jarls" [earls], all of equal rank. The five boroughs of Danish Mercia, called "the land of the five castles," were: Derby, Nottingham, Lincoln, Stamford, and Leicester. The Vikings wintered in Mercia at Gloucester 877-878. In 878, Guthrum returned to Wessex to deal with another uprising of the native English led by Alfred, the Wessex prince. The Vikings smashed all organized resistance in Wessex, and occupied large parts of Wessex, and began a terrible devastation of Wessex, so much so that many of the country's inhabitants fled across the English Channel overseas. The Wessex prince Alfred barely escaped with his life into the Somerset marshes where the Vikings could not find him. All England was now under the control of the Vikings. After the conquest of England the rank and file of the Viking armies were settled in English lands distributed out to them by their leaders, and the Viking veterans settled down and began planting crops and living off the land giving up the viking life-style. Thus, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were all swept away by the onslaught of the Vikings, and in their place sprang-up viking states. It was the end of the Anglo-Saxon "Heptarchy" and the beginning, or restoration, of the Viking "Danelaw," and England entered the Viking Age.
Following the Viking Conquest of most of England and parts of Scotland and Ireland, it seemed that the British Isles would become an extension of Scandinavia, however, this was reversed by the Wessex prince Alfred who came out of hiding and began a campaign of guerrilla-warfare against the conquerors. The young prince rallied his countrymen against the conquerors, and in the space of six weeks the Vikings were defeated in battle at Edington, in Wiltshire, by Alfred, who chased the Vikings back to their camp at Chippenham. Guthrum, the Viking-leader, was besieged there for two weeks before agreeing to Alfred's terms. Guthrum and his men were forced to undergo Christian baptism at Aller according to peace-terms. Too, Guthrum was obliged to sign a peace-treaty at Wedmore, whose provisions required the Vikings to withdraw from Wessex. They made an orderly retreat from Wessex and withdrew into Mercia, where they wintered at Cirencester 878-879. It is unclear if the Vikings removed the Mercian king Ceolwulf II at this time; or perhaps if Ceolwulf II continued to reign until 883 when there appears the Mercian ealdorman, or king, Ethelred [II], who succeeded to the authority formerly held by Mercia's last king. In 879, the Vikings moved into East Anglia where they expelled its last native king, Oswald, and founded a Viking kingdom in East Anglia with Guthrum as its first king (880).
An enormous Viking force assembled at Fulham on the Thames, under Guthrum, Sigfred, Godfred, and others, which sailed to Ghent, Flanders [Belgium], and made raids in the European Netherlands. They joined up with other Vikings in a war against the Holy Roman Empire. The Vikings defeated the Holy Roman Emperor Charles "The Fat" in 882, and drove him from his capital city, Aachen ["New Rome"], and kept their horses in the imperial palace. That year, one of the viking-leaders, Godfred, made a separate peace with Charles "The Fat" and was granted a large fief in Frisia [Holland], however, three years later, in 885, he undertook raids on several French cities and made demands on the emperor, who sent his agents and they murdered him. The Vikings under Sigfred besieged Paris 885-886, but withdrew upon receiving payment of tribute by Charles "The Fat." Tidings from England however troubled Guthrum; and, in 886 the Viking Army split-up. Half returned to England under Guthrum, and half stayed in France under Hastein [another brother]. The Vikings under Guthrum made haste back to England to challenge the creation of the English state by Alfred "The Great," who had been acclaimed king that year during Guthrum's absence. Hastein, meantime, ravaged Burgundy and France (887). His attack on Brittany [North-West France] (888) however was repulsed by its king/duke.
Meanwhile, in England, the Wessex prince, Alfred, called "The Great," seized London from the Vikings by force. It was at this time, in 886, the "ASC" says that "all the English, except those subject to the Danes [Vikings], submitted to him," and Alfred "The Great" officially founded the "Kingdom of England" by proclamation with himself acclaimed as its first king by his countrymen. He was consecrated, crowned, and enthroned king in a ceremony in London in the city's abbey, Old St. Peter's, which is today the site of Westminster Abbey, which still bears that name, officiated by Ethelred, the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, which began the custom. These events drew Guthrum and the Vikings back to England from the European continent. Guthrum found Alfred "The Great" too formidable a foe. He accepted the situation and made peace, and devoted his remaining years to the domestic affairs of his Viking-kingdom in East Anglia. Guthrum died in 890, and was succeed by his son, Eohric.
In the "Danelaw", meanwhile, Godfred "of York" became a Christian in 883 and was consecrated by church elders. His conversion coincides with the return to Danish Deira of the English clergy which had been expelled by Halfdan. Godfred marched against the Scots in 889 during a civil war in Scotland, and recovered Southern Bernicia, however, did not restore the Bernician kingdom, but annexed the territory to his own realm. The Bernician heir, Eadulf (Ealdwulf; Eardwulf), meanwhile, established himself in the English enclave around Bamburgh between the Scots across the Firth of Forth and the Danes south of the Tees, and took the title "ealdorman" in 886/889. He acknowledged the overlordship of Alfred "The Great," in 896, upon his conquest of the "Danelaw."
The Vikings suffered many set-backs and defeats with heavy losses in the 890s. In 892, the Viking-leader Hastein, another "son of Lodbrok," came to England from France, where he had reeked havoc for many years, and landed in Kent. His arrival sparked a general uprising of the Viking settlers in England who hastened to join Hastein's army which attacked Wessex in 893. The army of Hastein was reinforced by Vikings from all over the country. The situation was extremely serious when in 893 Alfred began an anxious and bitter three years war against the Vikings. It was his final struggle against the Scandinavian invaders. That year, Sigfrid, the brother of Godfred, the Viking-King of York, was repulsed by Alfred upon invading Wessex. Instead of returning home, Sigfrid attacked Dublin, expelled its king, Sihtric (Sigtrygg), and reigned as king in Dublin. The next year, in 894, Sihtric counter-attacked and expelled Sigfrid whom he chased back to York, and raided Northern England in retaliation for Sigfrid's escapade in Ireland against him. Godfred "of York" died that year  and was succeeded by his notorious brother, Sigfrid.
SIGFRID II, the viking-king of Danish Deira [York], gave only passive support to Hastein in his war against the English under Alfred "The Great, and as a result was expelled in 896 by a faction of nobles who supported Hastein. The same was the case of Eohric, the Viking-king of East Anglia, who did not want to loose his kingdom. He supplied men and materials to Hastein but did not actively take part in the fighting. The same was true also of the five viking jarls/earls of Danish Mercia, who submitted to Alfred "The Great" when he overran their territories. Meanwhile, the Dublin Vikings, called the "Gaill-Gaedhil" by the Irish, were engaged in their own separate wars. They plundered North Wales in 894, Ireland in 895, and South Wales in 896. Sihtric of Dublin was killed in a dispute between factions among the Dublin Vikings in 896, and was succeeded by a relative, Olaf III, who was killed that same year fighting the Irish, and was succeeded by another.
HASTEIN (HASTING) was acclaimed "King of England" by the Viking "Great Army" in 896. The Vikings were decisively defeated and Hastein was killed in battle at Benfleet, in Essex, that year, fighting Alfred "The Great," after which the Viking "Great Army" was finally disbanded and the Vikings in England submitted to the victors. The Vikings in England were permitted by Alfred to retain their own rulers, who, however, now, were under Alfred's suzerainty as the king of all England at last. The wife and sons of Hastein were captured after the battle and allowed to leave with the remnant of the Viking "Great Army" which dispersed and returned to their settlements in Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria. Some, however, returned to France under the leadership of Hastein's son, Huncdeus, and continued their viking life-style there. Then, others tried to rally the Vikings in England and continue the war, but they were defeated by Alfred in a series of minor engagements.
SIGFRID II "of York" (again) was restored to the Viking-kingdom of Danish Deira [York] by his supporters in 896 who expelled his opponents, and he reigned a second-time. Sigfrid along with all the other Viking rulers in England submitted to the overlordship of Alfred "The Great" and his successors, the English kings, following the Battle of Benfleet in 896. The Viking-leader Hardeknut (Knut; Cnut) appears in Northumbria soon after Sigfrid's restoration, and contended with Sigfrid for the kingship of Danish Deira [or York]. He had come from Dublin where he had attempted and failed to make himself king there following the death of its king, Sihtric. He was repulsed by Sigfrid of York at Cleveland but attacked again at Scarborough where he found support among a faction of the Vikings of Danish Deira, and Sigfrid was obliged to accept him as a co-ruler of the viking-kingdom. Sigfrid was murdered two years later in 898 by the supporters of Hardeknut, which left Hardeknut as sole king of Danish Deira.
HARDEKNUT (KNUT; CNUT) appears in Denmark fighting the Swedes in 899. The text gives his name as HARDEGON and says he came from "Nortmannia," which is identified as "Northumbria." He overthrew the Swedish usurper Sigtrygg (Sigerich) and succeeded him as King of Denmark, while his son Gorm ruled Danish Deira in his place.
GORM was the ruler of Danish Deira [or York] in 899, at the time of the arrival there of the Wessex claimant, Ethelwald, whose mother was a Danish princess. Ethelwald was acclaimed "King of England" at York by the city‘s citizens, and reigned in opposition to his cousin, Edward, Alfred's son (899-902). The Viking King of Danish Deira, Gorm, yielded to Ethelwald, and reigned under Ethelwald's overlordship. In 902 news came to Gorm of his father's death in Denmark; and, he departed for Denmark, where he succeeded his father and reigned as King Gorm III "The Great" [i.e., "Grandaevus"], or "The Old" [i.e., "Hen"]. He was challenged by the claimant Silfraskalli, whom he slew in battle. That year, Ethelwald took an army of Vikings from Danish Deira to Danish East Anglia passing through Danish Mercia recruiting settlers along the way, and marched against his cousin, Alfred's son, Edward, his rival as "King of England." Ethelwald was defeated and killed in battle at Holm fighting his cousin, Edward, in 902. Meantime, civil war among the Vikings in Ireland gave the Irish the opportunity to rid themselves of these foreign conquerors. The regional Irish kings joined forces, attacked the Vikings at Dublin, captured the city, made terrible slaughter of its inhabitants, and forced the beaten remnant of the city's defenders to flee the country in a large-scale exodus. The refugees made their way to other Viking settlements across the sea in Britain. It appears that many refugees settled in the Viking colony of Cumberland (Cumbria), in North-West England, for many of the place-names in Cumberland reflect settlement by Vikings whose speech had been modified by previous contact with the Irish. The arrival in Wales of a group of Vikings under Hingamund (Ingimundr), an usurper in Dublin, in 902, is recorded in Welsh annals. He campaigned in Wales for nine years, from 902 to 911, before he and his followers were at length driven out by Clydog of Seisyllwg; however, his sons later returned and established Viking settlements scattered throughout Wales. There are some historians who dismiss the possibility of permanent Viking settlements in Wales, however, place-names, archaeological evidence, and the viking sagas seem to indicate that these did take place. The place names are recognizable from names ending in "-ey" or "-holm" or "ea," such as Bardsey, Steepholm, and Swansea. Then, other Viking refugees made their way to Scotland under Ivar III, the ex-king of Dublin, who plundered Dunkeld "and all Scotland" in 903, but in 904 was defeated and killed by the Scots in battle at Strathearn. There were some Viking refugees from Dublin who made their way to France where they hired themselves out as mercenaries in the employ of the various French nobles.
INGVAR, HALFDAN II, and EOWILS, were among the numerous claimants in York following the expulsion of the Dublin Vikings from Ireland that year, and were able to establish their claims during the upheaval in Danish Deira following the battle of Holm. Ingvar, Halfdan, and Eowils, three brothers, reigned together as co-rulers of Danish Deira, or The "Danelaw." The Vikings were constantly testing the resolve of the new English king, Edward, Alfred's son. He signed a peace treaty with the Viking-King of East Anglia, Guthrum II, in 902, but it carried little weight. In 906 the English king made treaties with the five Viking jarls/earls of Danish Mercia, but they did not live up to them. And, throughout Year 909 the Viking co-kings of York, Ingvar, Halfdan [II], and Eowils, harried the Wessex coasts with their fleet. The next year, in 910, the Viking co-kings of York marched from Northumbria through Mercia and attacked Wessex. Edward repulsed their attack and chased them in route. He caught up with them in Mercia at Tettenhall, Staffordshire, where the Vikings were soundly defeated and their co-kings, Ingvar, Halfdan [II], and Eowils, were slain. The Vikings of Danish Deira were leaderless after that for several months until the appearing of Ragnald, a Viking prince, in 911, who seized the opportunity and occupied York, and established himself there as king.
Meantime, a horde of Vikings, called "Normans" [= "North-Men"], under their leader Rollo, invaded France and began to pillage the country. Rollo (Hrolf), called "Ganger-"Rolf or "The Walker" because he was so big that no horse could carry him, the son of Earl Ragnald of More, is one of the most celebrated figures of Viking history. Rollo came from the Viking stronghold in the Orkney Islands. He made raids in Scotland, Ireland, and England before he came to France. King Charles "The Fat" of France bought-off the Vikings with a huge payment of tribute, and offered them the French province of Neustrie in which to settle on the condition that they adopt the Christian faith. Thus, Year 911, by the Treaty of St. Clair-sur-Epte, Neustrie became Normandy, and Rollo became its first duke. Rollo took his new status seriously and abandoned his old life-style of a Viking-leader and adopted the new life-style of a French noble.
RAGNALD I was acclaimed king at York by the city's citizens, Year 911. In 912 he began expanding the Viking kingdom of York, or Danish Deira, by subduing neighboring counties. Throughout 913 he campaigned all over Northern England and annexed Cumbria (Cumberland) to his realm, thus, uniting Danish North-East England and Norwegian North-West England. In 914 he occupied English Bernicia and expelled its ealdorman, Ealdred; then, attacked Scotland and defeated its king Constantine II in battle at Corbridge; then, devastated Strathclyde and expelled its king Domnall. His fleet joined him at Dumbarton from where Ragnald sailed and won a naval-battle fighting a rival Viking fleet in the Irish Sea. He then proceeded to conquer Galloway, the Isles of Man, and the Southern Hebrides.
The Vikings returned to Dublin in 912 under Sihtric "Caech" ten years after they had been expelled by the native Irish. Sihtric "Caech", with the assistance of his brothers Ragnald of York and Godfred [another viking-leader], re-captured Limerick in 915, then Waterford in 916, and then Dublin in 917. In the wake of the victory, the Viking-kingdom of Dublin was re-established along with the restoration of its succession of kings. Godfred joined his brothers in 915 following an incursion into Wales, where he sailed up the Severn and attacked Hereford, Gloucester, and other cities, then, from Pembrokeshire, went off to Ireland where he widely ravaged Munster. Throughout 918 the three brothers campaigned all over Ireland attempting to conquer the isle. In 919 the three brothers defeated the combined forces of Meath, Airgialla, and Ulster, under the Irish High-King Niall "Glundub," who attacked the Vikings of Dublin, but was soundly beaten and killed in battle at Island-Bridge together with many of the most important Irish nobles. Meantime, during Ragnald's absence, opposition arose at York against him, and Ragnald was obliged to return home. He was challenged on his way back to York as he trekked across Northern England by the Scottish king Constantine II whom he again defeated in battle in 918 once more at Corbridge. In 919 Ragnald regained York without difficulty, overcame the opposition of the nobles there, and resumed his interrupted reign. Then, almost immediately he was challenged by the English king. This time Ragnald was defeated in battle and was forced to submit to the overlordship of the English king. Ragnald died in 921, and was succeeded in York by his brother, Sihtric "Caech."
SIHTRIC (SIGTRYGG) "CAECH" or "GALE" departed Ireland, which he left to his brother Godfred [who succeeded him in Dublin as king], and came to England where he succeeded his brother Ragnald in York as king, Year 921. He did not at first recognize the overlordship of the English king, but was prevailed upon by the Viking nobles to make peace with the English king, Athelstan, Edward's son. Sihtric "Caech" married the sister of King Athelstan of England, namely, Edith, in 926, as his second wife; yet, inside twelve months he repudiated his bride, whom he put in a nunnery. The sources differ on what happened next. In one source it says that Athelstan, enraged, took an army to York and defeated and slew Sihtric "Caech" in battle; whereas, another source says that after Sihtric "Caech" was defeated in battle by Athelstan, he escaped back to York where he was murdered by the Viking nobles. Then, still another source does not mention the battle and reports that Athelstan marched to York after Sihtric's death, Year 927. Sihtric's son, Olaf "Cuaran" or"Brogues", begotten of his first wife, though a minor at the time, was accepted by the Viking nobles as his father's successor, however, the boy-king was spirited out of York a few days after his father's death and did not reign.
GODFRED II (GUTHFRITH), the boy-king's uncle, came from Dublin to York to act as regent for his nephew, however, the boy-king Olaf "Cuaran" had already been smuggled out of York by some Viking nobles due to the advance of Athelstan, the English king, and Godfred was accepted as king in York by the city's citizens. He, however, was expelled that same year by the English king, who took York which he occupied with English troops. Another source says that Godfred, the King of Dublin, took an army to York before his nephew's flight to secure him on the throne, and was repulsed by the English king but doubled-back after his nephew's flight and took York and reigned briefly there himself as king in 927, before he was driven out by King Athelstan. There followed an interregnum in the Viking kingdom during which Athelstan occupied Danish Deira with English troops and ruled the Viking kingdom directly. Athelstan was challenged in 937 by [another] Olaf [Godfred's son], the King of Dublin, who invaded Northern England and took York. To keep his hold on York Olaf entered into an alliance with Constantine II, the King of Scotland, and with Owen, the King of Strathclyde, who were joined in the coalition against the English king by Gebeachan (Gibhleachan), the King of Man and The Isles [Hebrides], as well as by the five Danish jarls/earls of the "Five Boroughs" of Danish Mercia, and by others. They all marched against the English king, and were all decisively defeated by Athelstan in the Battle of Brunanburh, after which the supremacy of the English kings in the British Isles was indisputable. Hring and Adils were two Viking-leaders of Viking settlements in Wales who fought at Brunanburh.
OLAF I (ANLAF) had succeeded his father, Godfred, in Dublin as king upon his death in 934. Then, over the next three years he established the supremacy of Dublin over the other Viking settlements in Ireland, including Waterford and Limerick. Upon his defeat at Brunanburh in 937 Olaf only barely escaped capture and fled back to Dublin. The next year, in 938, the Irish High-King, Donnchad, attacked Dublin, but was repelled by Olaf who had rebuilt his forces. Then, after Athelstan's death, in 939, King Olaf of Dublin led a new invasion of Northern England and established himself again in York as king. That year, Olaf also established his suzerainty over the Isle of Man and its territories. In 940 Olaf led an army south into the English midlands and occupied Danish Mercia, that is, the "Five Boroughs." The Viking settlement in East Anglia, encouraged by Olaf's success, revolted against English rule. Talks were held with the English king Edmund following the indecisive Battle of Leicester, and Olaf was allowed to retain the kingship of Danish Deira [York]. Then, in 941, Olaf turned north and made an expedition into English Bernicia, expelled its ruler, Wulfrun, the High-Reeve of Bamburgh, but was killed in the fighting. Though survived by two sons, the Viking nobles at York turned to his cousin, the other Olaf, Sihtric's son, the earlier boy-king, who had in the meantime come of age, and he succeeded as king.
OLAF II "CUARAN"/"KVARAN" or "BROGUES", the dispossessed heir, claimed the kingship of York on the death of its king, Olaf I, his cousin, in 941, and was accepted as king by the Viking nobles of Danish Deira. This is generally considered his first reign. He lost a battle in 942 to the English King Edmund, Athelstan's brother, who recovered the "Five Boroughs." Olaf "Cuaran" was expelled by the Viking nobles in 943 for his military failure, and a brother of the other late king Olaf, namely, Ragnald [II], was made king.
RAGNALD II reigned only for a year, and was killed in 944 while fighting the forces of the English king Edmund, who campaigned in Northern England seeking to break the growing power of the Vikings.
OLAF II "CUARAN" returned to York following Ragnald's death in 944 and reigned again as king. He reigned this time for only a few months before the English king drove him out and occupied York with English troops, thereupon, another interregnum followed in the Viking kingdom of York [Danish Deira] for three years. Olaf "Cuaran" returned to Dublin where he deposed his cousin, Blacar, who had reigned during his absence as a caretaker king. The next few years Olaf "Cuaran" spent his time refortifying the Dublin kingdom which had suffered the attacks of the Irish kings.
OERIC "BLOOD-AXE" was an ex-king of Norway who had been deposed in his native country and supported himself in exile by a life of pillage and plunder. The news that Oeric "Blood-Axe" was on the throne at York brought Olaf "Cuaran" back to England, where he toured the country's Viking colonies and rallied supporters. He made preparations to retake York, and made alliances with his old foes, the English king Edred, the Scottish king Malcolm, the Strathclyde king Indulf, none of whom wished to see Oeric "Blood-Axe" in York. It was feared that Oeric "Blood-Axe" would use York as a base, and with the resources of the Vikings in the British Isles could very likely win back the Norwegian throne. The English King Edred, Edmund's brother, invaded Danish Deira in 948 and defeated Oeric "Blood-Axe" in battle. His victory enabled him to dictate the terms for peace. The Viking nobles of York under English pressure abandoned Oeric, and Oeric went into exile.
OLAF "CUARAN" returned to York in 949 and reigned once more as viking-king. He reigned this time for three years. In 952 Olaf "Cuaran" was expelled by the Viking nobles, who invited back Oeric "Blood-Axe."
OERIC "BLOOD-AXE" returned to York in 952 and reigned a second-time as king. Oeric "Blood-Axe" was the stereo-type of an old-style pagan Viking warrior. He was savage, bloodthirsty, and warlike. He was the last Viking-king of the "Danelaw" [the territory of the Vikings] in England. He was defeated in the Battle of Stainmore, Yorkshire, in 954 fighting the forces of the English king, Edred, and, during his retreat was ambushed on a bleak Northumbrian moor and fell into the hands of his enemies. Oeric "Blood-Axe" was put to death along with his eldest son. His wife, their other two sons and their daughter, escaped capture and made their way to the Orkneys where they found refuge. The political independence of the Vikings in England came to an end in 954 with the Battle of Stainmore. The "Danelaw" was annexed to England, and, henceforth, the region was ruled by English earls. Here ends the "Danelaw" in England as well as The Viking Age.
Some material presented will contain links, quotes, ideologies, etc., the contents of which should be understood to first, in their whole, reflect the views or opinions of their editors, and second, are used in my personal research as "fair use" sources only, and not espousement one way or the other. Researching for 'truth' leads one all over the place...a piece here, a piece there. As a researcher, I hunt, gather and disassemble resources, trying to put all the pieces into a coherent and logical whole. I encourage you to do the same. And please remember, these pages are only my effort to collect all the pieces I can find and see if they properly fit into the 'reality aggregate'.
I've come to realize that 'truth' boils down to what we 'believe' the facts we've gathered point to. We only 'know' what we've 'experienced' firsthand. Everything else - what we read, what we watch, what we hear - is what someone else's gathered facts point to and 'they' 'believe' is 'truth', so that 'truth' seems to change in direct proportion to newly gathered facts divided by applied plausibility. Though I believe there is 'truth', until someone celestial who 'knows' all the facts parts the heavens and throws us a scroll titled "Here Are ALL The Facts And Lies In The Order They Happened," I can't know for sure exactly what "the whole truth' on any given subject is, and what applies to me applies to everyone.
~Gail Bird Allen
Never in your long ascendancy will you lose the power to recognize your associates of former existences. Always, as you ascend inward in the scale of life, will you retain the ability to recognize and fraternize with the fellow beings of your previous and lower levels of experience. Each new translation or resurrection will add one more group of spirit beings to your vision range without in the least depriving you of the ability to recognize your friends and fellows of former estates.
Princess Bride 1987 Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) and Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya)
Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
And here is mystery: The more closely man approaches God through love, the greater the reality -- actuality -- of that man. The more man withdraws from God, the more nearly he approaches nonreality -- cessation of existence. When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father's will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is.
"And do you not remember that I said to you once before that, if you had your spiritual eyes anointed, you would then see the heavens opened and behold the angels of God ascending and descending? It is by the ministry of the angels that one world may be kept in touch with other worlds, for have I not repeatedly told you that I have other sheep not of this fold?"
But we know that there dwells within the human mind a fragment of God, and that there sojourns with the human soul the Spirit of Truth; and we further know that these spirit forces conspire to enable material man to grasp the reality of spiritual values and to comprehend the philosophy of universe meanings. But even more certainly we know that these spirits of the Divine Presence are able to assist man in the spiritual appropriation of all truth contributory to the enhancement of the ever-progressing reality of personal religious experience—God-consciousness.
When you are through down here, when your course has been run in temporary form on earth, when your trial trip in the flesh is finished, when the dust that composes the mortal tabernacle "returns to the earth whence it came"; then, it is revealed, the indwelling "Spirit shall return to God who gave it." There sojourns within each moral being of this planet a fragment of God, a part and parcel of divinity. It is not yet yours by right of possession, but it is designedly intended to be one with you if you survive the mortal existence.
And the greatest of all the unfathomable mysteries of God is the phenomenon of the divine indwelling of mortal minds. The manner in which the Universal Father sojourns with the creatures of time is the most profound of all universe mysteries; the divine presence in the mind of man is the mystery of mysteries.
To every spirit being and to every mortal creature in every sphere and on every world of the universe of universes, the Universal Father reveals all of his gracious and divine self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spirit beings and by such mortal creatures. God is no respecter of persons, either spiritual or material. The divine presence which any child of the universe enjoys at any given moment is limited only by the capacity of such a creature to receive and to discern the spirit actualities of the supermaterial world.
Paradise is the eternal center of the universe of universes and the abiding place of the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, and their divine co-ordinates and associates. This central Isle is the most gigantic organized body of cosmic reality in all the master universe. Paradise is a material sphere as well as a spiritual abode. All of the intelligent creation of the Universal Father is domiciled on material abodes; hence must the absolute controlling center also be material, literal. And again it should be reiterated that spirit things and spiritual beings are real.
Culture presupposes quality of mind; culture cannot be enhanced unless mind is elevated. Superior intellect will seek a noble culture and find some way to attain such a goal. Inferior minds will spurn the highest culture even when presented to them ready-made.
True liberty is the associate of genuine self-respect; false liberty is the consort of self-admiration. True liberty is the fruit of self-control; false liberty, the assumption of self-assertion. Self-control leads to altruistic service; self-admiration tends towards the exploitation of others for the selfish aggrandizement of such a mistaken individual as is willing to sacrifice righteous attainment for the sake of possessing unjust power over his fellow beings.
How dare the self-willed creature encroach upon the rights of his fellows in the name of personal liberty when the Supreme Rulers of the universe stand back in merciful respect for these prerogatives of will and potentials of personality! No being, in the exercise of his supposed personal liberty, has a right to deprive any other being of those privileges of existence conferred by the Creators and duly respected by all their loyal associates, subordinates, and subjects.
There is no error greater than that species of self-deception which leads intelligent beings to crave the exercise of power over other beings for the purpose of depriving these persons of their natural liberties. The golden rule of human fairness cries out against all such fraud, unfairness, selfishness, and unrighteousness.