Ragnar Lothbrok, Ragnar also spelled Regner or Regnar, Lothbrok also spelled Lodbrog or Lodbrok, Old Norse Ragnarr Loðbrók, (flourished 9th century), Viking whose life passed into legend in medieval European literature. Bjorn gripped his spear so tightly that he left an impression in it and Sigurd who was trimming his nails cut straight through to the bone. He formed an imposing Danish North Sea empire in about 1000 and conquered England in 1013, only a year before his death. After Magnus died the next year, Harald gained full control of the Norwegian throne while Svein became king of Denmark. The Vikings in Britain: a brief history The Viking Age. In this blog post, we are to discover four Viking kings that ruled England back in the Viking Age. He was the father of King Harald II of Denmark, King Cnut the Great and Queen Estrid Svendsdatter.. In western Norway, where land that did not try to kill you or your crops was a bit scarce, a search for new land may have been a small push factor. Modern genetic research reveals that a genetic inheritence from the Vikings remains in some parts of the population of Britain . As a result of this, larger armies began arriving on Britain's shores, with the intention of conquering land and constructing settlements there. Rollo later expanded his control of the region, and around the time he died, in about 928, was succeeded by his son, William Longsword. In a merciful gesture, Harold allowed him to return home, with all the survivors, on a promise they would never invade England again. However, when Svein died the next year, the exiled Anglo-Saxon king, Aethelred the Unready, returned to power. Before seizing the t… This peace was not likely to last for any considerable length of time and was at best a temporary measure. Olaf’s actions earned him enemies, among them his onetime ally Svein Forkbeard, who wanted to restore Danish rule in Norway, and Erik of Hladir, son of Hakon. When Cnut the Great died in 1035 he was a king of Denmark, England, Norway, and parts of Sweden. His realm is often referred to as the North Sea Empire, or the Anglo-Scandinavian Union and Cnut was one of the most powerful rulers in Europe during the 11 th century. In 871, King Alfred the Great of Wessex became the only king to record a decisive victory against a Danish Viking army in England. This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England begins with Alfred the Great, who initially ruled Wessex, one of the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms which later made up modern England. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ruefully records fearful omens in the year 793, lightning, high winds, flying dragons, famine, "and a little after that, in the same year, on 8 June, the ravages of the heathen men miserably destroyed God's church on Lindisfarne with plunder and slaughter." Tostig refused to abandon his ally. Sweyn Forkbeard (/ s v ɛ n /; [citation needed] Old Norse: Sveinn Haraldsson tjúguskegg; Danish: Svend Tveskæg; c. 960 – 3 February 1014) was king of Denmark from 986 to 1014. More than a thousand years after Rollo’s death, Allied troops during World War II landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. 9 Rurik, The Founder Of Russia. Erik the Red’s reputation is probably one of the most bloodthirsty among all of … There wasn't a country called “England” before Egbert so earlier rulers of the land now called “England” were not English monarchs. Around 1000, Leif sailed off in search of territory that had been spotted years earlier by an Icelander named Bjarni Herjolfsson when his vessel blew off course on the way to Greenland. We know about them through archaeology, poetry, sagas and proverbs, treaties, and the writings of peo… The Vikings then set up camp at a location that possibly was Newfoundland and explored the surrounding region, which Leif named Vinland (“wineland”) because grapes or berries supposedly were discovered there. Cnut is crowned king of the English. Historians disagree about the origin of the word Viking. Erik the Red. Harald Hardrada is known as the last Norse king of the Viking Age and his death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 CE as the defining close of that period. 1035: End of an empire. Harold Hardrada was killed by an arrow in his neck, his fallen banner, Land-Ravager was seized by Tostig, who assumed command of the Norwegian army. Richard the Lionheart ruled Normandy and England 1189-1216. From here they travelled great distances, mainly by sea and river – as far as North America to the west, Russia to the east, Lapland to the north and the Mediterranean World (Constantinople) and Iraq (Baghdad) to the south. However it was his father Sweyn (Svein) who was the first Viking king of England. The last great Viking king, Harald of Norway, dies at Stamford Bridge near York. 1017: Viking conqueror. They found that the current rulers were in the midst of an ongoing civil war. From Erik the Red, who founded Greenland’s first Norse settlement, to Cnut the Great, who ruled a vast empire in northern Europe, find out about six fascinating figures of the Viking Age. Several years later, Erik returned to Iceland and organized a fleet of 25 ships that carried colonists back to Greenland (only 14 vessels survived the journey), where they founded two main settlements in 986. Two generations of his successors were to reign over England after him, before the Saxon line of kings was restored. After Erik’s father was banished from Norway for killing someone, he fled with his family to Iceland. Wessex was savagely attacked for the third time in 878 and Alfred was driven into hiding at Athelney in the Somerset marshes, he remained there with his ally, Athelnoth, Ealdorman of Somerset and others of his thegns, and biding his time. One of our sources is the Old English epic Beowulf (c. 675–700), which harkens back to the techniques of oral poetry but was created as a work of written literature. Monasteries were a favoured target due to the riches which were contained in them. Guthrum converted to Christianity with Alfred standing as godfather to his erstwhile enemy. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that Norwegian Vikings sailed into Portland Bay, Dorset in 787. Photo credit: Wikmedia Commons. Aethelwulf’s father was Egbert, the King of Wessex who ruled from 802 until 839. ), he was the illegitimate son of Robert... PLANTAGENET KINGS. From hit-and-run attacks, the Vikings gradually assembled the larger military troops who aimed higher. 1 Biography 1.1 History 1.2 Season 1 1.3 Season 2 1.4 Season 3 1.5 Season 4 2 Personality and traits 3 Quotes 4 Trivia 5 Gallery 6 Appearances King Ælle of Northumbria, according to some historical accounts, was responsible for the death of Viking … It also confirms that the Vikings settled in large numbers in the Shetland and Orkney Islands and the far north of the Scottish mainland. There, Erik himself was accused of manslaughter, leading to his exile from Iceland around 982. After Leif returned to Greenland with valuable timber cargo, other Norsemen decided to journey to Vinland (Leif never went back). Beowulf is set in pagan Scandinavia, but it is also imbued with Christian ideas.In contrast, the later Norse sources usua… Harald went on to fight Svein for years, but despite winning the majority of the battles Harald (whose nickname Hardrada translates as hard ruler) opted to make peace with his adversary in 1064 and give up his claims to Denmark. When he died in 1035, his son Harold Harefoot became king of England, serving until his death in 1040. The Viking chief Ragnar Lodbrok, a legendary Norse hero, was captured by Aella of Northumbria and thrown alive into a pit of adders. From hit-and-run attacks, the Vikings gradually assembled the larger military troops who aimed higher. Alfred styled himself King of the Anglo-Saxons from about 886, and while he was not the first king to claim to rule all of the English, his rule represents the start of the first unbroken line of kings … During his expedition, Leif reached an area he called Helluland (“flat stone land”), which historians think could be Baffin Island, before traveling south to a place he dubbed Markland (“forestland”), thought to be Labrador. Alfred accepted the Danish colonisation of much of England. Viking Mythology The samples used in the study was compared with DNA taken from people in Scandinavia. He had a fair complexion nonetheless, and a fine thic… But his reigning time didn’t last long. The King attempted compromise with his brother and sent a message offering to restore his Earldom, to which Tostig responded haughtily by asking what Harold was prepared to give Hardrada, "Seven feet of land for a grave" was Harold's defiant reply. Sweyn Forkbeard was a famous Viking king of both Denmark and England and one of the most important Vikings when it comes to English history. Cnut dies in Shaftesbury, Dorset. However, just days later, England’s new king, Harold Godwinson, wiped out Harald’s army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, during which Harald—later referred to as the last of the great Viking warrior kings–was killed. The Viking Kings of York. As king, Olaf forced his subjects to convert to Christianity; before that, most Scandinavians were pagans who worshipped a number of gods. Viking legend relates that Erik the Red's son, Leif Eriksson, succeeded in reaching the North American continent, calling his settlement Vinland, or the "land of the grapes." At its peak, the Greenland colony had an estimated 5,000 residents. EGBERT 827 – 839Egbert (Ecgherht) was the first monarch to establish a stable and extensive rule over all of Anglo-Saxon England. 10 Harald Fairhair, The First King Of Norway. Less than a month after that, Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings, during which Harold Godwinson was killed. However, the Viking presence in North America was short-lived, possibly due in part to clashes with hostile natives. Born Harald Sigurdsson in Norway in 1015, he fought as a teen at the Battle of Stiklestad, waged in 1030 by his half-brother Olaf Haraldsson, the exiled king of Norway, in an attempt to return to power. [clarification needed] The Viking presence declined until 1066, when they lost their final battle with the English at Stamford Bridge. 10 Viking Kings And Their Epic Deeds. The Vikings' homeland was Scandinavia: modern Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The death of Harald Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. The following year, Olaf used his loot to invade Norway and was made king after its ruler, Hakon the Great, was murdered. A large army of Danish Vikings landed on English shores in 865, led by Ivar, Halfdan and Guthrum. Harthacnut, Cnut’s other son (from his marriage to Aethelred’s widow) then ascended to the throne, but his death in 1042 marked the end of Danish rule in England. 7 Sictric Caech And The Battle Of Islandbridge. Sweyn Forkbeard (reign 1013) Generally considered the first European to set foot on the North American continent, Leif got there nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Landing in East Anglia, they marched into Northumbria, capturing York, known to them as Jorvik, which was to become an area of large Viking settlement. He was finally killed by Björn, avenging Ragnar's death. The Great Viking Army of Ivar the Boneless, which was known to the Anglo-Saxons as mycel heathen here, landed in East Anglia in the year 865, from there they marched north through Mercia to York, known to the Anglo-Saxons as Eoforwic, which was captured by the Great Viking Army in November 866 and became the capital of the Viking … In the mid-980s, Sweyn revolted against his father, Harald Bluetooth, and … Harald then traveled to Constantinople and joined the Byzantine emperor’s prestigious Varangian Guard. In their longships, or dragon prows, they travelled as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia. Harold Harefoot became king of England after Cnut's death, and Viking rule of England ceased. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. The site of this battle is still a matter of debate (e.g. Sweyn Forkbeard, England’s forgotten king, ruled for just 5 weeks. Harald’s life was an almost constant adventure from a young age. Alfred the Great adopted the title of king of the Anglo-Saxons, and Aethelstan, king of the English. In 954, Eric Bloodaxe was expelled for the second and final time and King Edred of Wessexand England gained control. A Viking first occupied the English throne in 1013, when Sweyn Forkbeard suceeded in wrenching the crown from the feeble grip of Alfred's descendant, the ineffectual Ethelred the Redeless. Denmark, Norway and possibly portions of Sweden also eventually came under Cnut’s control, forming a vast empire. All Rights Reserved. In that period, Anglo-Saxon England consisted of several smaller kingdoms, which were mostly in conflict with one another and vying for influence over the whole of England. We spend a lot of time talking about Viking warriors, but often, it is the opponent that makes the warrior.Where is the glory without a formidable foe? Ragnar's eldest son, known as Ivar the Boneless, was bent on vengeance, and later met Aella in battle, capturing him and sentenced him to a painful death in accordance with the custom of Rista Blodorn (Blood eagle) which entailed cutting the ribs of the victim out and removing the lungs, spreading them over the body. Pages in category "Viking Age monarchs" The following 36 pages are in this category, out of 36 total. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The Vikings' homeland was Scandinavia: modern Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Canute or Cnut the Great was born circa 985 to 995 AD and was the son of King Sweyn Forkbeard. Three Icelandic sagas tell of an army that invaded England in 866, led by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok. A royal official mistook them for merchants and was killed whilst attempting to request that they to accompany him to the king's manor to pay a trading tax on the goods they were bringing into England. King John, John Lackland, reigned from 1199-1216, eventually lost Normandy to King Philip II of France. Many words which derive their origins from the Norse language have been assimilated into English and have survived to the present day. The Anglo-Saxons, Viking hogback stone at West Kirby, Wirral Penninsula, Copyright © 2004 - 2018 www.englishmonarchs.co.uk All rights reserved �. As a result they ceased their attacks and for a period of five years, peace reigned in Wessex. Also known as William the Bastard (but not normally to his face! [clarification needed] The Viking presence declined until 1066, when they lost their final battle with the English at Stamford Bridge. This period saw the establishment of many trading cities that still exist today. In 911, under the Treaty of St. Claire-sur-Epte, Charles the Simple, king of the West Franks, gave Rollo part of the area now called Normandy (for Northman’s land) in an effort to have him protect it from other Viking raiders. The Viking army, after taking Mercia, divided. The kings of Northumbria in the Norse era variously controlled Jórvík, the former Deira, from its capital York or the northern part of the kingdom, the former Bernicia, from Bamburgh.The southern kings were usually vikings while the northern rulers were Anglo-Saxons. Jarrow was invaded in 794 and Iona in 795, 802 and 806. Sweyn Forkbeard (reign 1013) English Kings SAXON KINGS. The Vikings arrived from Denmark and began raiding in the territory today known as France around 830AD. This list may not reflect recent changes (). One part, under Halfdan, marched north to Yorkshire where they settled permanently. 6 Sweyn Forkbeard And The Conquest Of England. After becoming a wealthy, accomplished military commander, he returned to Scandinavia by the mid-1040s. In this blog post, we are to discover four Viking kings that ruled England back in the Viking Age. The Saxons fell back and the Norwegians, believing them to be in retreat, broke ranks and pursued them, at which the Saxons wheeled round and attacked. The first large Danish army landed on the coast of East Anglia in 865, led by Ivar and Halfdan, the sons of the Danish king Ragnar Lodbrok. They were valiantly opposed by the Saxon king Alfred of Wessex and his successors of the House of Wessex. A Viking army led by Olaf Guthfrithson, allied with the kings of Scotland and Strathclyde, invaded Northumbria in 937 AD. Ælle (or Aella) was the spiteful and vindictive saxon King of Northumbria. Egbert (Ecgherht) was the first monarch to establish a stable and extensive rule over all of Anglo-Saxon... NORMAN KINGS. He fell in the frantic conflict shortly after, the Norwegians fought with determination and courage until dusk but victory went to the Saxons. Just a few weeks later, though, Edmund died and all of England came under Cnut’s rule; his reign there brought stability after years of raids and battles. However, Harald ditched the partnership with Svein in 1046 when Magnus decided to make him a co-ruler of Norway. At the battle of Ethendun in 878, Saxon forces soundly defeated the Vikings lead by Guthrum and peace was concluded by the terms of the Treaty of Wedmore. After the Romans left England around 410 AD the following 400 years saw battles between the Angles, Jutes and Saxons against the Picts and Scots. A line was drawn which ran north-westwards from London to Chester and Guthrum defining an area, north of this line which was termed the Danelaw. Thanks in part to the recent TV series, Ragnar Lodbrok is one of the most famous Viking figures. In 835 a fleet of Viking longboats sailed up the Thames estuary and ravaged the Isle of Sheppey. This seems to fit with the Norwegian Vikings beating their fellow Scandinavians to the punch in expanding westwards, reaching Orkney by the 7th century CE. It was the Norse who ended up on Irish shores.When, fro… Having made East Anglia its ground base, in 866 the Vikings captured York, and the following year defeated the army of Northumbria and put their protege Egbert I on the throne of this kingdom. Harald then shifted his focus to England, invading it two years later with a large force and scoring a victory at the Battle of Fulford Gate. However, the English nobility took a different view, and the Witenagemot recalled Æthelred from Normandy. 8 Eric Bloodaxe, The Last King Of Northumbria. A Viking ship from Gokstad. From here they travelled great... Vikings in Britain: background and legacy. Born Erik Thorvaldsson in Norway, Erik the Red earned his nickname for his red hair and possibly his hot temper. Instead, Olaf’s forces were defeated, he was killed and Harald went into exile, eventually doing a stint as a mercenary for Jaroslav the Wise, grand prince of Kiev. Halloran 2005). On Christmas day of 1013, Sweyn Forkbeard declared himself the first Viking King of England after defeating the reigning king. The other, under Guthrum, launched another attack on Wessex in 875. Cnut Sweynsson, known also as Cnut the Great (sometimes spelled as Canute), was the ruler of England, Denmark, Norway, and parts of Sweden. In around 980, Erik the Red founded a settlement on Greenland. There, he formed an alliance with Svein Estrithson, a claimant to the Danish throne, in an effort to combat King Magnus the Good, who ruled Norway and Denmark. The Kentish people offered payment known as Danegeld to hold off the ferocious attacks. Canutes reign and deeds were told of in Norse poetry, and was portrayed as a fierce Viking warrior; in the Knýtlinga Saga, Canute was exceptionally tall and strong, and the recognised of men, all except for his nose, that was thin, high set and rather hooked. This Viking leader, whose origins were either Danish or Norwegian, began conducting raids on France in the ninth century. Having made East Anglia its ground base, in 866 the Vikings captured York, and the following year defeated the army of Northumbria and put their protege Egbert I on the throne of this kingdom. After returning from exile at the court of Charlemagne in 802, he regained his kingdom of Wessex. A look at the entire history of Viking interaction with England, from the first famous raid on Lindisfarne in AD. Battle commenced when the Saxons attacked the Norwegian shield wall, which despite repeated attempts, they failed to penetrate. The first large Danish army landed on the coast of East Anglia in 865, led by Ivar and Halfdan, the sons of the Danish king Ragnar Lodbrok. At first depressing series of defeats at the hands of the Vikings continued unabated and Alfred was forced into a strategy of buying them off. Harald Hardrada is known as the last Norse king of the Viking Age and his death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 CE as the defining close of that period. To many Vikings in the second half of the 9 th century, Alfred the Great, the King of Wessex, was that foe.. Alfred the Great is largely considered responsible for repelling Danish Vikings raids of England in the last 30 years of the … Therefore AEthelstan is the first king who united England (Dumville 1992:141-71). William the Conqueror, as he became known, went on to serve as king of England until 1087. On the death of Sweyn Forkbeard after a few months as king, on Candlemas (Sunday 3 February 1014), Harald succeeded him as King of Denmark, while the Vikings and the people of the Danelaw immediately elected Cnut as king in England. Eric Bloodaxe, probably one of the best-known names in Viking history, was known in Old Norse as Eiríkr blóðøx, and reigned for a short time as King of Jorvik and twice as King of Northumbria (c. 947-948 and 952-954). From 865 the Norse attitude towards the British Isles changed, as they began to see it as a place for potential colonisation rather than simply a place to raid. The Vikings (from the Old Norse v�kingr) terrorised and later settled large areas of Europe from the late 8th to the 11th century. Two generations of his successors were to reign over England after him, before the Saxon line of kings was restored. Later that year, after Cnut defeated him at the Battle of Ashingdon, Edmund signed a treaty that gave Cnut power over part of England. Exactly why the Norse Greenlanders disappeared is a mystery, although a combination of factors might’ve played a role, including a cooling climate and declining trade opportunities. The only authenticated Norse settlement in North America was discovered in the early 1960s on the northern tip of Newfoundland at a site called L’Anse aux Meadows; artifacts found there date to around 1000. Following Erik’s death Greenland’s Norse communities continued on before being abandoned in the 14th and 15th century. Athelstan is tasked with interpreting and preserving the many scrolls of Roman parchment. By 820, the Irish Annals of Ulster tell of similar terrifying occurrences for the year 820: "The sea spewed forth floods of foreigners over Erin, so that no haven, no landing-place, no stronghold, no fort, no castle might be found, but it was submerged by waves of Vikings and pirates." After this, the Danes settled north of Wessex in an area that became known as Danelaw. The early history of the kings of Wessex is for the most part clouded, with names available, but the histories behind them largely lost. In 1066, another one of Rollo’s descendants, William, duke of Normandy, led a successful invasion of England. In February 1014, he died of apoplexy. The Vikings went global. After repeated raids by the Norsemen, the monks of Lindisfarne fled the monastery in AD 875, taking the venerated relics of Saint Cuthbert with them for safekeeping. They started territorial conquests around Europe. After further victories in Northumberland and North Wales, he is recognised by the title … When Cnut the Great died in 1035 he was a king of Denmark, England, Norway, and parts of Sweden. It was written as a single epic, combining three or four stories and probably using Vergil’s Aeneid as its model. Charles II, r1660–85. From the scrolls, Athelstan conveys to Ecbert detailed accounts of the battlefield str… The Vikings went global. The powers and roles of queens – the wives of monarchs – evolved considerably through this period. A grandson of Harald Fairhair, the first king to unite Norway, Olaf was born around 968 and is thought to have been raised in Russia following the death of his father. Kings of Northumbria in the Norse era. These include the words knife, beserk, ransack, club, window, lathe, plough and axle. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. He was … After leaving home, he sailed west to a vast, uncharted island he eventually dubbed Greenland in an effort to entice future settlers. Cnut was also a successful ruler and in firm control of … In 850 a further army, failing to follow the usual pattern of returning home over winter, encamped on the Isle of Thanet in the Thames estuary. The last battle with a Viking army took place at Stamford Bridge on 25th September, 1066, when Tostig, the enbittered brother of the Saxon king, Harold II, bent on revenge, allied himself with Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, and invaded England with a formidable Norwegian fleet which landed at Riccall, near York. In 994, Olaf and his ally Svein Forkbeard, king of Denmark, launched another raid on England and netted themselves more Danegeld. Harald’s life was an almost constant adventure from a young age. In 1000, Olaf was ambushed by his rivals in a battle at sea; however, instead of surrendering, he supposedly jumped over the side of his ship, never to be seen again. What exactly motivated the Vikings to set sail for Ireland (or the British Isles in general), though, is subject to ongoing debate. They withdrew again in 877 and began to colonise Mercia. Afterward, the English paid off the Vikings in an effort to prevent future attacks, at least temporarily. In 886, Alfred garnered his resources and managed to retake the city of London, but Viking raids continued. His two sons, born of different mothers, squabble over the control of England. A Viking first occupied the English throne in 1013, when Sweyn Forkbeardsuceeded in wrenching the crown from the feeble grip of Alfred's descendant, the ineffectual Ethelred the Redeless. They started territorial conquests around Europe. Vikings were the seafaring Norse people from southern Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden) who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and settled throughout parts of Europe, and explored westward to Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. The son of Denmark’s King Svein Forkbeard, Cnut (or Canute) helped his father conquer England in 1013. The following day, Olav, the son of Hardrada gave himself up to the English, along with the Earl of Orkney. Charles II is, in my view, the wittiest monarch in English history. Norse warriors from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, they were skilled sailors with advanced methods of shipbuilding. Most people have heard of the Danish king of England, Canute (Cnut the Great) who according to legend, tried to command the waves. It is said that when the four sons of Ragnar heard news of how their father had met his death, Hvitserk, who was playing chess gripped the piece so hard that blood issued from his finger nails. Aethelred passed away in 1016 and was succeeded by his son, Edmund Ironside. Viking weapons and tools have been uncovered in Newfoundland, Canada. This list may not reflect recent changes (). The king puts the monk in charge of his treasury of ancient Roman relics and documents left over from Rome's domination of Britain centuries prior. Strive for accuracy and fairness, Ragnar Lodbrok is one of the most famous figures... 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