I was working late on Book Five, ‘The Saga of Prince Vladimir the Great of Kiev’, in my ‘The VARANGIANS’ Series, when I saw on the internet that President Vladimir Putin of Moscow had attacked Kiev and I had lowered my head in disgust. Then I wondered how President Vladimir Putin (ruled 1999-2022) would stack up against the earlier leader of Rus’ (Russia), the thousand year earlier reign of Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ (ruled 972-1015) of Kievan Rus’, so I did a little comparative study on the two and I entered the results in my first post against this war!
Later I’d heard that President Putin had placed the history of Russia alongside the history of the Ukraine and I pointed out in a further post that the founding of Kievan Rus’ (the Ukraine) had taken place about 400 years before the founding of Muscovite Russia and the two had very little in common. As a matter of fact, the only time the Ukraine has been associated with Russia has been whenever Russia had conquered the Ukraine and Kiev could not get out from under the Yoke of Moscow. The Ukraine recently got out from under that Tsarist Yoke following the 1990 breakup of the Soviet Union. And now Moscow’s President Vladimir ‘the Idiot’ Putin is trying to militarily bring Kievan Rus’ back under that yoke. After I’d given Count Vlad a bit of a Russian history lesson, I promised to add Hector H. Munro’s history book ‘The Rise of the Russian Empire’ to my website, SeiberTeck.com, so that Vladimir can conveniently brush up on his own Russian history.
The book, ‘The Rise of the Russian Empire’ is now public domain, having been published circa 1900, so, I brushed the dust off it, updated just a few areas and formatted it for web publishing. The book covers the history of Scythia, Kievan Rus’ and then Russia from prehistory to 1618 AD. While reading and updating it to web parameters I think I found an ancient leader that is remarkably similar to Vladimir Putin. Since Prince Valdamar (Vladimir) ‘the Great’ Sveinaldson of Kiev had a few similarities to Vlad, but lacked entirely his ruthlessness, I think I’ve found a closer match in Prince Ivan ( Ivar) ‘the Terrible’ Vasiliovitch. His reign of horrors can only be matched by the atrocities that the Mongols of the Golden Horde, the sons of Temuchin ‘Ghengus Khan’ Molgolson, inflicted upon the long suffering Rus’ of Kiev and the Russians of Moskva. They are both quite unbelievably horrible histories. The book is a concise history so, please give it a perusal. It’s header can be found at the top of the SeiberTech.com website home page so, just click and go. I think you’ll find that Hector Munro did a fine bit of writing with this one, given it was written over a hundred years ago! And please feel free to let me know what you think of it.
“The VARANGIANS” Series:
‘The Varangians’ series of five books is about the Danish Varangian Princes of early Rus’ (Russia), based on The Nine Books of Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus and the Russian Primary Chronicle of Nestor. The Russian monk Nestor asserts that Rus’ was founded by three brothers, Rurik, Sineus and Truvor, but the Danish names in Book 5 of Saxo’s work are Erik, Sigfrodi (King Frodi) and Roller, three brothers from Denmark and Norway.
Book One of the five book Varangians Series places the Saga of King Frodi the Peaceful from Book Five of The First Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200) into its proper chronological location in history. In 1984, when I first started the book, I had placed the main character, Erik’s (Hraerik’s) birth at circa 800 CE, but have since revised it to 810 to better fit with the timelines of the following books in the series. Saxo had originally placed the saga at the time of Christ’s birth and later experts have placed the story at about 400 CE to correspond with the arrival of the Huns on the European scene but when Attila was driven back to Asia, the Huns didn’t just disappear, they joined the Khazar Empire north of the Caspian Sea and helped the Khazars control the western end of the famous Silk Road trade route.
When King Frodi’s Danes started their ninth century ‘Southern Way’ incursions into the rivers of present day Russia, they ran into the Khazar Khaganate that was controlling Silk Road trade there and cooperation looked promising when he married King Hun’s daughter, Princess Hanund. But she cheated on him and he sent her back to Khazaria in disgrace and things got ugly, fast. Two Norwegian princes, Hraerik and Hraelauger Hraegunarson, sons of the famous Hraegunar Lothbrok, visited Frodi’s court in Liere with a dangerous plan to protect their own Nor’Way trade route to Khazaria, but that plan changed when Prince Hraerik fell in love with and married Princess Gunwar, King Frodi’s sister.
When news arrived in Liere that the Huns planned to attack Denmark, Prince Hraerik convinced King Frodi to assemble a Varangian Army of the North and lead a pre-emptive strike against the Khazar Empire. Following the capture of Kiev, the three brothers, Frodi, Hraerik and Hraelauger established the Hraes’ (Rus’) Trading Company and built an empire that exists in many forms to this very day, including Russia, Normandy, Great Britain and L’Anse Aux Meadows in America. The wealth of the Hraes’ Trading Empire they created powered the prolific Viking expansion in Medieval Europe that still fascinates us today.
Book One, “The Saga of Hraerik ‘Bragi’ Hraegunarson,” recreates Book Five of Saxo’s work to illuminate the origins of the name Rus’ and how it evolved from Hraes’ in ninth century Russia and how the name Varangians originally meant Va Rangers or Way Wanderers of the Nor’Way. The book examines the death of Princess Gunwar (Hervor) at the hands of the Hunnish Prince Hlod and how it drives Prince Hraerik ‘Bragi the Old’ Hraegunarson to write a famous poem of praise that both saves his head and rallies the northern kingdoms to fight the infamous Battle of the Goths and the Huns on the Don Plain of Gardariki (Gnita Heath of Tmutorokan).
Book Two, “The Saga of Helgi ‘Arrow Odd’ Hraerikson,” recreates Arrow Odd’s Saga of c. 1200 to illustrate how Arrow Odd was Prince Helgi (Oleg in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev, by showing that their identical deaths from the bite of a snake was more than just coincidence. The book investigates the true death of Hraegunar Lothbrok by poisoned blood-snakes and how his curse of ‘calling his young porkers to avenge the old boar’ sets up a death spiral between swine (Sveinald) and snakes (Gorm ‘the Old’) that lasts for generations. It then goes on to depict the famous Battle of the Berserks on Samso, where Arrow Odd and Hjalmar the Brave slay the twelve berserk grandsons of King Frodi on the Danish Island of Samso, setting up a death struggle that takes the Great Pagan Army of the Danes from the ravaged coast of Norway to England and on to Helluland in Saint Brendan’s Newfoundland.
Book Three, “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson,” reveals how Ivar the Boneless Ragnarson was actually Prince Eyfur (Igor in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev and then King Harde Knute of Denmark. By comparing a twenty year lacuna in the reign of Prince Igor in the Russian Chronicles with a coinciding twenty year appearance of a King Harde Knute I (Hard Knot) of Denmark in European Chronicles, Prince Igor’s death by sprung trees, which reportedly tore his legs off, may have rather just left him a boneless and very angry young king. Loyal Danes claimed, “It was a hard knot indeed that sprung those trees,” but his conquered English subjects, not being quite as polite, called him, “Ivar the Boneless”.
Book Four, “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson,” demonstrates how Prince Sviatoslav ‘the Brave’ of Kiev was really Prince Svein Eyfurson of Kiev, who later moved to Norway and fought to become King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark and England. But before being forced out of Russia, the Swine Prince sated his battle lust by crushing the Khazars and attacking the great great grandfather of Vlad the Impaler in a bloody campaign into the Heart of Darkness of Wallachia that seemed to herald the coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with the 666 Salute of the Army of the Impalers. The campaign was so mortifying that the fifteen thousand pounds of gold that the Emperor of Constantinople paid him to attack the Army of the Impalers seemed not nearly enough, so Prince Svein attacked the Eastern Roman Empire itself. He came so close to defeating the greatest empire in the world, that later Danish Christian Kings would call his saga, and the sagas of his kin, “The Lying Sagas of Denmark” and would set out to destroy them, claiming that, “true Christians will never read this saga”.
Book Five, “The Saga of Valdamar ‘the Great’ Sveinson”, establishes how Grand Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ of Kiev was also known as Prince Valdamar Sveinson of Gardar, who supported his father, Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’, in attacks upon England and later became King Canute ‘the Great’ of England and also King Knute ‘the Great’ of Denmark and Norway. Unlike his father, he came to the aid of a Roman Emperor, leading six thousand picked Varangian cataphracts against Anatolian rebels, and was rewarded with the hand of Princess Anna Porphyrogennetos, a true Roman Princess born of the purple who could trace her bloodline back to Julius and Augustus Caesar. She was called Czarina, and after her, all Rus’ Grand Princes were called Czars and their offspring were sought matrimonially by European royalty.
By recreating the lives of four generations of Russian Princes and exhibiting how each generation, in succession, later ascended to their inherited thrones in Denmark, the author proves the parallels of the dual rules of Russian Princes and Danish Kings to be cumulatively more than just coincidence. And the author proves that the Danish Kings Harde Knute I, Gorm ‘the Old’ and Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormson/Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ were not Stranger Kings, but were Danes of the Old Jelling Skioldung Fridlief/Frodi line of kings who only began their princely careers in Rus’ and returned to their kingly duties in Denmark with a lot of Byzantine Roman ideas and heavy cavalry and cataphracts.