The Saga of Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson Ch. 7.0


Book 7, Chapter 7.0, King Canute Goes To Liere  (Circa 1019 AD), Excerpts:

(1019)  The Danes had elected King Canute as their sovereign in the fall of the prior year and now they expressed a desire for Canute to participate in a coronation in Roskilde, but he did not feel comfortable leaving England in the hands of the English so, he put off any trip until the merchant fleet returned in the fall.  He wanted the Prince and Queen Emma in Winchester to keep the Saxons under control and he did not yet fully trust Earl Godwin who, while spending a lot of time in Wessex, devoted most of that time to courting Princess Gytha.  Canute saw his grandfather off, bound for eastern trade, and then escorted Queen Emma to Winchester for the summer.

Prince Hraerik and the English fleet waited in Roskilde Harbour while the great merchant fleet assembled and they then sailed across the Baltic to Hraes’ and on to Kiev.  Prince Ivaraslav ‘the Wise’ had just returned from a victorious battle near the Al’ta River against his brother, Prince Sviatopolk ‘the Accursed’, who had fled off towards Poland with his remaining troops.  Ivaraslav promised to join the Prince in Baghdad once he consolidated his rule in Kiev, so Hraerik led the great fleet south to the Bay of Cherson, where their fees and tithes were collected.  Then a portion of the fleet sailed south for Constantinople and the rest sailed east for Baghdad, Cathay and India.  When Ivaraslav failed to show up in Baghdad, Prince Hraerik sent a message to Prince Mstislav of Tmutorokan and then took part of the fleet on to India.  He had to buy Untouchables there to make up for the shortfall in slaves that peace in England had brought about.  When he got back to Baghdad, Prince Mstislav was at the Caliph’s palace waiting for him.

“Now that your father, Prince Valdamar, is now King Canute of England and Denmark, one of you young princes is going to have to take part in the Hraes’ trade.  It does, after all, pay all the bills in our land of Hraes’,” the Prince extolled.  “No trade, no princes.”

I have just posted a first draft of ,of Book Seven of ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ Series, “The Saga of King Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson” to the website under the Book Seven Heading.

I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 7.0,  King Canute Goes To Liere  (Circa 1019 AD), of Book Seven of ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ Series, “The Saga of King Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson” to the website under the Book Seven Heading.

When Prince Hraerik returned from the east to Roskilde Harbour with the great merchant fleet, he was surprised to see King Canute already there, and he had Jarl Eirik and Earl Godwin there with him.  The Prince knew something was up, but Valdy claimed that they were taking King Harald’s Danish army out for manoeuvres and training to ensure they were still up to Hraes’ standards.  “Queen Emma awaits you in Winchester,” Valdy concluded.  “She is holding down the fort for us until you get back.”  Hraerik left it at that, but he knew that, if Jarl Eirik was in Denmark, a battle would soon be in the offing.  He just wasn’t sure if the Danish army was going for ‘training’ against King Olaf in Norway or against the former King Olaf in Poland.  North or south, the ‘training’ was going to culminate in a battle.  But Prince Hraerik missed his Emma and sailed for Southampton with the English portion of the great merchant fleet.

 Canute did not like the idea of sending only one legion into Poland, but he knew that while Olaf Tryggvason lived, his sons in Hraes’ would always be under danger of attack from him for the death of his brother, Thurkil Nefia, in York.  His Exeyes officers assured him that the Polish army was in Wolin City on the island of Wolin so, they took their ships along the internal seaways of Poland and sat with the fleet outside the Harbour of Wolin and Canute commanded the fleet that monitored the Polish army, while young Earl Godwin led the mobile legion south into Poland.  Jarl Eirik would not be held with the fleet while Godwin attacked his arch-enemy alone so the two earls headed to Stargard together with their legion.

Princess Astrid begged Olaf not to meet the Danes in battle but he would have it no other way.  They met at a field outside of Stargard that Olaf’s officers had already marked out with hazel poles.

The two armies collided and they fought for two hours before the Polish wing began to give way before the Hraes’ Danes and when Jarl Olaf was carried on his shield to lead a Norse force to bolster them, Jarl Eirik was waiting with a Norse force of his own, all berserks, and they fell upon the Polish wing and fought their way to the former king and Jarl Eirik slew Jarl Olaf as he fought bravely from his shield.  One of Olaf’s legs, his right one, had fallen out from under mail and Eirik hacked it off above the knee and Olaf bled out as they fought on and he grew quite pale and he died.  Eirik had held off from striking the leg off, but the retainers left it swinging freely and Jarl Eirik was wielding his sword called Leg Biter and finally he could no longer desist from the blow.  He’d much rather have struck one that took Olaf’s head off instead, but the sword cried out for a leg and Eirik could only ignore the pleas of his blade for so long.  It was a battle, after all, and both Poles and retainers were trying to kill him as he was trying to kill Olaf.  When the Polish army was routed, they left Jarl Olaf on the field on his shield, so Earl Godwin went up to the body and struck off the head and gave it to Jarl Eirik, who had been with his berserks, driving the Poles and the Norwegians from the battlefield.  They did not give them chase nor bend them over their shields.  The captured Poles carried the body of their jarl upon his shield, sans head, back to Princess Astrid.

Jarl Eirik brought Jarl Olaf’s head back to Wolin to show King Canute, who said, “There is a witch in Jomsborg who can preserve it for you until you can get it back to Witch Hallveig in York.  I’m sure your father, Jarl Haakon, shall want to have a word or two with it, tete-a-tete, back in Northumbria.”  The Danes were quick to pick up new Norman phrases, or perhaps it was just that their English queen was Queen Emma of Normandy.

Please Note: This website is about Vikings and Varangians and the way they lived over a thousand years ago.  The content is as explicit as Vikings of that time were and scenes of violence and sexuality are depicted without reservation or apology.  Reader discretion is advised.

‘The VARANGIANS’ Series (AKA ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ Series):

‘The Varangians’ series (‘AKA ‘The Lying Sagas of Denmark’ series) of five (seven) books is about the Danish Varangian Princes of early Rus’ (Ukraine), based on The Nine Books of Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus and the Rus’ Primary Chronicle of Nestor.  The Rus’ 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 (Hraegunar Lothbrok’s son) 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 (kenning for swords) 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 (Ivar in Danish, 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 or Knytling) 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’. And the Danish ‘Knytling’ line of kings carried on for ‘the Old’ Fridleif/Frodi line of kings.

Books Four, Five and Six, “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson“, “The Saga of Valdamar ‘the Great’ Sveinson” and “The Saga of Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ Ivarson” demonstrate how Prince Sviatoslav ‘the Brave’ of Kiev was really Prince Svein Ivarson 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 Seven, “The Saga of Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson”, 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.

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