The Saga of Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson Ch. 19.0


Book 7, Chapter 19.0,  King Canute Goes to the Vatican  (Circa 1031 AD), Excerpts:

(1031 AD)  It didn’t take long.  King Olaf ‘the Stout’ Haraldson was slain on July 29th of 1030 AD and well before Christmas King Canute received an invitation to visit the Pope in the spring.  There were rumours that King Canute may have gone against a Papal Bull and had helped the Norwegian bondes army with the slaying of Saint Olaf ‘the Holy’.

“Slain and slaying,” Valdamar told the Prince, “are the words I like associated with Olaf, not saint or saintly.”  They had just finished their Yulefest celebrations for 1030 and had just welcomed in 1031 in London.  Duke Robert had been up as expected, visiting with Princess Estrid…focking Princess Estrid was more accurate.  They were doing it everywhere, in their rooms, in the libraries, under staircases, even under, it was rumoured, the highseats in Canute’s London palace!  “Duke Robert has just sailed off for Normandy and Estrid for Denmark,” Valdy said.  “At least I hope she’s going to Denmark.  Their wedding is in early spring and you and Queen Emma are invited.  We made sure it wouldn’t conflict with either of your merchant sailing schedules.”

“Well thank you,” Hraerik said, “and Emma thanks you as well.  Rouen in the spring!  We’ll be there!”

“Paris in the spring!” Valdy said.  “That’s where I’ll be.  After the wedding I have to head south for Vatican City.  The Pope wants my assurances that I had nothing to do with Olaf’s unsavoury, what was the term he used?  Slaying?  Slain?  I love using those words in a sentence with Olaf.”

“Saint Olaf ‘the Holey’, is good too,” Hraerik said, tracing a circular hole on his belly.

“You are a poet!” Valdamar said.  “Saint Olaf ‘the Spear Holey’ Haraldson!”

“Are you taking some witnesses with you when you see the Pope?”

“I am,” said Canute.  “Duke Robert is coming along with his new wife, my daughter Estrid.  They are honey welling, I mean honey mooning, but honey welling is more accurate, in Rome and then Apulia.  We are taking Captain Hugh ‘de Hauteville’ with us and he is going to tell the Pope that it was he, on his own initiative, that had taken Norman knights to Trondheim to fight the Roman Emperor’s Varangian Guard in Norway after it had disengaged from them while plundering in Apulia to go help the Orthodox Christians support King Olaf in the north.  As punishment for acting without orders, Duke Robert is providing him with two regiments of Norman knights with which to fight the Byzantine Romans in southern Italy as the Pope directs them.”

I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 19.0,  King Canute Goes to the Vatican (Circa 1031 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.

Emma knew something was bothering Hraerik all winter and she tried to get him to tell her about it, but he wouldn’t.  She learned from members of the Prince’s Centuriata that Hraerik had been required to use witchcraft  to save Witch Hallveig after the Battle of Stiklastad and it had bothered him, that’s all they knew.  One night, when they were in bed, Hraerik told her that Witch Hallveig was coming to Southampton, that she was pregnant and afraid and wanted to have her babies here.

“Babies?” Emma said.  “As in more than one?  Are they yours?”

“I’m not sure,” Hraerik told her.  “The twins might be mine, but I don’t see how.”

Then he told her about the shit-show that had happened after the slaying of King Olaf at the battle.  “Witch Hallveig knew she would have to call upon the goddess Irpa to help the bondes army defeat Jarl Olaf, so she had left her two Skioldung sons back in York, in case Irpa would want them for a sacrifice.  She was right.  But Irpa agreed to settle for the body, the corpse, of Jarl Olaf instead.  The goddess didn’t want Olaf sainted any more than her Aesir followers did.  So, Hallveig called upon Irpa to help in the fight against Olaf’s Varangian Guard and Irpa used a shower of arrows to clear a path right through the Guard for the bonde army to pass through and kill Olaf.  And that they did, but after the battle, Jarl Olaf’s body disappeared.  Nobody knew where it went.  So, Goddess Irpa got angry and put Witch Hallveig into a coma and gave the Norwegians three days to come up with the body or Hallveig would die in that coma.  The spirit of Hallveig left her body and asked me for help.”

“But you would have been in India,” Emma said.  “Her spirit contacted you all the way in India?”

“She couldn’t.  So, she contacted Witch Nado in Chernigov and Nado contacted Witch Nadege who was with me in India studying Brahman witchcraft.  They set up an intervention in which I would play a large part.  Nadege and I used the Zombie drug and had sex and my spirit flew to Chernigov and I had sex with Witch Nado and that allowed me to fly to Stiklastad and I had sex with Goddess Irpa and Witch Hallveig.  When I flowed within Witch Hallveig, Irpa made it so that two boys were conceived, I don’t know how, but she did it.  Then she woke Witch Hallveig from the coma and told her that she would accept the two boys in lieu of the body of Jarl Olaf and Hallveig had to agree or she would have died the next day.”

“I can assure you,” Valdamar said, “that the bondes army of the people of Norway killed King Olaf.  And I call on Sir Hugh to bear witness to my testimony.”

“Is this all true?” Pope John asked Sir Hugh in Frankish.

“It is all true, my Pope,” Hugh ‘de Hauteville’ told the Pope while standing at attention.  “I was at the Battle of Stiklastad and personally witnessed the death of King Olaf.”

“Please relax,” Pope John told him.  He was intrigued by the witness.  So often the evidence he heard of battles was second hand or worse.  To have someone who was there and had personally witnessed an event of this importance was truly rare.  “Please relate to me the exact circumstances of King Olaf’s death and try to keep it just about Olaf’s death.  We are considering him for sainthood.”

“I had one cohort, five hundred knights, against a full regiment of two thousand Varangian Guardsmen who made up the vanguard of King Olaf’s forces, but I consider one Latin Christian Norman knight to be worth four Orthodox Christian Varangian knights, so this was considered a fair fight.  My knights formed up in a wedge against the Varangian rectangle and we penetrated through their middle and allowed the jarls and hearses of the Norwegian bondes army to attack King Olaf and his personal retinue.  King Olaf led his men and fought bravely against the jarls and slew many of them himself, but one berserk clove Olaf in his right leg, just under his shield, and the king went down.  His men rushed to his aid and killed the berserk and surrounded him and King Olaf was helped back to a great flat stone from which I heard he had given a great speech before the battle.  That is how far back my Norman knights had driven the Varangians.

“King Olaf was lying upon the stone and had lost a lot of blood, but I don’t consider the blow to have been his death stroke.  I fought on with my men against the Guardsmen while the leaders of the bondesmen fought against Olaf’s retinue and some of them broke through and a few jarls fought their way to the stone and one of them slipped a spear up under King Olaf’s chainmail armour and he prodded around for an opening of sorts and when he found it, he thrust his spear deeply into King Olaf.  I think he impaled him your holiness”, and Hugh could see that the Pope grew quite pale at the telling.  “The Aesir pagans,” Hugh began by way of explanation, “follow the same religion as the ancient Roman Vanir, and impalement is the old Roman punishment for treason and the jarls felt that King Olaf had been treasonous to Norway by abandoning them and going to Constantinople for Orthodox Christian aid.”  The Pope nodded in understanding.

“The jarl who had impaled King Olaf was in a rage because the king had killed many of his relatives and he would shake the spear he had thrust within King Olaf and the king would cry out in pain and it was apparent that he was dying.  The jarl leader of the bondes army tried to stop the berserk jarl from tormenting the king, but he was in a rage and could not be stopped, so the leader took his sword and gave King Olaf a mercy stroke on his neck to end his suffering.  I consider the spear thrust to be the fatal stroke, for nobody survives an impaling.  Once the king was dead, the Varangian Guardsmen fled and they led the personal retinue and the king’s young brother back to the east through Hraes’.”

The Pope was very pale and shaking at this news.  He realised then that there was something to be said about second hand recitations of events.  Once he had calmed a little, he asked Sir Hugh, “I have had reports that there was witchcraft used by the bondes army and its leaders.  I’ve been told that the sky grew dark and stormy and that witches were seen flying about causing havoc.  From my experience, whenever there are reports of a sky growing dark during our battles with pagans, witchcraft is always involved.”

“Good Norman Latin Christians do not believe in witchcraft,” Sir Hugh qualified, “and I saw no darkness during the battle.  Some might have, but fear can sometimes play tricks, and Norman knights know no fear.  I have brought two regiments of Norman knights to serve you in Apulia and I hope to be allowed to prove this to you.”

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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