The Saga of Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson Ch. 22.0


Book 7, Chapter 22.0, Duke Roberts Attack on England Goes South (Circa 1034 AD), Excerpts:

(1034 AD)  Over Yulefest, King Canute had, as usual, invited and entertained a great many nobles of the north.  This festive season, when he invited Duke Robert and his daughter, Princess Estrid, to London, the Norman entourage included Estrid’s new daughter, Princess Adelaide, but also the duke’s concubine, Herleva, and her son, William ‘the Bastard’.  Tongues waggled when the two women and their children shared the same large master suite with the duke.  It was unthinkable for Princess Estrid to share lodgings with such a common woman as Herleva and, when it came time for the visiting Normans to leave, Princess Estrid refused to go back to Rouen with them.  Duke Robert was up in arms about this rebuff and he demanded that his wife rejoin his retinue.  Estrid refused and Canute had a talk with his daughter.

“I was worried it would come to this,” Canute told her, “he no longer loves you.”

“That’s not it, father,” Estrid told him.  “He still loves me, he loves me too much, but he also still loves Herleva.  He treats us with the same love and respect and I cannot tolerate someone as low-born as Herleva being treated the same as me, a princess of the purple.  But Herleva adores me as does her son William.  It is suffocating.”

“Perhaps it just takes some getting used to,” Canute offered.

“Robert wants to sleep with the two of us together,” Estrid lamented.  “I sleep with a commoner in my bed, and Robert wants me to watch when he focks her, and she watches as Robert focks me.  He says it keeps us moist!  I’m drowning in love!”

“Oh…I see,” her father said, taken aback somewhat by her candidness.  “Perhaps I should tell the duke to give you a little time, a little space.”

“I’m never going back!” Estrid wailed.

“You’re being a little overdramatic.”

“Herleva had sex with me while Robert watched!” she blurted out.

“Oh,” was all Canute could get out.  He then met with the duke and told him it was all over between the two of them.  “She wants an annulment.”

“We can’t get an annulment!” the duke protested.  “We have a child!”

“I’m on good terms with the Pope,” Canute said.  “I’m sure an annulment can be purchased.”

Duke Robert and the Normans stormed out of the king’s palace and sailed down the Thames without Princess Estrid and her daughter.  The winter weather was too rough for a channel crossing, so they sailed along the coast to Southampton and spent some time with Queen Emma and Prince Hraerik, who had already returned home from Yulefest in London.  Emma was behind in her Newfoundland trade preparations and Hraerik was still angry with Robert for his emerging plans to take the throne of Constantinople, but the weather soon cleared and the Normans crossed the channel to Caen and sailed along the coast to the mouth of the Seine and sailed up it to Rouen.

All spring Duke Robert sent messenger ships up the Thames to London demanding the return of his wife and child and finally Estrid relented a bit and sent a nanny along with Princess Adelaide back to Normandy.  “I don’t want his child,” Estrid said.  “If it will keep him from coming, he can have our child.”  This only infuriated the duke even more.  He threatened to attack King Canute if he didn’t send Princess Estrid back.  Then he threatened to install Princes Edward and Alfred, the sons of Queen Emma, who had been living in safety in Normandy, onto the throne of England, to which Canute offered to share the kingdom with them.  It worked into his plans to become the Emperor of the North.  He offered AEthelflaed’s Mercia to Edward and Alfred ‘the Great’s Wessex to Alfred.  He would then rule the empire from London.  This only served to infuriate Duke Robert even more.  He began to assemble an army and a fleet.

I have just posted a first draft of Chapter 22.0, Duke Robert’s Attack on England Goes South  (Circa 1034 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.

In the spring, Einar ‘Thong-Shaker’ and Kalf Arneson made themselves ready for a journey with a great retinue of the best men that could be found in Trondheim district and they went eastward over the ridge of the country to Jamtaland, and from there to Helsingjaland until they reached Sweden, where they procured ships, and, after the great merchant fleet had passed through, they proceeded east to Hraes’ and came to Ladoga.  They sent men to Novgorod to offer Magnus, the son of King Olaf ‘the Holy’, their assistance in attaining his father’s heritage and to be made king over the country.  Prince Ivaraslav had already moved his rule from Novgorod to Kiev, but his wife, Princess Ingigerd, and young Magnus held a consultation with the jarls and they all resolved unanimously that the Northmen who had come there should become Magnus’ men and be his subjects, and to this Kalf and the other men who had been against King Olaf at Stiklastad were solemnly bound by oath.  On the other hand, King Magnus promised them, under oath, secure peace and full reconciliation, and that he would be true and faithful to them all when he got the dominions and kingdom of Norway.  He was to become Kalf Arneson’s foster-son, and Kalf was bound to do all that Magnus might think necessary for extending his dominion, and making it more independent than formerly.

Prince Hraerik and Princess Nadege spent the summer in India, travelling often from Mumba to Baghdad and Constantinople with untouchables for the slave markets.  His eastern wife, Princess Gretta, was in the Roman capital monitoring the activities of the Varangian Guard in the city as well as in southern Italy.  The Guard regiment that had followed King Olaf north into Norway had been decimated by Aesir witchcraft and Norman peasant knights and was back in the capital licking its wounds and initiating King Olaf’s half-brother, Harald ‘Hardrada’ Sigurdson, into the service of the Emperor.  Harald had been in service in Prince Ivaraslav’s Kievan Centuriata, his personal guard, but had fallen in love with Ivar’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, and had been rejected as a suitor of someone born of the purple, so he had come to Constantinople to serve someone born of the purple in order to become rich and famous enough to be considered worthy of the princess.  The Guardsmen that had survived the Battle of Stiklastad had saved young Prince Harald in their strategic withdrawal to Sweden and then Hraes’ and they had left the young man with relatives in Kiev but now he was back and the Guardsmen loved him.  They talked long evenings about the battle and the witchcraft that had killed half of them and of the crazy Norman peasant knights and the fierce Jomsvikings that had killed another full cohort of them and they laughed and they drank with their new prince and the Roman knights that worked with the Guardmen started actually believing some of the wild tales that the Guard had brought back with them from Norway.

The only Aesir witchcraft the Romans of Constantinople were familiar with were the witchcraft shows that one could pay to watch in the basement theatre of the Red House of Constantinople in the Saint Mamas district of the city.  But most Romans went there to watch the ancient Roman Vanir witchcraft that was part of the show as well.  Roman lands had long been Christian and witchcraft was forbidden and few believed in it anyway, but the shows exhibited a refreshing look at the old heritage of the Roman tripartite god religion of Jupiter, Mars and Mercury and the Vanir witchcraft and augury that was such a great part of it.  When King Olaf’s Varangian Guard regiment, or the cohort that was left of it, came back from Norway with tales of witches shooting arrows from their fingertips that caused the death of a man with each shot and crazy peasant knights from Normandy and howling Jomsvikings of the Baltic Sea, well, the Roman knights of the Emperor’s army thought they had all suffered battle shock.

But now, Prince Harald and his followers, a lot of whom had been in the battle, had come down from Kiev and they all told the very same stories, and the Roman knights became convinced that something occult had gone on in that battle.  Prince Harald very quickly became quite popular with the Guard and the Roman knights and the Aesir and Vanir witches that ran the shows at the Red House became very busy and popular in Constantinople.

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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