THE SAGA OF PRINCE ERIK ‘BRAGI’ RAGNARSON Has Been Added to The Site Under the New Heading The VARANGIANS / UKRAINIANS Book Series – The True History of ‘The Great Viking Manifestation of Medieval Europe’© and the below Post Covers CHAPTER TWENTY ONE:
BOOK TWO: THE SAGA OF PRINCE ERIK ‘BRAGI’ RAGNARSON
A Novel By Brian Howard Seibert
© Copyright by Brian Howard Seibert
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
21.0 THE SOUTHERN WAY OR THE CITY OF CHERSON (Circa 832 AD)
“Enough guesting to the Ravener was given, when the Son of Sigurdr
Came from the North, the Wolf to lure from the wood to the wound.”
(832 AD) Spring came to Kiev like a maiden’s first kiss…soft, warm and fleeting. The wind blew softly, and the sun shone warmly, melting the last of the snows and when the grass had begun greening and the trees were about to bud there came a late snowstorm with wet heavy flakes settling a foot deep upon the earth. Winter returned and remained yet a full week longer, then left, and spring came again with a vigour that saw the hills surrounding the city green up with the fury of fresh growth. Princess Gunwar sat upon a stool at the wooden battlements of the centre fort and looked out on a field of small flowers that seemed to have sprung up overnight. She admired their ability. She marvelled at their growth. She shook her head sadly as she studied her own leanness.
Old Gotwar, completing a long tiring ascent up the parapet stairs, kneeled at Gunwar’s feet, holding forth a goblet of hot herb tea she had prepared for her mistress. “Drink this, or you will never be with child,” she crooned.
Gunwar took the brew and drank it, making a sour face at its disagreeable taste. “Does my prince still argue with my brother?” she asked. The old woman nodded.
In the high seat hall of King Frodi, within the central fort, Erik sat upon the second high seat and discussed the Huns with his king. “We must pursue them while they are yet weak, before they have a chance to rebuild,” Erik protested.
“We, too, are weak from our exertions last fall,” King Frodi replied, “and we’ve suffered much during this harsh Scythian winter. The Huns have been severely drubbed, and we’ll have no problems from them for a very long time. If we move against them in their own territory we give them a chance to recoup their losses in their own lands, employing the exact same strategy we used to defeat them in the first place. The logistics of a campaign that extensive would be unbearable.”
“They will not rest until they avenge their dead,” Erik continued. “King Hunn yet holds claim to your throne.”
King Frodi became visibly annoyed at the mention of his former father-in-law. “We have our Southern Way to build,” he declared. “Let’s build it!” Frodi massaged his forehead with his left hand and recomposed himself. “We can learn much from the Khazars about building a trading empire. I have been studying their form of government. They have a King they call Kagan, and they have a Grand Prince they call Kagan Bek. They divide their kingly and commercial affairs, keeping the two efforts distinct and separate. This seems to me a most workable system, one we may wish to emulate.”
“Have you chosen your kagan bek yet, my Kagan?” Erik asked, and they both laughed, first King Frodi then Erik.
“It is you, my Kagan Bek, who must do the choosing now. You must gather the merchants about yourself and form a guild, a trading company to engage in both trade and taxation, the trade being for your guild’s benefit, the tithes for mine. Now, you must choose a name for your trading company. What would you like to call it?”
At that moment Roller entered the high seat hall. He had been drinking all morning and was in a foul mood. “Hrae!” he shouted. “Do we take up arms against the Huns? Or do we yet waver in fear?” Roller berated his brother. He waved over a slave dispensing wine, took a goblet full and sat at the third high seat next to King Frodi.
Since the quarantine that Erik had imposed upon Roller and his men at Holmgard, the two brothers had become distanced. Erik turned towards King Frodi, ignoring his brother’s goading, and said, “the Hraes’ Trading Company, after my father, Hraegunar ‘Lothbrok’. We shall call the guild the Hraes’ Trading Company.”
“Are we attacking the Huns?” Roller asked once more, this time addressing King Frodi.
“We must consolidate our efforts in the development of the Southern Way,” King Frodi answered him politely, then turned to Erik and said, “Hraes’ Trading Company? I like it.”
“I leave for Norway on the morrow,” King Roller said, getting up to take his leave. “I hope you aren’t underestimating the fortitude of the Khazars, but, if you are, and they do return, call me and I shall come to your aid with all the forces I possess, for I’ve a score to settle with these Huns.”
The next day Roller led a large contingent of Norwegians down to their ships on the Dnieper river and they boarded and set sail for Norway. Prince Erik and Princess Gunwar were there to see King Roller off, as were King Frodi and Queen Alfhild. Their farewell embraces were the warmest feelings Erik and Roller had shared in a long while, and Erik hoped that his saving of the Danish forces from the ravages of the plague had not caused him to lose a brother.
All winter, King Frodi had occupied his troops by sending them out to collect tribute of a squirrel pelt per hearth from the Slav tribes surrounding the Poljane. For the most part, the Slavs paid their dues without excessive complaint, merely paying their tithes to the Danes instead of the Khazars, but, whenever a village withheld tribute, it was dealt with severely. The army would establish itself in that very village in order to collect tribute from the surrounding villages and, after several weeks of occupation, with its resulting rough handling of citizens and gentle handling of maidens, the tribute would invariably be paid by the villagers to rid themselves of the invaders. The Danish officers would then lead their men to the next village that had refused to pay tribute and occupy it. In that manner King Frodi had billeted his troops over the winter as well as got his taxes collected.
When the soldiers returned with the tribute: squirrel, fox, ermine and sable pelts, silver, honey and grain, King Frodi set about upgrading and expanding the chain of fortresses that the Khazars had built during their campaign. The forts had been conveniently placed, by King Hunn, a day’s travel apart along the route of the Southern Way, to secure and protect the long supply line of the Khazar army from possible attack by the Slavs. Unfortunately for the Huns, they did not foresee their supply line being throttled close to home by the Danish navy, operating on the Black Sea, and the Crimean Goths, led by brother Gregory. At any rate, the fortresses were beginning to be of great assistance to King Frodi in establishing military and administrative control of the trade route. They also led the merchants that Erik brought in from all over Scandinavia to call King Frodi’s kingdom Gardar: the land of forts.
Attracting merchants to work the Southern Way proved more difficult than Erik had first expected. The trade route was long and arduous, and it had a dangerous reputation. There were, of course, a handful of Danish merchants who, like Alfgeir, had plied the ‘Way before King Frodi had even dreamed of taming it, but these were few and far between and many, also like Alfgeir, were dead. Erik realized that a name was needed for the Southern Way that would generate a feeling of security, so, like a namesake of his, Erik the Red, who, two centuries later, would name a frozen forsaken wilderness Greenland, he encouraged, though took no credit for, the name Gardar. Boasting of, and even exaggerating, the number of forts protecting the Southern Way helped dispel the fear that many Scandinavian merchants had of the Eastern Realm. Erik learned that they would much rather ply the meagre northern European trade routes in relative safety–as if any trade in their time could be considered safe—rather than risk life and limb traversing the plains of Giantland. Even the brave merchants within Erik’s own family were reluctant to abandon the Nor’Way in order to establish a questionable and competing route. They preferred to keep faith with the customers they had, and to service the paths they had long travelled. Finally, Erik sent groups from among his Centuriata north into Scandinavia, to Sweden and Denmark and to King Roller in Norway, for aid in garnering recruits for the Hraes’ Trading Company. Relying heavily on Erik’s waxing reputation throughout the northern lands, both as poet and leader, these men managed to assemble a small army of merchants and a flotilla of trading ships to sail the Southern Way in late spring. Erik, meanwhile, travelled with Princess Gunwar to the Crimea to set up prospective trade agreements with the Greek merchants of Cherson.
The city of Cherson was expansive and it left an indelible impression upon Gunwar. Except for some outlying residential areas, the whole city was walled about by a high stone battlement of Roman style, with three major entry gates of huge oak beams and iron bars. Once in the city, Erik, Gunwar and their local entourage were stared upon in awe by the Greek citizens as they rode through the streets, especially Princess Gunwar, in her long flowing white fox robe and her polished armour. She sat taller than most of the Greeks about her, and her long blonde hair caught up the morning sunlight, spun it amongst the tresses and tossed it forth for the citizens to watch in wonderment. As the party of Danes wound their way through the streets of Cherson, they came to the merchant quarter, to which they had been assigned, or restricted so to speak, for the Greeks feared the Norsemen more than any other people they had faced in a long while. Their guide led them up to the house of General Ygg. He had offered them his manse in Cherson as a base of operations, although he, himself, did not come, being assigned, by King Frodi, the job of having the Radimichi build monoxylan at the source of the Dnieper. But Brother Gregory was there and welcomed them warmly.
Princess Gunwar was impressed by the height and the litheness of the man. He stood a head taller than her and half a head taller than her husband. He had servants put up their horses and take their outer garments as he led them through the foyer and into a dining room, where a meal had been prepared for them. They sat and rested on chairs along the dining room walls and were served wine in goblets as the servants washed the hands and the feet of those who would let them. Gunwar found the cleansing refreshing and Brother Gregory’s accent intriguing. He spoke the same archaic Norse that his brother, General Ygg, had spoken in Kiev, but General Ygg had learned to temper his words with Danish phrases that he picked up very quickly. Brother Gregory, however, spoke unadulterated Goth as it had been spoken four centuries earlier in Sweden, and Gunwar found the language refreshing and entertaining.
Once introduced to Princess Gunwar, Brother Gregory held her hand affectionately and said, “Gunwar…Battle Maiden. In my language your name would be Hervor…Maiden of Hosts. You must forgive me if my tongue slips and now and again I call you Hervor.”
Princess Gunwar was impressed by this man of the cloth. She felt him to be a connoisseur of the flesh as well as the grape, with the smooth tongue of Loki and a devilish twinkle in his eyes. He was a handsome man with strength and presence. Had he not have lived in interesting times, he would have made them so. “Please, call me Hervor if you so wish,” Gunwar breathed. “It is a beautiful name …. Hervor,” and, as she mouthed the name, she marvelled at its softness. It was smooth, not guttural like Gunwar. “You may address me as Hervor whenever you wish.”
When the servants had finished the ablutions, Brother Gregory seated the guests at the banquet table in the Norse fashion, rather than the Latin, with the leading guest seated at the centre of one long side of the table, flanked by his party in descending order of importance, and the host seated across from him, with his own people seated in a corresponding order. So, the Danes all sat on one side of the table and Brother Gregory, with a few important Goth and Greek merchants, sat on the other. The dinner turned to business as, after the meal, Erik sat and drank and hammered out an agreement with the merchants of Cherson.
While Erik was busy with the Greek merchants, Brother Gregory offered to give Gunwar and several members of Erik’s Centuriata a tour of his brother’s property. Gunwar had already seen the entrance to the estate. There had been a gateway in a high stone wall off the narrow dusty street, with huge oaken doors, and, inside it, on the right of the path was a small vineyard and garden, on the left towered the two-story mansion and at the end was an attached stable with loft. The entrance to the manor also had oak double doors, and the foyer inside had the guards’ chambers on the left and a long high fireplace along the wall on the right. At the left end of the foyer was a staircase going up a tower that stood tall at the north corner of the building, and off to the right was the large dining room where the Norsemen had just enjoyed their meal. To the right of the dining room there was a small heavy doorway leading out into a courtyard surrounding a huge oak tree, and beyond the dining room was a living room with a huge stone fireplace set in the west corner. Brother Gregory led his guests into the living room and explained some of the religious works of art hanging there. Princess Gunwar saw icons of a woman with a child and a handsome bearded man, all with auras about their heads.
“The Patriarch has banned the veneration of icons,” Brother Gregory explained. “We preserve these for the church. They will be returned once the Patriarch and his iconoclastic beliefs are dead,” he added, sombrely.
Gunwar did not understand the religious implications of what Brother Gregory had said, but she felt the sadness in his words. Next, they were shown the kitchen, which had a small doorway into the stable, and then Brother Gregory led them back through the house, past Erik and the Greek merchants still discussing their pact, and up the stairway to the second floor, then into a foyer with shuttered windows overlooking the oak tree in the courtyard. There was a grouping of four guest chambers nested in one corner of the floor, three bedrooms down one long side of the hall and a large master’s bed chamber at the other end. There were servant’s quarters above the stable and, because the Christians were forbidden to own slaves, Brother Gregory emphasized the word `servants’ and explained to Gunwar that his serfs were bound to him only through debt or duty, not ownership.
“Once they pay off their debt or discharge their duty,” Gunwar asked, “then they are free to go?”
“If they wish,” Brother Gregory answered, “but most prefer the security of servitude. Freedom is a heavy burden.” Brother Gregory led Gunwar back down the hall and again up the staircase to the top of the tower. From the battlements one could see the city of Cherson spreading north across the dusty Crimean plain, rising to meet the grey stone of the Governor’s Citadel, standing on a squat little hill overlooking the harbour.
Gunwar knew servitude and knew only too well the weighty responsibilities of freedom. She had been bound to the court of her brother, the king, and she had suffered the abuses of Grep and his berserker brothers until alcohol and depression had near swept her away and, after Grep had committed the foulest deed of them all, the slaughter of her suitors, and she groped through the darkest of her days, then there came an arrow of light called Erik and the bright shaft of his spirit shattered the foul darkness of the berserks. She knew freedom, yet, still, she served the court of her brother. The tall lithe monk was explaining the lay of the city and Gunwar watched his handsome features and she knew why she’d judged him to be a lady’s man. He was attractive to women. Priests and monks of that period were not bound to celibacy and, indeed, many were married and had families. And then a thought occurred to Gunwar that devastated her. “Maybe it is Erik’s fault I am barren,” she thought, but she cast that treacherous notion from her mind as fast as she had conceived it. A great guilt swept across her breast, a betrayal, and she said, “Perhaps we should rejoin the others.”
In the dining room, the Greek merchants were pressuring Erik for a long-term trading agreement when Princess Gunwar and Brother Gregory returned. Gunwar had several of Erik’s Centuriata carry their luggage up to the second-floor chamber that had been assigned to her and she begged leave of her husband that she might rest. “Is something wrong?” Erik asked her. She shook her head and took her leave, but Erik did not believe her. Erik rose from the table, took Brother Gregory aside, and asked, “What is wrong?”
“I fear she does not like Cherson,” Brother Gregory replied, “for, as she was looking out over the city, a great sadness overcame her.”
Erik returned to the table and concluded the meeting, saying, “We shall trade with you exclusively this year, as the season is all but spent, but next year we shall see.”
The Greek merchants were disappointed at his words, but they had little choice in the matter. The Norsemen were wearing the quality furs they would be bringing to trade, and the Greeks knew the prices they would fetch in the markets of Constantinople and Baghdad.
Later, when the Greek merchants had left, and Brother Gregory had assigned all to their sleeping benches, Erik joined Gunwar in their chamber and he lay beside her, hoping she would say something.
Princess Gunwar lay beside Erik, wanting to confess the thought that had occurred to her that afternoon, but she could not broach the subject. She longed to feel a baby, a life inside herself. She needed Erik and she reached for her husband. He felt her need and touched her.
The next morning, Erik and Gunwar and their Centuriata packed up their belongings, strapped on their weapons, mounted their horses and bid Brother Gregory goodbye with many thanks, then rode out of Cherson in the early light of dawn. They rode two days up the Crimean Peninsula and another three to the Dnieper rapids, where their ships sat, anchored and guarded, upstream of the rapid called Essoupi. The sailors aboard ship, on seeing Erik, rowed into shore, and all helped load the small Danish ponies aboard the boats. The horses, still shaggy with their winter coats, were led down the riverbank and splashed through the gravel at the river’s edge, out to where the ships had grounded, and the men aboard all came to the shoreward side of boat, causing it to yaw to that side until the top strake near dipped into the waves and a horse could be led on board. The horse was then led to a place where its weight aided in maintaining the yaw, while other horses embarked, and the loads were adjusted accordingly each time an animal boarded, and, once all animals and personnel were aboard, the ship was poled off the riverbed until it was free and floating. Then, the wind being favourable, they set the sail and rowed up the Dnieper to Kiev.
The monoxylan had all been built, the tribute had been gathered and the merchants: Danes, Swedes and Norwegians, had arrived and were awaiting the kagan bek’s return, when Erik, Gunwar and their Centuriata came sailing up a bend in the Dnieper River. King Frodi welcomed his sister and brother-in-law home, and King Olmar, too, was there to greet them. Erik had hoped that perhaps his brother, King Roller, would have had a change of heart and would have been there to welcome them, but such was not the case. The Norwegian merchants, many of whom Erik knew personally, reported that King Roller had returned to The Vik and was busy establishing his rule over Norway. Erik felt it was all part of growing up, this distancing of brothers, but, still, it saddened him. Although he yet hoped that chance and circumstance would, in the future, draw them closer once again, he knew that they would never be as close as they had been when they had set off from home to avenge their father’s honour at the court of young King Frodi in Liere. Events, indeed, would draw the brothers back together, but Erik was to deeply regret the tragedy that was to catalyse their repatriation.
The next day, leaving Princess Gunwar with her brother in Kiev, Prince Erik led the merchants of the Hraes’ Trading Company on their first expedition down the Dnieper River. All were in high spirits as they floated down the river, and many were the toasts and boasts ringing out across the still flowing waters of that grand Black Sea tributary. It was not until they reached the Dnieper rapids that the work really began. The merchants used the same procedure of portage and fording that the Danish navy had employed the previous year and, two weeks and two drowned men later, the Scandinavians landed in the harbour of Cherson. The Eastern Roman citizens, in general, were terrified by the presence of so many barbarians, but the Greek merchants were very pleased to see them. The Norsemen brought amber, furs and slaves for which the Greeks traded gold, silver and silks. The Greeks needed these northern goods, for there would be no caravans coming out of the east, out of the crushed Khazar Empire, for many years to come.
Chapter 22: TRADING WITH THE GREEKS or CONSTANTINOPLE (Circa 833 AD) of BOOK 2: THE SAGA OF PRINCE ERIK ‘BRAGI’ RAGNARSON shall follow on next Post or may be found under Heading of The VARANGIANS / UKRAINIANS Book Series – The True History of ‘The Great Viking Manifestation of The Middle Ages’© in Book Two: The Saga of Prince Erik ‘Bragi’ Ragnarson.
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 / UKRAINIANS or The Nine Books of Saxo’s Danish History Per Brian Howard Seibert
BOOK ONE: The Saga of King Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’ Sigurdson
King Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’ Sigurdson’s third wife, Princess Aslaug, was a young survivor of the Saga of the Volsungs and was a daughter of King Sigurd ‘the Dragon-Slayer’ Fafnirsbane, so this is where Ragnar’s story begins in almost all the ancient tales (except Saxo’s). In our series, we explore this tail end of the Volsungs Saga because King Sigurd appears to be the first ‘Dragon-Slayer’ and King Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’ would seem to be the second so, it is a good opportunity to postulate the origins of Fire Breathing Dragons and how they were slain. King Ragnar would lose his Zealand Denmark to the Anglish Danes of Jutland, who spoke Anglish, as did the majority of Vikings who attacked England, which spoke both Anglish and Saxon languages, sometimes mistakenly called a common Anglo-Saxon language. The Angles and Saxons of England never really did get along, as shall be demonstrated in the following books. King Ragnar assuaged the loss of Zealand by taking York or Jorvik, the City of the Boar, in Angleland and Stavanger Fjord in Thule from which he established his Nor’Way trade route into Scythia.
BOOK TWO: The Saga of Prince Erik ‘Bragi’ Ragnarson
Book Two of the Nine Book The Varangians / Ukrainians Series places The Saga of Prince Erik ‘Bragi’ Ragnarson from Book Five of The First Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200 AD) about King Frodi ‘the Peaceful’ into its proper chronological location in history. In 1984, when I first started work on the book, I placed Prince Erik’s birth at circa 800 CE, but it has since been revised to 810 CE to better reflect 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, just north of the Caspian Sea, and helped the Khazars control the western end of the famous Silk Road Trade Route. Princes Erik and Roller, both sons of Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’, sail off to Zealand to avenge their father’s loss, but Erik falls in love with Princess Gunwar, the sister of the Anglish King Frodi of Jutland and, after his successful Battle Upon the Ice, wherein he destroys the House of Westmar, Erik marries Gunwar and both brothers become King Frodi’s foremost men instead, and the story moves on to the founding of Hraes’ and Gardar Ukraine.
BOOK THREE: The Saga of Prince Helgi ‘Arrow Odd’ Erikson
Book Three, The Saga of Prince Helgi ‘Arrow Odd’ Erikson, recreates Arrow Odd’s Saga of circa 1200 AD to illustrate how Arrow Odd was Prince Helgi (Oleg in Slavic) Erikson 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 Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’ by poisoned blood-snakes in York or Jorvik, the ‘City of the Boar’, and how his curse of ‘calling his young porkers to avenge the old boar’ sets up a death spiral between swine and snake that lasts for generations. The book then illustrates the famous Battle of the Berserks on Samso, where Helgi ‘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 Denmark to ravage Norway and then England and on to Helluland in Saint Brendan’s Newfoundland. A surprise cycle of vengeance manifests itself in the ‘death by snakebite’ of Helgi ‘Arrow Odd’.
BOOK FOUR: The Saga of Prince Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Erikson
Book Four, The Saga of Prince Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Erikson, reveals how Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Ragnarson was actually Prince Eyfur or Ivar (Igor in Slavic) Erikson of Kiev and then King Harde Knute ‘the First’ of Denmark. By comparing a twenty year lacuna in the reign of Prince Igor in The Hraes’ Primary Chronicle with a coinciding twenty year appearance of a King Harde Knute (Hard Knot) of Denmark in European Chronicles, Prince Igor’s punishment by sprung trees, which reportedly tore him apart, 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’. The book expands on the death curse of Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’ and the calling of ‘his young porkers to avenge the old boar’ when Ivar leaves his first son, King Gorm (Snake) ‘the Old’, to rule in Denmark and his last son, Prince Svein (Swine) ‘the Old’ to rule in Hraes’, further setting up the death spiral between the swine and snake of the ‘Lothbrok’ curse.
BOOK FIVE: The Saga of Prince Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson
Book Five, The Saga of Prince Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson, demonstrates how Prince Sveinald (Sviatoslav in Slavic) ‘the Brave’ of Kiev was really Prince Svein ‘the Old’ 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 then 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 and included the famed 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 close to defeating the greatest empire in the world, but lost and was forced to leave Hraes’ to his three sons. He returned to the Nor’Way and spent twelve years rebuilding Ragnar’s old trade route there.
BOOK SIX: The Saga of Grand Prince Valdamar ‘the Great’ Sveinson
Book Six, The Saga of Grand Prince Valdamar ‘the Great’ Sveinson, establishes how Grand Prince Valdamar (Vladimir in Slavic) ‘the Great’ of Kiev, expanded the Hraes’ Empire and his own family Hamingja by marrying 700 wives that he pampered in estates in and around Kiev. Unlike his father, Svein, 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 of Constantinople, 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 Hraes’ Grand Princes were called ‘Czars’ and their offspring were earnestly sought after, matrimonially, by European royalty.
BOOK SEVEN: The Saga of King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ Ivarson
In The Saga of King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ Ivarson, Prince Svein anonymously takes the name of Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ in Norway and befriends the Jarls of Lade in Trondheim Fjord in Norway as he expands the Nor’Way trade route of his grandfather, Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’. He had come close to defeating the Eastern Roman Empire, and still felt that he was due at least a shared throne in Constantinople. He used the gold from the Nor’Way trade to rebuild his legions and his Hraes’ cataphracts and though his brother, King Gorm ‘the Old’, was dead, his son, Sweyn’s nephew, King Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormson had usurped the throne of Denmark and had hired the famed Jomsvikings to attack Prince Sweyn in Norway, setting up the famous Battle of Hjorungavagr in a fjord south of Lade. King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ would emerge from that confrontation and then he would defeat King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway in the Battle of Svolder in 1000 AD, in an engagement precipitated over the hand of Queen Sigrid ‘the Haughty’ of Sweden. Later he attacked England in revenge for the following St. Brice’s Day Massacre of Danes in 1002 AD and he fought a protracted war with the Saxon King Aethelred ‘the Unready’ that could only be described as the harvesting of the English for sale as slaves in Baghdad and Constantinople. With the help of his son, Prince Valdamar of Kiev, and the legions and cataphracts of Hraes’, he conquered England on Christmas Day of 1013, but victory was not kind to him.
BOOK EIGHT: The Saga of King Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson
Prince Valdamar ‘the Great’ Sveinson of Kiev, who had supported his father, King Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark in attacks upon England left his ‘Czar’ sons in charge of Hraes’ and took over as King Valdamar of England, but the Latin Christian English revolted against his eastern name and Orthodox Christian religion and brought King Aethelred back from exile in Normandy and Valdamar had to return to Hraes’ and gather up the legions he had already sent back after his father’s victory. His half brother was ruling in Denmark and his sons were ruling in Hraes’ so, in 1015 AD Grand Prince Valdamar ‘the Great’ of Kiev was written out of Hraes’ history and in 1016 the Latin Christian Prince Canute ‘the Great’ returned to England to reclaim his throne. He defeated Aethelred’s son, King Edmund ‘Ironside’ of England, at the Battle of Assandun to become King Canute ‘the Great’ of England and later King Knute ‘the Great’ of Denmark and Norway as well. But that is just the start of his story and later Danish Christian Kings would call his saga, and the sagas of his forefathers, The Lying Sagas of Denmark, and would set out to destroy them, claiming that, “true Christians will never read these Sagas”.
BOOK NINE: The Saga of King William ‘the Conqueror’ Robertson
The Third Danish Conquest of Angleland was seen to herald the end of the Great Viking Manifestation of the Middle Ages, but this, of course, was contested by the Vikings who were still in control of it all. Danish Varangians still ruled in Kiev and Danes still ruled the Northern Empire of Canute ‘the Great’, for the Normans were but Danish Vikings that had taken up the French language, and even Greenland and the Newfoundland were under Danish control in a Hraes’ Empire that ran from the Silk Road of Cathay in the east to the Mayan Road of Yucatan in the west. “We are all the children of Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’,” Queen Emma of Normandy often said. Out of sheer spite the Saxons of England took over the Varangian Guard of Constantinople and would continue their fight against the Normans in Southern Italy as mercenaries of the Byzantine Roman Empire. They would lose there as well, when in the Fourth Crusade of 1204, the Norman Danes would sack the City of Constantinople and hold it long enough to stop the Mongol hoards that would crush the City of Kiev. It would be Emperor Baldwin ‘the First’ of Flanders and Constantinople who would defeat the Mongol Mongke Khan in Thrace. But the Mongols would hold Hraes’ for three hundred years and this heralded the end of the Great Viking Manifestation. The Silk Road was dead awaiting Marco Polo for its revival. But the western Mayan Road would continue to operate for another hundred years until another unforeseen disaster struck. Its repercussions would be witnessed by the Spanish conquerors who followed Christopher Columbus a hundred and fifty years later in the Valley of the Mound Builders.
By recreating the lives of four generations of Hraes’ Ukrainian 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 Hraes’ Ukrainian 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 Hraes’ and returned to their kingly duties in Denmark with a lot of Byzantine Roman ideas and heavy cavalry and cataphracts.