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 TWO:


Constantinople by Cplakidas w/ St. Mamas District of the Rhos (Red Dot)


A Novel By Brian Howard Seibert

© Copyright by Brian Howard Seibert



            “They who followed Bragi ‘the Old’ were called Bragunar.”

            Snorri Sturluson;  Skaldskaparmal

(833 AD)  Originally founded by the Greeks in 658 B.C. as the town of Byzantium, the city of Constantinople was established as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire by Augustus Caesar Constantine in 330 A.D.  It was to be a bastion of western civilization for over a millennium, with a population of over half a million citizens and a strategic location, between the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus that controlled trade between the Mediterranean and Scythian (Black) Seas.  Twelve miles of stone wall protected its palaces and churches, forums and arenas, cisterns and aqueducts, while six gates allowed access to its streets and houses.  It was on the tip of a peninsula called the Golden Horn, with its harbour of the same name to the north, the Bosporus Strait and Asia Minor on its east, the Sea of Marmara or Propontus to the south and the Lycus River trailing into the continent of Europe on its west.

It had taken Erik a month of haranguing and many bribes to get the leading merchant of Cherson, a Greek called Chaleus, to arrange for an escort to and meeting with merchants in Constantinople.  And this, Chaleus did with style.  An escorting trireme of the Roman navy dwarfed Fair Faxi as it led Erik and merchants of the Hraes’ Trading Company from Cherson southwest across the Black Sea to the Bosporus and up into the Golden Horn.  Calm had been the sea passage, with exceptionally fine weather for late fall, but the winter rains were starting as they rowed down the strait between Europe and Asia.  The Greek naval officers had wasted no time in displaying the superior speed of their trireme’s oars while leaving the harbour of Cherson, but the Norsemen showed the Romans how their little ship sped swiftly over the high sea waves once out upon the Pontus Euxinus, so the Greeks took their time leading the longship down the Bosporus, and Erik studied the small towns and many churches crowding both shores of the passage.  The little settlements never ceased, one town blending into the next with the odd monastery or church in between.  And the waters were alive with little boats and ships, fishing craft and merchant vessels.  As Fair Faxi approached Constantinople, the shorelines were crowded with houses, estates and vineyards, and on their left the city of Chrysopolis settled into the Asian coast and up into its hills as far as the eye could see, then, to the south, they saw the Sea of Marmara before heading west up into the Golden Horn.  The high-walled capital of the Roman Empire loomed ominously above the Norsemen, casting deep evening shadows across calm rippling waters, as they rowed up into the long harbour.

The Roman navy was on manoeuvre along the Horn and Erik witnessed a phenomenon he had only heard tales about, an event he suspected had been planned as a demonstration of Roman military might:  the throwing of Greek fire, from a bireme onto the decks of an abandoned old hulk of a merchantman.  Erik had been raised on tales of his father, Ragnar, attacking just such a fire breathing bireme on the rivers of Scythia many years before.  Roman sailors were on the deck of the bireme and the crew manning the hollow tube of the Greek weapon stood out in their flame proofed mail shirts and their shaggy hide breaches and their broad brimmed bronze helms and soon the tube roared a great ‘Hraaaaee’ from the deck of the Greek warship, spouting flaming black liquor into the night air and onto the decks of the little galley while the massive bladders and bellows below deck exhausted their pressurized air.  Erik imagined his father standing at the forestem of his ship shouting ‘Hraae’ right back at the top of his lungs and his crew all shouting ‘Hraae’ in unison to keep up their courage as they rowed straight for the bireme and when the Greeks replied with another flaming ‘Hraaaaee’, Ragnar led his men in a responding ‘Hraae’ once more while fending off the flames with his ship’s green hide awnings and water logged shields, then coming in low, under the arc of fire, to attack the soft underbelly of the beast, grappling and boarding that ship of the Empire and stealing away the hoard of Roman gold, the cursed Red Gold Rings of Byzantium, that the Guild had told him about.  The Greek naval officers of their escort vessel shook their heads in disbelief as the barbaric Norsemen laughed and shouted ‘Hraae” at this demonstration of the Roman Empire’s fiery secret weapon.  Erik would never tell the Greeks that it was his father that had stolen their Emperor’s gold, but he let all the Norsemen in his company know about it and he told them that Ragnar got his ‘Hrae’ in Hraegunar and his famed byname ‘Lothbrok’ from that sea battle.  And that was how his father Gunar became Hraegunar and his byname became Lothbrok, or Shaggy Breaches, and how his own son Erik was in Norse called Hraerik and was destined to become Prince Ruirik to the Slavs of Hraes’ or Rus’.  And how his gifted shield was called Hrae’s Ship’s Round and the tales that were carved into it were to cover up the charred marks burnt into it by the Naphtha flames and how now his company of traders were called the Hraes’.  Erik owed much to the secret weapon of the Greeks.  Poems and tales were still being made of the Hraes Gold, or Regin’s Gold, or the Red Gold or the Hring Gold stolen by Ragnar ‘Lothbrok’ Sigurdson.  It would not become the ‘Rhine’ Gold yet; that would come later in Ingleheim.

The escorting trireme led Fair Faxi to a dock offshore of the Gate of Plateia, where a number of merchants of Constantinople awaited Chaleus and his Norse traders.  It was a sombre and overweight group that welcomed Erik to Constantinople as he stepped onto the solid stonework of the dock, the opulence of Rome self-evident.  Chaleus introduced Erik to the merchants that he knew and they, in turn, presented the rest of their party.  Erik was amazed at how quickly night followed day in the southern climes.  There was no long period of dusk as in the northern lands.  But the Greek merchants had fine carriages at hand to take the Norsemen quietly into the city.  They passed through the immense bronze doors of the Gate of Plateia and travelled down a wide flagstone street lit up with oil-fired streetlamps that burned brightly, passing under a long aqueduct and turning left onto an avenue called the Mese.  Passing through the Forum of Theodosius, they carried on to the Forum of Constantine and there awaited a messenger from the Great Palace of the Emperor, Michael.  An hour passed before a palace eunuch ambled down the busy Mese with instructions that the Norse merchants be entertained in the Triclinium of Augustus, a hall in the Great Palace equipped with apartments and kitchens.  The merchant Chaleus was to stay with the barbarians and was responsible for their behaviour.  Once settled comfortably in their chambers, Chaleus said to Erik, “The Emperor is pleased with the sable pelts we presented him in tithe for the goods we shipped from Cherson.  He wishes more and is willing to pay Roman gold for them.  Further, he requests all sales of sable be restricted to the royal household.”

“We shall see,” was Erik’s taciturn reply.  He was not impressed with his reception in Constantinople.  He had been greeted with intimidation, been compelled to wait on palace slaves and was now being told his business.  He was not looking forward to the morrow’s entertainment.  Chaleus had promised him an afternoon of The Games, chariot racing, at the Hippodrome.

Erik could hear it even though he could not see it.  It made a massive shuffling sound in the cool morning air and one could almost feel it vibrating the cold stones of the Triclinium of Augustus.  One could taste the dust raised into the air by it and every fibre in Erik’s being was instinctively aroused by its ominous and crushing presence.

“It is the mob,” Chaleus explained in his broken Goth.  “They who come to watch the games.”  Erik wanted to see them, but the Greek explained that they, themselves, would be entering the Hippodrome directly from the palace grounds later, then, relenting, he led Erik out into a street of the palace, past the Hall of Nineteen Couches and to the Triclinium beyond the court of Daphne.  There was a small watchtower atop the Triclinium from which advantage Erik could see much of Constantinople.  But it was the mob that caught and held his eye.  By the thousands, people were streaming into the Hippodrome, flowing like a great river of humanity into that ancient sea of stone, flowing from homes into small tributary streets, commingling in the larger avenues, converging on the huge Mese and flowing down through the centre of Constantinople, through the Forum of Constantine, where the masses eddied in small swirling surging bodies before streaming once again into the Mese and on to the stadium.  Erik shivered involuntarily at the sight.  This mob, as Chaleus called it, had to number in the hundreds of thousands: perhaps two hundred thousand—more than twice as great as the army of the Huns.  The thought of so many people gathering in one place awed Erik, but the thought of three or four times as many people all living together here in Constantinople, with even more if one included Chrysopolis and the surrounding towns, staggered him.  From the vantage point of the watchtower, Erik’s overwhelmed senses left the people and moved on to the city of Constantinople, itself.

Chaleus watched the barbarian as he studied the city.  The Norseman showed no signs of being overly impressed, still Chaleus flushed with pride in Constantinople, the mother city of the Greco-Roman world.  “You missed the sights with our night arrival,” he started, as the city of Constantinople lay spread out before them.  “The fortification to the west is the Wall of Theodosius,” Chaleus explained in a medley of Goth and Greek words, “said to be built from the stones of the walls of Troy, not far from here, and to its north the Palace of Blachernae, so named for a Scythian prince who died on that spot.  There you see the Cisterns of Aetius and Aspar,” he continued, pointing,” and then we have the Inner Wall of Constantine and the Church of the Holy Apostles and the Aqueduct that we passed under last night and, there, is the Gate of Plateia, through which we entered the city, and there is the Gate of Perama and beyond them both is the Harbour of the Golden Horn.”  Chaleus gave Erik a moment to absorb the names, then continued.  “As I explained last night, the great avenue running down the centre of the city is called the Mese and, by the aqueduct, is the Forum of Theodosius and then we have the Forum of Constantine and, finally, we have the Hippodrome,” he said, and Erik was drawn back, once more, to the crowd at the stadium.  “Going back to the west,” Chaleus started again, “the gates in the Wall of Theodosius from the north are: the Gate of Charisius on the Mese, the Gate of Romanus, the Gate of Selembria on the Sigma Mese and the Golden Gate.”  Erik could not see any gold on the Golden Gate, but, before Erik could question this, Chaleus continued.  “Down the Sigma Mese is the Forum of Arcadius and the Forum of the Ox.  To our south is the Sea of Marmara,” Chaleus explained, moving to the south-east corner of the tower, “and the Sophian Harbour.  There are the Churches of Saint Thomas and Anastasia and the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus.  Behind us is, of course, the Imperial Palace grounds and there is the Pentacubiculum and the Covered Hippodrome and, behind it, the Palace of Trichonus.”

Erik could just make out the Palace of Trichonus over top the Covered Hippodrome, and its roof, he could see, was covered in gold.  Chaleus went on to detail the rest of the Great Palace to Erik:  the lighthouse by the sea wall, the Imperial Apartments, the Octagon, the Court of Daphne, the Hall of Nineteen Couches, the Triclinium of Augustus in which they were staying, the Tribunal, the Court of Schools, the Open Square, the Brazen House, the Church of the Apostles and the Magnaura.  The palace grounds ended at the Mese and the Milion, the column at which all distances from Constantinople were measured.  Beyond were the Augustion and the Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, the crowning glory of Orthodox Christianity.

“She’s the marvel of the Greek world,” Chaleus declared, as both men, Roman and Barbarian, took in the wondrous beauty of that climax of the First Golden Age of Roman architecture.  “It was built in six years,” the Greek continued, “some five hundred years after the death of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”  Hagia Sophia sat brooding, a magnificent church, oozing religion, its hundred-foot concrete dome rising higher yet over its surrounding grounds.  “Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Militus built her and his son, Isidorus the Younger, completed her.”  Chaleus considered himself to be a well‑educated man and somewhat of an expert on ships and buildings.  Had he not been born into a wealthy merchant class family that bought and sold properties, he felt he would have devoted his life to the construction of magnificent structures, but this whim of his did not reflect the realities of Roman civilization.  Merchants were the sons of merchants and builders the sons of builders and soldiers of soldiers until even mercenaries passed on their deadly skills to their own offspring.

Erik studied the massive holy structure and, even though he did not show it, he marvelled in its accomplishment.  Both men’s reveries were shattered by the shout of an Imperial Guardsman, an officer of the elite Immortals Regiment.

“What are you doing here?” he shouted, rushing across the stone floor of the tower.  Keeping clear of Erik, he grabbed Chaleus by the throat and shouted, “Showing the barbarian our defences?  This is treason.  I’ll have your head.”

“A mark of silver,” Chaleus wheezed, as the big man near lifted him off his feet.

“That’s all your miserable life is worth?” the guardsman hissed.

“A gold talent,” Chaleus countered.

The officer of the Immortals managed a small greedy smile before Erik remembered a word he had heard shouted many times from the walls during the siege of Cherson.  “Pig!” Erik shouted in Latin.

The guardsman dropped Chaleus, who tumbled backwards into the wall of the tower and watched the fight unfold, sitting.  The Immortal drew his long sword and it flashed in the sunlight.  Erik stepped away from the wall, drawing Tyrfingr, and his sword glowed in the shadows.  The huge Greek swung his weapon with such force that it shattered upon the star stone of Erik’s blade.  He raised his arms as though to say, “I am unarmed,” but Tyrfingr bit deep into his chest and the Immortal died without a word.

As Erik withdrew the sword and sheathed Tyrfingr in the blood of the Roman guardsman, Chaleus rose to his feet, shaking.

“You could have spared the man,” he complained.  “He’d have settled for a mark of silver at sword point.”

“There is a curse on this sword.  It must be the death of a man each time it is drawn,” Erik explained.  “It was him or you!”

“And the glow?  It is part of this curse?”

Erik nodded in reply.

“Can you get more of these cursed swords?” Chaleus asked, his eyes lighting up as the merchant in him took over.

“There is but the one,” Erik laughed, shaking his head, but the interest of the Greek warned Erik of the danger of letting Tyrfingr fall into Roman hands.

“I’ll have my people come collect the corpse,” Chaleus offered as they descended the tower.

“No,” Erik answered.  “I’ll have my Centuriata get him when we’re at the games.”  And, while Chaleus and Erik were busy with the pomp and majesty of the Emperor’s entrance into the Hippodrome, four of Erik’s men covertly carried an empty wine keg to the top of the palace watch tower and spirited a full one down.

The Hippodrome was a huge stone and brick stadium holding over a hundred thousand spectators.  A quarter of a mile long and four hundred feet wide, it was the largest structure within the walls of Constantinople.  The full length of its east side adjoined the Great Palace, then swept around to the south and west in a graceful arc and the tiered stone seats of its western side ran parallel for another quarter mile, leaving the north end open for the entering of processions and parades from The Mese.  Access to the general public was via hundreds of entrances all along the outer wall of the stadium and Erik thought, as they entered the Imperial Section, that if Odin, indeed, had a hall called Valhall, it would be like the Hippodrome, with drinking and games and massive entertainments.

Erik and Chaleus, although sitting in the Emperor’s Section, had not been invited to sit in the Imperial Box.  Surrounded by fellow merchants of note, they sat several rows below and to the left of Emperor Theophilos, who had just taken over from the reign of Emperor Michael ‘the Second’.  As the chariots and teams were being led into the stadium from the north, a Greek merchant asked Erik a question which Chaleus translated for him.  “How would you describe our fair city?” Chaleus asked Erik.

Erik sat stiffly, showing no signs of his earlier wonderment.  “Miklagard!” he shouted, sure that the reception by Michael would have been warmer than that so far proffered by Theophilos.

“Michael’s Keep,” Chaleus translated for the merchant, who smiled condescendingly.

The chariots were soon lined up in front of the Imperial Box and ready to start the race.  A low wall ran down the centre of the field, most of the length of the stadium, separating it into two halves, forming the track around which the four-horse chariots would race.  There were four teams decked out in their respective colours of blue, green, red and white representing the four quarters of the city.  The blue team had the official support of the emperor and the green had the empress’s backing.  The wife of the sovereign ruler of the empire stood up, silk kerchief in hand, and let the bright green and blue handkerchief fall.  Erik watched it float down from the Imperial Box and, as the wind swept the silk out over the reaching arms of the crowd, he was reminded of the handkerchief Gunwar had dropped to begin the Ragnarsons’ duel with the sons of Westmar, out upon the ice, and a sharp pang of loneliness pierced him as he thought of his wife.  The race, meanwhile, had begun, and the chariots were hurtling around the first turn in the course.  The blue chariot was in the lead, followed by the green and the white, with the red team trailing last.  Coming down the far side of the track, the teams maintained much the same order, but, in the desire to win, the green chariot attempted to go inside of the blue team as it went around the last corner.  The two chariots collided with each other, sending the blue team crashing into the wall of the stadium.  The white and red teams swept by the floundering green and crossed the finish line.  The driver of the blue chariot got up out of the wreckage as slaves rushed out to attend the horses.  “It is a bad omen for Emperor Theophilos,” Chaleus whispered, “but a good one for us,” he chuckled, the white team being representative of the merchants of Constantinople.  A brooding scowl altered the face of the Emperor, who had been very pleased and smiling upon learning that the barbarian had called Constantinople, Miklagard.  It was a sombre Imperial party that returned to the Great Palace late that afternoon.

That evening, Chaleus had arranged for a business meeting between Erik and a number of influential merchants of Constantinople at the House of Lanterns, a silk emporium that gained fame by the magnificent collection of ancient lamps and lanterns that burned night and day there.  The street lighting of Constantinople had impressed Erik, as had the water and sanitation systems, but the House of Lanterns stood out in Erik’s mind as a bright spot in a city of lights.  The building itself was of a traditional Hellenic style that Erik had come to recognize and appreciate, thanks to the critiques of Chaleus, with its fluted Dorian columns and bas relief.  Lanterns surrounded the exterior of the building, lighting up the night air, and lamps were set throughout the atrium giving the whole place an unreal sensation of daylight at night.  It was with the intent to impress, that the merchants arranged an evening meeting with the barbarian, but, as fascinated as he was, Erik yet again proved to be a most difficult man to deal with.  The merchants brought the disturbing news that a large mission had been sent to Constantinople from Khazaria and that they were due to arrive at any time.  Chaleus advised Erik to make the best deal he could and then to leave Constantinople at once, but that only served to anger Erik and he presented yet stiffer demands.  He wanted direct and standard tithes between Rhos and Constantinople, with special privileges for Norse merchants there, including free access into the city, free room, board and entertainments and Roman provision of any materials required to repair and re-outfit all ships damaged in their southern journey.  Further, he wanted all Hraes’ merchants to have the right to winter in Constantinople, if they should so desire, and he made it clear to Chaleus that he would not be running from any Khazar emissaries by stating that he would be the first Varangian to take advantage of the wintering privilege.  Erik was not about to let representatives of the tottering Hun Empire winter in Constantinople unmolested, their sole purpose to undo all that Erik had planned to accomplish there.  Erik’s demands, being well beyond the realm of the merchants to grant, would be presented to the Emperor’s officials on the morrow.  The Kagan Bek of Rhos, meanwhile, instructed Chaleus to find out all he could about the expected arrival of the Huns.

It took several days of negotiations between merchants and officials of the Ministry of Finance before a counteroffer could be agreed upon.  In the interim, Chaleus had learned the expected time and place of the arrival of the Huns and told Erik about it.  Erik assembled and armed all members of his Centuriata and led them out to the Gate of Plateia to await the enemy.  They did not wait long, for Chaleus learned of their impending arrival from paid observers who watched and read the signs broadcast by the chain of signal beacons the Greeks had running up the Bosporus and into Asia Minor.  Erik and his force of thirty armed men waited overtly at the gate until they saw three ships of the Khazars, then they walked out onto the dock outside the Gate of Plateia and took their weapons, swords, shields and battle axes, out from under their cloaks and, as the ships approached, they began to beat their shields with their swords, and a few berserkers in Erik’s band began to go into their fits, and it was apparent to the Khazars what would happen if they attempted to land.  The Huns turned their ships away from the dock and looked, for a moment, as if they would try to find another dock at which to anchor, but several of the berserks began to howl at the enemy and one broke free of his companions and dove into the harbour after them and, this being too much for the Khazars, they turned full about and fled the Golden Horn and did not stop until they reached their homeland.  No trace was found of the berserker who had chased them off, but, although stories were circulated that he had caught up to the last ship and had died, half clearing its deck, Erik knew from experience that the cold of the water would have dissipated the fit leaving the berserker to drown in his resulting state of weakness.

Erik thought of Princess Gunwar often in the months to come, as the Varangians wintered in Constantinople.  He had won most of the concessions he demanded, save free access to the city.  The merchants of the Hraes’ Trading Company, or Rhos as they came to be called by the citizens of Constantinople, required at least one Greek sponsor before they could enter the city, and only in the merchant quarter of St. Mamas were they free to roam about unescorted.  And, for these benefits, Erik had but to promise the Emperor access to all the sables that were brought to Constantinople.  There had been, however, one concession the emperor was not free to give, one favour Erik hadn’t even bothered to request, one element of pagan trade that, in his dealings with Brother Gregory of Sugedea, he had learned was forbidden to Christians:  slavery.  And it was a chance meeting that gave Erik the opportunity to resolve this shortcoming of the Greek trade.

Towards the end of winter, Erik happened to meet several Arab merchants attached to an embassy to Constantinople from the Caliph of Baghdad.  In the few moments they had together, one of the merchants, an older man who introduced himself in Greek as Ahmad Ibn-Yakut, seemed very anxious to talk and told Erik that he remembered, on an embassy to the Khazars and then on to the Bulgars, meeting a Norse merchant called Gunar, who had been interested in establishing trade with the Arabs, specifically slave trade.  He had then, at hand, a number of captives that he sold to them, but he had also a beautiful young Slav princess with whom he would not part for any sum.  Ahmad asked Erik if he knew of the man and, when Erik told him that Gunar or Ragnar was his father, Ahmad Ibn-Yakut commented that somehow Erik had looked vaguely familiar.  Erik found this odd, because all his life he had been continually reminded that he bore no resemblance to his father whatsoever.  Still, because of the Arab’s unusual acquaintance with Ragnar, Erik agreed to meet Ahmad Ibn-Yakut in Baghdad, after the next trading season, to work on a trade agreement between Rus’ and the Arab Caliphate.

In the early spring, Erik, Chaleus and the Centuriata boarded Fair Faxi and set sail for Cherson, leaving the great city of Constantinople, Miklagard, behind them.  Out on the open waves of the great Scythian Sea, Erik had his men commend a wine cask to the waves.

Chapter 23: TRADING WITH THE ARABS or MAGIS IN BAGHDAD  (Circa 834 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.

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