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 FOUR:


Tmutarakan Excavations at Hermonassa by Kmorozov


A Novel By Brian Howard Seibert

© Copyright by Brian Howard Seibert


24.0  GARDARIKI;  ERIK’S KEEP  (Circa 835 AD)

“Eirikr draws the land beneath him

      At the pleasure of the Fetters(Gods),

And fashions the Spear-Battle.”

            Eyolfer the Valiant Skald;  Skaldskaparmal

(835 AD)  The Varangians believed that the Black and Caspian Seas were connected, or so it is recorded.  But Erik did not set out solely to discover a waterway between the two seas.  In the fall, after his first successful season of trade with the Arabs, Erik and his Centuriata set out in Fair Faxi to find a river route to Baghdad, other than the Halys river, to avoid paying the Romans their tariff.  While the rest of the merchants of the Hraes’ Trading Company sailed north towards Cherson, Erik and his personal guard sailed east along the Black Sea coast, beyond Greek lands, searching for a river that led into the interior, a river that would allow them to portage across to the Euphrates or Tigris Rivers and then on to Baghdad.

Several days sail beyond the city of Trebizond, the Varangians were clear of Roman territory, but, as the shoreline turned up to the north and a day’s sail turned into a week’s, no rivers of appreciable size manifested themselves until Erik had sailed all the way to the Kerch Peninsula.  Some of Erik’s men had sailed with the Danish navy when it had been trapped on the Black Sea during the war with the Huns, and they were familiar with the Crimean Peninsula and the Sea of Azov.  They told Erik of a river just beyond the Kerch Peninsula that flowed from the east.  They hadn’t explored it, but the Danish navy had used it as a source of fresh water during their attacks upon Khazar shipping and caravans.  So up the Kuban River the Varangians sailed, into the land called Tmutorokan by the local Alanic peoples.

The land of the Alans stretched from the Black to the Caspian Sea, immediately west and south of the Huns.  They had no love of their eastern neighbours and, when Erik met with some of them, they expressed an interest in trading with the Varangians.  Erik continued up the Kuban, sure that he was about to discover a new route to the heartland of Mesopotamia, and when they reached its source he sent parties south and east in search of the source of the Tigris River.  They did not find the Tigris, which was hundreds of miles to the south, but they did encounter the source of the Kuma River, which flowed off yet further into the east.  While Erik figured that he was as far east as he wanted to go, he thought that the new river might eventually turn south, so he had his men portage Fair Faxi across a rough mountainous valley to a mere slip of a stream that fed into the Kuma.  At first, the stream was so shallow and narrow that they had to float Fair Faxi along empty, with the men pulling her along with ropes while they cleared away the overhanging brush, an endeavour only slightly less laborious than their dragging of the ship on log rollers across the land bridge between the Kuban and the Kuma, but soon the rivulet turned into a creek and the creek turned into a river and the river forked together with another and the two branches flowed into the Caspian Sea.

Out upon the Caspian, Erik turned back to face the land.  It was incredibly lush and green, heavily forested and overgrown with brush.  In passing, it had been a thing more of nuisance than beauty, but, reflecting on that lovely landscape, Erik had to admit to himself that he had been impressed.  The fall weather had been mild, and the climate thereabouts was so gentle that citrus trees abounded in the wild.  The scenery was rugged and mountainous, reminding Erik of his homeland.  It struck Erik that, suddenly, he was homesick.  He missed Norway and he missed his brother, Roller, but most of all, he missed his wife.  He was torn between pushing on and turning back, but, involuntarily, he heard himself ordering his men to set the sail and head south.

The Caspian or Arab Sea, as it was often called, is actually a long inland lake extending almost a thousand miles from the Khazar Empire in the north to the Arab Caliphate in the south, with Turks settling its eastern shore and, two hundred miles across its width, a variety of peoples sharing its western boundary, the Caucasus mountain range.  As the Norsemen sailed south, the land became flatter and drier and soon vast expanses of arid desert were prevalent.  After sailing around an eastward promontory, the coast became dotted with small Arab settlements and fishing villages and the locals gazed curiously at the Norsemen in their sleek longship.

Along the coast off Ardabil, Fair Faxi was approached by a small sloop of the Caliph’s navy and Erik was asked, first in Arab, then in Greek, to explain his intent on sailing the Arab Sea.  Erik told the young officer in charge of the sloop that he was searching for a river that would take them to the source of either the Euphrates or the Tigris and that his intent was to promote trade with the Caliph of Baghdad.  He also dropped the names of several important Arab merchants, including Ahmad Ibn-Yakut, which resulted in the officer giving Erik directions on routes to both river sources.

“The Araks River, north of Ardabil, would take you to the Euphrates,” the officer explained, in Greek that made Erik’s knowledge of the language seem extensive, “and the Qesel Ousan River, to the south, would take you to the Tigris.”

After Erik gave thanks and presented the young officer with a gift of silver, the Varangians continued south until they found the Qesel Ousan River.  They rowed a week up the Qesel Ousan until the river became impassable, then Erik sent parties out exploring south and west until one came back with news of a possible Tigris tributary several days south.  Erik was tempted to portage his ship across to the Tigris and surprise his friend, Ahmad, in Baghdad, but his homesickness got the best of him, and he decided to head back to the Caspian Sea and on to the Kuma and Kuban Rivers.

At the mouth of the Kuban River, before the Sea of Azov, Erik spotted an ideal site for a trading settlement and they pulled in to explore the area.  It was on a wide-open plain in the valley of the Kuban, affording access to sea, river and land trade routes, yet it was sheltered by a ring of heavily forested low-lying hills.  It reminded Erik of Konogard, Kiev, and he knew that the woman he had left behind there would love this place too.  Erik left half his men at the site with supplies and orders to begin clearing the land, then he sailed off to Sugedea to buy materials and hire artisans and craftsmen.  He stayed in the residence of Brother Gregory and sent the rest of his Centuriata off to Kiev to fetch his wife and his gold.

The first building constructed was Erik’s longhall, built by the members of his Centuriata on a central hill of the area that was to become the fortress.  On Erik’s return, work was started on a stockade of logs atop the crests of the surrounding hills, enclosing an area large enough to contain half of Kiev.  The one mile stretch of town facing the Kuban River was left open to the waters for merchant vessels to beach upon, and, in the settled part of the village, docks were built running out into the waters.  When the pioneering members of Erik’s Centuriata had completed the hall, he sent them up the Kuban River to build a portage station on the land bridge between the Kuban and Kuma Rivers.

Erik spent the winter in Tmutorokan building a small wooden and earthen fortress he called Gardariki, meaning Erik’s Keep.  By mid-winter Princess Gunwar had joined him, and, as the walls went up and the buildings were being erected, it seemed to Erik the happiest days of his life.  At last he was creating an empire of his own, and, with the woman he loved at his side, he was indefatigable in his efforts. There was continual communication between Tmutorokan and Kiev and a steady stream of supplies poured into the Kerch Peninsula from Gardar, the Crimea, Constantinople and even Baghdad.  It was a time of frenzied activity for both Erik and his wife, Gunwar, who, with pent up energy from her months in Kiev, poured her heart and soul into the creation of Gardariki. Numerous longhalls were already under construction when Princess Gunwar arrived, and her handmaiden Gotwar demanded the construction of a temple to Odin in a small grove of oak trees within the stockade.  Old Gotwar was still a priestess of Odin, and Erik, though rankled, acquiesced to her demands.

When Brother Gregory arrived from Sugedea, he received permission from Erik to start building a small church for the Christians of the Hraes’ Trading Company.  There were a surprising number of merchants embracing the Church of Christ among the Slavs, Goths and even Varangians of the company.  Although Gotwar protested against the construction of a Christian church, indeed, particularly since she did protest, Erik gave it his blessing.  Soon, there was even a small hall committed to the worship of Zoroaster and his religion.  And Erik had a hall erected for the various Alchemists’ guilds at work in Gardariki.

In the spring, King Frodi led a contingent of the Hraes’ Trading Company merchants to Constantinople, just as he had the year before, but a larger group sailed around the Crimea and through the Kerch Peninsula to Gardariki.  Once all the merchants had beached their monoxylan, longships and galleys and made their camps on the shore within the stockade, the great expanse of the town did not look at all so empty.  When they all embarked upon the Kuban River and began rowing upstream, they formed a string of sailing ships that stretched for several miles.

On the land bridge at the source of the Kuban, Erik’s Centuriata supplied the merchants with rollers, carts and draft animals to aid them in their portage.  The trip down the Kuma was uneventful and, once on the Caspian, they were escorted and aided all the way to the Tigris by the Caliph’s navy.  The furs and the slaves, coined the Fenja and the Menja, of the river caravan sold briskly in the markets and bazaars of Baghdad.  Several weeks of selling and bartering realized personal fortunes for many of the merchants of the Hraes’ Trading Company, well justifying the many months of travel and hardship that would yet be required before they returned to their homelands.

Back upon the Caspian, Erik let his men know of an important trade route he had learned about in Baghdad and had become determined to engage in commercially.  “Camel caravans from Cathay are even now sitting in Khwarizm on the Aral Sea,” Erik said, addressing his Centuriata aboard Fair Faxi and pointing, far to the east.  “It is my intention to establish an agreement with these Cathayans.”  And when the rest of the merchants turned north towards the mouth of the Kuma River, Erik and his men headed east.

Erik left Fair Faxi in the charge of Arab fishermen, in a small settlement on an eastern Caspian shore, and he bought camels and supplies and hired guides, and he led his men east into the Turkish desert.  Nomadic tribes abounded in those parts, hard men, the whole lot, but no one gave Erik and his Centuriata trouble, for they had become very hard to look upon without raising fear.  As the dusky string of camels traipsed into the dry streets of Khwarizm, tradesmen squatting in front of their little baked brick shops would stop their work and stare at the barbarians dressed in the long flowing robes of the Arab, but equipped with the strange weapons of the Norseman, and their women and children would stop their chores and their play and flee to the confines of their hearths.   There was no authority to stop or even question the Varangians as they moved through town, until they had reached the other outskirts, where the caravans all camped, and the leading merchant of the Turks sent a force out to address the barbarians.  A small bribe got Erik an audience with the Turkish hetman, and a larger bribe got him a meeting with the leading merchants of the Cathayan caravans.  With an Arab guide translating Erik’s Greek into Turkish, and a Turk translating it further into Mandarin, Erik managed to arrange for two caravans to meet the Hraes’ Trading Company on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, with silks that surpassed the quality of those in the markets of Constantinople and spices that were scarce in the markets of Baghdad.

At the same time in Gardariki, while the Hraes’ merchants were passing through on their way back north, they witnessed a fire in the Christian church of Brother Gregory.  On Erik’s return, the cleric complained bitterly that it was Gotwar and her pagan followers that had razed the holy place.  He was not the only one to make that complaint.

Erik was overjoyed at being with Gunwar once more.  Her delicate beauty remained unchanged in her husband’s eyes, even though she wore armour and carried weapons.  She left no doubt as to who oversaw Gardariki in Erik’s absence.  “She denies it, of course,” Princess Gunwar complained to her husband, “but I am sure she was behind the ransacking.  Fortunately, the church is stone and the damages were limited to the contents.  Can you question her?” Gunwar asked.  “Of all people, she fears you the most.”

“Why this sudden concern for Brother Gregory’s church?” was Erik’s answer.  “Old Gotwar is your slave to do with as you please.  If she has burned the church and you are displeased, have her hanged.  You are of royal blood.  You can replace her as a priestess of Odin.”

“I cannot,” Gunwar protested.  “I’m not sure I can any longer support our faith.”

“And the Christian faith?” Erik asked.

“It intrigues me.  That is all,” Gunwar added defensively.  “But it may be claimed I am biased towards the Christians.  You, however, believe in no gods.  Your impartiality is unquestionable.”

There is nothing Erik would not have done for Gunwar, except get involved in a religious dispute.  Although he did not doubt that Gotwar had done the deed, he preferred to maintain a secularistic leadership, leaving religious disputes to be resolved by the various religious groups.  Erik left the crime unpunished and personally paid for repairs to the Christian church.  His wife ensured he was rewarded for his wisdom.

King Frodi was having similar problems in Konogard, but his office was less secular in nature.  He was, by the divine intervention of Odin, king, and the Christians were persecuted in the north.  Other, greater problems threatened Gardar and the Southern Way, and King Frodi did not want religious fragmentation to add to the erosion of his authority.  In the north, the Lithuanians were openly attacking the Danish merchants and systematically destroying what was left of the Sclav settlements there.  Meanwhile, in the south, the Khazars were undermining his trade with Constantinople, and Erik’s circuitous trade with the Arabs served only to foment Roman distrust of the Norsemen.  King Frodi was constantly fighting a Roman preference to re-establish their prior trade links with the Khazars.  He, too, sensed a mysterious, almost blood bond between the Khazars and the Romans.

In the spring, King Frodi led a large force of Varangians north into Sclavia to ensure the safety of the Danish merchants travelling up the Dvina River, but the Lithuanians, rather than engage the Danes in battle, carried on a strategy of random attacks against merchant shipping that was very hard to defend against, and losses were heavy.  The merchant ships, the largest number to yet traverse the Southern Way, headed down the Dnieper River and split up at Cherson, an increasingly large number turning east to trade with the Arabs and some with Cathayan caravans.  Thanks to Erik’s efforts in Gardariki, trade with Constantinople looked increasingly uninviting.

It was the success of Erik’s first year of trade with the Cathayan caravans that caused panic among the Greek merchants, particularly the merchants of the House of Lanterns, whose  trade consisted solely of Byzantine silks.  Silkworms had been smuggled out of China by Greek merchants and were tended under the auspices of the Emperor, in a closely guarded process that was Europe’s sole source of domestic silk.  Erik’s Cathay trade threatened the Byzantine monopoly on silks, for the Greeks, through the Khazars, had regulated the influx of Chinese silk by controlling the Cathayan caravans.  The Romans, however, had no control, yet, on the quantities of silk brought in by the Rhos.  This situation threatened the Byzantine stranglehold on European silks, and, while Emperor Michael II had never made a move against the barbarian that called Constantinople Miklagard, his successor, the Emperor Theophilos, did.

Chapter 25: THE BUILDING OF SARKEL  (Circa 836 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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