BOOK 3: THE SAGA OF IVAR ‘THE BONELESS’ HRAERIKSON

THE SAGA OF IVAR ‘THE BONELESS’ HRAERIKSON

— PRINCE IVAR (IGOR) OF KIEV —

A Novel By Brian Howard Seibert

© Copyright by Brian Howard Seibert

Kelowna, B.C.

2020

THE ATTACK OF THE DREVJANE

“Hraerik came to me in a dream and he said, ‘Ivar the Boneless is Prince Igor of Kiev’, so I researched Ivar the Boneless and it was said in the Sagas that he had no bones in his legs. Then I researched Prince Igor of Kiev, hoping to find a similar nickname, and I learned his Norse name was Ivar, but I could find no other connection. ‘Show me,’ I pleaded with Hraerik. ‘Show me.’ Then I read: ‘The Drevjane had bent down two birch trees and they tied them to Prince Igor’s feet, and, like great bows, they let the trees loose and they tore the bones right out of his legs. And that is how Prince Igor of Kiev died.’ Prince Hraerik said Prince Igor of Kiev is Ivar the Boneless.  Perhaps he did not die.”

Brian Howard Seibert

Ivar the Boneless by Reditt

Who Was Ivar the Boneless?               Prince Ivar (Igor) of Kiev.

            The Viking Tsunami of the Middle Ages was propelled by the immense wealth generated by the Scandinavian trade routes through the waterways of Kievan Hraes’ (Rus’, now Russia). The exchange of furs and slaves for silks and spices via Ragnar Lothbrok’s Nor’Way and King Frodi’s Southern Way (Danepar) trade routes, ground gold for the Varangians (Eastern Vikings) of ninth century Russia. The Hraes’ trading empire became so powerful that Ragnar Lothbrok sacked Paris in 845 and his son, Prince Hraerik (Slavic: Rurik) of Novgorod attacked Constantinople in 860.
            Prince Hraerik’s son/lieutenant, Prince Helgi (Slavic: Oleg) ‘Arrow-Odd’ of Kiev, also attacked Constantinople in 907, resulting in the favourable treaties of 907 and 911 with the Eastern Roman Empire. As prophesied, in 912, Arrow-Odd (Oleg) met his fate from the bite of a snake that had crawled out ‘neath the faded skull of his horse, Faxi. Using poetic kennings, this may be interpreted as the bite of a blood-snake (sword) under the faded horse-head carving on the forestem of his longship, Fair Faxi.
            Prince Hraerik had another son named Ivar (Slavic: Igor), born circa 890-900 (896), who had been raised in the shadow of his older brother, but took power after him. According to the Russian Primary Chronicle, young Prince Ivar assumed the rule of Kiev, possibly under the tutelage of his mother, Princess Eyfura (Efanda), and married a local princess named Helga (Olga). Prince Ivar began a military campaign in Tmutorokhan, but had to return to Kiev to put down a revolt of the Drevjane people north of the capital circa 914, then deal with an incursion by Pecheneg nomads.
             Following the revolt of the Drevjane, Ivar increased the tributes required of his subjects, possibly to pay for military campaigns in Denmark and England. It was while collecting excessive tribute, that Prince Ivar and his retinue were attacked and captured by the Drevjane. The rebels had bent and staked down two birch trees and they tied Prince Ivar’s feet to them and they slipped the knot, letting the trees loose, like great bows, and the saplings tore the bones right out of his legs. Is that how Prince Ivar of Kiev died, or is it how Ivar the Boneless was created? With quick medical attention, Prince Ivar survived the loss of his lower legs.
        There is no historical information on Prince Ivar’s reign from circa 916/920 to 936/941, a twenty year lacuna as it were. Could it be that he led a Hraes’ army north to Denmark as Ivar the Boneless, grandson of both Ragnar Lothbrok and King Frodi of Denmark? If we look to semi-historical Denmark of that time, there is a king there with questionable information on his birth and a very auspicious name: Harde Knute…Danish for Hard Knot. And he ruled from circa 916 to 936, virtually the same twenty year period that Prince Ivar (Igor) went missing from Kiev. It would be a very hard knot, indeed, that tore the bones out of the legs of our young prince.  While in Denmark, King Harde Knute seems to have attacked England as his grandfather, Ragnar, had done. It may be in England that Ivar picked up the less complimentary nickname of The Boneless. It would be in this period of attacking England that Ivar the Boneless gained a reputation for being carried into battle upon a shield and for excelling as a tactician. He may even have taken Princess Blaeja, the great grand-daughter of Ragnar’s bane, King Aella, as his queen and she may have given birth to a son he named Gorm (Snake). King Gorm the Old took over as ruler of Denmark when King Harde Knute (Hardegon) returned to the land of the Hraes’ to rule as Grand Prince Ivar (Igor) once more.
            The Russian Chronicles resume recording the activities of Prince Ivar (Igor) in 936-941, describing an Anatolian campaign of both the Kievan and Tmutorokhan Hraes’ against the Eastern Roman Empire. There are Arabic sources for further campaigns in 943 and Byzantine sources for a further attack by Prince Ivar on the Romans in the vicinity of the Danube River which led to a treaty in 945. But there is a Scandinavian Saga, the Saga of Ingvar (Ivar) the Traveler that completes the reign of Ivar the Boneless and continues into the reign of his son, Prince Sveinald (Sviatoslav) ‘the Brave’ of Kiev.

This Book is a Work in Progress yet in its First Draft. Ivar the Boneless was a notorious Viking and some descriptions may be sexually explicit or violent due to the nature of Ivar. Below is a preliminary Table of Contents of his book and Drop Down Menus for the First Draft Chapters of his story. Please feel free to give the book a read and perhaps comments through this website. During this time of Pandemic, it is a living document and future drafts will respect valid critiques.

THE VARANGIANS – BOOK THREE

THE SAGA OF IVAR ‘THE BONELESS’ HRAERIKSON

– PRINCE IVAR (IGOR) OF KIEV –

– KING HARDE KNUTE OF DENMARK –

– KING IVAR THE BONELESS OF ANGLELAND

A Novel By

Brian Howard Seibert

© Copyright by Brian Howard Seibert

   Kelowna, B.C.

2020

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 – BOOK THREE

THE SAGA OF IVAR ‘THE BONELESS’ HRAERIKSON

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 0.1:  The Birth of Ivar the Boneless (c. 896)              Page 5

Chapter 1 :  Raising Prince Ivar (c. 900)                                  Page 19

Chapter 2 :  The Siege of Constantinople of 907                     Page 28

Chapter 3 :  The Hraes’ – Roman Treaty of 911                        Page 33

Chapter 4 :  The Death of Arrow Oddi (c. 912)                        Page 35

Chapter 5 :  Prince Ivar and Princess Helga (c. 914)                Page 43

Chapter 6 :  Prince Ivar Attacks the Pechenegs (c. 915)          Page 51

Chapter 7 :  The Creation of Ivar The Boneless (c. 916)          Page 66

Chapter 8 :  Reclaiming King Frodi’s Realm (c. 917)               Page 73

Chapter 9 :  King Harde Knute of Denmark (c. 918)                Page 83

Chapter 10:  The Battle of Corbridge (c. 918)                          Page 95

Chapter 11:  The Plundering of Princess Blaejas (c. 919)        Page 104

Chapter 12:  King Harde Knute of Norway (c. 920)                 Page 128

Chapter 13:  Birth of Gorm ‘The Old’ Ivarson  (c. 920)           Page 141

Chapter 14:  The First Battle of Brunanburh (c. 921)               Page 149

Chapter 15:  King Ivar the Traveller (c. 921-925)                    Page 157

Chapter 16:  The Trouble With Pechenegs (c. 926)                  Page 162

Chapter 17:  The Reign of King Harde Knute (c. 927-930)     Page 168

Chapter 18:  The Marriage Suit of Prince Mal (c. 931)            Page 176

Chapter 19:  The Reign of King Ivar the Boneless (c. 932)     Page 182

Chapter 20:  The Burning of the Hall (c. 933)                         Page 199

Chapter 21:  The Reign of King Harde Gone (c. 934-936)     Page 211

Chapter 22:  The King of Liere (c. 937)                                  Page 240

Chapter 23:  The Second Battle of Brunanburh (c. 937)         Page 254

Chapter 24:  The Indus Valley Trade Route (c. 938-939)        Page 268

Chapter 25:  The Hraes’ – Roman War of 941                         Page 287

Chapter 26:  Hills Like White Elephants (c. 942)                    Page 315

Chapter 27:  The Birth of Svein ‘The Old’ Ivarson (c. 943)    Page 369

Chapter 28:  The Death of Ivar ‘The Boneless’ (c. 944)          Page 396

Chapter 29:  The Hraes’ – Roman Treaty of 945                      Page 418

Chapter 30:  Postscript:  The Rus’ – Greek Treaty of 945       Page 428

Appendix A :  Glossary of Terms                                             Page 438

Appendix B :  Map of Eastern Europe of the Ninth Century   Page 448

© Copyright by Brian Howard Seibert

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information or storage retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

The author wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to the following works, upon which he has based much of his research and a great deal of his writing:

Saxo Grammaticus.  The First Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus.  Denmark, c.1200.  As translated by Oliver Elton, B.A. London, 1893, with consideration toward the translation by Peter Fisher.  Cambridge, 1979.

Author unknown.  Arrow-Odd:  A Medieval Novel.  Iceland, c.1200.  As translated by Paul Edwards and Hermann Palsson.  New York, 1970.

Authors unknown.  The Hrafnista Sagas.  Iceland, c.1200.  As translated by Ben Waggoner.  Lulu.com, 2012.

Author unknown.  The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise (Hervor’s Saga).  Iceland, c.1200.  As translated by Christopher Tolkien.  Oxford, 1960.

Vernadsky, George.  The Origins of Russia.  Oxford, 1959.

Pritsak, Omeljan.  The Origin of Rus’.  Cambridge, Mass., 1981.

Davidson, H.R. Ellis.  The Viking Road to Byzantium.  London, 1976.

Dunlop, D.M.  The History of the Jewish Khazars.  New York, 1967.

Author unknown.  Gautrek’s Saga.  Iceland, c.1200.  Translated by Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards.  Middlesex, 1976.

Vatsyayana Mallanaga.  The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana.  India, c. 200 BC to 400 AD Translated from Sanskrit by Richard Burton, Bhagavanlal Indrajit, and Shivaram Parashuram Bhide, 1883.

Cleland, John (Jane?).  Memoirs of Fanny Hill.  London, 1749.