BOOK 7: THE SAGA OF KING CANUTE ‘THE GREAT’ SWEYNSON

King Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson of England, Denmark and Norway

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.

Who was King Canute ‘the Great’ Sweynson of England?  Prince Valdamar ‘The Great’ Sveinson of Kiev.

In 974, at a very young age, Valdamar was given Novgorod to rule with his mother, as his father had left Hraes’ (Rus’) to forward his claim to the throne of Denmark.  Three years later he fled Novgorod to escape the fratricide of his eldest brother Yaropolk (Ivarapolk), who had already taken the life of their middle brother Helgi (Oleg), and joined his father, Sweyn (Svein) Forkbeard, in Norway.  They raised an army and returned to Hraes’ and Sweyn had his eldest son slain to protect the life of his youngest.  Prince Valdamar became the sole ruler of Hraes’.  At a very young age, he fought a war with the Poles in 981 and put down a rebellion of the Viatichi a year later.  He conquered the Yatvingians in 983 and subdued the Radimichi, then the Volga Bulgars in the two years that followed.  In 986, he learned from the Poles that King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark had hired the Jomsvikings to attack and kill his father in Trondheim, Norway.  Valdamar gathered a small Hraes’ army and they secretly sailed to Norway and aided Prince Sweyn in defeating the Jomsvikings at the Battle of Hjorungavagr.  The combined Hraes’ and Norwegian army then sailed to Leire only to find that King Harald had fled.  The son of the snake king, Gorm the Old, soon died in exile and Valdamar helped instill his father as King Sweyn Forkbeard Ivarson of Denmark.

In 987 Prince Valdamar panicked the Byzantines by inviting religious envoys from around the world to come to Hraes’ and promote their religions to his people.  He did this to counter increasing pressure from Orthodox Christians within his realm, but the Emperor Basil offered the prince the hand of his sister, Princess Anna Porphyrogennetos, if he converted to their Christianity and helped him put down a revolt in Anatolia.  Valdamar accepted this offer and lead six thousand of his Varangian Cataphracts to Constantinople to help the Emperor.  He married Princess Anna in 988 and helped the Cherson Greeks convert the Pecheneg nomads, that had attempted to kill is father, to Christianity.

In 991 Prince Valdamar founded Belgorod and a year later he fought a war with the White Croatians.  In 995 he began partitioning out Hraes’ amongst his young sons in the hope of avoiding the fratricidal behaviour he had been a victim of.  He was constantly at war with newly invading Pecheneg tribes and would punish them by converting them to Christianity as he defeated each succeeding wave.  He also punished his own people for their Christianity by taking the religion literally and refusing to enforce executive laws, refusing to execute capital criminals.  He fed the poor from his palaces and provided all the sick with medical attention.  Even the clergy were protesting this emulation of Jesus.  But capital punishment was banned and replaced by fines and servitude.

In the year 1000, the King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway returned to Poland to reclaim his wife’s dowry and when Prince Valdamar learned that King Olaf would be in the east, he told his father, King Sweyn, when he would be heading back to Norway and his father waylaid Olaf on the Baltic and killed him.  Sweyn’s pagan followers then apportioned out Olaf’s territories amongst themselves and converted them back to the worship of Odin.

As Prince Valdamar became increasingly occupied with helping his father in his attacks on England (Angleland), he allowed his sons in Hraes’ more and more autonomy.  When his father died soon after becoming King of England, Prince Valdamar was next in line as king there, so he gathered together his Hraes’ legions and left Kiev for good to protect his interests in the west.  In 1016, Prince Valdamar ‘the Great’ was proclaimed King Canute ‘the Great’ of England and by 1018 he was crowned King of Denmark as well.  He married Princess Emma of Normandy, in effect reintroducing the blood of Hraelauger (Rollo) Hraegunarson into his blood of Hraerik, Hraegunar Lothbrok’s son and, of course, the Danish Skioldung line of King Frodi.  In 1028 he became King of Norway as well and grew to be as renowned a Christian leader in the west as he had been in the east.  In 1035 King Canute ‘the Great’ died and his sons in the west all died within a decade of his death, ending the Knot king domination over England.  Roman royal blood would never enter the veins of English kings, but soon, the sons of Hraelauger (Rollo) Hraegunarson would begin a new Norman domination over the Anglo-Saxon lands with the victory of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

THE VARANGIANS

(THE LYING SAGAS OF DENMARK)

BOOK SEVEN

“THE SAGA OF CANUTE ‘THE GREAT’ SWEYNSON”

  — GRAND PRINCE VALDAMAR ‘THE GREAT’ OF KIEV –

— KING CANUTE ‘THE GREAT’ OF ENGLAND, DENMARK AND NORWAY —

                                                                    A Novel By

                                                          Brian Howard Seibert

WRITER’S UNCUT EDITION

(Contains Scenes of Violence and Sexuality Consistent with the Viking Period)

(May be Offensive to Some)

Kelowna, B.C.

2022 AD

TABLE OF CONTENTS

0.1  THE BIRTH OF CANUTE ‘THE GREAT’ SWEYNSON  (Circa 1014 AD) 5

1.0 PRINCE HRAERIK, THE MAGI ASSASSIN  (Circa 1014 AD) 24

2.0 THE GREAT FLOODS OF ENGLAND  (Circa 1014 AD) 43

3.0 KING CANUTE RETURNS TO ENGLAND  (Circa 1015 AD) 56

4.0 KING EDMOND IRONSIDE AND FORTRESS LONDON  (Circa 1016 AD) 76

4.1 THE BATTLE OF ASSANDUN  (Circa October 18th, 1016 AD) 101

5.0 KING CANUTE BECOMES KING OF ALL ENGLAND  (Circa 1017 AD) 123

6.0 KING CANUTE BECOMES KING OF DENMARK  (Circa 1018 AD) 144

7.0 KING CANUTE GOES TO LIERE  (Circa 1019-1020 AD) 162

8.0 PRINCE HRAERIK GOES TO THE NEWFOUNDLAND (Circa 1020 AD) 182

9.0 KING CANUTE SAVES PRINCESS ESTRID  (Circa 1021 AD) 198

10.0 PRINCES MSTISLAV AND IRY DADA WRESTLE TO THE DEATH  (Circa 1022 AD) 214

11.0 KING CANUTE RETURNS TO DENMARK  (Circa 1023 AD) 228

12.0 THE MARRIAGE OF EARL GODWIN AND PRINCESS GYTHA  (Circa 1024 AD) 260

13.0 THE DEATH OF THORKEL ‘THE TALL’  (CIRCA 1025 AD) 288

14.0 THE BATTLE OF THE HOLY RIVER  (CIRCA 1026 AD) 312

15.0  KING CANUTE GOES TO ROME AND THE VATICAN  (Circa 1027 AD) 326

16.0  THE ENGLISH AND DANISH ATTACK ON NORWAY  (Circa 1028 AD) 339

17.0 THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM  (Circa 1029 AD) 355

18.0 THE SECOND BATTLE OF STIKLASTAD  PART ONE  (JULY 29, 1030 AD) 367

18.1 THE SECOND BATTLE OF STIKLASTAD  PART TWO  (JULY 29, 1030 AD) 390

19.0 KING CANUTE GOES TO THE VATICAN  (Circa 1031 AD) 412

20.0 THE SAINTING OF KING OLAF OF NORWAY  (Circa 1032 AD) 431

21.0 PRINCESS NADO OF THE ALANS  (Circa 1033 AD) 444

22.0 DUKE ROBERT’S ATTACK ON ENGLAND GOES SOUTH  (CIRCA 1034 AD) 456

23.0 THE LAST KISS OF KING CANUTE ‘THE GREAT’  (CIRCA 1035 AD) 470

24.0 ‘THE GREAT’S NORTHERN EMPIRE  (CIRCA 1035+ AD) 500

APP. A: GLOSSARY OF TERMS.. 532

APP. B: MAP OF ENGLAND OF THE ELEVENTH CENTURY.. 538

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.

Snorri Sturlason.  The Prose Edda.  Iceland, c.1300.  As translated by Lee Hollander, B.A. London, c.1960.

THE HISTORY OF LEO THE DEACON Byzantine Military Expansion in the Tenth Century Introduction, translation, and annotations by Alice-Mary Talbot and Denis F. Sullivan with the assistance of George T. Dennis and Stamatina McGrath Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection Washington, D.C.