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Ragnar Lodbrock Sigurdsson, Danish King at Lethra

Ragnar Lodbrock Sigurdsson, Danish King at Lethra[1]

Male Abt 755 - 845  (~ 90 years)

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  • Name Ragnar Lodbrock Sigurdsson  [1
    Suffix Danish King at Lethra 
    Born Abt 755  Uppsala, Sweden Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Name Ragnar Lodbrok 
    Died 845  Northumbria, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Cause: Bit by snakes 
    • See Snorre's Saga and the Icelandic Landnamobok (Book of Settlment).
      Many historians regard much of the genealogy at this point to be purely
      legendary, or even mythical.


      Ragnar Lodbrok

      «b»From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. «/b»

      Ragnar Lodbrok was a semi-legendary King of Denmark and Sweden who reigned sometime in the eighth or ninth centuries. Although he is something of a hero in his native Scandinavia, reliable accounts of his life are very sketchy and heavily based on ancient Viking sagas. Even the dating of his reign is not certain; there are sources that date it from 750 -794 , and others from 860 -865 . Neither jibes with what we know of him, and he probably held power as a warlord from approximately 835 to his death in 865 , perhaps only being recognized as king in the last five years of his life.

      He was probably born in modern Norway, and later became part of the ruling class in Denmark. At some point, he became king there, and later gained control of Sweden and Finland (then a part of Sweden), as well. He was given the nickname "hairy breeches" because he favored trousers made from animal skin by his wife.

      He spent most of his life as a pirate and raider, invading one country after another. He would generally accept a huge payment to leave his victims alone, only to come back later and demand more riches in exchange for leaving. But as the extent of his realm shows, he was also a gifted military leader.

      By 845 , he was a powerful ruler, and most likely a contemporary of the first ruler of Russia , the Viking Rurik . It is said he was always seeking new adventures because he was worried that his freebooting sons would do things that outshined his own achievements.

      In that year, he sailed southward, looking for new worlds to conquer. With 120 ships and 5,000 Viking warriors, he landed in modern France , probably at the Seine estuary, and ravaged West Francia, as the westernmost part of the Frankish empire was then known.

      Also in 845, Paris was captured and held ransom by a Viking raider, whom the sagas say was Ragnar Lodbrok. The traditional date for this is March 28 , which is today referred to as Ragnar Lodbrok Day by many Scandinavians. The King of West Francia, Charlemagne 's son Charles II "The Bald", paid him a fantastic amount of money not to destroy the city. Ragnar Lodbrok, according to Viking sources, was satisfied with no less than 7,000 pounds of silver in exchange for sparing the city. However, that did not stop Ragnar from attacking other parts of France, and it took a long time for the Franks to drive him out.

      Ragnar was a pagan who claimed to be a direct descendant of the god Odin . One of his favorite strategies was to attack Christian cities on holy feast days, knowing that many soldiers would be in church.

      After he was done with France, he turned his attention to England . In 865 , he landed in Northumbria on the northeast coast of England. Here, it is claimed that he was defeated in battle for the only time, by King Ella of Northumbria. Ella's men captured Ragnar, and the King ordered him thrown into a snake pit filled with poisonous snakes. As he was slowly being bitten to death, he was alleged to have exclaimed "How the little pigs would grunt if they knew the situation of the old boar!"

      One Viking saga states that when his four sons heard the manner of his death, they all reacted in great sorrow. Hvitserk, who was playing chess, gripped the piece so hard that he bled from his fingernails. Bjorn grabbed a spear so tightly that he left an impression in it, and Sigurd, who was trimming his nails, cut straight through to the bone.

      Ragnar's fourth son, Ivor "the Boneless", soon learned the details of his father's death and swore that he would avenge his father's death and subsequent killing, in time-honored Viking tradition. In 866 , Ivor crossed the North Sea with a large army, met King Ella in battle, and captured him. He sentenced him to die according to the custom of the "blood red eagle", which was to cut the ribs of the victim out and the lungs removed by grasping them and spreading them over the body. He then avenged his father's death in exactly this manner.

      Although this story, like virtually all tales concerning Ragnar Lodbrok, may or may not be accurate, his death had serious consequences. Ivor was the mastermind behind the attacks on the English mainland in the final quarter of the ninth century. He invaded East Anglia, and the following year attacked York. He was aided by the internal struggle for power in Northumbria--which he was of course responsible for by killing Ella. These wars were a prelude to the long struggle of the Saxons of Alfred the Great against the "Danes" a generation later.

      Meanwhile, in France, the Vikings kept coming back for more booty. Among their feats was destroying the city of Rouen several times. Ultimately, many of them settled there permanently, in a land that became known as Normandy (for "Northmen", as the Franks called the Vikings).

      Many historians regard much of the genealogy at this point to be purely
      legendary, or even mythical.
    Person ID I59770  Glenn Cook Family
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 

    Father Sigurd Ring Randversson, King in Sweden,   b. Abt 720, Denmark Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 812  (Age ~ 92 years) 
    Mother Alfhild Gandolfsdatter,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F1583  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Aslaug Sigurdsdottir,   d. Yes, date unknown 
     1. Ivar The Boneless Ragnarsson, King of Dublin,   d. 873
     2. Halfdan White Shirt Ragnarsson, King of Dublin,   d. 877
     3. Sigurd Snake-In-Eye Ragnarsson,   b. Abt 782, Denmark Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 873  (Age ~ 91 years)
     4. Bjorn Ironside Ragnarson, Swedish King at Uppsala,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Ragnhildir Ragnardottir,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Ubbe Ragnarsson,   d. 878, Devon Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 
    Family ID F551616448  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Thora Herraudsdatter,   d. Yes, date unknown 
     1. Olof (Alof) Ragnarsdottir,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Eirik Ragnarsson Ragnarsson, King of Sweden,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 
    Family ID F551616724  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Ragnar Lodbrok
    Ragnar Lodbrok
    Ælla murdering Ragnar Lodbrok

  • Sources 
    1. [S36] Directory of Royal Genealogical Data, Brian Tompsett, Dept of Computer Science, University of Hull, England([email protected]), (This work is Copyright b 1994-2002 Brian C Tompsett).