Dear Readers: We have a really special episode of Canto Talk this Thursday (April 11). Silvio and the Goddess are planning to talk to two (or three) of our favorite historians: Barry Jacobson/Deadliest Blogger and Thrand and Eldgrimr/Well of Remembrance (Click HERE at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST for podcast).
The basis for this discussion is The History Channel’s “The Vikings” series.
About which Thrand, Eldgrimr, and Barry had a very informative video discussion:
Barry will cover Norse myth and history, especially that of Ragnar Lothbrok:
Ragnar Lothbrok, Ragnar also spelled Regner, or Regnar, Lothbrok also spelled Lodbrog, or Lodbrok (flourished 9th century), Viking whose life passed into legend in medieval European literature.
In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Ragnar was said to be the father of three sons, Halfdan, Inwaer (Ivar the Boneless), and Hubba (Ubbe), who led a Viking invasion of East Anglia in 865 seeking to avenge Ragnar’s murder. In the European literature of the several centuries following Ragnar’s death, his name is surrounded with considerable legend. In the Gesta Danorum (c. 1185) of the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus, he was a 9th-century Danish king whose campaigns included a battle with the Holy Roman emperor Charlemagne. According to Saxo’s legendary history, Ragnar was eventually captured by the Anglo-Saxon king Aella of Northumbria and thrown into a snake pit to die.
This story is also recounted in the later Icelandic works Ragnars saga lodbrókar and Tháttr af Ragnarssonum. The 12th-century Icelandic poem Krákumál provides a romanticized description of Ragnar’s death and links him in marriage with a daughter of Sigurd (Siegfried) and Brynhild (Brunhild), figures from the heroic literature of the ancient Teutons. The actions of Ragnar and his sons are also recounted in the Orkney Islands’ poem Háttalykill.
With maybe a touch of Valhalla:
In Norse mythology, Valhalla … is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, half of those who die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja‘s field Fólkvangr. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well as various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall’s ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr.
Frankly, I prefer the ancient Egyptian view of paradise – The Field of Rushes. But, I digress.
Thrand and Eldgrimr will discuss Viking Martial Arts.
Thrand and Eldgrimr review Antony Cummins new book ” The Illustrated guide to Viking Martial arts “. For example, they cover axe throwing covered in single combat in the Sagas. They take live steel in hand and try some attempts at throwing weapons in many different ways to arrive at the best way to accomplishing this extraordinary fighting maneuver from the Saga of Legend.The mere idea that one could preform such feat intentionally gives images of warriors in the halls of Valhalla seasoned from years of combat and warriors of legend. These gems are must-sees if you are into Martial Arts,Vikings,History or dark age reenactment!!!