Category:

Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir: Transatlantic Traveler of Viking Frontiers

During her lifetime Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir (Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir, 980-1050), the daughter of Icelandic chieftain, Thorbjorn of Laugarbrekka, Iceland, travelled to Greenland, North America, Norway, and perhaps even Rome as a pilgrim. Legend has it her father would not permit her to marry an early suitor because he was the son of a slave.

Posted On :
Category:

Cnut the Great Reforges his Father’s North Sea Empire, 1014-1028 (Part II)

When King Sweyn Forkbeard suddenly died in early 1014 after becoming the first Danish King of England and first ruler of the North Sea Empire, his son Cnut (994-1035) had to overcome the forces working to dismantle what his father achieved through victory in battle and alliance with the Jomsvikings – a military order based on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.

Posted On :
Category:

“Beyond the Volok”: The Medieval Frontier and Chronicle of Novgorod, 1016-1471 (Part One)

In the centuries prior to Tsarist Russia’s rise to power the two principal centers connecting the Viking and Byzantine worlds were Novgorod and Kiev. Generally referred to as the Kievan Rus’ – the ascendancy of Novgorod within this loosely connected riverine federation stretching between the Dnieper River and Lake Ladoga’s tributaries to the Baltic Sea began during the reign of Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978-1054) – who became Grand Prince of Kiev in 1019 after ruling Novgorod and forming alliances with Scandinavian Vikings (Varangians).

Posted On :
Category:

The Viking King Harald Hardrada: Eastern Exile and Mercenary Life, 1030-1042 (Part I)

Harald Sigurdsson (1015-1066), also known as Harald Hardrada (“hard”) was one of the most fabled kings in Norwegian history. Harald and his half-brother Olaf Haraldsson – who later became Saint Olaf – fought together in 1030 while trying to reclaim the throne from the Danish king Cnut the Great – who made an alliance with the jarls of Lade in the Trondheim region.

Posted On :