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Ragnar Lodbrok

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Ragnar Lodbrok

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Ragnar Lodbrok or Lothbrok (Old Norse: Ragnarr Loðbrók, "Ragnar Shaggy-Breeches") was a legendary Viking hero and ruler, known from Viking Age Old Norse poetry and sagas. According to this traditional literature, Ragnar distinguished himself by many raids against Francia and Anglo-Saxon England during the 9th century.


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According to the antiquarian Hilda Ellis Davidson, writing in 1980, "certain scholars in recent years have come to accept at least part of Ragnar's story as based on historical fact". On the other hand, the historian Katherine Holman wrote in 2003 that "although his sons are historical figures, there is no evidence that Ragnar himself ever lived, and he seems to be an amalgam of several different historical figures and pure literary invention."

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Ragnar Lodbrok features prominently in:

  • Edwin Atherstone's novel Sea-Kings in England;
  • Edison Marshall's 1951 novel The Viking;
  • Richard Parker's 1957 historical novel The Sword of Ganelon explores the character of Ragnar, his sons, and Viking raiding culture;
  • a 1958 film, The Vikings based on Marshall's novel, in which Ragnar, played by Ernest Borgnine, is captured by King Ælla and cast into a pit of wolves; a son named Einar [sic], played by Kirk Douglas, vows revenge and conquers Northumbria with help from half-brother (and sworn enemy) Eric (played by Tony Curtis), who also had much to avenge upon King Aella.
  • Harry Harrison's 1993 alternative history novel The Hammer and the Cross depict Ragnar being shipwrecked, captured and executed, as well as his sons' revenge;
  • various strategy video games with a historical setting, including Civilization III: Play the World, Medieval: Total War, Civilization IV: Warlords,' 'Age of Empires II: The Forgotten and Crusader Kings II;
  • History Channel's historical drama television series Vikings as the protagonist, played by Travis Fimmel.
  • References

    Ragnar Lodbrok Wikipedia

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