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Old March 8th, 2014, 06:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Moros View Post
I always thought the name was "Baneless", as in without bane. Bane means poison or trouble (if someone is 'the bane of my life' it means they are a recurring nuisance), so Ivar the Baneless means he never had any trouble, or found any problem/opposition/task easily dealt with. His success in battle and as a leader fits his nickname.
Yes possibly.
"Bane" is a really old word
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Old March 8th, 2014, 07:58 PM   #22
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The old story says Eystein had a magical cow whose mooing caused Ragnar's sons to lose the battle. Two arrows to the eyes didn't kill it, but the Vikings flung Ivar through the air and he crushed it with his weight. Two arrows to the eyes would have killed a real cow, that's why I postulate a wooden cow with a priest inside. The weird sight would have distracted the Vikings and demoralized them, preventing them from fighting well. The account of Ivar crushing the cow is somewhat comical, but presented with a straight face. It sounds too weird to be made up.

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Old March 8th, 2014, 08:51 PM   #23
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I have a really excellent reference work called "British Kings & Queens," by Mike Ashley, that has detailed genealogies of every king who ever ruled a part of Britain. According to this, a rather famous king called Somerled of the Western Isles traced his descent from Sitric, son of Ivar the Boneless. According to this book, Ivar had many descendants from two of his sons, Guthorm and Sitric. I am sure he has living descendants today, all grateful that Ivar was not "boneless" in one sense.

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Old March 8th, 2014, 09:56 PM   #24
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LOL! Three of Ivar the Boneless' descendants today are Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William (and even Prince William's wife!). I guess all three could tell you how happy they are that Ivar was functioning! And here's a startling thought, though undeniable. Barack Obama too is a descendant of Ivar the Boneless. Ivar is laughing at us all now up in Valhalla and saying "Yes, reader, even You!"

Last edited by alarod; March 8th, 2014 at 10:33 PM.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 10:43 PM   #25

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The best theory I've heard is that Boneless meant double jointed.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 01:50 AM   #26
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QUEEN ELIZABETH'S DESCENT FROM IVAR THE BONELESS: Ivar the Boneless, Guthorm, Ragnall I, Ivar II, Ivar III, Ragnall II, Ragnall III, Margad, Gilleadamnan, Gillebride, Somerled, Angus of Bute, James of Bute, Jean of Bute, James Stewart, Walter Stewart, Robert II, Robert III, James I, James II, James III, James IV, James V, Mary Queen of Scots, James I of England, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Sophia of Hanover, George I, George II, Frederick Prince of Wales, George III, Edward of Kent, Victoria, Edward VII, George V, George VI, Queen Elizabeth II.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 05:12 PM   #27
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Maybe he was obese?
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Old March 11th, 2014, 06:53 PM   #28
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HOW IT MAY HAVE BEEN: Now in those ancient times, Ivar the Boneless could walk after a fashion but could not rise unaided, due to his colossal girth. Even when young he was like Hrolf the Ganger, he was too big to ride a horse. When he tried to ride a mighty ox, he broke its back in a trice (this later gave him a wonderful idea). Whenever he tried to hike with his army, he would soon be winded and out of breath. Fortunately he had many massive sons to carry him about on an iron shield. Whenever they came to a hill, the sons would grumble. Ivar would swat their heads and say "Miscreants! Did I not give you life? And yet you cry like bairns whenever we come to a little hill! Carry on, stop your complaining!" Ivar ate constantly, he never stopped. One day his good wife Fruen could stand it no more. She screamed "Ivar, this must stop! Why is your name not Sweyn, you eat like ten pigs! Look at you, you are a disgrace! What would your father, the great Ragnar Lodbrok, say if he could see you?" Making this speech, Fruen sprang forward and snatched the cow's leg from Ivar's hand. Ivar shrieked as one stabbed. "You, you had better bring that back!" he puffed, but could not rise to pursue her. "From now on, I hide the food!" said Fruen grimly. "No!" whimpered Ivar. In desperation, the big man grabbed a table and hauled himself up. The table promptly broke into kindling. His wife flew at him raging, hitting him about the head with a broom as he lumbered off sadly. As he stumped off down the road, Ivar made this lament: "O ye great Aesir and Vanir, bear witness to my plight. Have I not gotten the victory time and again for my ungrateful folk? And now my very kin seek to starve me, my own wife snatched away that nice little cow's leg! All I did was break a little table, one I stole myself from Aelle, and she treats me like an outlaw. Mighty gods of Valhalla, grant me succour, lest I waste entirely away!" So saying, Ivar made his ponderous way into Dublin town, where he espied a poor man eating a meal near a wall. 'You give me that!" shouted Ivar, snatching the man's trencher with snakelike alacrity. The poor beggar dared not resist, he thought a jotunn had come for his meal. Munching contentedly, Ivar waddled off in triumph. Alas for poor Ivar, that beggar had leprosy which Ivar soon caught. When Ivar's nose fell off, he cried out "I cannot stand this anymore!", and took his life with his dirk. His wife and sons wept copiously, it took them a whole day to dig a grave of the right size. Thus passed poor Ivar the Boneless.
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Old March 11th, 2014, 07:15 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
In the sagas , Ivar the boneless is described :
Only cartilage was where bone should have been , but otherwise he grew tall and handsome and in wisdom he was the best of their children.
("Their" being his parents : mother named Kraka and father named Ragnar Lodbrog )
He could not take part in physical exercise or weapontraining , and had to be carried on rods or a shield . However he did master the bow and arrow , and it was his advice the others listened to .

And much later ( when he was king ) it is described : the king let his carriermen know , that they had to serve him by carrying him to the meeting ....

So Ivar was tall ( it does not sound very dwarfy ) and his disability started in young age after birth ( it does not sound like a problem with the third leg - impotence ) ....

Some kind of soft bone disease .... osteomalacia of a kind perhaps ... his arms seem to have been better than his legs , since he mastered archery ...
Medically speaking, is this possible? How could he grow tall without a skeletal structure?

He couldn't possibly have "mastered the bow and arrow" without bones.

In fact, I would expect that he would have died very soon after birth in those days.

Surely there must be another explanation for his nickname.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 03:20 PM   #30
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IVAR AND RAGNAR: One day, Ivar the Boneless attempted to ride his father's prize ox. The poor ox bellowed piteously and gave up the ghost, its back quite broken. Ragnar Lodbrok, Ivar's father, was furious. "You great oaf, see what you've done!" shouted Ragnar, punching his son's ample form. "Do you know what this animal cost me? And now look at it, lying there dead! Hvitserk, Sigurd, come here and butcher this ox that your brother has foolishly killed! Perforce we feast tonight!" "Please, father!" wept Ivar. "I only wanted to ride something!" Ragnar glared at him and said "Son, until I can raid Africa and somehow capture an elephant, you can ride nothing! Well, that's it! I am telling your mother Aslaug to hide all the food. No, leave off clutching my arm, it hurts!" "No, father, no!" sobbed Ivar. "If you do that cruel heartless thing, I shall run away to the mountains and eat squirrels, hares! Father!' But Ragnar Lodbrok walked away sadly, shaking his head.
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curious, ivar, the boneless

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