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Old March 15th, 2014, 05:01 PM   #41
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The Gushel, thank you for your historical story. But old Somerled was finally vindicated, in a sense. His only surviving heir was his great-granddaughter Jean of Bute. Jean, heiress of Bute, was disgusted by her many land-hungry suitors, and married but late. She was the posthumous daughter of Seamus of Bute, who along with his father Angus (son of Somerled) was killed at a young age by the men of Skye. One day her mother urged her to marry Alexander, the Stewart of Scotland. Jean made indignant objection, citing the fact that these same Stewarts had been the very ones who had done away with her forebear Somerled. The case seemed closed. But that night, Jean was visited in a dream by her ancestor Ivar the Boneless, who pleaded with her to accept the match. So Alexander and Jean were married (some speculated that Alexander just wanted Rothesay). They had a son, who Jean named James after her father Seamus. Ths is how the name James was first found in what later became the Royal Family.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 04:29 PM   #42
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One day Jean of Bute walked into the parlour to see her husband examining their infant son suspiciously. Jean covered her eyes and shouted "For the love of God, Alexander, HE HAS BONES!" "All right then!" growled the Steward, setting their son down. "But lass, if he starts tearin' people's lungs out, I shall suspect that there's somethin' amiss!"

Last edited by alarod; March 16th, 2014 at 04:41 PM.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 02:39 PM   #43
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In re-reading the list of Ivar's sons on Geni, I found that I omitted one in my list above. But I have to mention him now, because his family persists to this day. It appears that Ivar had seven sons(!). His third or fourth son was named Eimar, called by the Franks Gommeri (an early form of Henri). After the Dublin debacle, Eimar went to Hedeby and enlisted with Sigfred and Hrolf for their invasion of France. Hrolf the Ganger rewarded Eimar with Harcourt, which his family held for centuries. They claim descent today from Ivar the Boneless.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 04:05 PM   #44
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IVAR'S WEIGHT: Ivar Ragnarsson was too big to ride any horse, much to his dismay. When they died underneath him, he would bitterly beat their dead bodies with a stick and curse his fatness. After he accidentally killed his father's prize ox by attempting to ride it, Ivar was shamed by Ragnar's scornful words. He began to eat small portions, and much of his fat turned to muscle. He became quite attractive to the Viking ladies, who nonetheless continued to be afraid to engage him because of his gigantic frame. Around this time, Ivar crushed the cow of Eysteinn Beli. About 849, Ivar went raiding on the coast of Ireland and visited Viking Dublin. There he wooed and married Fruen, sister of the Norwegian Olaf the White, who was a very large woman. He took her back to Denmark and had many sons. But when Ivar heard that his father Ragnar had been thrown into the snakepit by King Aelle of Northumbria and killed, he became distraught. He began over-eating again, soon becoming fatter than before. Ivar and his brothers went to England and killed Aelle, starting the Viking kingdom of York. Then Ivar went to Dublin to receive that kingdom from Olaf, who was going back to Norway. His brothers Halfdan Hvitserk and Ubbe continued to rule at York. Ivar ruled Dublin for a while, but contracted leprosy and took his life. His sons were thrown out of Dublin, but returned later to rule it again.

Last edited by alarod; March 17th, 2014 at 04:55 PM.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 05:44 PM   #45
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There is much confusion over Ivar's famous father, Ragnar Lodbrok. If we are to believe the Sagas, Ragnar's career stretched over ninety years, clearly impossible. Ragnar was actually two people, grandfather and grandson, both confusingly named Ragnar Lodbrok. Ragnar the Elder was the high king of Scandinavia, son of Sigurd Ring. His son Sigurd succeeded him, but was killed in battle supporting the Saxons against the Franks (I'm afraid this was Sigurd Orm-i-Oje, son of the first Ragnar, not the second). Sigurd was succeeded by his brother-in-law Gudfred, who stuck young Ragnar and his brother Hardeknud on a distant farm in Jutland. Young Ragnar was bequeathed little more than the famous hairy breeches that his grandfather had used to put down a plague of snakes in Sweden. But Ragnar rose in fame as the most successful raider. He later killed Halfdan Haraldsson (father of Harald Klak) in a duel. Haraldsson had been a bitter enemy of King Horik (son of Gudfred), who rewarded Ragnar by making him Jarl of Ribe. But when Ragnar almost burned down Paris, Horik II became alarmed and forbade any further raiding. Ragnar's sons meekly complied with this edict. But Ragnar mocked them as sheep, and went off to raid Northumbria. He was captured and killed by Aelle of Northumbria in 863. Two years later, Ragnar's sons went off to England to avenge their father. But their youngest brother Sweyn stayed behind to safeguard the earldom, and later built Jelling. His grandson was Gorm the Old, who unified Denmark and made it into a feudal state. Ragnar's brother Hardeknud killed Horik II and became king of Sjaelland.

Last edited by alarod; March 17th, 2014 at 06:06 PM.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 05:59 PM   #46

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According to your opinion of course.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 06:07 PM   #47
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Hi Gudenrath. If you have a better interpretation of all this, I'd certainly like to hear it.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 06:11 PM   #48

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Quote:
Originally Posted by alarod View Post
Hi Gudenrath. If you have a better interpretation of all this, I'd certainly like to hear it.
I havent got any better interpretation. And I certainly wouldn't object to yours if it was the truth. However I'm no specialist, and if you rightly want to propose an elaborate story that runs contrary to the unrealiable sagas, you will need to provide some sources to back up your claims, every detail of it, since it is a period that is usually considered very lacking in sources, and most claims are considered mostly mythological. So such detailed stories can't but be thought of as speculation, and I think, unless you got sourcing for it, you should be the first to make us aware of that fact.

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Old March 17th, 2014, 08:52 PM   #49
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Hello Gudenrath. As it happens, I am a bit of a specialist in Dark Ages history, in a modest way. I see you are Danish, of course you are going to get cranky if I try to make sense out of Ragnar's confused tale. First off, let me reassure you that my little stories about Ivar's chubbiness are just for fun, illustrative of dry facts "known" about him. They are not meant to be taken as serious history, they are speculation. As far as speculation goes, you can barely say anything about Ivar at all unless you speculate. The original monks writing about him wrote long after the fact, and in the best of times were essentially historical novelists who embellished their chronicles with flowery speeches and incredible folklore, much in the way of today's Screenwriters. They wanted a readership, and cared for little else. I am satirizing their flowery speeches in my stories. Today's historians speculate endlessly about the monks' speculations, but they still speculate. Ivar and Ragnar are national folk heroes, they even currently have a hit TV show about them. They are of a piece with King Arthur and his knights, folklore interwoven with a kernel of history. The monks and chroniclers followed the lead of Roman historians, who gave flowery speeches to Calgacus to spice up the story a bit. Not to offend religious sensibilities, but some feel that the Old and New Testaments were jazzed up in this manner. I did not make up any of those people in my recounting of Ragnar. It is drawn from dozens of sources. This is not a college term paper here, so I did not list all of them. But if you have any questions about what I wrote about Ragnar Lodbrok, I would be happy to refer you to the proper sources.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 09:57 PM   #50
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The Sagas themselves contradict each other endlessly and maddeningly. Eventually one is forced to form an opinion by choosing which story to believe. If Ivar was able to crush a cow by being thrown on it, he was likely a big man. He likely did not have brittle bone disease or he would have been killed by the experience. It was very unlikely that he was impotent, since sources give him a large number of sons. The earliest sagas mention no disability of any kind and no nickname. A Latin manucript, very early, calls him Ivar exosus (very cruel), abbreviated to exos., resembling exos "boneless." This is a name that captures imaginations to this day, there is still much speculation about it. He was undeniably very cruel, he committed atrocities hard to speak of today. All Stewart wives are accounted for, but British historians today are trying to sweep Jean of Bute under a rug. Maybe the Royal Family wants to forget an ancestor who actually deboned people (another possible source of the name). I personally think that Ivar really existed and did many of the things attributed to him. I am trying to understand his story.
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