Ragnar Lothbrok's Sons & King Ælla's Messengers

Illustration

Emma Groeneveld
by August Malmström
published on 28 August 2018

Painting depicting the messengers of King Ælla of Northumbria (r. c. 866 CE) bringing the sons of the legendary Viking hero Ragnar Lothbrok their father's last words. The legends say Ragnar, after invading the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms with only two ships, had been killed by being thrown into a snake-pit by King Ælla. After receiving this message, his sons invaded England and avenged their father by brutally killing Ælla. Although Ragnar's own historicity is disputed, a Viking invasion of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms did occur in 865 CE, led by figures traditionally linked with some of Ragnar's sons.

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