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Vikings up North: The Legend of Ragnar Hairy-Breeches

Arnold, Martin, 1951-


Martin Arnold

James Underwood

Daniel Weston


In 866, the first Viking Great Army established itself at York and remained there for the next 80 years. The army was led by the five Ragnarssons – Ivar the Boneless, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, Bjorn Ironside, Halfdan and Ubba. According to medieval Scandinavian legend, their motive was to avenge the killing of their father, Ragnar Hairy-Breeches, by the usurper King of York, Ella, by casting him into a snake-pit. This talk explores Ragnar’s life and loves, his renown as a dragon-slayer, his archetypical Viking ending at York and the huge influence his ‘Death-Song’ had on the English literary scene a thousand years later. Dr Martin Arnold has published books on Icelandic sagas and the Vikings, and has written scholarly articles on subjects ranging from Old Norse poetry to trolls. His latest book, Thor: Myth to Marvel, was listed in The Times Literary Supplement's Books of the Year, 2011. He is currently writing Dragons: A Cultural History (forthcoming 2015).

Digital Artefact Type Audio
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords North and South, Culture Café, Vikings, Ragnar Hairy-Breeches


The Legend of Ragnar Lodbrok Talk and Q&A copy - second part without Q&A.mp3 (21.4 Mb)

The Legend of Ragnar Lodbrok Talk and Q&A copy - first part without Q&A.mp3 (21.5 Mb)

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