Whenever we’re working with historical sources about legendary figures, we have to keep two things in mind: When it comes to Ragnar, we have to remember that everything we’ve heard about him is either untrue or unreal, leading us to question his physical reality.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, Ragnar’s legends were recorded, which is far away from the time period in which Ragnar would have lived. Consequently, we must ask ourselves how much truth can be found in the oral traditions before they were written down at a time when they were far removed in time from the Viking Age.
The Frankish annals of the early Middle Ages describe a Viking named “Ragnar,” with the Latin name Reginheri, the Latin equivalent of “Ragnar.” And because of this, we must consider another reason.
Ragnar Lobrók is named, although it’s impossible to determine for sure that he was the one who carried out these heroic and fantastical deeds.
It is essential that we discover a real individual who has the name Ragnar Lobrók and who has actually carried out a considerable number of activities that are credited to the mythical Ragnar Lobrók.
To learn more about Ragnar, we’ll study the sagas and other historical sources that mention him. Ragnar’s Saga (Ragnars saga Lobrókar), the Saga of the Sons of Ragnar (Ragnarsson áttr), the Frankish chronicles as previously noted, and in the poem Krákumál, he is referenced as well.
Only a few of the 12th and 13th century works are believed to be factual, but they are all acknowledged to be fiction. This is a serious problem because they are the primary sources on the life and deeds of Ragnar Lobrók – mostly fictional works of fiction.
There is only one reference of a Viking named “Reginheri” in the historical archives of the 9th century, which is when reportedly Ragnar Lobrók lived. 120 longboats sailed down the Seine to attack Paris under the command of this Viking commander.
According to the Frankish chronicles, this Viking was killed by the plague that ravaged the siege of Paris by the Vikings. In the following decades, “Ragnar” reappeared in the history books. he raids Scotland and the Shetland Islands, settles in Dublin, and attacks Anglesey before he dies in a pit full of snakes in York after so much glory and greatness.
It appears that Ragnar was killed at least five times during his Viking career, according to the sources included in this article. Ragnar Lobrók, a mythical hero of the Vikings, may be the result of the accounts of several distinct chieftains who shared similar names or adopted the title of legendary hero. Legendary heroes are immortalized in this fashion because they are a constant source of inspiration and inspiration for other Vikings.
However, let us first pay attention to Reginheri. 845 was the year of his death, which happened to be in France. As a result, he is unable to take part in the later events that make up the bulk of Ragnar Lobrók’s exploits.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that Reginheri fathered any of Ragnar Lobrók’s heirs after this historical fact.
If Ragnar’s children were a group of warriors belonging to the same tribe, they may have had a paternal grandfather named Ragnar Lobrók, who was not a real father, but the fabled founder of the tribe.
Because of that, Ragnar Lobrók’s great deeds have been proven to be the work of someone else in this Reginheri, with the exception of Ragnar’s execution in England in a snake-infested hole, which is also told in the same manner as Ragnar’s death. However, the other versions of his life are inconsistent, and there is no clear chain of events that would lead us to believe that he lived his life exactly as described in these other tales of his. The warriors and Nordic characters like Ragnar Lobrók’s had some Viking rings to display their beliefs.
LODBRK – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
According to Danish history, Ragnar was the grandson of King Sigurd Hring of Norway, who succeeded his grandfathers and governed Norway and Sweden when Ragnar took the helm.
Ragnar had three children with Lagertha, according to one version of his story. He married Thora Borgarhjört, with whom he had two children, after divorcing her. Ragnar had to kill a dragon or a big snake in order to marry Thora. When he wore fuzzy pants/shaggy breeches, the moniker Lobrók was coined, and that’s what it literally means.
These pants served as a barrier between him and the animal’s teeth. Ragnar “Hairy Pants” earned his moniker as a result of this incident. In some ancient records, “Shaggy Breeks” is referenced in Scotland, which can be translated as “breeches,” but it is rarely cited today.
When someone goes by the nickname Lobrók, it is difficult to hunt down other people with the same name because it is not a surname that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Children of Viking families took their father’s surname, which is still used today in Iceland. For example, Ragnar’s children would have been referred to as Björn or Ivar.
There are two stories about him: the Saga of Ragnar and the Saga of Songs of Ragnar. In both stories, he becomes King of Norway and Denmark.
However, it is vital to recall that there is no mention of the name Loðbrók during the time when Ragnar is claimed to have lived. Until 200 years after Reginheri’s death in Paris, his name appears in the archives alone, with no relation to Ragnar in sight.
The name “Lothbroc” first appears in the Gesta Normannorum Ducum in 1070 CE, when it is referred to as Björn Ironside’s father. Among the greatest medieval Icelandic chroniclers, Ari orgilsson (1067-1148 CE) is the one who first cites Ragnar and Lothbroc as being one and the same person.
ASK RAGNALL: WHERE IS HE?
Ragnar Lothbrok mythology is frequently linked to the fragmentary portions in Ireland’s Annals of Ireland. Ragnall (Rognvald), the Norwegian king’s son and heir apparent to Alpdan (Halfdan), existed.
As well as his deeds and arrival before the fall of York to the Danes, which occurs between 866 and 867 CE, but already after the death of Reginheri in 845 CE, this individual is mentioned. Nevertheless, Ragnall is the closest thing to a member of the Danish royal family that achieved greatness.
However, there is no etymological relationship between the names Ragnall and Ragnar Lothbrok, therefore it is plausible that they were both the same person.
Is it possible that Ragnall and Lothbrok were two different people?
Due to our previous research, we can safely rule out Reginheri’s status as a historical prototype for Ragnar Lothbrok. It appears that the best way to prove that Ragnar Lothbrok was a real person was by assuming that both Ragnall and Lothbrok were the same person, and then assuming that the similar (but different) names – Ragnall and Ragnar – were accidentally confused, or perhaps the result of dialect and mispronunciation, as in the case of Ragnar and ragnar
Because both Ragnall and Lothbrok lived, it is fair to infer that they were the same person, and that later in history, an Icelandic source misidentified him as “Ragnar Lothbrok” because of an inaccuracy.
No matter how unlikely it may seem at first glance. Let’s have a look at these dates:
Lindisfarne in northern England was attacked by Vikings in 793.
845 – Reginheri is the first victim of a Paris terrorist strike.
In 867, the Danes seized Jorvik from the Norwegians (York).
In light of the fact that Reginheri dies between two significant occasions in Viking raid history in which Ragnar has the king of Norway and Denmark would have had a big role, it appears that Reginheri is not the real Ragnar Lothbrok.
Horik I, a semi-legendary Danish monarch (827-854), was Denmark’s ruler at the time of Reginheri, and Norway didn’t have a king until 872, when Harald Fairhair was elected (872-932). A merger between Denmark and Norway, described in the Sagas as taking place in the tenth century under Ragnar Bluetooth, did not take place until that time (961-980).
WHO WAS RAGNAR LOTHBROK, AT LAST?
The ninth-century ruler of Denmark, Ragnar Lothbrok, became a folk hero on these dates. Names may have been jumbled up over the ages and in different sources, and there may have been an obvious discrepancy between the early Irish annals and the Icelandic sources, and between the Frankish chronicles. This is a possibility.
Ragnar’s ancestry suggests that he was the result of a fusion of various ancient rulers and Vikings. Ragnar Lothbrok is most likely the consequence of two or more unique individuals being combined into one figure with the traits of all the historical figures who have served as the icon of the Viking Raider in many different ways.
For the record, only two manuscripts of the Ragnar Lobrók story have been preserved. Despite the fact that they were written in the early 15th century, it is widely believed that they are accounts of a previously lost manuscript.
As far as we can tell from the preserved manuscript, Ragnar’s story is an unbroken line from Völsunga’s story. In Ragnar’s story, it is the primary source. Ragnar’s death and the vengeance of his sons are described in the following chapter of this tale.
Many of Ragnar”s other stories were collected in the lost saga Skjöldunga, but a Latin translation by Icelandic historian Arngrmr Jónsson included most of this saga in 1596.
But to what extent was the translation from Old Norse to Old Icelandic, and finally to Latin, accurate? Ragnar Lobrók’s time was culturally distinct from that of the latter.
There was a Lothbrok and a Reginheri, but they weren’t the same person and their stories were muddled up so that only one heroic figure was formed – Ragnar Lobrók.
In my opinion, that is exactly what was intended: to elevate one person to the status of “the perfect Viking,” someone who would be revered as a role model for the rest of the Scandinavian peoples and held up as an example for them all. Heroic in every sense of the word.
Ragnar Lobrók is a legendary hero who embodies the Viking spirit since he embodies all the brave Norsemen of the Viking Age. Ragnar Lobrók is like a personification of the Viking Age itself.
He became a military hero of the British and an exemplar of medieval chivalry just like King Arthur, who had his beginnings in Welsh mythology but whose semi-legendary Celtic and Roman traditions made him famous.
A hero like Ragnar Lobrók, who embodied the Viking era’s greatest virtues and deeds as well as its greatest trials and tribulations, rose to legendary status in his own right.