Thorgil Sprakling (also called Torkel, Torgils or Sprakalägg) was a Danish chieftain (stormand).His grandsons became kings of Denmark and England.
Little is recorded about Thorgil in historical texts: most of what appears is in reference to his children, two of whom were parents of kings. Thorgil's cognomen Sprakalägg can be translated into English as "Strut-leg". In the Icelandic Knýtlinga saga he is also called "the fast". In the 11th century, English historian John of Worcester provided a pedigree for earl Beorn Estrithson that made his grandfather 'Spraclingus' a son of 'Ursius' (i.e. urso, Latin for bear or Bjørn in Danish, Björn in Swedish).
Two 13th-century writers relate folklore that derives Thorgil from the mating of a bear with a noblewoman. Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus recorded that the son born to such a union was 'named after his father' (i.e. called 'bear' – Ursius/Björn) and in turn became father of 'Thrugillus, called Sprageleg'. The Gesta Antecessorum Comitis Waldevi copies John of Worcester's pedigree but makes the Ursius, father of 'Spratlingus', an actual white bear. The 14th-century chronicle sometimes attributed to John Brompton tells a very similar tale relating to the birth of Björn, called Boresune (bear's-son), father of Siward, Earl of Northumbria, and this may represent the original form of the longer, chronologically impossible pedigree of Siward found in the Gesta that erroneously identifies Björn Boresune with Thorgil's grandson, Beorn Estrithson. It has been suggested that the role of a bear in their immediate ancestry may represent a tradition shared by relatives rather than that two independent families at about the same time both co-opted the same ancient Norwegian legend for their immediate ancestry – that Björn Boresune and Thorgil may have been brothers.
In the 18th century, Danish historian Jakob Langebek suggested this bear story was allegorical, and that the brutish 'Wild' Björn, father of Thorgil, was a reference to Jomsviking brigand leader Styrbjörn the Strong (Styrbjörn Starke), [ citation needed ] Thorgil is believed to have died circa 1009.[ citation needed ]depicted by sagas as the son of Olaf Björnsson, king of Sweden. Styrbjörn's wife in the sagas is stated to have been Tyra of Denmark, the daughter of Harold Bluetooth, king of Denmark and Norway. No primary source supports this royal ancestry for Thorgil, a connection almost impossible to maintain because of the chronological inconsistencies.
Godwin of Wessex became one of the most powerful earls in England under the Danish king Cnut the Great and his successors. Cnut made Godwin the first Earl of Wessex. Godwin was the father of King Harold Godwinson and of Edith of Wessex, who married in 1045 King Edward the Confessor.
Ragnar Lodbrok or Lothbrok in sagas is a historically dubious legendary Norse Viking hero, as well as Danish and Swedish King, known from Viking Age Old Norse poetry, Icelandic stories, and near contemporary chronicles. According to the traditional literature, Ragnar Lodbrok distinguished himself by many raids against the British Isles and Holy Roman Empire during the 9th century. According to the sagas Ragnar Lodbrok's father was the legendary Swedish king Sigurd Ring.
Various gods and men appear as Sons of Odin or Sons of Wodan/Wotan or Sons of Woden in old Old Norse and Old High German and Old English texts.
Sigurd Ring was a legendary king of the Swedes mentioned in many old Scandinavian sagas. According to these sources he was granted rulership over Uppland as a vassal king under his uncle Harald Wartooth. Later he would take up arms against his uncle Harald in a bid to overthrow him and take the crown of Denmark, a conflict which Sigurd eventually won after the legendary Battle of the Brávellir, where it is said that Odin himself intervened and killed Harald. In the Sagas Sigurd is also known for being the father of the Norse Viking hero and legendary king of Denmark and Sweden, Ragnar Lodbrok. According to Bósa saga ok Herrauds, there was once a saga on Sigurd Ring, but this saga is now lost.
Björn according to the Hervarar saga and Harald Fairhair's saga was the father of Olof (II) Björnsson and Eric the Victorious, also a grandfather of Styrbjörn the Strong. According to the two sagas, he was the son of an Erik who fought Harald Fairhair and who succeeded the brothers Björn at Hauge and Anund Uppsale:
Olof Björnsson was a semi-legendary Swedish king who was referenced in several Old Norse Sagas including Hervarar saga, Saga of Harald Fairhair and the Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa.
Styrbjörn the Strong according to late Norse sagas was a son of the Swedish king Olof, and a nephew of Olof's co-ruler and successor Eric the Victorious, who defeated and killed Styrbjörn at the Battle of Fyrisvellir. As with many figures in the sagas, doubts have been cast on his existence, but he is mentioned in a roughly contemporaneous skaldic poem about the battle. According to legend, his original name was Björn, and Styr-, which was added when he had grown up, was an epithet meaning that he was restless, controversially forceful and violent.
Gytha Thorkelsdóttir, also called Githa, was a Danish noblewoman. She was the mother of King Harold Godwinson and of Edith of Wessex, queen consort of King Edward the Confessor of England.
Geatish kings, ruling over the provinces of Götaland (Gautland/Geatland), appear in several sources for early Swedish history. Today, most of them are not considered historical.
Raum the Old is a legendary king in Norway in the Hversu Noregr byggdist and in Thorsteins saga Víkingssonar. He was said to have been ugly, as was his daughter, Bryngerd, who was married to King Álf. Indeed, in Old Norse, raumr means a big and ugly person.
Siward or Sigurd was an important earl of 11th-century northern England. The Old Norse nickname Digri and its Latin translation Grossus are given to him by near-contemporary texts. Siward was probably of Scandinavian origin, perhaps a relative of Earl Ulf, and emerged as a powerful regional strongman in England during the reign of Cnut. Cnut was a Scandinavian ruler who conquered England in the 1010s, and Siward was one of the many Scandinavians who came to England in the aftermath of that conquest. Siward subsequently rose to become sub-ruler of most of northern England. From 1033 at the latest Siward was in control of southern Northumbria, that is, present-day Yorkshire, governing as earl on Cnut's behalf.
The Jomsvikings were an order of Viking mercenaries or brigands of the 10th century and 11th century. They were staunchly Pagan and dedicated to the worship of such deities as Odin and Thor. They reputedly would fight for any lord able to pay their substantial fees and occasionally fought alongside Christian rulers. Although they were Pagan, the institutions of the Jomsvikings in some ways anticipated those of the Christian Knightly Orders of the later Middle Ages.
Ulf was a Danish earl (jarl) and regent of Denmark. Ulf was the father of King Sweyn II of Denmark and thus the progenitor of the House of Estridsen, which would rule Denmark from 1047 to 1375, which was also sometimes, specially in Swedish sources, referred to as the Ulfinger dynasty to honor him.
Freawine, Frowin or Frowinus figures as a governor of Schleswig in Gesta Danorum and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as an ancestor of the kings of Wessex, but the latter source only tells that he was the son of Friðgar and the father of Wig.
Gyrid Olafsdottir of Sweden, also called Gyritha or perhaps Gunnhild (10th-century), according to legends was a Swedish princess and a Danish queen consort as the spouse of King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark.
The House of Godwin was an Anglo-Saxon family, one of the leading noble families in England during the last 50 years before the Norman Conquest. Its most famous member was Harold Godwinson, king of England for nine months in 1066.
The House of Estridsen was a dynasty that provided the kings of Denmark from 1047 to 1412. The dynasty is named after its ancestor Estrid Svendsdatter. The dynasty is sometimes called the Ulfinger, after Estrid's husband, Ulf the Earl. The dynasty also provided three of the rulers of Sweden in the years 1125–1412. Their family coat of arms became the coat of arms of Denmark and therefore influenced the coat of arms of Tallinn and the coat of arms of Estonia.
Very little is known for certain of the ancestry of the Godwins, the family of the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, Harold II. When King Edward the Confessor died in January 1066 his closest relative was his great-nephew, Edgar the Ætheling, but he was young and lacked powerful supporters. Harold was the head of the most powerful family in England and Edward's brother-in-law, and he became king. In September 1066 Harold defeated and killed King Harald Hardrada of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and Harold was himself defeated and killed the following month by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.
Beorn Estrithson was the son of Jarl Ulf and Estrid Svendsdatter, sister of Cnut the Great.
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