Our The Most Famous Viking Leaders top nine list at most09.com.
The Golden Age of the Vikings was the Early Medieval period, that is between the 8th century and 11th century. During those centuries Norsemen founded kingdoms and empires and left a deep mark on European history and civilization. Vikings were both skilled and courageous sea explorers and fierce warriors. Their explorations reached lands that we today name France, England, Ukraine or Anatolia.
He received the ‘Walker’ nickname as he was too tall and too big for any horse to carry him. So he had to walk. Rollo conducted raids on France in the 9th century and was the first ruler of Normandy.
2. Ivar the Boneless
Ivar the Boneless, along with his brothers, lead the army that invaded England at the middle of 9th century. Historians believe that the ruthless Viking leader had a genetic disease and lost the use of his legs.
3. Erik the Red
He was born in Norway and nicknamed ‘Red’ for his red hair. He also had, according to historical sources, a hot temper. Erik the Red founded the first Viking settlements in Greenland.
4. Ragnar Lodbrok
Ragnar was Ivar the Boneless’ father and one of the most famous Viking leaders. He raided many European territories but history remembers him mostly for the siege laid to Paris.
5. Olaf Tryggvason
Tryggvason was the first Northern leader to unite Norway. He was the first Viking to demand his subjects to convert to Christianity and give up their traditional beliefs.
6. Leif Eriksson
This Viking claims the title of first European to have reached North America, 500 years before Columbus. However, Vikings’ settlement did not last in North America, probably because of American native’s hostile reception.
7. Cnut the Great
He is one of the most important world leaders of the early Middle Age. Cnut the Great was King of Denmark, Norway, England and partly Sweden. Historians appreciate him for his wise ruling, based on trade and culture exchange, and not on pure, armed force.
8. Eric Bloodaxe
He was one of the many sons that King of Norway had at the time. To become the only heir to the throne, he murdered his brothers. That action brought him the ‘Bloodaxe’ nickname.
9. Gunnar Hamundarson
Northern legends say that Gunnar was a brilliant swordsman with both his hands. Also, he would have never missed with a bow, could run and jump with his battle-gear on as no other.