Hunding's Saga: Introduction - Set Course From Jorvik With Hunding for the East
Make sail for the Eastern Sea - Baltic - and row the river courses to the Black Sea and Miklagard
Not only... but also. The real Norsemen didn't just raid, they also plied their trades, traded or ploughed. Take a look at the real world of the Northern lands, how they made a living. The Viking Achievement covers traders, raiders, craftsmen and kings with b/w images, diagrams and maps. my copy, printed in the 1980s had been thumbed through that often I treated myself to the new, updated edition. A good investment to study a bygone era so often misunderstood, so well covered here by Paul Foote and David Wilson
Ribe, an early trading port of the west coast of Jylland (Jutland) was Hunding's first port of call after leaving the shelter of the elderly couple who took him
Dansk - Engelsk; Danish - English
Here's a guide to the map above, of Ribe on the western coast of Jylland (Jutland) - terminology is in Dansk (Danish):
'Syd for aaen' (pron: sued for awen). means 'south of the river', just as 'Nord for aaen' means north of the river;
'Faestningsvaerk' (pron: festningsverk) means defensive works;
'Bygroeft' (pron: 'y' as the 'Umlaut' U in German or as in the ending of 'Whitby' = Bygreft) is the town ditch or dyke;
'Middelalder' (pron. double 'd' as 'tt' (heavy tongue, swallow the single 'd') is Middle Ages
'Og' (pron. 'ouh' or 'ow');
'Punkter' (pungter) is points;
'Vigtige' (viytiye) is important;
'Vikingertid' is the Viking Age/Period (literally 'Time of the Vikings, pron. 'vikkingetith', 'th' as in 'the')
Vold' is embankment, (swallow the 'd' = 'vol'),
Scenes from the Jorvik Viking Centre at Coppergate, central York Y01 9WT, 01904 615505 - re-opening 8th April 2017 after flood damage in December, 2015
Hunding's saga brings you from Jylland - Jutland - by Jorvik to the Sorte Hav (Black Sea, pron.'Sorte How'), back through the Oestsjaen (pron. 'Oest-syaien', Ea
Hunding Hrothulfsson is no foundling. His family life is broken by a chance raid on his fishing hamlet on the east coast of Jylland late in the 10th Century. Between leaving his native Denmark for the distant shores of Northumbria - Jorvik (York) in particular - and making landfall in the land of the Rus prince Vladimir to sell swords made by the Northumbrian swordsmith Wulfstan, Hunding meets many characters who shape the saga.
Begin reading from when the Jomsvikings take his mother and his childhood sweetheart as slaves in episode 1. Read on as Hunding meets his crew-mates and then his employer, the trader Osferth. Osferth's daughter Wulfwila becomes his lover - unknown to her father and mother - but is put out by his wish to sail to the east with Lifing to sell Wulfstan's swords. Escaping the clutches of the Jomsvikings with his loyal crewmen he sails on to the Danish island of Bornholm. They fall foul of King Svein's tax collector and are forced to leave again, this time for Gotland. A meeting with Gauti - the Allfather in another guise - and a risky crossing of the Eastern Sea (Baltic) brings them to Holmgard, the Norsemen's name for Novgorod.
Here they were accused of stealing Prince Vladimir's diadem and faced being locked away. One of the crew was about to die by drowning in the River Volkhov. Hunding had an idea. He challenged Lifing to a 'holmgang', a duel in a staked-out area on an island. Only one rule: the first to leave the area marked out for the fight loses - for whatever reason. Lifing lost to an acclaimed warrior as well as a trader, his master Osferth's right-hand man.
Prince Vladimir feasted his new guests and had Lifing held over, but he had a task for Hunding, a prank really, to steal a small crown from the Emperor Basil. On their way south between the Volkhov and the Dvina Tofig and Sverri came across an old friend, and between the next two rivers a longer overland crossing took them days longer before they were afloat again in the river Dnieper down to the Black Sea... All that was between them and Miklagard now was a few hundred miles of sea.
This takes you from episodes 1 to 25 Subsequent episodes are added all the time. Watch this space...
Follow Hunding's adventures across the known world
A Norseman's Outlook on his World
[*Leave a comment in the box when you've read each of the episodes. Tell me if you find the thread too hard to follow. First read the introduction page: HUNDING UNCOVERED to gain an understanding of the age and the place names. Print the page if you wish, and refer to it as you work your way through. After a few episodes you won't need the sheets any more].
Come, fellow Vikings, follow me, open-armed into the hereafter and take what comes without flinching! A man must think of what his fellows will one day say about him. Should he wish an easy living, men will remember him less easily than had he battled through life with a cheery grin and a good word for his foe!
Odin takes care of the fleet of foot with equal cheer by leading him to Hel's embrace - he who runs from danger lives too long to be his maker's son.
Sail on, brave warrior, hold hard the steerboard arm to find new lands and hold fast to them by the sweat on your brow, that your sons - and their sons - do well by you!
Follow the creation of a ship as it would have been built in the Viking Age with the tools they used. One of the ships sunk in the Roskilde Fjord to keep 'Hardradi' at bay in the mid-11th Century proved to have been built from Irish timber, culled from woodland near Dublin. 'Sea Stallion' ('Sae Hest' as it would have been then) was sailed from the Roskilde Ship Museum via Norway, the Northern Isles and the Hebrides to Dublin amid a tumultuous welcome. Relive the experience in these pages in full colour, with exploded diagrams and terminology..
The first episode sets the scene, from then on through each episode the story follows consecutively. To get the best from 'Hunding's Saga' read each part, because otherwise - even with the notes - you might not be able to understand how it unfolds. Some pages are longer than others, but in general they're no longer than a half hour read. If you're familiar with the material, the history and the geography it should be easy, although with the occasional maps and the storyline it shouldn't be too hard to get into. To the saga, then (some episode titles have changed a little, but the content is the same):
1. Unfolding the Saga
2. Jorvik Beckons
3. Master Osferth
4. Wulfwila, the Cool One,
5. The Bait
6. Braendings Slange
7. Weighing Anchor
8. Taking Flight
10. Meeting Gauti
12. Lying Low
13. Eastern Lord
16. The Bargain
17. River Ways
18. Down to the Black Sea
20 Foes without - and within
21 Saving Hunding
22 The Prize
23 The Deed
24 Homeward Bound
25 Gaining the Eastern Sea
26 Gauti foresees Hunding with a Princess
27 Red Sails in the Sunset!
29 (Selling) A Crown at Kaupang
30 Kerteminde Fjord
31 Gyrth's Tale
33 Gunnlaug's Bed
34 Knut's Fleet
35 The Ruse
36 Ironside Fights On
37 Assandun and a Crown
38 Eadmund Agrees To Share His Kingdom
39 (Back To) Jorvik At Last
40 Knut Summons Hunding to Roskilde
41 Gunnlaug's Lure
42 Hunding's son Ivar - or Ulf's?
43 Bad Tidings
44 Jarl Ulf
45 Hunding Befriends Ivar
46 Leaving Roskilde
47 Hunding takes Ivar to Bosanham
48 The Pain
49 Gauti Greets Ivar
51 The Prince
52 Cornered on Lake Ilmen
Breaking the blows
© 2011 Alan R Lancaster