Bjorn Ironside was a well-known Viking leader who legends say ruled Sweden as the 1st king from the House of Munsö. He lived throughout the 9th century AD and his father was the famous Ragnar Lodbrok. Ironside followed family members tradition in raiding and also he used his abilities to trick his way right into the Eternal City, which he promptly grabbed.
Following in the Family ‘Business’.
According to The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons, Bjorn Ironside was the son of Ragnar Lodbrok and Aslaug. Bjorn had an older brother, Ivar the Boneless, and also 2 more youthful ones, Hvitserk (speculated by some to have actually been the nickname of Halfdan Ragnarsson) and also Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. He additionally had several half-brothers, including Eirik as well as Agnar.
Like their parent, the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok conducted raids around Europe. In The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons, it is specified that Bjorn Ironside as well as his brothers kept their father’s raiding activities, as well as terrorized the areas of England, Normandy, France, and also Lombardy.
It is also written that the outermost that the younger brothers reached was Luni, an Italian community on the boundary of Liguria and Tuscany. The story goes that the Vikings had actually come across the wealth contained in the Eternal City and also were bent on raiding it. Consequently, Bjorn teamed up with an additional Viking leader, Hastein, to start an expedition into the Mediterranean.
The Vikings sailed along the Atlantic shore of the Iberian Peninsula, though their raids met little success in both Christian and Muslim regions. When they arrived in the Strait of Gibraltar, yet, their luck changed, and also they are recorded to have actually sacked numerous cities on both the North African coast as well as the southerly part of the Iberian Peninsula. Cruising and raiding along the southern coastline of the Frankish Empire, the Vikings eventually arrived on the northwestern coast of Italy. The first town that was sacked was Luni, which the Vikings had actually misinterpreted for Rome.
Trickery Works Where Sieging Fails.
As the Vikings started to besiege Luni, they realized that the town’s strongholds were so durable, and also foresaw that the siege would certainly drag on for time. Knowing that it would certainly be futile to attempt to take the town by brute force, the Vikings considered trickery. There are two major versions of the story …
According to one, Bjorn (or Hastein) sent out carriers to the bishop of Luni to inform him of their leader’s death. On his deathbed, however, he had converted to Christianity, and it was his dying wish to be buried on consecrated ground. Believing this to be real, the bishop permitted a number of Vikings to bring the body of their leader right into the town. Once they entered Luni, Bjorn jumped out of his coffin, fought his way to the town’s doors, and also opened it, thus letting the Vikings to capture Luni. In a variant of the tale, Bjorn did not pretend to be dead, but rather that he was seriously ill, and also planned to convert to Christianity before he died.
Bjorn Ironside Returns North.
Having sacked Luni, Bjorn and also his Vikings proceeded inland, sailing up the River Arno, and laying waste to Pisa and Fiesole. The Vikings’ movement end up being a little uncertain after this, as well as they are rumored to have sailed to the Eastern Mediterranean.
They reappear off the coastline of the Iberian Peninsula, where they are recorded to have been defeated by a Muslim force whilst heading back home. As many as 40 Viking ships are said to have actually been wiped out by the Muslims, though Bjorn survived, and also handled to bring home most of his loot.
Finally, The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons states that “Bjorn Ironside got Uppsala and also central Sweden and all the lands that come from that,” Thus, it has actually been claimed that Bjorn was a king of Sweden, as well as the owner of the House of Munsö.
During the 18th century, a barrow was found on the island of Munsö as well as antiquarians claimed that it belonged to Bjorn, thus calling his empire after this island.