Halfdan Ragnarsson

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Halfdan Ragnarsson, or Halfdene to the Anglo-Saxons, was a Viking chief and one of the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok with Aslaug. It has been suggested that Halfdan is the same person as Ragnar's son Hvitserk.

Halfdan pillaged with his brothers Ivar Ragnarsson and Ubbe Ragnarsson, and later became a leader of the Great Heathen Army. The army first landed in England in East Anglia during 865.

Halfdan led the Norsemen in the taking of Reading and in inflicting defeat on Alfred the Great when the Saxons attempted to retake it.[1] However he is also listed as one of the commanders of the Vikings four days later at The Battle of Ashdown on 8 January 871 when Alfred led the West Saxon army in a victorious battle. However, the Norsemen inflicted more defeats on Alfred and Halfdan became the ruler of London 871–872 where he had coins made.[2]

In 875, he joined his brothers in conquering the Kingdom of Northumbria. He was widely unpopular due to his alleged cruelty. He was expelled from York and died during a new Viking expedition in 877.[3]

The sources regarding Halfdan are scant and partly contradictory. Ragnar Lodbrok's Saga refers only to the name "Hvitserk" and does not mention the name "Halfdan" at all.[3]

Preceded by
King of Jórvík
Succeeded by

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Crofton, Ian (2006). The Kings & Queens of England. Quercus Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 9781847246288. 
  2. ^ Grueber, Herbert Appold (1899). Handbook of the Coins of Great Britain and Ireland in the British Museum. Trustees of the British Museum. p. 17. 
  3. ^ a b "Ragnar Lodbroks Saga". heimskringla.no. Retrieved March 1, 2012.  (Norwegian version)

Related sources[edit]

  • Kirby, D. P. The Earliest English Kings (London: Unwin, 1991)
  • Higham, N. J. and Sutton, Alan. The Kingdom of Northumbria AD 350-1100 (Sutton Publishing. 1993)

Logo för Nordisk familjeboks uggleupplaga.png This article contains content from the Owl Edition of Nordisk familjebok, a Swedish encyclopedia published between 1904 and 1926, now in the public domain.