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Category: History

Discover what Vikings did when they were at home in this fun medieval history and literature podcast about the Icelandic sagas. Hosted by two medieval literature professors with beards.

Episode 29h - Egil’s Saga (Part 8)

June 14, 2019


In this episode, Egil and Thorolf arrive in King Athelstan's England. The good news - Athelstan really likes the Skallagrimssons. The bad news - Anglo-Saxon England is about to go to war with King Olaf and his massive army of Scots, Danes, Irish-Norwegians, and Welsh. We'll get a front row seat as Egil and Thorolf command Athelstan's Viking troops in the Battle of Wen Heath! If you're not familiar with the Battle of Wen Heath, then perhaps you know this incredibly significant engagement as the Battle of Brunanburh! That's right, Egil and Thorolf will both play a significant role in the battle that would seal England's fate. Are both Egil and Thorolf battle-savvy enough to survive the onslaught of King Olaf's forces? There's only one way to find out.

Along the way, we talk about the major figures of the Battle of Brunanburh and the saga author's fictionalized stand-ins. You'll hear all about King Olaf Guthfithson of Dublin, King Constantine II of Scotland, King Owain of Strathclyde, the earls of Northumbria, Godric and the swift-footed Alfgeir, and the earls of Britain, Hring and Adils. We also touch on the origins of Alfred the Great's famous epithet and the life of his dynamic daughter, Æthelflæd (see the picture from Matthew Paris' Additamentorum episode below). Click here for an excellent biography of Æthelflæd by the boys at Rex Factor.


Finally, we announce the identity of the very special guests we invited to join us for a Saga Brief on the Battle of Brunanburh. That's right, we've got a special episode coming for you soon with some guests we think you'll all love.

And thanks to Danheim, a Nordic folk/Viking inspired music project, for letting us use his music. Check the credits below for links to the songs. If you're interested in hearing more from Danheim, visit his webpage or Youtube channel.

Music Credits:

Intro Music "Prelude and Action" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Summary Music - "Wild Cherry Rag" by The Victor Orchestra

Preview Music - "Hringrás" by Danheim

Poetry Music - Poem 1 from "Vanheimr" and Poem 2 from "Hringrás" by Danheim

Outro Music - "Stormfront" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Selections from music by Kevin MacLeod licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/