On This Day In The Viking Age
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16 April

Last updated 28 March 2021

Featured Image: St. Magnus Cathedral at Sunset (Wikipedia | Macphail8 | CC BY-SA 3.0).

778 – Birth of Louis the Pious

This son of Charlemagne and Hildegard will inherit the Holy Roman Empire his father built. Whereas his father dealt with the first Viking attacks along the coast, Louis finds heavier opposition by the raiders as well as Danish kings who raid the Frankish borders (see Thomas Noble (1980), Ancient Origins.net).

1117 – Murder of Saint Magnus

Magnus is a joint-ruler of Orkney alongside his nephew Hakon. When they fall out they agree to a single duel. The outcome will determine who will be sole ruler. Hakon, unfortunately, betrays the agreement and orders a cook to kill Magnus with an axe to the head. This is how the saga about Magnus’ life tells it. Interestingly, it seems corroborated by the discovery of a skull with axe markings in St Magnus’s Cathedral in Kirkwall! (See an article also the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and a long article on his life on Orkneyjar.

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