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Ubba (Old Norse: Ubbi) (died 878) was a ninth-century Viking and one of the commanders of the Great Heathen Army that invaded Anglo-Saxon England in the 860s. The Great Army appears to have been a coalition of warbands drawn from Scandinavia, Ireland, the Irish Sea region, and Continental Europe.
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Ubba Ragnarsson was a supporting character and antagonist in both The Saxon Stories novel series, and The Last Kingdom television series. He was a powerful and feared Danish warlord. Platinum Collection Build Your Own Bundle.
Feb 11, 2018 · Ubba was one of the leaders of the huge Viking force known by the Saxons as The Great Heathen Army. His brother Ivar the Boneless was the overall leader and his brothers Halfdan and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye were also present. They landed in East Anglia and their purpose was to avange the death of their father, Ragnar Lothbrok.
- The Great Army
- Ívarr and Edmund
- The Slain Brother of Ívarr and Hálfdan
- Association with Ragnarr Loðbrók
In the mid-ninth-century, England was invaded by what the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle called in Old English mycel here or micel here—the Great Army.[note 1] The origins of this massive force are obscure. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle usually identifies its members as Danes or heathens. Although the tenth-century churchman Asser stated in Latin that the invaders came from de Danubia, the fact that the Danube is located in what was known in Latin as Dacia suggests that Asser may have actually intended Dania, a Latin term for Denmark. The tenth-century chronicler Æthelweard (died 998?) stated that "the fleets of the tyrant Ívarr" came from the north, which may be evidence of a Scandinavian origin. By 865, Ívarr appears to have been the foremost leader of the Great Army, and it is possible that he was identical to the contemporaneous Ímar of the Irish Sea region. There is reason to suspect that the army itself was composed of Vikings already active in England, as well and men from directly from S...
In 869, the Kingdom of East Anglia was conquered by the Great Army. In its account of the conflict, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reveals that the Vikings took up winter quarters at Thetford, where they fought and destroyed the East Anglian army and killed Edmund, King of the East Angles (died 869). An insertion in the eleventh-century F-version of the chronicle specifically identifies the commanders of the king's killers as Ubba and Ívarr. Although the chronicle's account of this conflict appears to indicate that Edmund was slain in battle, and Asser certainly stated as much in his account of events, later hagiographical works portray Edmund as an idealised Christian king, and depict his death in the context of a peace-loving martyr who refused to shed blood in defence of himself. It is in this hagiographic context that the eleventh-century churchmen Abbo of Fleury, and Ælfric of Eynsham claimed that Edmund had been cruelly killed by Ubba and Ívarr.[note 2]Such colourful hagiographic d...
Although Abbo and Ælfric associate Ubba and Ívarr together in their respective accounts of Edmund's demise, the churchmen do not record that Ubba and Ívarr were related in any way. The first source to claim kinship between Ubba and Ívarr is the Annals of St Neots, a twelfth-century source which states that they (Hubba and Hynguarus) were brothers of three daughters of a certain Lodebrochus. The particular passage in question concerns battle-spoils won by the English after a victory over a Viking force. One particular item mentioned in this account is a magical banner named "Reafan", woven by Lodebrochus' three daughters, which could foretell victory or defeat in battle. In an entry concerning the year 878, the aforementioned English victory is recorded by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Although certain versions of this source also note the capture of the raven banner, they do not mention its magical attributes or note Lodebrochus and his progeny.[note 3] In fact, the source from which t...
In later medieval literature, Ubba was incorporated into the tales of the legendary saga character Ragnarr loðbrók, a figure of dubious historicity, who may be an amalgam of several historical ninth-century figures.[note 6] Ubba is not listed amongst the many sons attributed to Ragnarr loðbrók in the late-thirteenth- or early-fourteenth-century Ragnarssona þáttr, nor the thirteenth-century Ragnars saga loðbrókar. He is said to have been the son of Ragnarr loðbrók and a concubine in the twelfth-century Gesta Danorum, composed by Saxo Grammaticus. Other than this association, however, no Scandinavian source accords Ragnarr loðbrók with such a son. Other historical figures said in Ragnars saga loðbrókar to have been his sons include the ninth-century Björn and Sigurðr, the aforementioned Ívarr, and the tenth-century Rögnvaldr.[note 7]Primary sourcesSecondary sources
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Ubba Ragnarsson (died 878) was a Viking leader who served as one of the commanders of the Great Heathen Army, an army of Scandinavians that invaded Anglo-Saxon England during the late 9th century. Following the death of his father the Viking leader Ragnar Lothbrok at the hands of Ælla of Northumbria,1 Ubba remained in England with his brothers Ivarr and Halfdan, seeking to take revenge on the ...
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