The blood eagle is a ritual method of execution, detailed in late skaldic poetry. According to the two instances mentioned in the Sagas , the victims in both cases members of royal families were placed in a prone position , their ribs severed from the spine with a sharp tool, and their lungs pulled through the opening to create a pair of "wings". There is continuing debate about whether the rite was a literary invention, a mistranslation of the original texts, or an authentic historic practice. The blood-eagle ritual-killing rite appears in just two instances in Norse literature, plus oblique references some have interpreted as referring to the same practice.
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What is the Blood Eagle? Did the Vikings really carry out the Blood Eagle?
The Blood Eagle
Pinterest A blood eagle execution. If their sagas are to be believed, the Vikings cruelly tortured their enemies in the name of their god Odin as they conquered territory. If the suggestion of a blood eagle was even uttered, one left town and never looked back. Viking sagas details blood eagle as one of the most painful and terrifying torture methods ever imagine. The story describes how:. One of the earliest accounts of the use of the blood eagle is thought to have occurred in It began a few years before, when Aella, king of Northumbria present-day North Yorkshire, England , fell victim to a Viking attack. Aella killed Viking leader Ragnar Lothbrok by throwing him into a pit of live snakes. Ivar the Boneless wanted to make an example out of Aella and to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. Modern scholars debate how Vikings performed this ritual torture and whether they even performed the gruesome method at all.
Did he, and other Vikings, really use a brutal method of ritual execution called the “blood eagle”?
Google Images. The blood eagle was a ritual execution described in Scandinavian skaldic poetry and the sagas as a ritual form of vengeance. Both were written at least two centuries after the events they describe, leading scholars to debate their validity as proof that the blood eagle had a basis in fact. Halfdan had killed the father of Einar- and so Einar had his revenge.
Vikings as portrayed in a 19th-century source: fearsome warriors and sea raiders. Ninth-century Scandinavia has had good press in recent years. As late as the s, when Kirk Douglas filmed his notorious clunker The Vikings —a movie that featured lashings of fire and pillage, not to mention Tony Curtis clad in an ahistorical and buttocks-skimming leather jerkin —most popular histories still cast the Denmark and Norway of the Dark Ages as nations overflowing with bloodthirsty warriors who were much given to horned helmets and drunken ax-throwing contests. Today, the early Viking age has become the subject of a History Channel drama , and historians are likely to stress that the Vikings were traders and settlers, not rapists and killers.