Cutting The Blood Eagle - Viking & Norse Torture & Execution method

Channel: Rollo Walker

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The blood eagle is known to us through ancient Nordic legends. When a person is to be executed in this way, they are forced to lie face down on a table while the execution cuts a slit in their back giving access to the ribcage. The ribs are then cut so they expand out into the shape of wings. The executioner then removes the lungs of the (still living) victim and sprinkles salt in the wounds. There is debate about whether or not this method was used in reality or in fiction, but many historians do believe it was real.

Wikipedia about the Blood Eagle here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_eagle

The five verses attributed to Einarr describe a feud between the families of Rögnvald and the King of Norway, Harald Finehair. The poems are elaborated in the sagas, which say that two of Harald Finehair's unruly sons, Halvdan Hålegg (Hálfdan Longlegs) and Gudrød Ljome (Gudrod the Gleaming), killed Einarr's father Rögnvald by trapping him in his house and setting it alight. Gudrød took possession of Rögnvald's lands while Hálfdan sailed westwards to Orkney and displaced Einarr. The sagas say that King Harald, apparently appalled by his sons' actions, overthrew Gudrød and restored Rögnvald's lands to his son, Thorir Rögnvaldarson. From a base in Caithness, Einarr resisted Hálfdan's occupation of the islands. After a battle at sea, and a ruthless campaign on land, Einarr spied Hálfdan hiding on North Ronaldsay. The sagas claim that Hálfdan was captured, and sacrificed to Odin as a blood-eagle. The sagas relate that Harald sought vengeance for his son's ignoble death, and set out on campaign against Einarr, but was unable to dislodge him.

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I'm currently researching Gange Hrolf/Rollo/Rollon/Rolf Ragnvaldsson First Duke of Normandy for production purposes and would like anyone with interest or knowledge about this guy to please get in touch with me.

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David