Eric Bloodaxe - Early Career (sagas)

Early Career (sagas)

According to Heimskringla and Egils saga, Eric spent much of his childhood in fosterage with the hersir Thórir son of Hróald. Of his adolescent years, a remarkable picture is painted in Heimskringla, which recounts that Eric, aged twelve and seemingly possessed of prodigious valour and strength, embarked on a career of international piracy: four years were spent harrying the Baltic coasts and those of Denmark, Frisia and Germany ('Saxland'); another four years those of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France; and lastly, Lappland and Bjarmaland (in what is now northern Russia). Describing the last trip, Egils saga notes that Eric sailed down the Dvina River into the Russian hinterland of Permia, where he sacked the small trading port of Permina.

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