Skip to comments.The Twelfth Viking
Posted on 02/29/2008 4:25:51 AM PST by Shirerwasright
At the Battle of Poitiers in 732, the Frankish king Charles Martel defeated the Saracens and pushed the forces of Islam back into the Iberian Peninsula. It was not until 1492 that the Moors were finally thrown out of Europe, but in the meantime the Islamic virus was contained in Spain and Portugal, and thus kept out of the heart of Western Europe.
One of Charles Martels comrades-in-arms at Poitiers was a warrior of the North known as Ogier le Danois, later Holger Danske, or Holger the Dane. Although Holger was a historical figure, little is known of him, and most of the written material about him is drawn from legend.
According to the chroniclers, Holger had previously done battle with the Franks over their incursions into Danish territory. But in 732 the menace of the Saracens forced him to set aside his differences with Charles Martel and journey southwards to fight side-by-side with the Frankish forces against the common enemy.
At the end of his days, Holger, like King Arthur, retired to a secluded keep to enter a twilight sleep from which he will awake in the hour of his countrys need. The location most frequently cited for Holgers rest is Kronborg castle at Helsingør (or Elsinore, per Shakespeare).
Hans Christian Andersen has distilled the popular form of the ancient tale into one of his stories:
Men pragten i det hele er dog det gamle Kronborg og under det er det at Holger Danske sidder i den dybe mørke kælder hvor ingen kommer, han er klædt i jern og stål og støtter sit hoved på de stærke arme; hans lange skæg hænger ud over marmorbordet hvori det er vokset fast, han sover og drømmer, men i drømme ser han alt hvad der sker heroppe i Danmark. Hver juleaften kommer en Guds engel og siger ham at det er rigtigt, som han har drømt, og at han godt kan sove igen, for Danmark er endnu ikke i nogen ordentlig fare! men kommer det i en, ja, så vil den gamle Holger Danske rejse sig så bordet revner, når han trækker skægget til sig! så kommer han frem og slår så det høres i alle verdens lande.
This is in formal Danish, so I made a go of translating it. Forgive me, Kepiblanc, Yorkshireminer, Asger, and all the rest! I am a novice at the tongue of the Vikings:
But the fairest sight of all is the old castle of Kronborg, and under it sits Holger Danske in the deep, dark cellar which no one enters; he is clad in iron and steel and rests his head on his stalwart arm; his long beard hangs down upon the marble table where it has become stuck fast; he sleeps and dreams, but in his dreams he sees everything that comes to pass in Denmark. Every Christmas Eve an angel of God comes to tell him that all he has dreamed is true, and that he may go to back to sleep again, for Denmark is not yet in any danger! but if it should ever come, then old Holger Danske will rouse himself, and the table will break apart as he pulls out his beard! Then he will come forth, and strike a blow that shall be heard throughout all the countries of the world.
Now, if even a trace of the blood of the Men of the North runs in your veins, or if you have lived long enough among them to have acquired some of their spirit, the hair on the back of your neck will rise when you read these words, and you will say, Yes! This is the hero, the man who will defend us during the troubles that are surely coming.
My ancestors were sent to Sicily in 1483. They were courtesans that King Ferdinan sent to insure that his new lands were properly governed. When Ferdinan married Isabella he united Spain's two kindoms, Castille and Argon, into the lands that comprise present day Spain. However part of Isabella's dowry was the Island of Sicily and the southern part of Italy from the tip of the boot north to Naples.
The Moors had been expelled from Spain by the famous Spanish Warrior, Rodrigo (or Ruy) Díaz de Vivar (Vivar (Burgos) c. 1044Valencia, 10 July 1099), known as El Cid Campeador, was a Castilian nobleman, then military and political leader who conquered and governed the city of Valencia.
My Great Grand parents would come to the USA in 1897 when Garibaldi's revolution swept across Italy!
A trace of it does (1/4 norwegian), and it did indeed.