Björn Ironside, one of the legendary sons of Ragnar Lothbrok was a famed and well travelled warrior. As much a son of Odin as any man, his path lead him to raid as far as France, conquering much of the southern coast and onwards to Italy.
It was in Italy where Björn's fleet took the coastal city of Pisa. The sagas tell us he then journeyed inland and came to the walled town of Luni. After a lengthy and tiresome battle, where the walls of the city proved unbreachable, Bjorn had a cunning idea.
Pretending to have fallen in battle, he had word sent to Luni that in his death throws he had expressed he wished to be converted and buried as a Christian on consecrated land. The church accepted this high prize, the soul of a heathen war lord, and permitted Bjorn to be bought forward in a coffin.
Björn of course, was not dead and once inside the city burst from his coffin and with the 4 men bearing his coffin, managed to cause such dismay as to be able to open the gates to the city and his forces promptly sacked Luni.
Returning from his campaign with huge wealth, his forces encountered a fearsome storm which claimed half of Björn's fleet and later an Andalusian catapult of fire took more ships off the coast of Muslim occupied Spain. The Ragnarsson would not be deterred by any foe or the elements. They beat off the attack and made the journey back to Bjorn’s kingdom in Sweden with enough loot to ensure a long successful life for himself and his kin.
Björn was one of the only legendary sons of Ragnar to survive into old age, according to legend, founding the house of Munsö, a Swedish dynasty of kings that had charge of the sacred site of Upsalla and the arrival place of Odin into Sweden. As Björn's mother Aslaug is said to be born from Sigurd, whose ancestor Sigi was a descendant of Odin, Björn and his kin are all truly Descended from Odin.
According to legend, a barrow at on the island of Munsö, Sweden, is said to be the burial mound of the great warrior, wanderer and king.
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