The Vikings take a Trip to Paris

29 Mar 2023
by Samuel Taylor

On this day, the 29th March 845, thousands of Vikings plundered and occupied the city of Paris as the climax of their invasion of Frankia over the past few decades.

In mid March, 120 longships with some 5,000 warriors entered and sailed up the Seine. They were under the command of a chieftain called Reginherus, said to be the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok from the sagas.

In response to the naval invasion, the Frankish King Charles the Bald divided his army into two, putting each half on either side of the river to protect both flanks.

Unfortunately for the Franks, this simply prompted the Vikings to assault one river bank entirely, obliterating half of the Frankish army before they even reached the walls.

With this, the Franks could not hope to defend Paris effectively, and so paid the Vikings to leave, with around 2.5 tonnes of gold and silver.

As you might know, this was merely to buy the Franks some time. Vikings never leave for long, and they needed to get ready...