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Eric Bloodaxe was a renowned warrior of the 10th century. He was a Viking who led a magnificent and violent life in northern Europe.

Eric, a son of Harald, king of Norway, was forced to flee from Norway when his father died and he went to York in 947. Here, in Northumbria, most of the people were Vikings and disliked being ruled from southern England. When they found the famous warrior Eric Bloodaxe in their city, they set him up as king and declared themselves independent.

At first, things went well. Eric defeated an English army in a savage battle. Eric was earning his surname with hard fighting. Then his followers deserted him. Eric took to the seas and followed a traditional Viking life, plundering and raiding.

In 952, Eric returned to York. Again he was hailed as king. This time Eric Bloodaxe ruled for three years. He fought battles and ruled with amazing ruthlessness and strength. In 954 Eric was betrayed and killed.

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