Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Etne Favorite Son. King Magnus V. Magnus Erlingsson, the Omitted King

King Magnus Ereingsson
King 1161-1184 (crowned at age 5)

1.  Favorite Son at Etne, Norway.  

Some larger-than-life Norwegian kings get great coverage. Others, whose efforts paved the way for the ultimate greater, dim except for at home. One such favorite son, someone remembered mostly locally for local deeds, is easily ignored by outsiders. King Magnus Ereingsson, King Magnus V. He is largely ignored in the chronologies of Norwegian kings, for example. For others get full bore, see http://norwayroadways.blogspot.com/2013/12/norway-unification-religion-politics.html.  Magnus' issues, however, even though his reign was short, transcend the local.  He confronted issues recurrent today, confrontations with politics and religion and those in a culture who drive for "purity" in bloodline. 

Magnus V was crowned at age 5, as one with the best claim to the throne at the time; but ultimately did lose his crown as a young man, in an era of civil wars, where competing claimants, battles and force over merit -- the 12th Century -- tripped him up.

In many ways, his was an era like ours where inheritance, bloodline, figure prominently in who wins, who loses. His bloodline, defective in that his father was not royal, and only his mother was, caused him the loss of his reign, because of what? Because his main challenger, Sigurd, was motivated -- as were his followers -- by the challenger's double-royal parentage. A higher claim!  The sea-battle supremacy of his challenger who won on the battle of the fjord of course put all over the top.  Of interest, however, is how mixed blood, lack of purity, was and is a detriment to seeking and keeping power. Is that so? Who in our politics is purely conservative enough to hold office, some ask in our day.

Leadership. Magnus' father, the common man, could and did make himself an earl, and served as regent in charge until his son grew to adulthood.  Then, enter the Game of Thrones, Norwegian style 1130-1240 or so -- and winners by force, not merit.  The way of the world.

Etne is en route to Haugesund from Voss.  Etne was the "seat of power" for Magnus' reign. Favorite son at Etne, Norway.  Translate at http://nbl.snl.no/Magnus_5_Erlingsson/ 

  • Magnus:  He of the handsome face, albeit small mouth, still many women were drawn to him and many of those ladies had many, many children. Geneology sites love it. Those who die young remain forever young. 
  •  Q. If he is omitted from most king chronology lists, why venerate him here.  A. Everybody heralds a favorite son: local veneration because the person is local, see http://www.thefreedictionary.com/favorite+son/.

Inscription, roughly written on notepad:
 "Kony Magnus Ereingsson fodd in 1156 was son averling kakke pa stodle in exceptions and wife Kristin dotter by Sigurd Jorsal danger he was king from 1161 until he Drops Fasraget by fimreire in 1184 before Bjorgis".  

Or is this town before the next town called Bjorgis?  Notes not clear. Details of his history at FN 1.

2.  The Fjordland.  Consult your own maps.  The water, the arms and fingers of major fjords reaching as lesser fjords into the hinterlands, Norway and water, definitive as to history, culture.

Magnus met his death through Sverre whose ships overwhelmed those of Magnus in the Sognefjord, at Fimreite.  His was an era of civil wars, say 1130-1240 -- rife with pretenders, rivals, shifting alliances, strife undique.  Now it is clearer why Magnus is omitted.  He is just one life among so many.

2.  Etne is more than Mere Magnus, the Ignored.

Also at Etne, same park: see http://www.fuglfonix.no/index2.php?option=com_content&task=emailform&id=68

Folgefonden.  Small fishing vessel.

Here, a memorial to shipwrecked vessel, Folgefonden 1908, with 28 lives lost:

3.   Standing stones, mounds, burials, also at Etne.  But who is this?

There are burial grounds and standing stones nearby.  We cannot see it all. But who is this, in the Renaissance (to me) style head piece?  Why the standing stone to him, in particular?

FN 1
Gleaned from various sources:

  • King Magnus Erlingsson (1156—1184) was the first crowned king in Norway and his seat of power was at Etne.  He was from Hordaland, and had a claim to the throne not iron-clad but as good as others, but his father prevailed on his behalf. Father was Erling Skakke, mother was Kristin Sigurdsdatter, daughter of king Sigurd Jorsalfare, a/k/a Sigurd the Crusader. Magnus was crowned as a child in 1161, and was the first Norwegian king to be crowned. Erling became an earl and was the power while Magnus was under age. 
  • Then arrived Magnus' nemesis, Sverre Sigurdsson. Sverre claimed kingship rights through a Sigurd Munn, there was war for several years. Magnus was killed at the Battle of Fimreite in 1184, and is buried in Bergen. He had many, many children, of many ladies, apparently; and was handsome but with a small mouth.
  • Readable overview, including explanations of the church's involvement in supporting Magnus' reign and claims, and opposition to Sverre Sigurdsson, see everyman's friend at Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_war_era_in_Norway/ 
  • It was Sverre Sigurdsson who also killed Magnus' father, battle near Nidaros, in 1179 at Kalvskinnet, and many sources repeat the same phrase, that this turned the tide of the civil wars. Turn to the Historical Dictionary of Norway, a google book, by Jan Sjavik, for good detail and context at p.9 ff.

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