Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Haraldshaugen. King Harald I. Harald Fairhair. Place in Chronology, Issues.

Haraldshaugen's Genealogy Cluster Roll-Call.

As with any "history" or religion constructed from stories, later-written accounts from many sources with varying reliability, the kings and jarls-earls of Norway may not be truly reconstructible at all. Culture and institutions of power have their own agenda, and adherence to "truth" may hold a small place. See Marriage Between King Harald Fairhair and Snaefrior and Their Offspring: Mythological Foundation of the Norwegian Medieval Dynasty

A.  At Haraldshaugen, Haugesund, Norway

1. Present and Honored:  Son of Halfdan the Black, Harald Halfdansson.
Harald I.  Harald Fairhair, Harald Finehair.  He of the boring obilisk in his honor at eponymous  Haraldshaugen. Ruled for 61 years.

2. Absent:  the Father -- Halfdan the Black, elsewhere, north of Oslo. Body parts separated, possible burial mounds for remaining body parts remaining unexcavated by local choice. Leave the mystery.  Good idea.
  • Black -- not an unusual designation. Search for the skald, Ottar the Swarthy.  Issues of ancient migrations to the north, of darker-hued-haired people, or not?
3. Present: the Grandson, Erik Bloodaxe, who assumed control after the death of Harald I, killed a brother, Bjorn the Merchant (be skeptical about seven brothers), and descended into disfavor. When his power was challenged by big forces of the remaining brother, Haakon, sponsored and by Earl Sigurd, see below, Erik fought apace then elected to go back to Britain where he ruled York peacefully for years rather than fight here. Good idea to leave, but much blood spilled, Mr. Bloodaxe.  Poor at PR.

  • Erik's sons did return to assert their claims, however, and one, Guttorm died in battle 953. The Danish king, Gorm the Old, supported them, but they lost -- Hakon had continued Harald's militia-army system.

4. Next in line but not delved into here:  Haakon I, Hakon the Good, a son of Harald I, who had been raised (fostered) by the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelstan, brother of Erik Bloodaxe. That makes Hakon into Hakon Ethelstanfostre, see Norway First Kingdom.  Hakon assumed rule upon the self-deportation of his brother Erik Bloodaxe. See http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/420178/Norway/39300/Earliest-peoples#toc39302
  • Earl Sigurd:  An earl, Sigurd Hakonson (no relation) had favored Harald 1's son Hakon over the rough Erik, and outfitted Hakon (then age 18) with men and arms, initiating and feeding an insurgency.  Hakon then went on to victory after Battle of Fitjar.


B. The Nearly-Originator Harald I [father-originator Halfdan the Black not prominent here]

Harald I, 850-933, is venerated at Haugesund for his sea-fjord victory at Hafrsfjord just to the south, leading to full unification of much of Norway over time. With that military-naval overwhelm, he unified southern coastal Norway. 

Anyone with roots by name or relationship to something Scandinavian may care about these lineages, or someone who is incurably curious; and now,  nationalist groups, exploring an early but now blurred heritage.
  •  Norse history is probably becoming more popular in Scotland, for example, now that it is known that much of Scots DNA is Norse, and not the English Anglo-Saxon, see http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland-s-dna-who-do-you-think-you-are-part-4-1-1503458.  And Normans, Northmen, bridge both the English and Scots cultures, and skip over to the Irish invaded by Vikings, then Normans, and English, and Scots, etc.
  • What Harald subdued: Norse chiefdoms in the islands, Orkney, Faroe, Shetland, Hebrides.  Installed earls (not royal lines) to rule for him.  Fought Scots king about 900 AD. Norway First Kingdom.
  • What Harald instituted:  militias.  Leidgangr. Order: each man must provide his own weapon, of quality suiting his station.
1.   Haraldshaugen Obelisk.

This dull construct resembles the Washington Monument-style obelisk, and is equally dull and unimaginative.  How many repetitive phallic Cleopatra's needle shapes in east-west culture do we have to endure, see http://www.christian-restoration.com/fmasonry/obelisks.htm.  Flags and standing stones representing area government-districts, towns, surround, as though minions at worship. This monument is different from the three swords aimed at the sky at Hafrsfjord.  One family cannot go to them all.

 Harald Fairhair, monument at Haraldshaugen, Norway, park view.

Haraldshaugen is a popular field trip site for kids.

Norwegian schoolchildren at Haraldshaugen, monument to Harald Fairhair. Note all the fair hair.

Plaques explain events on a pathway around and about Haraldshaugen, this display leading to a sea view is  placed at the kind of cattle-sheep barrier often seen:  round pipes secured with gaps between, so the animal can see down and stop before proceeding.  The gaps are not wide enough to trap a leg, we were told, but the animal will not try to set hoof to it.  Ingenious. Cheap. Low maintenance. Weatherproof.  Excellent. Cattle and sheep may safely graze close to town.

Daniel Widing examines plaque at Haraldshaugen, Norway, near sheep barrier

Watch your step on the path. These pipe-barriers also are easy for cyclists to cross without getting off the bike.

View of the Sound: each standng stone (these are new, of course) are inscribed with names-places(?) all ending with the suffic FYLKI and I cannot find a translation.  Are these the groups subjugated by Harald I?  Hordafylki, Firdefylki, Sunnmeerafylke, Raumosoelafylke, Nordmeerafylke, Orkoleekfylki, Gaulderlafylki, Strindafylki, and these three on one: St. Jordoela, Skeyna, Verdoela (did these have fylke's as well?).

2.  Life of Harald Fairhair.

Much is misty about Harald I's  life and accomplishments, with written records (tales recorded) coming about 250 years after his death, as by Snorri Sturluson, with his Christian overlays tainting it all in the Prologue at p.4, site, but later tales may or may not be more authentic, see . Inherited kingdom of Halfdan when Harald was about 12. Began unification. See Norway - The First Kingdom, at  http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=Norway_the_first_kingdom

We preferred the outdoor plaques to the monument itself,as more informative:  here, a Viking ship that looks like a tribute to Harald I's victory over other regional kings here, on the sea, and at Hafrsfjord a/k/a Havsfjord, somewhat to the south, see http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Harald_I_of_Norway.html/

"Her var Harald Haarfagre Hauglact 933". What is that? Harald is not buried here.  There are many unidentified burial mounds in Scandinavia, and he is probably in one. See http://thornews.com/2013/10/18/where-are-the-great-viking-kings-buried/  Need a translation.

B. Krosshaug.  Fast-walk past the phallic obelisk and the little children, and find Erik Bloodaxe. The cross memorial to Erik Bloodaxe is visible from Harald's monument. Just find a path and weave your way.

Krosshaug, memorial to Erik Bloodaxe information board, Haraldshaug, Norway.

Keep your eye on the cross to get there.  Krosshaug, Erik Bloodaxe at Haraldshaugen. Eirik, some spell.

The cross for Erik Bloodaxe appears far more authentic than just another obelisk: here, an ancient cross with iron-rusted reinforcement, located in overgrown areas, with paths, just over a little rise from the silly needle.

Erik Bloodaxe.  He participated fully in the violence of succession in Norway, as in the rest of Europe of the day and today, then elected to fade away instead of fighting yet another battle.  This the son of Harald I who, after battling brothers for supremacy upon the death of Harald, finally had the wisdom to leave the potboiling place, and return to Britain, and rule in York. He voted himself out of all that. Wise. Gonna study war no more.  He is the wisest Viking we found. One who said, enough, and moved beyond violence to an apparently productive, peacable life.

C. Ongoing Education Effort: 
Chronology of Rulers in Norway

All subject to considerations of myth bootstrapping institutional interests, see Marriage of Harald site at outset
Years all to be rechecked.
Yet another attempt to grasp Norwegian early history 

Halfdan the Black 810-860, a lesser king, in Vestfold * [details at Norway Unification, above].  Son is Harald I.

Harald I
  • Born 850, reigned 872-933. A/k/a Harald Fairhair, a/k/a Harald Finehair, a/k/a Harald Harfagr.*   A son of  Halfdan the Black.

Erik Haraldsson, son of Harald I, a/k/a Erik Bloodaxe, or Eirik Bloodaxe.
  • Ruled 930-933 with his father Harald *
  • Ruled 933-934 or perhaps 936 -- as sole King. Upended by his brother, Hakon the Good, with the aid of the Earl of Lade-Halogaland, Sigurd Hakonson (no relation).    Erik left for York, a Norse town.
  •  Ruled in York 936-954 or so.  Fell in 954 in England (Britain at the time?), against King Ethelred, so the cross at Haraldshaugen is not a burial marker.
Haakon I,  a son of Harald I, Harald Fair;  succeeded to power after other son of Harald I, Erik Bloodaxe
  • Ruled 936-960, also known as Haakon the Good, Hakon the Good *   Died 971.
    • Haakon I, Haakon the Good replaced Erik Bloodaxe who was unpopular for having killed another brother, Bjorn the Merchant. Urged and financed by Earl Sigurd, Sigurd Hakonson (not related), Haakon I returned from England with military-naval might, and Erik fought a while then left and went to England and ruled in Norse York instead of Norway until finally defeated by English-Anglo-Saxon (?) King Ethelred.
Harald II  -  Harald Greyfur, a son of Erik Bloodaxe, grandson of Harald I, Harald Fairhair
  • 960 to perhaps 965, also known as Harald Grafeldr, or Harald Greycloak of Norway, a son of Erik Bloodaxe, whose mother was a sibling of Bluetooth, see below. 
  • 961 - Harald Greycloak, Greyfell, Grayfall, Greyfur, joined with Harald Bluetooth against Haakon I, Hakon the Good, and were victorious.  Harald II ruled 961-971 or so.  Died 976; Need to confirm.  Wiki on Greycloak: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Greycloak
    • 962 - Greycloak captured Earl Sigurd, Sigurd Hakonson, who had helped Hakon the Good to power, and burned him up inside a house (mentioned because this dispatch method also used in the Burnt Njal's Saga, do a search). See note designated ** below.  Other sources, note how they admire Grayfall, the object of treachery by Bluetooth and Hakon, say Greyfall was hanged. See http://www.sepo.net/books/early-kings-of-norway/harald-greyfell-and-brothers/
  • 971 - Hakon died, no real efforts to Christianize anybody, nor did Bluetooth until he had to, pressed by Holy Roman Empire, ultimate church militant, covert or die. Very Christian.
  • Complications of loyalties ensued, with Denmark as of 971 rising to superpower status in Scandinavia, see Norway First Empire.
    • Here we go with Sigurd Hakonson and Hakon Sigurdson
      • Son of Sigurd Hakonson, Earl Sigurd; was killed ultimately by Bluetooth
      • Earl Sigurd was then replaced, by Bluetooth, by Hakon Sigurdson (see below) as the next Earl, a son of Sigurd Hakonson
      • Hakon Sigurdson was installed as earl in Norway, subject to Bluetooth, see below

Harald Bluetooth 964 -- and events with Earl Hakon Sigurdson in Norway
  • Ruling in Denmark at the time; historically supported Haakon I, Hakon the Good who replaced Erik Bloodaxe, back in time, then Hakon died . See http://bogomilia.blogspot.com/2010/10/harald-bluetooth-i-harald-bluetooth.html
  • 971 - on death of Hakon the Good, and sponsoring Harald Greyfur (son of Erik Bloodaxe) as next king in Norway, Bluetooth shifted allegianve to Hakon Sigurdson.  
    • Hakon Sigurdson was the son of Earl Sigurd, Sigurd Hakonson, who had been killed by Greyfur and Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth killed Harald Greyfur, see note ** below, and Norway became subject state to Denmark, under Earl Hakon, Hakon Sigurdson (later Hakon the Great, see below)
  • Then trouble.
    • 974 - Bluetooth asked  his subject Earl Hakon, Hakon Sigurdson, to help defend Norway against the Holy Roman Empire pushing north in Denmark. 
    • Hakon did, but no success.
      • Bluetooth then agreed to convert Denmark and Norway in order to avoid invasion by the HRE.  Bluetooth first installed missionaries (he lost to the HRE) on the ships with Hakon, and Hakon hated that and sent the priests packing back to Denmark.
      • Hakon then refused to pay his taxes to Bluetooth, and asserted Norwegian independence of Denmark.
    • . Home fast.
  • Retribution.  About 985 - Bluetooth sent 300 longships to Norway, manned by Jomsvikings (see Google book, Saga of the Jomsvikings) and Danes. 
    • Hakon Sigurdson then mustered a leidgangr (remember - every man had to provide himself with a weapon as befits his station) but only rallied some 150 longships. Danes had already recruited there. 
    • Hakon nonetheless, outmanned, defeated the Danes at Hjorungavagr, see video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT0-nNqPglU, and some began to call Hakon Sigurdson by a new name, Hakon the Great.
    • Video cites Jomsvikings as from Denmark and Slavonia. Slavonia is Croatia area. Why that connection? Early migrations from Slavonia? Explains references to black and swarthy among Scandinavians?
    • Bluetooth went back to Denmark, see http://norwayroadways.blogspot.com/2013/12/norway-unification-religion-politics.html
    • 995 - Hakon Sigurdson was killed by his servant-slave-thrall named Kark.  
Note **.  Plot thickening.

Gold Harald -- nephew of Harald Bluetooth in Denmark, whose name reflects his success as a Viking.  See the interactions of him and all the sons of Erik Bloodaxe competing for power, at Harald Greyfell and Brothers, at  http://www.sepo.net/books/early-kings-of-norway/harald-greyfell-and-brothers/
  • Plot with Bluetooth: 
    • Gold-Harald would save some of his finest ships for the beck and call of Bluetooth, Gold Harald also would kill Harald Grayfall, Harald Greyfell, Harald Greyfur-Greycloak, then claim Norway.  Review all of them at Harald Greyfell, above. The descriptions of the plots are a fine diversion from dry accounts.
    • However, after the deed was done (the burning or was it hanging of Harald Greyfur, Grayfall), Hakon Sigurdson still as earl in Norway, had Gold-Harald killed. See Early Kings site above. treachery.
    • This angered Bluetooth who joined with Haakon the Good. Ultimately, Haakon the Good reneged in helping Bluetooth, the Holy Roman Emperor joined in the fray. Convert or die, the Christian way, Jesus wants you dead, etc.
Olaf I 996-1000, Olaf Tryggvason * who returned from successful raids in England to try to kill Hakon Sigurdson but the thrall got there first.  Olaf Trygveson (watch all the spellings) was finally baptized, and gained support of England to seize the throne in Norway.

  • Olaf I ultimately failed in Christianizing Norway.  
  • And, in 1000, he was defeated when Swedes and Danes united their fleets, combining for 400 ships under Olof Skottkonung and Svein Forkbeard, son of Bluetooth, against a mere 100 for Olaf.  Olaf was killed at sea battle, at Svolder.  This put all southeast Norway under Danish control. In the rest of Denmark, two sons of Hakon the Great, Hakon Sigurdson, and -- what is this, Eirik also, and both as vassals of Denmark for 16 years? See All Empires site.

Olaf II 1016-1028, Olaf Haraldsson, Olaf the Fat, Saint Olaf *

  • Knud 1028-1030 *.  Also spelled Cnut.  Defeated Olaf II at Stiklestad
  • Svend 1030-1035, Sven Forkbeard, son of Harald Bluetooth, see NNDB, at http://www.nndb.com/people/718/000093439/   He had a son, Canute, another topic. Svien, Sweyn deposed Bluetooth, also -- in 1013 -- became king of England see http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-25341754/ 
    • Cruel, even for those times, see BBC site, so perhaps that is why Brits forget him. But real evidence is sparse, allowing rumors to run.  Recall also that Ethelred the Unready in England ordered all Danes slaughtered in England, 1002 CE or so. 
Magnus II 1035-1047


As we find memorials or battlefields, will add.  That is the intent.  This is a placeholder so we can make sense of it all. Count the Haralds, Sigurds, Magnuses, Olafs, Inges, Eriks, Sverres.

Harald III 1047-1066, a/k/a Harald Hardrada *
  • Magnus I - had fled to Russia, returned to help defeat Cnut, became king of Sweden *
Magnus II 1066-1069. Was this an illegitimate son of Olaf II?

Olaf III 1069-1093

Haakon II 1093-1095 -- Is this Haakon the Frenzied? Haakon Eriksson, who was vassal king under the son of Cnut, another Cnut? *

Magnus III 1095-1103

Eystein I 1103-1122 or 1123

Sigurd 1103-1130

Olaf IV 1103-1115

Magnus 1130-1135

Harald 1130-1136

Inge 1142-1161

Eystein 1142-1157

Magnus 1142-1145 (same dates as Eystein)

Sigurd 1136-1155

Haakon III 1157-1162

Sigurd 1162-1162

Inge 1204-1217


Inge 1204-1217

Magnus 1161-1184, descendant of Orm Sveinsson

Sverre 1184-1202

Haakon IV 1223-1263

Magnus IV 1263-1280,
Erik II 1280-1299,
Haakon V 1299-1319

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