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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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1. Royal Biographies

 
1. Kings of Norway (KEG)
2. Kings of Denmark (KEG)

(subheadings only)

 
a. Eysteinn II Haraldsson (r. 1142-57)

Saga: Hsona (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork).

Eysteinn, the eldest son of Haraldr gilli, arrived in Norway from Scotland in 1142 with his mother Bjaðǫk (Blathac; see Genealogy II.4 in ÍF 28). He ruled jointly with his half-brothers, Sigurðr munnr (d. 1155) and Ingi, until his death. Eysteinn was killed by his brother-in-law and former retainer, Símun skálpr ‘Sword-sheath’ Hallkelsson, in Bohuslän (part of present-day Sweden) on 21 August 1157. See Ágr (ÍF 29, 51-2; Ágr 1995, 76-9), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 440-62; Andersson and Gade 2000, 389-404), Fsk (ÍF 334-41; Finlay 2004, 269-75), Hkr (ÍF 28, 321-32, 337-46; Hollander 1991, 749-57, 760-7), H-Hr (Fms 7, 228-51). See also Orkn (ÍF 34, 193, 239-40; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 183-4).

Events documented in poetry: Eysteinn’s arrival in Norway in 1142 (ESk Run 1); his punishment of insubordinate farmers in Viken and in Hisingen (ESk Run 2-4); his raids in Orkney (ESk Eystdr 1), Scotland (ESk Run 5) and England (ESk Run 6-9) in 1151; his failure to prevent the slaying of his half-brother, Sigurðr munnr, in 1155 (ESk Ingdr 4); three anecdotes about Eysteinn and the poet Einarr Skúlason (ESk Lv 4-6); his death at the hand of Símun skálpr (ESk Eystdr 2). See also ESk Geisl 8, 71VII, ESk Harsonkv, ESk Run 10 and Anon Nkt 56-7, 59.

 
b. Eysteinn I Magnússon (r. 1103-23)

Saga: Msona (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Eysteinn was the eldest son of Magnús berfœttr (see Genealogy II.3 in ÍF 28). When his father died in 1103, he was elected king of Norway and ruled jointly with his half-brothers, Sigurðr and Óláfr (d. 1115). Eysteinn died of an illness on 29 August 1123.  See Theodoricus (MHN 63-4; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 51-2), Ágr (ÍF 29, 47, 49; Ágr 1998, 70-1, 74-5), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 337-9, 352-88; Andersson and Gade 2000, 313-14, 326-50), Fsk (ÍF 29, 315, 320; Finlay 2004, 252-3, 257), Hkr (ÍF 28, 238, 254-63; Hollander 1991, 688, 699-705), H-Hr (Fms 7, 74-6, 100-47, 155-6). See also Sjórs Lv 3, GullásÞ Lv, Anon Nkt 45, 47-8.

 
c. Hákon IV Hákonarson (r. 1217-63)

Sagas: Bǫgl, Hák.

Hákon was the illegitimate son of Hákon Sverrisson (d. 1 January 1204) and Inga of Varteig. He was elected king of Norway in 1217 after the death of King Ingi Bárðarson, and during his minority the regent of Norway was Jarl (and later Duke) Skúli Bárðarson, Ingi’s half-brother and the father of Hákon’s wife, Margrét. Hákon was crowned king on 29 July 1247 by the papal legate William of Sabina, and he died in Orkney on 16 December 1263. See Bǫgl (1988, II, 97-8, 106-7) and Hák.

Events documented in poetry: Hákon’s escape from the Baglar in 1206 (Sturl Hákkv 1-3); the prosperity during the first year of his reign (Ólhv Hryn 1; Sturl Hákkv 4-5); the battles of Værne and Oslo in 1221 (Sturl Hákkv 6; Sturl Hákfl 1-2); the campaign to Värmland and the battle of Oslo against the Ribbungar in 1225 (Ólhv Hákdr; Sturl Hákkv 7-8; Sturl Hákfl 4-5); Hákon’s men demolishing the stronghold in Lödöse in 1227 (Sturl Hákfl 7); negotiations between Skúli Bárðarson and Hákon in 1233 (Ólhv Hryn 2-3; Anon (Hák) 2); their exchange of hostages in 1236 (Ólhv Hryn 5); Skúli Bárðarson’s usurpation of the Norwegian crown in 1239 (Ólhv Hryn 6-7; Sturl Hákkv 9); the battle of Oslo against Skúli in 1240 and Skúli’s death in Trondheim (Ólvh Hryn 9-12; Sturl Hákkv 11-24); Hákon’s coronation and the ensuing festivities in 1247 (Sturl Hryn 1; Sturl Hákkv 25-33); his mission to Sweden and his meeting with Jarl Birgir Magnússon in 1249 (Sturl Hákkv 34-8); the reception of Ríkiza Birgisdóttir at Hákon’s court in 1251 (Sturl Hryn 2); Hákon’s meeting with Birgir Magnússon and Danish envoys in 1253 (Sturl Hryn 3-4; Sturl Hákfl 8); his campaign in Halland in 1256 (Sturl Hryn 5-11); Hákon sending his daughter, Kristín, to Spain in 1257 to be married (Sturl Hryn 13, 19); his journeys to Sweden and Denmark in 1257 (Sturl Hryn  12, 14-18; Sturl Hákfl 9; Giz Hákdr); his expedition to the west in 1263 (Sturl Hrafn; Sturl Hákfl 10); his burial in 1264 (Sturl Hákfl 11); his reputation and dominions (Sturl Hryn 20-1). See also SnSt HtIII and SnSt Lv 5III.

 
d. Hákon II herðibreiðr Sigurðarson (r. 1157-62)

Sagas: Hákherð, MErl (H-Hr, Hkr).

Hákon herðibreiðr ‘Broad-shoulder’ Sigurðarson was elected king at the age of ten by the followers of Eysteinn Haraldsson after Eysteinn’s death (1157) and king of Norway when Ingi Haraldsson died in 1161. Hákon was the son of Sigurðr munnr (see Genealogy II.4 in ÍF 28). Throughout his brief reign, he contended for power first with Ingi and later with Magnús Erlingsson. Hákon died at the battle of Sekken, Romsdalen, Norway (7 July 1162). See Anon Nkt 60-2, Hkr (ÍF 28, 347-84; Hollander 1991, 768-97), H-Hr (Fms 7, 252-91). See also Orkn (ÍF 34, 237; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 182).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of the Götaälv in 1159 (ESk Elfv); the battle of Tønsberg in 1161 (Þskakk Erldr 2; Anon (MErl) 1).

 
e. Hákon Þórisfóstri Magnússon (r. 1093-4)

Saga: Mberf (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Hákon was the son of Magnús Haraldsson and the grandson of Haraldr harðráði (see Genealogy II.2 in ÍF 28). He was fostered by Steigar-Þórir Þórðarson (SteigÞ), hence his nickname Þórisfóstri ‘Foster-son of Þórir’. Hákon ruled Norway with his cousin, Magnús berfœttr, from 1093 until his death in February 1094. See Theodoricus (MHN 59; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 47), Ágr (ÍF 29, 42-3; Ágr 1995, 60-5), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 297-8; Andersson and Gade 2000, 285-6), Fsk (ÍF 29, 302-3; Finlay 2004, 241-2), Hkr (ÍF 28, 210-12; Hollander 1991, 668-70), H-Hr (Fms 7, 1‑4).

Events documented in poetry: The joint rule of Hákon and Magnús (Anon (Mberf) 1).

 
f. Haraldr IV gilli(-kristr) Magnússon (r. 1130-6)

Sagas: Msona, MbHg (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork).

Haraldr gilli(-kristr) ‘Servant (of Christ)’ Magnússon was the son of Magnús berfœttr and an unnamed Irish woman (see Genealogies II.3 and II.4 in ÍF 28). He arrived in Norway from the Hebrides during the reign of Sigurðr jórsalafari. When Sigurðr died in 1130, Haraldr assumed the royal title along with his nephew, Magnús inn blindi Sigurðarson. In 1135 he captured Magnús in Bergen and maimed him, forcing him to take refuge in the monastery on Munkholmen, Trondheim. Haraldr then ruled Norway alone for almost two years until he was killed by his half-brother, Sigurðr slembidjákn (Slembir), and Sigurðr’s men in Bergen on 13 December 1136. See Anon Nkt 53-5, Ágr (ÍF 29, 50-1; Ágr 1995, 74-7), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 391-2, 395-8, 400-14; Andersson and Gade 2000, 352-3, 355-67, 370-2), Fsk (ÍF 29, 320-30; Finlay 2004, 257-65), Hkr (ÍF 28, 265-71, 278-88, 298-302; Hollander 1991, 707-11, 715-24, 732-35), H-Hr (Fms 7, 163-71, 175-86, 196-8, 200-4). See also Knýtl (ÍF 35, 264-5; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 141), Orkn (ÍF 34, 130-1, 140-2, 149, 158; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 109, 116-18, 123, 129-30).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Färlev, in present-day Sweden, against Magnús inn blindi on 9 August 1134 and Haraldr’s subsequent exile to Denmark (Hskv Hardr 1-2; Ingimarr Lv; ESk Hardr II, 1); his return to Norway the same autumn and his execution of Magnús’s supporters in Sarpsborg (Hskv Hardr 3); the siege of Bergen December 1134-January 1135 (Hskv Hardr 4; ESk Hardr II, 2); Haraldr’s sole sovereignty in Norway in 1135 (Hskv Hardr 5; ESk Hardr II, 3); two unknown battles near the islands Ven and Læsø in Denmark (ESk Hardr I; ESk Hardr II, 4-5).

 
g. Haraldr III harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð) (r. 1046-66)

Sagas: ÓH, MH, HSig (Ágr, Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Haraldr harðráði ‘Hard-rule’ Sigurðarson was the son of Sigurðr sýr ‘Sow’ and Ásta Guðbrandsdóttir (see Genealogy II.2.f in ÍF 28). He fought alongside his half-brother, Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr), at the battle of Stiklestad (29 July 1030) and escaped wounded from the battlefield to seek refuge in Russia. After spending some years in the service of Jaroslav of Novgorod, he proceeded from Russia to Byzantium, where he served as a mercenary in the Varangian army before his return to Norway via Russia and Sweden in 1045/46. From 1046 he ruled jointly with his nephew, Magnús inn góði, and after Magnús’s death (25 October 1047) Haraldr was the sole ruler of Norway until he fell at the battle of Stamford Bridge (on 25 September 1066). See Anon Nkt 38-9, Theodoricus (MHN 50-1, 54-7; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 38-9, 43-46), Ágr (ÍF 29, 36-40; Ágr 1995, 52-9), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 55-281; Andersson and Gade 2000, 129-274), Fsk (ÍF 29, 227-90; Finlay 2004, 181-232), ÓHHkr (ÍF 27, 107-8, 347-8, 364; Hollander 1991, 314-15, 488-9, 500-1), HSigHkr (ÍF 28, 68-202; Hollander 1991, 577-663), Flat (Flat 1860-8, III, 287-432), H-Hr (Fms 6, 127-432). See also Hem (Hb 1892-6, 331-49; Fellows-Jensen 1962, 1-64), , Knýtl (ÍF 35, 132-3, 151; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 46-7, 60), Orkn (ÍF 34, 53-4, 75-8, 80, 86-7, 339; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 56-7, 71-4, 77-8).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Stiklestad (1030) and Haraldr’s escape to Sweden (Hharð Gamv 1; Hharð Lv 1, 2a-2b; ÞjóðA Sex 1); his journey to Russia and his Russian campaigns 1031-3 (ÞjóðA Run 1, 3; Bǫlv Hardr 1); his journey to Constantinople and his campaigns as a mercenary in the Varangian army 1034-42 (Hharð Gamv 2, 4; Hharð Lv 10-11; Þjóð Sex 2-8; ÞjóðA Lv 4; Ill Har 2-4; Bǫlv Hardr 2-6; ÞSkegg Hardr; Valg Hardr 1-4; Þfisk Lv 2-3; Stúfr Stúfdr 2-3); his return to Russia and marriage to Ellisif (Stúfr Stúfdr 4); his journey to Sweden and his harrying in Denmark with Sveinn Úlfsson (ÞjóðA Sex 9; Valg Hardr 5-9); his meeting and reconciliation with Magnús inn góði (ÞjóðA Sex 10; ÞjóðA Frag 1; Bǫlv Hardr 7); his dealings with Magnús (Mgóð Lv 1; Hharð Lv 3); his return to Norway after Magnús’s death in Denmark in 1047 (Valg Hardr 10-11); his first naval campaign against Sveinn Úlfsson and the Danes in 1048 (Hharð Lv 4; ÞjóðA Lv 2; Bǫlv Hardr 8; Grani Har 1-2; Anon (HSig) 1); subsequent campaigns in Denmark against Sveinn (Hharð Lv 5, 10; ÞjóðA Lv 3-4; Arn Hardr 1; Þfagr Sveinn 2-9; Stúfr Stúfdr 5-6; Anon (HSig) 2, 5); the slaying of Einarr þambarskelfir and other enemies (Hharð Lv 6-8; Arn Hardr 1); the desertion of Norwegian magnates to Sveinn in Denmark (ÞjóðA Sex 12); the battle of the Nissan against Sveinn in 1062 (ÞjóðA Sex 13-18; ÞjóðA Har 1-7; Arn Hardr 2-4; Stúfr Stúfdr 7; Steinn Nizv; Steinn Úlffl); the peace treaty between Haraldr and Sveinn in 1064 (ÞjóðA Sex 23; Halli XI Fl); Haraldr’s campaign against Hákon Ívarsson (ÞjóðA Lv 9); his dealing with Norwegian insurrection (ÞjóðA Sex 19-22; Arn Hardr 5-6); the events leading up to the English campaign in 1066 (Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3; Úlfr Lv; Anon (HSig 6-9); the battles of Fulford and Stamford Bridge (Hharð Lv 13-14; ÞjóðA Lv 10-11; Arn Hardr 7-16; Stúfr Stúfdr 8; Steinn Óldr 1-3; Anon Harst). For þættir and smaller anecdotes involving Haraldr and other poets, see Haraldr Lv 9, 12; ÞjóðA Lv 4-8; SnH Lv; Þfisk Lv; Anon (HSig) 3-4.

 
h. Ingi I Haraldsson (r. 1136-61)

Sagas: Hsona, Hákherð (Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork).

Ingi was the son of Haraldr gilli and Ingiríðr Rǫgnvaldsdóttir (see Genealogy II.4 in ÍF 28). He ruled jointly with his half-brothers, Sigurðr (1136-55) and Eysteinn (1142-57), and was sole ruler of Norway from 1157 until 1161 (although the former adherents of Eysteinn elected his nephew, Hákon herðibreiðr, king in 1157). Ingi died at the battle of Oslo (4 February 1161) against Hákon. See Mork (Mork 1928-32, 414-62; Andersson and Gade 2000, 372-404), Fsk (ÍF 29, 331-41; Finlay 2004, 266-75), Hkr (ÍF 28, 303-69; Hollander 1991, 736-85), H-Hr (Fms 7, 206-78). See also Ágr (ÍF 29, 51-2; Ágr 1995, 76-9), Knýtl (ÍF 35, 266-7, 296; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 142-3, 162), Orkn (ÍF 34, 193-5, 237; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 155-6, 181-2).

Events documented in poetry: Ingi’s battle against Magnús inn blindi at Minne, Norway, in 1137 (Kolli Ingdr 1-2); his battle against the Gautish jarl Karl Sónason in Sörbygden, Sweden, in the same year (Kolli Ingdr 3); the battle of Holmengrå in Hvaler, outside Strömstad in present-day Sweden, against Magnús inn blindi and Sigurðr slembidjákn on 12 November 1139 (ESk Ingdr 1; Ív Sig 34-45; Kolli Ingdr 4-5; see also Balti Sigdr 1-3); the slaying of his half-brother, Sigurðr, in Bergen on 10 June 1155 (ESk Ingdr 2-4); the battle of the Götaälv, Sweden, 1159 (ESk Elfv). See also Anon Nkt 56-60, ESk Harsonkv and ESk Geisl 8VII.

 
i. Magnús III berfœttr Óláfsson (Mberf) (r. 1093-1103)

Saga: Mberf (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Magnús berfœttr ‘Barelegs’ Óláfsson, the son of Óláfr kyrri, was king of Norway from 1093-1103 (for a discussion of his nickname, see Note to Anon Nkt 43/1). He died in battle in Ulster, Ireland, on 24 August 1103. See Theodoricus (MHN 59-63; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 49-51), Ágr (ÍF 29, 42-7; Ágr 1995, 60-71), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 297-337; Andersson and Gade 2000, 285-313), Fsk (ÍF 29, 301-15; Finlay 2004, 241-52), Hkr (ÍF 28, 210-37; Hollander 1991, 668-87), H-Hr (Fms 7, 1-73).  See also Orkn (ÍF 34, 92-102, 312-15, 343-4, 346-8; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 82-9). For the genealogies of Magnús and his sons, see Genealogies II.2.f and II.3 in ÍF 28.

Events documented in poetry: The joint rule of Magnús and his cousin, Hákon Magnússon, 1093-4 (Anon (Mberf) 1); the uprising against Magnús in 1094, spearheaded by the district chieftain Steigar-Þórir Þórðarson, and the subsequent hanging of the rebels (SteigÞ Kv; Bkrepp Magndr 2-3; Þham Magndr 1 and Lv; Gísl Magnkv 1-8; Anon (Mberf) 2-3); Magnús’s harrying in Halland, in present-day Sweden (c. 1093-5; Bkrepp Magndr 1); his first expedition to the west in 1098, the capture of King Lǫgmaðr Guðrøðarson of the Hebrides and the killing of Earl Hugh of Shrewsbury in the Menai Strait (Mberf Lv 1; Kali Lv; Bkrepp Magndr 5-11; Þham Magndr 2-3; Gísl Magnkv 9-16); Magnús’s campaigns in Sweden against King Ingi Steinkelsson and the battle of Fuxerna (c. 1100-2; Mberf Lv 2; Eldj Lv 1-2; Þham Magndr 4; Gísl Magnkv 17-20; Anon (Mberf) 4-5); Magnús’s second expedition to the west and his death in Ulster in 1103 (Þham Magndr 5). Two anonymous lausavísur describe Magnús’s sailing (Anon (Mberf) 6-7) and his life is chronicled in Anon Nkt 42-4, 66-7. In addition to the two lausavísur mentioned above (Mberf Lv 1-2), another four stanzas are attributed to Magnús (Mberf Lv 3-6), describing his love for two women (Matilda and an unknown Irish woman).

 
j. Magnús IV inn blindi Sigurðarson (r. 1130-5; 1137-9)

Sagas: Msona, MbHg, Hsona (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork).

Magnús inn blindi ‘the Blind’ was the only son of Sigurðr jórsalafari (see Genealogy II.3 in ÍF 28). Upon Sigurðr’s death in 1130, he was elected king of Norway but was forced to share the royal title with his uncle, Haraldr gilli. On 7 January 1135, Magnús was captured by Haraldr in Bergen, blinded, castrated and had one foot cut off. He spent one year in the monastery on Munkholmen, Trondheim, until his uncle, the royal pretender Sigurðr slembidjákn, fetched him to join his cause. In 1137 Magnús was forced into exile in Denmark, but he returned to Norway the following year. He died on 12 December 1139 at the battle of Holmengrå in Hvaler, outside Strömstad in present-day Sweden, against the sons of Haraldr gilli, Ingi and Sigurðr. See Anon Nkt 53-4, Ágr (ÍF 29, 50-1; Ágr 1995, 74-7), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 396-8, 400-2, 415-39; Andersson and Gade 2000, 355-64, 372-88), Fsk (ÍF 29, 321-6, 330-4; Finlay 2004, 258-62, 265-9), Hkr (ÍF 28, 266-8, 276-88, 296, 304-20; Hollander 1991, 708-9, 714-24, 730-1, 736-49), H-Hr (Fms 7, 164-5, 169-71, 175-86, 196, 207-28). See also Knýtl (ÍF 35, 264-7; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 142-3), Orkn (ÍF 34, 140-2; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 116-18).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Färlev, present-day Sweden, against Haraldr gilli on 9 August 1134 (Hskv Hardr 1; Ingimarr Lv); the siege of Bergen December 1134-January 1135 (Hskv Hardr 4; ESk Hardr II, 2); the battle of Minne, Norway, against Ingi Haraldsson in 1137 (Kolli Ingdr 1-2); Magnús’s return to Norway 1138 in the company of Sigurðr slembidjákn and their rampages along the coasts of Norway (Slembir Lv; Ív Sig 24-33; Anon (Hsona) 2); the battle of Holmengrå and Magnús’s death (Ív Sig 34-45; Kolli Ingdr 4-5; Balti Sigdr 2-3).

 
k. Magnús V Erlingsson (r. 1161-84)

Sagas: MErl (Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr), Sv.

Magnús Erlingsson, the son of Erlingr skakki and Kristín, the daughter of Sigurðr jórsalafari (see Genealogies II.3 and XII in ÍF 28), was elected king of Norway in 1161 at the age of five and crowned king in 1164. He died at the battle of Fimreite, Sogndal, Norway, against Sverrir Sigurðarson (15 June 1184). See Fsk (ÍF 29, 342-64; Finlay 2004, 276-95), Hkr (ÍF 28, 373-417; Hollander 1991, 789-821), H-Hr (Fms 7, 278-326), Sv (ÍF 30, 6-154). See also Anon Nkt 52, 61-4, Knýtl (ÍF 35, 308; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 170-1), Orkn (ÍF 34, 237, 290; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 181-2, 218).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Ilevollene against Sverrir Sigurðarson in 1180 (Anon (Sv) 1-3); Magnús’s looting of Sverrir’s stronghold in Trondheim in November 1181 (HSn Lv 1-2); his travelling to Bergen in 1184 (Máni Lv 1); an amusing anecdote at his court earlier the same year (Máni Lv 2-3).

 
l. Magnús I inn góði Óláfsson (Mgóð) (r. 1035-47)

Sagas: Mgóð, HSig, MH (Ágr, Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Magnús inn góði ‘the Good’, the only son of Óláfr Haraldsson (S. Óláfr; see Genealogy II.1 in ÍF 28), was fostered in Russia at the court of Jaroslav (Jarizleifr) of Novgorod and his wife, Ingigerðr, the daughter of the Swedish king Óláfr sœnski ‘the Swede’. Five years after the death of his father at the battle of Stiklestad (29 July 1030), Magnús was summoned to Norway by Norwegian magnates and elected king. Upon the death of Hǫrðaknútr Knútsson (8 June 1042), Magnús laid claim to the throne of Denmark, and he ruled the two kingdoms until his death in Denmark (25 October 1047), despite the military opposition from Sveinn Úlfsson, later king of Denmark. When Magnús’s uncle, Haraldr harðráði, returned from his sojourn in Byzantium in 1046, he and Magnús ruled Norway jointly for one year (1046-7). See Anon Nkt 33-5, Theodoricus (MHN 44-6, 48-51, 54-5; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 33-5, 37-9, 43-4), Ágr (ÍF 29, 32-7; Ágr 1995, 46-55), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 1-56, 89-148; Andersson and Gade 2000, 89-129, 151-87), Fsk (ÍF 29, 207-26, 239-49; Finlay 2004, 167-81, 192-200), Hkr (ÍF 28, 3-67, 94-107; Hollander 1991, 538-76, 592-600), Flat (Flat 1860-8, III, 251-88, 306-32), H-Hr (Fms 6, 3-124, 176-237). See also ÓH (ÍF 27, 414-15; Hollander 1991, 536-7), Knýtl (ÍF 35, 128-33; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 44-7), Orkn (ÍF 34, 54-6, 63-5, 70-1, 75-8; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 57-8, 63-4, 68, 71-4). Two lausavísur are attributed to Magnús (Mgóð Lv 1-2).

Events documented in poetry: Magnús’s return from Russia to Norway via Sweden in 1035, the exile of the then regent, Sveinn Knútsson (Álfífuson), and Magnús’s election as king of Norway (Sigv Lv 29-30I; BjHall Kálffl 6I; ÞjóðA Magnfl 1-3; Arn Hryn 4-8; Arn Magndr 1-4); Magnús’s high-handed treatment of the Norwegian farmers and the ensuing exile of his counsellor, Kálfr Árnason (BjHall Kálffl 7I; Þflekk Lv; Sigv Berv; Kolgr Ól); his journey to Denmark in 1042 to claim the Danish throne (ÞjóðA Magnfl 4; Arn Hryn 9-10; Arn Magndr 5-7); Sveinn Úlfsson’s oath of allegience (ÞjóðA Magnfl 5); Magnús’s battles against the Wends in Wollin, Rügen and Lyrskovshede in 1043 (ÞjóðA Magnfl 6-7; Arn Hryn 11-13; Arn Magndr 8-11; Þfagr Sveinn 1); his campaigns against Sveinn Úlfsson in Denmark in 1043-4 (Okík Magn 1; ÞjóðA Magnfl 8-19; ÞjóðA Magn 1-14; Arn Hryn 14-15; Arn Magndr 12-18); his campaign against his uncle, Haraldr harðráði, in 1045 (ÞjóðA Frag 1); his reconciliation with Haraldr in 1046 (ÞjóðA Sex 10; Bǫlv Hardr 7); his dealings with Haraldr (Mgóð Lv 1; Hharð Lv 3) and his love for an unnamed woman (Mgóð Lv 2); his death in Denmark in 1047 and his funeral voyage and burial (Okík Magn 2-3; ÞjóðA Lv 1; Anon (MH)). See also ÞjóðA Run 4.

 
m. Magnús VI lagabœtir Hákonarson (r. 1263-80)

Sagas: Hák, Mlag.

Magnús lagabœtir ‘Law-mender’ was the youngest son of Hákon Hákonarson and Margrét Skúladóttir. He was born in 1238 and Hákon gave him the title of king upon the death of his older brother, Hákon ungi ‘the Young’, in 1257. He was crowned king on 14 September 1261 and became the sole ruler of Norway after his father’s death in 1263. Magnús married Ingibjǫrg, the daughter of the Danish king Eiríkr plógpenningr ‘Plough-penny’ Valdimarsson, on 11 September 1261, right before his coronation. As his nickname shows, Magnús was celebrated for having modified and unified the laws of Norway (landslǫg ‘the law of the land’, 1274; see NGL II, 1-178) and of Norwegian cities (býlǫg ‘the law of the cities’, 1276; see NGL II, 179-290). He also promulgated a law code for Iceland (Jónsbók ‘Jón’s book’; see NGL IV, 183-340), which was sent to Iceland in 1280 and ratified at the alþingi (the general legal assembly) in 1281. Magnús died of an illness in Bergen, Norway, on 9 May 1280.

Event documented in poetry: Magnús’s coronation and his marriage to Ingibjǫrg in 1261 (Sturl Magndr). See also Anon Mlag.

 
n. Óláfr III kyrri Haraldsson (r. 1067-93)

Sagas: HSig, MH, Ólkyrr (Ágr, Flat, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Óláfr was the son of Haraldr harðráði and his concubine, Þóra Þorbergsdóttir (see Genealogy II.2.f in ÍF 28). He accompanied his father, Haraldr, on the expedition to England in 1066, and returned to Norway via Orkney after the battle of Stamford Bridge. He ruled Norway jointly with his brother, Magnús, until Magnús’s death on 28 April 1069. Óláfr’s long reign was peaceful, which earned him his nickname kyrri ‘the Quiet’. He died of illness on 22 or 23 September 1093. See Theodoricus (MHN 57-9; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 46-7), Ágr (ÍF 29, 39-41; Ágr 1995, 58-61), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 267-70, 281-96; Andersson and Gade 2000, 265-7, 274-85), Fsk (ÍF 29, 278-9, 290-1, 296-302; Finlay 2004, 221-3, 231-2, 237-41), Hkr (ÍF 28, 179-81, 194, 197-8, 201-9; Hollander 1991, 649-50, 658-60, 664-7), H-Hr (Fms 6, 406-9, 424, 427-8, 431-48), Flat (Flat 1860-8, III, 390-1, 397-9). See also Knýtl (ÍF 35, 158-9, 163-6; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 66, 69-71), Orkn (ÍF 34, 86-7, 89, 339-40; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 77-9).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Fulford, England, on 20 September 1066 (Arn Hardr 7-9; Steinn Óldr 1-3; Anon Harst) and Óláfr’s return to Norway after the battle of Stamford Bridge (Steinn Óldr 4-5); his sovereignty of Norway and his defence of the country against the incursions of the Danish king Sveinn Úlfsson (Steinn Óldr 6-11; Anon (Ólkyrr) 1); his peaceful reign and generosity (Steinn Óldr 12-16); a curious anecdote about Óláfr and a clairvoyant Norwegian farmer (Anon (Ólkyrr) 2). See also Anon Nkt 40-2.

 
o. Óláfr Magnússon (r. 1103-15)

Saga: Msona (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Óláfr was the son of Magnús berfœttr and Sigríðr Saxadóttir (see Genealogy II.3, ÍF 28). He ruled Norway jointly with his half-brothers, Sigurðr and Eysteinn, from 1103 until his death on 22 December 1115. See Anon Nkt 45-6, 48, Theodoricus (MHN 63-4; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 51), Ágr (ÍF 29, 47; Ágr 1995, 70-1), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 337; Andersson and Gade 2000, 313), Fsk (ÍF 29, 315, 320; Finlay 2004, 252-3, 257), Hkr (ÍF 28, 238, 254, 256-7; Hollander 1991, 688, 699, 700-1), H-Hr (Fms 7, 74, 100, 102, 150).

 
p. Sigurðr I jórsalafari Magnússon (Sjórs) (r. 1103-30)

Sagas: Mberf, Msona (Ágr, Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork, Theodoricus).

Sigurðr, the second eldest son of Magnús berfœttr (see Genealogy II.3 in ÍF 28), became king of Norway upon his father’s death in 1103. He ruled jointly with his half-brothers, Óláfr (d. 1115) and Eysteinn (d. 1122). Sigurðr died of an illness in Oslo on 26 March 1130. He got his nickname, jórsalafari ‘Jerusalem-farer’, from his famous journey to Palestine (1108-11). Three lausavísur are attributed to Sigurðr (Sjórs Lv 1-3). For his life, see Anon Nkt 45, 49-52, Theodoricus (MHN 63-7; McDougall and McDougall 1998, 51-3), Ágr (ÍF 29, 47-51; Ágr 1995, 70-7), Mork (Mork 1928-32, 323, 336-99; Andersson and Gade 2000, 303, 312-58), Fsk (ÍF 29, 309, 315-21; Finlay 2004, 248, 252-8), Hkr (ÍF 28, 224, 237-77; Hollander 1991, 678, 686, 688-714), H-Hr (Fms 7, 49-50, 73-174). See also Knýtl (ÍF 35, 237; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1986, 122), Orkn (ÍF 34, 94-5, 100, 102-3, 139-40, 312, 315-16, 346, 348; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 87-9, 116-17).

Events documented in poetry: Sigurðr’s journey to Palestine and Byzantium and his battles against the heathens 1108-11 (Sjórs Lv 3; Hskv Útkv; Hskv Útdr; Þstf Stuttdr; ESk Sigdr I); an amorous affair with the wife of one of his retainers (ESk Lv 1); his progressive insanity (ESk Lv 2); his dealings with the poet Þórarinn stuttfeldr (Sjórs Lv 2; Þstf Lv 1-3).

 
q. Sigurðr II munnr Haraldsson (r. 1136-55)

Saga: Hsona (Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork).

The father of Sigurðr munnr ‘the Mouth’ was Haraldr gilli, and his mother was Þóra Guthormsdóttir (see Genealogy II.4 in ÍF 28). He was king of Norway 1136-55 and ruled jointly with his half-brothers Ingi (1136-55) and Eysteinn (1142-55). Sigurðr was killed in Bergen (10 June 1155) by Grégóríus Dagsson and his men with the sanction of his half-brother, Ingi (see Anon Nkt 56-8). See Mork (Mork 1928-32, 414-59; Andersson and Gade 2000, 372-402), Fsk (ÍF 29, 326, 331-8; Finlay 2004, 262, 266-72), Hkr (ÍF 28, 303-41; Hollander 1991, 736-63), H-Hr (Fms 7, 206-47).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Holmengrå against Magnús inn blindi and Sigurðr slembir on 12 November 1139 (Ív Sig 34-45; Kolli Ingdr 4-5; Balti Sigdr 1-3; ESk Ingdr 1); Sigurðr’s death in Bergen (ESk Ingdr 2-4). See also ESk Harsonkv, Sigdr II and Geisl 8VII.

 
r. Sigurðr slembidjákn Magnússon (Slembir) (r. 1136-9)

Sagas: MbHg, Hsona (Fsk, H-Hr, Hkr, Mork).

Sigurðr slembidjákn ‘Fortuitous-deacon’ (?) (for a discussion of his nickname, see Finlay 2004, 262 n. 766) was the son of Magnús berfœttr and Þóra Saxadóttir, although his paternity was disputed (see Genealogy II.3 in ÍF 28).  He was one of the royal pretenders contending for power in Norway during the turbulent period 1135-9. Sigurðr was executed on 12 November 1139 after the battle of Holmengrå (Hvaler, outside Strömstad in present-day Sweden) against the forces of the sons of Haraldr gilli, Ingi and Sigurðr. His life was chronicled in Eiríkr Oddsson’s no longer extant *Hryggjarstykki (see Bjarni Guðnason 1978; Andersson and Gade 2000, 14-15), which was used for the narratives in Mork (Mork 1928-32, 405-39; Andersson and Gade 2000, 367-88), Fsk (ÍF 29, 326-34; Finlay 2004, 262-69) and Hkr (ÍF 28, 297-320; Hollander 1991, 731-49). See also H-Hr (Fms 7, 199-228), Orkn (ÍF 34, 115-17; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 98-9).

Events documented in poetry: Sigurðr’s life and death (Ív Sig); his final battle at Holmengrå (Kolli Ingdr 4-5; Balti Sigdr 1-3; ESk Ingdr 1). See also Anon (Hsona) 1-2. One lausavísa attributed to Sigurðr survives (Slembir Lv).

 
s. Sverrir I Sigurðarson (r. 1177-1202)

Saga: Sv.

Sverrir’s mother, Gunnhildr, claimed that Sverrir was the son of Sigurðr munnr. From the age of five, Sverrir was raised in the Faroe Islands, and he was ordained a priest. At the age of twenty-five, he left the Faroes and went to Norway, where he arrived in 1176. After the royal pretender Eysteinn meyla ‘Little-girl’ died at the battle of Ramnes against Magnús Erlingsson in 1177, Sverrir, who had sought refuge in Sweden, became the leader of Eysteinn’s partisans, the Birkibeinar (for this name, see Note to Nefari Lv 1/1), and he returned to Norway. After numerous battles (1177-84), Sverrir finally defeated Magnús at the battle of Fimreite (15 June 1184) when Magnús fell. Sverrir was crowned king of Norway on 29 June 1194, but during his reign he had to contend with a number of royal pretenders (among them Þorleifr breiðskeggr, Jón Kuflungr and Ingi, king of the Baglar; see Blakkr Breiðdr and Notes to Blakkr Lv 1/2, Anon (Sv), 4/7). Sverrir died of an illness on 9 March 1202. See also Orkn (ÍF 34, 297; Hermann Pálsson and Edwards 1987, 224).

Events documented in poetry: The battle of Ilevollene against Magnús Erlingsson in May 1180 (Anon (Sv) 1-3; further hostile encounters with Magnús Erlingsson 1181-2 (HSn Lv 1-2; BjKálfs Lv); battles against the Kuflungar 1186-7 (Nefari Lv; Blakkr Lv 1-2); the death of the royal pretender Þorleifr breiðskeggr in 1191 (Blakkr Breiðdr); the Baglar’s attack on Bergen on 14 August 1198 (Anon (Sv) 4-5); the battle of Oslo on 6 March 1200 (Anon (Sv) 6). See also Anon Nkt 65.

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