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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300

1. Kings of Norway

a. Eysteinn II Haraldsson (r. 1142-57) (KEG)
b. Eysteinn I Magnússon (r. 1103-23) (KEG)
c. Hákon IV Hákonarson (r. 1217-63) (KEG)
d. Hákon II herðibreiðr Sigurðarson (r. 1157-62) (KEG)
e. Hákon Þórisfóstri Magnússon (r. 1093-4) (KEG)
f. Haraldr IV gilli(-kristr) Magnússon (r. 1130-6) (KEG)
g. Haraldr III harðráði Sigurðarson (Hharð) (r. 1046-66) (KEG)
h. Ingi I Haraldsson (r. 1136-61) (KEG)
i. Magnús III berfœttr Óláfsson (Mberf) (r. 1093-1103) (KEG)
j. Magnús IV inn blindi Sigurðarson (r. 1130-5; 1137-9) (KEG)
k. Magnús V Erlingsson (r. 1161-84) (KEG)
l. Magnús I inn góði Óláfsson (Mgóð) (r. 1035-47) (KEG)
m. Magnús VI lagabœtir Hákonarson (r. 1263-80) (KEG)
n. Óláfr III kyrri Haraldsson (r. 1067-93) (KEG)
o. Óláfr Magnússon (r. 1103-15) (KEG)
p. Sigurðr I jórsalafari Magnússon (Sjórs) (r. 1103-30) (KEG)
q. Sigurðr II munnr Haraldsson (r. 1136-55) (KEG)
r. Sigurðr slembidjákn Magnússon (Slembir) (r. 1136-9) (KEG)
s. Sverrir I Sigurðarson (r. 1177-1202) (KEG)

(Vol. II. Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: from c. 1035 to c. 1300 > 8. Introduction > 5. Biographies > 1. Royal Biographies > 1. Kings of Norway > s. Sverrir I Sigurðarson (r. 1177-1202))

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

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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