Harald III "Hard ruler", king of Norway

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Harald Sigurdsson

Norwegian: King Harald Sigurdson Hardråde, Icelandic: King Harald Hardråde Sigurdsson
Also Known As: "King Harald Hardråd"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Bønsnes, Hole, Buskerud, Norway
Death: September 25, 1066 (46-55)
Stamford Bridge, East Riding of Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber, England (United Kingdom) (Died in the battle of Stamford Bridge)
Place of Burial: Trondheim, Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
Immediate Family:

Son of Sigurd Syr and Åsta Gudbrandsdóttir, Queen of Norway
Husband of Ellisif of Kiev and Tora Giske
Partner of Unknown Mistress of Harald Hardråde
Father of Ingegerd Haraldsdotter, of Norway; Maria Haraldsdotter Giske; Elizabeth Haraldsdotter; Kong Magnus Haraldsson, II and Olav III, king of Norway
Brother of Halvdan Sigurdsson av Stein; Gunhild Sigurdsdotter; Guttorm (Gudrød) Sigurdsson and Ingerid Sigurdsdatter af Vestfold
Half brother of Halfdan Sigurdsson and Saint Olaf II, King of Norway

Occupation: Konge 1046-1066, King of Norway 1046-1066, Konge i Norge 1046-1066, Konge 1015-1066, Konge Norge 1046-66, Konge av norge, Konge av Norge 1046-1066, King of Norway 1046-1066
Wiki: https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harald_Hardr%C3%A5de
Managed by: Harald Sævold
Last Updated:

About Harald III "Hard ruler", king of Norway

Harald Hardråde (Sigurdsson) (Haraldur Sigurðarson)

  • Son of Sigurd Halvdansson and Åsta Gudbrandsdóttir, Queen of Norway
  • Harald Sigurdsson, also known as Harald of Norway (Old Norse: Haraldr Sigurðarson; c. 1015 – 25 September 1066) and given the epithet Hardrada (Old Norse: Harðráði, modern Norwegian: Hardråde, roughly translated as "stern counsel" or "hard ruler") in the sagas, was King of Norway (as Harald III) from 1046 to 1066. In addition, he unsuccessfully claimed the Danish throne until 1064 and the English throne in 1066. Before becoming King, Harald had spent around fifteen years in exile as a mercenary and military commander in Kievan Rus' and of the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire.

Marriages

  • Married ([1044]) IELIZAVETA Iaroslavna, daughter of IAROSLAV I "Mudriy/the Wise" Vladimirovich Grand Prince of Kiev & his second wife Ingigerd Olafsdottir of Sweden (-after 25 Sep 1066). Snorre records the marriage of King Harald and Elisabeth "called by the Northmen Ellisif" daughter of "King Jarisleif ", specifying in a later passage that "the Swedish king Olaf…was brother of [her] mother". Morkinskinna records the marriage of “Haraldr Sigurdarson” and “King Yaroslav and Queen Ingigerdr…daughter…Elisabeth, the Norsemen call her Ellisif” after Harald´s return from Constantinople. Snorre records that "Queen Ellisif came from the West…with her stepson Olaf and her daughter Ingegerd" after her husband was killed[.
  • Mistress (1): THORA Thorbergsdatter, daughter of THORBERG Arnesson [Arnung] from Giske & his wife Ragnhild Erlingsdatter ([1020/25-after 1066). Morkinskinna records that King Harald had married “the daughter of Thorbergr Árnason…Thóra”. Snorre names "Thora, daughter of Thorberg Arnason" as mother of King Harald's sons Magnus and Olav, in a later passage clarifying that she was "Fin Arnason's brother's daughter". Her birth date range is estimated on the assumption that her relationship with King Harald started around the time of his accession to the Norwegian throne, corroborated by the fact that her son King Magnus was old enough to have fathered a son before his death in 1069. She gave birth to a son by another relationship, as shown by Snorre recording that her grandson "Hakon…was fostered by Thorer of Steig in Gudbrandsdal, who was a brother of King Magnus by the mother's side", although no indication has yet been found of the identity of Thorer's father. It is assumed that this relationship predated her relationship with King Harald, as it is likely that Thorer was older than his half-brother King Magnus to have been chosen as foster-father for his nephew. According to Europäische Stammtafeln, Thora Thorbergsdotter is identified with Thora who was the wife of Svend II King of Denmark and mother of King Svend's son Magnus. Christiansen considers that this identification is far-fetched, considering Thora's age at the time of the supposed marriage[326]. There appears to be another chronological problem: the proposed consecration of Thora's son Magnus at Rome is best explained if he was King Svend's oldest son, which would place his birth (and therefore his parents' marriage) in the late 1030s. Morkinskinna records that King Harald left “his wife Thora and his daughter Máría” in Orkney when he sailed for England

Project MedLands Norway Kings

HARALD Sigurdson, son of SIGURD Syr King of Ringeringe & his wife Asta Gudbrandsdatter (1015-killed in battle Stamfordbridge 25 Sep 1066, bur Nidaros [Trondheim] St Mary). Snorre names "Guthorm, the eldest, then Gunhild, the next Halfdan, Ingerid and Harald" as the children of Sigurd & his wife[306]. Morkinskinna names (in order) “Gudrødr…Hálfdan…Ingibjorg…Gunnhildr, Haraldr” as the children of “Sigurdr sýr” and his wife “Ásta daughter of Gudbrandr”[307]. The Historia Norwegie names Harald as son of "Siwardus Scroffa rex montanus" & his wife[308]. Morkinskinna refers to “Haraldr Sigurdarson” as uncle of Magnus II King of Norway, but in a later passage recites his descent from “Harald hárfagri” to “Sigurdr hrisi” to “Hálfdan, father of Sigurdr sýr, the father of Haraldr”[309]. Wounded at the battle of Stiklestad in support of his half-brother King Olav II in 1030 when he was 15 years old, he fled to Russia where he served in the army against the Poles and Wends[310]. He made his way to Constantinople, where he served in the imperial army under George Maniakis and was made chief of the imperial guard by Empress Zoe[311]. He was imprisoned on accusations of having defrauded the emperor of treasure, but was able to escape and make his way back to Russia[312]. According to Snorre, he wanted to marry the "beautiful young niece" of Empress Zoe, "carried her away by force" while he made his escape from Constantinople but allowed her ashore "with a good retinue to escort her back to Constantinople"[313]. This story is not corroborated in Byzantine sources. Morkinskinna recounts the same story but refers to the lady as “the maiden Maria” without specifying any relationship to the empress[314]. William of Malmesbury alludes to the same episode when he says that Harald "was exposed to a lion, for having ravished a woman of quality, [and] strangled the beast by the bare strength of his arms"[315]. He was in Jerusalem in 1034[316]. He became Joint King of Norway with his nephew Magnus I in 1046, and succeeded him in 1047 as HARALD III "Hardråde" King of Norway. He founded the city of Oslo in 1048. He defeated Svend II Estridsen King of Denmark at Nissa in 1062, but made peace at Gota in 1064. He claimed to succeed to the throne of England after the death of Edward "the Confessor" King of England, landed in Scotland where he joined forces with Tostig Godwinsson, brother of Harold II King of England. After defeating the Northumbrians at Gate Fulford near York 20 Sep 1066, he and his army were defeated by King Harold's forces at Stamford Bridge 25 Sep 1066, where both he and Tostig were killed. Snorre records that King Harald was fifty years old when he died and that his body was transported to Nidaros and "buried in Mary church which he had built"[317]. Morkinskinna records that King Harald´s body was brought back to Norway by Skuli Tostigson and that he “now lies buried at Elgisetr” where “Archbishop Eysteinn had him delivered”[318].

King Harald III & his wife IELIZAVETA had two children

  • 1. INGEGÄRD Haraldsdatter, Snorre names "one Maria, the other Ingegerd" as the daughters of King Harald & his wife[328]. Snorre records the marriage of "Olaf, the Danish King Svein's son" and "Ingegerd, a daughter of King Harald and sister of King Olaf of Norway"[329]. Morkinskinna records that King Olav “married his sister Ingigerdr” to “óláfr, the son of Danish king Sveinn”, dated from the context to soon after Olav succeeded as sole king in Norway[330]. The primary source which confirms her second marriage has not yet been identified. m firstly ([1070]) OLUF I “Hunger” King of Denmark, illegitimate son of SVEND II Estridsen King of Denmark & his mistress --- (-18 Jul 1095). m secondly FILIP Halstensson King of Sweden, son of HALSTAN Stenkilsson King of Sweden & his wife --- (-1118).
  • 2. MARIA Haraldsdatter (-25 Sep 1066). Snorre names "one Maria, the other Ingegerd" as the daughters of King Harald & his wife[331]. Morkinskinna records that King Harald left “his wife Thora and his daughter Máría” in Orkney when he sailed for England. Morkinskinna records that King Harald had promised “his daughter Máría” to “Eystein Orri” when they returned after their invasion of England in 1066. Snorre records that "Maria, a daughter of Harald Sigurdson" died "a sudden death the very day and hour her father King Harald fell". Betrothed ([mid-1066]) to EYSTEIN Orre, son of THORBERG Arnesson [Arnung] from Giske & his wife Ragnhild Erlingsdatter (-killed in battle 25 Sep 1066).

King Harald III had two illegitimate children by Mistress Thora (1)

  • 3. MAGNUS Haraldsson ([1045/50]-Nidaros 28 Apr 1069, bur Nidaros). Snorre names Magnus and Olav as the sons of King Harald and Thora. Morkinskinna names “the older…Magnus, the younger Óláfr” as the two sons of King Harald and “the daughter of Thorbergr Árnason…Thóra”[336]. The Gwentian Chronicle records that "Macht son of Harallt came to Wales with a great army…and the Prince Grufudd and Macht with combined forces proceeded against the Saxons…and returned to Wales with great spoil" in 1059[337]. The dating of this passage seems early for it to apply to Magnus, son of Harald III King of Norway, but no other contemporary with this name has so far been identified to whom it can apply. If the identification is correct, Magnus must have been born earlier than indicated above. Another possibility is that the Gwentian Chronicle is indicating one of the brothers of the future Harold II King of England, incorrectly named. Magnus may have fought with his father at Stamford Bridge 1066[338]. His birth date range is estimated on the assumption that his father's relationship with his mother took place around the time of his accession to the Norwegian throne. He succeeded his father in 1066 as MAGNUS II King of Norway, jointly with his brother Olav, ruling in the northern part of the country for two years. Snorre records that King Magnus died "of the ringworm disease" at Nidaros and that he was buried in the same place. Mistress: ---. No information has been identified concerning King Magnus's concubine.

King Magnus II had one illegitimate child by his Mistress

  • a) HAAKON "Toresfostre ([1068/69]-Feb 1095, bur Trondheim, Christ Church). Snorre names "Hakon, who was fostered by Thorer of Steig in Gudbrandsdal, who was a brother of King Magnus by the mother's side" as the son of King Magnus. He succeeded in 1093 as HAAKON II King of Norway. Snorre records that, when Magnus son of King Olav III was proclaimed king at Viken, the "Upland people on hearing of King Olaf's death chose Hakon, Thorer's foster-son" and that he was proclaimed king of half Norway in Trondheim. Snorre records that King Magnus travelled north to Trondheim to impose his authority but that Haakon died on the mountains while out hunting ptarmigan, aged "full twenty five years old", and was buried at Christ Church[343]. Morkinskinna records that after Haakon died, the people of Trondheim took “Sveinn, the son of Haraldr flettir (Despoiler) as their king”, adding that King Magnus forced him to flee to Denmark where he remained “until he became reconciled with King Eysteinn Magnusson”.
  • 4. OLAV (-Håkeby, Sweden 22 Sep 1093, bur Nidaros [Trondheim], Christ's Church). Snorre names Magnus and Olav as the sons of King Harald and Thora[345]. Morkinskinna names “the older…Magnus, the younger Óláfr” as the two sons of King Harald and “the daughter of Thorbergr Árnason…Thóra”. He fought with his father at Stamford Bridge 1066. He succeeded his father in 1066 as OLAV III "Kyrre/the Gentle" King of Norway, jointly with his brother Magnus, ruling in the eastern part of the country[347]. Snorre records that King Olav remained as sole king after the death of his brother[348]. Pope Gregory VII addressed a document to "Olauo Noruecchorum regi" dated 15 Dec 1078. Snorre records that King Olav "when he was east in Ranrike, on his estate of Haukby, took the disease which ended in his death" and that he was buried at "Nidaros…in Christ Church which he himself had built there". married ([1070]) INGERID Svendsdatter, illegitimate daughter of SVEND II Estridsen King of Denmark & his mistress ---. Morkinskinna records the betrothal of “King Óláfr” and “King Sveinn…his daughter Ingirídr”, dated to soon after his accession as sole king in Norway[351]. Snorre records the marriage of King Olav and "Ingerid, a daughter of Svein, the Danish king". Mistress (1): THORA, daughter of [JOHAN or ARNI Lagi] & his wife ---. Snorre names "Thora, Joan's daughter" as mother of King Olav's son Magnus. Morkinskinna names “Thóra, the daughter of Árni lági” as the concubine of King Olav.

King Olav had [two] illegitimate children by Mistress (1): Thóra, the daughter of Árni lági

  • a) MAGNUS (-killed in battle in Ireland 24 May 1103). Snorre names Magnus as son of King Olav and Thora, commenting that he was brought up at the king's court[355]. Morkinskinna names “Magnus nicknamed…berfœttr and…Styrjaldar (Battle-Age) Magnus” as son of King Olav and his concubine “Thóra, the daughter of Árni lági”[356]. He succeeded his first cousin in 1095 as MAGNUS III "Berrføtt/Barfod/Barfot/Barefoot" King of Norway.
  • b) SKJALDVOR, Snorre names "the king's relative, Sigurd Hranason" when recording that he "came into strife with King Sigurd", adding in a later passage that King Eystein reminded King Sigurd that Sigurd "was married to their aunt, Skialdvor" and that ultimately Sigurd forgave him and gave him "leave to go north to his farm, gave him employment, and was always afterward his friend"[357]. Morkinskinna records that “Skjaldvor…sister of King Magnús berfoettr” married “Sigurdr Hranason”[358]. It is possible that Skjaldvor was only uterine sister of King Magnus, in view of the refusal of her son to become king on the grounds that "some one should be chosen king who was of the royal race" as reported by Snorre[359]. m SIGURD Hranason, son of ---.]

Sigurd & his wife SKJALDVOR had one child:

  • i) NIKOLAS Skialdvarson, (-killed in battle after 1161). Snorre records that "Nikolas Skialdvarson, a sister's son of King Magnus Barefoot" was proposed as king in 1161 but he refused on the grounds that "some one should be chosen king who was of the royal race"[360]. If his parentage is as shown here, he must have been very old at the time. In another passage, Snorre names "Nikolas…a son of Sigurd Hranason and of Skialdvor, a daughter of Brynjolf Ulfalde, and a sister of Haldor Brynjolfson by the father's side, and of King Magnus Barefoot by the mother's side", recording that he "had a farm at Ongul in Halogaland…called Steig" and "a house in Nidaros, below St Jon's church, where Thorgeir the scribe lately dwelt"[361]. Snorre records that he was killed fighting the Birkebeins[362]. m ---. The name of Nikolas's wife is not known.

Nikolas & his wife had one child

  • (a) SKIALDVOR Snorre names "Skialdvor, Nikolas's daughter…married to Eirik Arnason…a lenderman"[363]. m ERIK Arnasson, son of ARNE --- & his wife ---.

Source Project MedLands - Norway Kings - https://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/NORWAY.htm

Sources

  • The sagas mention that Harald was fifteen years old at the time of the Battle of Stiklestad (1030).
  • Cnut himself had adopted the triquetra from earlier Norse uses, viewing himself as a Scylding. His successors also used the symbol, and Harald in turn probably adopted it in order to claim his right to Denmark as heir to Magnus the Good and the Scyldings.
  • Schive (1865) p. 26
  • "Det store norske leksikon" (The Great Norwegian Encyclopedia)
  • Cleasby, Richard and Gudbrand Vigfusson, An Icelandic-English Dictionary, 2nd edn by William A. Craigie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1957), s.v. harðr.
  • a b Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla, trans. by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes, 3 vols (London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2011–15) (second edition 2016–), vol. 3 p. x.
  • a b Judith Jesch, 'Norse Historical Traditions and Historia Gruffud vab Kenan: Magnus Berfoettr and Haraldr Harfagri', in Gruffudd ap Cynan: A Collaborative Biography, edited by K. L. Maund (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 117–47 (p. 139 n. 62).
  • a b Sverrir jakobsson, 'The Early Kings of Norway, the Issue of Agnatic Succession, and the Settlement of Iceland', Viator, 47 (2016), 171–88 (pp. 1–18 in open-access text, at p. 7); doi:10.1484/J.VIATOR.5.112357.
  • Judith Jesch, 'Norse Historical Traditions and Historia Gruffud vab Kenan: Magnus Berfoettr and Haraldr Harfagri', in Gruffudd ap Cynan: A Collaborative Biography, edited by K. L. Maund (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 117–47 (pp. 139–47).
  • Shami Ghosh, Kings' Sagas and Norwegian History: Problems and Perspectives, The Northern World, 54 (Leiden: Brill, 2011), pp. 66–70.
  • Sverrir Jakobsson, 'The Early Kings of Norway, the Issue of Agnatic Succession, and the Settlement of Iceland', Viator, 47 (2016), 171–88 (pp. 1–18 in open-access text, at p. 7); doi:10.1484/J.VIATOR.5.112357.
  • Krag, Claus (1995). Vikingtid og rikssamling 800–1130. Aschehougs norgeshistorie. 2. Oslo: Aschehoug. pp. 92–93 & 171.
  • a b c Hjardar & Vike (2011) p. 284
  • Tjønn (2010) p. 13
  • Tjønn (2010) p. 14
  • a b c d e f g h i j k l m Krag, Claus. "Harald 3 Hardråde". Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  • Tjønn (2010) pp. 15–16
  • See, for example, Joan Turville-Petre, "The Genealogist and History: Ari to Snorri", Saga-Book 20 (1978–81), pp. 7–23 (pdf), Claus Krag, Ynglingatal og Ynglingasaga: en studie i historiske kilder, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget 1991, OCLC 256562288 (in Norwegian), and Knut Helle, Cambridge History of Scandinavia, Volume I, Prehistory to 1520, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-47299-7, pp. 185, 191.
  • Tjønn (2010) pp. 17–18
  • Blöndal & Benedikz (2007) p. 54
  • DeVries (1999) p. 25
  • Tjønn (2010) pp. 21–22
  • DeVries (1999) pp. 25–26
  • DeVries (1999) p. 26
  • Tjønn (2010) p. 16
  • Tjønn (2010) p. 25
  • DeVries (1999) p. 27
  • Tjønn (2010) p. 28
  • DeVries (1999) p. 29
  • DeVries (1999) pp. 29–30
  • Blöndal & Benedikz (2007) pp. 60–62
  • a b Blöndal & Benedikz (2007) p. 63
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