Thora Arnesdatter Låge

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Thora Arnesdatter Låge

Also Known As: "Tora Arnesdotter", "Thora Arnadóttir", "Tora Arnesdatter Låge", "Tora Arnesdatter Laage"
Birthplace: Gudøy or Blindheim, Sunnmøre, Norway
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Arne Lagi “The Short” Giske and NN Sæbjørnsdatter
Partner of Olav III, king of Norway
Mother of Magnus Berrføtt Olavsson
Sister of Jon Arnesen Smiørbalt, Lenderman in Maere

Occupation: mistress to King Olav Kyrri
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thora Arnesdatter Låge

Thora Arnesdotter Låge

  • Daughter of Arne Lagi (The Short), Giske and NN Sæbjørnsdatter
  • King Olav 3 Haraldsson Kyrre, Parents: King Harald 3 Hardråde (1015–66) and Tora Torbergsdatter (b. 1024). Married to Ingerid Svendsdatter, daughter of the Danish king Svend Estridsen (c. 1020–1076); relationship with Tora Arnesdatter. Daughter's daughter's son Erling Skjalgsson (died 1027); nephew (half-brother son) of King Olav 2 Haraldsson the Holy (995-1030); brother of King Magnus 2 Haraldsson (1049-1069); father of King Magnus 3 Olavsson Berrføtt (1073–1103); uncle to King Håkon Magnusson Toresfostre (1069–95). Source NORWEGIAN BIOGRAPHICAL LEXICON -
  • KRISTIN Sigurdsdatter (1125-1178). Snorre names "Christina, a daughter of King Sigurd the Crusader and Queen Malmfrid" as the wife of Erling[417]. Morkinskinna names “Kristín” as the daughter of “King Sigurdr jórsalafari and Queen Malmfrídr”[418]. This is confirmed by the Saga of King Sverre which records the marriage of "Ragnhild daughter of Earl Erling and Kristin Kings-daughter" and "Halkel son of Jon Hallkelsson"[419]. [She may have been the Mistress: of SIGURD Haraldsson Mund joint King of Norway, son of HARALD "Gille" King of Norway & his mistress Thora Guttormsdatter (-murdered 10 Jun 1155). Snorre names "Harald…who called himself a son of King Sigurd Haraldson and the princess Kristin, and a brother of King Magnus by the mother's side", when recording that he was captured by Nikolas "Kufung" who brought him to Bergen "into Earl Erling's hands", who ordered him to be taken to Nordnes where he was beheaded[420].] Married (1155) ERLING Ormsen "Skakke/the Sharp" of Studla in South Hordaland, son of ORM Sveinsson & his wife Ragnhild Sveinkesdatter (-killed in battle near Nidaros [Trondheim] 18 or 19 Jun 1179, bur Trondheim Cathedral). Left for Palestine 1151 with Kali-Ragnvald Jarl of Orkney. Regent of Norway 1162 for his son King Magnus V. Jarl in Norway 1170. He was killed in battle against King Sverre.

Children with Olav 3 Haraldsson Kyrre

  • King Magnus 3 Olavsson Berrføtt Parents: King Olav 3 Haraldsson Kyrre (c. 1050–1093) and Tora Arnesdatter. Married to the Swedish royal daughter Margrete Fredkolla (died about 1130). Cousin of King Håkon Magnusson Toresfostre (1069–95); father of King Øystein 1 Magnusson (c. 1088–1123), King Sigurd 1 Magnusson Jorsalfare (c. 1089–1130), King Olav Magnusson (c. 1100–1115), King Harald 4 Gille (c. 1102–1136), and Sigurd Slembe (d. 1139). -

King Magnus 3 Olavsson Berrføtt,


Parents: King Olav 3 Haraldsson Kyrre (c. 1050–1093) and Tora Arnesdatter. Married to the Swedish royal daughter Margrete Fredkolla (died about 1130). Cousin of King Håkon Magnusson Toresfostre (1069–95); father of King Øystein 1 Magnusson (c. 1088–1123), King Sigurd 1 Magnusson Jorsalfare (c. 1089–1130), King Olav Magnusson (c. 1100–1115), King Harald 4 Gille (c. 1102–1136), and Sigurd Slembe (d. 1139).

Magnus Berrføtt's reign lasted for 10 years, at a time when Norway was becoming more and more like other kingdoms in Europe with an expanded church organization and a stronger royal government. At the same time, Magnus was a Viking king - in a sense the latter - like his grandfather Harald Hardråde, whom he obviously had as a model, and this is the side of his kingdom the sources tell the most. He was the last Norwegian king to fall outside the country.

Magnus Berrføtt also had another nickname, Stjjaraldar-Magnús, ie "War Magnus". The name “bare feet” has different explanations. Snorre says it came from the fact that in the Western countries he took up the custom of wearing bare legs under a short robe.

Magnus was hailed as king in September 1093, after the death of his father Olav Kyrre, probably at the Borgartinget in Viken. He immediately got a rival in his own cousin, Håkon Toresfostre, who was hailed as king of the Oppland and in Trøndelag. A peaceful reunion between the two was conceivable in itself, but the relationship was nevertheless tense. In particular, there appear to have been contradictions as a result of Håkon's own abolition of some unpopular fees and orders, including "land ear" and "Christmas gifts", which had roots back to Svein Alfivason's government. This gave Håkon popularity, while reducing the kingdom's revenue - including Magnus' -. However, there was no armed settlement between the two until Håkon abruptly died in February 1095.

Nor did Tore Tordsson (Steigar-Tore), who had been Hakon's foster father and the ruler of his kingdom, continue to support Magnus. Instead, he, along with a number of other looms, had the otherwise unknown Svein Haraldsson appointed as counter-king. (The later sagas say that Svein was Danish, but some historians have guessed that he must rather have been the son of Harald Hardråd.) Magnus managed to turn down the rebellion. Tore and several of those who had followed him were hanged. Svein escaped to Denmark, but later returned and became the shepherd of King Øystein Magnusson.

After this, Magnus seems to have had a firm grip on power domestically. The kingdom was now anchored in a network of powerful lords around the country, where relatives of the king formed important links: Magnus' foster father, Tore Ingridsson, who was also the son of Harald Hardrådes sister, was one such supporter; he was the uncle of Sigurd Sigurdsson at Hvitsten in Follo. Magnus' mother, Tora Arnesdatter, later married Brynjolv Ulvalde in Vettaland in Nord-Båhuslen, who was one of the most powerful men in Viken. Their daughter married Sigurd Ranesson in Hålogaland. Pål Skoftesson on Giske, the son-in-law of Torberg Arnesson, was King Magnus' tree of choice. Pål had a sister who was married to Dag Eilivsson on Bratsberg, and another sister who was married to Åsulv on Rein, son of Skule Tostesson. Åsulv was at the same time Magnus' woodcut on another edge. Vidkun Jonsson of Bjarkøy also belonged to the Giske family, and was a pedigree of Magnus' father, Olav Kyrre. These connections gave Magnus's kingdom a firm foundation in the aristocracy of the kingdom. At the same time, this aristocracy was directed to seek power and influence in collaboration with the king.

In 1098 Magnus embarked on his first North Sea voyage with a fleet of 60 ships and 5,000 men. He first came to the Orkney Islands, where the great force helped to mark the Norwegian king's supremacy. From there the journey went south as a comprehensive conquest and looting train. A main opponent was Lagmann, who ruled over the Man and the Southern Islands (Hebrides). Lagmann sought support in Scotland. Magnus obviously intended to link the Suderoy Islands and Man fairly firmly to the Norwegian king in line with the Orkney Islands. Team man was chased away. Magnus also won victories over the Scots and over a group of Normans (Englishmen) at Angelsey, while seeking to build different kinds of alliances in connection with these battles. But he failed to change the general political picture in the area, which was characterized by turmoil, or to secure a Norwegian dominion over Man and the Southern Islands. The Norwegian fleet returned home after a year.

In the year 1100 Magnus launched a campaign in the kingdom of the Swedish king Inge Stenkilsson to put power behind his claim to the villages west of Vänern. He ravaged a larger area in Götaland, and one of his bald men says that "the warrior brought with him the sharp egg fifteen shepherds out of the guts team". But again, the war actions did not produce lasting results. Admittedly, it was agreed in the peace of 1101 that Magnus would marry King Inge's daughter Margrete, at the same time as she granted Dalsland, the disputed landscape, a dowry. But the marriage became childless, and Dalsland never became Norwegian.

Magnus sailed west again with the Naval War 1101 or 1102. The goal was firstly to consolidate the dominion of Man and secondly to make an advance in Ireland as well. Here Magnus first made himself master of Dublin and then sought a position as Irish King. In the summer of 1103 he attacked Ulster, but the Norwegians were careless and surprised by the Irish. Magnus fell in battle on August 24, 1103. The remains of the Norwegian army sailed back to the Orkney Islands.

Magnus was succeeded as king by his three sons, Øystein, Sigurd and Olav. They had different mothers, and none of the mothers appear to have belonged to prominent relatives. Magnus was only 30 years old when he died, exactly according to what he used to say when his men blamed him for being foolish: For glory the king must have, but not for long life - "The king must be honored and not long life! ”

Source King Magnus 3 Olavsson Berrføtt by the NORWEGIAN BIOGRAPHICAL LEXICON -

Project MedLands Norway Kings

D. KINGS of NORWAY 1047-1161

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]. married ([1044]%29 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"[319]. 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[320]. Snorre records that "Queen Ellisif came from the West…with her stepson Olaf and her daughter Ingegerd" after her husband was killed[321].
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”[322]. 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"[323]. 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"[324], 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[325], 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[327].

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[332]. Morkinskinna records that King Harald had promised “his daughter Máría” to “Eystein Orri” when they returned after their invasion of England in 1066[333]. Snorre records that "Maria, a daughter of Harald Sigurdson" died "a sudden death the very day and hour her father King Harald fell"[334]. Betrothed ([mid-1066]%29 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 (1): THORA Thorbergsdatter

  • 3. MAGNUS Haraldsson ([1045/50]-Nidaros 28 Apr 1069, bur Nidaros). Snorre names Magnus and Olav as the sons of King Harald and Thora[335]. 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[339]. Snorre records that King Magnus died "of the ringworm disease" at Nidaros and that he was buried in the same place[340]. 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[341]. 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[342]. 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”[344].
  • 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”[346]. 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[349]. 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"[350]. married ([1070]%29 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"[352]. 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[353]. Morkinskinna names “Thóra, the daughter of Árni lági” as the concubine of King Olav[354].

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]. married 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 ---.


  • Ancestors of the Obrocks of Quincy, Illinois., Obrock, Paul E., Dr.
  • Foundation for Medieval Genealogy., Foundation for Medieval Genealogy Trustees.
  • HKR.
  • NFH, vol. 2
  • A. Bugge: Small contribution to the history of Norway in the 1000s, VSK Skr. II 1914 No. 2, 1914
  • H. Koht: biography in NBL1, vol. 9, 1940
  • N. Bjørgo: “Kingdoms of the King and the King of the Kings,” in HT, vol. 55, 1976, pp. 204–221
  • Torberg Arnesson -
  • Giske -
  • Photos from Giske municipality (without year): Giske pictures 1. [Accessed 13 May 2000].
  • Kvalsund, Ola (1957): "Sagatida and the First Historical Era" in Borgund and Giske. Bind I. Borgund and Giske Bygdeboknemnd.
  • Norway's Land and People (1911): Topographic-statistical description of Romsdal county. The first part. The common part. H. Aschehoug & co (W. Nygaard).
  • WW-Person (without year): Index: Counts of Everstein-Polle. [Accessed 13 May 2000]. Overlid, Ragnar (1964): Borgund and Giske. Band III. Gardsoge Sula, Godøya, Giske and Valderøya. Borgund and Giske Bygdeboknemnd
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Thora Arnesdatter Låge's Timeline

Gudøy or Blindheim, Sunnmøre, Norway