Ingjald illråde or Ingjaldr hinn illráði was a semi-legendary Swedish king of the House of Ynglings and successor of King Anund, the father and predecessor of King Olof Trätälja. Ingjald is mentioned in medieval historiographical sources including Ynglinga saga, Historia Norvegiæ, Hervarar saga, Upplendinga Konungum, Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar and Íslendingabók; the setting of Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar is the 7th century. Johannes Magnus in his 16th-century list of kings places Ingjald in AD 883. Snorri Sturluson gave an extensive account on the life of Ingjald in the Ynglinga saga, part of the Heimskringla; the Ynglinga saga, a part of the Heimskringla relates that the viceroy of Fjädrundaland was named Ingvar and he had two sons and Agnar, who were of the same age as Ingjald. Svipdag the Blind was the viceroy of Tiundaland, the province of Uppsala where the Tings and the Yule sacrifices were held. One midwinter, when Ingjald and Alf were six years old, many people had assembled at Uppsala for the sacrifices.
Alf and Ingjald played, but Ingjald found that he was the weaker boy and became so angry that he started to cry. His foster-brother Gautvid led him to his foster-father Svipdag the Blind and told Svipdag about Ingjald's lack of manliness and strength. Svipdag said that it was a shame and the next day he gave Ingjald a roasted wolf's heart to eat. From that day, Ingjald became a ferocious person and had a bad disposition and breath. Anund arranged a marriage for his son Ingjald with Gauthild, the daughter of the Geatish king Algaut, the son of Gautrek the Mild and the grandson of Gaut. Gautrek consented. Gauthild's maternal grandfather was Olof the king of Närke. Snorri Sturluson relates; the kings at Uppsala were the foremost among the kings of the various provinces since Odin ruled the country, they were the supreme chiefs of the other kingdoms since the death of Agne and Sweden was divided between Erik and Alrik. The descendants of these two kings had spread, cleared land and settled new territories, until there were several petty kings.
In honour of his own ascendance to the throne, Ingjald invited the kings, the jarls and other important men to a grand feast in a newly built hall, just as large and sumptuous as the one in Uppsala. It had seven high seats. Algaut the Geatish king of West Götaland, King Ingvar of Fjädrundaland with his two sons Agnar and Alf, King Sporsnjall of Nerike and King Sigvat of Attundaland came but not King Granmar of Södermanland; the kings filled all seven seats but one. All the prominent people of Sweden had seats, except for Ingjald's own court whom he had sent to his old hall in Uppsala. According to the custom of the time, for those who inherited kings and jarls, Ingjald rested at the footstool until the Bragebeaker was brought in, he was supposed to stand up, take the beaker and make solemn vows, after which he would ascend his father's high seat. However, when the beaker was brought in, he took a bull's horn and made the solemn vow that he would enlarge his own kingdom by half towards all the four-quarters, towards which he pointed his horn, or die.
When all the prominent guests were drunk, he ordered Svipdag's sons and Hylvid, to arm themselves and their men and to leave the building. Outside, they set fire to the building which burnt down and those who tried to escape were killed, thus Ingjald made himself the sole ruler of the domains of the murdered kings. Granmar won allies in his son-in-law the sea-king Hjörvard of the Ylfings and his father-in-law Högne the Geatish king of East Götaland, they withstood Ingjald's invasion where Ingjald realised that the men from the provinces he had conquered were not loyal to him. After a long standstill there was peace for as long. However, one night Ingjald and his men surrounded a farm where Granmar and Hjörvard were at a feast and burnt the house down, he disposed of five more kings, he thus earned the name Illråde as he fulfilled his promise. Snorri Sturluson tells that it was a common saying that Ingjald killed twelve kings by deceiving them that he only wished for peace, that he thus earned his cognomen Illråde.
Ingjald had a son Olof Trätälja and a daughter Åsa. His daughter had inherited her father's psychopathic disposition, she married King Guðröðr of Skåne. Before she murdered her husband she managed to make him kill his own brother Halfdan the Valiant, the father of the great Ivar Vidfamne. In order to avenge his father, Ivar Vidfamne gathered a vast host and departed for Sweden, where he found Ingjald at Ræning; when Ingjald and his daughter realized that it was futile to resist, they set the hall on fire and succumbed in the flames. The citation from Ynglingatal does not appear to describe Ingjald as an evil king, it calls his life a brave life frœknu fjörvi: The Historia Norwegiæ presents a Latin summary of Ynglingatal, older than Snorri's quotation: "The Burning at Upsal" in the Ynglinga saga at the Northvegr website. N. Kershaw's English translation of the Hervarar saga English translation at Northvegr "Of The Kings of the Uplands" A translation in English of Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar Nerman, B.
Det svenska rikets uppkomst. Stockholm, 1925
Ongentheow was the name of a semi-legendary Swedish king of the house of Scylfings, who appears in Old English sources. He is identified with the Swedish king Egil Vendelcrow mentioned in Ynglingatal, Historia Norwegiae and in Ynglinga saga; the reason why they are thought to have been the same is that each has the same position in the line of Swedish kings and is described as the father of Ohthere and grandfather of Eadgils. The name Ongentheow contains as its second element þeōw "servant, slave"; the first appears to be ongēan "against, opposite". In the Old English epic Beowulf Ongentheow is described as a fearsome warrior and it took two warriors Eofor and Wulf Wonreding to take him down; the epic tells that the Geats under their new king Hæþcyn captured the Swedish queen, but old king Ongenþeow saved her, at a hill fort called Hrefnesholt, although they lost her gold. Ongentheow killed Hæþcyn, besieged the Geats at Hrefnesholt; the Geats were, rescued by Hygelac, Hæþcyn's brother, who arrived the next day with reinforcements.
Having lost the battle, but rescued his queen, Ongenþeow and his warriors returned home. However, the war was not over. Hygelac, the new king of the Geats, attacked the Swedes; the Geatish warriors Eofor and Wulf fought together against the hoary king Ongenþeow. Wulf hit Ongentheow's head with his sword so that the old king bled over his hair, but the king hit back and wounded Wulf. Eofor retaliated by cutting through the Swedish king's shield and through his helmet, giving Ongentheow a death-blow. Eofor took the Swedish king's helmet and breastplate and carried them to Hygelac; when they came home and Wulf were richly awarded, Eofor was given Hygelac's daughter. Because of this battle, Hygelac is referred to as Ongentheow's slayer. Ongentheow is mentioned in passing by the earlier poem Widsith as the king of Sweden: In Ari Þorgilsson's Íslendingabók and in Historia Norwegiae, he was called Egil Vendelcrow. Snorri Sturluson, gave the name Vendelcrow to Egil's son Ottar. In these sources, Egil was the son of Aun the Old, like him, not warlike.
After he had made the thrall Tunni responsible for the treasury, Tunni rebelled against Egil. They fought eight battles after which Egil fled according to the Ynglinga saga. Snorri wrote that Fróði, the Danish king, aided Egil in defeating Tunni, made Egil a tributary to the Danish king. Egil was killed by a bull during the sacrifices at Gamla Uppsala; the Historia Norwegiæ presents a Latin summary of Ynglingatal, older than Snorri's quotation: The earlier source Íslendingabók cites the line of descent in Ynglingatal and it gives Egil as the successor of Aunn and the predecessor of Óttarr: xvi Aun inn gamli. Xvii Egill Vendilkráka. Xviii Óttarr; the argument for connection between Ongenþeow and Egil being the same figure are as follows. It is important, though, to note that this is an interpretation of the facts and not definite proof of a connection; the two versions seem contradictory, but it has been shown that the two stories may well describe the same event, that Ynglingatal was misinterpreted by Snorri due to a different dialectal meaning of the word farra.
In Ynglingatal, it says If there is any authenticity behind the traditions, the origin of Ynglingatal was most a Swedish poem which has not survived. In Old Swedish, farra did not mean "bull" but it meant "boar". Moreover, in Old Norse Trjóna meant a pig's snout. Flæmingr meant "sword". Moreover, the sword of the snout can hardly refer to the horns of a bull, but it is more natural to interpret it as the tusks of a boar. In English, the lines can be translated as but the giant beast coloured its tusk red on Egil. In Old English, the name eofor meant "boar" and Ynglingatal could well relate of Eofor killing Egil with kennings for boars; these kennings, sung by Swedes, were misinterpreted by Norwegians and Icelanders as literal expressions due to the different dialectal meanings of farra. Moreover, according to Schück, the name Tunni which has no meaning in Old Norse should in Proto-Norse have been *Tunþa and derived from *Tunþuz, it would have been the same word as the Gothic Tunþus which meant "tooth".
This would mean that the name of Egil's enemy meant "tooth" and Tunni and the bull/boar would have been the same enemy, i.e. Eofor; some scholars have suggested that the name Ongentheow is connected to the Danish king Ongendus, who appears in one sentence of Alcuin's life of Willibrord. Ynglingatal Ynglinga saga Historia Norwegiae Beowulf Widsith Íslendingabók Nerman, B. Det svenska rikets uppkomst. Stockholm, 1925. Sundquist, O. "Freyr"s offspring. Rulers and religion in ancient Svea society"
Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson was a king of Denmark and Norway. He was the son of King Gorm the Old and of Thyra Dannebod. Harald ruled as king of Denmark from c. 958 – c. 986. Harald introduced Christianity to Denmark and consolidated his rule over most of Jutland and Zealand. Harald's rule as king of Norway following the assassination of King Harald Greycloak of Norway was more tenuous, most lasting for no more than a few years in the 970s; some sources say his son Sweyn Forkbeard forcibly deposed him from his Danish throne before his death. Harald's name is written as runic haraltr: kunukʀ in the Jelling stone inscription. In normalized Old Norse, this would correspond to Haraldr konungr, i.e. "Harald king". The Latinized name as given in the medieval Danish chronicles is Haraldus Gormonis filius; the given name Haraldr is the equivalent of Old English Hereweald, Old High German Heriwald, from hari "army" and wald- "rule". Harald's name is inscribed on the so-called Curmsun disc, rediscovered in 2014, as +ARALD CVRMSVN + REX AD TANER + SCON + JVMN + CIV ALDIN, i.e. "Harald Gormson, king of Danes, Jumne, Oldenburg".
The first documented appearance of Harald's nickname "Bluetooth" is in the Chronicon Roskildense, alongside the alternative nickname Clac Harald. Clac Harald appears to be a confusion of Harald Bluetooth with the legendary or semi-legendary Harald Klak, son of Halfdan; the byname is given as Blachtent and explicitly glossed as "bluish or black tooth" in a chronicle of the late 12th century, Wilhelmi abbatis regum Danorum genealogia. The traditional explanation is that Harald must have had a conspicuous bad tooth that appeared "blue". Another explanation, proposed by Scocozza is; the Bluetooth wireless specification design was named after the king in 1997, the Bluetooth logo consists of a Younger futhark bindrune for his initials, H and B. During his reign, Harald oversaw the reconstruction of the Jelling runic stones, numerous other public works; the most famous is fortifying the fortress of Aros, situated in a central position in his kingdom in the year 979. Some believe these projects were a way for him to consolidate economic and military control of his country and the main city.
Ring forts were built in five strategic locations with Aarhus in the middle: Trelleborg on Zealand, Borrering in eastern Zealand, Nonnebakken on Funen, Fyrkat in Himmerland and Aggersborg near Limfjord. All five fortresses had similar designs: "perfectly circular with gates opening to the four corners of the earth, a courtyard divided into four areas which held large houses set in a square pattern." A sixth Trelleborg of similar design, located at Borgeby, in Scania, has been dated to about 1000 and may have been built by King Harald and a second fort named Trelleborg is located near the modern town of Trelleborg in Scania in present-day Sweden, but is of older date and thus pre-dates the reign of Harald Bluetooth. He constructed the oldest known bridge in southern Scandinavia, the 5 meters wide, 760 meters long Ravning Bridge at Ravning meadows. While quiet prevailed throughout the interior, he turned his energies to foreign enterprises, he came to the help of Richard the Fearless of Normandy in 945 and 963, while his son conquered Samland, after the assassination of King Harald Greycloak of Norway, managed to force the people of that country into temporary subjugation to himself.
The Norse sagas present Harald in a rather negative light. He was forced twice to submit to the renegade Swedish prince Styrbjörn the Strong of the Jomsvikings- first by giving Styrbjörn a fleet and his daughter Thyra, the second time by giving up himself as hostage, along with yet another fleet; when Styrbjörn brought this fleet to Uppsala to claim the throne of Sweden, Harald broke his oath and fled with his Danes to avoid facing the Swedish army at the Battle of Fýrisvellir. As a consequence of Harald's army having lost to the Germans at the Danevirke in 974, he no longer had control of Norway, Germans settled back into the border area between Scandinavia and Germany, they were driven out of Denmark in 983 by an alliance of Obodrite soldiers and troops loyal to Harald, but soon after, Harald was killed fighting off a rebellion led by his son Sweyn. He is believed to have died in 986. According to Adam of Bremen he died in Jumne/Jomsborg from his wounds. Based on the Curmsun Disc inscription, Swedish archaeologist Sven Rosborn proposes that Harald may have been buried in the church of Wiejkowo, close to Jomsborg.
From 1835 to 1977, it was wrongly believed that Harald ordered the death of the Haraldskær Woman, a bog body thought to be Gunnhild, Mother of Kings until radiocarbon dating proved otherwise. The Hiddensee treasure, a large trove of gold objects, was found in 1873 on the German island of Hiddensee in the Baltic Sea, it is believed. King Harald Bluetooth's conversion to Christianity is a contested bit of history, not least because medieval writers such as Widukind of Corvey and Adam of Bremen give conflicting accounts of how it came about. Wid
Curt Weibull was a Swedish historian and author. Curt Hugo Johannes Weibull was born in Sweden, he was a member of the noted Swedish Weibull family. He was the son of history professor Martin Weibull and the brother of Lauritz Weibull, Alexander Weibull, Julius Oscar Elof Weibull and Carl Gustaf Weibull, he and his brothers attended the University of Lund. Curt Weibull was a professor of history at Gothenburg University from 1927–1953 and its president from 1936 to 1946. In 1928 he and his brother, Lauritz Weibull, founded the periodical Scandia. Together they are known for having introduced a critical theory of history in Swedish historical research, inspired by German historian, Leopold von Ranke. Weibull was an important mentor to historian Erik Lönnroth, who further developed the methods to evaluate sources, his most important and acclaimed work is a criticism regarding the interpretation and the ahistoricism of the Gesta Danorum by the 12th century Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus. This piece was called: Saxo.
Kritiska undersökningar i Danmarks historia från Sven Estridsens död till Canute VI, was rather controversial at the time, as it revealed the vague foundations of Denmark's older history of the time. In 1991, when he was 105, his last work was published: an article in a book celebrating the 100th anniversary of Gothenburg University; that makes him the oldest historian in the world to have a new study published while still alive. An anecdote tells that when a Danish historian was counter-criticizing parts of Weibull's Ph. D. thesis on Saxo Grammaticus in his own thesis Weibull appeared on the public disputation angrily defending his work. In the late 1970s, while holding a lecture about his life and his research to younger students, he had cheekily remarked about a Danish professor who had criticized his own thesis when it appeared: "I haven't replied in depth to the criticism of the professor, but it's not too late, now is it?" He was the father of the Swedish historian and Liberal politician, Jorgen Weibull and was buried in Norra kyrkogården in Lund.
Sverige och dess nordiska Grannmakter under den tidigare medeltiden Lübeck och Skånemarknaden. Studier i Lübecks pundtullsböcker och pundtullskvitton 1368-1369 och 1398-1400 Drottning Christina Göteborgs Högskola: dess förhistoria och uppkomst Händelser och utvecklingslinjer. Historiska studier Göta älvs mynning. Land och städer fram i äldre medeltid Tionden i Skåne under senare delen av 1600-talet Die Auswanderung der Goten aus Schweden Källkritik och historia: Norden under äldre medeltiden Die Geaten des Beowulfepos und Die dänischen Trelleburgen: zwei Diskussionsbeiträge Prehistoric Sweden Early Swedish history Semi-legendary kings of Sweden - a topic scrutinized by Curt Weibull This article is or based on material from Nordisk familjebok, 1904–1926 and from Nationalencyklopedin online edition. Nilsson, Sven A. Curt Weibull Scandia website Weibull family website
Swedes (Germanic tribe)
The Swedes (Swedish: svear. The first author who wrote about the tribe is Tacitus, who in his Germania, from 98 CE mentions the Suiones. Jordanes, in the sixth century, mentions Suetidi. According to early sources such as the sagas Heimskringla, the Swedes were a powerful tribe whose kings claimed descendence from the god Freyr. During the Viking Age they constituted the basis of the Varangian subset, the Vikings that travelled eastwards; as the dominions of the Swedish kings grew, the name of the tribe could be applied more during the Middle Ages to include the Geats. It again meant only the people inhabiting the original tribal lands in Svealand, rather than the Geats. In modern North Germanic languages, the adjectival form svensk and its plural svenskar have replaced the name svear and is, used to denote all the citizens of Sweden; the distinction between the tribal Swedes and modern Swedes appears to have been in effect by the early 20th century, when Nordisk familjebok noted that svenskar had replaced svear as a name for the Swedish people.
Although this distinction is convention in modern Norwegian and Swedish, Icelandic and Faroese do not distinguish between svíar or sviar and sænskir or svenskarar as words for modern Swedes. The form Suiones appears in the Roman author Tacitus's Germania. A similar form, Sweon, is found in Old English and in the Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum of Adam of Bremen about the Hamburg-Bremen archbishops who are denoted Sueones. Most scholars agree that Suiones and the attested Germanic forms of the name derive from the same Proto-Indo-European reflexive pronominal root, *se, as the Latin suus; the word must have meant "one's own". In modern Scandinavian, the same root appears in words such as svägerska; the same root and original meaning is found in the ethnonym of the Germanic tribe Suebi, preserved to this day in the name Schwaben. The details of the phonetic development vary between different proposals. Noréen proposed that Suiones is a Latin rendering of Proto-Germanic *Swihoniz, derived from the PIE root *swih- "one's own".
The form *Swihoniz would in Ulfilas' Gothic become *Swaíhans, which would result in the form Suehans that Jordanes mentioned as the name of the Swedes in Getica. The Proto-Norse form would have been *Swehaniz which following the sound-changes in Old Norse resulted in Old West Norse Svíar and Old East Norse Swear. However, the root for "one's own" is reconstructed as *se rather than *swih, and, the root identified for Suiones e.g. in Pokorny's 1959 Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch and in the 2002 The Nordic languages: an international handbook of the history of the North Germanic languages edited by Oskar Bandle. *Swe is the form cited by V. Friesen, who regards the form Sviones as being an adjective, Proto-Germanic *Sweoniz, meaning "kindred"; the Gothic form would have been *Swians and the H in Suehans an epenthesis. The Proto-Norse form would also have been *Sweoniz, which would have resulted in the attested forms; the name became part of a compound, which in Old West Norse was Svíþjóð ("the Svear people'", in Old East Norse Sweþiuð and in Old English Sweoðeod.
This compound appears on runestones in a suiþiuþu and o suoþiauþu. The 13th century Danish source Scriptores rerum danicarum mentions a place called litlæ swethiuthæ, the island Sverige near Stockholm; the earliest instance, appears to be Suetidi in Jordanes' Getica. The only Germanic nation having a similar naming was the Goths, who from the name *Gutans created the form gut-þiuda; the name Swethiuth and its different forms gave rise to the different Latin names for Sweden, Suethia and Suecia as well as the modern English name for the country. A second compound was Svíariki, or Sweorice in Old English, which meant "the realm of the Suiones"; this is still the formal name for Sweden in Swedish, Svea rike and the origin of its current name Sverige with the "k" in the old form "Sverike" changed to a "g". Their primary dwellings were in eastern Svealand, their territories very early included the provinces of Västmanland, Södermanland and Närke in the Mälaren Valley which constituted a bay with a multitude of islands.
The region is still one of the densely populated regions of Scandinavia. Their territories were called Svealand - "Swede-land", Suithiod - "Swede-people", Svíaveldi or Svearike - "Swede-realm"; the political unification with the Geats in Götaland, a process, not complete until the 13th century, is by some contemporary historians regarded as the birth of the Swedish kingdom, although the Swedish kingdom is named after them, Sverige in Swedish, from Svea rike - i.e. the kingdom of the Suiones. The Æsir-cult centre in Gamla Uppsala, was the religious centre of the Swedes and where the Swedish king served as a priest during the sacrifices. Uppsala was the centre of the Uppsala öd, the network of royal estates that financed the Swe
Norway the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land. Norway has a total area of 385,207 square kilometres and a population of 5,312,300; the country shares a long eastern border with Sweden. Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, the Skagerrak strait to the south, with Denmark on the other side. Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the Barents Sea. Harald V of the House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway. Erna Solberg has been prime minister since 2013. A unitary sovereign state with a constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the parliament, the cabinet and the supreme court, as determined by the 1814 constitution; the kingdom was established in 872 as a merger of a large number of petty kingdoms and has existed continuously for 1,147 years.
From 1537 to 1814, Norway was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, from 1814 to 1905, it was in a personal union with the Kingdom of Sweden. Norway was neutral during the First World War. Norway remained neutral until April 1940 when the country was invaded and occupied by Germany until the end of Second World War. Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels: counties and municipalities; the Sámi people have a certain amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act. Norway maintains close ties with both the United States. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty, the Nordic Council. Norway maintains the Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system, its values are rooted in egalitarian ideals; the Norwegian state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, having extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, lumber and fresh water.
The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside of the Middle East; the country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World IMF lists. On the CIA's GDP per capita list which includes autonomous territories and regions, Norway ranks as number eleven, it has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of US$1 trillion. Norway has had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world since 2009, a position held between 2001 and 2006, it had the highest inequality-adjusted ranking until 2018 when Iceland moved to the top of the list. Norway ranked first on the World Happiness Report for 2017 and ranks first on the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity, the Democracy Index. Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Norway has two official names: Norge in Noreg in Nynorsk; the English name Norway comes from the Old English word Norþweg mentioned in 880, meaning "northern way" or "way leading to the north", how the Anglo-Saxons referred to the coastline of Atlantic Norway similar to scientific consensus about the origin of the Norwegian language name.
The Anglo-Saxons of Britain referred to the kingdom of Norway in 880 as Norðmanna land. There is some disagreement about whether the native name of Norway had the same etymology as the English form. According to the traditional dominant view, the first component was norðr, a cognate of English north, so the full name was Norðr vegr, "the way northwards", referring to the sailing route along the Norwegian coast, contrasting with suðrvegar "southern way" for, austrvegr "eastern way" for the Baltic. In the translation of Orosius for Alfred, the name is Norðweg, while in younger Old English sources the ð is gone. In the 10th century many Norsemen settled in Northern France, according to the sagas, in the area, called Normandy from norðmann, although not a Norwegian possession. In France normanni or northmanni referred to people of Sweden or Denmark; until around 1800 inhabitants of Western Norway where referred to as nordmenn while inhabitants of Eastern Norway where referred to as austmenn. According to another theory, the first component was a word nór, meaning "narrow" or "northern", referring to the inner-archipelago sailing route through the land.
The interpretation as "northern", as reflected in the English and Latin forms of the name, would have been due to folk etymology. This latter view originated with philologist Niels Halvorsen Trønnes in 1847; the form Nore is still used in placenames such as the village of Nore and lake Norefjorden in Buskerud county, still has the same meaning. Among other arguments in favour of the theor
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian and politician. He was elected twice as lawspeaker to the Althing, he was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning, a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. He was the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is taken to be the author of Egil's saga. Snorri Sturluson was born in Hvammur í Dölum into the wealthy and powerful Sturlungar family of the Icelandic Commonwealth in 1179, his parents were his second wife, Guðný Böðvarsdóttir. He had two older brothers, Þórðr Sturluson and Sighvatr Sturluson, two sisters and nine half-siblings. Snorri was raised from the age of three by Jón Loftsson, a relative of the Norwegian royal family, in Oddi, Iceland; as Sturla was trying to settle a lawsuit with the priest and chieftain Páll Sölvason, Páll's wife lunged at him with a knife — intending, she said, to make him like his one-eyed hero Odin — but bystanders deflected the blow to his cheek instead.
The resulting settlement would have beggared Páll, but Jón Loftsson intervened in the Althing to mitigate the judgment and, to compensate Sturla, offered to raise and educate Snorri. Snorri therefore received an excellent education and made connections that he might not otherwise have made, he attended the school of Sæmundr fróði, grandfather of Jón Loftsson, at Oddi, never returned to his parents' home. His father died in his mother as guardian soon wasted Snorri's share of the inheritance. Jón Loftsson died in 1197; the two families arranged a marriage in 1199 between Snorri and Herdís, the daughter of Bersi Vermundarson. From her father, Snorri inherited an estate at a chieftainship, he soon chieftainships. Snorri and Herdís were together for four years at Borg, they had Hallbera and Jón. The marriage succumbed to Snorri's philandering, in 1206, he settled in Reykholt as manager of an estate there, but without Herdís, he made significant improvements including a hot outdoor bath. The bath and the buildings have been preserved to some extent.
During the initial years at Reykholt he fathered five children by three different women: Guðrún Hreinsdóttir, Oddný, Þuríður Hallsdóttir. Snorri became known as a poet, but was a lawyer. In 1215, he became lawspeaker of the Althing, the only public office of the Icelandic commonwealth and a position of high respect. In the summer of 1218, he sailed to Norway, by royal invitation. There he became well acquainted with the teen-aged King Hákon Hákonarson and his co-regent, Jarl Skúli, he spent the winter as house-guest of the jarl. They showered gifts upon him, including the ship in which he sailed, he in return wrote poetry about them. In the summer of 1219 he met his Swedish colleague, the lawspeaker Eskil Magnusson, his wife, Kristina Nilsdotter Blake, in Skara, they were both related to royalty and gave Snorri an insight into the history of Sweden. Snorri was interested in history and culture; the Norwegian regents, cultivated Snorri, made him a skutilsvein, a senior title equivalent to knight, received an oath of loyalty.
The king hoped to extend his realm to Iceland, which he could do by a resolution of the Althing, of which Snorri had been a key member. In 1220, Snorri returned to Iceland and by 1222 was back as lawspeaker of the Althing, which he held this time until 1232; the basis of his election was his fame as a poet. Politically he was the king's spokesman, supporting union with Norway, a platform that acquired him enemies among the chiefs. In 1224, Snorri married Hallveig Ormsdottir, a granddaughter of Jón Loftsson, now a widow of great means with two young sons, made a contract of joint property ownership with her, their children did not survive to adulthood, but Hallveig's sons and seven of Snorri's children did live to adulthood. Snorri was the most powerful chieftain in Iceland during the years 1224–1230. Many of the other chiefs found his position as royal office-holder contrary to their interests the other Sturlungar. Snorri's strategy was to consolidate power over them, at which point he could offer Iceland to the king.
His first moves were civic. On the death in 1222 of Sæmundur, son of Jón Loftsson, he became a suitor for the hand of his daughter, Sólveig. Herdís' silent vote did nothing for his suit, his nephew, Sturla Sighvatsson, Snorri's political opponent, stepped in to marry her in 1223, the year before Snorri met Hallveig. A period of clan feuding followed. Snorri perceived that only resolute, saga-like actions could achieve his objective, but he proved unwilling or incapable of carrying them out, he raised an armed party under another nephew, Böðvar Þórðarson, another under his son, Órækja, with the intent of executing a first strike against his brother Sighvatur and Sturla Sighvatsson. On the eve of battle he dismissed those offered terms to his brother. Sighvatur and Sturla with a force of 1000 men drove Snorri into the countryside, where he sought refuge among the other chiefs. Órækja undertook guerrilla operations in the fjords of western Iceland and the war was on. Haakon IV made an effort to intervene from afar, inviting al