A duke or duchess can either be a monarch ruling over a duchy or a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch. During the Middle Ages the title signified first among the Germanic monarchies, Dukes were the rulers of the provinces and the superiors of the counts in the cities and later, in the feudal monarchies, the highest-ranking peers of the king. During the 19th century many of the smaller German and Italian states were ruled by Dukes or Grand Dukes, but at present, with the exception of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, there are no dukes ruling as monarchs. Duke remains the highest hereditary title in Portugal, Spain, in Sweden, members of the Royal Family are given a personal dukedom at birth. The Pope, as a sovereign, has also, though rarely. In some realms the relative status of duke and prince, as borne by the nobility rather than by members of reigning dynasties, varied—e. g. in Italy. A woman who holds in her own right the title to such duchy or dukedom, Queen Elizabeth II, however, is known by tradition as Duke of Normandy in the Channel Islands and Duke of Lancaster in Lancashire. A duchy is the territory or geopolitical entity ruled by a duke, a dukedom is the title or status of a duke, a rank in the present or past nobility, and is not necessarily attached to a duchy.
A few examples exist today, The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a independent state and its head. In Scotland the male heir apparent to the British crown is always the Duke of Rothesay as well, the Channel Islands are two of the three remaining Crown Dependencies, the last vestiges of the lands of the Duchy of Normandy. The Islanders in their loyal toast will say La Reine, notre Duc, the Channel Islands, part of the lost Duchy, remained a self-governing possession of the English Crown. While the islands today retain autonomy in government, they owe allegiance to The Queen in her role as Duke of Normandy. During the Middle Ages, after Roman power in Western Europe collapsed, in 1332, Robert of Taranto succeeded his father, Philip. John took the style of Duke of Durazzo, in 1368, Durazzo fell to Karl Thopia, who was recognized by Venice as Prince of Albania. The Visigoths retained the Roman divisions of their kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula and they were the most powerful landowners and, along with the bishops, elected the king, usually from their own midst.
They were the commanders and in this capacity often acted independently from the king. The army was structured decimally with the highest unit, the thiufa, the cities were commanded by counts, who were in turn answerable to the dukes, who called up the thiufae when necessary. When the Lombards entered Italy, the Latin chroniclers called their war leaders duces in the old fashion and these leaders eventually became the provincial rulers, each with a recognized seat of government
Sigrid the Haughty
Sigrid the Haughty, known as Sigríð Storråda, is a queen appearing in Norse sagas as wife, first of Eric the Victorious of Sweden, Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark. Sigrid appears in many sagas composed generations after the events they describe, snorri Sturlason gives conflicting information and in one place says that Sweyn was married to Sigrid and in another that he was married to a Gunhild of Wenden. It is unclear if the figure of Sigrid was a person, if the saga account of her is an amalgamation of the lives and deeds of several women. The latter view is held by modern scholars such as Birgitta Fritz, who does not give much credibility to the Nordic sources. Heimskringla describes Sigrid as the beautiful but vengeful daughter of Skogul-Tosti, as widow of Eric the Victorious, she held many great estates, and was living with her son Olav the Swede, when her foster-brother Harald Grenske, a king in Vestfold, sought her hand. She had him and another royal wooer, Vissavald of Gardarik and this episode earned her her byname.
Her hand was sought by Olaf Tryggvasson, the king of Norway. She told him to his face, I will not part from the faith which my forefathers have kept before me, in a rage, Olaf struck her with a glove, and Sigrid calmly told him, This may some day be thy death. Sigrid proceeded to create a coalition of his enemies to bring about his downfall and she allied Sweden with Denmark, marrying the widower Sweyn Forkbeard who had already been feuding with Olaf. Sweyn had sent his sister Tyri to marry the Wendish king Burislav, Tyri fled and married Olaf, goading him into conflict with her brother, while Sigrid inflamed Sweyn against her former suitor. This shared animosity would lead to the Battle of Swold, in which Olaf fell, the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus would repeat this information, writing that Eric the Victorious widow Syritha had married Sweyn Forkbeard after having spurned Olaf Trygvasson. One further point that has been cited in favor of Sigrids historical existence is that the holdings of the Danish kings in medieval Sweden were known as Syghridslef - the legacy of Sigrid.
Adams claims about the marriage to Eric are considered unreliable by historians, since he is the only source to state this relationship. The scholia of Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum mentions that it was the Polish king Boleslaw who gave the hand in marriage. One problem is that Olof was born at latest in the early 980´s, before Boleslaw Chrobry came to power, during this time, marriages between Nordic monarchs and Vendic nobles was reoccurring for political reasons. For instance, Tove of the Obotrites, daughter of the Vendic lord Mistivoj, Gesta Cnutonis regis mentions in one short passage that Canute and his brother went to the land of the Slavs, and brought back their mother, who was living there. This does not necessarily mean that his mother was Slavic, and these data have been used for alternative reconstructions. Finally, some consider Sigrid to be a fantasy created by Scandinavian saga writers, further confusion has been introduced by dated interpretations of an archaeological discovery
Richard II, Duke of Normandy
Richard II, called the Good, was the eldest son and heir of Richard I the Fearless and Gunnora. He was a Norman nobleman of the House of Normandy, Richard succeeded his father as Duke of Normandy in 996. During his minority, the first five years of his reign, his regent was Count Rodulf of Ivry, his uncle, Richard had deep religious interests and found he had much in common with Robert II of France, who he helped militarily against the duchy of Burgundy. He forged an alliance with Brittany by marrying his sister Hawise to Geoffrey I, Duke of Brittany and by his own marriage to Geoffreys sister. In 1000-1001, Richard repelled an English attack on the Cotentin Peninsula that was led by Ethelred II of England, Ethelred had given orders that Richard be captured and brought to England. But the English had not been prepared for the response of the Norman cavalry and were utterly defeated. Richard attempted to improve relations with England through his sister Emma of Normandys marriage to King Ethelred and this marriage was significant in that it gave his grandson, William the Conqueror, the basis of his claim to the throne of England.
The improved relations proved to be beneficial to Ethelred when in 1013 Sweyn Forkbeard invaded England, Emma with her two sons Edward and Alfred fled to Normandy followed shortly thereafter by her husband king Ethelred. Soon after the death of Ethelred, King of England forced Emma to marry him while Richard was forced to recognize the new regime as his sister was again Queen, Richard had contacts with Scandinavian Vikings throughout his reign. He employed Viking mercenaries and concluded a treaty with Sweyn Forkbeard who was en route to England, in 1025 and 1026 Richard confirmed gifts of his great-grandfather Rollo to Saint-Ouen at Rouen. His other numerous grants to monastic houses tends to indicate the areas over which Richard had ducal control, namely Caen, the Éverecin, the Cotentin, Richard II died 28 Aug 1026. His eldest son, Richard becoming the new Duke,1025, buried at Fécamp Abbey Eleanor, married to Baldwin IV, Count of Flanders Matilda, nun at Fecamp, d.1033. Secondly he married Poppa of Envermeu, by whom he had the issue, Archbishop of Rouen William
Sweyn Forkbeard was king of Denmark and parts of Norway. His name appears as Swegen in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and he was the son of King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark, and the father of Cnut the Great. In the mid-980s, Sweyn revolted against his father and seized the throne, Harald was driven into exile and died shortly afterwards in November 986 or 987. In 1000, with the allegiance of Trondejarl, Eric of Lade, in 1013, shortly before his death, he became the first Danish king of England after a long effort. Many details about Sweyns life are contested, Adam of Bremen identifies his mother as Gunhild while the Dictionary of National Biography states that his mothers name is unknown. The Danish encyclopedia Den Store Danske on the other hand identifies her as Tove from the Western Wendland, many negative accounts build on Adam of Bremens writings, Adam is said to have watched Sweyn and Scandinavia in general with an unsympathetic and intolerant eye, according to some scholars. Adam accused Forkbeard of being a pagan who persecuted Christians, betrayed his father and expelled German bishops from Scania.
According to Adam, Sweyn was sent into exile by his fathers German friends and deposed in favour of king Eric the Victorious of Sweden, whom Adam wrote ruled Denmark until his death in 994 or 995. Historians generally have problems with Adams claims, such as that Sweyn was driven into exile in Scotland for a period as long as fourteen years. As many scholars point out, he built churches in Denmark throughout this period, such as Lund and Roskilde, Sweyn was believed to have had a personal interest in the atrocities, with his sister Gunhilde and her husband possibly amongst the victims. Sweyn campaigned in Wessex and East Anglia in 1003–1004, but a famine forced him to return to Denmark in 1005, further raids took place in 1006–1007, and in 1009–1012 Thorkell the Tall led a Viking invasion into England. Simon Keynes regards it as uncertain whether Sweyn supported these invasions, some scholars have argued that Sweyns participation may have been prompted by his state of impoverishment after having been forced to pay a hefty ransom.
He needed revenue from the raids and he acquired massive sums of Danegeld through the raids. In 1013, he is reported to have led his forces in a full-scale invasion of England. The contemporary Peterborough Chronicle, one of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, states and he went very quickly about East Anglia into the Humbers mouth, and so upward along the Trent till he came to Gainsborough. Earl Uchtred and all Northumbria quickly bowed to him, as did all the people of the Kingdom of Lindsey and he was given hostages from each shire. After he came over Watling Street, they went to Oxford, and the town-dwellers soon bowed to him, from there they went to Winchester, and the people did the same, eastward to London. But the Londoners put up a resistance, because King Æthelred and Thorkell the Tall
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. In Brunei, the wife of the Sultan is known as a Raja Isteri with prefix Pengiran Anak, equivalent with queen consort in English, a queen consort usually shares her husbands social rank and status. She holds the equivalent of the kings monarchical titles, but historically, she does not share the kings political. A queen regnant is a queen in her own right with all the powers of a monarch, where some title other than that of king is held by the sovereign, his wife is referred to by the feminine equivalent, such as princess consort or empress consort. In monarchies where polygamy has been practiced in the past, or is practiced today. In Morocco, King Mohammed VI has broken with tradition and given his wife, Lalla Salma, prior to the reign of King Mohammed VI, the Moroccan monarchy had no such title. In Thailand, the king and queen must both be of royal descent, the kings other consorts are accorded royal titles that confer status. Other cultures maintain different traditions on queenly status, a Zulu chieftain designates one of his wives Great Wife, which would be the equivalent to queen consort.
Conversely, in Yorubaland, all of a chiefs princess consorts are essentially of equal rank, in general, the consorts of monarchs have no power per se, even when their position is constitutionally or statutorily recognized. In some cases, the queen consort has been the power behind her husbands throne, e. g. Maria Luisa of Parma. Past queens consort, Queen Jang, consort to Sukjong of Joseon
An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire. A queen regnant possesses and exercises sovereign powers, a queen consort shares her husbands rank and titles, but does not share the sovereignty of her husband. The husband of a queen regnant traditionally does not share his wifes rank, the concept of a king consort is not unheard of in contemporary or classical periods. A queen dowager is the widow of a king, a queen mother is a queen dowager who is the mother of a reigning sovereign. The Byzantine Empress Irene sometimes called herself basileus, rather than basilissa and Jadwiga of Poland was crowned as Rex Poloniae, King of Poland. Among the Davidic Monarchs of the Kingdom of Judah, there is mentioned a queen regnant, Athaliah. The much Hasmonean Queen Salome Alexandra was highly popular, accession of a regnant occurs as a nations order of succession permits. The scope of succession may be matrilineal, patrilineal, or both, or, open to general election when necessary, the right of succession may be open to men and women, or limited to men only or women only.
Historically, many realms forbade succession by women or through a line in obedience to the Salic law. No queen regnant ever ruled France, for example, only one woman, Maria Theresa, ruled Austria. As noted in the list below of widely known ruling queens, in the waning days of the 20th century and early days of the 21st, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK amended their acts of succession to absolute primogeniture. In some cases the change does not take effect during the lifetimes of people already in the line of succession at the time the law was passed, in 2011, the 16 Realms of the Commonwealth agreed to remove the rule of male-preference primogeniture. Once the necessary legislation was passed, this means that had Prince William had a daughter first, in China, Wu Zetian became the Chinese empress regnant and established the Zhou Dynasty after dismissing her sons. It should be noted, that Empress Wu used the title huangdi and in many European sources, although the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan is currently barred to women, this has not always been the case, throughout Japanese history there have been eight empresses regnant.
Again, the Japanese language uses the term josei tennō for the position which would be empress regnant in English, monarch Order of succession Queen consort Rani Regent Salic law Sultana Monter, William. The Rise of Female Kings in Europe, 1300-1800, studies 30 women who exercised full sovereign authority in Europe
Harald III of Denmark
Harald III was King of Denmark from 1076 to 1080. Harald III was a son of Danish king Sweyn II Estridsson. He was a ruler who initiated a number of reforms. Harald was married to his cousin Margareta Hasbjörnsdatter, but did not leave any heirs, four of his half-brothers were in turn crowned Danish kings. Son of King Sweyn II, Harald took part in Sweyns 1069 raid of England alongside his uncle Jarl Asbjørn, after the death of his father in 1076, Harald was elected king in competition with his younger brother, Canute, at the Zealand Assembly at Isøre near Odsherred. In order to get elected, he took the vows called Haralds laws, during his rule, Harald met opposition from a number of his brothers, likely including Canute, who enlisted the support of Olaf III of Norway. Pope Gregory VII mediated, advising Olaf not to take sides, Harald was dependent on the great nobles of Denmark for his election, and did little to oppose them. As a result, he fought no major wars and spent his energy improving the few things that lay in his purview and he is best known for improving and standardizing Danish coinage, and established mints at Ribe, Viborg and Schleswig.
He instituted public use of the Royal forests, Harald sought to change Danish legal customs. He allegedly continued Sweyns politic of seeking a Danish Archbishopric with the Pope, Harald died on April 17,1080, and was interred at Dalby Church in Scania. He was succeeded as king by his brother, Canute IV, saxo Grammaticus scorned Harald as a weak and ineffective king yielding to the will of the common people, while Ælnoth called him a by the people beloved lawmaker. He is described as a man who let others control his actions, perhaps this gives the explanation for his nickname Harald the Whetstone, in other words, Harald the Soft. The legal reforms of Harald were not fully accepted until the reign of Valdemar II the Victorious in the 13th century, the historicity of his coinage reform has been called into question
Roskilde Cathedral, in the city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark, is a cathedral of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. The first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick, it encouraged the spread of the Brick Gothic style throughout Northern Europe, constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral incorporates both Gothic and Romanesque architectural features in its design. Until the 20th century, it was Zealands only cathedral and its twin spires dominate the skyline of the town. The cathedral has been the burial site for Danish monarchs since the 15th century. As such, it has significantly extended and altered over the centuries to accommodate a considerable number of burial chapels. Following the Danish Reformation in 1536, the residence was moved to Copenhagen while the title was changed to Bishop of Zealand. Coronations normally took place in Copenhagens Church of Our Lady or in the chapel of Frederiksborg Palace, the cathedral is a major tourist attraction, bringing in over 125,000 visitors annually.
Since 1995, it has listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A working church, it hosts concerts throughout the year. Roskilde was named the new capital of Denmark by King Harald Bluetooth around the year 960, moving to Roskilde, Bluetooth built a royal farm and next to it, a small stave church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Little is known of the Trinity Church, let alone its architecture, in Adam of Bremens Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, there is an account of how the kings son, Sweyn Forkbeard, raised a rebellion against him, forcing him to flee to Jomsborg. When Bluetooth died in 985/986, the army that had raised against him brought his body to Roskilde. At Christmas in 1026, Ulf the Earl was murdered by one of Cnut the Greats housecarls, though the sources differ, this happened either inside the church or at the royal farm. Ulf had been married to Cnut the Greats sister Estrid, who was outraged by the murder, there is some doubt as to when Roskilde became the seat of the Bishop of Roskilde.
When Sweyn Forkbeard conquered England in 1013, he began sending English bishops to Denmark and this caused some conflict with the Archbishop of Hamburg, who regarded Scandinavia as belonging to the Archdiocese of Bremen. The earliest known bishop of Roskilde was Gerbrand, who had been a cleric with Cnut the Great, only after swearing allegiance to the archbishop was he allowed to continue his journey. The archbishop may have had reason to be suspicious, as documents of the time suggest that Cnut the Great may have planned to create an archdiocese in Roskilde. Funded by the weregild Estrid Svendsdatter had received, the old Trinity Church was torn down and this may have formed the base of the travertine cathedral, but it is difficult to tell, as two cathedrals have subsequently been built on the same site
Mieszko I of Poland
Mieszko I was the ruler of the Polans from about 960 until his death. A member of the Piast dynasty, he was a son of Siemomysł, and he was the father of Bolesław I the Brave and Gunhild of Wenden with his wife Oda. The first Christian ruler of territories called Poland, Mieszko I is considered the de facto creator of the Polish state and he continued the policy of both his father and grandfather, who were rulers of the pagan tribes located in the area of present-day Greater Poland. Through both alliances and the use of force, Mieszko extended ongoing Polish conquests and early in his reign subjugated Kuyavia. For most of his reign, Mieszko I was involved in warfare for the control of Western Pomerania, during the last years of his life, he fought the Bohemian state, winning Silesia and probably Lesser Poland. Mieszko Is marriage in 965 to the Czech Přemyslid princess Dobrawa and his baptism in 966 put him, apart from the great conquests accomplished during his reign Mieszko I was renowned for his internal reforms, aimed at expanding and improving the so-called war monarchy system.
According to existing sources, Mieszko I was a politician, a talented military leader. He successfully used diplomacy, concluding alliances, first with Bohemia, Sweden, in foreign policy, he placed the interests of his country foremost, even entering into agreements with his former enemies. On his death, he left to his sons a country with greatly expanded territories, Mieszko I enigmatically appeared as Dagome in a papal document dating to about 1085, called Dagome iudex, which mentions a gift or dedication of Mieszkos land to the Pope. It is roughly his borders that Poland was returned to in 1945, There is no certain information on Mieszko Is life before he took control over his lands. Only the Lesser Poland Chronicle gives the date of his birth as somewhere between the years 920–931, modern researchers dont recognize the Chronicle as a reliable source, There are three major theories concerning the origin and meaning of Mieszko Is name. The most popular theory, proposed by Jan Długosz, explains that Mieszko is a diminutive of Mieczysław, this theory is rejected by the majority of Polish historians, who consider the name Mieczysław to have been invented by Długosz to explain the origin of the name Mieszko.
Today, we know that ancient Slavs never formed their names using either animal names or weapon names, ancient Slavic names were abstract in nature. The chronicler related this story as follows, At that time Prince Siemomysł urgently asked the people of his country whether his sons blindness conveyed some miraculous meaning. They explained that this meant that Poland was blind back then. In addition, it is known that the Slavic word mzec can be interpreted as having his eyes closed or be blind, in that symbolic rite a child became a man. That explains that Mieszko wasnt blind in fact, besides his sons name was Mieszko and it is hard to believe that he was blind. In addition, as we know today ancient Slavs used only abstract names among nobility, the third theory links the name of Mieszko with his other name, Dagome, as it appeared in the document called Dagome iudex
Robert I, Duke of Normandy
Robert the Magnificent, was the Duke of Normandy from 1027 until his death in 1035. Owing to uncertainty over the numbering of the Dukes of Normandy he is usually called Robert I and he was the father of William the Conqueror who became in 1066 King of England and founded the House of Normandy. Robert was the son of Richard II of Normandy and Judith, daughter of Conan I and he was grandson of Richard I of Normandy, great-grandson of William I of Normandy and great-great grandson of Rollo, the Viking who founded Normandy. Before he died, Richard II had decided his elder son Richard III would succeed him while his second son Robert would become Count of Hiémois, when Richard III died a year later, there were suspicions that Robert had something to do with his death. Although nothing could be proved, Robert had the most to gain, the civil war Robert I had brought against his brother Richard III was still causing instability in the duchy. Private wars raged between neighbouring barons and this resulted in a new aristocracy arising in Normandy during Robert’s reign.
It was during this time many of the lesser nobility left Normandy to seek their fortunes in southern Italy. Soon after assuming the dukedom, possibly in revenge for supporting his brother against him, Robert I assembled an army against his uncle, Archbishop of Rouen and Count of Évreux. Robert attacked another powerful churchman, his cousin Hugo III dIvry, Bishop of Bayeux, Robert seized a number of church properties belonging to the Abbey of Fecamp. Baldwin V, supported by king Robert II of France, his father-in-law, was persuaded to make peace with his father in 1030 when Duke Robert promised the elder Baldwin his considerable military support. Robert gave shelter to Henry I of France against his mother, Queen Constance, for his help Henry I rewarded Robert with the French Vexin. However, Alan appealed to their uncle, Archbishop Robert of Rouen, Robert made a safe landing in Guernsey. Gesta Normannorum Ducum stated that King Cnut sent envoys to Duke Robert offering to settle half the Kingdom of England on Edward, after postponing the naval invasion he chose to postpone the decision until after he returned from Jerusalem.
Roberts attitude towards the Church had changed noticeably certainly since his reinstating his uncles position as Archbishop of Rouen, after making his illegitimate son William his heir, he set out on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. According to the Gesta Normannorum Ducum he travelled by way of Constantinople, reached Jerusalem, fell seriously ill and his son William, aged about eight, succeeded him. According to the historian William of Malmesbury, decades his son William sent a mission to Constantinople and Nicaea, permission was granted, having travelled as far as Apulia on the return journey, the envoys learned that William himself had meanwhile died. They decided to re-inter Roberts body in Italy, by his mistress, Herleva of Falaise, he was father of, William the Conqueror. By Herleva or possibly another concubine, he was the father of, Adelaide of Normandy and she married secondly, Lambert II, Count of Lens, and thirdly, Odo II of Champagne
Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen was a German medieval chronicler. He lived and worked in the half of the eleventh century. He is most famous for his chronicle Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum, little is known of his life other than hints from his own chronicles. He is believed to have come from Meissen in Saxony, the dates of his birth and death are uncertain, but he was probably born before 1050 and died on 12 October of an unknown year. From his chronicles it is apparent that he was familiar with a number of authors, the honorary name of Magister Adam shows that he had passed through all the stages of a higher education. It is probable that he was taught at the Magdeburger Domschule, in 1066 or 1067 he was invited by archbishop Adalbert of Hamburg to join the Church of Bremen. Adam was accepted among the capitulars of Bremen, and by 1069 he appeared as director of the cathedrals school, soon thereafter he began to write the history of Bremen/Hamburg and of the northern lands in his Gesta. His position and the activity of the church of Bremen allowed him to gather information on the history.
A stay at the court of Svend Estridson gave him the opportunity to find information about the history and geography of Denmark, among other things he wrote about in Scandinavia, includes the sailing passages across Øresund such as todays Elsinore to Helsingborg route Chłopacka Hanna, Adam Bremeński. Literature by and about Adam of Bremen in the German National Library catalogue Adamus Bremensis, repertorium Historical Sources of the German Middle Ages
Eric the Victorious
Eric the Victorious was the first Swedish king about whom anything definite is known. The list of monarchs after him is complicated, which makes the assignment of any numeral problematic and his original territory lay in Uppland and neighbouring provinces. He acquired the name victorious because he defeated an invasion from the south in the Battle of Fýrisvellir located close to Uppsala, reports that Erics brother Olof was the father of his opponent in that battle, Styrbjörn the Strong, belong to the realm of myth. The extent of his kingdom is unknown, in addition to the Swedish heartland round lake Mälaren it may have extended down the Baltic Sea coast as far south as Blekinge. According to Adam of Bremen, he briefly controlled Denmark after the defeat of Sweyn Forkbeard and he was probably responsible for the introduction of a system of universal conscription known as the ledung in the provinces around Mälaren. In all probability he founded the town of Sigtuna, which still exists, Eric the Victorious appears in a number of Norse sagas, the historical tales which nonetheless likely have a dose of fiction.
In various stories, he is described as the son of Björn Eriksson, one saga describes his marriage to an infamous Sigrid the Haughty, daughter of the legendary Viking Skagul Toste, and how on their divorce he gave her Götaland as a fief. According to Eymunds saga he took a new queen, Auð, the daughter of Haakon Sigurdsson, the ruler of Norway. Before this happened, his brother Olof died, and a new co-ruler had to be appointed, Eric granted Styrbjörn 60 longships in which he sailed away to live out a seafaring existence as a Viking. He would become the ruler of Jomsborg and an ally of the Danish king Harold Bluetooth whose sister he wed, Styrbjörn returned to Sweden with an army, although Harald and the Danish troops supposedly turned back. Eric won the Battle of Fýrisvellir, according to Styrbjarnar þáttr Svíakappa after sacrificing to Odin and promising that if victorious, two scaldic verses composed by Thorvaldr Hjaltason are said to describe the battle. The Hällestad and Sjörup rune stones from Skåne, a part of Denmark, do mention a battle at Uppsala characterized by the defeat and these stones have traditionally been associated with the battle, but present chronological problems and may actually date from the 11th century.
The German ecclesiastic chronicler Adam of Bremen provides by far the oldest narrative about Eric that differs substantially from the sagas, as his spokesman he refers to the current Danish king Sven Estridson whom he interviewed for his chronicle. Adam omits the Battle of Fýrisvellir but relates that Eric gathered an army and invaded Denmark. The immediate reason for the attack is not disclosed by Adam, however, it had to do with an alliance between Eric and the very powerful king of the Polans, Boleslaw. He gave his sister or daughter in marriage to Eric and this princess has been identified as Gunhild of Wenden, who is mentioned in certain Nordic sources as the daughter of a king Burislev. According to another opinion, she is the known in the sagas as Sigrid the Haughty. Erics invasion of Denmark was successful, several battles were fought at sea, with the result that the Danish forces, attacked from the east by the Slavs, were entirely annihilated