Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto II, called the Red, was Holy Roman Emperor from 973 until his death in 983. A member of the Ottonian dynasty, Otto II was the youngest and sole surviving son of Otto the Great and Adelaide of Italy. Otto II was made joint-ruler of Germany in 961, at an early age, his father named him co-Emperor in 967 to secure his succession to the throne, his father arranged for Otto II to marry the Byzantine Princess Theophanu, who would be his wife until his death. When his father died after a 37-year reign, the eighteen-year-old Otto II became absolute ruler of the Holy Roman Empire in a peaceful succession. Otto II spent his reign continuing his father's policy of strengthening Imperial rule in Germany and extending the borders of the Empire deeper into southern Italy. Otto II continued the work of Otto I in subordinating the Catholic Church to Imperial control. Early in his reign, Otto II defeated a major revolt against his rule from other members of the Ottonian dynasty who claimed the throne for themselves.
His victory allowed him to exclude the Bavarian line of the Ottonians from the line of Imperial succession. This strengthened his authority as Emperor and secured the succession of his own son to the Imperial throne. With domestic affairs settled, Otto II would focus his attention from 980 onward to annexing the whole of Italy into the Empire, his conquests brought him into conflict with the Byzantine Empire and with the Muslims of the Fatimid Caliphate, who both held territories in southern Italy. After initial successes in unifying the southern Lombard principalities under his authority and in conquering Byzantine-controlled territory, Otto II's campaigns in southern Italy ended in 982 following a disastrous defeat by the Muslims. While he was preparing to counterattack Muslim forces, a major uprising by the Slavs broke out in 983, forcing the Empire to abandon its major territorial holdings east of the Elbe river. Otto II died in 983 at the age of 28 after a ten-year reign, he was succeeded as Emperor by his three-year-old son Otto III, plunging the Empire into a political crisis.
Otto II was born in 955, the third son of the King of Germany Otto I and his second wife Adelaide of Italy. By 957, Otto II's older brothers Henry and Bruno had died, as well as Otto I's son from his first wife Eadgyth, the Crown Prince Liudolf, Duke of Swabia. With his older brothers dead, the two-year-old Otto became the Kingdom's crown prince and Otto I's heir apparent. Otto I entrusted his illegitimate son, Archbishop William of Mainz, with Otto II's literary and cultural education. Margrave Odo, commander of the Eastern March, taught the young crown prince the art of war and the kingdom's legal customs. Needing to put his affairs in order prior to his descent into Italy, Otto I summoned a Diet at Worms and had Otto II elected, at the age of six, co-regent in May 961. Otto II was crowned by his uncle Bruno the Great, Archbishop of Cologne, at Aachen Cathedral on May 26, 961. While Otto I had secured succession of the throne, he had violated the Kingdom's unwritten law that succession rights could only be granted to a child who has reached the age of majority.
He was motivated by the high-risk associated with his expedition into Italy to claim the Imperial title from the Pope. Otto I crossed the Alps into Italy, while Otto II remained in Germany, the two Archbishops and William, were appointed as his regents. After three and a half year absence in Italy, Otto I returned to Germany early in 965 as Holy Roman Emperor. In order to give the hope of dynastic continuity after his death, Otto I again confirmed Otto II as his heir on February 2, 965, the third anniversary of Otto I's coronation as Emperor. Though Otto I was crowned Emperor in 962 and returned to Germany in 965, the political situation in Italy remained unstable. After two years in Germany, Otto I made a third expedition to Italy in 966. Bruno was again appointed regent over the eleven-year-old Otto II during Otto I's absence. With his power over northern and central Italy secured, Otto I sought to clarify his relationship with the Byzantine Empire in the East; the Byzantine Emperor objected to Otto's use of the title "Emperor".
The situation between East and West was resolved to share sovereignty over southern Italy. Otto I sought a marriage alliance between the Eastern Macedonian dynasty. A prerequisite for the marriage alliance was the coronation of Otto II as Co-Emperor. Otto I sent word for Otto II to join him in Italy. In October 967, father and son together marched through Ravenna to Rome. On December 25, 967, Otto II was crowned Co-Emperor by Pope John XIII, securing Otto II's succession to the Imperial crown following his father's death. Otto II's coronation allowed marriage negotiations to begin with the East. Only in 972, six years under the new Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes, was a marriage and peace agreement concluded, however. Though Otto I preferred Byzantine Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, daughter of former Byzantine Emperor Romanos II, as she was born in the purple, her age prevented serious consideration by the East; the choice of Emperor John I Tzimisces was his niece Theophanu, the soldier-emperor's niece by marriage.
On April 14, 972, the sixteen-year-old Otto II was married to the fourteen-year-old Eastern princess, Theophanu was crowned empress by the Pope. After his coronation, Otto II remained in the shadow of his overbearing father. Though the nominal co-ruler of the Empire, he was denied any role in its administration. Unlike his earlier son Liudolf, whom Otto I named Duke of Swabia in 950, Otto II was granted no area of responsibility. Otto II was confined to northern Italy during his father's time
Trøndelag is a county in the central part of Norway. It was created in 1687 named Trondhjem County. Trøndelag county and the neighboring Møre og Romsdal county together form what is known as Central Norway. A person from Trøndelag is called a trønder; the largest city in Trøndelag is the city of Trondheim. The administrative centre of the county is Steinkjer, but Trondheim functions as a secondary administrative centre; this is to make the county more efficient and not too centralized, as Trøndelag is the second largest county in Norway. The old Trondhjems amt county was divided into two administrative counties in 1804 by the King of Denmark-Norway. In 2016, the two county councils voted to merge into a single county in 2018; the dialect spoken in the area, trøndersk, is characterized by dropping out most vowel endings. Trøndelag is one of the most fertile regions of Norway, with large agricultural output; the majority of the production ends up in the Norwegian cooperative system for meat and milk, but farm produce is a growing business.
The Old Norse form of the name was Þrǿndalǫg. The first element is the genitive plural of þrǿndr which means "person from Trøndelag", while the second is lǫg (plural of lag which means "law. A parallel name for the same district was Þróndheimr which means "the homeland of the þrǿndr". Þróndheimr may be older. People have lived in this region for thousands of years. In the early iron-age Trøndelag was divided into several petty kingdoms called fylki; the different fylki had a common law, an early parliament or thing. It was held at the Frosta-peninsula. By some this is regarded as the first real democracy. In the time after Håkon Grjotgardsson, Trøndelag was ruled by the Jarl of Lade. Lade is located in the eastern part of Trondheim; the powerful Jarls of Lade continued to play a significant political role in Norway up to 1030. Jarls of Lade were: the first jarl of Lade. Sigurd Håkonsson, son of Håkon. Killed by Harald Greyhide. Håkon Sigurdsson, son of Sigurd. Conspired with Harald Bluetooth against Harald Greyhide, subsequently became vassal of Harald Bluetooth, in reality independent ruler of Norway.
After the arrival of Olaf Trygvason, Håkon lost all support, was killed by his own slave, Tormod Kark, in 995. Eirik Håkonsson, son of Håkon. Together with his brother, governor of Norway under Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark from 1000 to 1012. Håkon Eiriksson, son of Eirik. Governor of Norway under Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark from 1012 to 1015. Trøndelag was ceded in 1658 to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde and was ruled by king Charles X until it was returned to Denmark-Norway after the Treaty of Copenhagen in 1660. During that time, the Swedes conscripted 2,000 men in Trøndelag, forcing young boys down to 15 years of age to join the Swedish armies fighting against Poland and Brandenburg. Charles X feared the Trønders would rise against their Swedish occupiers, thought it wise to keep a large part of the men away. Only about one third of the men returned to their homes. In the fall of 1718, during the Great Northern War, General Carl Gustaf Armfeldt was ordered by king Charles XII of Sweden to lead a Swedish army of 10,000 men into Trøndelag and take Trondheim.
Because of his poor supply lines back to Sweden, Armfeldt's army had to live off the land, causing great suffering to the people of the region. Armfeldt's campaign failed: the defenders of Trondheim succeeded in repelling his siege. After Charles XII was killed in the siege of Fredriksten in Norway's southeast, Armfeldt was ordered back into Sweden. During the ensuing retreat, his 6,000 surviving threadbare and starving Caroleans were caught in a fierce blizzard. Thousands of Caroleans froze to death in the Norwegian mountains, hundreds more were crippled for life; the county is governed by the Trøndelag County Municipality. The town of Steinkjer is the seat of the county county administration. Both the county governor and Trøndelag County Municipality, however have offices in Trondheim; the county oversees the 41 upper secondary schools, including nine private schools. Six of the schools have more than 1000 students: four in Trondheim plus the Steinkjer Upper Secondary School and the Ole Vig Upper Secondary Schoo in Stjørdalshalsen.
The county has ten Folk high schools, with an eleventh folk high school being being opened in Røros, with a possible start in 2019. The county is sub-divided into several geographical regions: Namdal, the greater Namsen river valley Fosen, the Fosen peninsula and surrounding areas Innherred, the areas surrounding the inner Trondheimsfjorden Stjørdalen, the Stjørdalen valley Trondheim Region, the areas surrounding the large city of Trondheim Gauldalen, the Gaula river valley Orkdalen, the Orklaelva river valley There are nine towns/cities in Trøndelag, plus the "mining town" of Røros. Trondheim Steinkjer Stjørdalshalsen Levanger Namsos Verdalsøra Orkanger Brekstad Kolvereid Bergstaden Røros
Vladimir the Great
Vladimir the Great. Vladimir's father was prince Sviatoslav of the Rurik dynasty. After the death of his father in 972, prince of Novgorod, was forced to flee to Scandinavia in 976 after his brother Yaropolk had murdered his other brother Oleg and conquered Rus'. In Sweden, with the help from his relative Ladejarl Håkon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, he assembled a Varangian army and reconquered Novgorod from Yaropolk. By 980, Vladimir had consolidated the Kievan realm from modern-day Belarus and Ukraine to the Baltic Sea and had solidified the frontiers against incursions of Bulgarian, Baltic tribes and Eastern nomads. A follower of Slavic paganism, Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988 and Christianized the Kievan Rus'. Born in 958, Vladimir was the natural son and youngest son of Sviatoslav I of Kiev by his housekeeper Malusha. Malusha is described in the Norse sagas as a prophetess who lived to the age of 100 and was brought from her cave to the palace to predict the future. Malusha's brother Dobrynya was most trusted advisor.
Hagiographic tradition of dubious authenticity connects his childhood with the name of his grandmother, Olga of Kiev, Christian and governed the capital during Sviatoslav's frequent military campaigns. His place of birth is identified as Budyatychi or Budnik. Transferring his capital to Pereyaslavets in 969, Sviatoslav designated Vladimir ruler of Novgorod the Great but gave Kiev to his legitimate son Yaropolk. After Sviatoslav's death at the hands of the Pechenegs in 972, a fratricidal war erupted in 976 between Yaropolk and his younger brother Oleg, ruler of the Drevlians. In 977, Vladimir fled to his kinsman Haakon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, collecting as many Norse warriors as he could to assist him to recover Novgorod. On his return the next year, he marched against Yaropolk. On his way to Kiev he sent ambassadors to Rogvolod, prince of Polotsk, to sue for the hand of his daughter Rogneda; the high-born princess refused to affiance herself to the son of a bondswoman, so Vladimir attacked Polotsk, slew Rogvolod, took Ragnhild by force.
Polotsk was a key fortress on the way to Kiev, capturing Polotsk and Smolensk facilitated the taking of Kiev in 978, where he slew Yaropolk by treachery and was proclaimed knyaz of all Kievan Rus. Vladimir continued to expand his territories beyond his father's extensive domain. In 981, he seized the Cherven towns from the Poles. Although Christianity spread in the region under Oleg's rule, Vladimir had remained a thoroughgoing pagan, taking eight hundred concubines and erecting pagan statues and shrines to gods, he may have attempted to reform Slavic paganism in an attempt to identify himself with the various gods worshipped by his subjects. He built a pagan temple on the a hill in Kiev dedicated to six gods: Perun - the god of thunder and war "a Norse god favored by members of the prince’s druzhina". Slav gods Dazhd ` bog. A mob killed his son Ioann. After the murder of Fyodor and Ioann, early medieval Rus' saw persecutions against Christians, many of whom escaped or concealed their belief. However, Prince Vladimir mused over the incident long after, not least for political considerations.
According to the early Slavic chronicle called Tale of Bygone Years, which describes life in Kievan Rus' up to the year 1110, he sent his envoys throughout the civilized world to judge first hand the major religions of the time, Roman Catholicism and Byzantine Orthodoxy. They were most impressed with their visit to Constantinople, saying, "We knew not whether we were in Heaven or on Earth… We only know that God dwells there among the people, their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations." The Primary Chronicle reports that in the year 987, after consultation with his boyars, Vladimir the Great sent envoys to study the religions of the various neighboring nations whose representatives had been urging him to embrace their respective faiths. The result is described by the chronicler Nestor. Of the Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga the envoys reported there is no gladness among them, only sorrow and a great stench, he reported that Islam was undesirable due to its taboo against alcoholic beverages and pork.
Vladimir remarked on the occasion: "Drinking is the joy of all Rus'. We cannot exist without that pleasure." Ukrainian and Russian sources describe Vladimir consulting with Jewish envoys and questioning them about their religion, but rejecting it as well, saying that their loss of Jerusalem was evidence that they had been abandoned by God. His emissaries visited pre-schism Latin Rite Christian and Eastern Rite Ch
Oppland is a county in Norway, bordering Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, Sogn og Fjordane, Akershus and Hedmark. The county administration is in Lillehammer. Oppland is, together with Hedmark, one of the only two landlocked counties of Norway. Innlandet is one of several names proposed for a future administrative region consisting of Hedmark and Oppland; the two counties are slated to be re-merged after having been split in 1781. The region was known as "Opplandene". Oppland extends from the lakes Mjøsa and Randsfjorden to the mountains Dovrefjell and Rondane; the county is conventionally divided into traditional districts. These are the Gudbrandsdalen, Toten and Land. Oppland includes the towns Lillehammer, Gjøvik and Fagernes, Norway's two highest mountains and Galdhøpiggen and the Gudbrand Valley being popular attractions; the Gudbrand Valley surrounds the river Gudbrandsdalslågen, includes the udes the area extending from Jotunheimen down to Bagn at Begna River. It is a well known place for winter sports.
The main population centres in this area are Fagernes. Eight of the ten highest mountains in Norway are located in the western part of Oppland. In Norse times the inner parts of Norway were called Upplǫnd'the upper countries'; the first element is upp'upper'. The last element is lǫnd, the plural form of'land'. In 1757 the inner parts of the great Akershus amt were separated, given the name Oplandenes Amt; this was divided in 1781 into Hedemarkens Amt. The name/form was changed to Kristians Amt in 1877. In 1919 the name Kristians Amt was changed to Opland fylke, the form Oppland was settled in 1950; the coat of arms were granted in 1989, it shows two Pulsatilla vernalis. Oppland County has a total of 26 municipalities: Media related to Oppland at Wikimedia Commons Oppland travel guide from Wikivoyage
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
Eric Håkonsson was Earl of Lade, Governor of Norway and Earl of Northumbria. He was brother of the legendary Aud Haakonsdottir of Lade, he participated in the Battle of Hjörungavágr, the Battle of Svolder and the conquest of England by King Canute the Great. Eric is referred to by modern scholars, he most witnessed charters as Yric dux but his name is spelled Yric, Iric, Eiric or Eric in 11th-century Latin and Old English sources. In Old Norse sources, using normalized orthography, he is most Eiríkr jarl or Eiríkr jarl Hákonarson, but sometimes as Eirekr. Modern historians use a variant of Eiríkr/Eirik/Eric and his patronym, Hákonarson/Hakonarson/Hakonson, meaning "son of Haakon". In modern Norwegian, it would be Eirik Håkonsson; some English works prefer Eric of Norway. Principal sources on Eric's youth are Heimskringla, they relate that Eric was the son of Hákon Sigurðarson and a woman of low birth whom Hákon bedded during a sojourn in Oppland. Hákon gave him to a friend of his to raise. On one occasion when Eric was eleven or twelve years old he and his foster father had harboured their ship right next to earl Hákon.
Hákon's closest friend, Skopti and asked Eric to move away so that he could harbour next to Hákon as he was used to. When Eric refused, Hákon sternly ordered him away. Humiliated, Eric had no choice. In the following winter he avenged the humiliation by killing him; this was Eric's first exploit, as commemorated by his skald Eyjólfr dáðaskáld who mentions the incident in his Bandadrápa. The sagas say that after killing Skopti, Eric sailed south to Denmark where he was received by king Harald Bluetooth. After a winter's stay in Denmark, Harald granted Eric earldom over Romerike and Vingulmark - areas in the south of Norway long under Danish influence. In Heimskringla this information is supported with a somewhat vague verse from Bandadrápa; the Battle of Hjörungavágr was Eric's first major confrontation. The battle was fought between the earls of Lade and a Danish invasion fleet; the battle is described in the Norse kings' sagas—such as Heimskringla—as well as in Jómsvíkinga saga and Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum.
Those late literary accounts are fanciful but historians believe that they contain a kernel of truth. Some contemporary skaldic poetry alludes to the battle, including verses by Þórðr Kolbeinsson and Tindr Hallkelsson. Hákon Sigurðarson was a strong believer in the Old Norse gods, when King Harald Bluetooth attempted to force Christianity upon him, Haakon broke his allegiance to Denmark. A Danish invasion force was defeated at the battle of Hjörungavágr in 986. According to Heimskringla, Eric reconciled with his father, commanded 60 ships in the battle and emerged victorious. After the battle he gave quarter including Vagn Ákason. In 995, as Óláfr Tryggvason seized power as King of Norway, Eric was forced into exile in Sweden, he allied himself with King Olof of King Sweyn whose daughter, Gyða, he married. Using Sweden as his base he launched a series of raiding expeditions into the east. Harrying the lands of King Vladimir I of Kiev, Eric looted and burned down the town of Staraya Ladoga. There are no written continental sources to confirm or refute this but in the 1980s, Soviet archaeologists unearthed evidence which showed a burning of Ladoga in the late 10th century.
Eric plundered in western Estonia and the island of Saaremaa. According to the Fagrskinna summary of Bandadrápa he fought Vikings in the Baltic and raided Östergötland during the same time. In the Battle of Svolder in 1000, Eric and Olof, ambushed king Óláfr Tryggvason by the island of Svolder; the place cannot now be identified, as the formation of the Baltic coast has been much modified in the course of subsequent centuries. Svolder was an island on the North German coast, near Rügen. During the summer, King Olaf had been in the eastern Baltic; the allies lay in wait for him at the island of Svolder on his way home. The Norwegian king had with him seventy-one vessels, but part of them belonged to an associate, Jarl Sigvaldi, a chief of the Jomsvikings, an agent of his enemies, who deserted him. Olaf's own ships went past the anchorage of Eric and his allies in a long column without order, as no attack was expected; the king was in the rear of the whole of his best vessels. The allies allowed the bulk of the Norwegian ships to pass, stood out to attack Olaf.
Olaf refused to flee, turned to give battle with the eleven ships about him. The disposition adopted was one, found recurring in many sea-fights of the Middle Ages where a fleet had to fight on the defensive. Olaf lashed his ships side to side, his own, the Long Serpent, the finest war-vessel as yet built in the north, being in the middle of the line, where her bows projected beyond the others; the advantage of this arrangement was that it left all hands free to fight, a barrier could be formed with the oars and yards, the enemy's chance of making use of his superior numbers to attack on both sides would be, as far as possible, limited — a great point when all fighting was with the sword, or with such feeble missile weapons as bows and javelins. Olaf, in fact, turned his eleven ships into a floating fort. Norse writers, who are the main authorities, gave all the credit to the Norwegians, according to them all the intelligence of Olaf's enemies, most of their valour, were
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