Sweyn Forkbeard was king of Denmark from 986 to 1014. He was King Cnut the Great and Queen Estrid Svendsdatter. In the mid-980s, Sweyn revolted against his father, Harald Bluetooth, 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, Sweyn ruled most of Norway. In 1013, shortly before his death, he became the first Danish king of England after a long effort. Historiographical sources on Sweyn's life include the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Adam of Bremen's 12th-century Deeds of the Bishops of Hamburg, Snorri Sturluson's 13th-century Heimskringla. Conflicting accounts of Sweyn's life appear in the Encomium Emmae Reginae, an 11th-century Latin encomium in honour of his son king Cnut's queen Emma of Normandy, along with Chronicon ex chronicis by Florence of Worcester, another 11th-century author. Sweyn's father, Harald Bluetooth, was the first of the reigning Scandinavian kings to be baptised, in the early or mid-960s.
According to Adam of Bremen, Harald's son Sweyn was baptised "Otto". There are conflicting records as to the identity of his mother. Adam of Bremen identifies her as "Gunhild", but some modern day scholars give her name as Tove from Western Wendland. Sweyn married the widow of Erik, king of Sweden, named "Gunhild" in some sources, or identified as an unnamed sister of Boleslav, ruler of Poland. In the mid-980s, Sweyn seized the throne. Harald was driven into exile and died shortly afterwards in November 986 or 987. Adam of Bremen depicted Sweyn as a rebellious pagan who persecuted Christians, betrayed his father and expelled German bishops from Scania and Zealand. According to Adam, Sweyn was sent into exile by his father's 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. Sørensen argues that Adam's depiction of Sweyn may be overly negative, as seen through an "unsympathetic and intolerant eye". Adam's account is thus not seen as reliable.
According to Adam, Sweyn was punished by God for leading the uprising which led to king Harald's death, had to spend fourteen years abroad. The historicity of this exile, or its duration, is uncertain. Adam purports that Sweyn was shunned by all those with whom he sought refuge, but was allowed to live for a while in Scotland. Adam suggests that Sweyn in his youth lived among heathens, only achieved success as a ruler after accepting Christianity. Harald Bluetooth had established a foothold in Norway, controlling Viken in c. 970. He may, have lost control over his Norwegian claims following his defeat against a German army in 974. Sweyn built an alliance with Swedish king Olof Skötkonung and Eirik Hákonarson, Jarl of Lade, against Norwegian king Olaf Tryggvason; the Kings' sagas ascribe the causes of the alliance to Olaf Tryggvason's ill-fated marriage proposal to Sigrid the Haughty and his problematic marriage to Thyri, sister of Svein Forkbeard. The allies attacked and defeated king Olaf in the western Baltic Sea when he was sailing home from an expedition, in the Battle of Svolder, fought in September of either 999 or 1000.
The victors divided Norway among them. According to the account of the Heimskringla, Sweyn re-gained direct control of Viken district. King Olaf of Sweden received four districts in Trondheim as well as Romsdal and Rånrike, he gave these to his son in Jarl Svein Hákonarson, to hold as a vassal. The rest of Norway was ruled by Eirik Hákonarson as King Svein's vassal; the Jarls Eirik and Svein proved strong, competent rulers, their reign was prosperous. Most sources say that they adopted Christianity but allowed the people religious freedom, leading to a backlash against Christianity which undid much of Olaf Tryggvason's missionary work. King Sweyn enlisted bishops from England rather than from the Archbishopric of Bremen; this may have been a reason for Adam of Bremen's apparent hostility in his accounts. Numerous converted priests of Danish origin from the Danelaw lived in England, while Sweyn had few connections to Germany or its priests. By allowing English ecclesiastical influence in his kingdom, he was spurning the Hamburg-Bremen archbishop.
Since German bishops were an integral part of the secular state, Sweyn's preference for the English church may have been a political move. He sought to pre-empt any threat against his independence posed by the German kings; the "Chronicle of John of Wallingford" records Sweyn's involvement in raids against England during 1002–1005, 1006–1007, 1009–1012 to avenge the St. Brice's Day massacre of England's Danish inhabitants in November 1002. According to Ashley, Sweyn's invasion was motivated by the massacre of Danes in England ordered by Æthelred the Unready in 1002, in which his sister and brother-in-law are said to have been killed, but Lund argues that the main motivation for the raids was more the prospect of revenue. 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, in 1009–1012 Thorkell the Tall led a Viking invasion into England. Simon Keynes regards it as uncertain whether Sweyn supported these invasion
Cnut the Great
Cnut the Great known as Canute, whose father was Sweyn Forkbeard, was King of Denmark and Norway. Yet after the deaths of his heirs within a decade of his own, the Norman conquest of England in 1066, this legacy was lost, he is popularly invoked in the context of the legend of King Canute and the tide, which misrepresents him as a deluded monarch believing he has supernatural powers, contrary to the original legend which portrays a wise king who rebuked his courtiers for their fawning behaviour. As a Danish prince, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe, his accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Cnut sought to keep this power-base by uniting Danes and English under cultural bonds of wealth and custom, as well as through sheer brutality. After a decade of conflict with opponents in Scandinavia, Cnut claimed the crown of Norway in Trondheim in 1028; the Swedish city Sigtuna was held by Cnut.
Dominion of England lent the Danes an important link to the maritime zone between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, where Cnut, like his father before him, had a strong interest and wielded much influence among the Norse–Gaels. Cnut's possession of England's dioceses and the continental Diocese of Denmark—with a claim laid upon it by the Holy Roman Empire's Archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen—was a source of great prestige and leverage within the Catholic Church and among the magnates of Christendom. After his 1026 victory against Norway and Sweden, on his way back from Rome where he attended the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor, Cnut, in a letter written for the benefit of his subjects, deemed himself "King of all England and Denmark and the Norwegians and of some of the Swedes"; the Anglo-Saxon kings used the title "king of the English". Cnut was ealles Engla landes cyning—"king of all England". Medieval historian Norman Cantor called him "the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history".
Cnut was a son of the Danish prince Sweyn Forkbeard, the son and heir to King Harald Bluetooth and thus came from a line of Scandinavian rulers central to the unification of Denmark. Neither the place nor the date of his birth are known. Harthacnut I of Denmark was the semi-legendary founder of the Danish royal house at the beginning of the 10th century, his son, Gorm the Old, became the first in the official line. Harald Bluetooth, Gorm's son and Cnut's grandfather, was the Danish king at the time of the Christianization of Denmark; the Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg and the Encomium Emmae report Cnut's mother as having been a daughter of Mieszko I of Poland. Norse sources of the High Middle Ages, most prominently Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson give a Polish princess as Cnut's mother, whom they call Gunhild and a daughter of Burislav, the king of Vindland. Since in the Norse sagas the king of Vindland is always Burislav, this is reconcilable with the assumption that her father was Mieszko.
Adam of Bremen in Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum is unique in equating Cnut's mother with the former queen of Sweden, wife of Eric the Victorious and by this marriage mother of Olof Skötkonung. To complicate the matter and other sagas have Sweyn marrying Eric's widow, but she is distinctly another person in these texts, named Sigrid the Haughty, whom Sweyn only marries after Gunhild, the Slavic princess who bore Cnut, has died. Different theories regarding the number and ancestry of Sweyn's wives have been advanced, but since Adam is the only source to equate the identity of Cnut's and Olof Skötkonung's mother, this is seen as an error on Adam's part, it is assumed that Sweyn had two wives, the first being Cnut's mother, the second being the former Queen of Sweden. Cnut's brother Harald was the crown prince; some hint of Cnut's childhood can be found in the Flateyjarbók, a 13th-century source that says he was taught his soldiery by the chieftain Thorkell the Tall, brother to Sigurd, Jarl of mythical Jomsborg, the legendary Joms, at their Viking stronghold on the island of Wollin, off the coast of Pomerania.
His date of birth, like his mother's name, is unknown. Contemporary works such as the Chronicon and the Encomium Emmae, do not mention this. So, in a Knútsdrápa by the skald Óttarr svarti, there is a statement that Cnut was "of no great age" when he first went to war, it mentions a battle identifiable with Sweyn Forkbeard's invasion of England and attack on the city of Norwich, in 1003/04, after the St. Brice's Day massacre of Danes by the English, in 1002. If Cnut indeed accompanied this expedition, his birthdate may be near 990, or 980. If not, if the skald's poetic verse references another assault, such as Forkbeard's conquest of England in 1013/14, it may suggest a birth date nearer 1000. There is a passage of the Encomiast with a reference to the force Cnut led in his English conquest of 1015/16. Here it says all the Vikings were of "mature age" under Cnut "the king". A description of Cnut
Halfdan the Black
This article is about the ninth-century king of Vestfold and father of Harald I of Norway. For his less famous grandson by the same name, see Halfdan Haraldsson the Black. Halfdan the Black was a ninth-century king of Vestfold, he belonged to the House of Yngling and was the father of Harald Fairhair, the first king of a unified Norway. According to Heimskringla and Fagsrkinna, Halfdan was the son of the Yngling King Gudrød the Hunter. Heimskringla names his mother, as Åsa, daughter of King Harald of Agder, his half-brother as Olaf Geirstad-Alf. Heimskringla relates that when Halfdan's father was killed, Åsa took the 1 year-old Halfdan and returned to Agder, where Halfdan was raised; when he was 18 or 19 years old, Halfdan became king of Agder. He began adding to his kingdom, through political negotiation and military conquest, he divided the kingdom of Vestfold with his brother Olaf and, through military action, persuaded King Gandalf of Vingulmark to cede half his kingdom. Based on the formulaic nature of his ties to his predecessors, his strong affiliation with Agder, the failure of an early saga dedicated to him to name any family connections, some scholars have suggested that the linkage to the earlier Yngling dynasty of Vestfold was a invention, created to associate a conquering Halfdan and his son Harald Fairhair with the family glorified in the Ynglingatal, whom he had displaced.
Halfdan next is said to have subdued an area called Raumarike. To secure his claim to Raumarike, Halfdan first defeated and killed the previous ruler, Sigtryg Eysteinsson, in battle, he defeated Sigtryg's brother and successor Eystein, in a series of battles. This established Halfdan's claim not only to Raumarike, but to half of Hedmark, the core of Sigtryg and Eystein's kingdom; these details are only mentioned in Heimskringla. Fagrskinna and Heimskringla both agree that Halfdan's first wife was Ragnhild, daughter of King Harald Gulskeg of Sogn. Halfdan and Ragnhild had a son named "Harald" after his grandfather, they sent him to be raised at his grandfather's court. Harald Gulskeg, being elderly, named his grandson as his successor, shortly before his death. Ragnhild died shortly after her father, the young king Harald fell sick and died the next spring; when Halfdan heard about his son's death, he laid claim to the title of king. No resistance was offered, Halfdan added Sogn to his realm; the narrative in Heimskringla adds another conquest for King Halfdan.
In Vingulmark, the sons of Gandalf of Vingulmark, Hysing and Hake, attempted to ambush Halfdan at night, but he escaped into the forest. After raising an army, he returned killing Hysing and Helsing. Hake fled the country, Halfdan became king of all of Vingulmark. According to Heimskringla, Halfdan's second wife named Ragnhild, had been kidnapped from her home by Hake, a "berserker" who encountered her father in Hadeland and killed him. Halfdan had her kidnapped from Hake. Fagrskinna does not mention any of these details. However, both sagas agree that Ragnhild and Halfdan had a son, named Harald. Heimskringla, Fagrskinna, Ágrip and Historia Norwegiæ all relate that Halfdan drowned when he fell through the ice at the inlet Røykenvik in the lake Randsfjorden on his return home from Hadeland, his horse and sleigh broke through ice weakened by cattle dung near a watering hole dug in the frozen lake. He was buried in a mound at Stein in Ringerike Heimskringlas narrative adds that each of the districts of his kingdom wanted to claim his grave, that it was agreed to divide his body into four pieces so each district could bury a piece of it, resulting in four different sites called Halvdanshaugen.
According to this version, only his head is buried in Ringerike. No contemporary sources mention Halfdan, the details of his life that are provided by kings' sagas are considered semi-legendary by modern historians. Although he has his own saga in Heimskringla, it lacks any skaldic verse, used by Snorri as supporting evidence and this, combined with its rather legendary character, leads historians to be wary of seeing much veracity in it; the "Black" nickname was given to him because of his black hair. Halfdan is mentioned in Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla, Fagrskinna, Ágrip and Historia Norwegiæ; the most elaborate story is found in Heimskringla. According to the Latin Historia Norwegiæ, Halvdan was a king "in montanis", equivalent to Oppland in the Old Norse; this conflicts with the version told in Heimskringla. In season four of the television show Vikings, Halfdan The Black is portrayed as the brother rather than father of Harald Finehair and is played by Finnish actor Jasper Pääkkönen. Halfdan the Black is the main antagonist in the film Erik the Viking.
The song "Halvdan the Black" by German-Norwegian symphonic metal band Leaves' Eyes discusses Halfdan's death. Fagrskinna in Old Norse Ágrip in Old Norse Heimskringla in Old Norse Heimskringla in English, from wikisource
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, meant "chieftain" a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it was replaced by duke. In medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count. However, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl and in many cases they had no less power than their neighbours who had the title of king. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to "earl/count" in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era. In modern Britain, an earl is a member of the peerage, ranking below a marquess and above a viscount. A feminine form of earl never developed; the term earl has been compared to the name of the Heruli, to runic erilaz. Proto-Norse eril, or the Old Norse jarl, came to signify the rank of a leader.
The Norman-derived equivalent count was not introduced following the Norman conquest of England though countess was and is used for the female title. Geoffrey Hughes writes, "It is a speculation that the Norman French title'Count' was abandoned in England in favour of the Germanic'Earl' because of the uncomfortable phonetic proximity to cunt". In the other languages of Britain and Ireland, the term is translated as: Welsh iarll and Scottish Gaelic iarla, Scots yarl or yerl, Cornish yurl. An earl has the title Earl of when the title originates from a placename, or Earl when the title comes from a surname. In either case, he is referred to as Lord, his wife as Lady. A countess who holds an earldom in her own right uses Lady, but her husband does not have a title; the eldest son of an earl, though not himself a peer, is entitled to use a courtesy title the highest of his father's lesser titles, for instance the eldest son of The Earl Of Wessex is styled as James, Viscount Severn. Younger sons are styled The Honourable, daughters, The Lady.
In the peerage of Scotland, when there are no courtesy titles involved, the heir to an earldom, indeed any level of peerage, is styled Master of, successive sons as younger of. In Anglo-Saxon England, earls had authority over their own regions and right of judgment in provincial courts, as delegated by the king, they collected fines and taxes and in return received a "third penny", one-third of the money they collected. In wartime they led the king's armies; some shires were grouped together into larger units known as earldoms, headed by an ealdorman or earl. Under Edward the Confessor earldoms like Wessex, East Anglia and Northumbria—names that represented earlier independent kingdoms—were much larger than any shire. Earls functioned as royal governors. Though the title of Earl was nominally equal to the continental duke, unlike them, earls were not de facto rulers in their own right. After the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror tried to rule England using the traditional system but modified it to his own liking.
Shires became the largest secular subdivision in England and earldoms disappeared. The Normans did create new earls like those of Herefordshire and Cheshire but they were associated with only a single shire at most, their power and regional jurisdiction was limited to that of the Norman counts. There was no longer any administrative layer larger than the shire, shires became "counties". Earls no longer aided in tax collection or made decisions in country courts and their numbers were small. King Stephen increased the number of earls to reward those loyal to him in his war with his cousin Empress Matilda, he gave some earls the right to hold royal castles or control the sheriff and soon other earls assumed these rights themselves. By the end of his reign, some earls held courts of their own and minted their own coins, against the wishes of the king, it fell to Stephen's successor Henry II to again curtail the power of earls. He took back the control of royal castles and demolished castles that earls had built for themselves.
He did not create new earldoms. No earl was allowed to remain independent of royal control; the English kings had found it dangerous to give additional power to an powerful aristocracy, so sheriffs assumed the governing role. The details of this transition remain obscure, since earls in more peripheral areas, such as the Scottish Marches and Welsh Marches and Cornwall, retained some viceregal powers long after other earls had lost them; the loosening of central authority during the Anarchy complicates any smooth description of the changeover. By the 13th century, earls had a social rank just below the king and princes, but were not more powerful or wealthier than other noblemen; the only way to become an earl was to inherit the title or marry into one—and the king reserved a right to prevent the transfer of the title. By the 14th century, creating an earl included a special public ceremony where the king tied a sword belt around the waist of the new earl, emphasizing the fact that the earl's rights came from him.
Earls still held influence and, as "companions of the king", were regarded as supporters of the king's power. They showed that power for the first time in 1327 when they deposed Edward II, they would do th
Ragnar Lodbrok or Lothbrok was a dubious Norse Viking hero and legendary king of Denmark and Sweden, known from Viking Age Old Norse poetry and sagas. According to that traditional literature, Ragnar distinguished himself by many raids against Francia and Anglo-Saxon England during the 9th century. There is no evidence that he existed under this name and outside of the mythology associated with him. According to the Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, Ragnar was the son of the Swedish king Sigurd Hring. According to the Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, Ragnar was the son of the Swedish king Sigurd Ring; the Hervarar saga tells that when Valdar died, his son Randver became the king of Sweden, while Harald Wartooth became the king of Denmark. Harald conquered all of his grandfather Ivar Vidfamne's territory. After Randver's death, his son Sigurd Hring became the king of Sweden as the subking of Harald. Sigurd Hring and Harald fought the Battle of the Brávellir on the plains of Östergötland, where Harald and many of his men died.
Sigurd ruled Sweden and Denmark from about 770 until his death in about 804. He was succeeded by his son Ragnar Lodbrok. Harald Wartooth's son Eysteinn Beli ruled Sweden as Ragnar's viceroy until he was killed by the sons of Ragnar; the Tale of Ragnar's Sons tells that the Great Heathen Army that invaded England in 865 was led by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, to wreak revenge against King Ælla of Northumbria who had captured and executed Ragnar. The Siege of Paris and the Sack of Paris of 845 was the culmination of a Viking invasion of the kingdom of the West Franks; the Viking forces were led by a Norse chieftain named Ragnar. This Ragnar has been tentatively identified with the legendary saga figure Ragnar Lodbrok but the accuracy of this is disputed by historians. Around 841, Ragnar had been awarded land in Turholt, Frisia, by Charles the Bald but he lost the land as well as the favour of the King. Ragnar's Vikings raided Rouen on their way up the Seine in 845 and in response to the invasion, determined not to let the royal Abbey of Saint-Denis be destroyed, Charles assembled an army which he divided into two parts, one for each side of the river.
Ragnar attacked and defeated one of the divisions of the smaller Frankish army, took 111 of their men as prisoners and hanged them on an island on the Seine to honour the Norse god Odin, as well as to incite terror in the remaining Frankish forces. The Great Heathen Army is said to have been led by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, to wreak revenge against King Ælla of Northumbria who had executed Ragnar in 865 by casting him into a pit full of snakes; the Great Heathen Army was organized and led by the brothers Ivar the Boneless, Halfdan, Björn Ironside and Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. The first four are known historical figures. Ivar the Boneless was the leader of the Great Heathen Army from 865 to 870, but he disappears from English historical accounts after 870; the Anglo-Saxon chronicler Æthelweard records Ivar's death as 870. Halfdan Ragnarsson became the leader of the Great Heathen Army in about 870 and he led it in an invasion of Wessex. A great number of Viking warriors arrived from Scandinavia, as part of the Great Summer Army, led by King Bagsecg of Denmark, bolstering the ranks of Halfdan's army.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Danes battled the West Saxons nine times, including the Battle of Ashdown on 8 January 871, where Bagsecg was killed. Halfdan accepted a truce from the future Alfred the Great, newly crowned king of Wessex. Halfdan succeeded Bagsecg as King of most of Denmark in about 871. Bjorn Ironside became King of Sweden and Uppsala in about 865. Bjorn had two sons and Erik Björnsson, his son Erik became the next king of Sweden, was succeeded in turn by Erik the son of Refil. Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye became King of Zealand and the Danish Isles in about 871, succeeded his brother Halfdan as King of Denmark in about 877. Whereas Ivar the Boneless and Halfdan Ragnarsson are considered to have been historical figures, opinion regarding their supposed father is divided. According to Hilda Ellis Davidson, writing in 1979, Certain scholars in recent years have come to accept at least part of Ragnar's story as based on historical fact. A generation however, Katherine Holman, writing in 2003, expressed the more nuanced contemporary opinion: Although his sons are historical figures, there is no evidence that Ragnar himself lived and he seems to be an amalgam of historical figures and literary invention.
According to traditional sources, Ragnar was: married three times, to the shieldmaiden Lagertha, the noblewoman Thóra Borgarhjǫrtr and Aslaug, a Norse queen the father of historical Viking figures including Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and Ubba captured by King Ælla of Northumbria and died after Ælla had him thrown into a pit of snakes avenged by the Great Heathen Army that invaded and occupied Northumbria and adjoining Anglo-Saxon kingdomsThe most significant medieval sources that mention Ragnar include: Book IX of the Gesta Danorum, a 12th-century work by the Christian Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus the Tale of Ragnar's sons, a legendary saga the Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, another saga, a sequel to the Völsunga saga the Ragnarsdrápa, a skaldic poem of which only fragments remain, attributed to the 9th-century poet Bragi Boddason the Krákumál, Ragnar's death-song, a 12th-century Scottish skaldic poem
Ynglinga saga is a legendary saga written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson about 1225. It is the first section of his Heimskringla, it was first published in 1844 by Samuel Laing. Snorri Sturluson based his work on an earlier Ynglingatal, attributed to the Norwegian 9th century skald Þjóðólfr of Hvinir, which appears in Historia Norwegiae, it tells the most ancient part of the story of the House of Ynglings. Snorri described the descent of the kings of Norway from this royal house of Sweden. Ynglinga saga is the first part of Snorri's history of the Heimskringla. Snorri's work covers the history of the Norwegian kings from the mythical prehistoric age until 1177, with the death of the pretender Eystein Meyla. Interwoven in this narrative are references to important historical events; the saga deals with the arrival of the Norse gods to Scandinavia and how Freyr founded the Swedish Yngling dynasty at Uppsala. The saga follows the line of Swedish kings until Ingjald, after which the descendants settled in Norway and became the ancestors of the Norwegian King Harald Fairhair.
In the initial stanzas of the poem, Asagarth is the capital of Asaland, a section of Asia to the east of the Tana-kvísl or Vana-Kvísl river, which Snorri explains is the Tanais, or Don River, flowing into the Black Sea. The river divides "Sweden the Great", a concession to the Viking point of view, it is never called that prior to the Vikings. Odin is the chief of Asgard. From there he dispatches military expeditions to all parts of the world, he has the virtue of never losing a battle. When he is away, his two brothers, Vili and Vé, rule Ásaland from Ásgarðr. On the border of Sweden is a mountain range running from northeast to southwest. South of it are the lands of the Turks. On the north are the uninhabitable fells, which must be the tundra/taiga country; the Vikings did not encounter the Urals or the Uralics of the region. Snorri evidences no knowledge of them. There is no mention of Troy, not far from Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine empire and militarily beyond the reach of the Vikings.
Troy cannot have been Asagarth, Snorri realizes, the reason being that the Æsir in Ásaland were unsettled by the military activities of the Romans. As a result, Odin led a section of the Æsir to the north looking for new lands in, they used the Viking route up the Don and the Volga through Garðaríki, Viking for Kievan Rus'. From there they went to the lands of Gylfi in Scandinavia; the historical view, of course, is fantastical. The Germanics were in Germany and Scandinavia during earliest mention of them in Roman literature, long before the Romans had conquered Italy. To what extent Snorri's presentation is poetic creation only remains unclear. Demoted from his position as all-father, or king of the gods, Odin becomes a great sorcerer in the Ynglinga Saga, he can shape-shift, speaks only in verse, lies so well that everything he says seems true. He strikes enemies deaf and when his own men fight they go berserk and can not be harmed, he has a ship that can be rolled up like a tablecloth when not used, he relies on two talking ravens to gather intelligence, he consults the talking head of Mimir for advice.
As a man, Odin is faced with the necessity to die. He is cremated and his possessions are burned with him so that he can ascend to - where? If Asgard is an earthly place, not there. Snorri says at first it is Valhalla and adds: "The Swedes now believed that he had gone to the old Asagarth and would live there forever". Krag, Claus Ynglingatal og Ynglingesaga- en studie i historiske kilder Nerman, Birger Det svenska rikets uppkomst Åkerlund, W. Studier över Ynglingatal Ynglinga saga and Heimskringla from «Kulturformidlingen norrøne tekster og kvad» Old Icelandic Heimskringla: The Ynglinga Saga from The Medieval and Classical Literature Library English
Hålogaland was the northernmost of the Norwegian provinces in the medieval Norse sagas. In the early Viking Age, before Harald Fairhair, Hålogaland was a kingdom extending between the Namdalen valley in Trøndelag county and the Lyngen fjord in Troms county. Ancient Norwegians said; the Norse form of the name was Hálogaland. The first element of the word is the genitive plural of háleygr, a'person from Hålogaland'; the last element is land, as in'land' or'region'. The meaning of the demonym háleygr is unknown. Thorstein Vikingson's Saga, 1, describes it as a compound of Hial, "Hel" or "spirit," and "loge", "fire"; the Gothic historian Jordanes in his work De origine actibusque Getarum, written in Constantinople c. AD 551, mentions a people "Adogit" living in the far North. This could be a possible reference to the petty kingdom of Hålogaland. Alex Woolf links the name Hålogaland to the aurora borealis — the "Northern Lights" —, saying that Hålogaland meant the "Land of the High Fire", loga deriving from logi, which refers to fire.
In the medieval accounts of Ynglingatal and Skáldskaparmál, "Logi" is described as the personification of fire, a fire giant, as a "son of Fornjót". In the medieval Orkneyinga saga and the account of Hversu Noregr byggðist, Fornjót is described as king of "Gotland, Kænland and Finnland"; the royal lineages sprung from his children are discussed in these and other medieval accounts. The beginning of the Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar discusses King Logi who ruled the country north of Norway; because Logi was larger and stronger than any other man in land, his name was lengthened from Logi to Hálogi, meaning "High-Logi". Derived from that name his country became called Hálogaland, meaning "Hálogi's land"; the spelling of the name shaped to the modern-day Hålogaland. The Hversu Noregr byggðist is an account of the origin of various legendary Norwegian lineages, it traces the descendants of the primeval ruler Fornjót down to Nór, here the eponym and first great king of Norway, who unites the Norwegian lands.
The Hversu account gives details of the descendants of Nór and of his brother Gór in the following section known as the Ættartölur. The Hversu account is paralleled by the opening of the Orkneyinga saga. In 873 AD, according to the Egil's saga the Kvens and Norse cooperate in battling against the invading Karelians; the chapter XVII of Egil's saga describes how Thorolf Kveldulfsson from Namdalen, located in the southernmost tip of the historic Hålogaland, goes to Kvenland again: That same winter Thorolf went up on the fell with a hundred men. Based on medieval documents, the above meeting took place during the winter of 873–874. Hålogaland's rather close vicinity to Kvenland is demonstrated c. 1157 in the geographical chronicle Leiðarvísir og borgarskipan by the Icelandic Abbot Níkulás Bergsson, who provides descriptions of lands around Norway: Closest to Denmark is little Svíþjóð, there is Eyland. In modern times, the term Hålogaland is used in a variety of senses. For some purposes, all of Northern Norway plus Svalbard and Jan Mayen are covered under the term Hålogaland.
For other purposes the counties of Nordland and Troms constitute Hålogaland. Hålogaland or Mid Hålogaland are frequent terms covering the smaller districts of Ofoten and Vesterålen, as well as the municipalities Bjarkøy, Harstad, Ibestad, Kvæfjord and Skånland of Troms county; the term has been used in this last sense, minus the Lofoten archipelago. The name is used by the Dioceses of Nord-Hålogaland, Sør-Hålogaland, as well as by a Court of Appeal, a theater and a large bridge. A derived name is Helgeland. Hålogaland figures extensively in the Norse sagas, in the Heimskringla the Ynglinga Saga and Háleygjatal, it was inhabited by the race of Hölgi, the eponymous hero of Hålogaland. In the saga, Heimskringla, a man called Gudlög led a number of Norwegian pirates that were fought by the Swedish king Jorund and king Godgest of Hålogaland was given a horse by the Swedish king Adils; the first earl of Lade, Håkon Grjotgardsson, ruler of Trøndelag, came from Hålogaland, sought to extend his kingdom southwards.
Here, he met with Harald Fairhair, joined him. Archaeologists have uncovered the Chieftain House at Borg in Lofoten, a large Viking Era building believed to have been established around the year 500. Archaeological studies commenced here in 1983 and in 1986–89, a joint Scandinavian research project was conducted at Borg. Excavations brought to light remains of the largest building to be found from the Viking Era in Norway, 83 meters long and 9 meters high; the chieftain's seat at Borg is estimated to have been abandoned around AD 950. Today the site is the location of the Lofotr Viking Museum. Hålogaland is a drowned coastline containing extensive mountainous islands, it was an excellent refuge for Viking ships as well as a way station for voyagers to the White Sea, which offered access to Russia. In modern times, Narvik was an important World War II objective. In 2008, the name was proposed as the possible name of an independent Northern Norway. Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr - Goddess associated with Hölgi