The German power-metal band Rebellion has a song dedicated to Harald Fairhair, from the album Sagas of Iceland. Leaves' Eyes, a symphonic metal band from Germany, wrote the album King of Kings about Harald and his conquests. In the games Crusader Kings II and Crusader Kings III, Harald Fairhair is a playable character during the 867 start date.
- Meaning of epithet hárfagri
Old Norse hár translates straightforwardly into English as...
Through the nineteenth and most of the twentieth centuries,...
- Saga descriptions
In the Saga of Harald Fairhair in Heimskringla, which is the...
- In popular culture
Harald Fairhair became an important figure in Norwegian...
- Meaning of epithet hárfagri
From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Harald Fairhair (c. 850 – c. 932) was the first King of Norway. According to traditions today in Norway and Iceland, during the 12th and 13th centuries, he was king from 872 to 930. Most of what we know about him comes from several sagas, written up to three centuries after he died.
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The Fairhair Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the first royal dynasty of the united kingdom of Norway. It was founded by Harald I of Norway, known as Haraldr hinn hárfagri (Harald Fairhair or Finehair), the first King of Norway (as opposed to "in Norway"), who defeated the last resisting petty kings at the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872.
- Literary style
- Written records
The Saga of Harald Fairhair is the third of the sagas in Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla, after Ynglinga saga and the saga of Halfdan the Black. Snorri sagas were written in Iceland in the 1220s. This saga is about the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair.
The saga is divided into 44 chapters. The saga begins with Harald taking over the kingdom at age 10 after the death of his father Halvdan. Halvdan probably had his royal seat at Ringerike or Hadeland, and the kingdom included inner Eastern parts of Norway. After Halvdan's death several local kings tried to take over his empire but Harald defended it with the help of his uncle Guttorm. The saga tells us about Harald's proposal to the princess Gyda Eiriksdatter who refused to marry someone who was
While Heimskringla, the Harald Fairhair saga, is still recognized as some of the best in Old Norse literature from this period as "due primarily to Snorri uniting historical criticism and thinking with ingenious storytelling. He composes meticulously; prepares and creates excitement, regression and expectation until the decision falls in an intense, dramatic scene. " The other sources, Ágrip af Nóregskonungasögum and Fagrskinna, are more concise and sober in style, while Snorri ...
The only preserved medieval written source of the Snorri sagas is Codex Frisianus from about 1330. The other records were lost in a library fire in Copenhagen in 1728.
Hafrsfjord Harald Fairhair's campaign in Götaland was an attack that took place in the 870s. Snorri Sturluson writes in Harald Fairhair's saga that Harald Fairhair disputed the Swedish king Eric Eymundsson 's hegemony in what is today southern Norway. He attacked and forced Viken to accept his rule and then plundered and burnt in Rånrike.
Draken Harald Hårfagre (English: Dragon Harald Fairhair) is a large Viking longship built in the municipality of Haugesund, Norway. It is a ship that combines ocean-crossing sailing capabilities with a medieval warship's use of oars.
- Viking Kings AS
- Sigurd Aase
- Draken Harald Hårfagre (English: Dragon Harald Fairhair)
- Harald Hårfagre (Harald I of Norway)
Harald Fairhair (c. 850–c. 933) Harald Greycloak (died 970) Harald Hardrada (1015–1066) Harald Gille (reigned 1130–1136) Grand Dukes of Kiev. Mstislav the Great (1076–1132), known as Harald in Norse sagas; King of Mann and the Isles. Harald Olafsson (died 1248) Earls of Orkney. Harald Haakonsson (died 1131) Harald Maddadsson (c. 1134 –1206) Harald Eiriksson
During the Viking Age, Harald Fairhair unified the Norse petty kingdoms after being victorious at the Battle of Hafrsfjord in the 880s. Two centuries of Viking expansion tapered off following the decline of Norse paganism with the adoption of Christianity in the 11th century.
- Saga Descriptions
- Later Life
- Related Reading
The only contemporary sources mentioning him are the two skaldic poems Haraldskvæði and Glymdrápa, which have been attributed to Þorbjörn Hornklofi or alternatively (in the case of the first poem) to Þjóðólfr of Hvinir. The first poem has only been preserved in fragments in 13th century Kings' sagas. It describes life at Harald's court, mentions that he took a Danish wife, and that he won a battle at Hafrsfjord. The second relates a series of battles Harald won. The facts offered by the poems may be scarce but they are a good source of information. His life is described in several of the Kings' sagas. Their accounts of Harald and his life may differ on some points, and some of the content may be uncertain but it is clear that he unified Norway into one kingdom. Some modern skeptics have generally assumed that his rule was limited to the coastal areas of southern Norway though there is no real evidence to support their claim.
In Heimskringla it is written that Harald succeeded, on the death of his father Halfdan the Black Gudrödarson, to the sovereignty of several small, and somewhat scattered kingdoms in Vestfold, which had come into his father's hands through conquest and inheritance. His protector-regent was his mother's brother Guthorm. The unification of Norway is something of a love story. It begins with a marriage proposal that resulted in rejection and scorn from Gyda, the daughter of Eirik, king of Hordaland. She said she refused to marry Harald "before he was king over all of Norway". Harald was therefore induced to take a vownot to cut nor comb his hair until he was sole king of Norway, and when he was justified in trimming it ten years later, he exchanged the epithet "Shockhead" or "Tanglehair" for the one by which he is usually known. In 866, Harald made the first of a series of conquests over the many petty kingdoms which would compose all of Norway, including Värmland in Sweden, which had...
The latter part of Harald's reign was disturbed by the strife of his many sons. The number of sons he left varies in the different saga accounts, from 11 to 20. Twelve of his sons are named as kings, two of them over the whole country. He gave them all the royal title and assigned lands to them, which they were to govern as his representatives; but this arrangement did not put an end to the discord, which continued into the next reign. When he grew old, Harald handed over the supreme power to his favourite son Eirik Bloodaxe, whom he intended to be his successor. Eirik I ruled side-by-side with his father when Harald was 80 years old. Harald died three years later due to age in approximately 933.Harald Harfager was commonly stated to have been buried under a mound at Haugar by the Strait of Karmsund near the church in Haugesund, an area that later would be named the town and municipal Haugesund. The area near Karmsund was the traditional burial site for several early Norwegian ruler...
While the various sagas name anywhere from 11 to 20 sons of Harald in various contexts, the contemporary skaldic poem Hákonarmál says that Harald's son Haakon would meet only "eight brothers" when arriving in Valhalla. Only the following five names of sons can be confirmed from contemporary skaldic poems (with saga claims in parenthesis), while the full number of sons remains unknown: 1. Eric Bloodaxe(by Ragnhild Eiriksdotter from Jutland, Denmark) 2. Haakon the Good (by Tora Mosterstong from Moster, Sunnhordland) 3. Ragnvald 4. Bjørn (Bjørn Farmann?) 5. Halvdan, possibly two by that name
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) Encyclopædia Britannica(11th ed.) Cambridge University PressViking Empiresby Angelo Forte, Richard Oram and Frederik Pedersen (Cambridge University Press. June 2005)The Oxford Illustrated History of the VikingsPeter Sawyer, Editor (Oxford University Press, September 2001)Raffensperger, Christian, "Shared (Hi)Stories: Vladimir of Rus' and Harald Fairhair of Norway," The Russian Review, 68,4 (2009), 569-582.