Saga Book of Viking 9

- Saga -Book Viking Society for IRortbern "Research Founded in 1892 as the Orkney Shetland and Northern Society VOL. IX. PART I. LONDON Printed for th...

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Saga -Book

Viking Society for IRortbern "Research Founded

in

1892

as the

Orkney Shetland and

Northern Society

VOL.

PART

IX.

I.

LONDON Printed for the

Viking Societv for Northern Research University of London

I02O

VIKING SOCIETY FOR NORTHERN RESEARCH (Founded in

president

1892

as the Orkney, Shetland and Northern Society or Viking Club}

-

Sir

1920 HENRY H. HOWORTH,

IDtCessJprCSiDente

Members

K.C.I.E., D.C.L., F.R.S of Council.

W.

R.-L. Professor A. SHAW

ISRAEL GOLLANCZ, Litt.D. "JAMES GRAY, M.A. *A. W. JOHNSTON, F.S.A. Scot. ^Professor W. P. KER, M.A., LL.D.

*Sir

LOWE ALLEN MAWER, M.A. MELLOR, M.A., M.B.,

Cantab.

Ibonorars Dice*ipresifcent6. The Most Hon. The MARQUIS OF ZETLAND Professor SOPHUS MULLER The MARQUIS OF RUVIGNY *Rear- Admiral Sir W. WATSON CHEYNE, K.C.M.G., C.B., LL.D., *Rev. A. SANDISON Bt., Mrs. JESSIE M. E. SAXBY F.R.S.. M.P. Rev. Pastor A. V. STORM J. W. CURSITOR, F.S.A. Scot. "The Rt. Hon. T. MCKINNON WOOD, Miss CORNELIA HORSFORD LL.D., D.L. ALBANY F. MAJOR. O.B.E. * Past Presidents.

1bon. {Treasurer

w.

-

R.-L.

LOWE.

Mrs. A. WINTLE JOHNSTON. 1b01t. Secretary 29, Ashburnham Mansions, Chelsea, London, S.W.10. -

Councillors. F. P. MARCHANT ERNEST PAYNE, M.A. Miss BERTHA s PHILLPOTTS, M.A., r F. F GRUNDTVIG CRUNDTVIG C. Litt D oBE The Rev. A. O. T. HELLERSTROM DOUGLAS C. STEDMAN, B A. S. F. B. LANE, M.A. W. BARNES STEVENI, M.J.I. WILLIAM TRAILL, F.S.A. Scot. J. M. LAUGHTON, M.B., C.M. (Trustees - Rear-Admiral Sir W. WATSON CHEYNE, Bt., K.C.M.G., C.B.,

Miss N. SMITH DAMPIER HELLIER R. H. GOSSELIN

-

The 1b01l.

LL.D., F.R.S., M.P. Rt. Hon. T. McKiNNON WOOD, LL.D., D.L. T. DAVIES JONES. LLOYDS BANK, LIMITED, WESTMINSTER BRANCH. -

2UlbitOr ailD Solicitor -

PUBLICATIONS. Saga- Book (Proceedings) and Year Book issued annually. Old- Lore Series of Miscellany and Records relating to the Old Norse Earldom of Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and Sutherland issued quarterly. Translation Series

Extra Series

Vol. Vol.

I.,

II.,

Cormac Saga, Elder Edda,

6s. 6d. (pub. 7s. 6d.). 10s. 6d. (pub. 15s.).

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Review Origines Miscellaneous Library Catalogue of the Society, 6d. Icelandicae, by Eirikr Magnusson, M.A., 2s. Bibliography of Caithness Rev. Alex. Pope, Reay (biography), 6d. and Sutherland, Is. 6d. Grotta-Songr, text, translation and notes, by Eirikr Magnusson, Is. 6d. Darradaljod, text, translation and notes, Eirikr Magnusson, Is. 6d. Sword-Dance, Papa-Stour, Sinclairs of Brabsterdorran (genealogy), Is. and four Shetland Airs, 7d. ;

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VOL.

IX.

PART

I.

'HARALD FAIRHAIR' and

his Ancestors. PART

By

Sir

HENRY

I.

H.

HO WORTH,

K.C.I.E., D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A.,

Vice-President.

Being two Papers read before the Viking Society, London, on May 4th and November 2nd, 1918.

"

HARALD FAIRHAIR and

his

Ancestors.

PKOLOGUE.

PROPOSE

in the following pages to describe the reign of the greatest of the Norwegian kings, who probably shares with the famous Emperor Otho the First, the reputation of being the most heroic figure in the European history of the 10th Century namely, Harald Halfdaneson, known from the profusion and beauty of his locks, as Fairhair, the founder of the kingdom

I

of

Norway.

The make it

exceptional features of Harald's career necessary, if we are to understand its real meaning, to try and grasp the earlier condition of Norway as it may be gathered from the scanty materials alone available. This I propose to do shortly, before turning to the Life of the

deem it convenient an almost untrodden field in English literature, and I intend, .therefore, to condense some of the information on the subject which was admirably sifted by Munch, one of the few great historians the world has known, which I shall quote from Clausen's German translation of the first two volumes, and shall supplement it by the later researches of Vigfusson and Powell, G. Storm, A. Bugge and others. Great King.

Especially do I

to do so because

it is

During recent years it has become more and more probable that the same Scandinavian stock which inhabits the great peninsula has been there from very early times and has probably been very little altered in its more general features. I do not propose

^ '

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Society.

at this stage to discuss at length the archaeology of the race this would involve a long description nor yet the religion, the laws, or the customs of

the people, but only its political history and the distribution and movements of the communities into which it was divided in early mediaeval times. Munch and others have established the conclusion that the Norwegian race in early times comprised three great communities, one of them occupying " " Norway east of the keel or backbone of the country, and two of them occupying the whole seaboard from Norland to the great inlet of Yiken and the Christianiafiord. These were known as the Thronds, in the north-west the Hords in the south-west, and the Raums in the Uplands, i.e., the northern part of Norway, east of the Dovrefelds. ;

Munch made peoples the

it

plain that

whole maritime

West Norway,

including

the

stock which

district

the

of

widely

Northramified

Throndheimfiord and extending from the province of North Mere in the South to that of Norland united by certain unmistakable is inclusive, common features, physical, artistic and linguistic, and notably also by the local nomenclature. In all these respects it differs generally from the people to the South, who are separated from them

by Raumdal.

The

race

trict just

What

occupying the long maritime

named were

called

dis-

Thronds (Throendr),

the etymology of the name was, does not Munch suggests that it means certain. the prosperous (op. cit., 114, note 2). Thrond occurs as a personal name in several places in the the Heimskringla, and occurs also as a place-name, notably where it gives its name of Throndheim (i.e., the home of the Thronds) to the great inland fiord of Central Norway.

seem very

"

Ha

aid Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

3

The name occurs

at a very early period, and is form Throwende, in "Widsith" or the " Travellers' Tale, one line of which reads I was in Throwende," while the indigenous Norwegian

found

in the

:

chronicle known as the Fundinn Noregr, them the earliest inhabitants of Norway.

makes

The province of Halogaland was originally the focus and heart of this community, and a headland called Trondenaes occurs on the north-east side of the Hinn-isle in Halogaland (see Magnusson, Heimskringla IV., 285).

The name Halogaland was long ago explained of Bremen as meaning the Holy or by " Sacred Land." He says Hoc ignor antes paqani

Adam

:

terrain illam vacant

miracidum

sanctam

et

prcestat mortalibus."

has been adopted by Munch, "

He

beatam, quce tale This etymology

whom

it is

generally

Hdlugr is an archaic form of heilagr holy, whence haaloga land the holy land. In Anglo-Saxon it was called Halgaland, which is the same thing, and the modern pronunciation Helge land probably comes from an old form Helga land." (Munch' op. cit., 1, 98, safe to follow.

note

3).

Adam calls

says

:

it)

as

Bremen speaks of Halagland an island near Normannia not

of

(as he less in

than Iceland or Greenland, op. cit., 245. His mistake was corrected by a scholiast, who says of size

"

that it is the furthest part of Nordmannia and nearest to the Scridfingi " i.e., to the Lapps. it

As Munch says, Heligoland, also called Fosete, situated in the bight of the Elbe, is the same name and has no other etymology than that of Holyland. In the case of the Norwegian Holyland, the name is best explained by its having been the oldest seat of the race who dwelt there (ib., 96). It further seems to me that he is right in attributing the

Saga-Book of the Viking

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Society.

reference in Eyvind Scaldaspieler's famous poem, the Haleyiatal, in which he applies the name " Mandheim," meaning the first homeland of men, not to Suithiod or Sweden, as some have done, but to Halogaland, the country of the hero whose praises he

name

was singing

Thorscliff,

(op. oit., 96,

now Thorshaug,

Note

2).

The

in the parish of

Stadsbygden-in-Fosen to the north of Throndheim, no doubt recalls a famous shrine of Thor in this its name to district, which may have given Halogaland.

God Thor, or Thor, was well known the Germanic peoples as as well the Scandinavians. The Anglo-Saxons knew him as Thunor, i.e., the Thunder God and he presided over heaven and the phenomena of the air and thus corresponded to Zeus or Jupiter. It is a daring and perhaps a foolish suggestion to hint that the names Thor and Thrond were connected, and that the Thronds were the special cultivators of the worship of Thor, who was the great god of Western Scandinavia, as Odin seems to have been of the The

to

East, where he had probably largely superseded Thor. It is at least noticeable how frequently his name occurs among those of the early Icelandic settlers. Miss Philpotts, in her admirable account of Germanic heathenism, says that at least one out of every five emigrants to Iceland in heathen times bore a name of which Thor formed a part, and in Iceland we hear of settlers consecrating their land

Thor and naming it after him. (Cambridge Mediaeval History, Vol. II., 481). It is interesting to remember that our Thursday still commemorates the famous God, while the winter month of the Norsemen was called Thor's month. to

of

It will be convenient to here set out an account one of the temples dedicated to Thor. The best

'*

Harald Fairhair" and

his Ancestors.

5

description of such a building is contained in the Eyrbyggja Saga, and the account is worth rethere read of an exile peating at length. from Most, an island off South Hordaland, called Kolf. He had charge of the Temple of Thor in that island, and was a great friend of the He was God, whence he was styled Thorolf. outlawed by King Harald Fairhair, as we shall see. Thereupon he made a great sacrifice to Thor and asked of him whether he should make peace with the King or begone. The reply of the god was that he should go to Iceland. He therefore pulled down the

We

temple and took with him most of its timbers and some mould from under the altar where Thor had sat (probably also the altar itself), and when he reached Iceland he threw over into the sea the pillars of his high seat which had been in the temple, and on one of which Thor was carved, and he declared over them that he would settle in Iceland wherever Thor should contrive that the pillars should land. They in fact landed in a firth he called Broadfirth, which they afterwards called

Temple Wick.

The

promontory

where

Thorolf had landed was called Thor's Ness, and he afterwards went further to the river called Thor's river, and settled his people there, and there he set up for himself a great house at Temple Wick which he called Temple Stead, and there he built a temple. It had a door in the side wall and near to one end of it. Inside the door stood the pillars of the high seat, and nails were driven into them which were called the God's nails, and within it was a great frith-place (i.e., the sanctuary, a kind of apse), and near by was another house of the fashion, says our author, of a choir in a church, and in the midst of it stood an altar on which lay a ring without a joint, that weighed twenty ounces on which all oaths were sworn, and which

6

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

the chief must wear on his arm at all male "motes" or assemblies. On the altar also stood the blood bowl and therein the blood-rod like a sprinkler, with which the blood from the bowl, which was " called It was blood Hlaut," was sprinkled. which had flowed from beasts that had been sacrificed to the Gods, and round the altar stood the Gods arranged in the holy place. To that all men and were bound to follow temple paid toll, the temple priest in all journeys, as (says the author) do the Thingmen their leaders, but the Chief must uphold the temple at his own cost, so that it should not go to ruin, and hold sacrifices there.

On the ness or headland was a fell, and Thorolf held it in such awe that no unwashed man was allowed to cast his eyes on it and neither man nor Thorolf called it Holy beast could be killed on it. to there when he and he be buried Fell, arranged all his from the ness, with kindred died, together and he ordered that all oaths were to be sworn on the tongue of the ness where Thor had landed, and there he set up a fylki-thing (Eyrbyggja Saga, chapters iii. and iv.). In the Kjalnesinga Saga we It says Thorgrim have some additional details. was a great settler. He had a large temple built in his home-field at Kjalness 100 feet long, and sixty feet wide, to which all his Thing men paid

From

end there projected a building shaped cap (i.e., an apse). It was arranged with hangings, and had windows all round. Thor stood in the middle, and on either hand the other In the front was an altar, highly wrought gods. and covered on the top with iron, on which burnt a fire which must never go out, and which they toll.

its

like a

called a hallowed

last mentioned the writer goes on to us that the ring placed on the altar was made

In the notice tell

fire.

( '

Harald Fairhair" and

of silver, and on had to be taken.

it all

his Ancestors.

7

oaths relating to ordeal cases

The blood-bowl was

a large one and made of copper, and the blood was sprinkled on arms and heads. The money of the temple was to

be spent in entertaining visitors at sacrifices.

Magnusson reports the discovery in recent years the remains of a private blood-house. These showed that at one end of it was a semi-circular chamber separated from the main building by a of

party wall.

In sacrificing men, they were to be hurled into fire which was by the door and was called the From Hauk's edition of the pit of sacrifice. the

Landnama, we

learn that before using the ring

it was reddened with the The temple guardians blood of a sacrificed heifer. were chosen at the Thing according to their wisdom and goodness, and had the further duty of ruling the pleadings of " cases and naming the " (op. cit. xxxi judges. They were called Godher

or

swearing

upon,

xxxiv).

Eeturning to Halogaland; an early notice of the district is that contained in King Alfred's version of Orosius, where he quotes the narrative of a visitor who went to see him from Norway who was named Othere, and who claimed to be a native He told the King (w ho, by the of Halogaland. or Lord) that his home lay he Hlaford styles way, further north than that of any other Northman. Eask ingeniously suggested that he filled an official post in the far north of Norway and collected the taxes there. It is difficult to explain how Othere came to pay a visit to England from so remote a place, and it has been suggested that he was in fact one of Harald's victims and that he r

actually settled in

been a

jarl

England and may even have

Othere or Othir, who

is

named as

8

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

taking part in a tight there in the year 911.

Dahlmann Forschungen,

i.,

Note

410).

(See

But

this

very doubtful, and there is another candidate The name Othere was not for the distinction. uncommon in Norway. Othere's notice of the far north is one of the most interesting relics of 9th Century literature which we possess, but cannot be pursued here. In the romantic legend about the origin of the Norwegian rulers contained in the Fundinn Noregr and also as an introduction to the Orkney is

Saga and which is founded largely on geographical assonances and names, the district inhabited by the Thronds

is

treated as the earliest

home

of the

Norsemen. We read of the two brothers Norr and Gorr who divided the country between them, Norr taking the inland parts and Gorr the islands and outscars. The latter was to have all the islands between which and the mainland he could pass in a ship with a fixed rudder. His sons were Heiti and Beiti, who were also sea kings and fought against Norr's sons, in which first one side won

and then the other. Thus we are told that Beiti ran into Throndheim and lay in the place called Beitsfiord and Beitstede, thence he made them drag ship from the innermost bight of Beitstede That is to where so north over the isthmus. He the Naumdale comes down from the east. himself sat on the poop and held the tiller in his hand, and claimed for his own all that lay on the larboard side, including much cultivated his

and

in discussing this Saga, rationalises by claiming it as a proof that the peninsula bounded by the Naumdal Eid or transit, was the same section of the Thronds as

land.

Munch,

it

peopled by the seaboard,

and not by an invasion from Throndheim fiord itself. Among the names compounded with Beit above named, he mentions in

" Hani Id Fair hair" and /us Amestors.

9

this district Beitstadt and Beitstadt fiord, Beitsjor, also called Beit's Sjor i.e., Beit's landing-place, and the lake of Beit. (Op. cit. i., 99 and Note).

There

is

a good deal of evidence to show, as

we

shall see, that the Thronds were once ruled by a special dynasty of kings who probably controlled One of this Eoyal stock, on the the whole race.

extinction of the race of Harald, became the King of the whole of Norway namely, Hakon His deeds and those of his ancestors the 2nd. were recorded in a famous poem (an imitation of Thiodulf's Ynglingatal), and written by Hakon's

Court poet, Eyvind Skaldaspieler, who lived in The poem is of the 10th Century. referred to in the preface to the Ynglinga Saga,

the end

and there it is expressly said that Eyvind derived his hero from Saemingr, the son of Yngwi Frey. These rulers were referred to in the list as Kings and iarls of Halogaland, which originally, doubtless,

comprised the whole

country of the

Thronds.

Eyvind's poem has most unfortunately only been preserved in fragments, which barely include

them are of in the a fifth King's preserved MS. known as Fagrskinna, and the rest in the Edda and Skalda. These fragments are given by Vigfusson and York-Powell (See Corpus Poet. 253), and in a restored text (Ib. ii., Bor., i., 251 one-fifth

of

in

the the

whole.

Four

lives

;

657658). have of the poem Fortunately, portions survived as prose paraphrases and quotations elsewhere. Among them we have preserved a list of Hakon's professed ancestors derived through many generations from Saemingr, the son of Odin and the giantess Skadhi, whose reputed descendants were known as Saemings, and formed the

Sag a- Book

io

of the

Viking Society.

third great Koyal stock of the North, the others being the Ynglings and the Scioldings. In the following list it will be seen that the earlier rulers of Halogaland are called kings, and

the later ones iarls

:

KINGS. 1.

Odin, who married

IARLS. the

Hersir

14.

giantess Skadhi.

(? Hersi). Brandr-iarl.

15.

2.

Saemingr.

16.

3.

Godh-hialti.

17.

Bryniolfr Bardhr.

4.

Svverd-hialti.

18.

Hergils.

5.

Hodhbroddr.

19.

6.

Himinleygr.

20.

7.

Vedhr-hallr.

21.

Havarr. Haraldr Trygill. Throndr.

8.

Havarr Handrami.

22.

Haraldr.

9.

Godgestr.

23.

10.

Heimgestr Huldar-

24.

Herlaugr. Griotgardhr.

11.

Gylaugr. Godhlaugr. Mundill Gamli.

brodhir. 12. 13.

NOTE.

25.

Hakon

26.

Sigurd Hlada-iarl.

27.

Hakon

Urna-iarl. Hlada-iarl.

Vide Vigfusson and Powell, C.P.B. ii., 522 and 3 r taken from Eyvind's poem and The Flatey Book. It will be noticed that one of these iarls is called Throndr. 1 think Vigfusson is unreasonably sceptical about at least

the later of 11 and 12

names

these is

names.

reversed

in

The

order of the

the

Ynglingatal

(see below).

The

first

of those

in the

above

list

who

is

mentioned in the Ynglinga Saga was a king called Gudlaug who belonged to the heroic age. He is the first ruler of any part of Norway to be named in the Heimskringla. We there read that Jorund and Eric were the sons of Yngwi, son of Alric, King of Sweden. They were great warriors, and one summer were harrying Denmark, when Griidlaug " (i.e. G-odlaugr), King of Haloga," happened to be there. With him they had a battle, and his ship " was cleared," i.e., its crew were destroyed, and he was captured. They brought him to land at

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

11

Straumeyjarnes and there hanged him, and there his heaped up a mound over him. Two verses of Eyvind are quoted in the Ynglinga Saga for In them we are further told that this account. the "ness," or headland, was known far and wide from being marked by a stone on the king's folk

mound.

(Ynglinga Saga, ch. 26.

For the poem

see Vigfusson and Powell, Corp. Poet. Bor., i., p. 252). The locality of Straumeyjarnes is not now known. The two Swedish brothers got great fame from this deed.

we are told, Jorund became King and he often went a-warring, and Upsala, one summer went to Denmark and harried in Jutland, and went up the Lim-fiord where he plundered, and then landed his ships in OddPresently,

at

sound, when there came thither Gylaug, King of Halogaland, the son of the above named Gudlaug, and a battle took place between the two The people of the country having heard of kings. it came together from all sides, both great and small, and King Jorund's men were overwhelmed u by the multitude and his ships were cleared." He himself leapt overboard and began to swim, but they laid hands on him and brought him to land, and King Gylaug reared a gallows, and led Jorund thither and hanged him on it. This was reported by Thiodolf in the Ynglingatal (Op. cit., ch. 28), and probably was derived by Eyvind from that I do not understand Vigfusson's note on poem. this verse.

-

(See op.

cit.,

i.,

523).

The next time we read of Halogaland was when Adils was reigning in Sweden. We are told that he was fond of horses, and sent a present of called "Kaven" to Godguest, the King of

one

Halogaland. King Godguest mounted it, and the horse threw him and he was killed (Ynglinga Saga,

1

2

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

This was at Omd in Halogaland. was the eastern part of the island of Hin, now called Hindo in Halogaland. (See the fourth volume of Magnusson's Heirnskringla, page 270), Up to this point Halogaland is the only part of Norway, and its kings are the only rulers of that land named in the Heimskringla, and it all points to its having .then been the focus and centre of Norwegian life (at least on its west coast) in very early time. Nothing in fact is reported of the eastern and southern parts of Norway until the Ynglings invaded it after the death of King Ingiald of Sweden. Turning to later times, we have a curious legend professing to show why the kings of Halogaland became iarls. In the poem of Eyvind, as we learn from the fragment on early Norwegian history known as Agrip, where it is quoted as the op. cit. 33).

Omd

authority, it is said that Hersi (the fourtenth in the above list) was king in Naumdale (a fylki His wife's name or shire of the Thrond-land).

was Wigtha, after whom the river Wigtha in Neamdal (sic) was said to have been named. Hersi having lost her, wished to make away with himself in order to join her, and asked if any precedent could be found for a King having On search being made a committed suicide. found for a iarl having done so, was precedent Hersi then went to a but not for a king. house on a hill and rolled himself certain down, saying that he had rolled himself out He then hanged himself in a of the king's title. iarl's title, and his offspring would never afterwards take upon them the title of king (C.P.B., This story is an interesting folk-tale. 528). It is clearly an invention to cover some less romantic cause which it was necessary to disguise. I

have not

seen this suggested,

but

it

seems

" Harald Fait hair" and his Ancestors.

13

highly probable. Kings in old days did not generally exchange their position for that of iarls except under compulsion. Let us, therefore, turn aside to another more probable folk tale. It

would seem that

land was divided

into

at

a

an early time Haloga-

number

of

shires

or

"

each of them with its petty ruler, but all subordinate to one supreme chief, who had his seat fylkis,"

in the fylki called Naumdal, and the first of the of Halogaland in the list above quoted is called King of Naumdal in a tale to which we

iarls

will

now

turn.

Harald Fairhair was not the who subdued this part of Norway.

first

We

Conqueror

are told in that Ey stein was called the

the saga of King Hakon ruthless (hardhradi), the mighty (inn riki),,the evil (inn illi), and the evil-minded (illradhi). The focus

wide realm was Heathmark where he and whence he ruled the Uplands in Eastern lived, ch. 49-54). He invaded and Norway (Ynglinga, " u " the the Isles and fylki conquered Sparebiders " in the district of Throndheim, over which he fylki set his son Osmund, whom the Thronds presently He thereupon made a second invasion of slew. Throndheim, which he harried far and wide and completely subdued its people. This we are expressly told in the Saga of Hakon the Good, ch. xiii., and it probably occurred in the time of Harald Fairhair's father or grandfather. of

his

us that in order to punish the murder Eystein imposed a most ignominious He punishment on the people of Throndheim. bade them choose whether they would be governed by his thrall who was called Thorir Faxi or his hound who was called Saur. They thought they would have more of their own way under the latter, on whom therefore their choice fell. They then

Ari

tells

of his son,

Saga-Book of the Viking

14

Society.

had the dog bewitched, so that he had the wisdom men, and he barked two words and spoke the third. A collar was wrought for him and chains of gold and silver, and when the roads were bad A his courtmen carried him on their shoulders. and he sat on a decked out for seat was him, high horse as kings were wont to do. He dwelt at the Inner Isle, i.e. the Eyna fyiki, and had his abode at the stead called Saur's home, and it was said he came to his death in this wise the wolves fell on his flocks and herds, and his courtmen so he leapt egged him on to defend his sheep from his horse and went to -meet the wolves, of three

;

but they tore him asunder. This folk-tale may contain some elements of truth, for it was quite after the taste of these grim Norsemen to humiliate their enemies

by a punishment

of this kind.

Eystein, we are told, did many other marvellous deeds among the Throndheimers, and to escape from his ravage and cruelty many Lords and other people fled the country abandoning, their old odal lands, i.e. lands that paid no tax (op. cit.).

Among them was Ketil Jamti, the son of Onund, iarl of Sparbyggja-fylki now Sparburn and he crossed over the keel or Great Mountains and went eastwards with a great company of men who

took their families with them.

They

cleared

woods and peopled the great countrysides there, and the country was thence known as Jamtaland (ib. ch. xiv.). KetiFs grandson was Thorir Helsing, who was outlawed from Jamtaland for murders he had committed there, and migrated thence through the woods to the East, where many people joined him, and the district was afterwards called Helsingland the

after him.

the

The Norwegians, however, only

western

part

of

Helsingland,

settled

while

the

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors,

coastlands

Swedes.

of

the

All this

province

seems to

15

were settled by the

me

quite rational

and

The migration eastwards continued in probable. later days, thus we read how, in the reign of Harald Fairhair, Wethorm, the son of Wemund the Old, a mighty hersir, fled from King Harald into Jamtaland and cleared the wild there (Landnamadel v., 15, 1).

What

forests or

marks

plain from all this story is that the at that time conquered by Eystein the Great, the King of the Uplands, who had other sons beside Osmund, and we nowhere hear that his victims recovered their independence again. I would urge as a most reasonable solution of the difficulty that Eystein, in fact, divided the country among his own relatives, and that the various is

Thronds were

Kinglets who were found in Throndheim, Naumdal and North Mere when Harald arrived were his descendants. In one case only, namely, in that of the specially sacred Land of the Thronds, to which the name Halogaland was now limited, was

an exception apparently made. There, as we have seen, the old dynasty which claimed descent from Odin continued to reign, not as Kings but as iarls that

The

is,

they paid tribute to the conquerors.

between a King and an was the payment of skat or tribute, and a ruler, however small his kingdom, if he paid no skat was styled a king. This seems to be a rational explanation of the change of the rulers of Halogaland from the status of Kings to that of iarls. As I have said, Halogaland (the land of the Thronds) was doubtless divided from early times critical distinction

iarl

into several

"

"

or provinces, answering to the Northfolk and Southfolk in England, who were all governed by the same code of laws but had their own independent administration. Four of them fylkies

1

6

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

were situated on the coast, namely, Raumafylki, Nord Mere, Naumdal, and the most northern, i.e. Halogaland. Halogaland was separated by an inlet named Nid from N. Mere in the South, and had no definite boundary in the North, where it bordered on the great stretch of land reaching to the North Cape, which was peopled by a thin sprinkling of Lapps. The Norse inhabitants were chiefly gathered in the southern parts, where the temple of Thor was planted on Thor's Ness. In later times it furnished a few emigrants to Iceland, and produced some famous writers, notably the poet of the oldest Eddaic poem, the Volundarkuidha, and there at Tiolto was the home of the last great skald of the Viking period, Eyvind Skaldaspieler, see A. Bugge (Op. cit., 210.) Each of the other fylkies had its sacred fane, called Hof or Thorshof, where the great gods were worshipped and which formed the focus and central point of the shire. Each of the smaller divisions, also had its Thor's temple, and its "Thing," or Assembly. On the west side of the Great Mountain, in fact, Thor was everywhere, and his larger temples were the finest buildings in the land.

The

whole

into a series

of of

Throndheim, called Bremen, was divided of cantons, some large and some small district

Dronthenien's by

Adam

forming eight "inland they numbered 3

to

fylkies," as they are called

10 in the

list

;

quoted below,

each with its petty ruler and all bound together by a common dialect and laws. The names of these were: The Orkdale fylki, so called from the river Orke this is the westernmost of the fylkies and on the south of the Firth; Gauldoela fylki, from the river Gaul; Strinda fylki and Stioradoela ;

from the river Stiora these were grouped further inland about the entrance of the fiord so-called there lived the Inlanders, namely,

fylki,

;

;

" Harald Fairhair " and his Ancestors.

17

so called from tl)e river Vera fylki, and Eyna fylki. Sparbyggia Skeyna " Nordmoen I will now abstract from Munch denes aeldste G-udeog Helte Sagn, 178," a list of the fylkies into which the land of the Thronds (which was subject to the Frosta Thing) was their principal divided, with the situation of temples, where known

Verdaela

tylki,

;

fylki,

:

:

1.

Haleygja

2.

Naumdael

fylki fylki

3.

Sparbyggia

4.

Eyna

5.

Verdaela

6.

Skeyna

7-

Stiordoela fylki Strinda fylki

8.

9.

10. 11. 12.

fylki

fylki fylki

Throndarnes Jod Maerindelni Hiissladir (Saurshaugz)

Haugr ?

fylki

Stjoiadal

Hladir

Gauldoela fylki Orkdoela fylki

Medalhus

Nordrmoera Raumsdoela

fylki

Yrjum

fylki

Veey.

Niardvik

The larger part of these fylkies, as is obvious, took their name from the principal valleys which The two first and the two last traversed them. faced the sea, and were largely backed by mountains and forests which made access to them from the land side almost impossible at this point. North Mere was separated from Halogaland by a narrow Sound called the Nid, which gives access to the great inland Throndheim fiord that consists of a congeries of converging valleys and waterways. Naumdale lay north of the great Firth, and was nearer to Iceland than any part of Norway, and naturally supplied a greater number who came from Norway to that island, than any other district. TheThrond extended southward to North-Mere fylki which had its counterpart in South Mere, but was, however, occupied by another race, the Hords. The two Meres apparently originally represented waste of the emigrants,

1

8

Stiga-Book of the Viking Society.

Thronds and Hords. They are now separated by a fylki called Raumdal, which is the frontier of the Thronds in the South. Smaa-land, a similar district in Sweden, was called Mere by Othere. districts separating the territories of the

Behind these four districts lay, as I have said, the sprawling Throndheim fiord, throwing out its arms in different directions, like a huge starfish, and reminding us of the Lake of the Four Cantons It was naturally landlocked, and in Switzerland. its inhabitants were not fishermen and navigators, but cultivated their rich lands and migrated eastward, and not westward, when conditions demanded it, and in this way largely peopled the Osterdals and the northern frontier of Sweden.

Having described the Thronds

let

us

now

turn

to their neighbours, the Hords. They gave their name to Hordaland, now known as Sondre Bergenhusamt, which was the kernel of their land. Munch,

South West from Hordaland that shows itself, northNorway, wards as far as the Northern frontier of South Mere, the land was peopled by Hords. This is shown by the common dialect prevailing there, and especially by the fact that it was all subject to the same code of Laws and was obedient to the same great Thing or National Assembly. This code was known as the Gulathingslag, and took its name from Gula in North Hordaland, and no doubt embodied the old Common Law of the Hords. It was also obeyed in later times beyond the borders of the Hords themselves by at least two communities, which once no doubt, had local codes of their own, namely, the Rugians in Rogaland and the district of Agder, in his analysis of the population of

To them we will return them famous. The Hords, properly so called, occupied presently.

both

of

" Harald Fairhair"

and

his Ancestors.

19

the fylkies of North and South Hordaland, HarSouth Waldres, danger, Sogn, Hallingsyadal, western of the Gudand North part Fiord, Fiord, brandsdal called Lorn or Loar (Munch H.N.F. i.

110).

land of the Hords was Eogaland, The two,howi.e., the land of theEygiar orEugians. The Eugians held the ever, were very close akin. the eastern district as far as coast and also the islands called the Vik: the frontier between the two ran between the hamlets of Nedenaes and Bratsberg

South

of this

called Eygiarbit in old days. Originally Eogaland also included the western part of Thelemarken with the so-called Eobygger whence Eobygdelag got its name. The latter points to the Eugians having once had a code of their own, and dominated Agder. Munch suggests that Eobygger is short for Eogbygger.

(Munch,

op. cit., 107).

it was once a separate more than one legend. of and the seat kingdom It seems plain that earlier however it formed a part of the land of the Eugians. The name, according to Munch, originally merely meant a strip of coast, and was given to the maritime border between the Ryfylki and the Vik, part of which, was known as

In regard to Agder,

At all events, it is plain that during the Middle ages the whole of Eogaland and Agder were subject to the Gulalag.

Eygiarbit.

Both the Hords and Eugians were known in very early times. The Hords have been very reasonably associated with the Kharudes, who formed a section of the army that invaded Gaul under Ariovistus, in Caesar's times, and who are also mentioned in the Morumentum Ancyranum, dating from the reign of Augustus, and by Ptolemy. They were probably in part at least living in

2O

Saga-Book of the Viking

Jutland, and doubtless gave Syssel in that peninsula.

its

Society.

name

to

Harde-

Eugians (the Eygir of the Northern had colonies south of the Baltic. Eugen was no doubt connected with them. They are, in fact, mentioned as Ulmerugii or Island-Eugii by Jordanes and in the legends of

The

writers) also The island of

Scandinavia as Holm-rygir. Eugii are also described as living near the Vistula, and are met with in the legends of the Goths and Lombards, and took a part in the great Teutonic invasion of the 4th and 5th centuries.

The two

tribes, as

I have said, were closely Sagas and in the

united in the most ancient early romantic history of

Norway called the Fundinn Noregr, we are told that Gard Agde, the son of Nor the Just, ruled over Agder, Eogaland Horda land, Sogn, the Fiords and South Mere. According to the same document, Gard Agde's sons were Hord, King of the Hords, Eugalf of the Eugians, Thrum of Egden, Wegard of Sogn fiord, Freygard of the Firths, Thorgard of South Mere and Griotgard of Nord Mere. (Munch, op. cit., 110, as

and note

3).

It is a curious fact, that has not been so far I know noticed, that Odoaker, who deposed

the last Eoman Emperor Eomulus Augustulus and occupied his place, probably came from this He ruled over a confederacy district of Norway. of four tribes namely, the Eugii, the Turcilingi, In one place Jordanes the Sciri and the Heruli. calls calls

him him

"

"

While rex" TurcUingorum genere Ruyus''

in

another he

It would seem that the Turcilingi were, in fact, a tribe of the Eugii. What is interesting to us is that their name is clearly compounded of the

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

21

Scandinavian name Thurkil. The Sciri it has long ago been suggested gave its name to Sciringshal, the

famous early trading mart, situated

in the kingof Westfold, quite near Rogaiand. colony of them seems to have settled at the mouth of the Vistula, where Pliny puts them. The name " " also reminds us of the Scoringa of Paul the In regard to the Heruli, the most Deacon. of all the tribes who invaded the Roman puzzling who filled such a notable place in the Empire, of the 4th and 5th Century, arid who history formed the great bulk of the army of apparently I believe Odoakar, they were no other than Hords or Haeretha-men with a somewhat altered name. At least I know of no other tribe but the Heruli

dom

to

which Jordanes'

says of them

no men

xibi ob

"

:

A

He

language can apply. inter omti.es Scandiae nationes

Qui nimium proceritatem

ajfectant praePro(Jordanes Hist. Goth., ch. 3). has to of much them a as copius say seafaring race, and tells us how a branch of them, after their great migration, returned again to their old home in Scandinavia, and that they " settled near the Goths, the most numerous of the peoples of Thule." They probably were the tribe otherwise

cipuutH."

called Hirri.

Jordanes speaks of a King Rodulv, who visited A. Bu^ge would identify Theodoric in Italy. him with the King of the Heruli of the same name mentioned by Procopius, and with the Roadulv mentioned in the famous Roksetenn in East Gothland, who reigned over a number of tribes in South- Western Norway. Aruth.was the name of another Chief of the Heruli. Bugge identifies it with the name Hord (See A. Bugge Die Wikinger, I. 16 and 17). The names in the list are corrupted almost beyond recognition, but something can be

22

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

made

of them. There are the Tilae or people of Thelemark,and the Granii,no doubt the people who gave its name to the fylki of Grenland near Eogaland. In Agandziae, Zeuss and Mullenhof suggest, we have the same stock as the people of " Viellewht Agder, the former adding the phrase nur in Gothischen Mwide uwgebildet mit participial endung" The Ethelrugi Zeuss would make the The Rugians of the west part of Thelemark. :

into Arochiranni, Munch divides Arockirani, and makes the latter a corruption of Hords and of Raumi, and Sygni, i.e., the people of Sogn. (Zeuss Die Deutsche und der Nachbar-stamme,

507; Munch 1.124). There still remains another famous stock, the Burgundians, who very probably came from this district. It is usual to derive them from the small Baltic island of Bornholm, where a colony of them doubtless existed, but like Rugen it was probably only a colony, and it is noteworthy that the chief centre in the fylki of South Mere was called

Borgund. A. Bugge condenses a graphic picture of the south-west districts of Norway occupied by the in early times, and especiand the Yaederen Hardanger fiord, the lowland ally in the south of Norway, enclosed by the sea on the one side and the fjeld on the other hand, which already in the bronze age, the early iron age and even earlier, was one of the most populous districts of Norway. Its excellent soil made it the most fertile part of Norway, enabling it to support a large From Yaederen was the shortest population. and both districts seem at to Jutland, passage one time to have been closely united together. Thence also the passage was the shortest to

Hords and Rugians

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

23

At the time of the great race migrations shown by its archaeological remains, it was

England. as

is

beyond the North Sea. In the Viking time Hord aland and Rogaland were among the great foci of piracy in Norway, and were the homes of some of the greatest of of Geirmund and his brother the pirate chiefs Hanmnd Heljarskinn and of Anund Trefot, who were descended from the old kings of Hordaclosely tied to the lands

land

(A. Bugge, op.

cit. I.

205).

was the again, Yaederen and of handicrafts in of design special carved Runic stones in Norway. They were doubtless learnt in the West, where the arts were much more developed. Certain stones found in the district, and notably the famous Kleppe stone, are markedly like those from the Isle of Man and the Hebrides. It was from the West that the shorter Runic stave which prevailed in Yaederen at one time and also other artistic ideas must have come, and were thence imported into East Gothland and the island of Gotland. It was in this district also that memorial stones began to be erected which were clearly inspired by those in the West, in the Hebrides and the Isle of Man. (A. Bugge, In

early

times

home

Die Wikinger, 208 and 209). After the Viking time, Yaederen sank again into obscurity. Professor Sars is of opinion that Harald Fairhair, when he conquered Western Norway, laid a particularly heavy hand on this district so that it never recovered again during the

Middle Ages. It occurs sometimes in the sagas of the time of Olaf Trygvesson and Olaf Haraldson, but no such heroes as Erling Skjalgsson of Sole, are then heard of. It must be remembered, however, that after Norway became united into a

Sag a- Book of the Viking

24

Society.

there was not the same scope for buccaneering on a great scale that there was in the earlier time.

kingdom,

Half, or Halv, was' King of Hordaland at the beginning of the Viking time, and was the hero of a poem which now only survives in the Half's

Saga.

In later times, this poem partly inspired

Frithiofs

Saga and

also Esaias

Tegner

in his

famous

Other poems also existed about other kings story. in Hordaland and Rogaland. Thus there has been preserved a strophe from one about the brothers

Geirmund and Hamund Heljarskin above mentioned, who were so alike that their own mother could not distinguish them. At the beginning of the Viking perioci its chiefs were apparently already intermarrying with A. Bugge identifies the Anglo-Saxon wives. who married Hjorz the of Saga, Ljufvina Halvsson, with the Anglo-Saxon name Leofwynn or Lewina, the female complement of the wellknown Anglo-Saxon man's name Leofwine. He suggests that he lived at the beginning of the 9th Century, and was the father of Geirmund and In the Saga she his brother above named. is called the daughter of the King of Biarma, but this is clearly a mistake, for at this time the Norsemen had not found their way to the White Sea, and her name clearly shows she

was

an

Anglo-Saxon.

As we

shall

see,

at

the great battle of Hafursfiord, there were present Western warriors. Among them, perhaps, as Gustav Storm has suggested, was Olaf the White The poet Hornklofi, apostrophises from Dublin. " the Western swords." Among these were, no doubt, the swords inlaid with the names of English makers on which my friend Lorange wrote such The spears and white an excellent monograph.

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

25

shields (probably made of the linden or lime tree), of those who came to the great fight, were also

doubtless importations.

A. Bugge also attributes one of the Eddaic poems from Hordaland namely, the splendid Hyndlaliod. Its author, Ottar, sprang from the old Kings of Hordaland, and was of the same stock as Geirmund Heljarskinn and on the mother's to an author

side was related to Hordakari, whose family is described by Snorri as the most famous one in Hordaland. To it Erling Skjalgsson belonged. Ottar became a Viking and resided in the West, and Bugge would identify him with Ottar the iarl, or Ottar the black, who is mentioned as

raiding in England in

9109-20

(Op.

cit.,

207).

So famous were the Hords, that Hordaland is the name by which Norway is first referred to in our own vernacular literature, and from it the first piratical attack of the Vikings was made on our The name occurs in the AngloEnglish coasts Saxon Chronicle as Haeretha land (see A.S.C. MSS., D. & E. sub. ann., 787). By the Irish writers the name is given in the form Hirotha or Irruaith. (See Todd, Chronicle of the Gaedhill and Gael. xxxv. I., note).

Another and more usual name for Norway in the Irish writers was Loch Ian noch or the land of the fiords or firths, a specially appropriate name for this coast of Norway, where two of the fy Ikies were known as North Fiord and South Fiord. It is a pity that we have so little recorded about the local history of this district before the time of Harald Fairhair, for it is quite plain that

the Norwegian raids upon the

British Isles for

a period of nearly eighty years after the one just

26

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

mentioned (the real date of which, as I long ago showed, was 793) down to the battle of Hafnrswere conducted in great part, if not fiord, These altogether, by the men of Hordaland. raids, as welf as the

story of the earlier settlein the West, are however, much too large a subject to be treated in this prologue, and need a special memoir to illustrate

ments of the Norwegians

them.

When Harald comes on the scene we find him marrying the proud daughter of the King of Hordaland, who refused to wed him till he was master of all Norway. This shows the pretensions of the race at that time and also its wealth and prosperity. The country occupied by the Hords was divided like that of the Thronds into a number

of

its each with fylkies, its local and its Thing temple, the dwelling of its local ruler.

Thor Hall,

great large

These

fylkies are thus enumerated by Munch, who gives " the corresponding where the county towns '

institutions in question as follows

were planted.

They were

:

NAME OF

SITE OF HOF OR THOR'S TEMPLE.

FYLKI.

Sunnmoera

(i.e.,

South Mere)

...

(i.e.,

the Firths)

...

,,

(i.e.,

Sogn)

...

...

Vik

,,

...

...

...

...

Gula and Mostri

...

...

...

...

Aurdal

...

...

...

...

..

...

fylki

Firdha

,,

Sygna Horda Valdres

,,

Haddinjgjadali

Rygjia

,,

...

Egda

,,

('Agder)

Borgund Gaulum

AH Gond Thruma

These different fvlkis had a common centre at Gula in Hordaland, from which their code of laws

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors

27

was named. Each, however, had its separate ruler. Although styled kings, they no doubt accepted the hegemony of the ruler of the dominant fylki of Hordaland, the king of which at the accession of Harald Fairhair was the latter's father-in-law, Eric. Having dealt with the Thronds and the Hords, we will now turn to the third main division of the The great Norse people namely, the Kaums. area east of the Dovrefjelds and west of Sweden, and bounded on the north by huge forests and wastes, was in early times, so far as can be seen, peopled only by a very scanty population of Finns, divided into two sections with very different histories. northern section occupying a hilly and not too fertile land, and a southern one comprising the fertile lands round the Christiania fiord and eastward as far as West Gothland.

A

The former was known as Alfheim, and was socalled from the two great rivers, with their affluents,

or

which watered

it

namely, the

Glommen

Kauma, and the Klar-elf or Gotha.

Munch identifies the Alfheimers with the Hilleviones of Pliny, the Helvikones of Tacitus, and the Heliouen of Ptolemey. Pliny says of them that they came from another world, which Munch explains as meaning that they were immigrants into the country where they were then living. He further argues that they came from the North and occupied a district once occupied by another With this he compares the legendary people. story preserved in the so-called Fundhm Noregr, about the origin of the Norway peoples. It tells us that Nor (the eponymos of the Northmen) had a son Rauma, who was settled in Alfheim, which included all the country through which the two rivers flowed. By Vergdis, the daughter of the Rauma had three sons among giant Thrym,

28

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

whom

he

Eaumdal

divided

Brand,

;

his

realm.

Gudbrandsdal

;

Bi orn and

tcck Alf,

Osterdal and all the country north of the Worm as far as the Gaut-Elf and the Raum-Elf, the modern Gota and Glommen He goes on to say that other sons of Raum settled in Hadaland, Haddingadal and Ringeriki, which he looks upon as later acquisitions of the Raums. The focus of their country in early times was apparently Raumariki, so-called from the river Ran ma, and hence the race which peopled it were afterwards known as Raums, while the name Alfheim was restricted to the fylki, bounded on either side by the two great rivers just named, which had a different history. The Uplands, properly so or counties of the called, comprised fylkies Gudbrandsdal, Hedemark, Thoten, the southern part of Herdalen, Raumariki, and generally the country watered by the Rauma, the Logen, the

Worm

and Glommen

rivers.

It is interesting to find some of the names surviving in this district in use as early as the time

of Jordanes. He speaks of the Raumarici, the Ragnarici and the Fervir, ( ? corruption of Ferdir).

Munch

gives us a list of these fylkies in the the sites of the great Thor Uplands, temples, marking the central focus of each of

with

them

:

SITE OF TEMPLES.

FYLKI.

Rauma

fylki

...

Ullinshof at UlleisaUri

Thotmi

Hardha

,,

...

Ringariki

,,

...

Heina

..

,,

Niardharhof and a temple at Gron Thorshof at Redahu (Vang), a hof at Cyjunir and another at

Ey^tridalir

Gudbrandsdalir

...

Skaun

...

Alfrhimir

...

Fron near Hundthorp

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

29

Eystein the Great, whom 1 have spoken of I have above, was the ruler of the Uplands. his famous described already campaign against He had several sons namely the Thronds. Hogni and Frothi, Eystein the Younger, and While Hedemark or Heathmark, was Osmund, the centre of his realm and he was sometimes called King of Hedemark, he was also the ruler of the Hadeland, Thoten, great tylkies of Raumariki, Gudbrandsdal, and Osterdaler. He was in fact the great overlord of the Raumfolk, and doubtless belonged to a very old stock.

The fy Ikies, over which he ruled, were grouped round the great lake formerly called Miors and now known as Mjosen, the second largest lake in Norway, and containing a famous sacred island with a noted shrine of Thor. It was also known as the Watersend (Magnusson HeimskringlalV., 265), and stretches from Gudbrandsdal to Raumariki,

Hedemark is the district north of Raumariki, and bounded on the east by the Glommen and by the Wormen the river of Gudbrandsdal. Its name shows it w as a frontier district or mark. Thoten, the modern Toten, was bounded on the east by the Mjosen lake and the Wormen, which separated it from Hedemark, on the south by Raumariki. Hadeland was situated immediately to the S.W. of Thoten and bordered the Randsford. r

The

which were occupied by the and Raums were not always which accounts for their different conterminous, laws and dialect. Munch has shown very customs, districts

Thronds, Hords

clearly

what happened.

by Geiger

in regard to

settlements were

Each

tribe

It

was

Sweden.

similarly explained

The

earlier tribal

doubtless once quite isolated. having round it as a protection a

Saga-Book of the Viking

3O

Society.

Mark

or frontier, which, in the North really As stretch of impassable forest. the population grew the forest was gradually reclaimed by industrious settlers saeters they are called in the North. The Anglo Saxons called them saetas, as in Dorsaetas, Defnsaetas, etc. They increased in numbers, and gradually pushed on as an advanced guard of each tribe until the

meant a wide

two streams met.

Munch

us that their ancient homes are the North and South by differences in dialect, pointing to there having been " a gap between them at one time. mark," in fact, that is a stretch of unoccupied land, separated It was the in each case the great tribal areas. The best protection available in a wild country. tells

marked both

in

A

were afterwards filled up by In this way the upper from either side. immigrants were gradually so-called the Osterdals of parts encroached upon by settlers from Throndheim, and we find the people in them speaking the dialect of the Thronds. The Thrond speech extends to Noros on the Upper Glommen, but south of There that town not a trace of it is to be found.

intervening gaps

they speak the Rauma dialect as far as Quickne, a place near where the Glommen and the Orka come together, and where there is another similar

Munch

says that it is clear the settling the of of this part country has come from two of population ran from the streams sides, and that the Lower Neendal in the Tonset in the north to

frontier.

south.

So much

for the frontier

between the Raums

and the Thronds. The evidence points to similar results in the south-west between the former and Munch shows that the inhabitants the Hords. of the upper parts of the valleys to the east of

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

31

the mountains and south of Gudbrandsdal i.e., of Waldres and Hallingdal, are in dialect, appearance and habits much more like their neighbours on the other side of the mountains in Sogn and Hardanger, who were Hords, than with those of their neighbours in the lower part of the same valleys showing whence the latter came. On the other hand, their land in Hadeland, Sigdal and Ringariki, obviously received their first inhabitants from the west i.e., from the land of the Hords by the easy route of Fillefjeld Hemsedalsfjeld, the This Aurlandsfjeld and the heights of Ustedal. becomes more probable when we remember that Waldres and Hallingdal were in ancient times treated as part of the ancient Hord confederacy, and were subject to the jurisdiction of the GulaIn this district, therefore, we again have thing. two streams of people one from the West and the It is not only the valleys other from Raumdal. of the Drams Elv to to the water shed belonging Thelemark is also divided which this applies. into

two portions separated by

their dialect.

That

in the Eastern, is quite unlike that in the Western setars," and it cannot be doubted that the two '

sections of Thelemarken got their population partly from the East i.e,, from Westfold, which was perhaps once called Thyle or Thule, and partly from the West from the land of the Rugians.

Munch has

collected a good deal of evidence to the people of Rogaland, who were closely akin to the Hords and obeyed the Gula thing, also sent considerable colonies across the mountains northward and eastward both Thelemark and Numedal afford proofs of this.

show

that

;

So much

for

the

three great tribes

which

occupied Norway in early times. We still have to consider another district which had a distinct

Saga-Book of the Viking

32

Society.

South of the Uplands, comprising all tht lands round the Christiania fiord, and extend ing from Westf'old in the West to West Gothland in the East inclusive, was apparently in early times occupied by a different race, and probably it was in history.

fertile

fact dominated, as

it

was almost certainly

civilised

by the Goths, and Munch thus accounts, not only for the artistic work found in the graves in this district being so like that in the graves of East and West Gothland, but for the earliest Runic inscriptions of this same district being written in Gothic runes and in the Gothic speech. He is very emphatic in this matter and says that one of the Gothic monuments has been found even west of Westfold in Thelemark. He also quotes the " occurrence of " mark in the latter name, and in

Vingul-mark as due

to Gothic influence.

In later times, as we shall see, there is reason to think that a portion of it at least formed a part of the realm ruled over by Signrd Ring, the heroic chief of the Skioldung race, and by his ancestors. Eric, the Swedish Ring, claimed that Signrd had ruled the Raum realm and Westfold, out to Grenmar, Vingulmark, and thence away South. (Saga of Harald Fairhair, ch. xiv.)

Round

the Tyrifiord in South -Western Norway centre of wealth and culture. Ringariki in this district, like Yaederen further west, is noted for the number and beauty of its monuments and the carved work on them, and it was clearly one of the great centres of culture The very rich country west in the Viking time. of the Christiania fiord, the Viken of the Norsemen, was the focus of their wealth, enterprise and artistic skill. Near Hole, not far from the modern Svangstraudvei they found a valuable material for these monuments in the red sandstone

was

a

noted

" Harald Fairhair^ and his Ancestors.

33

Thence they were carried to .he neighbouring districts. On these stones we have representations of hawking scenes arid other subjects, in which human figures occur, and which are decorated with intertwined snakes and also with acwhich occurs there.

A. Bugge mentions such stones from Strand inUpperHallingdal, from Vang in Valdres, from Dynna in Hadeland and Alstad in Toten. The greater part of them are carved from the sandstone of Hole. This district was divided up, like the rest of Norway, at the time we are chiefly interested in now, into a number of

anthus leaves.

Tandberg in Ringariki, from

Those occupying the

fylkies.

known

as Viken, comprised

Name Grcena

district collectively

:

Site of Thor's Temple.

of Fylkis.

Lillaheradhr

fylki.

(?)

Vestfold

Skiringssal and Saeheimi

Ving-ulmark Alfheimr

Osloarheradhi and

As we under one

Konungahellu

Tunum

(?)

two were united and were named Westfold, which

shall see later, the first ruler,

became the nucleus of the later kingdom of To the origin and growth of this we Norway. will

NOTE

now

It is interesting to remember that Adam of Bremen in regard Thor has the phrase " Thor praesedit in acre qui tonitrus fulmina, ventos imbrcsque serena et fruges gubernat."

I.

to

:

et

NOTE

turn.

Munch has an interesting paragraph about the particle rik or which terminates certan names in South Norway. He says: In German world we never find the designation rigi or riki except in the case of conquered districts or those from which the former inhabitants have been dispossessed. Thus, Frankrige, France Myrcena-rica, Mercia Beornica-rige, Bernicia Deorarige, II.

ric

the old

;

;

;

Saga-Book of the Viking

34

Society.

West Seaxenarige, Wessex,

etc. In Norway we have the Raumariki, Ranrike, and Ringariki pointing to these districts having been conquered from others. Their conquerors must have come from the south-east, i.e., from the land of the Goths, whose north-west frontier was doubtless Hedemark, while Vingulmark points to another marchland.

Deira,

fylkis of

NOTE

III. In the Ynglinga Saga, c. 49, we read that Halfdane Huitbein was buried at Skaereidh in Skiringesal. These two names, says Munch, correspond with the Scoringa and Scoeri of Paul

Warnefrid. the historian of the "Lombards. Winili, as the latter were originally called,

He first

suggests that the

made

their

way

to

Vingulmark, and thence to Skiringesal and Rygiarbit, whence with the Scyri and Rugians they fought with the Wendles (the Vandals), op.

cit. 1,

113.

THE ANCESTORS OF HARALD HAARFAGRE. Before I enter subject,

which

must

I

into lay

the main

down

part of my certain postulates

necessary to remember, and which, it is possible, may not meet with universal In the first place I hold that acquiescence. the Norsemen such a thing as a parvenu among ruler or chief was unknown. Among no race was attachment to the sacred stock (to which loyal alone the kings and chiefs belonged) more marked. it

is

was common was followed enough, by their being others of the same replaced by family and The families which had this hereditary blood. privilege were deemed to be the direct descendants of the famous companions of Odin, the Asirs, or Anses, and to them, and them alone, belonged the

The slaughter

of particular chiefs

but this

privilege of ruling.

the

In the next place we cannot help thinking that amount of disintegration in the communities

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

which held Scandinavia

good

deal

35

early days has been a by the recent critical

in

exaggerated

true that before the end of the 8th Century there was not the cohesion in the government that there was in later times, and that the supreme chief was not the autocrat he It

historians.

is

His authority was considerand there were a number of

afterwards became. ably

distributed,

so-called

district,

or-fylki,

kings

who

divided

controlling his own that there was, but it seems to me patrimony a distinct nevertheless, acceptance of the very feudal and patriarchal notions by which the head of the house, the high priest of the community, was de facto, as well as de jure, the I take it that the comsupreme ruler of all. in this respect, organised very much as munity was, a Scotch clan or an Irish sept was, with the senior chief and many subordinate and semi-independent The district chiefs all belonged to the same ones. race as all the chiefs of the Macleods or Campbells all having a common ancestor, theoretically do all times all obeying at critical times, and at as their the Lord of Dunhead, acknowledging the Mor. Thus we find or Macallum that vagan when the great chief had a mortal struggle, the various branches of the' house gathered round him at his summons, and joined their ships to his. The amount of independence exercised by the district kings no doubt varied with the locality.

the lands

among them, each

;

:

Norway where every separated by difficult barriers from the next one, or where the intercourse either by land or water was difficult, and probably intermittent only, the maximum of independence would be reached. There the little community and, in many cases, the isolated farm would be practically independent. In districts like Western fiord

is

Saga-Book of the Viking

36

Society.

The same rule, caused by the same circumstances, held good in the Peloponnesus in ancient times and in the promontory of Sorrento in mediaeval ones. In more fertile and thickly peopled dismore accessible and more tricts, which were valuable, the authority of the supreme chief was doubtless more marked and his visits more frequent the association of liberty with a rugged country is well explained in such instances at least. :

These postulates are reasonable and generally accepted, and are both supported by ample

we

turn to the earliest poetic North, the "Traveller's Tale" and we are struck by finding the Beowulf," Scandinavian district divided into a number of " so-called gaus," or provinces, each one occupied by a separate clan, as in Ireland and Celtic each clan subject Scotland in mediaeval times to a royal stock, all belonging to the sacred caste tracing descent from Odin and his Asirs, and thus having, for its chiefs at least, a common few lines of the "Traveller's Tale" pedigree. into communities, this will exhibit division I take the following at each with its royal caste. evidence.

Thus,

literature "

of the

if

;

A

haphazard

:

Sigehere longest Ruled the Sea Danes.

Hnaef the Hocings,

Helm Wald

the Wulfings, the Woings, the Thyrings, Saeferth the Sycs,

Wod

The Swepns Ongendtheov, Sceafthere the Ymbers, Sceafa the Longbeards, &c., &c. Sedgefield's edition of Widsith lines, 28-32.

It is not

my

present purpose to examine these Our story

clans and their ruling stocks in detail.

44

begins

at

Harald Fairhair" and

a

much

later

his Ancestors.

stage,

when

the

37

petty

communities were being consolidated into larger kingdoms by the absorption of several by the more This convigorous and ambitious among them. solidation had a very potent effect indeed on the social condition of the north of

Europe.

and Sweden were the first to feel its were presently followed by Norway.

Denmark effects,

and

Norway's

consolidation occurred just at the beginning of its written history, and, in fact, its real history The movement begins with this consolidation. took place under the leadership of the royal stock of the Ynglings, which, if we are to credit the very reasonable tradition to be presently referred to, was expelled from Sweden by the must always remember that Scioldungs. the first kings of Norway were Swedes and not Norwegians. This revolution is described for us in the last chapter of the Ynglinga Saga, the general truth of which I cannot see the smallest reason to doubt. This consolidation of power in the North, and especially the internecine struggle between the Scioldungs and the Ynglings just referred to, more than aught else caused, as I believe, the vast impulse given to piracy and foreign colonisation in the ninth and tenth centuries, and converted what had previously been, so far as our facts point, a peaceable, trading, stay-at-home folk into an army of plunderers which assailed It was as every part of the European seaboard. exiles and expatriated chieftains that many of the

We

Norsemen emigrated from

their rugged homes,

and

the migration only ceased when the rival stocks of sacred blood had settled down into what

became

their

normal distribution.

on our main subject our authorities.

we must

Before entering say something about

Saga-Book of the Viking

38

In a paper written of

I

Society.

years ago on the early urged that the Ynglinga

many

Sweden, history and the Scioldunga Saga

(of

which

last

we have

fragments remaining, the most important being the well-known Sogubrot) were probably written by one person, and I suggested that this person was Since Snorri, the author of the Heimskringla. writing that paper I have had the advantage of reading the admirable prolegomena to the Sturlunga Saga, written by my friend, Professor Vigfussion, in which I found my main contention confirmed namely, that the early part of the

Heimskringla and the original draft of the, Vigfusson has, Scioldunga were by one hand, however, I think, shown very clearly that the author of the two in their early form was not Snorri, as I urged, but his predecessor, Ari Thorgilsson, styled Frothi, or the Learned, who was born in 1067 and died in 1148, and who was doubtless the first Norse writer who wrote One of the books he is known to prose history. have written was called the " Konunga-bok," or Kings' Book. In regard to it, Vigfusson us that the superscription of the Codex " Here beginneth Frisianus has the words, the Book of Kings according to the records of the Priest Ari, the Historian opening from the threefold division of the world, which is followed by the History of all the Kings of Norway." To this statement is prefixed a short introduction conThe words quoted can only taining a life of Ari. mean, either that the following Sagas are Ari's " Book of Kings," or that they are derived The discrepancy between the myththerefrom. ology of the Ynglinga and the Prose Edda be noted (which was Snorri's own work) may " as some confirmation of this view (Op. cit., tells

:

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

39 "

KonVigfusson concludes that Ari's of with the death ended unga-bok" probably Harald called Harald Sigurdson, commonly King Hardrada, His work has been embodied in and and forms the greater part of the Heimskringla xxix).

;

nearly certain, as Vigfusson says, that first book of the Heimskringla namely, Ynglinga Saga, with which we have alone to here is Ari's own work, with slight, if it

is

the the deal any,

alterations.

Let us examine the Ynglinga a little more In the preface to the Heimskringla we closely. read, "The lives and times of the Yngling race were written from Thiod wolfs relation, enlarged afterwards by the accounts of intelligent people."

The

relation

referred

to

was a poem written

by Thiod wolf the Wise of Hvin, a valley west of Lindnesnaes. Thiodwolf composed this " poem, which was called the Ynglingatal," or the list or succession of the the instance of Kognvald, called the Mountain High, who was first cousin to Harald Haarfagre, at whose court Thiodwolf was the chief Scald, or poet. Thiodwolf was on very

Yngling-tale

Ynglings

i.e.,

at

terms with Harald Haarfagre himself, and became the foster-father of his son Gudrod, who was drowned because he would persist in sailing out in stormy* weather contrary to the friendly

advice of the old seer (Id., i. 304-5). This enables us to fix the date when Thiodwolf flourished and wrote his poems on the Descent of the Ynglings as the earlier part of the tenth century A.D. He is one of the oldest of the Scalds whose composition has come down to us and who treated his subject historically.

Vigfusson was the of Thiodwolf,

first to

and to show

analyze the versicles we have them,

that, as

40

Saga-Book

of the

Viking Society

they are very corrupt, owing to their long passage through many fragile memories, instead of being written down, and owing also to the language having altered and become largely obsolete and unintelligible and been misunderstood.

Fortunately the character and structure of Northern poetry, and especially its rhythm and alliteration,

make

it

possible to restore

it

when

corrupted with some certainty, and it has been done with marvellous insight by Vigfusson, in He has shewn that we have only this case. a fraction of the poems preserved in the versiI have not noticed the cles as we have them. fact anywhere, but it is curious that in almost every case the only versicle which is preserved about each king is the last one i.e., that reporting all the rest are gone. his death and place of burial ;

The poem,

in fact,

had no doubt become

largely

quite obscure and incomprehensible after the people in the North had thrown away their old gods and their old modes of thought, and the versicles that were preserved in a corrupt form were doubtless kept alive merely as a convenient memoria tec/mica to preserve in a ready way a record of the Originally we can catalogue of the early rulers. that this doubt poem was a genuine hardly It was matched in the early epic. Ireland of by similar poems, one famous poetry one of which is still extant, dating from almost It is almost certain that in this the same time. Thiodwolf was intact in its of the case poem the in time of Ari Frothi, and form original into prose in the it translated that he really

historical

vernacular of his day. This was supplemented by certain additions from tradition or early songs, and we doubtless have its contents substantially

" Hat aid Fair hair" and his Ancestors.

41

preserved for us as incorporated in the Ynglinga Saga, with some farther additions made by Snorri, and notably the early section about Odin and other gods and including the first thirteen chapters, none of which, it will be noted, is marked by a versicle.

Vigfusson has argued very reasonably that in original Ynglinga none of the versicles in fact, inserted, for they repeat the same were, in part, and confuse the narrative, but story that they were added by Snorri, who broke up what remained of the poem and distributed it in Art's This is strongly supported by the narrative. Ari's

corrupt state of the text of these versicles as we find them in the Heimskringla. plain, however, that we have in the of the Ynglinga a perfectly reputable prose part historical document of the Uth Century, based on a quite respectable historical poem of the early part of the 10th Century, that is of an approximate date to that of the composition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, before which the late

It

seems

Mr. Freeman, who poured contempt on what he "mere sagas," used to do obeisance night and morning.

called

In addition to the edition of the Ynglinga in the Heimskringla we have an independent witness about it in the so-called " Historia Norvegiae." It only now exists in a Scotch MS. of the 15th century, but was composed much earlier, since it is quoted in the composition known as " Agrip," and was therefore composed before 1190. It was written in Latin by a Norwegian. The earlier part, as my friend Gustav Storm showed, is based upon the Ynglingatal before it was sophisticated by Snorri's addition (Storm's "Snorre Sturlasson's Historieskrivning, etc.," 22 and 23).

42

Saga-Book

of the

Viking Society.

Beside this we have another tradition, doubtderived from Thiodwolf s poem, if not from the Historia ISorvegise " in the account of less also

*

Upland Kings, by Hauk Erlendson, who was born inNorway. He is named as Lawman of Iceland in 1294 and also Lawman of the Gulathing of Norway, and died in L334 (Vigfusson, preface to the Sturlunga Saga C 2, x, 1 ). the

With the earlier part of the Ynglinga Saga, before chapter xxxviii., we have nothing to do at We begin with the death of Ingiald present. or Evil -heart, who, by his conquests Illradi, and diplomacy, became sole king of Sweden. He tilled the canvas with a considerable figure, and eventually was burned to death in a fire lit by himself while entertaining some of his uudera kings, having already destroyed all the rest notable and terrible holocaust. Whatever may may be the case in regard to the earlier parts of Thiodwolfs story, I cannot help thinking that from the time of Ingiald, who was but six generations removed from him, the tradition was In our own day a perfectly lively and reliable. tradition ranging over six generations and extending considerably over a century is a very ordinary occurrence, especially about famous characters who have taken part in history. Many of our

own acquaintances

repeat stories told them by which they heard from theirs, and which are quite reliable. But in our sophistitheir grandfathers

The this is cated accidental only. society introduction of contemporary writing and of printing has done away with the necessity for preserving a special aptitude for the preservation of a viva voce tradition. Before contemporary chronicles were introduced such traditions were preserved in songs and recited sagas by schools

" Harald Fairhair'' and his Ancestors.

43

whose continuity and wide dispersal report most valuable, since they checked one another. They took the part of State historiographers, and the limits of a possible of Scalds,

made

their

reaching back without written records were greatly extended. At all events there can be no question that within six generations such traditions, when stated bond-fide, and when not tradition

obviously fables, are worthy of considerable credit.

Our present purpose

is

with Ingiald's succes-

and not with himself.

We

are told by Ari the that he married Gauthild, daughter of Algaut, the son of Gautrek the Bounteous and grandson " whom Gothland took its name." of Gaut, from Gauthild's mother was Alof, daughter of Olaf Skygne or the Farsighted, king in Nerike. ( Ynglinga Munch argues that the Saga, xxxiii. and xlvi.). repetition of the particle "Gaut" in these names, the introduction of Olaf Skygne, (who with Gautrek the Mild are named as contemporaries of Vikar and Starkad in the Gautrek Saga), and the connection of several of the names in form with Gothland, points to a mythical origin to This rather points, in my view, the whole. to Ari having followed the practice of Saxo Grammaticus in connecting names of a quite probable authenticity with others of the same sound; and thus rounding off a truncated pedigree by a bold leap into the realms of myth where eponymous names such as Gaut sors,

abound.

To proceed with our

story,

Gauthild, Ingiald had two children

however.

By

a daughter, Asa, whom he married to Gudrod, king of Scania, and who brought about the death of her husband and his brother Halfdane, and Beside his eventually perished with her father. a had who lived Asa, son, Olaf, daughter Ingiald

Saga-Book of the Viking

44

Society.

with his mother's foster-father Bove, in West Gothland, where he was brought up with Saxi, Bove's son, who was surnamed Flettir (Ynglinga Saxi Flettir is named by Saxo GramSaga, xliii). maticus in conjunction with Sali Gothus as fighting in the Bravail a struggle on the side of Ringo He brings them both from (i.e., of Sigurd King). the northern part of the river Albis (i.e., the Elf par excellence, the Gothelf). In the fragment of the are

Scioldunga Saga called Sogubrot, the two respectively styled Saxi Flettir and Sali Gautski, and are also brought from the north of the Gothelf, and therefore from Alfheim. The conjunction of two such different authorities, as are the author of the Sogubrot and of Saxo in this " statement is notable and interesting. Flettir," " says Mliller. is an appellative, and means a cleaver" ("diffisor," Miiller's Saxo, i. 381, note 5 f Magnuson equates the name with that of Fletcher Heims. iv. 174). The Saxi Flettir of the two notices is no doubt the same Miiller and Munch person. have argued that a foster-brother of Olaf's could not have fought at Bravalla but this is by no .

;

means so

clear, for, as

we shall see

presently, Olaf's outlived the at victor Bravalla, grandson Sigurd Ring, who, again, lived for many years after that fight.

But

to resume.

The Ynglinga Saga tells us that when Olaf heard of his father Ingiald's death he went, with those men who chose to follow him, to Nerike the Nether rik, or Nether realm situated i.e., in the western of Sweden it abuts on part the north-eastern corner of Lake Wenern and is bounded on the west by Wermeland. He fled thither because the Swedes had risen with one accord to drive out the family of Ingiald and all its supporters. His maternal grandmother, as

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

45

Munch suggests that seen, came thence. was brought up in Gothland, and as the statement of the Saga seems to imply that he had not returned to his home in Sweden when his father died, that his followers were in fact Gothlanders. (Munch, Hist, of Norway, ii. 107, note 2). "When the Swedes heard where he was, he could not remain in Nerike, but went on westward with his followers through the forest to a river which comes from the north and falls into the Wenern lake and There they sat themis called the Klar river. turned to, and burnt and cleared the selves down Soon there were great districts, with woods. settlements in them, which were collectively called Wermeland, and we read that a good living was When it was told of Olaf in to be made there. Sweden that he was clearing the forests, they laughed at his proceedings and called him Tretelia, There were many people who or the Tree-feller. fled the country from Sweden on account of King Ivar, who had meantime come from Scania, and had supplanted the family of Ingiald and become ruler at Upsala, and when they heard that King Olaf had got good lands in Wermeland, so great a number came there to him that the land could not support them." Here we have we have

as Olaf

unintelligible nor incredible form, the first colonisation on a considerable scale of the western and remote province of Sweden detailed, in neither

called

Wermeland.

The Klar Elf, or Klar river, of this notice was the Gauta Elf, and was also known in early times as Eystrielfr in a document of the 13th. century it is called Gautelfr (See Aal's ;

Snorri,

p.

31, note

to

chap.

xlvi).

Wermeland

probably merely means the warm land. Geijer says it was a debatable territory between the

Saga-Book of the Viking

46

Society.

Swedes and Norwegians

"Inter Nornianniam et Vermelani" says Adam of Bremen-

Svioniam

subject to either settlers

kept

kingdom

to

the

The early dales along the part of Wermeland,

alternately.

fertile

the Western between the dales were forests and mountains the whole of Eastern Wermeland was a wilderrivers

in

;

The

were separated from or Waste Wood, whose of Eda in Wermeland and Eidskog in Norway, through which the road into that country has long passed. Towards Gothland forests were the boundary both on the eastern and western side of Lake Wenern. Above Wermeland the Skridfins or Finn Laps still wandered in the llth Century the name of Dalecarlia was not then known. (Geijer, Eng. Trans. 19). Northern Wermeland must have been at the time we are describing very scantily peopled, although, as we know from the archaeological remains that are still found there, ness.

settled

districts

Norway by the Eidha Skoge, name survives in the parish

;

southern part had been partially settled long before, and, in fact, Snorri suggests this when he makes Olaf's foster-father come from there. its

Let us on with our

We

are told that Olaf story. a wife called or Solva the daughter of Solveig, got Halfdane Guldtand, or Gold-Tooth, the son of Solve Solveson, who was the son of Solve the Old, who in Soloer (Ynglinga Saga, xlvi.). first settled Munch argues, reasonably, in regard to these names that they are artificial, and that their common " " has some connection with Soleyer, Sol particle

whose etymology is still unknown. Saxo explains " as meaning insulae solis," islands of the sun;

it

but this, says Munch (ii. 106, note'l), cannot be so, since in ancient times the name was written Soleyar, and not Soleyyar. The district

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors. lay immediately west of

47

Wermeland, and between

Soloyar, or Soleyar, now called Soloer (says Aal), although forming no part of Kaumariki, was yet included in the Eauma fylki (i.e., the gau, or county, of Eauma) It formed a long narrow strip, bounded on the east by Wermeland, on the it

and the Grlommen.

.

north by the so-called Alfrhiem's Herad (surviving in the parish of Elverum), on the west by the river Glommen, and on the south by Alfheim and Eaumariki (see Aal's map). It has been suggested that the early chiefs of Soloer had their' seat at the house called Kongshaug, in the parish of Grinder, which in the Eed Book and in charters of the fourteenth century was called Konungshof (Aal, op. cit., 32 note).

By Solva, Olaf had two sons, Ingiald and Halfdane. The latter was brought up in Soloer, in the house of his grandfather Solve, and was called Halfdane Huitbein i.e., White Leg (YngWe have described the Saga, xlvi.). linga of Wermeland by the immigrant overpeopling " There then came dear times and Swedes. " which they ascribed to famine," says our author, their king as the Swedes used always to reckon good or bad crops

was

distress

for or against their kings." attributed to Olaf's neglecting

The the

they therefore gathered their troops and surrounded his house, and burnt him in "it,

sacrifices

;

him as a sacrifice to Odin for good crops. Thiodwolf's verses describing this are as follows The temple destroyer* by the bay, The corpse of Anleiff the tree-hewer (swallowed), And the ember hot Forniot's son!

offering

:

Dissolved the frame of the Swedish king, of Upsala's glorious race

So the Scion

Disappeared long agoj *

the fire. f Forniot was the father of Logi fire. Vigfusson and Yorke-Powell, Corpus, etc., i. 249.

i.e., \

Saga-Book of the Viking

48

It is said that the haugr, or

his

remains were

buried

is

Society.

mound,

still

to be

in

which

seen at

Herad

of Naes, not far from the Wenern (Aal's Snorri, note to chap. xlvi.). The in of the a time of calamity was sacrificing king

Safiebro, in the

widely recognised in early times in the North. Greijer tells us that sometimes the shedding of noble blood was deemed requisite, even that of the nearest and dearest. In the appendix to the old Lawof Goth" In that time when men believed land we read, in groves and mounds, in holy places and palings, then sacrificed they to the heathen gods their sons

withmeatand drink." a Christian had seen at Upsala seventy-two dead bodies of immolated men and animals hanging in the sacred grove of the temple at Upsala, which shone with gold, and in the interior of which were set up the images of Odin, Thor, and Freya. and daughters and

Adam

of

Bremen

their cattle,

reports

how

In regard to this saga it will be seen that Thiodwolf s verses do not say anything about Olaf having been burnt alive, but merely report the burning of his body on the shore of the lake, as was usual in the case of all royal funerals. The "

"

distinctly tells us that Norvegiae he died full of years in Sweden, and says nothing about his tragical end as " reported in Olavus diu Its words are, the Ynglinga Saga. et pacifice functus regno, plenus dierum obiit Hauk in Suecia" (See Storm, op. cit. 110.) over ruled Olaf Erlendson also says that Wermeland till his old age nor does he say anything about his having been sacrificed. (Munch, The phrase in the verse about the ii. 106, note 2). of the body has been probably mistaken burning Olaf Tretelia, of the prose setting. author the by in is mentioned of as king Wermeland, Egils Saga

Historia

;

" Harald Fairhair*\ and his Ancestors.

(Op.

and

one of cit. ch. 73), earliest of the Sagas. " "

the

He

most is

also

49

important

named

in

as the son of Ingiald Illradi, the Langfedgatal " " is menwhile an Olavus Wermomm regulus tioned by Saxo (Op. cit. i. 370) but, as usual with him, in connection with names from heroic As times, and in a story full of anachronisms. the tale is quaint, it may not be inappropriate to It is introinterpolate it here as a folktale only. duced to show the prowess of Olo, whom he makes the son of Sigurd by a sister of Harald Hildetand, and assigns him a special role during the latter's Inter alia, he says that at that time the reign. insolent conduct of the brothers Scatus and Hiallus had reached such a point of wantonness, that they took virgins of remarkable beauty away from their parents and violated them. It came ;

about that, intending to carry off Esa, daughter Olavus the ruler of the Wermii, they announced to her father that, if he was unwilling for her to submit to their desires, he must fight of

them, either personally or by means of some champion, in defence of his child. When Olo heard this, rejoicing in the opportunity of fighting, he went to the house of Olavus, having first borrowed a rustic dress as a disguise. He was sitting among those at the end of the table, and seeing the distress of the king's family, he entered into conversation with his son, and inquired why the rest looked so sad. The latter told; him that, unless some defender speedily intervened, his sister's chastity would be violated by some very formidable warriors. Olo then inquired further what reward would be given to the man
Saga-Book of the Viking

50

Society.

hazard the danger. The maiden; however, used always to examine the faces of her father's guests near at hand and attentively, with a light, in order that she might form a better i
the

of

sagacity

was

those she

examined, and, by mere whether a person

distinguish of high descent or no. sight,

When

she drew near to Olo, who, as we have disguised, she viewed him with a very searching examination, was seized with horror at the unwonted expression of his eyes, and fell down almost insensible. When her strength seen,

was

gradually returned and her spirit revived, she again tried to examine the youth, but again fell down and lay as if insensible. She tried again a third time to raise her closed and downcast eyes. Not only her eyes but her feet also now failed, and she again suddenly fell. When Olavus saw this he asked why she had thus thrice fallen. She replied that she was struck with horror at the truculent expression of the stranger while she asserted that he was of royal descent, and that if he prevented the ravishers from carrying out their purpose she would deem him quite worthy of her embraces. Olo, who had his face muffled up with a woollen ;

wrapper, was veil

and

them

all

let

to

now

requested by

all

to put aside this

them see his face. Thereupon, he bade be more cheerful and to lay aside their

grief, uncovered his face and drew the eyes of all upon him in admiration of his remarkable beauty He took care, for he had yellow shining hair. his to concealed however, eyes by his eyelids, keep lest they should strike fear into the beholders. The guests were so elated that they danced, and " In this way the the courtiers leaped with joy.

"

Ha raid

Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

51

guest drove away the In the midst of these procommon ceedings Hiallus and Scatus came up with ten

kindly promise

the

of

fear of all."

slaves as

if

to carry off the

maiden straightway.

This threw everything into tumult and confusion. They challenged the king to fight, or surrender his daughter but Olo at once stopped their boasting by accepting the challenge, making one condition only, that no combatant should approach another behind, but that they should only fight face to face. He succeeded in slaying the twelve with his sword named Lagthi, and thus accomplished a unique The place where the fight took place was exploit. an island which stood in the middle of a marsh, and not far from it, says Saxo, is a village which has a memento of this struggle, bearing conjointly ;

the

names

Olo son

now married

of

the

brothers Hiallus and Scatus. the maiden, and by her had a

This (Saxo, ed. Miiller, 370-72). in is full others of anachroSaxo, many nism. Sniallus and Hiallus (Sniallr and Hiallr) " " are mentioned in the Mantissa appended to " " Landnama-bok as the sons of King Yatnar, the Ornund.

story, like

and

are

made contemporaries, not

Harald

of

Hildetand, but of Harald Hardrada. (Op. cit. 388). They are also named in the history of King Half. See Notae Uberiores to (Fornald, Sogur, ii. 28. Miiller's Saxo, 215-16).

The Saga reported by Saxo must be

treated,

other tales, as another instance where he has fathered a famous heroic tale upon wellknown names. At all events, the fact that he associates his Olaf, the petty king of the Wermelanders, with figures of the mythical cycle, and that his chronology is entirely arbitrary, is not enough to remit the quite reasonable story told as in the Ynglinga to the land of mere legend for we

like his

;

Saga- Book of the Viking Society:

52

must remember that Thiodwolf

lived well within

the reach of a lively tradition about Olaf Tretelia. To return to the Ynglinga. "

Those of the Swedes who had more understanding, found that the dear times proceeded from there being a greater number of people on the land than it could support, arid that the king could not be blamed for this. They took the resothe Eida to cross forest with all lution, therefore, their men." This was the Eydaskog, already the march between Sweden named, which formed " and Norway. The emigrants, having crossed the arrived unexpectedly in the district of where Soloer, they put to death King Solve, and

forest,

took prisoner his grandson, Olaf the Tree-feller's son,

Halfdane Huitbein or Whiteleg (who had been They made him their king. brought up there). He thereupon subdued Soloer " (Id. xlviii.).

We

are told in the fiftieth chapter of the same that Olaf's other son, Ingiald, succeeded his Saga father in Wermeland. The real story seems to be that the revolution which had taken place at Upsala, by which the old royal stock there was driven out, led, as was ver}^ natural, to a considerThe able migration, voluntary or otherwise. of their the followed expatriated steps emigrants

westward to Wermeland. Finding no in left elbow-room there, they Ingiald charge of that province which had been his father's, and went onward across the forest to join Halfdane chiefs

Hauk Erlendson, in his Huitbein in Soloer. account of the Upland Kings, says nothing of Halfdane having killed King Solve, nor of the Swedish expedition to Soloer, but merely that he and it may be succeeded his grandfather there in the that the account Ynglinga has been to ;

this extent coloured.

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

53

Halfdane Huitbein, says the Ynglinga, became

He was, in fact, the real founder of a great king. the Norwegian Monarchy. Munch, who is disto question .the posed (as I think) capriciously connection of Olaf Tretelia with the stock of the later Westfold kings, says of Halfdane Huitbein that his historical existence is not to be doubted. He is made the son of Olaf (Op. cit. ii. 107). "

Langfedgatal," and in Erlendson's account of the Upland chiefs. Tretelia

"

in

the

Landnama-bok

"

Hauk

The makes Halfdane Huitbein the

ancestor of the famous king of Dublin, Olaf the He married Asa, a White. (Op. cit. 106). the of Severe, otherwise called Eystein daughter the Great, king of the Uplands, by whom he had two sons, Eystein and Gudrod. (Ynglinga, xlix.).

Halfdane's father-in-law, Eystein the Great, important figure than has A large part of the been supposed. generally various districts peopled b} the Eauma clan were united in obeying a common code of laws known as the Eidsivathing, and in being, as we have seen, subject to Eystein the Great, for we presently find his sons and grandson having a fierce struggle with the descendants of Halfdane for the districts which the latter had appropriated among these we are

was a much more

T

;

express^ told was Hedemark, where Eystein had his court. Eystein was, in fact, master of all Norway east of the Dovrefelds, except Westfold, Alfheim, and Yingulmark. He thus ruled over the so-called

Uplands, including Hedemark, Thoten, Raumariki, In addition to this he Hadeland, Eingariki, &c. I as have in described the Prologue, made a also, famous conquest west of the Dovrefelds. It is clear, therefore, that Halfdane made a great alliance when he married his daughter, and this distinction he doubtless

owed

to. his

ancient .and unmatched

Saga-Book of the Viking

54

Society.

Halfdane Huitbein's heritage in the was doubtless too narrow for the Swedish emigrants who had joined him from Upsala, who were probably among the most martial men of his country, and ready enough to assist an adventurous chieftain. During the life

pedigree.

district of Soloer

of his father-in-law

Halfdane, Eystein apparently remained quiet and it was only on his death that he began his conquests of which we have only very meagre details. We are told that he first proceeded with an army to Eaumariki, which he plundered and subdued (Ynglinga, xlviii.).

Raumariki lay west

of Soloer,

and formed with

the Rauma fylki, the two being only separated It was doubtless settled by the river Glommen. from an early date, and jt is probable that the original people of Soloer came from Raumland.

ic

In addition to Kaumariki, Halfdane subdued a great part of Hedemark, Thoten and Hadeland (Id.,

xlix.).

Hedemark

is

the district north of

Raumariki, and bounded on the east and west by the Glommen and the Vormen, the river of Gudbrandsdal. Its name shows it was a frontier district. (For Thoten see ante p. 29). Hadeland was situated immediately to the south-west of Thoten, and traversed by the Rands-fiord. Hadeland, or Hadaland, according to the Sagas was so named from one of the grandsons of the mythical Nor, called Haud, or Hod, and according an obscure report, he lived at a place in to Thingelstad Sogn, near which there is still a These various mound known as Kongshaug. were as I believe, conquered by Halfdane districts, his own brothers-in-law, the sons of Eystein from the Great of the Uplands. It was doubtless from this conquest that Halfdane was called the King of the Uplands. (Landnamma bok ed., Vigfusson,

of

*

Harald Fairhair" and

his Ancestors.

55

This did not include all his kingdom, In chapter xxxvii. of the Yynglinga Saga, we are told that his son Eystein married Hilda, daughter of Eric Agnarson, who was kingin Westfold. King Eric died without leaving a son during Halfdane's life, whereupon he and his ii.,

144).

however.

son took possession of Westfold.

The story shews that Halfdane only acquired Westfold in his old age, at all events after his son's marriage.

The

of

district

work entitled

Westfold

is

described

'

in

a

in

scripta Regesta Geographica (Royal Ant. Soc., vol. xii., Copenhagen, 1846). In it we read that Westfold

Islandorurn,

etc.,"

was the part of Norway bordering the Christiania It was bounded on the east on the west. and Fiordis, on the west by by Vingulmark Gronalandr or Gronafulki, and on the north by Ringariki, and in ancient days comprehended, beside the modern governments of larlsbergen and Laurvigen, the districts bordering them on fiord

the north,

namely, the

of

parishes

Sandveren,

Ekeren, and Liericum. Westfold was divided into two parts, Upsio (Ofsi or Upsi), and Westmare, the former in the north, the latter in the south,

and near the sea. Tunsberg, one of the most ancient emporia of Norway, was situated there (Kruse Chron. Nort., 69,

70).

Munch

argues that the early inhabitants of Westfold belonged to the same Raurna clan as the folk in the neighbouring gaus (Op. cit., i. 104). The famous code known as Eidsivathing's law had authority there as in the country of the Raumas (Id., ii. 168), and it would naturally have formed part of Eystein, the Great's dominions, and probut at this bably of those of his ancesters time we are expressly told in the Ynglinga that ;

56

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

who was king in Westfold, was the son of Agnar, who was the son of Sigtryg, king in Yendil. Some The question arises, where was Vendii. Eric,

have suggested Vingulmark

;

but this

is

quite out

Vingulmark is always so called in the Heimskringla, and it was ruled by quite a There is no place in different set of kings.

of the question

*

:

Norway or Sweden answering to the name Vendii, and we must cross over the water to Jutland to The part of Jutland, north of the Limfind it. called Wendsyssel Syssel or Sysla well-known early Norse land-division, of which several. examples may be found in Aal's map

fiord is still

;.

;

being a

;

It the inhabitants also call it Vendilsbyggiar. seems to me that this is the Vendii referred to as On the homeland of the early Westfold kings. the of to the Ynglinga thirty-first chapter turning Saga, we read how when King Frode of Denmark was away from home, Ottar, the ruler at Upsala, Inter set sail for Denmark and wasted the land. the entered to north he sailed Jutland, alia, Danes in The Vendii. Limfiord, and plundered collected an armament a battle was fought in the Ottar was killed, and his body given great inlet The victors then to the wild beasts and ravens. in made the figure of a crow wood, sent it to ,

;

;

Sweden, saying he had been no better than that, whence he was called Ottar Vendilcrow. (Ynglinga, xxxi. and Aal's note). In Thiod wolf's verse, which is appended to the notice of this Ottar, Vendsyssel is replaced by Vendii.

There can be little doubt, therefore, that, according to the Ynglinga Saga, Westfold, for some time before Halfdane Huitbein took possession of it, was ruled by a dynasty which came from Jutland, and which doubtless had authority on both sides of This introduces some curious subjects water.

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

57

Such a dynasty was no doubt an of speculation. intrusive one in Westfold, and the authority it exercised both there and in Jutland probably led, as we shall see, to a more important claim of .similar authority, but in a reverse way, somewhat In addition to his other possessions already later. named, we are told that Halfdane, on the death of his brother Ingiald, took possession of Wermeland, imposed scatt, or taxes, upon it, and placed iarls there as long as he lived. Thiodwolf tells us Halfdane lived to be an old man, and that he died in his bed at Thoten,

whence that

it

body was transported to Westfold, and was laid at Skaereid, near Skiringesall.

his

(Ynglinga Saga, xlix). Hauk Erlendson, who here contradicts Thiodwolf, and is not therefore of much value, says he was buried at Thoten. will now extract some phrases from Jacob about the famous site at Skiringesall just named. It has been the subject of much debate, and has been fixed in several positions, as in Bohuslan, in Skane, in the neighbourhood of Stockholm, and even in Prussia, notwithstanding that Snorri and the authors of the Sogubrot and the Fagrskinna put it in Westfold. Aal says that in the 15th Century the name survived as that of the district forming the parish of Tiolling in the bailiwick of Laurvig, (Op. cit. ch. xlix, note). The Sogubrot tells us that a great temple of Freya once stood there. This temple, Munch suggests, was built by Halfdane and his son Eystein, who also probably introduced the worship of Freya, the special divinity of the Ynglings, from Upsala. He adds that not far from the (Op. cit. ii. 75). sea, on an open space in this district, is- -the old church of Thioling (or Tiolling, formerly called

I

Aal

Thiodalyng,

the

people's

heath).

On

this

Saga-Book of the Viking

58

open

space

are

still

Society.

remains

the

of

a

stone

which was probably connected with some great Tiling, or meeting-place for law-making; not far off is another and smaller circle. The church doubtless marks the site of the former heathen temple, and the open place is where the great gathering of the people of Viken took place (Munch, ii. 139). circle,

Close by

number

Thioling,

is

a

field

containing

a

mounds, where many antiquites have been found (Id. 141, note), no doubt marking the site of an early cemetery. Somewhat to the west was the royal seat of Geirstad (now Gierrstad), to which we shall revert presently. Besides being a great religious and political meeting-place, Skiringesall was also a noted staple or market, and this was why it was probably visited by the famous navigator Othere, or Ottar, in the ninth century, whose story has been written by King From Alfred (See Bosworth's edition, 46, note 53) the fact its repute as a market came, no doubt, that the

of

name

"

Kaupangr,"

i.e.,

a

cheaping or

mart (reminding us of Cheapside) is still applied to two farms on the so-called Yiggs Fiord. The Viggs Fiord and Sandy Fiord were formerly united by a creek running from Siavagaristra (now Sogrist in Thioling parish) to Eid (Eidet). This creek converted Skaerid, near Skiringesall, It is now a peninsula called an island. Close by, Lande, separating the two fiords. again, is an island which in the Red Book, dating from the end of the fourteenth centnry, was called Thorsoy, i.e. Thor's island. The mart at Skiringesall was doubtless supplanted by that at Tunsberg

into

Magnusson (Snorri ed. Aal, op. cit., xlix. note. With Hetheby, Heinskringla, iv. 277 and 278). in Jutland, Skiringesall, formed a twin haven,

" Harald Pairhair" and his Ancestors.

59

where the mercantile world of the North met, and where, doubtless, at special times, fairs on a large scale were held. At Skiringesall, as Munch there, no doubt, assembled traders from says, widely separated districts, Helgelanders and Prussians, Thronders, Saxons, and Wends, Danes and Swedes. There were exchanged, cordage made of walrus hide, and peltries from the far North, amber from Prussia, costly stuffs from Greece and the East, Byzantine and Arabic money, bangles and brooches of silver, and richly decorated armour and weapons. Let us now go on with our story.

As Halfdane was an old man when he was the successor of Olaf, the victim

died, and of Ivar

Vidfame, it is almost certain that he himself was the contemporary of Ivar's successor, Harald Hildetand, who ruled both at Upsala and also at Lethra. Halfdane's territory was a very considerable one, and, as the representative of the senior of the Yngling race, he no doubt had, a prestige far surpassing those Norwegian rulers who line

were

still

independent.

By Asa, his wife, already named, Halfdane had two sons, Eystein and Gudrod. The former, as we have seen, had married the daughter and of Eric, the ruler of Westfold. He succeeded his father in Raumariki and Westfold,

heiress

and

lived to a great age. It is equally probable, therefore, a priori, that Eystein was the contemporary of Sigurd King, and the Sagas, in fact, as we shall now see, bring the two into contact.

Arngrim Jonsson, who," in 1596, published a well-known work, entitled Regum Danorum fragmenta ex vetustissimis Norvegiorum commentariis historicis Islandorum, translata," has a very curious fragment on the death of Sigurd

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

60

Ring, which Vigfusson says is evidently taken from another manuscript of the Skioldunga than that from which the Sogubrot comes. This '.

fragment enables us to complete the incident at the close of the ordinary version of the Sogubrot. " In the latter we read that when Sigurd was very old, he happened to be in West Gothland in

autumn, dispensing justice among his people, the sons of King Gandalf i.e., his brothersin-law went to ask his assistance against King At this time the sacrifices Eystein of West/old. were being offered at Skiringesall, which it was the custom for the people of all Yiken to celebrate At this point the "Sogubrot" breaks off. there." The fragment preserved by Arngrim, which is translated into Latin, tells us that on the death of his wife Alfhilda, the mother of Ragnar Lodbrog, Sigurd determined to find himself a fresh wife. Having, therefore, set out from his province of Yestra Gotia (i.e., West Gothland), he went to Skiringes all in Yikia (i.e., Yiken), in Norway, to attend the solemn sacrifices which were at that time being carried on there, and he saw a beautiful maiden named Alfsol, daughter of Alf, king of Yendil, and having seen her was determined to

when

secure her, notwithstanding that She had two brothers, unwilling.

Inguo, from

whom

the

gods were

named

Alf and

Sigurd asked their sister in refused to give the young maiden They marriage. to the old greybeard. Sigurd was enraged that a should be thus thwarted by such he, great king, the sons of a petty chief. He threatened them with war, but, on account of the solemn sacrifices then going on, had to postpone his vengeance. Presently he prepared an armament to punish them and, as they were too weak to resist him, In the struggle they gave their sister poison. which ensued they were both killed. Sigurd Ring ;

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

61

however, was so badly wounded in the his end was clearly seen. He ordered that struggle the bodies of the two brothers to be put in a ship, which he himself mounted, and lay down in the The poop with the corpse of the beautiful Alfsol. it was wirh inflammable was matter, charged ship set on fire, and he held the rudder himself as the wind blew it out to sea. The crowd on the strand was greatly moved that he, the author of so many crimes and the master of so many kingdoms, preferred to visit Odin with regal pomp, after the fashion of his ancestors, rather than pass away into

himself,

senile imbecility.

himself a

Before setting sail he had made the strand as a memorial of

mound on

Munch This was called Eingshaug. himself. found is still to be in a called Eingshaug says place the parish of Slagn) north of Tunsberg (Vigfusson, Munch, Sturlunga Saga, Prolegomena, xc., note. One to be ii. 81 and cit. notes). 82, thing op. remembed from these notices is that they point to Sigurd Eing having had a potent position in Norway at this time, when he probably, in fact, held the

hegemony

of Scandinavia.

the Frank If Sigurd be the Sigifrodus of Chronicles, as has been often argued, and as I have a strong conviction he was, we may place his death approximately about the year 800. He is last mentioned by name by Eginhardt, in the year 798 while in 804 we meet with his successor Godfred, as king of the Danes. ;

Let

us

now continue as

our

story.

that

.

I

would

Eystein, tentatively suggest probable against whom Sigurd Eing went to war in his last days, did not long survive his rival, but died will now set down what the shortly after. to has say of him. It tells us that Ynglinga Saga " in his time there lived at Varna a king named

We

62

Saga-Book of the Viking Society

Skiold, who was a great wizard. King Eystein went! with some warships to Varna, and plundered there,! carrying away what he could of clothes and other

j

valuables, and of the peasants' stock, and killing) their cattle on the strand for provision, and then\ went off. King Skiold came to the strand with his\ army just as Eystein was at such a distance over the fiord that the former could only see his sails. Then he took his cloak, waved it, and blew into it. King Eystein was sitting at the helm as they sailed within the larl soy, or Earl's isle, and another ship was sailing at the .side of his, when there came a

stroke of a wave, by which the boom of the other ship struck the king and threw7 him overboard, which proved his death. His men fished up his body, and it w as carried into Borro, where a mound was thrown over it upon a cleared field out towards the " sea at Yodle (Ynglinga Saga, li.). Thiodwolf's verse reads thus in Vigfusson's translation " King Eystein, struck by the boom, went to Hel* and the Washer of Blades is now lying under the bones of the sea (i.e., the stones) on the beach, where the icy cold Wadle Stream, runs into the r

:

bay close by." In regard to the various localities in this notice, name Varna, Vaurno, or Vorno, denoted, in early times, not only the farm Vaerno, but com-

the

prised the ecclesiastical district of Eygge. as far as Kambo, with the exception, perhaps, of Joeloen. At early as the thirteenth century the knights of St. John of Jerusalem built a hospital at Varna. Munch says this foundation is still called Waerne The Earl's Island, or (Op. cit., ii. 138, note 1). larlsoy, is on the opposite side of the Christiania It is still called Jaerso, fiord in Vingulmark. and is near Tunsberg. Borro, or Borra, now *" The Maid of Byleists' brother."

Harald Fairhair" and

his Ancestors.

6

called Borre, is situated about a Norwegian mile Vadle is now called Void, north of Tunsberg. and is a farm near the fiord, close to Borre, where the mounds of Eystein and his son still remain.

On

Eystein's death he was succeeded by his son Halfdane, known 'as the Mild, and the Bad EnterThis was because, though he was lavish in tainer. men gold, which he distributed as prohis giving as other kings did silver, yet he starved them fusely are told he was a great warrior in their diet. who had been on viking cruises and had collected Munch suggests that he was the great property. same Haldane who was sent as his envoy by King Sigfred (i.e., Sigurd Ring) in 807 to the Frank emperor, but this is very improbable. The later

We

kings of Westfold and their descendants were at deadly issue with the Scioldung family, and were not their familiars. Again, the envoy Halfdane was father of Harald Klak, and, if so, was himself the son of another Harald, and, as I have argued, was the son of Harald Hildetand.

In the text of the Ynglinga it is said that Halfdane the Mild took Eystein's kingdom after him. He married Hlif, the daughter of King Day of Westmere. His chief manor was Hottar in Westfold, and he there died in his bed and was laid in a mound at Borre (Ynglinga, ch. Hi.) close to his father. Let us now turn to Gudrod, who was the son of Halfdane Whitefoot, and a brother of Eystein, and not a son of Halfdane the Mild, as some have thought. We are expressly told that Halfdane Whitefoot had two sons, Eystein and Gudrod (Ynglinga, ch. xlix).

The Ynglinga Saga

gives Gudrod the surname the Magnificent) also Veidhikonge the Hunter) the latter name also occurs in

Mikillati (i.e.,,

(i.e.,

;

Saga-Book of the Viking

64

Society.

"

"

Historia Norvegise," where he is called Gunthodus rex Venator," some reminiscence, probably, " " of his fame as a sportsman. In the Langfedgatel Gudrod is surnamed Gofuglati i.e., the Magnanimous). In several of the genealogies he is styled hinn Giafmildi (i.e., Yery Beneficent). In the " " Mantissa," or supplement to the Landnama," the

he is called Gudrod Leoma (i.e., Splendoris). These various synonyms are evidence of the imIt is portant position he filled (Yigfusson, i. 271). curious that the Monk of St. Gallen, in reporting the death of Godfred (which he, strangely enough, states took place on the river Mosel, during his invasion of the Empire) says further that he was

by his son, when about to release a duck from a falcon, in revenge for the wrong he had done his mother in taking another wife (Pertz, ii. 757). killed

Gudrod's wife was Alfhild the daughter of Alfarin of Alfheim, in the maritime district on the east of the Wik, between the Raum elf and the Gaut elf, and with her he got as a dowry one ,

half

of

wards

Vingulmark. called are

we

Their son was Olaf, after-

Geirstadalf.

When

she

presently

Gudrod sent messengers to Harald Redlip, King of Agdir, to ask for the hand of his daughter Asa, but was refused. He thereupon launched his ships and went with a

died,

told,

.

great host to Agdir, where he arrived unawares, Harald, nevertheless, dared to face his powerful assailant, but the odds were too great, and he was

together with his son Gyrd. .Gudrod then carried off Asa, whom he married, and by her had a son named Halfdane. (Ynglinga Saga, ch. 1.).

killed,

his

Gudrod had succeeded to a great heritage from father, and was no doubt the most potent

ruler in the North. in his time.

,

-

**

Harald Fqirhair"

find his Ancestors.

65

I long ago identified him with the Godfred who was the contemporary and rival of the Emperor

Charles the Great.

had of

I did not

then know that

Munch

already published this conclusion.

I will remit the evidence to a note at the this paper. Meanwhile I shall take it

end for

granted that the identification is a reasonable one, and shall proceed to record his doings, and those I shall first of his sons, outside of his own lands. had in lands what the further epitomize happened of the Empire in previous years.

In the year 777 Charles the Great (more widely as Charlemagne), invaded Saxony with an armament, to punish the Saxons for repeated

known

rebellions

and the slaughter

The pomp

of his garrisons.

and the strength cowed them, and he marched through Westphalia and held a general assembly at Paderborn, at the sources of the Lippe, where he built a fortress at Eresburgh, not far from where Drusus had planted his stronghold. A great crowd of Saxons were baptize4 and did homage, one only of their chiefs, the most redoubtable and dangerous of them all, whose real name was probably Withmund, but who is generally known by his nickname of Witikind refused to bend his neck, and fled with his followers. of his surroundings

of his forces

The annals of Lorsch tell us that he fled Northmannia (in partilus Nortmanniae) while ,

to in

the annals of Eginhardt, the biographer of Charles the Great, we are told that he went to Sigifridus, the King of the Danes. Sigfred and Godfred are German forms of the

Norse names Sigurd and Gudrod, and I have long held that this Sigfred was no other than the famous Northern hero Sigurd Ring. The Battle of Bravalla, in which Sigurd Ring defeated his uncle Harald Hildetand and sup-

66

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

planted him, as ruler of Sweden and Denmark, was a notable struggle. It has been hypothetically dated by Kunlk and others about the year 775. After this struggle Sigurd was acknowledged as Imperator," or over chief, of the greater part of Scandinavia, and he filled that position for some time. His reign, therefore, coincides exactly with that assigned to Sigifridus in the Frankeil annals, and the identification of the two rulers as one :<

person seems quite reasonable.

Returning to the annals about the year 781, the Emperor, having meanwhile put down some fresh outbreaks among the Saxons, sent St. Willchad to plant Christianity in Wigmodia, the district between the Elbe and the Weser, where Bremen afterwards stood this mission was a partial success, and thus was the faith first carried to the borders of the Danish land. :

;

In 782 Charles held another great assembly on the Lippe, which, we are told in the Lorsch Annals, was attended by envoys from king Sigfred, namely, Halbtani and his companigns. In two late copies of the Lorsch annals, one of the Fulda annals and in the chronicle of Eeginon the name Godfred is wrongly substituted for Sigfred, while Reginon, who was not remarkable for his accuracy, calls the envoy Altdeni and gives him a companion whom he calls Hosmund, which is not a Norse but a Saxon name and which he has apparently made by misreading the word socius in the earlier authorities.

Pertz rightly insists that we are bound by the testimony of the oldest copies of the Lorsch annals and those of Eginhardt, which were contemThe name of the envoy was no doubt the porary. He was well known Norse name Halfdane. and of a doubtless moment, possibly a person

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

67

and the deputy of Sigurd Ring, in Jutland, and was not improbably sent to enquire what was the meaning of the ambiguous movement on his borders, and whether it meant the planting there of an advanced post of the Empire from which the land might be menaced.

relative

The assembly was followed by another revolt of the Saxons under Witikind, in which the Frank garrisons in Saxony, were again slaughtered, and the Christian missions in Friesland, and the young Church there were desolated. These outrages were punished ruthlessly by the beheading of 4,500 Saxons. The Emperor now began a policy of transplanting large bodies of Saxons to other parts of the Empire and replacing them by Slavs. The year 792 is marked, in the Biography of Charles by Eginhardt, by the ominous sentence that " " the Emperor left Aachen (Aix Chapelle, as the French call it) in March and made a journey along the maritime district of Gaul and Germany, which was infested by Normans, who were called Danes (contra Nortmannos qui Danos vocantur) and he ordered a special fleet to restrain them.

The next year is notable for made by the Northmen on Britain

the

first

attack

(vide infra).

In 797 the Franks employed their new fleet for first time and punished the Saxons beyond the Elbe (Annales Eginhardti ad an). The next year the Saxons from the other side of the Elbe killed some Frankish envoys who had been sent to obtain a redress of grievances, and also put to death another one who had the Slav name of Godescalc, i.e., Gottschalk. They had been sent by the Emperor to the Danish king, who is again called Sigifridus This is i.e., Sigurd, by the Chronicler Eginhardt. the last time he is named, and it is remarkable that the

68

Saga- Book of the Viking Society

next few years there is no mention of the in the Frankish annals pointing to its been a turbulent period in their land. When having a northern king is next mentioned, he is called Godfred and it is most likely that Sigfred had died soon after his last mention in the chronicles.

for the

Northmen

The interval between the years 797 and 804 is a blank in the Frankish Chronicles as far as the Northmen

is concerned, and it no doubt corresponds with great changes among them. Sigurd's great victory over his uncle Harold Hildetand had no doubt prostrated all rivals. According to all the traditions he left an only son, Ragnar Lodbrog, whose story is one of the great enigmas of early Northern history. He probably succeeded to only a

small

part of his father's kingdoms, and

famous not as a great

territorial ruler,

became

but as the

greatest of the Vikings.

Meanwhile, his

relatives, the

sons of Harald

One of Hildetand, asserted their pretentious. them, Eystein, became King at Upsala and in the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrog, the latter is made to have a struggle with him. Another son, Thrond, is named as the ancestor of an Icelandic family in the Landnamabok. This family was named OddThe werja and to it belonged Saemund Frothi. descent is thus given. Harald Hildetand, King of Denmark, the father of Hrcerck Sloengvand-bauga, the father of Thorolf Wagane, father of Wemund Ordhlokar, father of Walgard, father of Rafn the Fool, who emigrated to Iceland from Throndheim I believe (Landnamabok ed., Vigfusson, v. 3.1). that a third one was the Halfdane, who was sent as an envoy to the Emperor by Sigurd, as we have seen. He was apparently the ruler of Jutland under him,

and on

his patron,

Sigurd's

death,

sought refuge from the Emperor.

apparently

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

69

of Sigurd King also gave an oppora to stronger person than any of the sons tunity of Harald Hildetand, namely Gudrod, who also

The death

His possessed a wider kingdom and a larger fleet. was Jutland, position inViken, looking straight upon a powerful vantage, nor could he forget that Westf old, the focus of his kingdom, was recently held by a

who

governed at least Northern Jutland nor that he had a heavy debt to exact from the person who, I take it, was then its ruler since his predecessors had expelled his own from I have no doubt that he their ancient heritage. used all his advantages and proceeded to drive out Halfdane.

ruler

also

(vide ante),

;

strongly confirmed by a curious and neglected entry in the narrative of the anonymous Saxon poet, who for the most part follows Eginhardt, but who here records the very interesting fact, not mentioned by the latter, that Halfdane, the leader of the Northmen, and with him a considerable force, submitted to the Emperor and tried to enter into a perpetual pact with him.

This

is

Interea

Northmannorum dux Alfdeni

dictus

Augusto magna sese comitante caterva Subdidit atque fidem studuit firmare perennem. (Poeta Saxo, Pertz,

i.

263).

This admission to the Empire of a great Northern chief with a considerable following is hardly a probable event, unless he was in fact an outcast from his own country, and it is significant that his disappearance from Jutland is coincident with Gudrod's appearance there. I suggested long ago that it is quite probable that the Emperor granted Halfdane an appanage in Eriesland, where Harald Klak, who was probably his son, received one some years later. This was quite consonant with the policy of the Franks at this time, which

Saga-Book of the Viking

70

Society.

was

to play one of the frontier rivals against another, and to embroil his neighbours, while a feudatory Norse chief in Friesland would be a good fence against his countrymen's piratcal attacks.

We

are told by both Eginhardt and Reginon " " that in the year 804 Godfred, the Danish King went with his fleet, and all the army of his kingdom, to Sliesthorp (i.e., the far-famed mart of Schleswig, on the Schlie. Eginhardt, in his biography, explains that the enmity (inimicitia) of the Northmen arose from the appropriation of the Saxon land beyond the Elbe by the Franks. A very notable encroachment of this kind was made by the latter in the year 804, when, according to the Chron. Moissiacense, the inhabitants of the three gaus or counties of Wigmodia, Hostinga and Rosoga, which formed the later diocese of Bremen, were transported and their lands largely made over to the Slavs From this time the district called Obotriti. of Wagria became a Slav land. According to to Godfred had attend the promised Eginhardt, the counsel but was restrained by Imperial diet,

This not very friendly mood people. to seems to me point to some change of policy and to strengthen the viewr that he was himself an intruder into Jutland, which probably The Emperor he appropriated at this time. south of who was at Hollenstedt, Harburg, sent for the return of fugitives some envoys to treat

of his

own

(probably Saxons).

No doubt Gudrod would

hesitate before

making a

direct attack on the Frankish forces, when they in strength in Saxony, and he doubtless had in

were view

an attack upon some of their allies, and especially the hated Slavs who had been introduced into what he deemed his borders without his permission, and against

whom

he had made due preparations. These

'*

Harald Fairhair" and

his Ancestors.

71

some time, but we are told that in 808, while the emperor was at Aachen, Gudrod and his men marched against the Obotriti. Charlemagne sent his son Charles to the Elbe with an army of Franks and Saxons, with orders to resist him if he Gudrod attempted to cross the Saxon frontier. the borders of the Slavs, captured some ravaged of their fortresses, drove away Thrasco, one of lasted

Godelaib, another, made the Obotriti tributary, and also destroyed their emporium on the coast, called in the Danish tongue Eerie. This, as we are told by Adam of Bremen, was the site of the old inhabitants were Mecklenburg, near Wismar, and its " afterwards known as Eeregi Deinde secuntur Obodriti qui nunc Eeregi vocantur et civitas eorum their

hanged

chiefs,

the two sections of

:

"

(Adam of Bremen, Pertz, ix. 311 Magnopolis Ann. Laur. 808 Chron. Moiss., ib. Ann. St. Amandi, Gudrod carried off its merchants, and imp. ii). a posed heavy tribute on the Obotriti (EginSardt in Pertz, i. 19o Kruse, 46.) I have small doubt that this expedition has been confused by the author of ;

;

;

the longer saga of Olaf Trygvason (copying Saxo), with the campaign against the Friesians in 810, " and by the Islandic Annals," and that they have converted the emporium Eerie into a Hrserek or Eurik prince of Friesia, who is quite unknown to the contemporary Frank annalists. This campaign cost

Gudrod some

of

his best

men, and among

them, according to Eginhardt, was Eeginold, his brother's son, who was killed with many Danes in " attacking a town. The Chronicon Moissiacense," calls him Gudrod's nephew, and the first in the kingdom after himself (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 195 Chron. Moiss., Pertz, ii. 258 Kruse, Chron. Norm., 46, 48).' To oppose the attacks of Gudrod, Charlemagne's son, Charles, crossed the Elbe into Lauenburg, marched in the direction of the modern Lubeck, and having ;

;

72

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

devasted the lands of the Linones and Smeldingi (Slavic tribes which had gone over to Gudrod), he once more recrossed the Elbe. According to one

ingenuous writer, his expedition was by no means altogether a success, for he lost most of his men Kruse, (Lesser Annals of Lorsch, Pertz, i. 263 Gudrod had been assisted in his campaign 49, 50.) by the Wiltzi, another Slavic tribe, the eastern neighbours of the Smeldingi and Linones, who were :

ancient foes of the Obotriti. They returned home Gudrod himself, after with a considerable booty. his campaign, sent his fleet round to Schleswig, inarched his army there, and proceeded to build a mound along the northern shores of the Eider, from one sea to the other. This was pierced by a single gateway for the passage of men and merAfter dividing the work among his chandise. This mound was chiefs he returned home. to Worsaae, probably not the celeaccordjng brated Dannewirke (that having been traditionally connected with another Danish king, namely, Gorm the Old), but rather an older and ruder mound which still runs along the Eider. The making of a mound by Gudrod is, however, distinctly mentioned in the Annales Islandiac, and The it is there expressly called the Danewirke. the of from the termination mound ran larger

Schley inlet (Selke Noer) as far as Kurburg, or It is 20 feet high, and perhaps to Hollingstette. mentioned the narrow entrance by the annalist is of Little situated near the village Danewirke, now 48 Chron. called Ost Kalegat (Kruse, Moiss, p. 48). Having heard that the emperor was displeased at his campaign against the Obotriti in the previous year, ;

Gudrod, in 809, sent him envoys asking him to fix a convention beyond the Elbe, where explanations might be given. Such a convention was held at Badenfliot (probably the village now called Baden-

44

Harald Fairhair" and

his Ancestors.

73

on the banks of the Stur Kruse, 50, note). This convention was apparently not very effective in humbling the Danes, but, on the contrary, we find that directly after, Thrasco, the Duke of the Obotriti, and the protege of the Franks, surrendered This was his daughter as a hostage to Gudrod. in the which his war to secure neutrality probably he was then pressing against the old enemies of his people, the Wiltzi, and from which he returned He afterwards, with the with a great booty. assistance of the Saxons, captured the chief town fieth,

of the Smeldingi,

i.e.,

Mollen.

When the emperor heard of the arrogant behaviour of the Northern king, he determined to build a fortress beyond the Elbe, and having collected a number of artificers in Gaul and Germany, he sent them thither under command I have elsethe Saxon Count Egbert. of where in a paper in the Numismatic Chronicle on the coinage of Egbert, King of England, identified him with this Count Egbert. The former was certainly living at the Court of Charles the Great at this time and his name is very specially an English one. Esesfeldt was fixed upon as the site of the fortress It has been identified by several inquirers with Itzehoe on the Stur.

Mannert (Gesch. der

alt.

Deuts.,

i.

486),

would place

Gluckstadt at the mouth of that river. We are told it was occupied by Egbert on the Ides of March.

it

on the

site of

Meanwhile Thrasco, the chief of the Obotriti, was treacherously killed by an emissary of Gudrod's ab Eerie (Eginhardt, i. 196, 197 Kruse, 51), which may have been meant as a counter blow. He was ;

probably considered a too faithful friend of the Franks to be well disposed to the Northmen. These acts were hardly a gauge of peace. next read

We

Saga-Book of the Viking

74

Society.

how* Godfred, fell

i.e. Gudrod, at the head of 200 ships, Friesia, devastated its coasts and islands, fought three battles with the Fresians, whom

upon

and

made

tributary, 'exacting a sum of 100 pounds from them, after which he returned home (Einhardt, Pertz, i. 197, 198 Ib., Yit., Car. ch. 14, 17 Poeta Saxo, v. 403, 404; Fulda Annals, ib., i. This may have been a 3^4, 345 Kruse, 53, etc.). blow against Halfdane who, as we have seen, was then probably the emperor's feudatory there. A

he

of silver

;

;

;

curious fact is cited by Depping to show to what straits the Friesians were at this time reduced. He an old law which a quotes by captive Friesian, who, in the service of the Northmen, should attack a village, violate women, kill men, or burn houses, was not to be punished when he returned home it being ;

held that he was not a free agent, but only doing the bidding of his exacting masters. Another law authorised mothers to dispose of the property of such of their children as were carried off, showinghow hopeless their return generally was.

We at all events find that the throne of Jutland was immediately occupied by one who courted the friendship of the Franks, while the sons of Godfred escaped beyond the waterassuredly this means their withdrawal to Westfold. Saxo, as I mentioned in a previous page, tells us that, when Godfred exacted tribute from the Friesians, he

made them throw

their

money

into

the hollow of a shield and guessed from the sound whether it was good coin or no. Miiller throws light on this story from some rather ghastly features of the old laws of the North in reference thus he tells us to compounding for punishment how, by the law of Sialand (Lib. ii. cap. 39), two pieces of money (orer) were to be paid in cases of wounding, for each bone out of the wound which ;

%

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

made shield.

botaes

75

when thrown into the hollow of a Hwaert ben i mullugli sMaelder thaer

a sound ("

twa orae forae")

provision G-aertner.

in

is

This almost incredible the Friesic laws

repeated Addit. Sapient,

tit.

iii

"

24)

in

(Ed. the

Si ossa de vulnere exierint following words tantce magnitudinis, ut in scutum jactum XII. pedurn spatio distante Jiomine possit audiri, unurti ter IV. solid, componat, aliud ter duobus, tertium The same occurs again in the ter uno solido." :

Ixx.

1

(See Muller, op. cit. What was true of bones was transferred to 251). the coin paid, in Saxo's narrative, and perhaps also in the popular traditions which had reached him. In the law just cited, the person testing the sound In Saxo's narrative was to stand twelve feet off. this has grown greatly, for he tells us Godlred had a building erected 240 feet long, containing twelve rooms of equal size, in the innermost of which sat the royal tax-collector, while the shield was placed in the one at the other end of the building. Saxo also tells us that when Godfred conquered the

Eipuarian Code,

tit.

Saxon chiefs (this, as we have seen, is an unwarranted assertion) he imposed a tribute of a hundred white horses, which were to be paid on the accession of each king. Miiller explains that in the middle ages it was customary to use white horses in solemn processions, as when homage was done and that it is not improbable some Saxon chiefs may have done homage to the Norse chief and offered him a present of white horses (Op. cit. 251). ;

Saxo has another story about Godfred of the usual type in which he has borrowed the incidents and the facts from other sagas, and the only interest of which is the local colour which he has preserved. In this he tells us that Godfred was famous not

only for his prowess

but

for

his

Saga-Book of the Vtking

76 liberality,

At

and he was no

this time,

less

he says, Goto,

Society.

clement than strong. i.e.,

Gautr, the king

Norway was visited by Bero, and Refo (Refr means a fox), from Thule, who presented him with a bracelet of great weight. The byof

standers thereupon declared that Goto's generosity was unsurpassed. Refo however, who, notwithstanding the present, was disposed to be candid, declared that Godfred, whom he treats as a Danish king, excelled him in this quality. Ulvus, i.e., Ulf, who was nettled at this, thereupon Refo to go and test preferred a wager to the Danish King. Refo accordingly set out, and found Godfred seated on his throne dividing

among his soldiers. On being asked name was he answered that he was a

prey or booty

what

his

This aroused the laughter of some and " A fox," said Godfred, the admiration of others. " in to take its its and thereupon mouth," ought prey his bracelet tried to insert he it inRefo's detaching The latter it his on arm and proffered lips. placed showed it, decorated as it was with gold, to all present. Meanwhile he hid the other bracelet which had no ornament on it so that it might not tempt Godfred into another act of generosity, but that his gift should be spontaneous. He was delighted, not only with the value of the gift, but at having won his wager. When Godfred heard of the bet and how it had been won by accident rather than by design he was

little fox.

himself. The latter to obtain the Norway wager, which and carried the there he killed king being refused, off his daughter as a prize to Godfred (Saxo i. 435).

more delighted than Refo returned to

This story has been shown by Muller in his Notae Uberiores to Saxo, to have been transferred to Godfred (a supposed Danish king) from another Godfred altogether, for the Saga occurs in an Icelandic

!

" Harald Fairhair " and his Ancestors.

As

recension.

Miiller

Saxo's

says,

77

narrative

an epitome. In the first place, two and Refo, are mentioned by him Bero Thylenses, but Bero speedily as taking part in the adventure scene from the altogether, and Ulvo is disappears introduced without warning as if he had been Nor does Saxo explain how the already described. Refo and Goto, his former between arose quarrel led to his carrying off his which benefactor,

shows

it

is

;

daughter.

In the much longer Icelandic legend (Forn. Sog. 40 53) the story is more consistent. According to this account, Refo, or Giafa Refr, who was the son of a rich Norwegian peasant, born on an island

iii.

in the north of Norway called Jadria, spent his youth in great squalor and indolence. Being scolded by his father, he expressed his willingness to leave if he might take with him the thing his father most valued. To this the father consented, and he accordingly led away an ox whose horns had been decorated with gold and silver and been united by a silver ring.

home

This ox he took as a present to Nerio, or Nerius, the Uplands, a prudent, and a very firm who was his father's patron. Nerio accepted person, the gift, presented him in return with a becoming garment, and also with a gilt shield. Refo having observed that Nerio directly after repented of having parted with such a rich shield, he returned it Nerio was willingly again. pleased with this, and gave Refo a touchstone (coticula\ and bade him go to Gautric, or Gotric, king of Gothland, who, after the death of his beloved wife, was accustomed to assuage his sorrow by hawking. He was to seize the opportunity when the king was sitting alone on a mound and was looking for stones with which to excite the hawks, and then he

iarl of

Saga-Book of the Viking

78

was

Society.

the touchstone into his hand. Kefo his and the stone into task duly performed slipped the king's hand, who, in return, gave him a golden Refo now returned to Nerio, and spent bracelet. the winter with him. Again, on his persuasion, he to

slip

to Ella, king of England, and presented him with the bracelet.

went

Ella in return, gave him a ship laden with merchancise and furnished with sailors, and, in addition, gave him two beautiful Melitaean, i.e., Maltese dogs, which Refo in turn gave to Kolf Krak, who repaid him with the gift of a laden ship, as well as a decorated helmet and corslet of singular fabric.

The helmet and corslet he presented to Olav, a who had command of eighty ships, and who offered in return to let Befo have the use of them on some occasion. Having put himself at

sea king

the head of these, he set out against king Gotric, whose generosity he owed his subsequent good

to

fortune, and compelled him to adopt him as his son-in-law. Nerio, by whose counsel Refo had acted in these matters,

now deemed

measure repaid him

for the

that he had in some ox he had given him.

This Saga agrees with the story told by Saxo of two of its chief actors, Gotric and $axo, could not well introduce Rolf Krak, king of Denmark, nor Nerio, chief of the Uplands,

in the

names

Refo.

into his story without making appropriating the story he

it

incredible, and in to make some

had

sacrifices to consistency and he apparently converted the name of Nero or Nerio into Bero. Some and its of the incidents in Saxo's narrative, about Refo's to Sweden, journey terminating phrase prove, perhaps, that he had before him a more perfect copy of the Saga in some respects than is extant in the Icelandic edition.

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

The

79

however, is quite a fabulous one, and anachronisms, Rolf Krak and Ella, King of England, i.e., of Northumbria, being brought into contact. Ella seems to have been a generic name for story,

full of

English kings among some Icelandic Saga-tellers, and its occurrence causes difficulty as is well a known in explaining the Sagas about Eagnar

Another anachronism of a very patent Lodbrog. kind is the bringing of Thylenses or Icelanders into contact with King Godfred. Iceland was not discovered till long after the latter's reign. Returning to our main story it is strange to read the notice of the preparation of the Prankish forces to meet the attacks of the Saxons, arid their march towards the Rhine mentioned in the same paragraph with the death of an .elephant which had been sent as a present to Charlemagne by Aaron, the King of the Saracens, i.e., by Harunaz-Rashid, the Khalif of the Arabian Nights. The Franks marched towards the Alar, and at its confluence with the Weser, they awaited the attack of the Norsemen, who had boasted loudly of their intentions after the Friesian war. They did not, however, come, but news arrived that Godfred had been assasinated (Eginhardt, Pertz, 197, 198), assuredly an abrupt and tragical The Chronicle of St. Gallen says the deed was done by one of his sons in revenge

phrase.

having deserted his mother in favour of another wife (Pertz, ii. 757). for his

The Ynglinga Saga has a different story. It says that when his son Halfdane was one year old and another son Olaf was twenty, Gudrod went on a round of

visits.

He

lay with his ship in Stifla-

sund, and there was heavy drinking, and having drunk hard he got very tipsy. His ship was

connected

with the shore

by gangways.

When

8o

Saga-Book

of the

Viking Society.

was dark, he went ashore and had got to the end of the gangway when a man ran a spear into him and killed him. The man was instantly in to and the death, morning it was discovered put that he was Queen Asa's foot-boy, nor did she conceal that it was done by her orders. In Thiodwolfs versicles as edited by Vigfusson we read 11 Gudrod the Magnificent (in Gaofoglati), who lived long before, was struck down by treason, and a deadly hatred long nursed, drew treachery upon and the the King, upon the drunken prince of murderous traitorous messenger Asa won a the victory over the King, yea prince was stabbed to death on the ancient bed of Stiflasund" (Vigfusson Corp. Poet., 1.250 note).

it

:

;

Saxo merely says that Godfred was the victim of the treachery of one of his dependents, which agrees with the story told in the Ynglinga, and is another proof that the Godfred of the Franks and Gudrod were the same person, and, if so, the Frank Annals In the annals of are witness that he died in 810. the so-called Rykloster we read that when he had defeated the Emperor and laid waste Saxony he was thrust through the body. Gudrod's Norwegian possessions stretched from the modern Folda, along the shores of the Christiana fiord as far as the Miosa lake and the Randsfiord, and thence directly south as far They reached eastward as far as Rygiarbit. Soloer and Wermeland inclusive.

The death of so great a chieftain would have caused a great gap anyhow, but it was made greater by the misfortunes or perhaps the incompetence of his eldest son Olaf, (who was only twenty) and who succeeded to most of his possessions in Norway. In Jutland he was succeeded, we are

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

81

expressly told, not by either of his sons, but by Hemming. Eginhardt calls him his brother's son shall return to him presently, (Pertz, i. 197). meanwhile a few words about Olaf. The later Saga of Olaf Tryggveson calls him a brother of Godfred, but this cannot weigh against the contemporary Frank annals, while Saxo makes him his son.

We

seems to be a mistake, and to have arisen from a confusion between Halfdane, the brother and predecessor of Gudrod, and Halfdane, the deputy of Sigurd Ring in Jutland, who was a protege of the emperor. It is most unlikely that Gudrod, who had sons of his own, who as we shall see were very active at this time, should have been succeeded by his nephew, and, as we shall see presently, Hemming was really a son This

of another Halfdane, who belonged to a rival family to that of Gudrod, and which had been driven from Jutland by himself, had recovered it on his death. In this way only can we explain

what happened The new king came to terms with the Empire, and in a treaty made between them in 811 the Eider was accepted as the frontier between the two kingdoms (Helmold, Kruse, 58). Steenstrup argues that this was not the North Eider, or Treewe. This is the Danish view, the German view as maintained by Waitz, Simson, and others is that the boundary was the Treewe. Thus the border district occupied by the Transalbingian Saxons, with the Obotriti of Wagrien, over which Godfred had exacted a kind of suzerainty, were surrendered to the Franks. This treaty was concluded at a conference held on the Eider, in which ten chiefs on the side of the Franks were met by an equal number of Danes,

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

82

In a letter from Pope Leo, the names of the 1. Franks are thus given Count Walach, son of Bernhard, that is Walach or Wala, afterwards Abbot of Corbey, cousin to Charlemagne (and son of his uncle Bernard, by a Saxon mother) whom he had :

;

sent against the

Lombard King

Desiderius (Simson,

Jahrbuch, 466 and note 5). 2. Count Burchard who was comes stabuli to the Emperor, and was sent by him, in 807, with a fleet to Corsica to fight the Moors (Eginhardt sub an. calls him missus do mini). 3. Count Unroch who was sent into Dalmatia he ;

;

was the grandfather of the Emperor Berenger, 817, Sims., 466 and note 5). (Einh, sub an. or Count 4. Wodo, Odo, doubtless the Odo legatm in mentioned 810 as the commander of Hohbuoki (Eginhardt annales Pertz i, 197). 5. Count Meginhard, i.e., the father of Eberhard the Saxon, who was 6. killed in 881 by the Norsemen. Count Egbert (already named as the founder of a fortress across the Elbe and probably the later King Egbert of 7. Count Theotheri, who was doubtless Wessex). the same person sent as an envoy to the Danes with Kruodmund in the next reign. 8. Count Abo, probably Abbio, who was baptised with Witikind, (Annaks Lauriss. and Eginh. sub anno 785 Kruse, 62). 9. Count Ostdag, doubtless a Saxon. Count Wigman, a Saxon, mentioned in 939 (Pertz, i, 619)." On behalf of the Danes the Two brothers of deputies were thus named named Hancwin (probably a corruption Hemming of Hakon, Dahlman, I., 25) and Augandeo (Aug;

:

and the following chief men Osfred, Turdimul (? from Islandic tutinn thick, and muli mouth, Dahlmann 25), Warstein (this

antyr, styled

:

ib.},

name also occurs in the Landnama bok, Y. Powell) Suomi ? and L'rm, and another Osfred, the son

:

of Heilig

(i.e.,

Helye), and Osfred of Sconaowe,

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

83

and Hebbi, (reminding us of and Aowin (Eanwind, i.e., Onwend). Y.P.), The names are given by Eginhardt in their Frankish form (Pertz. 198-9, sub an. 811. of

i.e.,

Scania,

Hubba

i.

We

are told that peace was sworn according to of the Danes.

method

the

The Emperor now divided his army into three one was sent into Brittany, another into

sections

;

Pannonia, and the third crossed the Elbe into the country of the Slavic Linones, which restored the fortress of Hohbuoki, destroyed the previous year by the Wiltzi. Charles himself went to Bononia, i.e., Boulogne, where the ships he had ordered to be built the year before were assembled. He restored the pharos there, doubtless that which had been built by the Roman Emperor Caligula and caused the nocturnal fire to be relighted.

;

Eginhardt speaks of

He

it

as antiquitus constitutam.

to Ghent (in loco where he vocatur], inspected another and in the middle of November returned fleet, to Aachen, where there came Aowin and Hebbi, two envoys of the king (Hemming) bearing gifts. While the Emperor thus extended a civil hand to the Norsemen, he carefully prepared more effica-

then went up the Scheldt

qui Ganta

cious defences for the coasts.

The Frankish chronicles here introduce us to a Sigfred, i.e., Sigurd, (who by struggle. Eginhardt is called the nephew of Godfred), and Anulo the nephew or grandson (nepos) of Harald who was formerly king (that is, of Harald Hildefierce

tand)

men

;

in

this

battle

we

are

told

that

10,940

fell.

Anulo is translated Ringo by Saxo and in the longer life of Olaf Trygveson, which at this point apparently follows him, it has been supposed by

Saga-Book of the Viking

84

Society.

some that by him Sigurd Ring was while

really meant, almost clear that the latter had been

is

it

dead some years. Who then was Anulo

? He was clearly a preThe name Anulo is conjugated Anulo Anulonis. and has apparently nothing to do with Annulus as Saxo thought. It is probably some

tender.

Munch suggested that Aale. formerly Anli, Saxon Anlo, (op. cit., ii. 153, note 2). I have suggested that he was the son of Halfdane (above mentioned as having had authority in Jutland) and the brother of Hemming. form of a Norse name.

it

stood

As

for

read the difficult story, the fight which took place between some relative of Gudrod, possibly a son, named Sigurd, and the family of Haldane whom Gudrod had expelled from Jutland. The party of the former won the fight, and that that of Gudrod which had been in possession of Jutland, and had expelled Hemming, was defeated and driven out. We are told by the Frankish writers (whose story at this time is not at all clear), that both Sigurd and Anulo were killed What seems plain is that the party in the battle. I

occurred,

opposed to Gud rod's heirs, won number of

the day.

interests, and who were his It was fought in 812, and the

shows that it was a desperate struggle and a huge strain on such thinly peopled casualties

countries as the Scandinavian lands.

The next few years were occupied with a perwhich the sons of Gudrod and

sistent struggle in

those of Haldane, took a part and in which the success was intermittent on either side. The general result was the great set-back of the new Norwegian kingdom, which is not disguised by Ari's phrases about the courage and manliness of Olaf, the King of Westfold, and probably accounts for

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

85

the virtual silence of the Northern Sagas on the details of the struggle for which we have to turn It is curious that even to the Frankish historians. these do not mention the particular names of the Norse chieftains at this time, and only refer Of their to them as "the sons of Godfred." opponents it only mentions two, namely, the two brothers Harald and Reginfred, the sons of Halfdane, who fought against the Emperor's proteges

and dependents. Ynglinga Saga, was a strong, and is an This astounding statement, large of growth. for it is immediately followed by the most complete confession of disaster that was perhaps ever recorded in such a few sentences. It tells us that the very wide dominions, which had been conquered by Olaf's father and grandfather, were reduced to the small districts of Westfold and Westmar (the Olaf, according to the

great warrior, and was yery handsome,

latter

being

named

as his

in

the

Flatey-bok).

Meanwhile King Alfgar of Alfheim took all Vingulmark (part of which had been ruled over by Olaf s father) and placed his son Gandalf over it, after which the father and son reduced the greater part of Raumariki.

On

another side

Hedemark

and Soloer with Thoten and Hadeland were recovered by Hogne, son of Eystein the Great of

Hauk Erlendson, in his account of the Uplands. the Kings of the Uplands, and the Flatey-bok, with whom Munch agrees, say this last conquest was made by Eystein, son of Hogne, and grandson of Eystein the Great (Ynglinga Saga, ch. 54; Munch, 154). Wermelandwas also conquered by the Swedish Meanwhile, Gudrod's widow Asa, ruled king. over Agdir, in the name of her young son Halfdane. It

also

is riot

lost

to be

wondered

their hold

at that Gudrod's sons on Jutland, which the two

86

Saga-Book of the Viking

victorious brothers

Society.

Harald and Reginfred appro-

priated.

We

are told that in the same year they sent make a pact with the Emperor, and to

envoys to

ask him to send them back and to release their brother Hemming, shewing he was still living (Egiuhardt, Pertz, i. 199); he was doubtless the same Hemming, who died in Walcheren, as I shall

show

presently,

many

years later, and

tinctly called the son of Halfdane.

is

there dis-

The next year an

imperial conventum or council was held at Aachen, where at the request of their king (i.e., Hemming), it was determined by the Emperor to send sixteen of the Frank und Saxon chiefs across the Elbe to nttify a peace with the Danes. They accordingly went, and 'met sixteen of the latter. They took with them Hemming, and returned him to his people. His brothers were at this time absent with their

army, and had gone

to Westarfo/d, which region are told lay beyond their kingdom between the north and west, and looking towards Britain (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 200). Steenstup and his followers have tried to claim that Westarfold was some obscure place in Denmark, but as Pertz, i. 200, note 17, and Kruse have argued a view which is also Simson's, the expression domi non erant, shows they were not then in any part of Denmark (SimSon, 521 note). It was clearly the district of Westfold in Norway, which looks towards England, and was the very homeland of Gudrod and his people, and then subject to the rival told the two are Inglings. family of brothers reduced the chiefs and people of

we

We

Westerfold to obedience (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 200 Kruse, 69). The same year, i.e., in 813, Godfred's sons returned from exile with not a few of the chief ;

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

87

Danes who had left their country (relicta patria is a most suggestive phrase) and had sought refuge among the Swedes. They also collected a large body of people from all parts of Denmark, who had joined them etiam regno non multo eos labor e They were apparently welcomed by pepulerunt. a large number of their father's folk, and fought against the two kings and drove them and their brother Hemming out (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 200 Chron. Moiss., id i. 311, ii. 259). Meanwhile, Karl the Great died on the 28th of January, 814 (See the fine account of his death and burial in Hodgkin, Invaders of Italy, vii. 200, etc.). His strong arm and vigorous policy had preserved the empire from ravage. The garrisons he fixed on the coast, the guardships he had built on the rivers, the heavy hand he laid on marauders had restrained the pirates of Denmark and the Saracens from too daring attacks, But even these precautions had not entirely availed. Already the bold seamen of the North had coasted round the peninsula, and entered the Mediterranean, and the monk of Saint Gallen relates how the Emperor one day, when in one of his southern ports, saw from the walls the ships of the Northmen in the distance, and although they dared not beard him, he is said to have lamented for the fate of the empire and for his descendants (Pertz, ii. 757, 758). ;

convenient at this point to refer to a mythical story which has deceived many people, (including myself, in former days), about a supposed It

is

paladin of Charlemagne known as Olger the Dane, the alleged hero of many adventures. certain who was of one Charles' Otger, rnarchiones, is mentioned by the Monk of St. Gallen, in his life of Charles also in the Ann. Lob., 771, and the Chron. Moiss. in 773), but he is not call a Dane by any of

A

;

88

Saga-Book of the Viking

The

them.

Society.

reference I can find to an Olger this date attributes to him the rebuilding of Saint Martin's Church at Cologne after it had been burnt by the Saxons in the 778, and is contained in the so-called Chronicle of St. Martin, a forgery of the Monk Legepont, and dating from the 18th century. first

"the Dane" at

Between the years 814

19 the monastery of island of Noirmouttier was

Filibert on the sacked by the Norsemen. St.

(The island was also Hermutier = Heri Monasterium Herio or Heri being the name of the island on which it it was south of the Loire. stood.) Depping (i. 67, called

;

;

68) tells an anecdote referring to a fresh prevision of calamity at this time Liudger, a scholar of :

Alcuin's, had been a youthful missionary among He also wished the Westphalians and Friesians. to go among the Northmen to reclaim them to Christianity, but the Emperor, who had made him Bishop of Minister, would not permit him. His influence among the Friesians was too his life to be risked on such a errand. Liudger, too, saw the danger dangerous that loomed in the future. Depping tells how he one night dreamed that clouds came from the north, covered the face of the sun, and threw a gloom " over the earth. I shall not see it," he said to his " " but you will and truly, as his biographer sister,

valuable

for

;

after he was dead, and ravished the land mercilessly (Altfridus vita sancti Liudgeri, lib. ch. 2, &c., Depping, 68, note). These The first succalamities did not come at once. cessor of Charlemagne was quite equal to defending his frontiers, however incapable he was of managing his household. He was a soldier as well as a scholar. The Avars and the Saracens had both tested his prowess before his father's death and says, they

came frequently

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

alter he

was crowned

at

89

Rheims by Pope Stephen

himself, the Emperor Louis received lordly embassies from Nicephoros, Emperor of Byzantium, and the Khalif Abdurrahman, the rulers of the

two strongest empires of therefore, that the

his day.

It

is

Northmen respected

not strange, his borders.

In Their intestine quarrels continued, however. 814 the two kings Harald and Reginfred who had been expelled by the sons of Godfred, and had sought shelter among the Obotriti, collected an army and returned the next year to the attack. In the fight that ensued, Reginfred and the eldest son of Godfred are said by one authority to have been killed (Chron. Moiss, an., 813). The report about Reginfred is doubtful however, since Adam of Bremen says distinctly that he took to piracy (Gest. Hamb. Ecc. Pont, i. 17 see vii. 291, note 54). The Ynglinga Saga says the same of Olaf, the elder son of Gudrod. The invaders were evidently defeated, for we are told by Eginhardt that Harald repaired to the Emperor and acknowledged his su;

premacy (se in manus Pertz,

i.

201

;

illius

Kruse, 72,

commendavitEgmh&rdt,

73).

He apparently asked He was told to

for help in recovering Jutland. return to Saxony (Saxony beyond the

Elbe is doubtwhen he and to wait awhile, meant) might hope for assistance. The Emperor gave orders that the Saxons and Obotriti should prepare to assist him. It was proposed to advance while the rivers were still frozen, but a sudden thaw broke them up. and The the expedition was postponed till May 815. combined troops, led by the Imperial legate Baldric, then crossed the Eider and advanced seven days' journey into the Danish district called Sinlendi, i.e., the Sillende of Other (Kruse, 73 Simson says Sinlendi, east of Schleswig, Jahrbucher III., i. 52, note 6), without doubt the later less

;

90

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

Schleswig. They went as far as the coast, where they entrenched themselves. God red's sons meanwhile retired to an island three miles off the mainland (Kruse suggests the island of Alsen, op. cit. 74 he follows Leibnitz, but Simson, Dummler, etc., f

1

;

There they assuggest more probably, Funen). sembled a large army and a fleet of 200 ships. The Franks dared not cross arms with them, and contented themselves with ravaging the districts around, carried off forty hostages, and then returned to the Emperor, who was at Paderborn. Dahlrnann makes out that the camp of the invaders was at Snogoi, opposite the town of Middlefart, in Funen, where the Belt is very narrow (op. cit., i. 27.)* The Convention at

Paderborn wished to settle the question of the eastern frontiers of the Slavs and Danes, and also the affairs of Harald (Simson, 53, vide Theganus, Pertz ii, 523, Einh. Ann. Pertz. i. 202). ;

This expedition of the Frank Emperor seems To take the part of a fugitive utterly indefensible. chief who has been driven out of his country, and to invade and ravage that country with no substantive quarrel of one's own, is surely to attempt severe reprisals when opportunity arrives, and we need not travel far, when we find such policy in vogue, to excuse and palliate the cruel ravages of the pirates a few years later. Louis had no more right to intervene in the domestic quarrels of his neighbours than Napoleon in those of Spain. If it was then deemed good policy to sow discord among the frontagers of the empire by taking the side of fugitives and pretenders (a policy carried out with the Obotriti as well as the Danes), we need not *

that

It would seem from the confused account in the Icelandic annals Ragnar Lodbrog was thought to have been opposed to Harald on

this occasion (Kruse, 75).

i

"

Ha faid

Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

91

wonder that such sowing should have led to a plentiful growth of ill-feeling on the part of the victims. To the diet at Paderborn in 815, went envoys from the Danes asking for peace (Theganus, Vit. Lud., Louis was too strong to be Pertz, ii. 593). attacked, nor was his strength tempered with overmuch courtesy, for we are told that in 817 the sons of Godfred sent envoys to him to complain of the continual attacks of his protege Ha raid, and

own master's submission. In the Vita. Ludovisi (Pertz, ii. 621, 622), these messages are described as simulata, i e., dishonest and they

offered their

were therefore rejected. Dahlmann suggests that the negotiations with the Slavs had reached Louis' ears (Gesch. von Dan, i. 2). It was deemed to the news but further assistance neglect politic was offered to Harald. About the same time, i.e., in 817, Sclaomir, who, on the murder of Thrasco, had been made chief of the Obotriti, was ordered to share his realm with Ceadrig, the son of his preThis he resented, swore he would decessor. neither cross the Elbe again, nor attend the He also sent envoys to GodImperial palace. fred's sons and invited them to invade Saxony beyond the Elbe (which had been granted to

The Obotriti had people by Charlemagne). hitherto been most faithful allies of the Franks, who styled them Slavi nostri qui dicuntur Obotriti, (Chron. Moiss., sub an. 798, etc., etc., see Simson, his

;

i.

110-111, note

their

called river

They accordingly set out with mounted the Elbe to Esesfeld, now fleet, and Itzehoe, ravaged the borders of the Stur. At the same time Gluomi, the i.)

custodian of the Norman frontier (" Gustos Nordmannici limitis" as he is called in the annals of Eginhardt Pertz, i. 203, 204), advanced overland to the same place, but retired before the

Saga- Book of the Viking Society

92

determined attitude of the Franks. This was the time, so far as we know, in which the Northmen openly dared to attack aq imperial outpost, Friesia being only an appanage at the most, and almost independent. first

We now

read of a revolution in Denmark,

which is not quite explicable. This was in 819, and therefore two years after the previous mention of the Danes. Doubtless, as Simson says, Harald had meanwhile kept up his attacks, assidua inIn 817, we are festatio Herioldi says Eginhardt. that Harald, having led his ships by the Emperor's orders through the land of the Obo-

told

returned to his own country, where he well received by two of Go< Ifred's sons, who was to share the kingdom with him. Other two agreed sons, however, were expelled from the kingdom, " sed hoc dolo faelum putatur" Eginhardt adds, triti,^

that 78,

is

by fraud (Eginhardt, Pertz,

819).

The meaning

of

i.

208

;

Kruse,

revolution, I by the influence

this

is that Harald, backed of the Frank Emperor, succeeded in planting his foot once more in his native land, not as a welcome guest, but as a traitor, whose presence was a daily insult to his neighbours. The question About arises, who were these sons of Godtred ? one of them there is no difficulty, the one who probably supplanted the rest, Eric, known as Eric The other brother who shared his the First.

presume,

realm with him was doubtless Beginfred. The excluded from Jutland, brothers, who were

* It is not actually said that Harald led his ships, as the words have been translated, but rather that he conducted them through the land of " " is the phrase used. reductus ad naves the Obotriti, Eginhardt Ann., How could he lead them overland ? Messrs. Warn, Pertz, i. 208. Koenig & Gerard say he was conducted to his ships and then went by sea towards his own country (op. cit., ii. 214).

" Harald Pairhair" and his Ancestors.

93

who had probably remained behind in Norway, and who shared the kingdom of Westfold, were not improbably Olaf and Halfdane, kings who were certainly sons of Gudrod. In 820, thirteen piratical ships made a descent upon the coast of Flanders (Eginhardt, sub. ami..). They committed some damage and captured some cattle, when they were driven away by the aliquot casae viles incensae, et parcoastguards vus pecoris numerus abactus est. They then to the low-banked estuary of the open repaired There they were attacked, and lost five Seine. of their number. Sailing on again, they once more landed on the coast of Aquitaine, at a place called Bundium by Eginhardt, and Buin in the Vita Bonin, say Messrs. Warn & Ludovici, Ch. 33. on the island of the same ii. was Ger, 214, name. Where this island really was is doubtful. Valesius & Leibnitz suggest St. Paul de Born, south of the Garonne, but this is contested Noirmontier or some island close by Pertz. is There they plundered by perhaps meant. am qui vocatur Bundium ad effectively (vic.o quod integrum depopulate, Eginhardt Annales, Pertz, i. and returned home laden with an im207), mense booty (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 207 Kruse, 79), and with abundant temptation to their hardy, poor, and adventurous countrymen to try the trade of buccaneering. As Kruse suggests, it is exceed;

;

was

led by the

driven

away from

ingly probable that this expedition

two sons

of Godfred,

home

the

in

who were

preceeding year

(Kruse,

op.

80).

Simson (Ludwig der Frommen, 161, note 4), seems to suggest that it was on this occasion the Brotherhood of St. Filibert of Noirmoutier, which had often suffered from the pirates, built themselves a new monastry on the mainland, whither they

Saga-Book of the Viking

94

returned in the

from the Prevost

monks

Society.

summer when But

this

the sea was free

was

surely later ? Vol., 158, note) says the in the monastery of season the passed good pirates. (Ord. Vit.

i.

Dee, 10 miles from Nantes.

During 821 the empire was not molested by the Danes, and Harald, we are told, lived peaceably with H. Martin, Hist, de France, the sons of Godfred. him a part of Jutland (op. had ceded suggests they

381, ed. of 1861 Warn & Ger., ii. 214). They were, however, only considered to be fairweather friends to the empire, and Ceadrag, the chief of the Obotriti, was suspected of holding secret intercourse with them. Sclaomir, who had been detained at the Frankish court, was allowed to return home, probably with the intention of displacing him but on his arrival in Saxony he fell ill, and having been baptized, died (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 207; Kruse, 80). In this year a Capitulary was issued, which provided in several clauses for the uniting of the slaves or villeins into Guilds for mutual protection against the Norman pirates, especially See Sickel, 170. on the coast of Flanders

cit.

ii.

;

;

was the custom

of the Emperor to spend each year in a tour of inspection As Palgrave well observes, the of his dominions. Carlovingian sovereigns knew their country well Travel and tramp from constantly traversing it. are good teachers both of statistics and geography." In the Chron. Moisaense, 814, we have a notable entry about the Emperor Louis at this time. We read, that he planted garrisons on the seaboard where they were required prcesidia ponit in litore mavis ubi necesse fuit (see also Nigellus On returning from his tour the II., v. 157). Kaiser generally settled down at one of his palaces-

It

several

months

of

'

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

Aachen

95

Nimvegen, Compiegne, Ingelheim, or There he received envoys from the dependent nations, and controlled the administration of his vast dominions. At the council held at Frankfort, in November, 822, envoys bringing from the gifts came from all the Eastern Slavs or

Frankfort.

Obotriti, Sorabi, Wiltzi, Bojiemians, Marvani, (i.e., the Moravians), the Pnedenecenti (i.e., the Obodriti, who lived near the Danube, close to the Bulgarians Kruse, 83, note), and from the Avars,

The monk (Eginhardt, Pertz, ii. 209 Kruse, 83). Gallen adds that they took gold and St. silver as proofs of devotion, and their masters' but this is swords as symbols of subjection flourish. Among the rest probably a rhetorical we are told that Harald and the sons of Godfred also sent envoys to this conveiitum (Einhardt, Simson suggests that the peace between op. cit.). ;

of

;

them was then

We

now

at

an end.

arrive at a period

when

the Franks

were seriously preparing to evangelize the country beyond the Elbe, a policy which, perhaps, more than any other brought upon them those flights of gadflies, the Danish rovers, in the next age. We are told " " Life of St. Anscarius that about in Rembert's the years 817819, Ebbo, the Archbishop of

Rheims, fourth brother of the Emperor Louis, burned to call the heathen, and especially the Danes, whom he had frequently seen at the palace, within the Christian fold

(vit. St. Ansch., Pertz, II., His first efforts in this 2,699; Kruse, 79). direction apparently took place in 822, when we read in the Fuldensian annals that he evangelized the race of the Norsemen (Pertz, i. 357 that is, he probably had the gospel Kruse, 81) preached to such of Harald's people as had come ;

Saga-Book of the Viking

96

Society.

within or near the Frankish frontier, or in Harald's part of Jutland.^

The next year Harald attended

were living

in person

at

Compiegne, and complained that Godfred's sons threatened to expel him from the country. The Emperor determined to send the Counts Theothar and Hruodmund as envoys to them, to make inquiries on the spot, and report to him. With them went Ebbo, Archbishop of Rheims, who on his return claimed to have baptized (Enhardus, Fuldensian Annals, Pertz. i. 211 Kruse, 84). According to the monk Ermoldus Nigellus, he also converted .King Harald, and This is, persuaded him to become a Christian. doubtless, an exaggeration,, but he probably urged upon him the good policy of doing so. The Emperor seems to have been satisfied with his inquiries, for in 825 the envoys of Godfred's sons went and renewed their pact with the Empire, at a conventum held at Aachen. We are told that peace was ratified with them in October of 825, and that it was

many

;

eorum" (i.e., on their march or this march or mark which name to Denmark, which its probably gave or mark of the Danes. march means the merely The absence of perpetual attacks at this time shews, signed "in marca frontier).

It

was

as Messrs. Warnkoenig & Gerard say, that these acts had really been acts of war (op. cit., ii. 296). Ebbo seems to have renewed his mission (see Rem-

* Ebbo had gone to Rome in 822 and obtained a commission for this work from Pope Paschal. He was accompanied on his journey by Wilderich, Bishop of Bremen. Halfgar of Kammerich, whom the Pope had

designed

Dummler,

as

his

companion,

did

not

,

i.

go with him. For his support while

apparently

259, notes 37 and 38. Denmark the Emperor gave

op. cit

Ebbo the "Cell" of he stayed in Welanao, the modern Munsterburg on the Stur, near Itzeoe (id.). He used it as a base of operations and a recruiting place, and we are told he often went there and prosecuted his labours in the Northern parts successfully (vit. Ansk, 13, 14, p. 697).

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

97

Dummler, Ost Franken, i. 259, note to this Up point Harald and Godfred's sons seem to have lived on fair terms. The next year the " conventum " was held in Charlemagne's annual

bert, ch.

13

;

47).

palace at Ingelheim, where envoys went from the Obotriti and from Godfred's sons (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 214 Kruse. 88). It was, however, famous for a much more important event. Harald, who had been driven out again by the latter, and was now a fugitive, deemed it prudent to adopt a new He determined to be baptized, and to policy. become a dependent of the empire. The story of the ceremony has been told in detail by the panegyrist of Louis, the monk Errnoldus, who was doubtless an eye-witness and a very graphic picture it is of the Imperial court of the early part of the ninth century. ;

;

Eginhardt tells us how Charlemagne had built himself a palace at Ingelheim, a suburb of Mainz, close by the church of St. Alban, then outside the The palace overlooked the grand old city walls. the Rhine. The poet Saxo speaks of its river, hundred pillars doubtless such as can still be seen in

spoils of old

Dom

at Aachen some were and some of Rome, home-got granite.

Charlemagne's

;

These shafts still survive (scattered however) at Ingelheim, Mainz, the monastery of Eberbach and at Heidelberg (Simson, Vit. Lud. 257), while some of the capitals of the pillars are in the museum at Mainz. Ermoldus describes the palace as ornamented with bas-reliefs, or paintings. He speaks in one place of the Regia domus late per in another, however, he uses the word sculpta if they were as pingitur painted, which is more proSimson so understands it. In these paintings, bable, or reliefs, the deeds of the great conquerors and of Alexander legislators of old were represented ;

gS

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

and Hannibal, Constantine and Theodosius, etc. They were apparently based on Orosius, and included on one side Ninus Cyrus, whose head the Scythian queen was putting in a bowl of blood; Hannibal, as he lost an eye in the marshes of Etruria, Alexander's great deeds and the foundation On the other side were scenes from of Home. ;

later history; the founding of Constantinople. Theodosius the Great, Charles Martel receiving and Pepin of the the submission of the Friesians while on other slabs were represented Aquitanians the dealings of the mighty Karl himself (Karl with the sage front, as he is styled) and his conflict with the Saxons, all rude enough, no doubt copies of crude works of the later days of the Western Empire, but (when hung about with the florid the tapestries and hangings that came from Saracen looms) impressive enough to the warriors of the Slavic and Northern marches (Simson, 257.) Many small temporary dwellings were erected to There in his Aula accommodate the visitors. Louis received the many-tongued and variedly ;

:

;

dressed deputations of his friends and satellites. It was there also that in 826 Harald went with his wife and his son (one late writer, Hermann

von Reichenau says sons, and Harald had two sons, Godfred and Rodulf). He also nephew, or brother Eurik (probably his and a large body of retainers. The monk

how when

certainly took his

nephew) describes

the fleet appoached, the Kaiser,

who

watched it from the battlements, sent Matfred, Count of Orleans, with a body of young courtiers to meet the Danes and with them some richly caparisoned horses. Haraldapproached the hall of audience mounted on a Frank horse. The poet also gives at length what he claims to be Harald's address to the great Emperor, inter alia, stating how he had been converted by the Archbishop Ebbo, and now ;

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

99

wished to be baptized. The ceremony was performed in St. Alban's Chapel (Simson, i. 258, Louis was god-father to Harald, and decked note). him witK his white chrism al robe; the Empress Judith did the same for the great Dane's consort ;

while the young Lothaire, the Emperor's heir, was sponsor to Harald's son. With them were baptised four hundred Northmen of both sexes promiscui sexus ("Annales Xantenses," sub anno 826). The Monk of St. Gallen does not directly refer to this ceremony in his notice. He says that not a year passed without some of the Danes being baptised, and declaring themselves vassals. On one occasion 50 came, and there not being sufficient white robes for them, they had to be made quickly and rudely and our author reports how one of the northern " warriors rejected his robe, saying. Keep your dress for women this is the twentieth time I have been baptized, and never before had I such a costume. If I were not ashamed to go naked I would leave your Christ and your garment to;

;

"

gether (Sirnson). This, as Depping says, was a tale invented to amuse the courtiers probably at Ingelheim. After the ceremony the Emperor gave his protege some lordly presents, a purple robe fringed with gold, the sword that hung by his side, a golden girdle, golden bracelets for his arms, and a jewelled sash for his sword, a coronal for his head, his own socks of golden tissue and his white gloves. His wife was also duly decked by the Empress Judith with a tunic stiff with gold and jewels, a golden band to entwine her flaxen curls, a twisted golden collar about her neck, bracelets on her arms, a gold jewelled sash, about her waist, and a cape of golden tissue upon her shoulders while Lothaire presented his godson with garments of golden material. Their four hundred followers were also rewarded with pre;

loo

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

sents of Frank robes (see line 397). When thus decked out they proceeded to the Dom, where priests and attendants were assembled, a .picture of glorious

colour.

We

are told that

among

the

grandees present were Clement, the head of the school Theuto, the precentor, who ordered the of the choir of clerics while Adhalewi singing acted as Chamberlain and arranged the throng with his ferule in his hand, as they raised the alleluia. First came the young Prince Charles, and then amidst stirring strains the great Kaiser and his company paced up the church to the apse, ;

;

the Abbot and Arch-Chaplain Hilduinon his right, the Imperial Chancellor, the Abbott Helisachar, on his left. Then came Gerung the chief doorkeeper, with a staff in his hand and a golden crown on his head, then prince Lothaire, then the Danish king in chrismal robes, and the

Empress Judith, conducted by Matfred, Count of Orleans and Hugo, of Tours, also wearing crowns and gold embroidered garments, then followed Harald's wife, and the Chancellor Fridugis, with a crowd of his scholars in white garments, lastly the rest of the people including the Danes, followed by the great nobles of the Empire clad in their state robes.

Most imposing must such pageantry have been ordinary eyes, but how much more to the We homely experience of the Danish exiles are told how the preacher raised his voice, and bade Harald convert the Danish swords and surely spears into ploughs and reaping-hooks to

!

a cynical address in the presence of the warIt must have been a solemn loving Franks. sight when, placing his hands in those of the Emperor, Harald commended himself and the realms over which he had such a shadowy hold into the

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

101

South Jutland was added to the appanages of the Once more the Frankish sovereign might empire. claim the much honoured style of MeJirer des hands

of

his

suzerain.

formally at least

Reiclis, increaser of the

empire (Palgrave, i. 258). After the state ceremonial came the feast, over

which Petrus, the chief baker, and Gunto, the chief cook, and Otho, the chief butler (no doubt honorary spreading out the napkins with snowy fringes, and laying the victuals on the marble discs. Golden cups were used for drinking. By Louis' side sat his wife Judith, the hated stepofficers), presided,

their

mother

of his sons.

Danes were entertained at a hunt of the wooded islands of the on one royal of and the bears, stags, wild boars, Rhine, spoil and roes was afterwards borne in, in state and divided among the courtiers and others, the clergy, as the old poet remarks, getting their due share. The Emperor, Empress, Lothaire, and Charles, Count Wido, and others were all there, and thus did the first Scandinavian chieftain of high rank After the feast the

formally

forsake

the

faith

of

his

and become a Christian. When Harald had declared himself

forefathers "

the

man "

we read that after the manner of the Franks he was presented with a steed and a set of arms. He also received more valuable gifts, for we are told that the Emperor granted him the district of Rustri, a rich and extensive gau or of the Kaiser,

Pagus, in Friesia, still called Rustringeri or Butyadingerland, in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburgh, at the mouths of the Weser and the Yahde (Vogel, Die Normannen, op. cit., 60).. To this was

added a vine-growing

Ermoldus

calls

it),

district, (" loca vinifera," as district near

probably the

Coblenz, Andernach, and Sinzig, which was after-

1

02

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

wards (namely in 885), claimed by Harald's son Godfred (Kruse, 95). Palgrave has a note on Charlemagne's cultivation of the vine in the Rhine These grants probably had attached to Valley. them the condition that attached to other margraviates, namely, that of defending the borders of the empire against the Danes. At length

departed, accompanied by the monk with Anscharius, appropriate store of sacred vessels, and vestments, priests' books to convert the Danes to Christianity, and to subservience to the Empire (Palgrave, 1,257 see also a long note in Langebek's life of St. Anscharius, Langebek, Her. Dan. Scrip., Ermoldus says that Harald's son and 1,439). remained behind as hostages (v. 629, 630). nephew

Harald

;

On

Harald's return he was accompanied as I

the famous said, by the monk Anscliar, apostle of the North, and his companion Autbert.

have

Their venture and that of Archbishop Ebbo, to referred, were not the first missionary efforts in this direction. As far back as the year 699 the English bishop St. Willibrord had made an

which I have

ineffectual attempt to introduce Christianity into Jutland, but was repelled by the then king of the country, who was called Augandeo (Dahlmann, i. 30, He baptized thirty Danish boys, who he note). would form the nucleus of a Christian hoped community. Among these, tradition makes out was St. Sebald, who in the legend is called a son of a Danish (Dahlmann, i. 30, note). king

These earlier efforts, however, seem to have left no fruit behind them, and Anschar may claim the honour of having been the proto-apostle He was born on the 9th of of Scandinavia. 801. September, Having lost his mother when he was five years old he became an inmate of the school attached to the Abbey of Corbey, on the

" Harald Fair hair" and his Ancestors.

103

in Picardy, and was there ten years later he adopted the monkish habit, and when he was twenty was at the head of the school. In 823 he set out with other monks from the same abbey to work in Westphalia, where on the river Weser the Emperor Louis had built several churches" and and there he founded a New monasteries,

Somme,

;

"

as a focus of missionary light. He had Corbey worked in Westphalia for three years, when he received orders from the mother monastery at Corbey to accompany Harald homewards. He declared his willingness to go, and was introduced to the Emperor, and supplied with the necessary articlesvessels, vestments, and books, together with tents and other necessaries, but with no servants, as none volunteered, and he did not wish to constrain any another monk named Autbert (as I have '

;

said),

was

his

only companion

(see

for all

this

Simson, 256,' 266). They were commissioned to take care the converted king did not relapse into his old ways, to instruct him further in the Christian faith, and also to preach to the heathen in Denmark. had a wretched They down the the Rhine, journey past lovely Rheingau and the Drachenfels, and suffered a good deal from the coarse, rude manners of Harald and his comTheir condition was improved, when panions. were they supplied with a separate vessel in which they could stow away their goods, by Hadebald, the Archbishop of Cologne. It contained two small cabins, a luxury unknown to the Danes. These took the king's fancy, and he transported himself into the Erankish ship, and took possession of one cabin but considerately left the other to the two monks. They afterwards gained his confidence and the respect of his people. They went by way of Dorestadt, i.e., W^yk te Doorestede, which was an appanage of Harald i.

;

Saga-Book of the Viking

104

(Fulda

sub

Annals,

ann,

Lech and the Maas

the

Society.

850), and then by into the North Sea.

Coasting along the Friesic shore they arrived at the mouth of the Weser, where Harald's newly granted appanage of Rustringen lay, and then onwards to Harald's frontiers in the south of Schlesvig (Dahlmann,

began

i. 38, 39). his evangelistic work.

There Anschar

Let us now turn from the gorgeous ceremonial at Ingelheim, and its sequel (in which the exile Harald had so freely laid himself and his country at the feet of the Frank Kaiser), to Jutland and its

then rulers.

Adam

Jutland was a rugged, dreary

Bremen describes it in the eleventh century as a huge waste of marsh and sterile land (" POTTO cum omnes tractus Germanic? horreant saltibus, sola est Jutland ceteris horridior"). Cultivation was confined to the river banks, and its farms were wide asunder the population were a and rough, hardy persevering folk, such as the Danes are still fishermen and sailors, much attached to their old creed and customs, and ruled over in great part at this time, as we have seen, by the sons of Godfred. On its borders Anschar now started a school of about twelve boys, redeemed from those of partially consisting Slavery, and partly of those handed over to him by Harald to be educated (Durnmler i. 261). One land.

of

;

can well believe how unwelcome Harald and his Christian proteges would be to this free folk, for he

was

corning to to the

restraint,

tie

their

necks, impatient of car of the great had reached their ears

triumphal

Emperor, whose renown but whose yoke they had not felt about their necks. Nor can we wonder that Christianity coming under Imperial auspices coming, in fact, as the pendent to the chains of subservience to

"

Ha

aid Fairhair" and his Anctstors.

105

the Frank throne should have been received with scorn by the bulk of the people, and that their old thus became a symbol of their faith, which freedom, should have been clung to with the long-

enduring affection which the Saxons.

it

was by

their neighbours

In 827 we read that the Emperor held two general assemblies, one at Nimwegen, the grand fortress whose fragments still remain and command the course of the Lower Rhine, and the other at The former was held to meet the Compiegne. wishes of Eric the son of Godfred, who had promised to attend it in person (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 216 Kruse, 104). These promises are styled " falsas pollicitationes," which show that he did not go. The sons of Godfred (no doubt including Eric), in fact, expelled Harald once more from ;

"

de consortio regni is the phrase meaning, no doubt, from the joint kingship), so that he must have gone back This doubtless stopped evangelistic to Friesia. their borders in Eginhardt ;

work

in

("

Denmark

itself,

but Anschar

continued

two years later he w as abandoned by Autbert, who, no doubt, grew weary of his wretched life of suspense, and returned to Corbey, where he died after a long illness, apparently at Easter, 830 (id). We are told that in 828 negotiations had been opened for mutual peace between the Danes and Franks and to arrange the A more likely story is told in the affairs of Harald. Vita. Ludovici, namely, that the Emperor wished to help Harald, and to make a treaty of peace with Godfred's sons, and sent the Saxon counts with him to open negotiations for the return of the latter to South Jutland (Pertz., ii. 621, 632). At this conference nearly all the Saxon counts and the marquises or march guardians were present. But while the to

teach at his school

r

;

Saga- Book of the Viking Society

106

Saxon and Danish lords were treating, Harald, who was doubtless jealous of the peacemaking (which it was apparently arranged should involve the giving of hostages Eginhardt, i. 217), went into and burnt some Danish hamlets. Godfred's sons thereupon an army, crossed the Eider

naturally collected and attacked the

camp planted on

the

other

plundered it and drove the garrison away (Eginhardt, ib., Kruse, 106). This was in 828. Such was the treacherous dealing which sharpened the spears of the Danes when they revenged themselves upon the cities of the Frankish

side,

empire some years later. They behaved meekly enough on this occasion, however, for we are told

by Eginhardt that they sent envoys to the Emperor to explain how they had been driven to the course they took, and were now ready to make amends. The Emperor was satisfied and peace was renewed with them. This account of the transactions, for which we depend entirely on the Frank Chronicles, seems to point to a rebuff and a distinct blow to the prestige of the Empire, and so Simson reads it. A good proof of this is the panic which followed the rumour which was spread in June the next year, i.e. 829, that the Danes were about to invade Saxony Louis sumand were approaching the frontier. moned the Franks from all parts to a general levy, and announced that he intended crossing the Khineat Neus in the middle of July. It was however, a false report. No envoys, came from 7

Danes

conventual this year. (See This is the last notice 218). Eginhardt, Pertz, of the Norsemen by the great chronicler and Their invasions at this biographer, Eginhardt. time were clearly not piratical but legitimate warfare, and meant to create terror in the Empire and prevent its extending northward. They afterthe

to

the

i.

wards degenerated into piracy in consequence

of

"Humid

Fairhair" and

his Ancestors.

107

the successes of the Norsemen. Depping asserts Harald into their land, that they agreed to admit probably to share its government, but I have not traced his authority, nor does this seem probable It is singular that from other considerations. in 829 and 830 there should be no mention of trouble with the Danes by the Frankish writers ;

Harald apparently continued at peace in his holding, and there is no hostile mention in the Frank annals till 834. They may have been raiding elsewhere, for we read that in 830 the island of Herio in Brittany was placed under the special protection of Louis and Lothaire on account of the invasions of the

We now

Northmen (Kruse,

come

to

122).

an incident which shows how

Anschar's mission was more suspected politically than otherwise. While he had to do his missionary work from outside Denmark, envoys came to the Emperor from the Swedes, begging him to send to their country. Sweden of out of reach the probably grasping Frankish empire, and could afford to trust the Anschar volunteered to go. On his missionaries. return thence in 831 it was determined to found a See on the pagan marches by the Elbe, whence the North might be evangelized and he was of accordingly appointed Archbishop Hamburgh. He journeyed to Koine to receive the pallium, and was duly invested with the commission of apostolical legate to the Swedes, Danes, and Slavs. He busied himself with his work, and we are told how he redeemed boys from slavery among the Danes and Slavs, and educated them for the service of God native presbyters such as our missionaries still find so useful in Africa and elsewhere. It is probable that few of the Danes, save exiles and their like, were much influenced by

some

missionaries felt

itself

;

io8

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q/ the

Viking Society.

The converts were no doubt looked his teaching. as political traitors and renegades, and their upon

new

was treated

as a badge of their disloyalty This nest of Christians as well as their apostasy. on the borders of the Eider was a constant menace to the independence of the Danes, a mere imperial outpost at their very threshold. It was doubtless the feeling nursed by these circumstances that caused Christianity and its professors to be so bitterly hated by the corsairs of a few years later, and made so many ruins of monasteries and In our own day the same feeling led to churches. similar cruel persecutions in Japan and China, where indifferentism and toleration in religious matters are tempered by a fierce jealousy of faith

political

propagandism.

the Emperor held his third general Thionville (Theodonis villa, called placitum Diedenhofen by the Germans). Envoys went there to him from Persia (which seems a long way off), seeking peace. There also went others

In 831

at

from theDanes (no doubt from Eric's subjects), who, having renewed their pact with the empire, returned home (Annales Bert. Pertz, i, 424 Kruse, 113). I have already remarked how the early Danish attacks upon the coasts of the empire were far from being mere individual acts of piracy, and were deliberate acts of war, differing from the contemporary wars of the Franks only in This is clear being sea fights and not land fights. when we consider that whenever there was peace between the Imperial ruler and the Danish king and envoys were exchanged, we read of no attacks on the coasts, but these only occur when there was a feud between the two powers. In England and Ireland matters were very different, as we The view here urged is shall presently show. ;

;

" Harald Fait hair" and his Ancestors.

109

supported by the further fact that the assaults upon the coasts of the mainland of Europe, when they recommenced, were directed not against the empire itself, but against the fief granted to

Harald and

his family. They continued, in fact, the long strife between the sons of Godfred and their rivals which we have traced out.

There

is

good reason

for believing that besides

the gau of Rustringen, the greater part of Friesia and of modern Holland were under the immediate authority of Harald and his relatives (Theganm

Hludovic Imp, Pertz, ii, 597 Kruse, 89) and accordingly read that in the year 834 the Danes, (i.e., the Danes of Jutland), devasted a portion of Friesia* and having doubtless mounted the old course of the Rhine, now called the ''Oude Rhyn," they reached Vetus Trajectum, i.e., Utrecht, and then passed on to the great mart of those parts, which gave its name to the district namely, Dorestadt. This was a famous trading centre where the Carlovingians had a mint, of which many coins are extant, and, according to the life of Anscharius, there were fifty-five churches and a crowd of clergy there. So famous was it as a religious centre that pilgrims visited it like they did the most holy places elsewhere, and a church was placed as its emblem on its coins (Depping,

vita

;

;

we

* Friesland says Vogel, especially that part of it extending from the Vlie to Sinkfal near Sluis, in regard to trade and industry, was certainly one of the most prosperous and progressive parts of the Empire, as well as one of the most fertile. With the exception of the Jews, the Friesians were the principal traders in Europe. are told that the fairest portion of Mainz, then the great Mart where the trade routes from the Danube and Italy met, was inhabited by Friesians (A. Fuld, There were Friesian traders at St. Denis (Bouquet, v. 699 and 887). vi. 466) Muhlbach 75 also at York (Altfridus Vit. Luidgeri i. 11 S. S. ii. 40). Friesic fabrics were well known as far as the East. Thence there came too weapons and other kinds of smiths' work from the Rhine and the Belgian towns, so especially did wine, not only for drinking but for the ritual of the church. Thither also came wool from England, furs from the far north, and spices from the Levant (Vogel, 66).

We

;

;

;

1

Saga- Book of the Viking

10

Society.

It was situated at the point where the Lech and the old Rhine diverge, and is now

81, 82).

represented by the village of Wyk te Doorestede, the Vicus Batavorum of Tacitus (Depping, loc. oil.). It was doubtless the metropolis of Harald's and the of dominions, great focus light, learning, and wealth for all Friesia. f Here the Danes now

committed great ravages, pillaging the town and slaughtering its inhabitants. They then passed to Kynemarca, i.e., the Dutch province of Kennemerland, where they destroyed the church of St. Adelbert the Confessor cut off the head, as it is said, of the holy Jero at Niortich, i.e., Noortwyk op Zee, and ruined the very strong castle of Aurundel, near Varenburg, i.e., the rude old castle ;

formerly called Hadriani Forum, near Leyden. They slaughtered a great number of the inhabitants, including Theobald and Gerald

at Voorburg,

(doubtless

two

of

the

chief

inhabitants),

and

The annals of t Its fame as a trading mart was wide spread. Xanten, under the year 834, call it Nominatissimum Vicum, Liudger, Vita. Gregorii abb Traject, C 5, S. S., xv. 71 speaks of it as vicum famosum Dorstad, see Urk., Karls d Gr. 8 June, 777, Muhlbach 21. First that along the Rhine Three great trade routes met at Dorstadt which connected Mainz \vith the outer world, and which also tapped the valley of the Danube and that which traversed Mont Cenis into Italy secondly, the English trade by way of the Maas and the Lech thirdly, the Scandinavian and Baltic trade which went along the Krumman Rhine by Utrecht, through the Vecht, the Zuyder Sea and between :

;

;

the Friesian Islands and the mainland to Schleswig. It is unlikely there was in old times an opening from the Rhine for ships at Katwyk. The traders went to the North by the Vecht (See Berg. Geogr. Ned., 62, 63) Dorstadt was one of the important stations where the excise dues were collected. In a document of the Emperor Louis dated June 831 (Muhlbach, 890) relating to the City of Strasburg it is stated that its goods were toll-free except at Quentovic Dorestadt and Sclusae. Sclusae says Vogel does not mean Sluys but a place on the Mont Cenis route. This is a proof that the people of Strasburgh at that time traded between Lombardy, England, and Denmark (Op. cit., 66 and 67; for other references (see especially Passio. S. Frederici Episc. Tree., c. 19, A. SS., xv. 354). See also acts of St. Frederick, bishop of Utrecht and martyr (Dom These annals call them Danes the Annals of Xanten Bouq., i, 339). pagans while the Fuldea Annals call them Normanni. ;

;

;

t(

Harald Fairhatr" and

his Ancestors.

many of the women and (Magnum Chron. Belgicum,

carried off

in

children into

ap. Pist. 65 he does not know whence these details were derived, but does not doubt they are trustworthy.

captivity

Kruse,

119).

Kruse

;

says

This attack was doubtless directed against what Eric and his people must have deemed the traitorous colony on his frontier, the pestilent pretenders to his throne, and the servile creatures of the Empire. It was repeated the next year when they again ravaged Dorestadt, whereupon the Emperor Louis, who held a council at Cremica on the Rhone, (in Stremiaco Kruse, 121, and note 3 ;

and was no doubt Vogel, 69 says at Dramades) to fear for his own borders, repaired beginning to Aachen, and set the maritime or coast guards in order (Prudent. Trecen., Pertz., i. 429 Annales ii. 226 Kruse, 121). Xantenses, Pertz, ;

;

,

Prevost. (Ord. Vit. i. 158, note), says that in 830 Louis and Lothairs authorised the construction of a fortified wall about St. Filibert's monastery contra piratarum incursiones. Wala of Corbey was exiled to Noirmoutiers in 830, and released thence in 834, showing it was intact at the latter date.

In 834 the

monks

of Noirmoutiers are said, of the consequence invaders, to have left their island and monastery, taking with them the relics of St. Filibert, which had been seen there by Wala of Corbey when an outcast (Ann. Engol, 834

in

;

Ann. Aquit. 830; Pertz., ii. 252; Dummler, i. 188 Simson ii. 129.

xvi.

485;

;

On

the 20th August, 835. Count Rainald of Herbauge (Arbatilwensis comes] inflicted a severe defeat on the invaders Ann. Engol. 835 Chron. Aquit. 835, 836 Ademar, iii. c. 16 ; Tran. St. ,

;

;

112

Saga-Book of the Viking Society.

The Abbot ErmenFilibert, Mabillon, iv. 536. tarius in his account of the translation of the saintsays the battle began at nine and went on to and the pirates lost nine ships, 484 of them were killed, and only one of the Franks. Some knights were wounded and many horses killed. He adds that Rainald himself was defeated in a

vespers,

843 against Lambert. Simson, whether the count fight in

It

is

was

not clear, says victorious

or

The Ann. Engol. simply speak of the fight. not. Ademar says the Count was beaten, which is confirmed by the fact that Abbot Hilbod the year following sought protection for the island in Aquitaine.

from Pepin,

We

are

told

that

in

836

Hilbod

repaired for aid against Pepin, With the repeated attacks of the Northmen. consent of the bishops, abbots, counts, and other faithful ones, it was decided that the bones of St. Filibert should be transferred to a safer place. On the 7th June they were disinterred and taken to the Monastery of Deas on the mainland, whence to

in

Aquitaine, to ask

they were moved to Burgundy in 875 (Simson, 143, note 5).

In the same year (836) the Danes (one account says, in conjunction with the Saxons, probably the Nordalbingians Kruse, 125), once more ravaged Dorestadt and Friesia. On this occasion they burnt the town of Antwerp and a trading mart at the mouth of the Maas, which the chronicler calls Witla, and which Kruse identities, with some probability, with Briel (op. cit., 125) and imposed Then mounting the tribute on the Friesians. of the town reached Doorne(Turinum), they Scheldt, where was situated the monastery of St. FredeThere they burnt and destroyed the gand.

" Haratd Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

113

monastery, killed part of its inmates, and carried but the relics of the saint had rest; been transferred to a place of safety. meanwhile, went to Mechlin, laid then waste the They church of St. Rumold, and devastated the If we are to believe town with fire and sword off the

the

life

of St.

Gommar, when

monastery and

that

miraculously put out.

the

Danes came

to

the roof, it was only increased the

set fire to

This

anger of the pirates, who broke into the church and killed the priest Fredegar at the altar. The

same work goes on

to say that as they bore off the booty to their ships, two of their chiefs, named

Keolfus and Reginarius, came to an untimely end. Reolfus burst his stomach, and his bowels fell out and Reginarius, being deprived of his sight, perished miserably.

;

This story is derived from the life of St. Gommar, abstracted by F. Haranis (Ann. Brabant, i. ()7 see Langobek, i. 519; Kruse, 125). It is and we crave although singularly interesting, permission entirely to doubt the tale of the death of the two chiefs as related in it, there can be small doubt ts is an otherwise truthful record and ;

;

the names, especially, I believe to be most I shall revert to them on another authentic. I would remark that in this invasion the occasion. Danes clearly overstepped the limits of the fief which had been granted to Harald, and crossed the In September, 836, Eric sent imperial borders. to the envoys placitum which Louis held at Worms to tell the Emperor that it was contrary to his wish that his borders had been attacked and that be had had nothing to do with it, which as I beleive was true. Eric in fact complained that

some

of

his

own men had been put

to

Saga-Book of /he Viking

i

i.j.

Socie/v.

death near Cologne. These .envoys secured the punishment of the offenders (Prud. Tr. Pertz., i. 430 Depping, 83). Later in the year envoys " again came from Eric asking for the wehrgeld," or blood money, for the murdered Danes (Pru. ;

of Tr. ler,

Pert/,.,

430; Siinson, i. 430); DummPrudentius thus reports the Horih rex Danorum, per leyatos

i.

266, note.

i.

*SW et suos in eodem pktcito amicitiw alqne obedieutiae fouditiones m and am, se nullatenus eorum importnnitatibus assenmm praebuisse textatus, de suoruw ad imperatorem missornw intefectione conqueztm rst, qui dndnni circa Cotouiam Agrippinam quorundani event.

p'-n>$ui)iptionv neenti

inipvrator, ?/.'ttis

eal

niissis

fiterant

;

quorum necew Iwjfitin j

ad hoc snlnw

(Prud. Pertz.

i.

430).

In 837 we find the sea rovers again attacking the fief of the exiled Danish princes, and making a descent on the island of Walichra (i.e., Walicheren), where, on the 17th June, they killed Eggihard or Eckhart, the count of the district, and Hemming the son of Halfdane, who was, as I believe, the " brother of Harald, a Dane and a most Christian chief

"

as

he

is

called

by

(Ex stirpe Thegan says

Thegan,

Danorum dux

Ckristianissimus). of Christians with many then fell while others were captured ? grandees The invaders also and afterwards ransomed. carried off many women and large numbers of

an innumberable number

different

kinds (diversi

generis)

of

cattle

(Ann.

Xantenses Simson, ii. 168, notes 1 and 2). They afterw ard again ravaged Dorestadt, and having collected black-mail, or tribute, from the Friesians they retired (Thegani vita Ludovici, Pertz, ii. 604; Prud. Tree., Fuldensian Annals, Pertz, i. 361 i. had Dorestadt 430; Kruse, 126, 127). Pertz, r

;

**

Harald Fairhair" and

his Ancestors.

been a rare mine

for

coins struck

have been

there

the

invaders,

115

and many

found in Scandi-

On the news of this last (Depping, 83). the invasion, Emperor Louis, who had determined upon spending the winter in Italy, altered his plans and went to his palace at Nimvegen, not far from Dorestadt. There he held an inquiry into the conduct of those who had had charge of the coasts, and who explained that their forces had been too weak and had also been thwarted by their subordinates. He appointed certain counts and abbots to repress this insubordination, and to prepare a fleet to cruise on the coasts of Friesia navia

The (Prud. Tree,, Pertz, i. 430; Kruse, 127). Friesians had proved very lax in making preparations and some officials were specially sent to press them to do their duty (see Prud. Tr.) But the weakness of the Empire was at its very heart. It was the quarrels and dissensions of Louis' sons which really gave rise to it. The old man, in his various schemes of dividing the empire so as to find a portion for the child of his old age, Charles, and of his second wife, Judith, aroused the jealousy and hatred of his other sons. In 838 the Emperor remained at Nimvegen, " where he held his so called May-meeting" in June, so as to overawe the invaders, and to repair the damage they had done in previous years. They did not make an attack this year but, according to Prudentius, it was because their fleet was dispersed and destroyed by a storm ortoqne subito mariUm;

oruni fliictunm turbine, vix paiicissimis evadeiitibus, mbmer.ri xnnt (Prudentius Tree., Pertz. i. 431, 432).

While Louis was at Attigny, envoys went to him from Eric, saying that out of devotion to the Emperor he had imprisoned the authors of the recent raids and had ordered them to be put to death (capias

1

1

6

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

and asking that he would make over to him the country of the Friesians and the Obotriti. The former, as M. Kruse says, seems to hove been treated by the Northern kings as a dependence of their empire, and was so held especially by Godfred, the contemporary of Charlemagne; while a section of the Obotriti were colonists settled at the instance of the great Emperor in the country of the Nordalbingian Saxons, who were also more or less dependent on the Danish This claim of Eric's proves that he sovereigns. was becoming a much more important personage in European affairs, and also that the Empire was rapidly weakening. It was treated, however, by the imperial authorities with contempt and disdain This (Prud. Tree., Simson, op. cit., iii. 189). year ships were built against the Northmen (see An. Fulden. also Ann. Eertin.) At a diet held at Nimvegen at the same time a great "relief" was distributed to the maritime districts, which had the invasion of the Danes suffered through Simson suggests that the de(Ann. Bertin.). mand was made to provide the wehrgeld for the murdered envoys and suggests a lacuna in the et interfid JUHSOX)

;

MS.

189, note.

ii.

The following visited

by

its

year, i.e., in 839, Friesia was usual scourge (Prud. 839 Quidum :

etiam pirate in quandam Frlmae part em irnientefi non pa-rum incomtnodi nostris fin.ibux intnlerunt}. As usual distinction seems to have been made

empire and the empire itself, year envoys went to the who from were accompanied by the Eric, emperor latter's nephew, doubtless Roric. They were gladly and complained received and rewarded, (hilariier)

between

this outlier of the

for

the

same

of the Friesians, (see Prudentius, Tr.,

Simson,

ii.

217, 218).

acl.

an.,

The emperor then

and sent

!

" Harald Fairhair ^ and his Ancestors.

117

envoys to Eric who secured, as was hoped by the Franks, a lasting peace ratified by oaths Prud. Tree., Pertz, i. 434436; Kruse, (id. The Annales Eluon. Pertz., v. 1 2 133, 134). 1

Nonnaiud in Walacliriu Dummler, 188, note 19. interfuenmt Francos This invasion is probably that dated wrongly in 840 in the Chron. Norm. (Kruse. 140) and which ought Dahlrnann argues that at this to be under 839. time Harald was driven away from Kustringen, and with his brother (? nephew) Borik retained only Dorestadt (i. 43). say that in May, 839.

;

It

was about a year before his death, i.e., 839, le Debonnaire made the tenth of his

that Louis

the empire among his sons, the tenth of those arrangements which were being constantly altered, and which became the seeds of so much bitter contention in later days. The portion of Lothaire the eldest, included, according to Prudentius of Troyes, the kingdom of Saxony, with its marches, the duchy of Friesland as far as the Maas, and the counties of Hamarlant, Batavia, Testerbant, and Dorestadt (Kruse, 133). That is, it included the districts which had been granted to Harald and Eoric as appanges. The old emperor spent the few months which remained to him in suppressing the revolts of his sons Pepin and Louis the German. .He afterwards summoned a Diet at Worms, on the Feast of St. liumbold, the first day of July, 840. "But,"" to quote the picturesque sentences of PalLouis le Debonnaire the end was nigh. grave, never saw any of his children again. At Frankfort on the Maine he stayed his progress it was The season had springtime, past Whitsuntide. been rendered awful on the eve of the Ascension the sun was totally eclipsed, and the stars shone with nocturnal brightness. His stomach refused dispositions of

;

;

Saga- Book

ii8

oj

the

Viking Society.

nourishment, weakness and languor gained upon him uneasy and seeking rest the sick man fancied that he would pass the approaching summer upon the island which, dividing the heavily-gushing Rhine, is now covered by the picturesque towers of the Pfaltz and he desired that a thatched lodge, or leafy hut, should be there prepared, such as had ;

;

served for

him when hunting in the forest, or as a Lying on his couch, he longed

soldier in the field.

for the soothing music of the gurgling waters the freshness of the waving wind. Thither he

and was

conveyed, his bark floating down from stream to stream. Many of the clergy were in attendance ;

others, his brother, Archbishop Drogo, at this time held the office of Arcliicapellanus ;

amongst

who

and it was he who received the last injunctions which the son of Charlemagne had to impart. His imperial crown and sword he gave to Lothaire, with the earnest request that he would be kind and true to Judith, the widowed empress, and keep his word and promise to his brother Charles. Dying of inanition the bed of the humble and contrite sinner was surrounded by the priests, who continued in prayer with him and for him till he expired. Louis the Emperor died on the third Sunday in June, and his corpse was removed to Metz and buried in the basilica of St. Arnolph, without the walls" (Palgrave, i. 309). The weak and foolish old man, as he had now become, who was laid under the ground in the year 840, was the last sovereign who ruled over the Its incongruous entire heritage of Charlemagne. elements now fell asunder, and fell very naturally into fragments coincident largely with peculiarities It was perhaps well that the of language, &c.

mere pretence which bound together Frenchmen and Germans, Italians and Aquitanians, under one It led however to government should cease.

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

119

disastrous results in the internecine struggle of those who divided to the Empire and the opening of the gaping wounds which the Northern pirates utilised

without stint presently.

For some years the Dane Harald does not appear in the Annals, and it would seem from the narrative of Prudentius of Troyes, confirmed by Saxo (Kruse, 142), that he had relapsed to paganism, perhaps with the sanction, or even by the advice, of Lothaire (Prud. Tr., Pertz, i. 437, 438) at all events Count Nithard the Royal historian (probably a grandson of Charlemagne), tells us Lothaire ;

subsidized

the

Norsemen, and incited

them

to

plunder the Christians. To Lothaire he remained faithful to the end, and the last time he is mentioned is when, after the terrible defeat of the Emperor by his brothers at Fontenoy, Lothaire planted guards at Coblenz to defend the passage of the Moselle against the victors. Among whom were Otgar, Bishop of Mainz, Count Hatto, and Harald. They were not strong enough to offer

and withdrew (Nithard, Pertz. ii. Harald the exile, the godson of the Emperor Louis at Mainz, the rival of the Jutish King He seems to Eric, now disappears from history. have died about this time), probably, like others, a victim of the disaster at Fontenoy. We are told that after living on good terms with the Franks for many years, he was put to death by the Marchiones or Marquises, the custodians of the frontier, from a suspicion that he was having treacherous communications with his countrymen

real

resistance

067)

;

(Euod. Fuld. Kruse, 206).

He had prominent century.

Pertz,

i.

367,

see

sub

an.

850;

lived a curiously romantic life and is a figure in the history of the ninth He was doubtless the Harald Klak of

12d

Sag a- Book of the Viking

Society.

Vogel says, whether his brother Rorik succeeded to his dominions is (? nephew) doubtful. Later he is found in conflict with Lothaire (op. cit. 86).

the Saga writers.

We of

isle

are

now

told that

Lothaire granted the

Walcheren (Gualacras) and other neigh-

bouring districts to Borik (Prudentius v. 41 Nithard, iv. ch. 2), and thus added the mouth of the Scheldt to his other possessions in Kustringen and Dorestadt.^ He in fact now probably dominated over the whole country inhabited by Frieslanders, from the Elbe to the Scheldt. ;

In this narrative

it has not been possible to the of the special rulers of Westseparate doings fold from those of their brothers the annals " in the sons of them the phrase group together ;

4

G-odfred," nor yet has it been possible to separate the doings of the rival clans who followed the standards of the sons of Halfdane and Godfred rival (i.e., Gudrod), respectively representing the houses of the Scioldungs and the Ynglings. I

have deemed

it

best in this

monograph

to report

the doings I could meet with about both of them, and to unite them together by their interI must now return to course with the Empire. all

Westfold and

Two

its special rulers.

Hamming, called HancHakon) and Angandeo (Angantyr) by Bginhardt, are mentioned among the envoys sent by him to the Frank emperor in 811. These three \\iii

other brothers of

(i.e.,

brothers

\vnv

probably

the

sons

of

Eystein,

* Perhaps the most notable feature of these cruel raids was the fate which now overtook Dorestede, which went down from the position of a In 1842, 1845 and 1846 great mart to a mere obscure trading place. excavations were made there and a large number of coins were found. Some dated from Merovingian times, but the great bulk were coins of The Pepin, Charles the Great, Louis the Pious, and Lothaire. excavations also proved that the place had been destroyed by fire and

doubtless at some date during the years 834

837.

*'

Haratd Fuirhair

"

and

his Ancestors.

121

Gudrod's predecessor. A fourth brother was doubtthe Sigurd who fought against Harald and Kaginfred in 812. In that battle, where, according to the Frank historians, more than 10,000 men perished, it would seem that Gudrod's nephews who fought for the heritage of Hemming were all killed, for they are not again named in history. less

Especially

is it

notable that Olaf, the reigning is not mentioned by

Westfold at this time, name by the Franks.

ruler of

The

victors in the great fight were

Harald and

Raginfred, the sons of Halfdane, and the meaning of the struggle is that for a short time the Sciol-

dungs resumed their supremacy in Denmark and the Ynglings were thrust out. Having secured the throne, the two victors sent to ask the emperor for the release of their brother Hemming, who was allowed to go back with their envoys. On his arrival they were absent, having gone to Westerfuld, which lay, we are told, beyond their kingdom, between the north and west, and looking towards Britain. There is no doubt they had gone to Westfold to complete their victory over the family of Godfred (Gudrod) by an attack upon its special heritage.

We

are

told

they reduced the chiefs

and people of Westfold to obedience. This very year, however, namely in 813, Godf red's sons, together with not a few of the Danes who had sought refuge among the Sueones or Sw edes, collected their forces from all sides, and were joined by a great crowd of people from all th< land of the Danes. Having fought a battle with Harald and Raginfred, they drove them out of the kingdom with little trouble (Eginhardt, Pertz, i. 200). Here, then, we have the Yngling dynasty once more reinstated reinstated in the persons of Godfred's sons. Who, then, were these r

Saga- Book of the Viking Society

122

sons ? The Frank annalists mention one only by name, namely Eric, although they tell us he had in fact five sons. One of them is stated to have been killed in 814 in a struggle with Harald Klak. In 819 four others are mentioned, two of whom are said to have shared the kingdom of Denmark \vith Harald, while the other two were driven out from the kingdom (Eginhardt, Annales Pertz, i. Of the two who stayed, Eric was no doubt 208). one the name of the other is not forthcoming in any of the annals. ;

The Ynglinga Saga says Olaf was twenty when Gudrod died, and that he divided the dom with his young brother Halfdane. He

old

years kinglived

at Geirstad, which is supposed to have been on the site of a farm now called Gierrestad, in the parish of Tiolling, where Skiringsal is also situated

(Aal's Heimskringla,

liv.

note).

A curious legend is reported of Olaf, namely, that he once dreamt that a great black and vicious ox came into the land from the east, whose poisonous breath killed a number of men, and eventually his

whole

court.

He

thereupon

summoned

at Gierstad, before

which

a lie

great Thing-assembly interpreted the dream as meaning that a terrible pestilence would arrive from the east which would first destroy a great number of people, then the court, and lastly himself. They decided that the whole assembly should set to work and erect a vast mound on a neighbouring tongue of land, and plant a hedge round it so that no cattle could traverse it. In this mound all the dead were to be buried, and every illustrious man was to have half an ore of Olaf ordered that he himsilver buried with him. self should also be put in the mound, and that no blood offering or sacrifice should be made after his

death.

The dream was duly

fulfilled,

and he was

" Harald Fairhair'" and his Ancestors.

123

he had ordered, in the mound. The the last to die and were taken unto the mound, and he himself was then quickly laid " the house," beside them with much treasure and His closed. was the tomb, injunction about the i.e., buried, as

king's men were

however, disobeyed, and a sacrifice was as the guardian of the frontier and the tutelary spirit of the district, whence he was afterwards called Geirstad Alf (Aal's Heimskringla, Munch quotes this Saga from the liv. note). account of Olaf in the Flatey-bok,' and from He adds that the story of Olaf the Saint's Saga. the dream and the pestilence was not very old, or sacrifice was,

offered to

him

'

Thiodwolf, who dedicates his Ynglingatal to Rognvald, Olaf's son, would have menioned it while he tells us, on the contrary, that he died from a disease in his foot (? the gout), and that he We must was buried in a mound at Geirstad. remember, however, that we only have fragments Munch urges of Thiodwolf's original poems. that the Saga was probably manufactured out of the fact that he was generally looked upon as a protector of the frontier, or else made up merely ;

suit his great mound at Geirstad. Another Saga, reports how the sword Baesing, which was afterwards called Hneitir, was dug up out of Olaf Geirstad Alf's mound and presented to another Olaf

to

Saxo, who habitually transother foreign princes to Denmark, states that this Olaf was buried at Lethra in a mound called after him. The mound referred to was known as Olshoi, and doubtless belonged to some other Olaf. Thiodwolf's verses about King " Olaf read thus in Vigfusson's translation. And the shoot of the tree of Woden's son Treythrone in Norway, Anlaf, (i.e., Olaf), once ruled Upsa, Vithi

(Munch,

fers

the

ii.

162, 163).

stories

about

(Wood), Groen and Westmare. He reigned till gout was fated to destroy the war dealer at the land's '

'

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Saga-Book of the Viking

24

Society.

the shore). Now the doughty king of lying with a barrow over him at Geirstad. He was succeeded by his brother Halfdane, called " the Black from the colour of his hair (Ynglingatal Corp. Poet., i. 251). Westmare is familiar enough, Groen is no doubt Gronland, the land of the Grens, or Graeini, the Granii of Jornand.es, Upsi, is not named elsewhere.

thrum

hosts

(i.e.,

is

Olaf s son and successor in Westfold, and perhaps Greenland (Ibi
The

:

King Harald. It reads surname that I know any king-

his suzerain,

fication of "

best

under the blue sky has borne, the Lord i.e.,

of ruin called thee

King Harald Fairhair,

is

that

when Keagnaldr

Fair Hair Corpuscle,"

251.

the Black we enter upon a new no longer have Norwegian history.

With Halfdane phase the

of

We

poem

of

thread^ the

number

Thiodwolf story

of details

to a period

but

;

of

Hwin upon which

to

on the other hand, the

shows that we are getting nearer

when

traditions of a trusty character

examine what materials and what The only contemporary authority they possess. ones that we could expect to meet with would be songs or productions of the skalds, and genealyet begun to be ogies, for prose history had not T North. e have no poems in the composed abounded.

Let us

first

are available for a history of Halfdane,

W

relating to Halfdane, although we know the name of at least one Skald, namely, Audun Illskaelda, who lived at his court, and doubtless wrote about

famous doings (G. Storm, Snorre Sturlason's We can only recover such Historieskriving, 112). his

" Harald frairhair"

and

his Ancestors.

125

legends and traditions as were incorporated in histories by the prose-writers. .Of these the first in date and importance, \vas Ari Frothi, " in whose Landnama-bok," as well as the supplement called "Mantissa/' we have three references to Halfdane. Ari also wrote interesting " " a Konungatal," contained in the Islendingatheir

now

and

of which an epitome, generally Libellus," is alone available. " Ari's Konungatal is referred to in his preface by Snorri. It was probably the basis of Ari's own Saga of Halfdane the Black in the Heirnskringla. " next have a notice of Halfdane in the Konungatal," or collection of Lives of the Kings, cited in modern times as " Aagrip," of which Dr. Yigfusson says it comprises short lives of the kings of Norway

bok,"

lost,

as Ari's quoted "

"

We

from Harald Fairhair to King Sverri, 1180 adding that it is a very early work and closely connected " with Saernund and Ari, from whose Konungatal," " " in the lost Liber Tslandorum it may have been Storm has copied (Sturlunga Proleg., Ixxxvii) ;

;

given a critical notice of the work (HistorieskrivIt w as probably composed in 28). ning, 25 Iceland about the year 1190. Another book which " dates from an early period is the so-called Fagr" the modern name," says skinna," or Fair Skin " Vigfusson, for "Aettartal Noregs Konunga (so it r

inscribed in Codex A), or Noregs Konungatel (as inscribed in Codex B), an independent compendium of the kings' lives from Halfdane the Black to

is

who

reigned 1135 1177, to which later was Saga apparently intended to serve as an introduction. It was preserved only in Norse veil urns (destroyed in 1728), and must have been -compiled by Norwegians from Icelandic sources. The style in many places resembles that of the Northern version of the story of Barlaam and Josaphat dating from the days of Hakon the Old, Sverri,

it

1

26

Saga-Book of the Viking Society

we can identify it with the work read to as he lay dying (Hakon's Saga). Sverri This King follows both from the place of its beginning, and also Moreover,

took to read through, which correspond " Fagrskinna." (Sturlunga Proleg., Ixxxvii and Ixxxviiij. Lastly, we have the story of Half dan e as told by Snorri. This occurs in two recensions one is contained in the well-known "Flateybok," which is so called from having been discovered in the Isle of Flato in Breidanord, in Iceland, in 1651 It is an Icelandic manuscript, written for Jon Hakorisson in the years 1379 80, and contains the lives of at all events the later kings more fully than in the epitome (which is known as the Heimskringla"), and with which the name of Snorri is alone legitimately connected. the time

it

exactly with

:

:

'

Let us proceed with our story. Halfdane the Black, as we have seen, was the son of Gudrod by his second wife Asa, the daughter of Harald liii). Eodskeg (Redlip), king in Agder (Ynglinga, " In the "Mantissa" or appendix to the Land" as Halfdane the narna," he is referred to Black,

Leoma"

king

of

the

Uplands,

son

He was

of

Gudrod

only a year (Op. cit., 385). old when his father died, and his mother took him to Agder and there he occupied the kingdom which belonged to her father (Heirnskringla, Harald the Munch says, very truly, that as Black's Saga, i.). we meet with independent kings of Agder in the reign of Halfdane's son and successor Harald Fairhair, it seems to follow that Halfdane did not It is even rule over the whole of that district. as a he that merely reigned dependent probable or subordinate ruler to his older brother Olaf. are told he grew up as a stout, strong man, and was called Black from the colour of his hair. When he was eighteen years old he

We

'*

Harald Fairhair

^

and

took his heritage (whatever

on

his

own

shoulders, and

his Ancestors.

127

it might be) in Agder also claimed his own

dominions, which, we read, his elder brother Olaf divided with him. According to the Heimskringla, Olaf took the eastern (? northern) part, and he the southern. This seems a mistake the southern part of Westfold was the kernel of the kingdom where Skiringsal was situated, the residence and buryingIt is hardly likely that place of the kings. Olaf would surrender this to his younger brother, and it is much more probable that Halfdane's near of Westfold, portion lay in the north to Vinguhnark, whither he first turned his arms. The mistake is a very pardonable one in an author Munch This is my view. writing in Iceland. in the and says that accepts the statement Saga, Olaf probably chose for himself the part of Westfold which was the nearest to the district of Gronland, over which he inherited a special claim. He suggests that he received Gronland with a daughter of larl Nerid, whom he may have share

his

of

father's

:

perhaps his father Gudrod had a one of his wives (Munch, 161 2). This view involves two

married,

or

daughter

of the iarl for

op.

ii.

cit.,

unverified postulates.

We

know

little

of

what

happened during Halfdane's reign.

The same autumn that he acquired his share Westfold ho took his men to fight against King Gandalf of Vingulmark, who had, as we have seen, recovered thatprovince from Halfdane's brotherOlaf. After fighting several battles, with varying success, it was at length agreed that he should retain that of

.portion of Vingulmark which father Gudrod. The district of

had belonged to his Eaumariki had been subdued by Sigtryg, the son of King Eystein, who was then living in Hedemark, (by whom Eystein,

1

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Saga-Book of

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Viking Society.

of the Uplands, is doubtless was fought with him, which Halfdane won, and we are told Sigtryg was killed by an arrow which struck him under the arm as his troops were trying to fly. Halfdane thus secured Raurnariki but no sooner had he returned from this expedition than Eystein Sigtryg's father, who was then king in Hedernark, marched to Raumariki and reconquered the greater portion of it. Halfdane once more set out northwards,

Hogne's son, King meant).

A

battle

;

drove out Eystein, and compelled him to fly to Hedernark, where he pursued and again defeated him. Eystein now fled onwards to the herse Gudbrand (Id. 171, and note 2), in Gudbrandsdal, (to which he may have given his name), and who was probably one of his most important There he received reinforcements, resubjects. turned to Hedernark in the winter, and f ought with Halfdane on a large island in the midst of the Miosa, or Miosen lake, which is known as Helge Oen, or Holy Island. Guttorm, son of Gudbrand above named, one of the finest men in the Uplands, fell in this struggle. Eystein once more fled to Gudbrandsbal, and sent his relative Halvard Skalk to Halfdane to beg for peace. Halfdane surrendered half of Hedemark to him, which he and his relatives had held before, but retained for himself Thoten and

Hadaland and Land, a district lying between Hadaland and Valdres, and bordering the upper We part of the Randsfiord and its tributaries. are further told he plundered far and wide and became a mighty king. Eystein was probably reduced to the position of an under-king. By these victories Halfdane recovered the greater part of what had been ruled over by his ancestor and namesake, Halfdane Huitbein.

A

curious Saga reports that it was at this time that Hereydal was first settled lv Halfdane's

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

129

commander, a border guardian or marHaving incurred Halfdane's quis (merkesmand}. fled to the Swedish king he had displeasure, he was received in a friendly whom Anund, by manner, and with whom he stayed for some time, until he was obliged to fly again for having seduced With a kinswoman of the king named Helga. in an settled to and he returned Norway, Helga uninhabited valley which was afterwards called From this pair there Heryedal (Heryardalr). frontier

sprang, in the eighth generation, one called Liot Dagson, who built the first church in Heryedal

(Munch, very

ii.

old,

170

and

1).

a

The

Saga seems

to

be

Hornbriot, whose Iceland, is mentioned

Heriulf

grandson Thrase settled

in

"

Peter Clausen has Landnama-bok." to be an indeseems an account which published Heriulf 's of the witness that cause quarrel pendent with Halfdane was his having killed one of the courtiers with a drinking horn, whence his sobriquet of Hornbriot (Id., 170, note 2). The story seems credible enough. On the other hand, we must remember that the name of the dale where Heriulf settled is nowhere given as Heriulfsdal, but Heryedal, and that it is more probably derived from the river Herya, or Heryaa, which flows through it (Munch, ii. 171, and note 2). in

the

Sogn is a remote district of Western Norway, whose name some have derived from a mythical In the old speech, however, it meant king Sokni. a deep or secluded dale, which was doubtless what It included the district really gave it its name. threaded by the famous Sogn fiord, which, with .its

various ramifications,

is

much

the largest fiord

was bounded on the east by the Norway. on the west by the sea, on the north Dovrefell, Firda and on the south by Horda by fylki,

in

It

Saga-Book of the Viking

130

Society.

In the early times it had a wide reputation. has a considerable note on its topography. Aal At the time we are writing about, we are told that Harald Guilskeggr, i.e., Goldbeard, ruled in Halfdane married a daughter of this Sogn. " In the Harald. Landnama-bok," she is called Thora in the King's Lives and the Heimskringla

fylki.

;

is probably a mistake), the latter us further that her mother was called Salvor, and was the daughter of iarl Hundolf and sister of iarl Atli Miove (i.e., the Thin), and of Thurida, who married Ketil Helloflag (Landnama-bok V., chap. xi. ) Hundolf and his son Atli were iarls of Gaular, upon which name Aal has again a

Kagnhild (which

tells

Some would explain it as very long note. referring to the famous Gulatbing-sted in North Hordaland, where the Gulathing's law, to be others again, referred to presently, was enacted as referring to an important district in the Fiala fylki, which lay immediately north of Sogn, and which was so important that the whole fylki was sometimes called by the name. To this latter ;

conclusion, which seems the most reasonable, Aal himself inclines (Aal's Heimskringla, pp. 4345, "

Mantissa," I must add, calls Hunor Fiordom, thus connecting him Iarl dolf, Hunolf with Fiorda fylki, which lies north of Fiala fylki (Op. cit., v. 2). By Thora Halfdane had a son, who was called after his maternal grandfather and brought up at his house. When Harald Goldbeard note).

The

became very weak and

old, having no sons, he dominions to his grandson Harald, who was then but ten years old. Shortly after, he died and his death was followed by that of his daughter, Halfdane's wife, and a year later by that of her son, who was then ten years old, a fact which Halfdane went to Sogn and. has a sinister look.

gave his

" Ha>ald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

131

his son's heir, and, no he appropriated the whole opposition being made, 3 Black's the Saga, chap. 1 kingdom (Halfdane

claimed the district as

;

Landnama-bok

V.,

xi.

1

).

When Halfdane had secured Sogn, he did not incorporate it with his dominions, but appointed his brother-in-law Atli as its iarl. The acquisition of Sogn was an important success, for it was the first portion of Norway on this side of the Dovrefell over which the kings of Westfold gained are told iarl Atli proved a good authority. friend to Halfdane, that he judged the country according to the country's law (i.e., no doubt, according to the G-ulathing's law, which had authority in all this district), and collected scatt, or tribute there, on the king's account (Halfdane the Black's Saga, chap, iii.; Munch, ii. 165). These Scandinavian iarls answered closely to the 'comes] or counts, of the Carlovingian polity. They were administrative officials, who acted as viceroys in their special governments, and collected the taxes -there. They differed from the earlier counts at

We

'

this time in their office being apparently hereditary,

and not merely held during

life.

Having appointed Atli as his deputy in Sogn, King Halfdane returned again to Westfold. The same spring he happened to be in Yingulmark, when a man who had been on guard there came up on horseback and reported that a large army was coming up. It proved to be a considerable force under Hysing and Helsing, the sons of Gandalf. '

'

names are given, apparand Hake, see Munch, They were doubtless bent on

(In the Flatey-bok the ently in error, as Hysing

op.cit.II.166,notel). recovering their former supremacy in Vingulrnark. In the fight which ensued, Halfdane was overpowered by numbers, and fled to the forest, leaving

Saga-Book of the Viking

132

many

of his

numbers

men

Society.

There he was joined by and he again marched against

behind.

of people,

his assailants and a battle ensued at Eyde Sker, or Eidi. The river Glornmen, some distance above its

opens out into a long lake called Oieren, also as Eyyirde vatn, which perhaps preserves the older form of the name while Eid and Eidsberg are names marked on Aal's map, a little south of this lake, which, with the Glommen, separated Vingulmark from Alfheim, and there can be small doubt the battle was fought there. Hysing and Helsing both fell in the struggle, while a third brother fled to Alfheim, and Halfdane occupied all Yingulmark. In 'the Heimskringla we are told that among the victims of the first fight in which Halfdane was defeated was his fosterIn the Flatey-bok,' on father, Oelver the Wise. the contrary, Oelver is made to bring him reinforcements (Munch, ii. 166, note 2; Aal, 45 note). outlet,

known

;

'

As we have seen Halfdane had consolidated a considerable Kingdom and was virtually master of all Norway, east of^ the Keel" as Dovrefell, the Backbone of that country, has been picturesquely The two or three semi-independent called. communities which remained there under their own

rulers

were

insignificant

and

reduced

to

impotence. a lucky marriage, assisted by a strong will, Halfdane had also, as we have seen, secured a foothold on the West of the Mountains and

By

appropriated his father-in-law's realm which was Halfdane thus situated round the Sogn fiord. ruled a very wide district with powerful frontiers. On the east he was protected from Sweden (where King Eric then reigned) by huge forests, on the west by the Dovrefell range and on the north by a stretch of almost unpeopled wild forest land.

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

133

He had consolidated his realm by wise measures and had especially given to it a famous code of laws known as the Heidssaevis or Eidsiva-lag, and also the Sleps-lag.

On the death of his first wife and son Halfdane married again. In regard to his second wife there are two legends. One of them is contained in Fagrskinna,^ which Munch accepts as the a conclusion in which I cannot follow him. It tells us he married Helga, the the

more probable

;

beautiful-haired daughter of the great Herse Dag Frothi, who lived at Thengilstad in Hadaland, and who beside her had a son named Guthorm Raadspake(i.0., wise in counsel, Munch, op. cit. 11.171). In the Landnama-bok and Heimskringla we are told a different story, and one which is certainly vitiated '

'

by anachronisms. They make him marry Ragnhild, a daughter of Sigurd Hiort (i.e., Sigurd, the hart or deer), king in Ringariki, who was, according to the Heimskringla, the son of Helge the Sharp and Aslaug, a daughter of Sigurd the Wormtongued, son of Ragnar Lodbrog. Sigurd Hiort 's

mother

also called Aslaug, daughter of Sigurd the Worm-tongued, in the so-called Mantissa,' an appendix to the Landnama-bok. This statement is most improbable Sigurd the Worm-tongued, son of Ragnar Lodbrog could hardly have been a is

c

:

About Sigurd Hiort we grandfather at this time. are told that many a long Saga was extant inter alia, we read of him that when only twelve years old he killed the Bareserk Hildebrand in single combat with eleven of his companions. He had :

two children, Ragnhild, already mentioned, and Guthorm, who was younger. Perhaps the latter *

This is an independent rescension of the King's lives composed Norway from Icelandic sources and containing materials not found elsewhere. The original MSS. were burnt in the great fire of 1728,

in

but good Copies remain (see Corp. Poet. Bor., introduction p.

2).

Saga-Book

134

of the

Viking Society.

was baseborn, as he did not succeed

to his father's

Ragnhild's mother, we

are again told, was of Harald sister of Thyra Klak, Thyrni, daughter Dannebod, the wife of the Danish king Gorm the

realm.

Old, which is again most improbable, for Thyra is elsewhere said to have had no sister, nor does the chronology allow of such a solution. The motive of the sophistication, as well as of the introduction of Sigurd the Worm-tongued into the story, is probably due, as Munch says, to the wish of the

Northern genealogists to connect the Norwegian kings with the famous stock of Ragnar Lodbrog, and also with that of the Danish Royal family.

was

related of Sigurd Hiort that he heroic and was fond of feats, performed many In beasts. one of excursions these hunting great he rode into the forest as usual, and after riding a long way he presently came out on a piece of cleared land near to Hadaland. There he met the It

Bareserk Hake, who had thirty men with him. They fought, and Sigurd himself fell, after killing twelve of Hake's men. Hake, the champion, lost one hand and had three other wounds. After the fight he went to Sigurd's house, whence he carried off Ragnhild and her brother Guthorm, and took them, with much booty, to Hadaland, where he had many great farms. Ragnhild was then fifteen years

and Guthorm fourteen (ib.\ The Heimskringla says she was twenty years old, and her brother a youth. Hake wished to be married to her, and but his wounds ordered a feast to be prepared healed very slowly, and he had to keep his bed. At this time King Halfdane was in Hedemark at the Yule feast, and one morning he ordered Haarek Gand or the Wolf to take a hundred men, and to " cross the Miosa lake to Hake's house at otten" (i.e., old,

;

break of day

the Icelanders call the interval be-

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors

tween three and op.

cit.,

six in the

morning "otten"-

135

Aal,

46, note), and to bring Sigurd Hiort's to him. He went about this task so quickly

daughter that he had crossed the lake by dawn, and came to Hake's house. They surrounded it, and occupied the doors and stairs, so that his housecarls could not come to the rescue. They then entered his bedroom, and carried off Kagnhild and her brother, and all the goods that were there and they set fire to the housecarls' dwelling, and burnt all the people in it. They then covered over a magnificent waggon, put Kagnhild and Guthorm into it, and drove down upon the ice. Presently Hake woke and them but when he reached the up, pursued ice he turned his sword hilt to the ground, and let ;

;

its point, and thus killed himself. there under a mound. When Halfdane, who was quicksighted, saw the party coming back over the ice with the waggon, he

himself

He was

fall

upon

buried

knew their errand had been successful. He summoned the most distinguished men in the

neighbourhood to a feast, and the same day united himself with Ragnhilcl (Heimskringla, Halfdane the Black's Saga, chap, v., Munch, op. cit. ii. 171 This story, with the exception of the 73). genealogical phrases, which seem to be interpolation, reads as if it were a genuine one, and I don't know on what ground Munch prefers that in the " It accounts, as Munch himself Fagrskinna." for the manner in which says, Ringariki, with its was added to the patrimony of the capital Stein, chiefs of Westfold and for Halfdane's head having been buried at Stein, as we shall see.

Munch draws

attention to the mention of a instead of a waggon sledge having been used for the conveyance of Ragnhild as a suspicious circumstance he also says, truly enough, that unless ;

by

Saga-Book of the Viking

136

Hadaland

in the

the district fylki,

be

it

is

taken

Hedemark.

of

Society.

above notice we are to understand Thoten attached to the Hada

how Ragnhild could the lake from Hadaland to further suggests that it is not

incomprehensible across

He

probable that Halfdane's

position

in

Hedemark

was

sufficiently assured for him to have had the adventure there, and urges that in the oldest form of the Saga the residence of Halfdane was placed, as is natural, in Hadaland, and that he sent across, not the Miosa lake, but the Rands fiord, which traverses Hada fylki, and across which he could see.

Hake's residence, being in that part of the Hada west of the Rands fiord and nearest to RingTo continue our (Op. cit. ii, 173 note).

fylki ariki

story.

Ragnhild was accustomed to dream great dreams. On one occasion she dreamt she was in her herb-garden, when she took a thorn out of her While she was holding this thorn in her shift. hand it grew to the size of a great tree, one end of which stuck in the ground and became firmly rooted, while the other end raised itself so high in the air that she could scarcely see over it, and The under the trunk also became very large. part of the tree was blood-red, the stem beautifully The tree green, and the branches snow-white. had many great limbs, which spread all over Norway, and even further. Soon after this her son Harald 'Haarfagre was born.

Halfdane himself never had dreams. Thinking the strange, he consulted Thorleif Spake, i.e when he wanted that he himself who Wise, replied to have a revelation in a dream used to go to sleep in a swine's sty, which never failed to bring him dreams. The king followed his advice, and he it

,

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

137

dreamt that he had the most beautiful hair that ever was seen, which was so thick that it grew in locks, some of which reached to the ground, some to his calves, others to his knees, others to his hips, to his neck, others again in small knots

some

clung to his head. These locks were of different shades but one of them surpassed all the rest in Halfdane having asked size, beauty and lustre. Thorlief to explain the dream, the latter said it meant that he would have a numerous posterity, and that his descendants would be great people, but not ;

As to the exceptionally long and equally great. beautiful lock, it was explained as betokening king Olaf the Saint (Halfdane's Saga, ch. vii Munch, ii. 175176). It is notable that Halfdane's counsellor was on this occasion called Thorleif Spake and Munch says the name occurs in several generations among the chief advisers of the kings. Thus King Hakon the Good is said to have issued the Gulathing laws on the advice of Thorleif Thorleif Spake again is named in the Spake. reign of Olaf Trygvesson as the ancestor of the famous stock, to which Ragnald the Saint, iarl of the Orkneys belonged (Munch ii. 176 note). all

and

;

A

" Halfdane's death is thus reported. In the spring, when the ice began to be unsafe, he was one day returning from a feast at Brandabu, in Hadaland, and had to cross the Rands fiord. There were many people with him, but most of them were drunk. As they drove across the bight called Rekensvik (a small inlet half-way down on the eastern side of the Rands fiord, taking its name from a farm called Reken which is situated there Aal, op. cit., 48 note) they came to a place where the ice had broken in and a hole had been made for the cattle to drink at, and where the dung having fallen upon the ice the thaw had eaten into

Saga-Book

138 it.

As

the

party

of the

drove

Viking Society

over,

the

ice

broke,

and Halfdane with his father-in-law, Dag Frothe, and twenty-one men were drowned (Fagrskinna, ch. iv. Heimskringla, Halfdane the Black's Saga, ix. Munch, ii. 178). A Saga still extant in chap. Hadaland makes out that Halfdane was drowned ;

;

while returning from paying a visit to a noble lady Hermansrud, west of the Rands-fiord (Munch, He had been a very fortunate king, ii. 178, note 2) and good seasons had characterised his reign, and at

.

he was so highly thought of, that when his body was floated to Ringariki to be buried, the people of most repute from Westfold, Raumariki, and Hedemark, who came to meet it, all wished it to be buried themselves, hoping thus to secure good seasons and crops. It was at last agreed to divide the body into four parts. Ari says the head was laid in a mound at Stein in Ringariki, while those from each of the other districts took home a portion.

among

laid under mounds which were afterwards called Halfdane's Mounds, and sacrifices were

They were

"

The " Flatey-bok agrees long after offered there. with this notice, only replacing Hedemark by while the " Fagrskinna," which has Vingulmark been followed by Munch tells us the head was laid at Skiringsal in Westfold, the entrails at Thengilstad in Hadaland (there was a royal residence there from early times as its very name implies, " Thengil," meaning a king or overlord (Aal, 48 and the body at Stein in Ringariki, where note) Hiort probably had his residence. Nothing Sigurd fate of the fourth portion, and the of said is ;

;

Munch

bourne (Munch,

We

Hedemark was cit., ii. 17980).

suggests that op.

its

probable

must now say a word or two

to fix, as well of the Halfdane's as we can, chronology reign, or, are told at all events, of its beginning and end.

We

" Harald Fairhair " and his Ancestors.

that he was a year old when his father If Gudrod was the same person as

Gudrod

139

died.

Godfred the Danish king who fought against the Franks and who was killed in 810 A.D., then Halfdane was born in 809. Ari says he took possession of his share of Agder when he was eighteen years old, that is in A Saga which I have above quoted brings 827. him into contact, as we have seen, with the Swedish king Anund This Anund is in every probability the Anund, King of the Swedes, men" tioned by Rembert, in his Life of St. Anscharius," whom I mentioned in my paper on the Early History of Sweden, and who flourished about the year 845. The best authorities agree that Harald Fairhair, Halfdane's son, died about the year 933. Ari says he was then eighty-three years old. This puts his birth in the year 850, and as we are told he was ten years old when his father died, we

may approximately So

that, roughly,

that

is,

date this event in the year 860.

Halfdane reigned from 827

860,

thirty-three years.

All these dates hang together, and seem very reasonable. There is only one difficulty namely, that Ari says Halfdane was but forty years old when he died, while this calculation makes him and we have no other resource than to fifty suggest that Ari, in fact, made a mistake of ten years in the life of the king a very small postulate, considering what a remote period his narra;

tive refers to.

Halfdane

is described by Ari as a wise man, of truth and uprightness, who made laws and observed them himself, and obliged others to observe them and, in order that violence should not take the place of laws, he fixed the number of criminal acts recognised by the law, and the wehrgelds or compensations, fines and penalties for each

a

man

;

140

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

one's birth and dignity the Black's Saga, chap, Halfdane (Heimskringla, In a Ari tells us later vii). Saga expressly that the Heidsaevis laws wei'e first established by Halfdane the Black (Hakon the Good's Saga, chap. xi). These laws made up the so-called Selfs Lag and

case according to every

Heidsaevis or Eidsiva Lag.

Munch

derives

Self

from " Sef," Sen" a relative

tentatively "

meaning blood relationship, and so that Selfs lag would mean law of the relatives or of the companions, and Eidsiva the union of Eid. This view is also that of the editors of the Olaf's Saga, Messrs. Keyser and linger and of

Munch (op. cit.. 167 note). The explanation needs a further one as to the meaning of Eid, which will lead us into a somewhat wide digression. Munch has shewn that it was a very early feature of the fylkis in Scandinavia (i.e., the divisions corresponding to the "gaus," or counties, in Germany and England, traces of which remain in the North folk and South folk of East Anglia) to be united in Unions of two or three for religious purposes, and for holding a common Thing, or legislative and while on the other hand there judicial assembly ;

evidence that certain districts, as, for instance, that of the Upper Dales, did not originally constitute separate fylkis at all, but attached themselves to some neighbour for these special is

still retaining their independence as communities. Thus, Vors and Haddingyadal were apparently united in this way to Hordaland, Waldres to Sogn, Osterdal to Raumariki, Southern

purposes,

Thelemark to Westfold, North Western Thelemark and Robygdelag to Ryfylki. It would seem that in early times Fiarda and Sogn fylki were thus united to Hordaland, Agder to Rogaland, and Hada fylki to Raumariki or Hedemark. These

" Harald Fairhair" and his Ancestors.

141

unions seem to point to an early relationship and close kinship among the people who formed them. The so-called Gulathings-law, i.e., code of the

Gula Thing, had authority in all the district from Rygyarbit as far as the frontiers between SondIn the form in which more and Raumsdal. it has reached us it dates from the end of the twelfth century. It was passed at a common Thing at Gulen, in the northern part of North Hordaland. From the so-called Eigla, which was composed at the end of the ninth or beginning of the tenth century, we learn, on the other hand, that at that time the Thing at Gulen had authority only in Horda fylki, Sogn, and Firda fylki. The old Frostathingslaw had authority in Raumsdal and Finmark while the eight fylkis in Throndheim had a similar joint code, and formed a close union. ;

From the remains of the old laws of Viken which are extant in a recension of the twelfth century, it would seem that three fylkis were there united and had a common Thing namely, Ranriki, while Westmare and Vingulmark, and Westfold Gronland either did not belong to the union, or were merely attached to it without forming essential parts of it (Munch, i. 131 132). ;

Munch

considers

Upland fylkis earliest times.

it

formed

At

first,

probable that the inner a close union from the this probably

comprised

only Raumsdal, Gudbrandsdal, and Hedemark but later, as the people of Eauma obtained control of Raumariki, and even further towards the south-west, while Eaumsdal extended its influence beyond the mountains, it came to include the focus and kernel of the Uplands, i.e., the fylkis round the Miosen lake, namely, Heina, Hada, and Eauma. Munch further holds that the general ;

142

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

gathering-place for this union of fylkis was the EidHarde (the modern diocese of Eidsvold), South of

Here we

Lake Miosen.

find

from very early times a

place called Eidsvellir used as the general gatheringIt is marked on the place of the Upland fylkis. "

attached to Aal's edition of The Snorri." Thing held there was called Eidsivathing, and the code of laws enforced there was called the Eidsiva

map

law.

more than probable that the old union of gaus, which had its meeting-place at Eidsvellir, had a law from early times, and it would seem that Halfdane's work was that of a codifier. We have no extant remains of his original code, nor of any of the original codes of Southern Norway, and only It is

such parts as

were incorporated in the later Christian laws. He also probably extended the authority of the Eidsiva lag over a wider area than it had previously embraced namely, over his whole kingdom. In early Norwegian history we meet with three great codes the Frostathing's lag in Nordmore, Raumsdal, and the northern fylkis Gulathing's lag, for the district of the Thrond as far people, i.e., the fylkis from Sondmore ;

as

Eidsivathing's law, The former as Eastland. work of the to Snorri, according

Bygiarbit

for

what

two

is

;

and,

lastly,

known

were, the Good, and the last of Halfdane the Black. This last had authority, as we have in the districts said, immediately subject to Halfthat is to dane, say, Rauma fylki, the greater

Hakon

of Heina fylki, Sand, Hadaland, Westfold, and Vingulmark, and also probably, on the death of his nephew Rognvald, Gronland, Westmare, and

part

the southern part of Westfold, and, in addition, In the northern part of far-off Wermeland.

4<

Harald Pairhair" and

his Ancestors.

143

Harald Fairhair's Saga, chapter xv., it is expressly who was the greatest of the bonders of Wermeland, had formerly been Halfdane the Black's man. In later times the Eidsiva code also had authority in Gudbrandsdal, Osterdal, Thelemark, and Alfheim, and eventually included the district of Yiken, which was originally subject to a Thing of its own, known as the Borgar Thing for we are told that the remains of the old Borgarthing law and the Eidsivathing law, which are preserved in the later Christian editions of these codes, approximate to each other more closely than either of them does to the Gulathing said that the bonder Aake,

;

or Frostathing laws.

To

It must be revert to Halfdane's kingdom. at this time only extended as far as the river Glommen. East of that river wa& Alfheim, subject to King Gandalf. Nor did Halfdane reign directly over distant Sogn, which, as we have seen, he made over to Earl Atli to rule for him, taking scatt, or tribute from it.

remembered that Raumariki

The

of Agder which Halfdane possessed beginning of his reign was apparently not included in the jurisdiction of the Eidsivathing, and it is indeed very doubtful whether he retained

part

at the

possession of

it

or not.

Halfdane's kingdom was bounded on the north by Gudbrandsdal and Osterdal, on the east by the the Glommen and the forests of Wermeland, on the west by Valdres, Haddingdal, Thelemark, and and he was Agder, and on the south by the sea ;

undoubtedly the most powerful ruler of Norway not of Scandinavia at this time (Munch ii.).

We

if

have now traced the history of the Yngling occupation of Norway, from the time when the

Saga-Book of the Viking

144

Society.

fugitive Olaf the Treefeller first occupied a part of Wermeland to that when his descendant had

secured the most valuable part of the fertile land in the heart of the Christiania Gulf, and had there consolidated a power such as had not up to this time been known in Norway. =

Ingiald Illradi

Gauthild

i

Olaf Tretelia

=

Solva I

I

I

I

Asa

Ingiald

=

I

Halfdane Huitbein

Ill ~T~

Hilda

I

I

Halfdane Mildi I

Olaf Geirstad Alf |

Rognvald

Ragniald

=

I

Alfhild

Eystein

I

Hemming

|

Angantyr

Eric, king of

Jutland.

I

Gudrod

Mikillati, &c. I

I

I

Hakon I

I

Halfdane the Black

=

HARALD FAIRHAIR. "

and Snorri preserve some fabulous tales of Ha raid's youth, which, as Munch says, so far as they are reliable, point to there having been but little harmony between him and his father. Thus we read that when Halfdane and his companions were having a feast one Yule-tide evening, the meat and drink suddenly disappeared from the table. The guests went home frightened, but the King sat on alone in his place much confused. He presently had a Finn (vide infra) who was skilled in sorcery, seized and tortured in order to extract from him some explanation of what had happened. He would not give any explanation, The however, and begged Harald to assist him.

The

''

Flatey-bok

but in vain. Presently, allowed him he to escape, against his however, and himself father's will, followed him to where a his chief was holding feast, and where he was latter interceded, for him,

There Harald remained till the spring, when the Finn said to him "Your father took it amiss that I robbed him of his Yule- feast. I will repay what he did in a friendly manner. If well

received.

you will follow my counsel you will go home again. There is some one there who needs your help and who will be of great assistance to you, for it is your destiny to become master of all Norway." This is the story as told in the Heimskringla. In the "Flatey-bok" we have another Saga in which a great Yotun, named Dovre, is introduced, (The Yotuns of Norse legend were the primitive people of Scandinavia, who occupied it before the advent of the Norse-folk, and were represented as giants and sorcerers). Dovre had repeatedly plundered the king's gold coffer, but had eventually been caught in a skilfully constructed trap, and

146

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had been bound with leaden coils in a steel box. He had his home in the mountains which bore his name. The king had doomed him to the most disgraceful death, and had forbidden anyone to help him or to give him anything to eat. Harald (who, we are gravely told in the story, was not yet five years old), had pity on him, and cut his leaden bands with an excellent knife which had been given him by the Finn chief, Dovre thanked him and sped away as fast as he could. He was soon missed, and the king learnt that Harald had loosed him. He was greatly enraged, and forbade him ever to enter his presence again, and told him to betake himself to his Harald went away into the forest, friend Dovre. and after he had spent four or five days and nights there he met Dovre, who took him into his cavern. He lived with him for five years, and was taught by him all kinds of bodily exercises. When the five years had elapsed Dovre said one day to *' I have not forgotten to requite thee for him, having helped me to escape. and not altogether without

Thy

my

father

is

assistance.

dead,

Thou

must now return home

to thy kingdom, and mind not to cut thy hair nor thy nails till thou art master I will continually support thee." of all Norway. When Harald returned home he found his father

dead, and was nominated king in his stead. From Dovre he received the name of

his residence with

Dovre-Fostre, i.e., Dovre's foster-child (Munch ii. 176 7). The latter part of the story referring to Dovre is not told by Snorri, who, perhaps, thought it too incredible, and tried to rationalise the legend. It is contained in chapters iv. to vi. of Halfdane " Munch the Black's Saga in the Flatey-bok." and others have tried to rationalise it in another way by assuming that Halfdane did not care for

" Harald Fairhair

"

147

Harald, and that the latter, when a child, was, in fostered by one of his chieftains others, of name Dovre was the that have argued again, some illustrious chief who did Harald some Without any service (Munch, op. cit. 177 8). it stands is very inas the story rationalising, teresting as a graphic folk-tale showing the real beliefs of people in times when men's days were fact,

;

largely spent in lonely mountains and forests far from their neighbours and were prone to see visions and to translate the forces of Nature into acts of

This accounts for the very uncanny supermen. of the North then attributed the men which potency to Wizardy.

Ari was ten years old a great physique and is naturally described in the Heimskringla as the biggest, strongest and fairest of men, a wise man and high minded. His mother's brother Guthorm was nominated as his guardian and held

Harald according

when

his father died.

to

He had

the appointment of Captain of his body-guard, the leader of his host, and the controller of his lands.

From

mother he inherited the province of which was situated round the borders Ringariki, of the Tyrifiord in south-eastern Norway and was one of the most fertile districts in the land. his

His father had left many enemies behind him, he had laid hands on several small kingdoms, and their rulers naturally deemed a "minority" of so marked a kind, a fair opportunity for reprisals. The first of these to try his chance was Gandalf, (formerly, as we have seen in an earlier page, King of all Vingulmark) who had been deprived of half his territory by King Halfdane. He gathered his forces and determined to cross ** the Firth," now called the Christiania fiord, and thus to invade

for

Saga-Book of the Viking

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Society.

Meanwhile his son Haki, who had Alfheim after a defeat by Halfdane, went with three hundred men by the inland roads and tried to surprise Harald and his uncle Guthorm

Westfold.

escaped to

unawares, but the collected an

having heard of the plan, army and, taking Harald with him, he latter,

marched against him up the country, where a was fought, and Haki was killed with a great part of his men. He was buried, says our battle

author, in a place called Hakadalr, now Hakedale, a valley dividing Hadaland from Raumariki

(Magnussen, op.

cit. iv.

253).

Guthorm, with the young king, returned to Westfold, which had meanwhile been invaded by The two armies King Gandalf, Haki's father. fought a hard fight, but Gandalf was beaten and lost most of his men, and returned in a sad plight to his

home

in Vingulmark.

While these events were happening Hogni and Frothi, the sons of King Eystein of Heathmark, who had been deprived of half that kingdom by Harald's father (Saga of Halfdane the Black, ch. 2), associated themselves with Hogni Karason, who

had been raiding far and wide in Ringariki, or Ring realm and had appointed a rendezvous at Ringsacre in Heathmark* with the her sir Gudbrandt from the Dales. this attack Guthorm and Harald, with the host they could collect, went towards the Uplands, keeping by the way through the forest in order to surprise their enemies, and arrived at midnight where they had appointed their muster.

To meet

all

*

The

is still called Ringsaker, it is a manor on the eastern Western arm of Lake Miosen, which runs north towards Gudbrandsdale, by the west of Heathmark (see Magnusson's Note

side

place

of the

Heimskringla, vol. iv, 273). t Who probably gave his

name

to

Gudbrandsdal.

'*

Harald Fairhair

"

149

surprised those on guard and surrounded the house where Gudbrand and Hogni Karason were They set fire to it and burned them both sleeping.

They

it ; Eystein's sons, Hogni and Frothi, managed to get out for a while and made a fight, but both were killed. The result of the fight was that

in

King Harald. by the help

of his uncle, secured a

kingdom, namely, Heathand Gudbrandsdal mark, Hadaland, Thotn and and all the northern Raumariki, parts of Yingulmark. After this Harald and Guthorm fought again with King Gandalf, who had escaped, as we have seen. They had several struggles, in the last of which the latter was killed, and Harald annexed all his realm as far as the river Glornmen*. The next event mentioned in the Heimskringla is the negotiation for Harald's wedding with Gyda, the daughter of King Eric of Hordaland.t great accession to his

The

fact

of

this proposal points to Harald's

having been more than ten years old at his father's death. The lady was at this time being fostered in the house of a rich bonder, or farmer, at Valdres.J

Like most royal brides, she is described as very and high-minded, and we are told Harald would fain have her for a bedrnate. When his messengers arrived she is reported to have said haughtily that it was not her intention to wed one who was merely the master of a few fylkies, or fair

*

It is the largest river in Norway, running the eastern side of the Skagarak.

from north

to

south into

" t This was a great district in Western Norway, now called Sondre " which was bounded on the east and south-east by Bergenhusamt Haddingdal, Numdale, and Thelemark, and on the south by Rogaland (Magnussen, op. cit. 257). Its people were known as Herds. J A district east of Sogn fylki, bounded on the north by Gudbrandsdale, on the east by Land and Ringariki, and on the south by

Haddingdale.

Saga- Book of the Viking Society

150

and she marvelled there was no king who was minded to make Norway his own, and be its lord and master in the way that King Gorm had done in Denmark and King Eric at Upsala.

counties,

Harald's messengers were taken aback by this and asured her that Harald was such a mighty king that he was quite worthy to be her partner, but if she was unwilling, there was nothing left for them but to take their departure, reply

and they put on their travelling clothes to depart. Thereupon she spoke again and said she would only consent to be his wife if he would make himself master of all Norway and rule that kingdom as freely as Eric of Sweden and Gorm of

Denmark

did theirs.

When the messengers returned to King Harald and reported her answer, which they deemed impertinent and witless, they said it would not be wrong (if the king were so minded) to send a body of his men and forcibly ravish her. He took another view, and replied that she had done no ill in the matter, but had in fact won his gratitude, for she had only brought to his mind a matter which he now thought it wondrous had not occurred to him before, and he proceeded to take a solemn oath that he would neither cut his hair again, nor comb it, until he had conquered all Norway and had For this oath he taken dues and taxes from it. was thanked by his uncle and tutor Guthorm, who pronounced it the resolve of a King (Saga of Harald Fairhair IV.). Harald by his rapid and well planned campaign had now made himself virtually master of all Norway, east of the Great Mountains, w hich had been largely dominated by his father, and which he now completely subdued. A much more difficult r

task

awaited

him,

namely,

the

conquest

of

' '

Harald Fairhair

"

151

communities living in Western and SouthWestern Norways, from Halogaland round the whole of the coast as far as Westfold, and which was broken up into a number of separate and independent fylkies, with the sea before them and the great mountain barrier behind. They seemed safe against attack, and had for the most part been There had independent for many generations. never been a time before, as far as we know, when these maritime fylkies had all obeyed one master. They were no doubt, however, grouped into larger communities, united by racial ties and similar customs and laws. They may have had tribal chiefs who, as was the habit, divided their heritage the

their sons, each one being styled a king. This meant no more in Norway than that they Harald's paid no tax or dues to any superior. object was to weld them all into one State, as his

among

contemporaries

done

in

Sweden

and

Denmark had

theirs.

The whole proceeding

looks at first sight like a ruthless purely buccaneering expedition, unprovoked and inspired by mere lust of conquest and plunder, the innate prompting of a piratical race

and of its ambitious ruler. Although probably thus prompted it must be added that its ultimate result was that of putting an end to piracy in the North, and this fact no doubt greatly strengthened Harald's hands, for it meant protecting the peaceable bonders or farmers from the assaults of a cruel and untamed race, and the substitution of law and order for the capricious justice of a most insolent and undaunted caste of fighting

He

men.

determined to begin by attacking the richest powerful of these confederacies of fylkies, namely, that which occupied the fertile but the least

152

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

valleys grouped round the great Throndheim fiord, which was more open to attack than any other on the West coast, and which (having formed a part of

the realm of Eystein the Great, King of the Uplands, the eastern part of which latter Harold had in such large measure subdued), he might well deem he had some rights to, and he made preparations accordingly. ''

!<

the Thereupon," says the Heimskringla, kinsmen " gathered much folk together and armed themselves to invade the Uplands. Thus did Harald set out for his great venture, which

eventually led him far afield and was to take him Of the two ways to his four years to accomplish. goal, the one which led by the sea no doubt was too risky, nor is it likely that at this time he commanded a sufficient fleet for such an underIt would certainly arouse the animosity of taking. the most powerful and dangerous of the Viking

communities, whose strongholds he would have had to pass on the way. He, therefore, chose the overland route, which must then have been difficult, for the forests were still largely uncleared and the population was sparse, and it no doubt involved great obstacles in provisioning his men, hardy and enduring as they were, with food and necessaries. These difficulties did not daunt him, however, and we are told he went up into the Uplands, and so northwards through the Dales, and thence again north over the Dovre-Fell, the great Scandinavian

backbone.

When

he and his

men

first

reached a peopled

kill. Those who country they began fled the down submit not would valleys, some to

to ravage

and

Orkdale, some to Gauldale, and some into the The invaders found nothing to resist them forests. to Orkdale itself, where the people came till they

" Harald Fairhair"

153

had assembled under a petty king called Gryting. There is still a small town called Orkedalseren at the influx of the river Orka into the Orkdale fiord.

In the fight which followed, (Harald won the battle) Gryting was captured and many of his Their king was humble and people were slain. swore fealty to the conqueror, whereupon all the people of Orkdale also submitted and became Harald's men (Harald the Fair's Saga, ch. 5). After this Harald went

"

to Gauldale," and fought there, and killed two kings and annexed the fylkies of Gauldale and Strinde in Throndheim, and he gave larl Hakon, the iarl of Halogaland, who had submitted to him, charge of the

Harald went on and received the submission of that

conquered country.* dale

After

these

victories

the

up-country

to

Stior-

fylki also. people of

Throndheim gathered together under four kings to oppose Harald, one of them was the ruler of Verdale, another of Skaun, the third of the fylki of the Sparbiders, and the fourth of the Isles fylki.

In the battle which followed the victory was again with him, and in it two of the kings were killed, while two escaped. Altogether, we are told, he had fought eight battles and destroyed eight of

and

all

the

Throndheim had become

subject to him (Saga of Harald Fairhair,v.). These eight rulers had been united in a common League governed by a common code, called the Thronderlag, and had a common Legislative Assembly. It met at Nidaros, which was so called from the river Nid,

kings,

where it was planted. The people of Thronheim as I have said, were very different from those of *

As we saw in an earlier page, he was the descendant of the old Kings of Halogaland, and had a long pedigree and no doubt rejoiced at the overthrow of the descendants of Eystein in Throndheim.

Saga-Book of the Viking

154

Society.

other parts of West Norway, from cut off by mountains and forests.

whom they

were Their country was more fertile and temperate in climate owing to the Gulf Stream. They were prosperous farmers, traders and fishermen, and being well-to-do had no occasion to join the piratical expedition of their countrymen further south. The Vikings found few recruits among them, nor did many of them settle in Iceland or the Western colonies. On the other hand, as we shall see, they colonized the upper country of North Norway and Sweden, in large numbers.

Having thus

conquered the several inland Throndheim, Harald compelled the fylkies bonders or farmers to pay dues to him, both rich and poor, and he set up a iarl in each fylki to of

collect the skatt or taxes, of which one-third was to go to himself for his board and the costs of

Each

iarl was to have under him each of whom was to have more, 20 marks for his maintenance. For this each iarl was to supply 60 men, for the King's army at his own cost and each hersir 20. So much were the revenues of the land increased by these measures that the iarls had a bigger income than the Kings had before

administration.

four- hersirs or

and when the news spread throughout Throndheim rich men came to King Harald and took

many

service under

him (Saga

of Harald, 6).

these by far the most important was son of Griotgard above-mentioned, iarl of Hakon, Halogaland, who presently became Harald's right hand man. The submission of Hakon meant that of the province over which he had ruled, namely, Halogaland, which thus became part of Harald's realm without a struggle. The fact of Hakon

Among

no resistance is notable, and the view above urged that his interests supports having

offered

" Harald Fairhair"

155

and sympathies were not those

of the foreign rest of the land. Norththe princes who ruled the of Naumdal with was east of Halogaland fylki

which

it

had close

ties of

race.

It

was almost

ruled by princes of the same, certainly Its rulers, stock (namely, that of the Saemings). when Harald arrived, were styled Kings, while those of Halogaland were styled iarls. It is also noteworthy that when Harald divided his kingdom into sections among his sons, Halogaland, Naumdal, and Nordmere were given to one son, while the inner fiords of Throndheim were given to another.

once

Harald's next step was the conquest of Naumdale, which was then ruled over by two kings who were brothers. They were named Herlang and Hrollaug. They had been three summers making or burial mound doubtless for their own was built of stone and lime and roofed with timber. It was doubtless also covered in with This earth, although the fact is not mentioned.

a

howe

burial.

was

It

just finished

when news

approach with his army.

It

arrived of Harald's

was

clearly impossible Herlaug, with the Spartan instincts of his race, determined to put an end to his own life rather than become another man's deputy, and to do it in an original way. He placed a store of victuals and drink in the howe and then went in himself with eleven men and had the entrance closed. for

the

brothers

to

resist.

His brother, Hrollaug, we are told, went to the top of another howe near by, whereon the Kings were wont to sit in state. He decked out the royal seat and then sat upon it he then placed pillows on the seat below, where the iarls had been wont to sit, and came down from the high seat to the humbler one and gave himself the style of iarl, that is to say, he divested himself of his kingly status and ;

1

Saga-Book of the Viking

56

Society.

a iarl under Harald.

accepted that of

He

then

went to meet the latter and surrendered his realm, and asked to become his man, and told him what he had done. Then, we are told, King Harald took a sword and fastened it to his girdle, and hung a shield about his neck and made him his iarl, and led him to a high seat and proclaimed him iarl

the

of

mode

Naumdale

investiture

of

fylki (op. cit., ch. 8).

thus described

The

very interesting and early. Naumdale, like Halogaland, afterwards supplied a large number of emigrants to Iceland, to which it was nearer than any other is

part of Norway.

After this Harald returned to Throndheim and spent the winter there, and called it his home ever after, and there he built the finest house in the country, which w as called Ladir, whence the later iarls of Ladir, took their title. The same winter he married Asa, the daughter of iarl Hakon, who r

submitted to him as we saw, and whom, he held in highest honour among (Saga of Harald Haarfagr, ch. ix).

had

freely

we

are

all

men

told,

Having subdued those of the Northern fylkies which he could approach overland, he now turned his thoughts to those further south which could only be approached by the sea, and which were sheltered from attack from 'the land-side by the

He had, therefore, to prepare a great mountains. fleet, and we are told that during the winter he built himself a great galley shaped like a dragon This he manned and arrayed in noble fashion. with his Court guards and his bareserJcs, or The best tried men, indomitable champions.^ called the stern-men, with the King's banner were * It is doubtful what the word means Snorri gives the name to Odin's warriors, who fought without byrnies or coats of mail and in bare shirts (Serks or Sarks). Hornklofi the poet, however, groups them with Wolf Coats as if the name meant Bearskins (Magnussen iv. 298). ;

" Harald Fairhair"

157

Aft of the stern as far as the baling the forecastle, which was specially manned by bareserks, the very pick of the crew for Besides this strength, good heart, and prowess.

in front.

place was

Royal vessel, which was then no doubt of phenomenal size and splendour in the North, Harald had with him a large number of big ships, and many mighty men followed him. The poet Hornklofi, in his famous Glymdrapa, apostrophized him and his doings in this venture, but

the verses are, as Vigfusson shows, utterly corrupt (see Harald's Saga, ch. ix).

In the spring Harald set out with his fleet from southwards towards Mere (really North-Mere), which was doubtless peopled by the

Throndheim

same stock and perhaps ruled by the same family Raumsdale. The King of North-Mere was Hunthiof, who was the father of Solvi, styled Klofi. Raumsdale was ruled by He was Hunthiof's father-in-law, and Nockvi. they went together against Harald and met his forces at Solskel, now Solskelo in Aedo parish, off the coast of the southern part of North-Mere As usual (Magnussen Heimskringla, iv. 279). Harald won the fight, and both the kings who opposed him (i.e., Hunthiof and Knockwi) fell, but as its southern neighbour

Solvi escaped. Ari has preserved another verse of Hornklofi referring to this fight, which is very Harald appropriated the two fylkies corrupt. dwelt there a summer, greater part of the

and proceeded to

and justice, and and took their Harald appointed Rognwald, (the son of fealty. Eystein Glurnra), iarl of North-Mere and Raurnsdale (whence he was afterwards known as the Mere iarl), and assigned him lords and franklins, or freemen, and also ships with which he established

rulers

set

up law

over

them

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Society.

might protect the country. He was known as Rognwald the Mighty or Keen-counselled, and it was said he deserved both titles equally well. He was the ancestor of the Dukes of Normandy and and of our Norman Kings. Harald spent the next winter at Throndheim. Meanwhile Solvi, the son of Hunthiof, had remained with his ships all the winter, had harried in North-Mere and had slain many of King Harald's men, robbed others, and burnt the houses of others. Part of the time he stayed with Arnvid, his kinsman, the King of SouthMere, which lay south of Raumsdale ;* the latter fylki, in fact, divided the two Meres from one another, forming an important race frontier as well, since it divided the Thronds, of whom we have said so much, from the Hords, of whom we shall say

more

presently.

When

Harald heard of their doings he got his fleet together and in the spring set out for SouthMere, where Solvi gathered a considerable number of those who were discontented with Harald. He also paid a visit to King Audbiorn who ruled in Firda fylki, or Firdir (the Firths, a maritime kingdom of south-west Norway) now Nord-og Sondfiord in the Stift of Bergen (Magnussen iv. 249) It was the very focus of Viking activity, the Lochlannoch of the Irish writers, which merely translates the name. He asked him to aid him and that there were only two courses for them to urged either to rise follow, up against the aggressive King or to become his slaves, which was a thing not to be thought of in the case of a person like Harald, who was not more nobly born than themselves. * It is possible in fact that all three fy Ikies N. and S. Mere and Raumsdale, which formed a wedge between the Thronds and Hords, were peopled by the Raum Stock which had come down to the seaboard by way of Raumsdal.

-

" Harald Fairhair"

159

" deemed it a better choice father," he said, to fall in battle as a real king than to be one of u

My

Harald's underlings."

Audbiorn was talked over

by this rhetoric and set out to join his forces to those of Solvi and of King Arnvid. At this point we get an important sidelight from a responsible and trustworthy Saga, which was written down about 1160 1200, but preserves a good tradition and is generally trusted, namely, Egil's Saga. It begins with the story of a certain Ulf, who lived in Firda fylki, and whose father was a notable

person and one of

King Audbion's feudatories. and strength and had been a noted Viking. He had a partner named Kari of Berdla, already named, also a strong and The two had a daring pirate and a bareserk. common purse and had acquired great wealth, had both given up piracy and were living, on their Kari had two sons, estates, and were great friends. Eyvind Lambi and Aulvir Knuf, and a daughter Salbgory, whom Ulf had married. Ulf, we are told, took the title of liegeman, as his father had done. He was a very considerable personage and looked He rose early and then carefully after his affairs. went round among his labourers and smiths, overlooked his stock and fields, and would talk with

He was famous

for his height

those who needed good counsel, but in the evening he became duller, and we read that he was "an

evening sleeper." He was surnamed Kueld Ulf. He had two sons, Thorolf and Grim, fashioned largely on their father's pattern. The former was comely and cheery, like his mother while Grim was swarthy and ill-favoured like his father, and like him a good man of business, and skilled in working wood and iron. In the winter he often went to the herring When Thorold fishing with his father's men. was 20 years old his father gave him a long ship

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Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

with which to pursue the profitable profession of piracy and his uncles Eyvind and Aulvir, the sons of Kari, his grandfather, joined in the venture in another long ship. For several summers they in engaged buccaneering, and spent their winters at home with their fathers and mothers to whom, we are told, Thorolf took many costly things. ;

At this time Harald was engaged in his great campaign again, the kings of the Western fylkies among them, as we have seen, was Audbiorn, King the Firthfolk, who summoned his feudatory Ulf to go to the help of himself and his conKueldulf replied that federates against Harald. he would consider it his duty to fight alongside of him in defence of the Firths, but it was no part of his duty to defend Mere from attack, and he further thought that Harald had a load of good fortune, while Audbiorn had but a handful. He Accordingly remained on his property and took no part in the fight (where his suzerain, Audbion, was killed), and about which Ari preserves another verse from Hornklofi's sadly corrupt poem. It was then the custom, says Harald's Saga when men fought on ship-board, to bind the ships of

together and to fight from the forecastle, and this happened now. King Harald laid his ship alongside that of King Arnvid of South Mere, and many men fell in the melee which followed Harald fought in the midst of his men and with such effect that some of the crew of Arnvid's ship were pressed back to the mast and others fell, and The two allied presently the rest took to flight. ;

Kings fell fighting. The struggle must, however, have been a desperate one, for among those who were killed on Harald's side were Asgaut and Asbiorn, who were doubtless well known champions, and two of his iarls, Griotgard and Herlaug (one of his wives' brothers, and sons of iarl Hakon of Ladir).

* '

Harald Fa irhair "

161

and became a Viking. He greatly Harald's ravaged kingdom, and afterwards killed one of his sons, Guthorm, who governed The the or." Wik," Vik," comprising fylkies bordering on the Bay of Fold (now Christiania fiord* viz. Solvi again escaped

'

'

:

and

Alfheini G-renland, Westfold, Vingulmark, This in a iv. was battle at 291). (Mag., op. cit., the mouth of the Elf or Gotha river (Heimskringla, ch. 33).

Harald now completely appropriated South-Mere, but Vemund, the son of Audbiorn, still retained the throne of the Firth people. He would have gone against him but the autumn was much advanced and he was persuaded by his followers that it was dangerous to sail round the Stad, (i.e., Stadtlandet, or Cape Stadt, the westermost peninsula and promontory of South-Mere MagHarald therefore added nussen, op. cit., iv. 280). South-Mere to Hakon's iarldom and returned to

Throndheim (Saga of Harald Fairhair, ch. 12). Meanwhile Harald's friend, iarl Rognwald,

set

out to take possession of the Firths where Vemund still held out. He went by the inner course

through Eid, or Inner Eid, now called Mandseid,* and then southward past the Firths and surprised King Vemund in his house called Naustdale,t whore he was feasting. He set fire to it and burnt him to death with 90 of his men, a fate which was often dealt out by the Northmen and which he himself had to meet at a later day. After this Rognwald was joined by

ruthless

Kari *

of

That

Berdla.J

Ari

says he

was

a

mighty

through the upper part of the isthmus which connects Stadt with the mainland on the North side of North fiord in Firth fylki (Ma S ,246). t Now called Naustdal in the parish of Eid in Nord fiord in the northern part of Firth fylki (Mag. iv. 266). t This place, now called Berle, was an ancient manor house on the south-eastern coast of the large island of Brimangrsland, now Brernanger, in the mouth of the North fiord (Mag., 241). .

is

1

62

bareserk.

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

With

to North-Mere. to

Vemund and

a long ship they returned together Rognwald took the ships belonging also, his

goods.

the spring King Harald himwent from Throndheim to Firda fylki and subdued all the people there and according to the Heimskringla he left them in charge In Egil's Saga of Hakon, the iarl of Ladir. since is Hakon's own iarl(which probably right, dom in the North was far away) we are told that he gave it to Hroald, who had been a iarl under The same Saga says King Audbiorn (Op. cit., 2). that King Harald was very careful when he had got new people under his power to keep watch on the liegemen and such land owners and others who might raise a rebellion. He insisted either on their becoming his own liegemen, or going abroad, or else imposed harder conditions, and even the loss of life or limb, and treated as his own freeholds all their patrimonies, and all lands, tilled or untilled, and all All the landowners must sea and fresh water lakes. who worked in the forest, become his tenants, with all fishers on land or sea. salt burners and hunters, and They all now owed him duty (Ib., iv). He then went eastward and northward till he arrived at Vik. When the King was gone iarl Hakon bade Atli the Slender to get him gone from Sogn and to become again the iarl in Gaular as he had been beforetime, for he said that King Harald had given him Sogn. Atli, as we have seen, had been given his iarldom of Sogn by Harald's After this in

self

father Halfdane.

He now

replied

that

he

in-

he tended to hold both Sogn and Gaular iarls colhad seen Harald. Thereupon the two This lected their forces for a mortal struggle. took place in the fylki of Fialir in Stafanessvagr, now Stang fiord. There they fought a great fight till

" Harald Fairhair"

163

in which iarl Hakon was killed. This must have been a serious loss to Harald for he was a faithful

and

skilled friend of his.

Iarl Atli

wounded and his mortally "

was himself

men

carried him to the north side of the

Atli's Isles," now Atleo, on mouth of Dalsfiord in the fylki of Fialir.

There

he died. After the late battle Harald, as we have seen, went down himself with his fleet to the Firths. He then sent messengers to invite Ulf (i.e., Kueldulf) to go and see him, no doubt to secure his homage. The latter replied that he was too old and unfit for war.

They then suggested that one

of his sons

should go,

they were tall men and likely warriors, and they told Grim, who was the only one at home, that Harald would make him a lord if he went. He replied that he would be a liegeman under none as long as " his father lived while he lives he shall be my liege lord." The old man replied that he would be Harald's friend that he would persuade others to be so, and that he would be prepared to hold the same authority from his hand that he had held from his former King Audbiorn, but he would not go to him. Thorolf, his elder son, he added, was not at home, but engaged on an expedition, but on his return he might go to Harald if he pleased

for

;

and become his man. With was apparently content.

this

answer the king

It would seem that Ulf s father-in-law, Kari of Berdla above named, and his sons, had followed the example of his partner and had not taken part in the late fight. After the battle the sons of iarl Atli of Gaula attacked Aulvir Knuf, Kari's son, at his home, intending to kill him, but he escaped and fled to King Harald and submitted to him, and went to Throndheim with him and became one of his scalds. Aulvir had married Solveig the Fair,

Saga-Book of the Viking

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Society.

daughter of iarl Atli, whom he had met at a great gathering for a sacrificial feast at Gaular, and for whom he composed many love songs, and left off freebooting, while his brother

Eyvind kept it on (Jfe., 11). After King Yemund had been killed by iarl Rognwald, Kari himself, who was no doubt an old man, went to the latter with a fully-manned long ship, and afterwards went .to King Harald at Throndheim and also became his man (Op. cit., ch. iv.). Meanwhile Thorolf, Ulf's son, who had been on a Viking cruise with his uncle (Kari's son Eyvind Lambi) returned home and heard of what had happened. His father Ulf told him that he himself had in fact declined to become Harald's man and foresaw only trouble in doing so, but that he might please himself, although he counselled him to follow his own example. Thorolf decided differently, for he thought he should get much advancement from Harald if he became his man. He had heard that he had only valiant men in his guard whom he treated generously and well, and he told his father that if he had had prophetic foresight of what would happen, why had he not gone to help his own king It was not reasonable late battle. to be neither his friend nor his enemy. The old man If he replied that he must choose his own path. chose to join Harald's guard he was sure that he

Audbiorn in the

would be equal to the foremost among them in He counselled him to keep of manhood. within bounds and not to try and rival his betters, nor yet yield to others overmuch, and when Thorolf set out for the North he accompanied him to the ship, and embraced him and gave him his feats

good wishes

At

(/&., vi.).

time Harald also secured Bard, whose story namely champion,

another

this

is

worth

44

Harald Fairhair"

165

His grandfather, named Biorgalf, was a and wealthy land owner who lived at Torpowerful in gar, Halogaland, and who had grown old and lost his wife. One autumn there was a banquet at Leka, at which Biorgalf and his son were the most honourable guests present. In the evening the guests were paired off by lots to drink together, as was the old custom. There was present a man of great wealth, handsome and shrewd, but of no family. He had a beautiful daughter called Hildirida, and the lot fell upon her to sit by Biorgalf. The old man was The next autumn he went in captivated by her. a ship of his own, holding 30 men, and went with 20 of his crew, to call on Hildirida's father Hogni, who went to meet him and offered him welcome for himself and party which was accepted. When they had taken off their travelling clothes and put their mantles on, Hogni gave orders to bring in a great bowl of beer, and telling.

Hildirida helped the guests to it. The old man then told his host that he had come to fetch his

daughter and proposed to marry her then and there, and having received an ounce of gold from his guest, the marriage followed. Hildirida went home with her old husband by whom she had two sons, soon after which he died.

Thereupon Biorgalf's eldest son Bryngalf, to he had some time before made over all his affairs, drove away Hildirida and her sons, nor would he let her share in his father's fortune. This was the beginning of a long tragedy. She thereupon returned home to her father, whose fortune she and her boys inherited. Bryngalf had a son Bard, who

whom

presently married Sigridi, the daughter of Sigurd, the richest man thereabouts, and his daughter was the best match in Halogaland. He went to woo her on a ship manned by 30 men

who was deemed

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was accepted and he proposed to return to wed her and take her home.

His

offer

next

summer

Meanwhile King Harald summoned all the principal men in Halogaland to go to him, and Bryngalf and his son duly went southward to Throndheim and there they met the king who received them gladly, made Bryngalf a liegeman and gave him large grants, besides what he had before, and notably the

office of collecting

the skatt or tribute

from the Finns, the right of travelling among them, the control of the king's business on the fells, A similar position had been and the Finn traffic. held by his father. Bryngalf returned home and Bard became one of the king's bodyguards. Of all these guards, says Egil's Saga, Harald most prized his scalds, and of them Audun Ill-Skald, He had been his the oldest, sat innermost. Next sat Thorbiorn Eaven, then father's poet. Aulvir Knuf already named, and next to him was placed Bard who was named Bard the White, or the Strong. He was held in high honour by all, but The same autumn especially by Aulvir Knuf. and Kueldulf's son, Eyvind Lambi, Kari of Thorolf, Berdla's son, arrived at Throndheim in a swift twenty-benched long ship, well manned, which they had previously used in their Viking voyages. They were introduced to Harald by Kari of Berdla and

Aulvir Knuf. The king said he would do well by Thorolf if he should prove himself as accomplished in deed as he was brave in looks. Thereupon the latter joined the king's household and became one of his guard. Meanwhile Kari of Berdla and his son Eyvind returned to their own estate in the The king same ship which had brought Thorolf. and Bard Knuf Aulvir between seat a gave Thorolf autumn In the friends. close became and the three his and fetch to leave bride, Bard asked go

"

Earaid Fairhair"

167

was given him, and he asked Thorolf him saying he would meet many of his with go kinsmen of renown whom he had not seen or known

which to

in Halogaland.

gathering and, as of

his

relations

At the wedding there was a great Bard had said, Thorolf met many he had not seen before. The

wedding was held at the house of the bride's father Sigurd, who gave a splendid feast, after which Bard and his wife went to his own home and Thorolf with him, and in the autumn returned to the king and was with him during the winter. At this time Bryngalf, Bard's father died Bard asked Harald to let him go home to take up his inheritance, and the king made him one of his liegeman as his father had been, and he held of him all the offices which Bryngalf had held, and became a ;

great chief (/&.,

x.).

King Harald had meanwhile taken eastward into the

his

host

Wik

and, according to Ari, laid his at Tunsberg or Tonsberg, which was a up ships famous cheaping place or market. The name had, as

we have

seen, replaced one of wider fame, namely,

Skiringsal, which was a very notable trading in earlier times. It was situated in Harald's

mart

own

fatherland of Westfold.

Harald had now been engaged for four years conquering and settling his north-western dominions, and it was quite time he should return to look after those in the east, where things were not going on so well. At Tonsberg he heard of the ambitious schemes of Eric Eymundson the king of Sweden, who had invaded the frontier province of Wermeland and claimed taxes from its woodland people (Harald Fairhair's Saga, He also claimed to extend the western 'xiv.) borders of West Gothland, beyond the river Gotha, and as far as Swinesund, thus encroaching in

1

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Saga-Book of the Viking

Society. '

He recognised old frontier of Norway. not only levied dues there, but also appointed the Gothlander Eani to rule the district as his deputy or iarl, between Swinesund and the Gaut on a

Gotha. His pretensions were still greater for he claimed that he intended to appropriate all the " lands in The Wik " which he alleged had been

Elf, or

ruled over by his great ancestor Sigurd Eing and his son Eagnar Lodbrog. This included Eaumariki and Westfold as far as Grenrnar (now Langesundsfjorden), with Vingulmark and the country to the South, that is to say, the very kernel of Harald's dominions. Probably as the result of the latter's absence in the the West many chiefs in these frontier lands had turned their eyes to the great of Upsala. Harald was naturally much distressed at the news, and summoned a gathering, or mote, of his bonders, or farmers, in the district of Westfold and charged them with treason to himself. Some denied it, some paid money as a fine, and others were punished. Thus he spent the summer, and in the autumn he went to Eaumariki, upon which he also laid a heavy hand.

King

Meanwhile he heard that the Swedish King was going to and fro in Wermeland and claiming quarters He accordingly and forcible entertainment there. crossed the great Eid Forest and entered Wermeland, where he in turn claimed entertainment. There lived there a very rich old bonder, the mightiest man in the place, who was called Aki. He sent his son and bade Harald to a feast on a certain day, on which he also inAki's great guest-hall vited the Swedish King. had grown old so he built a second one, quite as He big and well appointed as the older one. furnished it with new furniture, while he kept the old for the older building.

*

Harald Fairhair"

i6q

In the old hall he entertained the Swedish King, while Harald was his guest in the new one. The former drank from the old beakers and horns well decked with gold, but Harald's, which were new, were probably more showy. In either case the The reason for the disdrink was of the best. tinction shown by Aki to Harald was that he had once been the liegeman of Halfdane the Black, Harald's father.

The

feast

having ended, the kings put on their

Aki sent his son Ubbi, who was travelling dress. twelve years old, to Harald and begged him, if he approved of his goodwill, to reward the boy by

making him

Harald duly which had been

his page or attendant

the

acknowledged

hospitality

;

shewn him, and Aki produced many lordly gifts, while he and the king greeted each other with a kiss.

After this Aki went to say goodbye to the Swedish King, whom he found clad for his departure, and, as might have been expected, in a by no means amiable mood. Aki offered his presents, but the king answered little and leaped on horseback while Aki accompanied him. The road passed through a wood near the house and when they came to it the king asked him why he had treated him so differently to the way he had treated Harald, although he knew that he was his man. "

I

deem

"

that neither Lord," said Aki, Harald nor thyself has lacked aught at the feast. If the appointments in the hall were old so was the king himself, whereas Harald being in the flower it

age had the newer things. As to his being man, Aki held that Eric was just as much his own man, whereupon Eric clove him down wdth his sword and killed his host assuredly a brutal of his

the king's

;

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Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

act, even if the old man Aid had been exceptionally tactless in steering through a difficult position.

When Harald was ready to mount, he summoned His men went to look for him and found him dead on the road. He called on them to avenge their host. They thereupon rode together in of King Eric until they reached the forest pursuit that separates Gothland from Wermeland. There Harald turned back into Wermeland, which he subdued, and slew King Eric's men wherever he found them. After which he returned to Raumariki and dwelt there awhile. Thence he went Aki.

to visit his fleet at Tonsberg. Having put the in trim he crossed over the Firth with them ships to Vingulmark, and through the winter he harried much in Ranriki, i.e., the district between Swine-

sund and the Gotha, administered by iarl Rani, probably given it his name, for the Swedish King.

who had

Meanwhile

the Gothlanders began to get from the side, and when the country together staked the river Gotha so that came they spring Harald might not bring his ships up into the land, but the latter took them up as far as the stakes and then harried the land on either side and burnt the homesteads. Thereupon the Gothlanders came down with a mighty host and a great fight and slaughter took place, but Harald prevailed. After his victory he went to and fro about Gothland, and many fights took place on the river Gotha. In one of them fell Rani, the Gothland Then Harald subdued the land north of iarl. the river Gotha and west of Lake Wener, together with all Wermeland; and he set his uncle Guthorm to rule over them; he thus largely increased the latter's government. Harald then turned to the Uplands and dwelt there awhile, whence he crossed the Dovrefell

" ffarald Fairhair"

171

once more to Throndheim, where he abode a long time,

and had many children.

It was hardly possible that after he had conquered so much, Harald should not wish to complete his work and bring all Norway under his On the other hand, his ambition and his sway.

unqualified successes hitherto, made him a perpetual danger to the few States which were still and we are told that they confederated free,

together against

Their

chiefs

him with many Eric, King

were

ships

and men.

of

Hordaland, who was Harald's father-in-law Sulki, king of Kogaland and larl Soti, his brother Kiotvi* ;

;

the Wealthy, king of Agdir, who in Hornklofi's poem seems to be treated as head of the Con-

federacy and Thorir Longchin. From Thelemarkt there came Ronald and Rig, and with them Hadd the Hardy. ;

When Harald heard of their doings he in turn collected his forces it was a mighty array from folk land that counted him as its master. every He presently came South and arrived near the Stad, now Stadt-landet, or Cape Stadt, the most :

westerly peninsula and promontory of Southmere (Mag., iv. 280). King Eric of Hordaland, heard of it, so he in turn went South to meet his friends who were coming from the East, and they all met north of Yadaren, (i.e., on the western coast of Rogaland, south of the Boknfirth archipelago), *

and then went on to Hafursfiord, (now

a Norse corruption of Kiotvan, like other names in the Landnamabok ending in n., i.e., Beslan, Trostan, Kiaran Haklangr sounds as if translated from Gaelic, like Svarthodfdi, Hunding, and so many more. These chiefs, he says, were of half Gaelic blood, like so many of the Icelandic settlers, C.P.B., i. 73. Numdale t An inland fylki surrounded by Hordaland on theN.W. on the S.W. E. Grenland on the E. and Agdir on the S. and W.

Vigfussen thinks that Kiotvi

is

which he suggests was a Gaelic name

;

;

;

;

Sag a- Book of

172

the

Viking Society

Hafrsfiord in Yadaren), where Harald was awaiting Harald great and long fight ensued. won the battle. He in fact probably had an

them.

A

overwhelming fortfe. King Eric was killed, so were King Sulki and larl Thorir with the longHe had laid his chin, who was a great bareserk. and of it was a fierce King Harald's, ship alongside was before he after which, in the killed, fight " his words of the grim Saga, ship was utterly cleared."

King Kiotvi fled away to a certain holm where there was a good fighting position and the rest of the survivors also fled, some by ship and others escaped up the country, and so to the South about Yadar.

The poet Hornklofi has some picturesque touches in regard to this fateful fight, which became He speaks of the ships, a byword for many a day. with their grim gaping heads and "fair-graven'' prow plates, and of the white shields that hung around their sides, of spears from the Westland, and Welsh wrought swords (probably from Flanders or Britain), of the roaring of the bareserks, and the howling of " the wolfcoats. He speaks also of the bold Lord of the Eastmen, the bider at Utsteinn or Outstone,"' (i.e., iarl Thorir), and again of the brawny-necked king who waxed weary with protecting his country from Shockhead (meaning Harald) and found shelter " Down 'neath the decks at the holm, (i.e., Kiotvi). dived the wounded warriors, their buttocks uphoven " and their heads laid by the keel (Op. cit., ch. 19). Gustav Storm, who was a was a distinguished scholar

friend of mine, and Munch and the editor of his works, wrote a short memoir on the *

of

This was a manor of Harald's situated on the west of an island same name, now called Utsteno, or Klostero, off Rogaland. It is now, says Magnusson, called Utsten or Utstens Kloster from the Augustinian monastery which existed there in later times (Op. cit., 270). of the

.

" Harald Fairhair "

173

"

Slaget i Havrswhich he reached some conclusions about the fight which are very reasonable, and to which I must refer. He points out that Olaf the White, the Norwegian king of Dublin, who had battle

of

Hafrsfiord, entitled,

fiord," in

filled

that office since the year

853,

disappears

from the chief Irish Annals about the year 871. There is no notice of his death, which is singular, the obits of the foreign princes are very The last entry regularly entered in these Annals. about him in the Annals of Ulster a most reputable work is in the year 870, where we read that he and Ivar his brother returned to Athcliath, since

(i.e., Dublin), from Alba, or Scotland, with 200 ships and a great multitude of men English, Britons, and Picts who were taken back as captives to Ireland. In 872, Ivar who is mentioned in the same annals as King of all Norsemen of Ireland and Britain, finished his life. ;

is one important work, which strongly Storm's conclusion, but of which we only supports have fragments. They are preserved at Brussels and were published by J. 'Donovan under the name of Three Irish Fragments." In this work, after the return of Olaf from Scotland, which reporting it in the author In that year Olaf 871, puts says went from Ireland to Lochlann, i.e., Norway, (for at that time there was war among the Lochlannag, i.e., Northmen), to help his father Godfred or Gudrod, who had sent to ask his son to go and This war can only have been the help him. one we have described between King Harald and the rulers, of South-Western Norway, which ended

There

'

:

in the battle of Hafrsfiord,

and which the Northern

871 or 872. Storm further suggests that Kiotvi (who was King of Agdir and a distinguished leader of

writers, including Ari, put in the year

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Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

the rebellious Vikings) was a foreign name, and that he also had a Norwegian name, and was really "

"

Kiotvi or perhaps called Godfred, and that Ceotvi was his descriptive name, or cognomen. If so, then Kiotvi was the father of Olaf the White.

Storm further suggests that Haklang (named as a hero of the fight by Hornklofi) was a cognomen of Olaf. This would fit in very well with the fact that Haklang, as we know, was killed in the battle of Hafrsfiord, while on the other hand, Olaf is mentioned no more after the date of that fight. That Kiotvi and Haklang were both used as cognomnia is shewn by Storm, who quotes the name of an Asbiorn Kiotvi from the Vatnisdla Saga, while Haklang is used as the cognomen of Thore in Hornklofi's poem. Against all these coincidences I know of only for which I have no explanation, namely, Haklang is made in the poem the cognomen, not of an Olaf but of a Thore. Whatever ex-

one fact that

planation there may be of this it seems to me clear that that single fact cannot outweigh the large number of others which Storm has brought together in his paper. I may add that his contention completely agrees with the date of the great fight 871 or 872, as fixed by the old Norse writers against that of Vigfusson who puts it in 885.

The defeat of the Vikings at a large migration to Iceland.

Hafrsfiord led Among others who thus went was Geirmund, called Hell Skin. He " had a principality in Kogaland and is called a host King" in the Landnama-bok, but he had long left off his Viking life. When Harald's victory drove out so many men from their possessions, he thought there was no room for him in Norway, so he set out for Iceland and took Ulf the Sqinter, his cousin, and Stanulf son of Hrolf the Herse of Agd with him. Each one of the three went in his own ship. to

" Harald Fairhair

Another

emigrant

"

Iceland

to

175

from

Agd

(or

was called) who went with Ogdhom, was Throndr Geirmund must Geirmund, Slimleg. have been a considerable person for we are told he had 80 freemen (Landnama-bok, ii. 17 3). Men said that he was more nobly born than any other person in Iceland, but had little feud or war with other men there because he was old when he " went to Iceland. There he was buried in a shipburied under a mound), in a wood how," (i.e., in a ship " near his house. Erne was the son of a nobleman and a kinsman of Geirmund. He came from Rogaland to Iceland because of the oppression of King Harald" (76., 221). as

it

Ann Redcloak, son of Grim, we are told, fell out with King Harald, who had harried in Ireland. He had there married Greliath, the daughter of iarl Beartmar, i.e. Great deed, and then went to Iceland and settled down where his wife thought she could smell the honey (Ib. ii. 22). Another of the settlers was Thiord, who professed to be the son of a Viking, but most men declared that he was the son of King Harald. He himself left many Halldistinguished descendants (16., ii. 23 2). ward Sougher fought in the battle of Hafrsfiord He came from Shielings, against King Harald. in Hordaland, and settled in Iceland (16., ii.24 3). Aurlyg, the son of Bead-were, was another fugitive from the oppression of Harald (76., 27 1). 1

was a great Viking and a foe of Harald. He went to Iceland and when King he entered Biorns-firth his ship was all set with shields. He was afterwards called Biorn of the Shields the foundations of his house were still to be seen when Ari wrote (76., 28 Of 1). Slate Biorn

;

Hererod (Hwic timber, that he was a man of

i.e.,

White

birth,

Sky),

who was

we

are told

slain

by the

176

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

contrivance of King Harald, and his three sons went to settle in Iceland (Ib., ii. 28 4). Balce, son of Clong, was also against Harald. He fled to Iceland after the battle (Ib., ii. 30 1). Throndr the Far-sailer, son of Biorn, was also against Harald at Hafrsfiord and was afterwards banished the land and settled in Iceland (Ib., v. 12 5). Orm the Old, who went to Iceland, was the son of iarl Eywind, who was with Kiotvi the Wealthy against King Harald at Hafrsfiord (Ib., v. 16 4).

A

more interesting story is told of Ingimund, styled the Old, a great Viking, who harried in the West in joint cruises with Saemund who was his partner. They came back from a raid at the time when Harald was coming to the land and setting out for Hafrsfiord. Ingimund wished to help the King, but Saemund did not, and the two parted. After the battle Harald gave Wigdis, the daughter of iarl Thore the Silent in marriage to Ingimund, who, says our author, could find no peace in Norway, whereupon Harald urged him to try his fate in He said he had never been minded to do so. He had apparently been before, for we read of him that he was the son of iarl Ingimund, iarl of Gautland, and Wigdis, and was brought up in the isle of Hefne with Thori, the father of Grim and Hiodmund. Heid volvu,^.^. the Sybil prophesied of all three that they would settle in a land that was still undiscovered, West over the s'ea. Ingimund said he would not do that. She replied that he would not be able to help it, and as a token she Iceland.

said that the teraph or lot, i.e. the mascot, would disappear out of his purse, saying he would find it when he dug a hole to plant his porch pillars in. However, he sent two Finns thither, to get back his sacred image or family teraph, or penate. It was a figure of Frey made in silver, which must have been

4 *

Harald Fairhair

"

177

concealed by him. On their return the Finns reported that they had found where the teraph was, but could not obtain it, and that it was in a certain dale between two woods, and described how the land He then set out for Iceland with his lay. brother-in-law, his friends, and his thralls or slaves. They stayed the winter with Grim, his sworn brother. He got a large estate there and duly found his teraph buried in the ground as he was digging the foundation for his porch pillars. Presently he fell upon a white shebear with two cubs on a mere near hi& home, and afterwards went to Norway and gave the bears to King Harald. are told that white bears had never before been seen in Norway. Thereupon the king gave him the ship Stiganda (Stepper) with a cargo of wood, a most welcome and precious gift for an Icelander. He returned to the island with his two ships and on his return voyage he was the first to round the Skaw in Iceland. After this Raven the Eastman stayed' with him. He had a good sword, which he took into the Temple, whereupon

We

Ingimund took it from him apparently it was deemed wrong to enter a Temple with a weapon Two incidental notices in (Ib., iii. 5 2, 3, and 9). ;

the story have a special interest of another kind. The present treeless character of Iceland makes it interesting to read in one sentence of a willow-dale at Ingimund's holt or wood another note tells us that Ingimund lost ten swine and they were found the next harvest time in Swinedale, and there were " there a hundred swine. The boar was called Beigad" and leapt into Swine mere and swam till his hoofs fell off and he died There (Ib., ii. 10). are no swine now in Iceland, and I remember Vigfussen telling me that he had never seen one when he first read the story of Circe and her ;

!

swine in Homer.

!

!

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

Let us now return

to Egil's Saga. It says that Harald's men was called after King the great fight there were many who had fallen and many who were sore wounded. Among the latter was Thorolf above named, who was badly hurt, and Bard who was worse, nor was there a single man unwounded before the mast, except those whom iron would not bite, i.e., the bareserks. The king had the wounds of his men bound up, and he thanked them for their valour and gave them gifts. Some he named bowothers steers-men, others forcastle-men, setters. He also saw to the burial of the dead.

when

the

roll of

Thorolf's

mortally

hit,

wounds presently healed, but Bard was and he sent for the king and asked

him to be allowed to name his heir, and on the king assenting, he named his friend and kinsman Thorolf as successor both to his lands and chattels, and left him his wife and the bringing up of his son, and then died. In the autumn Thorolf, who had won such great honour in the great fight asked leave from the kingto go to Halogaland to take up his heritage from Bard. Harald gave his leave and made Thorolf a liegeman or landman, and transferred to him all the rights he had given Bard in the Finn land, and also gave him a good long ship with all its When he reached Torgar he was well tackling. and received, Sigridr (Bard's widow) consented to the match and was duly betrothed to him, and he took over the management of the property and He now went in his also the king's business. ship with 40 men to Sandness and Alost to get the consent of Sigurd to his daughter's marriage. He was well received and described to his host the details of the fight and how his son-in-law had fallen,

how he had

the king had

left

consented

him to

his

the

and how arrangement

wife,

"

Haraid Fairhair"

179

Sigurd duly consented and the marriage was fixed autumn at Torgar. The wedding was held on a great scale. The same winter Sigurd died and ThereThorolf succeeded to all his property. upon the sons of Hildirida (half-brothers of Bard) went to him and put in a claim to some for the

the property which had belonged to their This claim he repudiated and father Bjorgalf. said it had been also repudiated by Bard, who spoke of them as illegitimate. They declared on the of

contrary that they were honourably born and that their mother (as they could prove by witnesses), had been bought with payment, i.e., her father had received a wedding gift for her, which was apparently necessary to constitute a regular marriage. It was true they said that they had not pressed their claim against their kinsman but now that the property had passed to a stranger they could no longer remain silent. Thorolf denied the statement about the wedding gift and declared that the mother of the claimants had been really carried off by force and taken home as a captive (op. cit., ch. ix). This refusal was the cause of Thorolf's eventual undoing.

To that we will now turn and describe the dramatic close of his career. We have seen how he became one of Harald's chief champions. How he fought at Hafrsfiord and afterwards inherited two great estates, and was also given the very lucrative post of collector of the skatt or tribute paid by the Finns. The mention of

Finns introduces an interesting issue. Who were the Finns referred to in the early Norwegian The natural reply would be that they Sagas ? were the Lapps, as has sometimes been suggested, but this seems to me to be very improbable the ;

Lapps are not mentioned (at all events by that name) for a considerable time after this, and their

180

tradition

Saga-Book of the Viking is

Society.

that they were late intruders into the

now

land which they

occupy,

which

is

called

Finmark.

They brought with them a strain of reindeer differing considerably from those of early times in Scandinavia and in all probability they came from Russian Lappland, which is known as Lappmark. The Finns it will be remembered were treated very largely as equals by the Norwegians who inter-married with them. King Harald himself had a Finn wife, and their women are described as comely and their men as able artificers in metal and sword

makers.

They were

also

fighting

men.

In

all

except their language, they differed from the small ill-favoured, dark skinned

respects

therefore,

dwarf Lapps. They were also found wandering south of the habitat of the Lapps and especially in the northern provinces of Sweden, and in the forests and fells of the Uplands of Norway, and were doubtless close akin to the true Finns of Finland tall, flaxen-haired men who were hunters and fishermen, and also betimes

far to the

;

cultivators of the soil, and whose focus was the two sides of the Bothnian Gulf, but who travelled far and wide in their occupation and left their name in many places in the unenclosed forests and

mountain lands

of

the great peninsula.

They

were also known as Quens, and were at feud with " another Finnic race, the Carelians," who had a higher culture than their own, who came from the country surrounding the great Russian lakes,

and

whose national epic was the Kalevala. seems to me plain that it was from these true Finns who were living, not in the remote and barren district of the North Cape, but on the eastern frontiers of the Thrond people and in the northern parts of Sweden, that the Norwegians It

took tribute.

' '

Let us now them. We are winter Thorolf force of not less

Harald Fairhair

" 1

81

turn to Thorolf's intercourse with told in Egil's Saga that in the took his way up to the fells with a

than 90 men, whereas

it

had been

usual for the king's stewards to have only 30 men He also took with them, and sometimes fewer.

with him plenty of goods for trading and appointed a meeting with the Finns, where he took tribute 'and held a fair. They were all friendly, and he went far and wide about Finmark, but when he reached the fells towards the East he heard that the Carelians were corne from the East to trade with the Finns and also to plunder. Thorolf set Finns to spy out the movements of and followed after in search of them.

the invaders,

He came upon 30 of whom he slew.

of

them

in one

encampment,

all

Presently he did the same to He killed in all nearly a hundred, 15 or 20 others. and having taken a large booty, went home in the This shows that winter was the season for spring. travelling and fighting in those parts. Thorolf then returned home to Sandness. He had a long ship built, which was large and had a

He dragon's head, and it was well appointed. gathered great stores in Halogaland, and employed his men in herring and other fishing, also in seal hunting and egg gathering, and he never had fewer than a hundred men about him. That summer King Harald went

to

Halogaland

and banquets were made ready for his coming, both on his estates and those of the liegemen and great landowners. Thorolf's banquet was an especially costly one, and he asked a great company of the best men to meet the king. Altogether he had 500 men there, while the king had only 300, which was a dangerous contrast in the presence of one so i

jealous as

Harald was.

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caused a large granary, where the was to take place, to be prepared, for drinking there was no hall large enough to hold them. The building was hung round with shields. The king sat in the high seat, and when the high table was filled with Thorolf's men he looked round and turned red, and men thought he was The banquet was splendid and everything angry. was of the best but Harald looked gloomy/ and he remained for three days and three nights, which was the usual length of these Royal entertainments. On the third day, when the king was to leave, Thorolf

Thorolf offered to go

down

to the strand with him,

and there was moored off the land the great dragon ship that he had had built, with its awning and

He

gave the ship to the king, Henry the Eighth, Wolsey and assured him he had gathered all these men not The king was as a rival but to show him honour. and and and cheerful they parted merry, pleased good friends. Harald then went northward through Halogaland, and then south as the summer went on with banquets all the way. tackling complete.

like

gave his palace to

were the sons of Hildirida, who as we have seen had a grievance against Thorolf because they considered he had robbed them of

Among his hosts

a three to the poison opportunity nights banquet, and took his mind against his late host, whom they charged of keeping a great with being very ambitious and further, that he guard round him, like a king, It was even said that he was very wealthy. their patrimony.

They gave the king

;

proposed to make himself king of Halogaland and Naumdale, and that the force he had got together

was meant to fight the king, and that, in fact, he had intended to kill him at the banquet by setting fire to the dining hall, and the only reason that

" Harald Fairhair"

183

he had for entertaining him in the granary was that he did not like to destroy his beautiful hall. Thus did the two brothers arouse the king's jealousy and anger, and he was inclined to believe what he had been told.

Meanwhile Thorolf ordered Thorgils, his housesteward, who had been his forecastle man and standard bearer, and had fought with him in the great battle of Hafrsfiord, to get together all the king's tribute which he had collected from the Finns, to put it on board a large ship of burden with 20 men on board and to go and meet the king. It was clear that Harald was angry, but he went to the ship where Thorgils had set out the furs. The show was much larger and better than was expected and Harald became more pacified and was especially pleased with the bear skins and other valuables which Thorolf had sent him. He nevertheless remarked that it was a great pity that the latter should have been unfaithful to him and The people round merely replotted his death. marked that it was a slander of wicked men who had misled the king in this matter.

That winter Thorolf went again to the Finn land. held a fair with the Finns and travelled far and wide over the country, and when he reached the far East there came to him some Quens saying they were sent by Faravid, king of Quenland, because the Carelians were harrying his land, and asked Thorolf for help, and saying he should have a share of the booty equal to the king's share, and each of his men as much' as two Quens. Among the Finns the law was, that the king should take one-third, as well as all the bearskins and sables, and his men the rest.

He

" It is

u

Finmark," says our author, is a wide track. bounded westward by the sea, from which large

Saga-Book of the Viking

184

Society.

run up into the land the sea also bounds southgoing northward and round to the east ward lies Norway, while Finmark stretches along nearly all the inland region, bounded on the west by Halogaland." This shows that by Finmark was then meant a great deal more than the modern Finmark now inhabited by the Lapps.

firths

;

it,

;

"Eastward from "

Naumland," continues our

then Helsingjaland and Kwenland, Finland, then Kirialand, i.e., Carelia. Bounding all these lands on the north lies Finmark, and there are wide inhabited fell author,

is

Jernteland,

then

districts,

When

some

in dales

and some by

lakes."

Thorolf came to Quenland

and

met

There King Faravid they prepared to march. were 300 Quens and 100 Norsemen, and they went by the upper way over Finmark and came to where the Carelians, who had been harrying the Quens, In the battle that were camped in the fen.

Norsemen charged furiously, carrying shields stronger than those of the Quens. There was great slaughter among the Carelians. Many

followed the

and some fled, and the two allies took an immense booty and returned to Quenland, whence Thorolf went home by way of the fell to Yefsnir

fell

and then to his farm at Sandness, and spring went with his men north to Torgar.

in the

Meanwhile the sons of Hildirida had been living with the king and continued to slander Thorolf, assuring Harald that he had kept back a larger portion of the booty than he had sent. Thus, he had sent only three bear skins, but his traducers declared they knew for certain he had kept back 30 skins. All this made the king very angry. In the summer Thorolf went south to Throndheim, taking with him all the tribute and much wealth,

* '

and 90 men

Harald Fairha z>

besides.

"

185

They were entertained magni-

There his friend Aulvir ficently in the guest hall. told him what had happened, and what his enemies had reported to the king. He asked Aulvir to " I shall be plead with Harald for him, for said he, short spoken if he chooses to believe the lies of wicked men rather than the truth and honesty he will find in me." Aulvir returned and told Thorolf he had spoken to the king, but knew not what was in his mind. The latter then determined to go He accordingly went, and arrived when himself. Harald was having his meal, and when he went into the hall he saluted the king, who accepted his greeting and bade them serve him with drink. Thorolf then told him he had brought him not only the tribute, but part of the booty his own men had The king said he expected captured in Finmark. but from him, for he had deserved nothing good else from the nothing generous way he himself had treated Thorolf. But men, he added, told two tales as to his intention towards himself. Thorolf said that the men who spoke thus were his bitterest enemies and would pay dearly some time for their slanders. Next day he brought in the tribute and counted it in the king's presence, adding some bear skins and sable skins. Still the king was unsatisfied, and said that Thorolf had not been faithful to him, to which he replied with dignity, pointing to what he had done and suffered in his cause. Hildirida's sons, when attacking Thorolf, had suggested that Harald, in order to secure his loyalty, should keep him more close to himself, and at his Court. There he would be removed from possible temptations, as he was very powerful in the

Harald North, where he had many retainers. accordingly suggested to Thorolf that he should join his guard and bear his banner. The latter, we read,

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looked on either hand where stood his housecarls and replied that, in regard to the titles and grants

he had made him, Harald must have his own way, but he could not desert his faithful followers as long as he had means to keep them, and he invited the king to visit him again at his home and inquire for himself, from those who knew him, what they thought of his loyalty. Harald replied that he would not again accept entertainment from him, and he accordingly left.

When he had gone, Harald gave Hildirida's sons the Koyal Stewardship Thorolf had had in Halogaland, and also his office of tax-gatherer in Finland. He also deprived him of Torgar, and all the property Brigjolf had had, and he sent messengers to tell Thorolf what he had done. Thereupon the latter got together the ships that belonged to him, and put on board all the chattels he could carry and with all his people, both freemen and thralls, sailed northward to his farm at Sandness, where he kept up no fewer men, and no less state than before. The two sons of Hildirida now proceeded to Finrnark to collect the tribute, taking 30 men with them. The same winter Thorolf went up on the fell again with a hundred men, and went straight to Quenland and took counsel with King Faravid, and again made a joint expedition against the land of the Carelians with 400 men, and they attacked such districts as they deemed they could overmatch. In the spring he went home to his farm and employed his men at the fishing at Yagar (now Yaagen, in the south of the island called Ostvango, in Halogaland), probably the cod fishing, and also in herring fishing, and had the catch taken to his farm.

We

now come

to

paragraph in the Saga.

a

particularly interesting we are told had

Thorolf

:

" Harald Fairhair^

187

a large ship which was waiting to put to sea. was well appointed in every way, beautifully painted down to the sea line, the sails were striped with blue and red, and the tackling was as good as the ship. He had it made ready and put on board some of his domestics (housecarls) as a crew and freighted it with dried It

ermine, and grey furs in abundance, and other skins he had got from the fell, and it was fish, hides,

commanded by westward supplies.

for

It

Thorgils Yeller.

England first

to

.The ship set

sail

buy him clothes and other

steered

southwards along the

and then westward along the North Sea to England, where they found a good market and loaded the ship with wheat, honey, wine, and clothes, and sailing in the autumn, returned with a fair wind and came to Hordaland. coast

There were at this time two brothers, named Hallvard the Hardfarer and Sigtrygg the Swiftfarer, sons of a wealthy man who had an estate in They were employed as his agents by the Hising. king, and had been sent by him on many dangerous errands, either for getting rid of his enemies or in confiscating their goods. They had a large following, but their occupation did not

make them popular, although the king prized them highly. They were valiant and very wary, and were famous walkers, either on foot or with snow shoes. Meanwhile the king was present at a banquet Hordaland, and ordered the two brothers, to waylay the ship. They accordingly pursued it whither northwards, they were told it had gone, on two vessels. They found it in Fir Sound and knew it at once, and laid one of their own vessels in

on the seaward side

Some

of the

of

men

it.

then landed and climbed on

the ship by the gangways.

Thorgils and his

men

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were taken completely by surprise, and had no time to seize their weapons, and were put on shore without arms, and with nothing but the clothes they wore. Hallvard's men now pulled up the gangways, loosed the cables, and towed out the ship, then turned about and sailed southward along the coast till they met the king, to whom they brought the ship

and

all its

cargo.

Thorgils and his crew managed to get transport, and went to Kueldulf, Thorolf s father, and told him of the mishap which had occurred. The old man said things had only happened as he had foretold, namely,

that

his

son's

friendship

with

Harald would never bring him good luck. " I don't mind his money-loss, but I fear he will underrate the power of his enemies." He told Thorgils to to Thorolf. He then counselled Thorgils himself to leave Norway and take service with the King of England, of Denmark, or of Sweden, and he gave him a rowing cutter with tackling tell this

complete, with an awning and provisions, and all things necessary for their journey. Thorgils then set out and did not stop till he had rejoined Thorolf and told him what had happened. The latter took his loss philosophically, and said he 4< should not be short of money, for 'twas good to be in partnership with a king." He then bought meal and what was needed to maintain his people, but he said that his housecarls must be for a time less smartly attired than they had been. In order to maintain his position he now sold some of his lands and mortgaged other parts, but spent as much, and had quite as many men with him as before, and also continued his feasts and hospitality as lavishly as ever.

When the spring came and the snow and ice were loosened Thorolf launched a large warship,

" Harald Fairhair"

189

ready, and manned it with a hundred well armed, and when a fair wind came men, he steered south for Byrda, along the coast, and

had

it

made

all

then continued an outer course outside the islands, and at times along' the channels between fell slopes, and thus they sailed southwards and then eastwards, and met with no one till they came to the There they heard that King Harald was in Vik. the Vik, and that he proposed in the summer to go

The people there knew nothing of Thorolf s voyage. He held on to Denmark, and thence into the Baltic, where he harried, but only got an indifferent booty, and in the autumn returned to Denmark. At that time the fleet at Eyrar was breaking up, and there had been many Norse ships there as usual. Thorolf let them into the Uplands.

One past without disclosing his presence. a he and sailed into Mostrar saw Sound large day The trading ship which had come from Eyrar. steersman was named Thorir Thrum, he wns the steward of Harald 's great farm at Thrum a, where the king used to make a long stay when he was in the Vik it required much provisioning, and Thorir had gone to Eyrar to buy a cargo of malt, wheat, and honey for Harald, for which the king had supplied him with ample means. Thorolf not Thorir to the had but latter challenged fight, sufficient force to resist, so he yielded. Thorolf thereupon carried off the ship, and put Thorir on shore on an island. He then sailed inwards along the coast until he came to the mouth of the Elf, where he waited for the night, and when it was dark he steered up the river and made for the farm buildings belonging to Hallvard and Sigtrygg, who had recently robbed him of his own ship and had taken it for a voyage to England. He and his men formed a ring round the buildings, then raised

all sail

;

igo

Saga-Book of the Viking

a war shout which

awoke those

Society.

inside,

who

seized

Thorgeir fled from his bed chamber. The farm was surrounded with high wooden palings. Grasping the stakes he swung himself over, Thorgils Yeller, Thorolf s benchman, was close by and struck him with his sword, cutting off his His brother hand, but he escaped to the wood. with of his men. was slain 20 Thord, however, The farm was plundered and burnt, and Thorolf and his men then withdrew again, and went down to the river. They sailed north to the Vik, where with met another merchant vessel, belonging they to the men of Vik, laden with malt and meal. It was defenceless and also surrendered and its Thorolf crew were disarmed and put on shore. and his men again proceeded on their way with their three ships. We are told they took the their weapons.

They high way of the sea to Lidandisness. moved quickly, raiding cattle on their way on headland and shore. They then held a course further out, but pillaged wherever they touched land. When he came near the Firths Thorolf turned inwards in order to go and see his father, The to whom he described his summer voyage. he warned him that latter told him he had once would get no good by entering Harald's service. He now warned him again of the consequences of trying to put his forces against those of the king. He told him plainly that he was not strong enough to do this successfully and that all who had He said further, as they hitherto tried had failed. he that foresaw that they would never meet parted,

Thorolf now proceeded onward, but no again. him were heard, says our author (who of tidings was evidently writing from the narratives of contemporary witnesses) until he reached his home at Sandness, where he stored

all

the cargoes he had

* *

Harald Fairhair

"

191

brought with him, and there was no lack provisions through the winter (Ib. chap. xix.).

of

was not to be expected that Thorolf s recent would be tolerated by the king whose hold on his unruly subjects would not bear the strain of such a rebuff if it went unpunished, nor was it likely that the two brothers Hallvard and Sigtrygg would quietly tolerate the burning and plundering of their home. The king himself had been in Viken during Thorolf s buccaneering tour, he now went to the Uplands, where he stayed through the autumn with a large force, and the two brothers just named were with him. They asked his leave to It

action

take their usual following with which to attack Thorolf in his home. The king warned them of the dangers they would incur, for Thorolf was a brave and powerful opponent. They replied that they had been accustomed to meet risks when the odds were against them and had been hitherto

They made preparations accordingly, the spring received the king's consent to go. Although many prophesied ill luck Harald hoped they would return with Thorolf s head, and much successful.

and

in

They took two ships and 200 men with them and sailed out of the Firth with a north-east wind, which was a head wind for those going northwards.

rich plunder.

The king was

at Ladir

when

the brothers set

out, and he seems to have distrusted their power to compass what they had in hand, and himself hastily got ready four ships in which he put a large force, and they rowed up the Firth by Beitis-Sea

inwards to the isthmus of Eida.

There he left his ships and crossed the isthmus Naumdale, where he took others belonging to the great landowners, with his guard, which was

to

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400 men strong, with him. He had six well manned and equipped ships. They had to face a head wind so had to row night and day, for the night was then light enough to travel by. They arrived at Sandness, Thorolf s home, at sunset, and

saw lying

there, with its

awning spread, a long ship be Thorolf s. He had prepared

which they knew to and had ordered the ale for the parting The king bade his men to disembark and to raise his standard. It was a short distance Thorolf s watchmen, only to the farm buildings. who clearly did not know what was coming, were to escape, carousal.

drinking instead of being at their posts. The was surrounded. war blast was sounded on the king's trumpet, and a war whoop came from his men. Thereupon Thorolf s dependents sprang to their weapons, for each man's weapon hung over his seat. The king caused a proclamation to be all

hall

A

issued, bidding women, children, old men, thralls, and bondmen, to come out. Sigridr, Thorolf s wife, and her maids, then came out. She asked if the sons of Kari of Berdla were there. They both came forward and she asked them to take her to the She then asked him if anything would king. reconcile him to Thorolf. He replied that if he for asked mercy his life and limb should be spared, but as to his men, they must be punished for their misdeeds as the law provided. Thereupon Aulvir, son of Kari, who was an old friend of Thorolf s, went out to interview him. He reported what the The reply was a haughty and king had said.

refusal to accept any compulsory from Harald. He asked that they have their freedom, adding ambiguously, might that things should then go their course, that is, he The king replied challenged him to fight it out. that he would not waste the lives of his men in

characteristic

terms

" Harald Fairhair"

193

The way, and ordered them to fire the hall. the timbers were the and tarred, dry, roof covered with birchbark, so the fire soon caught. Thorolf ordered his men to break up the wainscoating and to take the gable beams, and with this

wood was

to burst through into the hall When they men as hold a as could on, seized beam, got many at so rammed the corner and it, they effectively that the clamps flew out, and the walls started asunder, and there was a wide opening. Through this Thorolf led the way, followed by Thorgils the There was a desperate Yeller, and then the rest. it was uncertain which side for while and a fight, would win, for the wall of the building protected

them

the rear of Thorolf s forces.

Many men were

on the king's side before then the fire attacked began Thorolf s side, and many of them fell. Thorolf rushed forward and hewed about him on either side. "There was small need to bind the wounds of those who encountered him," says the graphic the

hall

Saga his

to

lost

burn,

writer.

He made for the king's standard, and at this time henchman Thorgils the Yeller fell. When he

himself reached the shield-wall he struck down the " Now am I but three royal standard-bearer saying, feet short of my aim," meaning doubtless the king. There they all set on him with sword and spear.

The king gave him his death blow, and he fell forward at his feet. Harald then called out to them

to cease fighting, which they did, to their ships.

and

his

men returned

He then turned to Aulvir Knuf, and bade him take his kinsman Thorolf and give him honourable burial, and also to bury the rest of the dead, and to see to the wounded who had hopes of life, nor

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

194

should any be allowed to plunder, seeing the place This showed unusual was now his property. magnanimity in one who had, in the latter days at all events, been sorely tried by the splendid When the king reached his ships warrior Thorolf. he went round to superintend the care of the wounded, and confessed he had lost many of his

men

in the fight.

It was only on his return voyage southwards that he realized what a serious danger he had run, for as the day wore on they came upon many rowing vessels in all tlie sounds between the islands,

men who were

replying to Thorolfs help against the men of go Hallvard and Sigtrygg, who said they had been delayed by the north wind and took no part in the On their return home, we are told, the fight.

carrying

summons

latter

to

to his

were much mocked

at.

his men went on their ships to There they left them and travelled Thronclheim and on to Ladir.

The king and Naumdale. overland to

The two brothers Aulvir and Eyvind remained behind awhile at Sandness to bury the dead. Thorolf was buried with all customary honours in the case of a man of wealth and renown, and they set a memorial stone over him, and also looked

wounded. They also arranged with Sigridr about the house, but most of the housefurniture, table service, and clothing were burnt.

after

the

On

their return to the king they were sad and down-spirited, and spoke little with others, for they had been very close friends with Thorolf, and they asked Harald to be allowed to go home to their farms, for they had no heart to share drink and

who had fought against their The kmg refused this and kinsman Thorolf. seat

with those

(

j

j

Harald Fairhair

"

'95

had the brothers summoned to him in He said they had been long his audience hall. with him and had borne themselves like men, and He then told Eyvind satisfied him in everything. to go north to Halogaland, and gave him Thorolf s presently

widow, Sigridr, in marriage, with all the wealth that had belonged to him, and said he should have his friendship as long as he could keep it. Aulvir, he said, he could not spare, on account of his skill as a skald, and he must remain with him. The brothers were very grateful to the king for the honours he had given them and gladly accepted his

Eyvind, having got a good and suitable went north to Alost and Sandness, where he ship, was welcomed by Sigridr, the widow of two great Norsemen. He shewed her the consent to their which the king had given, and they were marriage married. He thus became the owner of Sandness and all Thorolf's property, and was now a One of his sons, Fid, surnamed wealthy man. offer.

the Squinter, married Gunhilda, the daughter of Hakon, and of Ingibiorg, daughter of King Harald, and was the father of the famous skald,

iarl

Eyvind

Skald-spiller (Ib., xxii.).

After Thorolf's death, Kettle Haening, his kinsclose friend, who had intended fighting by his side, but was prevented by the king's rapid He journey, did not wait long to revenge him. took a ship and 60 men, and went to Torgar, where Hildirida's sons lived. Their slanders had been, as we have seen, the cause of the king's turning against him. They only had a few people with them. Haening killed them both and appropriated

man and

all

their wealth that

including their

two

he could lay his hands upon, In largest ships of burden.

one of them he shipped his booty and cattle, and also took his wife and children. His foster-brother,

Saga-Book of the Viking

196

man

Society.

good family, and wealthy, steered as his late ship-mates, and ship, made for Iceland and settled at Hofi, near they East River. His son Hrafn became the first law-

Bang, a the

as

of

well

man in Iceland (J6., ch. xxiii). When the old and wise Viking,

Kueldulf, heard death of his famous son Thorolf, he took to He was cheered by his bed from sorrow and age. him that reminded who his other son Skallagrim, and useless become anything was better than to determine bedridden; "it were better they should

of the

to revenge Thorolf's death." Kueldulf, we are told, wrote a song. This is preserved in Egil's Saga, and I follow Mr. Green's translation :

in Northern isle (O cruel Norns ) is dead. Too soon the Thunder God

Thorolf

!

Hath ta'en my warrior son. Thor's heavy wrestler, age, Holds my weak limbs from fray Though keen my spirit spurs, No speedy vengeance mine. (Op.

and

cit.,

xx.

;

iv.).

That summer the king went to the Uplands, in the autumn, westward to Yaldres, and as

far as Yors.

Aulvir,

we

are told, asked

him

if

be

would pay wehrgeld or blood atonement to Thorolf's The king father and brother, for having slain him. consented to do so if they would go and see him. Aulvir at once set off for the Firths to meet them, and he remained for some time with his old friends.

He

told Kueldulf the details of his son's death,

and that it was the king who had given him his death wound, and said that Thorolf fell forward when he died. Upon which the fierce old man " that he would be replied that there was a saying that vengeance and fell who forward, avenged him," him who stood before reach would

**

Harald Fairhatr

"

197

Aulvir told his friends that if they would go to the king and crave atonement it would be a journey to their honour, and he pressed them to do so. Kueldulf said he was too old to travel and he meant to sit at home. Grim said he had no errand thither. He declared the king would find him too fluent of speech, and he would not long pray for atonement. Aulvir said he would have no need to speak as he himself would be their spokesman. Presently He he consented to go, and fixed a time to do so. and for selected the accordingly prepared journey, the strongest and bravest men from his household, twelve in all. Among them, one was a wealthy

some were his housecarles, one of them landowner, " a coal biter," i.e., one who could bite live coals, and two others, sons of Thororna, who was skilled in

magic.

They set sail in one of his ships and went along the coast southward to Ostra Firth, then by land up to the lake of Vors. They arrived when the When king was being entertained at table there. Grim reached the door he sent for Aulvir and his men to come out. Having greeted them, he invited them in. Grim told his followers that it was customary for men to enter the king's presence weaponless. Six therefore took off their weapons and went in, while the other six remained outside with their arms on. Aulvir then approached the king, with Grim behind him. The former was the spokesman and begged that Harald would confer some fitting honour upon Grim, who deserved it better than many who had been so treated, and that it would please his people, and especially himself, if he did so. Several others present supported Aulvir's words. The king then turned

to Grim, who was called from Skallagrim being bald, and was taller than the

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Saga-Book of ihe Viking

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He asked him to become his his and to join liegeman guard, and he would honour him him and make atonement for his brother's death if he should deserve it, but he must know This better how to keep troth than he had done. was not a conciliatory speech to make to a proud, brave man. Grim said his brother was far superior to himself, and yet he got no luck with the king. Nor would he accept his offer, for he could see no chance of faring better than his brother in return for honest and worthy service. others by a head.

The king was

silent

and became blood-red with

now badeG-rim and his men secure their and begone with all haste. He and many weapons Grim to the waterside. Aulvir escorted others fury. Aulvir

expressed his disappointment that his efforts had failed, and bade them haste homewards and keep well out of the way of the king and his men. They accordingly set off, while Aulvir and his men dismantled the boats which were lying on the shores of the lake, so that they could not be used in Meanwhile a large body of armed men pursuit. were seen advancing rapidly towards them. When Grim and his men withdrew from the audience

Harald regained his speech. He was very angry, " and declared the bald-head" to be full of wolfishness, and a dangerous person, and ordered his men to pursue and kill him. They found no boats, howGrim ever, fit to travel in, and had to return. he that went back to his father, who was pleased and had refused to join the king's service. Father son now discussed what they should do, since it was clear that Norway had become a very dangerous to place for them, and they determined to emigrate about Iceland, for good reports had reached them the land to be had there, where men could take land free of cost, and choose their households

" Harald Fairhair"

igg

where they willed, while several of their relations had gone there, notably Ingolf Arnarson, and his companions.

In the spring Kueldulf and his son made ready We are told they had plenty to choose from. They selected two large ships of burden, and put 30 strong men in each, beside women and children, and all the moveable goods they could carry, but no one dared buy their lands for fear of the king, and when ready they sailed away, first to their ships.

the Solundir islands, off the mouth of Sogne-firth, which were many and large and so cut into by bays that few men knew all their havens.

From this vantage the emigrants kept a lookout for the return of a ship laden with merchandise, and which had been sent by Harald under the command

of

Hallvard and Sigtrygg (who had been

the mortal enemies of Thorolf), to bring home the family of his uncle Guthrom, the iarl of Viken, who had died. Presently the ship was espied by He had a Grim, who was on the look-out. and the knew vessel had once which good sight,

belonged to Thorgils. He watched them lay to in the haven in the evening and reported what he had seen to his father. They accordingly set their boats in order and put 20 men in each. Kueldulf steered one and Grim the other, and they rowed for their enemy's ship, but when they came near where it lay they put into land. Hallvard's ship

and

laid

men had down

to

put an awning over their When Kueldulf s sleep.

came upon them, the watchman who sat at gangway leapt up and called to his shipmates, and bade the men rise, for an enemy was upon them. Upon which they took to their weapons, but the two gangways were blocked by the two

force

the

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Kueldulf and assailants, father and son. his men were now seized with the fervour

some of and war madness which sometimes seized the Norsemen this was incited, doubtless, by the memory of his ;

He now rushed on board his enemy's his men to go along the outer way and ordered ship of the gunwale and cut down the awning from its

son's death.

while he himself rushed aft to the sternand he and his men slew all they came Grim did the same at his end of the ship, " nor did they stay their hands till it was cleared." When Kueldulf came aft to the stern-castle he brandished high his axe and smote Hallvard with it and cut him through helm and head, so that He snatched the axe sank in up to the shaft. it back so forcibly that it carried Hallvard's body Grim cleared aloft, and he flung him overboard. the fore-castle and slew Sigtrygg. Many of the victims had plunged into the sea, but Grim took one of the boats and rowed after them, and slew all The two brothers lost. that were swimming. 50 men in the struggle. Their ship became the prey of the victors, who only gave their lives to two or three of the crew whom they deemed of least count. From them they heard what had been the motive of their voyage. Thereupon they looked over the slain on board and found that more had perished by drowning than those who had fallen in the ship. Among those who had thus perished sons of Guthorm, were two boys of 12 and 10 Harald's uncle, who had recently died/ forks,

castle, across.

;

released the men who had been bade them go to their master Harald, and spared, what him and tell they had seen and heard, and he the also sent king a verse in which he referred to had done as revenging the death of a he what

Grim now

noble warrior (Op.

cit.,

ch. xxviii.).

**

Grim and

Harald fatrhair**

201

men

took possession of the captured ship and cargo, and they made an exchange, loading the ship they had taken with the contents of one of their own, which was smaller, and which they sank by boring holes and putting stones in it. When the wind was favourable they set out for sea. It

his

was reported

of

the bareserks, and

other

men possessed with the bareserk fury, that they were so strong that no one could resist them, but when it abated they were weaker than their wont. It was so now with the old man Kueldulf, who felt so exhausted from the onset he had made In that he was utterly weak, and lay in his bed. their voyage to Iceland, Kueldulf commanded the captured ship and his son the other. For a while the two ships kept together, and were long in sight Meanwhile Kueldulf's sickness inof each other. he felt death coining near, he and as creased, summoned his shipmates and told them he had never been an ailing man, but if so be that he died they were to make a coffin and put him overboard, and he thought it likely that he would be drifted to Iceland. They were further to bear his greeting to his son Grim, and to tell him that if he reached Iceland, and (as might be the case) he himself should reach it first, that Grim should choose a homestead as near as possible to the spot where the coffin landed. He soon after died, and his shipmates did as he had bidden them, and they shot his coffin into the sea. An old friend of Kueldulf and his son, also called Grim, son of Thorir Kettleson, who was travelling with them, now took charge of the ship. When he reached Iceland, he took it up a narrow river, called the Gufer river, and there unshipped the cargo and remained over the first winter. When they explored the land the sea along shore, inwards and outwards, they

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had not gone far when they found Kueldulf 's coffin up in a creek. They took it to the ness close by, and raised a pile of stones over it.

cast

Harald, not unnaturally, confiscated all the lands which Kueldulf and his son had possessed in Norway, as well as their other property, and sought out all those who had supported them and had been in their confidence. He laid a heavy hand on all

and friends. Some he punished, away and sought refuge either in outside it. Among them was Yngvar,

their relatives

and many

fled

the land or

Grim's father-in-law. He turned all the property he could dispose of into chattels that could be

moved, and having secured a good sea-going ship, set off for Iceland, where he heard that Grim had He and his men were welcomed by him, settled. and spent the winter with, and accepted a farm from him on Swan Ness (Ib., ch. xxx.). another story in Egil's Saga which graphically the rough life of men in Harald's time, and the way in which he King pursued wrong-doers and breakers of the public The hero, if such he should be called, was peace. He was the son of Brynjolf, the Biorn. named son of another Biorn, who was a great personage

There

is

illustrates

in.Sogn.

The younger Biorn was a famous traveller, both as a freebooter and trader, and a tough man On one occasion he was at a banquet withal. was present a good-looking maiden there where Thora, styled Lacehand, the sister of Thorir Hroaldsson previously mentioned. Biorn sought her in marriage, but Thorir refused The same autumn the former took his consent. a well-equipped long ship to the Firths, and went to Thorir's house when he was not at home and carried her off to his father's house called

.

" Harald Fairhair " at

Aurland,

He

203

and there they spent the winter wished to marry her, but Brynjolf

together. refused to allow such a thing in his house, for he was a great friend of Thorir's, and sent to the latter to offer him redress for what his son had

Thorir replied that the only atonement This possible was to send his sister home again. Biorn would not consent to, and so matters reNext spring he asked his father mained awhile. for a long ship and a crew, that he might go Brynjolf replied, saying he would freebooting. doubtless, if he got the ship, use it against his wishes, and that he had already had enough trouble with him, but he offered him a tradingvessel laden with goods for trafficking, and bade him go south to Dublin, which he said was well spoken of as a mart, and he also provided him with a crew. To this Biorn consented, and got a ship ready, which was manned with 12 men, which he took to his father's house at Aurland. He found his mother there, sitting in her bower or parlour with several maidens, among whom was Thora. Biorn told them that he was determined Thora should go with him. His mother, as is the usual way of mothers, took his part and helped him, and Thora's clothes and trinkets were duly That night they went out put together ready. They had a bad, stormy together to Biorn's ship. passage, and presently reached the east coast of Shetland during a gale, and the ship was finally wrecked in making land at Hrossey, now Mainland, in Orkney. They took shelter in the borg or Pictish tower there, into which they moved their goods, and then proceeded to repair their ship, and there he married Thora (Ib. xxxii). A little before winter news reached them that a long ship had come to the Orkneys with messages from King Harald, ordering larl Sigurd to kill done.

,

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Biorn wherever he was found. The same orders were sent to the Sudereys and also to Dublin. Biorn also heard that he had been outlawed in Norway, and realised the danger of his position, and in the spring, as soon as the weather was settled, he got a good wind and sailed for Iceland, where he was welcomed by Grim, who did not know what had happened. Biorn was a close friend and foster-brother of Thorolf, who was also a friend of Biorn" s father, Brynjolf, and so Biorn and Thora took up their abode with Grim. In the autumn,

however, ships came from Norway with

full tidings

what had really occurred, and that Biorn had actually married Thora without the consent of her

of

family and had been outlawed by King Harald. When he heard this Grim was furious, for he was a great friend of Thorir. Grim's son Thorolf, however, pleaded for him, as did others, and he was presently appeased and bade them do what they Thora had meanwhile had a liked in the matter.

daughter,

who had been

sprinkled with water and

called Asgerd, while Thorolf became a close He asked his father what he friend of Biorn. counselled should be done, for Biorn had a great wish to return to Norway, and he further begged him to send men thither to make atonement for

was

him, for he thought Thorir would greatly honour He accordingly sent deputies to his counsel. Norway, and when they arrived they were joined by Brynjolf, who also offered to make atonement Thorir on his side agreed to accept for his son. this, and he put up the messengers from Iceland in his house for the winter, when they went back with their message. Biorn stayed a third winter in Norway, and then returned for his wife. At her own request they left their child Asgerd with Grim's wife Bera, the daughter and heiress of Yngvar, who had been its foster-mother, and she

!

" Harald Fairhair"

205

was brought up in Grim's family. Thorolf, Grim's son, went to Norway with Biorn. The voyage was a successful one, and they duly reached Sogn, and thence went to Biorn's father, where the atonement was duly ratified. One condition was that Thorir paid such of his property in his house as belonged to his sister to Thora, and afterwards, we are told, the two remained good brothers-in-law and friends. xxxv.).

(Ib.,

have deemed it right to give at length these most valuable and illuminating extracts from the Egii Saga as a very notable and instructive picture I

inner life of the Norsemen in the time of Harald. What would not we give for a King similar picture, with equal authority (and there are others), illustrating the parallel condition of the English race at the same time ? I have given the story in the great Saga writer's own words, and have taken it from Mr. W. C. Green's racy transLet us lation, upon which I could not improve. now return to the King.

of the

After the battle of Hafrsfiord, says the Heimskringla, King Harald found nothing to withstand him in all Norway, for all his greatest foemen

were fallen. Certain of them had migrated to other lands, and thus were the waste lands peopled far and wide. Jamt aland and Helsingland were then occupied, though both of them had already

some

got

settlers (Op. cit., ch. 20).

of the Western coasts of and his Norway, making their proud and free landowners pay taxes was a hard blow for many of

Harald's conquest

them. And among other consequence (as told in his were that the Outlands were discovered and peopled, namely, the Faroes and Iceland. Many again went to Shetland and many others adopted

life)

a Viking's

life

and went warring and buccaneering

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They abode largely, in the winter, in the Orkneys and the Sudereys, or Hebrides (as they are now called), but in the summer they greatly ravaged Norway and caused much trouble there. There were many, however, who sided with Harald and became his men. Probably the bonders in the West.

who had suffered much from their were the latter's chief recruits. countrymen, piratical When he heard how the fugitives who had fled westward had turned their weapons on their old home of Norway, he determined on a vigorous campaign against them. He on several occasions made summer trips with his fleet across the North Sea, and searched the islands and skerries and drove them from their haunts out to sea. Growing tired of this privateering warfare, he determined on a greater effort, and collected a large fleet and made straight for Shetland and there slew all the or

farmers,

Vikings

who

did not

flee.

He then went to the Orkneys, which he entirely cleared of their Vikings, and then to the Sudereys or South islands, where he also harried "

who were captains of and slew many Vikings " He had many fights, but always there. bands

won

Then he harried in Scotland. the day. he arrived in the Isle of Man all the people,

When

having heard

of his previous doings, fled to Scotland, and that island was depopulated, and all the property in it was removed away, and thus when he and his men landed they secured no booty.

In these battles Ivar, son of Kognwald, iarl of killed, and as a recompense King Harald offered his father the iarldorn of the Orkneys and

Mere was

Shetlands, but Rognwald declined the gift. probably did not relish ruling a depopulated and devastated land and he gave it over to his

the

He

i

" Harald Fairhait

''

207

brother Sigurd, who stayed behind when the King and his host returned to Norway. Harald confirmed his appointment. Rognwald left two sons Rolf and Thorir, by Hilda, daughter of Rolf Regia, and also left three other sons, whose mothers were not high born, and

who were

called

Halladr,

Einar, and Hrollaug.

They were a good deal older than the two sons just named and had reached manhood when the Rolf adopted the career latter were still children. He was so big that no horse could of a Viking. carry him, so that he used to march afoot and was hence known as the Ganger. He was continually harrying in the East lands (i.e., East of the Baltic). On one occasion when he was returning thence he was apparently short of provisions and ran into the Vik, and there seized a number of cattle on This form of plundering was known the shore. Harald happened to be as strand-slaughtering. then in Viken and was very angry since he had forbidden all such piratical acts in his own

He

summoned a Thing and an outlaw, nor did the appeals of his mother Hilda avail to save the She then sang a song in which she culprit. warned the King that it was rather a rash thing to quarrel with a wolf of Odin's lineage and that if he withdrew to the forest he would grievously Rolf thereupon went westward harry his flock. to the Sudereys and thence to Valland, i.e., the Frankish kingdom, where, as Ari says, he founded a mighty iarldom, which he peopled with Northmen, and which was afterwards called Normandy (Harald Fairhair's Saga, ch. xxiv.). In Olaf Trygvisson's Saga we read that Harald, having found that on his return home the Scotch and Irish Vikings had descended on the Sudereys (i.e., the Hebrides), sent Ketil Flatnose, son of Biorn dominions. there

therefore

proclaimed Rolf

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the ungarfcered, into the West to win them back. Ketil left his son Biorn to look after his estates in Norway, and went West with his wife and other children. Having reduced the Sudereys, he made himself chief of them, and refused to pay taxes to Harald, who thereupon seized all his estates in Norway and drove away his son Biorn (Op.

cit.,

ch. 121).

The widespread conquests of Harald, which involved the subjugation or suppression of such a number of previously independent communities under their own rulers and owners, and the extirpation or disappearance by emigration of the latter, necessitated a revision of the administrative machinery of the Country on an equivalent scale. Harald proceeded to divide it afresh. At first he put the larger areas under the control of his most trusted dependents, giving each of them the title of iarl. He deputed to each of them a virtually supreme jurisdiction within his province subject only to his own dominant authority in the last instance. Each iarl he appointed was also subject to his paying over to him a considerable portion of the scatt or taxes which were collected in the province and which had not been used in paying the expenses of Government there. These iarldoms were in effect great hereditary administrative posts.

Harald having put down all his enemies, was, we are told, feasting with his friend iarl Rognvald when lie remembered the oath which he had made that he would neither be shorn nor bathe until

he had conquered Norway, and he accordingly, after ten years, took his first bath and had his hair sheared and combed. Aforetime, says Ari, he had been called Shockhead, but men now called him Harald Fairhair, and they all said he was well

^ Ha? aid Fairhair"

named

had both abundant and beautiful

for he

hair (Op.

cit

209

23).

,

Harald, like many other handsome warriors old days before Christianity had intervened the (in with its restriction on the numbers of a man's He first wives) had a large and well-born harem. married Asa, the daughter of iarl Hakon, who was his most trusted and powerful subject (Saga of Harald Fairhair, ch. 9). By her he had four sons, Guthorm (doubtless named after his own uncle and two twin sons called Halfdane, foster father) the White and Halfdane as Halfdane distinguished the Black, and fourthly Sigfrod (?Sigfrodr). They were apparently born dining his four years' residence at Throndheim and, we are told, were brought up there in great honour (Ib., ch. 18). Secondly, he married Gyda, the daughter of King Eric of Hordaland (Ib., ch. 3 and 21). We have already referred to this proud lady who refused to marry ;

him till he had conquered all Norway. By her he had four sons, Roerik, Sigtryg, Frotlii, and Thorgils, and a (laughter Alof, called Arbot, i.e., the Year's-

heal, who was the oldest of the family and whom he married to Thorir the Silent, iarl of Mere (Saga

of

Harald Fairhair,

Another of

ch. 30).

his wives

was Swanhild, daughter

King Eystein of Heath mark. By her he had hree sons, Olaf Geirstad-Elf, Biorn, and Ragnar iyckil (Ib., ch. 21); another of his wives was Ashild, daughter of Ring Dayson from Ringariki, and their sons were Day, Ring, and Gudrod Skiria, and a daughter Ingigiord. )f

In regard to one of his wives we have a curious We are told that on one occasion he Saga. went a guesting into the Uplands and spent his

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Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

Yuletide at Nord Tofti, in the parish of Dovre, in North Gudbrandsdal. When he had sat down at table a Finn, who was a Shaman or Wizard, named Swazi, came to the door and sent a message to the

King bidding him go to his cot. Although Harald was wroth he felt constrained to go, but some of his company were not pleased. W hen he entered, there met him Swazi's daughter, who was very fair to look at, and who offered him a bowl of houeymead. He took both the mead and the hand r

that offered it, says our author, and straightway it was as hot as if hot fire had pierced her skin, and he All this, he suggests, felt overcome with passion. was the effort of her witchery. Swazi insisted that if the matter was to go any further the King must be duly betrothed and lawfully wedded. He became so engrossed with her that he forgot his duties to his kingdom and they had four sons, Sigurd a-Bush, Halfdane Longlegs, Gudrod Gleam, and Rognvald Straightlegs.

Snowfair presently died, but her skin remained and white as she was when alive, and the King sat beside her and thought in his heart she For three winters he thus was still living. sorrowed, and his people did so too, that he should be so beguiled. Presently came Thorleif the Sage, learned in medicine (or leechcraft, as it was known he approached him soothingly and in those times) said he did not wonder he was so devoted to so fair a woman, but that it was necessary she should be moved so that her clothes might be changed. But as soon as she was taken out of bed a dreadful smell came from the dead body and they brought It first turned holy fire, i.e., incense, and burnt it. thin and then nauseous, uncanny beasts came from

as red

;

it,

worms and

adders, frogs and paddocks, and

other creeping things, and she thus

fell

into ashes.

4 '

Harald Fairhair

"

211

Thereupon the King recovered his good sense and cast out his folly, and ruled the realm stoutly with the help of his councillors (Saga of Harald Fairhair, ch. 25).

Ari tells us that after Snowfair's death Harald realized that she had bewitched him into an alliance with her, and he drove her four sons away and would not look at them. Thereupon one of them, Gudrod, repaired to Harald's famous bard Thiodolf, who had been his foster-father and who was a great favourite of the king's, and asked him to intercede for him. Harald was then staying in the Uplands, whither Gudrod and his brother made their way, but as they arrived in the evening and were still in their travelling dress, they sat clown in an outer place and kept hidden. As the King went up the hall-floor and looked over the benches he sang a verse in which he spoke of his old warriors as being over eager for the feast and added that they were many and hoary. Thiodolf, who had disguised himself, and was hurt by the remark, thereupon improvised a reply, in which he recalled that in their fights together, the heads of his warriors had borne hard blows in his company, and he asked if they had been too

many then. He now removed his head covering and :he King recognised and welcomed him. The old Doet then begged him not to cast out his sons and uttered a memorable phrase, saying that they would

gladly have had a better-born mother if he had The King took the rebuke only given them one. dndly and asked him to take Gudrod to himself ain and let him live with him as he had done

Sigurd and Halfdane he sent to Kingariki, Rognvald he sent to Hadaland. Ari adds they became manly men and well endowed

before.

while -hat

with prowess

(Ib., ch. 26).

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Returning to Harold's wives, the one he cherished most, and who was most high-born, was Kagnhild the Mighty, daughter of Eric, King of Jutland, no doubt the son of Gudrod, King of Westfold, who has occupied us so greatly. Eric was therefore Harald's uncle, and Ragnhild was his cousin. By her he had one son, namely, Eric, styled

Bloody Axe, who presently succeeded him as King of Norway. People said that when Harald married her he put away from him nine wives. Hornklofi refers to this in one of his caustic Raven Song. He tells us that when Harald married his Danish wife he scorned the Holmfolk (i.e., the women belonging to the typical Norwegian district of the islands on the verses in the

coast of Rogaland) and the maidens of the Hords and Raums (or of Horda land and Raum realm) and of Halgoland.

He adds the cryptic sentence that the bondmaids of Ragnhild, the proud woman, would now have something more pleasant to talk about than that they had been treated with short commons by Harald (Vigfusson, Corpus Poet, Bor. i. 259). When woman

Harald grew old he had a son by a

not noble family, named Her family Thora Mostrstong, i.e., Most-staff. name was taken from the place called Most,* and the [ oet Horde Kari was one of her She was very tall and fair and was one relatives. of the King's bond-women, for in those days there were many of good blood, both men and women, who were in the King's employment. It was then the custom, when a child of high birth was born, of good, but

* Now Mostero, on the Western side of the Sound called Bommelen South Hordaland, the main inlet into the Hardanger fiord from the South (Magnussen iv. 265).

in

!

**

Hara Id Fairhair"

213

to select someone who would sprinkle water on him and give him a name. When the child we are dealing with was about to be born, his mother Ihora, who was living at Most, sought out Harald, who was then in residence at Saeheimr,^

whither

she

travelled

in

a

of the

Sigurd, task of lay off the godfather. land, Thora brought forth a child at the cliff's side by the gangway-head leading to the ship, and it So iarl Sigurd sprinkled proved to be a boy. him with water and called him Hakon, after his own father. He grew up to be handsome and tall and was the very image of his father Harald. He was brought up with his mother and was about the king's manors while he was young. ship

who had undertaken One night, when they

of Ladir,

iarl

While still a boy Hakon was the hero of an incident which has been by some suspected as an invention, as I think with very poor reason. Although coloured with some obviously fanciful incidents, it seems to me to be substantially true.

At

this time Athelstane had recently become of King England. Ari says he. was called the Victorious or the Faithful, and adds that he sent men to Norway to King Harald with his greeting. [his was in itself a very likely matter since the Norwegian king was the mightiest man in the ^orth and had ties with the Scottish islands that rvould make him well known to the English king. Athelstane's envoy took with him a lordlj gift in he shape of a sword, the hilt of which was lecorated with gold as was the grip, while its irray or scabbard was also wrought with gold and ilver. So far the story seems perfectly natural. *

This was one of Harald 's manors and is now called Saem. It is N. side of the Osterfirth (North of Berpen), almost opposite iammer on the isle of Ostero (Magnussen iv. 275) n the

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Society.

Then comes a passage which is in itself hard to believe. Ari says that when the king took the grip, Athelstane's messenger immediately said "Since 'thou hast taken the sword as our king would, now thou hast become his man." That the messenger on an occasion where courtesy was everything should have thrown such an insult at the aged king, who :

was very much more powerful than Athelstane and over whom he could have no pretence of claiming homage, seems incredible arid seems rather an addition to the story to meet the tastes of the Icelandic vikings for whom Ari wrote, than a reality. He goes on to say that Harald deemed that the affront was meant to mock him and declared that he would be no man's feudatory, but he tk recollected that it was his practice to sleep upon " his wrath and not to take a hasty decision, and he also consulted his friends, who agreed that it would be better to let the messenger return in This again was peace rather than to do him ill. the these hardly way proud Norwegian Junkers

were wont to behave when

flouted.

The next summer we are

told Harald sent a the command of Hawk under ship England who was a great breech, Habrok, i.e., HighHe sent liked the and much king. by champion him to visit Athelstane and put Hakon in his charge, which in itself is not an improbable thing, but most improbable if he had previously Hawk been treated with indignity by him. well he was found the King in London, where To carry out the dramatic received and feasted. part of the story Ari reports that at this feast to

Hawk

j

|

men

that he should go out first who came in last, and that all should stand abreast before the Royal board, each man with his sword at his left side but with their cloaks so

instructed his

|

;

|

" Harald Fairhair^

215

arranged that their swords should not be seen and so they entered the hall, a company of 30 men. Hawk then appoached Athelstane and greeted him Then Hawk and the king bade him welcorhe. him on Atheland Hakon the lad took placed asked Athelstane stane's knee. why he having " biddeth Harald did so. Hawk replied King :

Here thee foster the child of his bondwoman." That again is an incident which is incredible. Hawk should have thus described the pet child of Harald's old age, the special foster-child of the great iarl of Ladir, and have invited a very cruel treatment, not only for the lad but for the whole party, by insulting the English king, seems ridiculous, and may be explained as a dramatist's clumsy form of tit for tat, but does not represent the conduct of a sane man. Ari says that Athelstane was exceedingly wrath and took up his sword to

kill

"Thou hast upon which Hawk replied set him on thy knee and mayest murder him if thou wilt, but thou will not thus put an end to all the sons of King Harald." Thereupon Hawk and his men all withdrew to their ship and put to sea and returned to Norway, Ari goes on to say that King Harald was well pleased that his son had remained to be fostered by Athelstane, for men ever account the fosterer less noble than him whose child he fostereth. Then he adds a moral which rather spoils the effectiveness of his the boy,

:

He says "By such story. the kings may it be seen how either would fain be greater than the other, yet not a whit, for by all this was not any honour of ither spilt, and either was sovereign lord of his realm till his death day." telling the

way

of

like

dealings of

What

:

follows shows that the incident of the

mutual insults of the two kings

is

almost certainly

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an imaginative addition to the real story, for after Hawk's challenge and before his whole Court, Athelstane certainly did the very reverse of treating the boy as the son of a bondwoman.

We are told that he had him christened and taught the right truth and good nmnners and all kinds of prowess and that he loved him more than all his kin, and so did all other men who knew Hence he was called " Hakon, Athelstane's him. He became a man of great strength fosterling." size and of fair speech, and eventually rose to We are told that King be King of Norway. Athelstane gave him a sword, the hilt and grip of which were all decorated with gold, while the blade was still choicer, and that with it Hakon was " reputed to have split a quern-stone to the eye," whence the weapon was called Quern biter. It was the best sword that ever came to Norway and Hakon kept it until his death day (Ib., ch. xlii.

and

and

xliii.).

After reporting how well filled his quiver was with children and speaking of his later days, An

own says that King Harald sat at home in his land enjoying good peace and plenteous seasons (Op. cit., ch. 2(i).

mean

that he had no troubles. The great king had had a successful career and was the most notable ruler in Europe of his time. He had conquered and consolidated a great kingdom and beaten or driven away all his enemies, but like other great conquerors, troubles accumu-

This does not

own family which were harder to face. His quiver no doubt was full, and he was proud of it, but the weapons it contained began to be his menacing. The fact is that for the most part various wives continued to live among their own

lated in his

u Harald Fairhair"

217

people and brought up their own sons there. This was the only feasible plan when a king had many

who could not be treated like the slave-wives among the Mohammedans, where they occupy one wives

harem and are kept under

strict

discipline

by

truculent eunuchs or an exacting mother-in-law. High-born and high-spirited Scandinavian dames could not be thus treated.

As is still the fashion among the rich Arabs each wife had a separate house. The difference being that in the North these several houses were not in one place but in the different parts of the For the country, each among her own people. most part such marriages were political and diplomatic and meant to secure the allegiance and It was perhaps only loyalty of powerful families. a that so broken by physical way country

in this

obstacles into

separate counties

could

be

tied

together.

This had,

however, its inconveniences, for having no common home, the king's sons hardly knew each other and hardly recognized the ties which bind brothers together who have been playmates and companions from their nursery.

and rivalries and quarrels naturally and each one became the centre of intrigues. Being of Royal blood, and great personages, they naturally had expensive households, and often found that their incomes, which were at first mere doles and allowances from their father, were not sufficient for their needs and ambitions. Ari says that some of them had become riotous, and in some cases had driven out the iarls, and in others killed them. As I have said, the great king was battled when he tried to rule his own household in which the children of several mothers had to be

Jealousies 'arose

satisfied.

They struggled with each other

for their

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which he had parcelled out the fashion recognized in the North, without taking care to make any one of them Some of them, absolutely supreme over the rest. whose were too too, portions scanty for their viewed with ambitions, great jealousy the domifather's inheritance,

among them

in

nating position assigned by Harald to some of his own administrative officers, the great iarls. They treated them as not having pretensions like themselves who claimed descent from a long race of lordly kings.

Thus it came about that his most devoted counsellor and friend, and the most powerful of his iarls, the ancestor of the Dukes of Normandy, namely, Rognwald, iarl of Mere came by his end. One spring we read that Halfdane Longlegs and Gudrod Gleam, two of Harald's sons by the Finnish woman Snowfair, went with a company of men and surprised the great iarl in his house arid burnt him there with 60 of his men. It will be remembered that Rognwald had committed a similar crime on another iarl years before. Gudrod thereupon appropriated the possessions of the iarl while his brother Halfdane took three of his big ships and sailed into the Western sea.

Rognwald

left

several sons,

more than one

of

whom became

One of them was distinguished. named Hrollaug. He lived with King Harald for some time, made a good marriage, and eventu-

He remained a powerful person there and continued his friendship for the King, and he never left Iceland. The king sent him a good sword, an ale horn, and a gold bracelet The sword became the weighing five ounces. of son of Hall O'Side, and the horn Kol, property was seen by Kolskegg the historian (see the long Saga of Olaf Trygvisson, ch. 214). ally settled in Iceland.

!

" Harald Fairhair

"

219

When King Harald heard what had happened he was naturally enraged with his sons and went with a great force against Gudrod, who had appropriated the dead iarl's realm and who at once His father sent him eastward into submitted. he made over the iarldom of Mere to and Agder, the Silent, son of Rognwald, and called Thorir, him his own gave daughter Alof in marriage. Meanwhile Halfdane, as we have seen, went westward to the Orkneys, where he was murdered.

We

must now revert for a few paragraphs to have seen how the story of those islands. Harald had made Sigurd, son of Rognwald, iarl. He there associated himself with Thorstein the Red, the son of Olaf the White, of whose probable death at Hafrsfiord 1 have already The two harried in Scotland and conspoken. and Caithness, as far as the Sutherland quered which separates Ross from Sutherland. (In Eikkjel the Orkney Saga, Moray and Ross are also named, but these were apparently later conquests). In this war they fought against the Scotch iarl, Melbricta or Melbriga. The account in the Flatey-bok and the Orkneyinga Saga, says that they had agreed to meet at a certain place, with 40 men on horseback on each side, in order to settle their

We

Sigurd, who suspected some treachery on the part of the Scots, mounted 80 men on his 40 horses. Melbricta noticed this and said to his men "I see two legs on each side of each horse " and he at once determined to fight. Sigurd told half of his men to dismount and attack them from behind, while those who were mounted were to charge them in front. Presently Melbricta fell, and with him all his men. Sigurd fastened the head of the Scotch iarl to his saddle bow and thus difference.

:

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rode home. Meanwhile, when spurring his horse, he struck his leg against a projecting tooth of Melbricta (whence his soubriquet of Tonn or the The wound proved serious and he died Toothed). of it and, says the Saga, he was buried in a mound at Ekkjalsbakki.

Anderson,

Saga, identifies

Orkneyinga

in his edition of the it

with a

mound on

the Dornoch Skene argues against this and would identify the place as near Torres, and would even equate the famous sculptured pillar there and known as Sweno's Stone " with Sigurd's monument. On one side are two figures engaged in friendly conversation, and above, a cross with the on the other side is usual network ornamentation a representation, difficult to make out, of a number of men engaged in Council and behind is a building or fortification, above which is a party of men at full gallop followed by foot soldiers with bows and arrows. Above again is a leader with a man's firth.

''

;

head hanging to his girdle followed by three trumpeters sounding for victory and surrounded by decapitated bodies and human heads ; above again is a party seizing a man in a Scotch dress, and below another party, one of whom is cutting above all is a leader off another man's head seven men. The followed by correspondence of ;

these sculptures with the incidents in the tale is 8, and striking (Skene's Celtic Scotland, i. 337 notes).

Sigurd

was

Guthorm "who

succeeded as iarl by his son ruled the land for one winter and

then died childless," whereupon his patrimony as

was seized by several Danes and Northmen Harald Fairhair's Saga, xxii.). When Hognwald the iarl of Mere heard of the death of his brother and nephew, and what had become of their lands, he

iarl

sent his son Hallad,

who

received the

title

of

iarl,

" Harald Fairhair

"

221

and took a large number of men with him and settled them at Hrossey, but the Vikings in the islands landed on different nesses or headlands, and ravaged the land, killing the cattle, until Hallad grew weary, relinquished his title as iarl, and again became a franklin, much to the chagrin of his

In the Orkneyinga Saga father (Ib., ch. xxvii.). the names of two of the Vikings are mentioned who then occupied the late iarl's lands, namely,

Woodbeard and Kalf Scurvy. Rognwald then summoned his three elder sons, who were base born To Thorir, he said he could to not spare him, his career must be at home

Thorir

:

;

Hrollaug, that

his

future would

be

in

Iceland,

where he prophesied he would become famous. The third and youngest son, Einar, is then reported u Wilt them to have spoken to his father and said :

promise thee in that case that which will be most welcome to thee, that I will that I go

?

I will

never again come into thy eyesight, nor have I much here to live upon." The grim iarl replied " Thou art not a very fitting person to become a chief, for thou art thrall-born on all sides, but it is true I would gladly see thee go, and hope thou wilt not return." Rognwald gave him a ship, with 20 benches, fully manned, and King Harald gave :

him the

title

of

iarl.

He sailed West to Shetland, where he was joined by a number of people, and then went on to the Orkneys, and proceeded to attack Kalf and his battle followed, in which both the companion. Vikings fell. Einar was a tall man and ugly, and

A

one-eyed, and yet very sharp sighted (Orkneyinga Saga, ch. vi.). It was reported that he was called Turf Einar, because he was apparently the first Norwegian to

222

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use turf for in the

fires in

Orkneys.

of the

Viking Society.

Torf Ness, there being no wood

We

shall return to

him

presently.

on an earlier page the murder of the great iarl Rognwald by Harald's two sons, and how thereupon one of them, Hulfdane Longlegs, went westward to the Orkneys a daring journey, since those islands were then in the hands of the I described

son of the murdered chief On his arrival some of the settlers there joined him and became his liegemen, but Einar fled into Scotland. Halfdane subdued the islands and made himself King of them. The same year Einar returned and a great battle was fought, in which the latter gained the victory and Halfdane jumped overboard. Thereupon Einar sang a song, in which he reproached his brothers for not having taken vengeance on their father's murderers, and specially attacks Thorir for sitting mute over his mead cups in Mere.

Next morning they went

men among

the islands and

to look for

runaway

they caught were at once slain. Looking towards feinansey, Einar said he saw something that stood up and then laid down, and it must be either a bird or a man. They went to see and there they found Halfdane Einar made them carve an eagle on Longlegs. his back with a sword and cut the ribs through from the backbone, and drew the lungs through the cuts, and made an offering of the whole to Odin for the victory he had won. Vigfusson and all

Powell seem to throw some doubts on this. think with little reason. The particular penalty of making a spread eagle on an enemy's back was common in Viking times, and we must remember that Einar was revenging the very ruthless murder I

of his

own

father.

Several of the latter's verses on

his victory are reported in the Orkneyinga Saga. Some of the lines are vigorous. In them, inter alia,

'*

Harald Fairhair

"

223

he claimed to have hewn a hole in Harald's shield, which no one could gainsay. He gloated over his victory, and the feast he had given the falcons and carrion birds. "Cast the stones," he says, "over Longlegs," i.e., pile them on his grave, "for we have It was with hard money I paid got the victory. him taxes. I know that a good many men are seeking my life, but they cannot know until I am dead whether it will be I or they who will feed the eagles" (see V. & P., Corp., Poet Bor., i. 371 and 372).

On

the news of Halfdane's murder reaching Harald, in Norway, he called out his men and set As soon as he out for the West to revenge him. of heard the king's approach iarl Einar fled to Harald doubted the policy, or perhaps Caithness. the possibility of waylaying him, and it was arranged that they should come to a parley, at which Einar and the people of the Orkneys agreed to pay 60 marks of gold as a blood penalty for the The bonders or outrage they had committed. farmers deemed the fine altogether excessive, so Einer agreed to pay it himself on condition that all the odal or tax-free lands in the islands were made over (or perhaps rather became taxable) to him. This they consented to do, for the poor people had but little land while the rich to redeem their hoped After this Harald returned to property again.

Norway. Meanwhile

another tragedy happened to another of Harald's sons. We have seen how much he was helped in his earlier days by his uncle and foster father Guthorm. and was well rewarded by him. He

.latter

how lived

the at

Westfold, which he administered Tonsberg, as he did the Uplands in Harald's absence (/., 21). We are told he had a good deal of worry in in

224

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protecting his charge against the piratical attacks of the Vikings and the men of Eric Eymundson, The latter, we read, died King of Sweden. when Harald had been King of Norway ten years, and was succeeded as King of Sweden by his son

Biorn (Saga of Harald Fairhair, ch.

29).

was apparently a few months after this that " Guthorm, also died in his bed," as it is said in the It

Heirnskringla, a rare occurrence in those days. We have seen how his two young sons were drowned when on their way to join Harald (vide ant?\ Guthorm had undertaken the tutelage of Harald's eldest son, Eric, and had sprinkled water over him and given him his name. Ari says u he set the lad on his knee and became his fosterer and had him

away with him

into the

Vik

" (fb.,

21).

When

Harald the old man died without a male the godson and namesake appointed his own son, of the elder Guthorm," to succeed him as governor He had of Westfold and the Uplands (/., 29). to guard the former against the forays of the pirates and used to patrol the skerries round the coast with his ships. On one occasion, when he lay heir

'

the mouth of the river Elf, Solfi Klofi, of whom we have heard before, and who had been formerly severely defeated by King Harald, attacked and in

killed him.

of

Viken by

He was

apparently succeeded as ruler Biorn (Ib., 38).

his brother

Another of Harald's sons, Halfdane the White, was also killed at this time in a desperate battle fought between himself and his twin brother in the Eastlands, i.e., in the lands to the east of the Baltic (op. cit., 33).

Halfdane the Black

Of one of Harald's sons by the Finn woman Snowfair, named Eognwald Spindleshanks, Ari has a grim story.

He

had been given a share

of

" Harald Fairhair "

225

Hadaland as an appanage by his father and took wizardy or magic and working spells, which had been practised by his Finn mother, and to which The black art Harald was greatly opposed. in Hadaland heard of a wizard king having living called Vitgeir, sent to bid him leave off his wizardy. He replied in a verse in which he rebuked the king for restraining him who was only carlborn by either parent, while his own son Rognwald was practising the same art in Hadaland. On hearing this Harald sent his eldest son Eric with a force to Hadaland where he burnt his brother and with him 80 wizards (76., 36). to

Wizardy continued to be practised in the family by the son of Rognwald Spindleshanks, grandson of King Harald, named Eyvind Kelda, who is described as wealthy, and who was a wizard. He afterwards came by a tragical end in the reign of King Olaf Trygvisson (see Saga of O. T., ch. 195). Still another of Harald's sons also had a tragical end at this time, namely, Gudrod Gleam the foster son of the poet Thiodwolf. He was determined to go in an ill-manned ship northward to Rogaland when the weather was very rough, nor would he listen to Thiodwolf s advice to put off his journey till there was better weather, but set out most When he came off Yaderen the ship rashly. foundered and all who were in it perished (Harald

Fairhair's Saga, 37).

Meanwhile Harald

in order to stop the struggles jealousies of his sons, had to make fresh provision for them and to give them a higher status. Hoping to satisfy their ambitions, he called together a great Thing or Assembly of the South Country, to which he also invited the At this he gave appanages to several Uplanders.

and

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

226

of them with the title of kings and established that in each case the father should be succeeded by his son in his kingdom. This title was reserved for his sons and their descendants, while according to Harald those who were related to him on the spindle side (by whom the descendants of his daughters are probably meant) were to have only the status and name of iarls.

In dividing the kingdom he had assigned Vingulmark, Raumariki, Westfold and Thelemark to Olaf, Biorn, Sigtrygg, Frothi and Thorgils. Heathmark and Gudbrandsdale he gave to Dag, King, and Ragnar. Ringariki, Hadaland, Thoten, and all that pertained to them he gave to the sons of

Brushwood and Halfdane Longwas afterwards killed, in the West,

Snowfair, Sigurd legs.

The

latter

we have seen, by Torf Einar, iarl of Orkney, but There Sigurd retained his kingdom in Ringariki. he was succeeded by his son Halfdane, and he by his son Sigurd, who married the widow of King Harald the Grenlander, named Asta. They were both baptized at the instance of King Olaf Tryg-

as

visson, as was their boy Olaf, who was named after the great King Olaf himself (see the long Saga To Guthorm Harald gave of King O. T., ch. 194). Ranriki that is, all the country from the river Gotha Elf t(o Swinesund, and doubtless called after iarl Rani the Gothlander, who had governed it for the

Swedish king. Harald chiefly made his home in the middle of His the land, namely, Rogaland and Hordaland. sons Rorek and Gudrod always lived with their father but held great bailiwicks or appanages in Hoidaland and Sogn. The far-north province of Throndheim Harald gave to his sons Halfdane the To Eric, Black, Halfdane the White, and Sigrod. Jutish son was the mother his favourite (whose

" Har aid Fairhair"

227

princess, B/agnhild the Mighty, who he meant to succeed him as Overlord of the whole State, and who also lived continually with him), he gave as a special appanage Halogaland, Northmere and

Eaumsdale.

The dues in each of these petty kingdoms were divided between himself and his sons in equal parts, while they had a place on the high seat higher than the iarls, but lower than his own. Ari remarks, in regard to Harald's own high seat, that each one of his sons hoped some day " to sit in the

Harald had selected for Eric." On the other hand the Throndheim people, probably the most wealthy in the realm and whose country was planted in the very midst of that which was given as a special appanage to Eric, were determined that their special king, Halfdane the Black, should presently sit on the high throne. seat which

In regard to this Halfdane, who, as we have seen, had destroyed his twin brother in a fight, we read elsewhere that when his other " Eric, was guesting" (i.e., entertained) at Solvi, inside of Agdaness,

brother,

King

being Half-

dane hastened thither with "a host" and captured and burnt the house he was living in, with all its inmates, but Eric was luckily sleeping in an outbuilding with four of his men and escaped. He went to his father and gave him an account of the outrage. The old man was very wroth and led a fleet against the Throndheimers. He with in the his men Reinsletta, lay parish by of Rissen, on the northern side of the outer Throndheim fiord. Halfdane on his side summoned his men and ships and put out to Stadr, inside of

Magnussen says of it, "now Stadshygden, in the district of Fosen, in North Throndheim." The position was no doubt very serious, and we are

Thorscliff

;

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

228

told that certain people intervened between father Among them was one called Guthorm,

and son.

Cinder, a skald or poet. He was now with Halfclane, and had formerly written for them both, and had been offered a reward by them. He had refused the gifts, but said he might sometime

named

ask them a boon instead.

and

it

was

peace with one also intervened,

This he

now

claimed,

should make while other noblemen another, Father and son consented to do

that

the

two

chiefs

Halfdane remained king in Throndheim and undertook not to molest his brother. Jorun, the female skald, made a poem on this quarrel, of which a stanza is preserved in the Heimskringla see also (Harald Fairhair's Saga, ch. xxxix V. and P., Corp. Poet. Bor., ii. 29). so.

:

To two of his sons Harald did not give lands, but ships, namely, Thorgils and Frothi, and they went harrying out to the West, to Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

It was reported that Frothi was poisoned there, while Thorgils reigned for a long time over the Dublin people and eventually died there* (Harald's Saga, ch. 35).

Turning to the troubles caused by the

local

jealousies of the different sections of the realm, we are told, the people of Vik and the Uplands also had different views to the Throndheimers in regard to their choice of their future rulers. "Whence," " there waxed dissension anew amidst says Ari, the brethren." The fact is that apart from the ambitions of various princes there underlay a strong element of disruption in the position itself. The local differences of custom, descent and dialect, with the different loyalties and prejudices of the * In the Heimskringla it is said that he was the first Viking who possessed Dublin, but this is a mistake. Its founder was Olaf the White

in 852.

' '

Ha mid Fa irha ir"

229

various communites caused a great cleavage among them. They had been separated by natural barriers from early days. strong and powerful had in uniting like Harald succeeded personality them for a while by artificial ties into a whole, but it took a long time and many struggles to weld The history of early them into a real union. of France, England, Germany, and Italy, afford abundant examples to illustrate the problem as it occurred in Early Norway.

A

While Harald gave a number of his sons appanages with the distinction of being entitled kings, and of receiving a royal income, he reserved a large part of the administration of the country in his own hands, and it continued to be controlled by his iarls or deputies. He appointed that there should be a iarl over each folkland or county and gave him the control of justice and the right to collect fines and land taxes in his special governEach iarl was also to have a third of the ment. " " skatt or royal revenue and of the dues, for his board and other costs of living. He was to have under him four or more officials called her sirs, each of whom was to have 20 marks for his maintenance. Each iarl was to bring 60 men-at-arms to the king's host at his own cost, and each hersir was to bring 20. Harald had so managed the finances (no doubt by increasing the taxes and dues) that his iarls had more wealth and weight

We

than the kings formerly had (76., ch. vi). are told by Ari that the regulation just described endured for a long time (Long Saga of Olaf Trygvisson, ch.

1.).

The

hersirs were set over the administrative districts called herads or hundreds, whence their

name. Each originally probably consisted of a hundred families. Their position was apparently

Saga-Book of the Viking

230

Society.

heriditary, thus the hersir Erling on being offered a iarldom by his brother-in-law King Olaf Tryg" visson replied Hersir s have all my kindred been, nor will I have a higher name than they, but this I will take of thee, King, that thou make me the highest of that title here in the land." To this the king consented and gave him control of the dominion south away, between Sognfirth and East Lidandisness, the most northern part of North Agder, in such wise as Harald Fairhair had given it to his sons (Heimskringla, Saga of Olaf Trygvisson, ch. Ixiv). The hersir seems to have combined the offices of war commander and chief priest of his district. Of one of these hersirs called Gudbrandj of the Dales, Ari says he was as a king in the Dales though he only bore the title of Hersir (Saga of Olaf the Saint, ch. cxviii.) The mode of :

y

and hersirs adopted by Harald successor (see Magnusson, have it in the case of iarl We described iv., p. 94). of precedence of Naumdale. The order Hrollaug of sub-kings and iarls was determined by the investiture for iarls

was followed by

his

position each one occupied on state occasions, when the king sat on his throne, the under kings or folk kings on the second step and the iarls on the third one. One of Harald's most important regulations was the compelling all franklins or free men to pay him dues. This was a very unpopular regulation but it lasted until the days of Hakon the Good who gave back to the freeborn bonders the odal rights

which King Harald had taken from them Hakon the Good, 1).

(Saga of

The great king was now an old man in strength and vigour as well as in years, for he had spent himself without stint all his life, and his feet, we are told, were heavy so that he could not travel to and fro as he was once wont, nor could he look

" Harald Fairhair"

231

after State affairs with the same skill, so he put his son Eric on his high seat and gave him dominion

over the land (Saga of Harald Fairhair, ch. 44). How uneasy that seat proved, we shall see presently. Harald lived for three years after he had given over the realm to Eric, and eventually died in his bed in Rogaland and was buried in the howe, by Kormtsound, that is the waterway separating the island of Kormt from the Mainland and there a memorial monument of granite was erected to him in 1872.

"

"

In Howe Sound," says Ari, a church standeth to this day and just to the north-west of the churchyard lies the howe of King Harald Haarfagre, but west of the church lies the stone which lay over the king's grave in the Mound, and the stone was thirteen feet and a half long and nearly two ells In the middle of the howe was the grave broad. of King Harald, and one stone was set at the head and the other at the feet, and on the top was laid a flat stone, while a wall of stones was built below it on either side, but these stones, which were once in the howe, are now in the churchyard." This shows how very soon the grave of the Mighty

King was dismantled. All men agreed, says Ari, that King Harald was the handsomest man recorded, the biggest and strongest, the most bounteous of his wealth, and the friendliest to his men. The common report went that the great tree which his mother saw in her dream foreshadowed his life and his deeds, for the lower half was red as with blood, and thence upwards for a span it was fair and green, which .pictured the flourishing of his realm, while the top was white, betokening the great age and hoary hairs

he would

see.

The boughs and branches

represented his widespread descendants (Ib., ch. 45).

2^2

The

Saga-Book of the Viking

Society.

internecine struggles of Harald's sons no

doubt

(as civil strife inevitably does) caused a great spread of lawlessness, cruelty and utter disregard for life, and I tempted to again refer to that

am

excellent storehouse of accredited facts, the Egil's Saga, for two striking examples of the anarchy that ensued. They also throw considerable light on the common law relating to property and its succession at this time. The first one is not quite so ruthless as the other. They are both reported in the Landnama-bok. The first one refers to a certain Ketilbiorn, a nobleman in Naumdale, son of Ketil and of Asa the daughter of iarl Hakon, Griotgard's son, who married Helga the daughter of Thord

He went to Iceland, when its maritime Skeggie. was widely settled, in a ship called Eilida, and part the first winter with his father-in-law. In stayed the spring he set out to find a suitable place to settle in. They had a sleeping place and built a Hall, says Tait, at a place called Hallbrink in Blue shaw. His children were Tait and Thormod (Diarmaed), Thorleit and Ketil, Thorkatla and Five of them, it Ordleif, Thorgedr and Thordr. will be noted, had names compounded with the name Thor. was so rich in money, says Ari, that he bade his sons cast a crossbeam of silver for

He

the temple that they were about to build. This they would not do. He then drove with the silver up onto the fell with the aid of two oxon, and went with his bondwoman. They Hake, his thrall, and Bot, " buried the treasure there so that it has never been found since." No doubt to secure the secret being kept, Ketilbiorn killed Hake at Hake-pass and at Bot-pass. Many great men, we are told, were descended from Ketilbiorn. The names are recorded of two of his great grandsons, and a great

Bot

great grandson,

1-4).

who became

bishops

(Ib., v.

14,

**

Hard Id Fairhair"

233

from the great DomesNorth, illustrates the savage methods which justice pursued in King Harald's days. Biorn was the name of a nobleman in Gothland, the son of Hrodwolf-aHis wife was Hlifa, daughter of Hrodwolf, Eiver. Starcad the the son of Ingiald, the son of Frothi. to the two last-named was Old personages. poet Their son was Eyvind. Biorn had a quarrel with

The second

day book and cruel

Sigfast,

of

story, also

the

father-in-law

of

Solwar,

a

iarl

of

the

Goths, by whose help he kept possession of all Biorn then settled all his Biorn's lands by force. lands and goods in Gothland upon his wife Hilda, and his son Eywind. He then burnt Sigfast in his house and set out westward for Norway with 12 men, and 12 horses laden with silver, and went to Grim the herse, who lived at Agd in Hwin, now Kvinesdalen, through which the river Hwin in Agder flows (Magnusson, iv., 258). Biorn and his companions were well received, and stayed with Grim during the winter, but presently, tempted by

man to assassinate him, Biorn then left and went to stay with Ondott Crow, the son of Erling Knit, who lived at Hwin-firth in Agd, with whom he stayed when not engaged in a Viking's life. At that time Biorn's wife Hlifa died in Gothland, and he then married Helga, Ondott's sister, by whom he had a son

his wealth, the latter hired a

who

failed.

called

Thrond the Far

Sailer. Presently Eyvind, by Hlifa, came from Gothland and took over his father's warship, and continued the latter's pursuit as a Viking. He was known as "the Eastman " because he had come from Gothland. Soon after Biorn died in Ondott's house. Thereupon Grirn claimed that he ought to take charge of all his property, since he was a foreigner (he was, of course, a Goth), while his son was away in the

his elder son

Saga- Book of the Viking Society.

234

West, but Ondott kept the inheritance on behalf of Biorn's younger son Thrond, his own nephew (Ib.,

Meanwhile Thrond, who had been raiding in the Sudereys, returned home and took over the moveable assets of his father Biorn, and sailed with them for Iceland. iii.

13,

1

and

2).

,

Ondott's homestead stood near the sea near Ingialdsby.

Grim

lived close by.

One night

as

Ondott was cutting wood in the copse, for the brewing preparatory to the Yule feast, Grim came upon him and killed him in the king's name, and four men with him. Thereupon Ondott's widow all his and chattels on a long ship and put goods set out, with her two young sons, Asmund and Asgrim, and all her housecarls. She herself went to her father, Sigh vat, while her sons were sent to take shelter with her foster-son, Hedin, in Sokendale, who hid them. Grim pursued, and came upon her ship, which he ransacked, but could not find the boys, who reached Hedin's house in safety. Grim and his men went after them. He met one of Hedin's sons in the wood, and inquired about the boys, but he pretended to be witless. Presently he met another son, and offered him half-a-hundred pieces He of silver money to say where the boys were. him all about his the and told father money gave The latter suspected it, but did not return to Grim. that the man who had got his money would betray him so he went home again. The two boys lived hidden in an underground house with Hedin till the harvest came. They then set out to go to their grandfather, Sighvat. The ground was frozen hard, and they were shoeless, and lost their way, and they presently reached a homestead which they did not recognize at first, but presently realised that it was a house their father Ondott had built. They thought they would not be safe there, so went to

" Harald Fairhair "

235

that of one called Ingiald near by, and were concealed by him and h,is wife, and remained there for the winter, meanwhile passing by other names.

Next summer Grim was entertaining King Harald's iarl, called Eadwine. After the feast the two sons of Ondott just named set fire to Grim's house and burnt him in it, and taking Ingiald's boat, rowed away to the islands in the fiord of Hwin. When they landed they heard men talking in the house who had been with Eadwine on his cruise. They returned to the mainland, where they saw the iarl's smack lying afloat under awnings. They went to the hall, where they learnt he was sleeping, with two

men on guard. men and

Asgrirn, one of the boys, held them while his brother entered the hall and put the point of his spear to Eadwine's breast and demanded the wehrgeld, or blood money, for his father's murder. Thereupon the iarl gave him three golden bracelets and a finely woven mantle. He was dubbed a goat (i.e., a coward) by Asgrim for thus surrendering. The two brothers then rushed down to the sea, where they spread the mantle on the water to make believe they were dead, and thus misled their pursuers. Presently seized the

Asgrim went on to Sumand northwards round Stimr, a promontory between Naumdale and Northmere, where dwelt a landowner or thane called Eric Aulfus and

they got separated. dale,

another thane called Hallstan Stred, who were keeping Yuletide, and who bade them welcome, but Hallstan struck Asgrim with a drinking horn, probably in a drunken revel. Asgrim in turn wounded his assailant (who presently died of the injury), and then fled to the woods, and was pursued by Hallstan's men, and was wounded He sorely as he was crossing a river in the frost. presently found shelter and was hidden away by an

Saga-Book of the Viking

236

old

woman.

Ari

tells

Society.

us she killed an animal and

and laid them on Asgrim's was dead, and so deceived the pursuers. Fancying he was no more, they went home again, while the old woman kept him in hiding in an underground house till she had cured him. His brother, also thinking him dead, went to Iceland. Presently Eric Aulfus, above named, gave Asgrim a long ship with 30 benches, and he took to buccaneering for some summers. took out

its

entrails,

make

body, to

believe he

Meanwhile King Harald put a price on his head, and sent Thorgir, Grim's sister's son, with two warships to secure his head. He failed to catch him, and then went to Iceland to seize his Both eventually settled in Iceland (76., brother. iii.

15, passim).

We

what a drain upon the thinly-peopled Norwegian land must have been can hardly

realise

caused by the reckless slaughtering of so

many

of

its people in the fashion here described, in which the victims suffered mainly as the result of firing the great halls, when everybody inside, men, women

and children, guests and slaves, perished together. This was largely matched by the toll of the sea caused by the losses in the predatory raids in the wild weather round the North Sea and the Irish Channel.

The

ruthlessness of the incidents of the story necessary a strong hand was in such

proves how

times, and Harald had no scruples whatever, in disfact, in having any person who deliberately his victims nor were him always killed, obeyed read of one of them who himself killed cowed. three of Harald's reeves and then fled to Iceland.

We

page we have a notice shewing that was Harald's intention to subdue Iceland. We

In a

it

later

" Harald Fairhair "

his

told

are

Une

agent

in

the

237

work was a

certain

Unborn

(i.e., say the editors, the he was the son of Gardor Caesarian) posthumous, first discovered Iceland. He went here, who had there with the intention of conquering it, under Harald's patronage, and the king promised to make him its iarl if he did so. After several unlucky attempts to secure support, he was killed in a

the

;

quarrel (Landnama-bok,

The imposition Norwegian

iv. 6, 7).

of taxes

freeholders,

or

was

by the old with great

resisted

odallers,

Thus we read that King Harald sent pertinacity. Thororm, his kinsman out of Thrum, in Agd, to which he had demanded from mighty hersir, in Thelemark. Asgrim would not pay, though he had shortly

get in scatt or tax Asgrim, son of a

before sent the king a present of a Gothic horse and much silver, saying it was a gift, but not a tax, for he had never paid skatt before. The king sent the money back and would not receive it. Presently

Thororm carne again to gather the tax, whereupon Asgrim summoned a moot and asked the franklins

men

they wished to pay the impost. course, said they did not wish to pay. They, The moot was held near a wood, and a slave of Thororm rushed out and killed Asgrim, whereupon the murderer was at once slain by the freemen. When Thorstan, Asgrim's son, heard of this he " was away warring," and on his return he

or free

if

of

and made ready to go to before he set out he burnt Thororrn in but Iceland, his house in Thrum, and thus revenged his father. The climax of these tragedies is made more grim by the fact that Asgrim, when his son Thorstan was born, had ordered him to be exposed, i.e, to be put out to die. The thrall who was to dig the grave was sharpening his spade, and the boy was already sold his lands for silver

Saga-Book

238 laid out

on the

these lines

floor,

of the

Viking Scciety.

when they

all

heard him recite

:

Give me

to my mother, the floor is cold for me, should a child be better, than by his mother's hearth ? need to put an edge on the iron, nor to shear the

Where

No

strips of turf,

Let the wicked work cease

;

for

I

shall yet live

among men.

When

the boy was sprinkled with water they called After he had settled (Ib., i. 8, 2). in Iceland, a ship came to the mouth of the Rang river, in which was a great sickness, and no man would take the travellers in, but Thorstan went and fetched them, and pitched tents for them at the place afterwards called the Tialda-stader (Tilt booths), and ministered to them himself as long as they lived, but they all eventually died (Ib.j v. 8, 5). This incident marks an amiable side of the old Norwegian life at this time, of which samples are seldom recorded.

him Thorstan

About the home life of King Harald we know little and should like to know more. We are told by Ari that, in his great manors.*

latter days,

he often abode in

his

A few picturesque details about him are preserved in a unique, but cruelly mutilated poem, written by a contemporary of the king who was a close friend of his, Hornklofi, which enable us just It is in the form to peep into his home doings. of a dialogue between a Eaven and a Walkyrie, or perhaps a Finnish wise woman. A Walkyrie was a kind of compound of Minerva and a witch who * In Hordland was Alrek-stead, now called Aarstad, a short distance On the western or south-east of Bergen (Magnussen, op. cit., iv., 240). Boknfirth end of an island of the same name, now called Utensteno or Utsten (76., 270) was another of these houses. Another was at Seaham (now called Seim, on the north side of the Ostero (76., 275) and another at Ogvaldsness on the N.E. side of the large island of Kormt, the south end of which is watered by the mouth of the Boknfirth,

**

Harald Fairhair"

239

could ride through the air on a super-natural horse, who selected those entitled to enjoy the rewards of heroism in another world, and apparently directed The Raven and shaped the fortunes of men. represents the poet himself, whose surname was Hornklofi, or Hardbeaked.

The poem

is

worth

quoting at length, and I have adopted Yigfusson and Powell's translation :

"

I tell the feats of arms of Harald the fortunate. I will tell of a parley I heard between She seemed a a fair and bright-eyed maiden and a raven. wise walkyrie that despised wedlock, a keen Finnish maid

Listen ye warriors while

knew the tongue of birds. The white- throated lady spoke to the rover of the sky with the quick eyelids, as he sat on a peak of Wincrag. '' How is it with you ravens, whence have ye come with gory beak at the dawning of the day ? There is flesh cleaving to your talons and a carrion's stench comes from your mouth. You lodged last night I ween, where the corpses are lying.

that

"

Thereupon the poll-feathered sworn-brother of the eagle shook himself and wiped his beak, and thought of an answer. We have followed the young Yngling Harald, the son of I thought thou must Halfdane, ever since we left the egg. know the king that dwells at Kwinnom,* the lord of the Northmen. He has many a deep keel, with reddened targets and red shields, tarred oars and snow-white awnings. The eager prince would drink his Yule at sea and play Prey's game From his youth up he loathed (i.e., war) if he had his will. sitting indoors beside the hearth, in the warm bower on the bolster full of down. " Quoth the Walkyrie

:

How

does the generous prince land ?

men who guard his Raven They are

deal with the brave "

: well cared for, the Quoth the warriors who throw dice in Harald's court, they are endowed with wealth and fair swords, with the ore of the Huns (i.e., gold), and with maids from the East. They are glad when there is a hope of a battle. They will leap up in hot haste

*

On this name Vigfusson has a note. He says "Kvinnom," no doubt the present Quind-herred, Hardanger (Rosendal). Although never named in the King's Lives, which always speak of Alrekstad near Bergen it must have been a favourite residence of the kings, being a central place in the Viking time C.P.B., i. 529.

Saga-Book of the Viking

240

Society.

and ply the oars with hot haste, snapping the oar thongs and cracking the tholes. Fiercely I ween do they churn the water with their oars at the king's bidding. "

Quoth the Walkyrie

Thou must know Harald

well

poets, how fare they. the minstrels fare who live with

About the

:

how

?

"

Their good cheer and their gold Quoth the Raven show well that they are among the king's friends. They have red cloaks, gaily fringed, silver mounted swords and ring- woven coats of mail, gilt trappings, graven helmets, :

bracelets

and

wrist-fitting rings, the gift of Harald. " Quoth the Walkyrie : I will next ask thee, thou blood-

drinker, in

war,

how live who rush

the Bareserks.*

How

into the fight treated

are the men, daring

?

"

Quoth the Raven : Wolfcoats they call them, and carry bloody targets in battle. They redden their spear heads when they rush into the fight, where they work together. The wise king only enrols men of high renown among those who smite upon the

shield.

"

the

Quoth players.! in

Walkyrie

What

is

Harald's house

:

What

the treatment of

of

the

tumblers

Andad and

his

and

company

?

"

Quoth the Raven : Andad dandles his crop-eared dog and plays the fool, making the king laugh. There are others who carry burning wooden chips across the fire, tucking their flaming shock-locks under their belts.

Didst thou hear how, at Hafrs: high-horn king fought with Kiotvan the Wealthy ?

Quoth the Walkyrie fiord, the

Quoth the Raven : Ships came from the West, ready for war, with grinning heads and carved beaks. They were laden with warriors, with white shields, with Western spears and Welsh (i.e., Western) swords. They tried their strength *

Vigfusson

in

his

note says that while Bareserks

is

the generic

name, Wolfcoats refers specifically to Harald's own bodyguard. In each case derived from the skins of the wild beasts which they wore. He a Roman aptly quotes the fact that the Aquilifer or eagle-bearer of wore a legion answering to the drum-major in a modern regiment wolf's skin (Ib. 257). that this Court buffoonery and f Vigfusson & Powell suggest juggling was probably brought back by Harald from his Western journey. In the Irish story of Cuchullin and in the Senchus Mor, quoit hurling and keeping balls and knives in the air together are mentioned, and the whole has the air of the Irish Couit life (Ib., 530).

<

Harald Fairhair "

against the eager king, the

Lord

of the

24 1

Eastmen, who dwells

The king at Outstone, and he taught them how to flee. The Barelaunched his ship where he spied the battle. serks roared in the midst of the fight, the Wolfcoats howled There was a hammering iron, i.e., their spears. The thick-necked king bucklers ere Haklang fell. (Haklang) could not keep his land against Shockhead Harald. He put the island between them as a shield. The wounded threw themselves down beneath the bench. They turned their backs up and jammed their heads down to the keel. The cunning ones let their shields shine on their backs as they were pelted with stones. The Eastern fellowship, i.e., the allies of the confederated Vikings, ran along the shore of and shook the on

Yader, away from Hafrsfiord, thinking of their mead at home, corpses lay on the sand there, a present for the oneWe (i.e., the Ravens) eyed husband of Frigga (i.e., Odin). rejoiced at such a deed of fame (C.P.B., i. 255259). "

Quoth the Raven (when the Walkyrie asked him of He scorned the Holm-rygians and the maidens of the Hords, of the Heins and the race of Halgoland. The high-born king took a Danish wife. Ye bondmaids of Ragnhild (the Queen), that proud woman, shall Harald's wife)

:

have other things

slavewomen

that

to gossip

over at their cups than that ye be "

Harald has starved

Thus ends a broken line and a cryptic sentence. This splendid poem is unmatched in Northern poetry, in its fresh, unconventional imagery, and condensed strength. The sharp cut words read like flashes from a flint when struck by steel, and have a biting grip, which is the character of the dialogues in Northern stories. Returning to Harald and his later days. It was a tragical conclusion to a great career when the old king having spent his life in integrating the broken fragments of

Norway into a compact whole firm grip, should in his latter days have undone so much of his work by once more dividing it into fragments at deadly feud with each other, and that his blood should have run out and his heritage have passed into another stock, notwithstanding the in his

own

numerous progeny he had

left.

It

might otherwise

Saga-Book of the Viking

242

Society.

have initiated a new era in Norwegian history. It would require the pathos and splendid diction of a Greek tragedian like Aeschylus to do adequate To his people he became justice to such a theme. Ari reports a type of the highest kind of leader. the opinion of an old warrior called Egil Woolserk, who had once been bigger and stronger than any of his men, and had long borne King Harald's banner. He thus apostrophises his master's masculine virtues. Addressing his son Hakon, who had I have been become King of Norway, he says While at times he in battles with thy father. fought with great foes and at other times with Nor did lesser ones, he had always the victory. >v

:

I ever hear

him how

him seek counsel to

flee

(Saga

of his friends to teach

Hakon

of

the

Good,

ch. xxiii.).

Thus again spake the proud and boastful In Norway are but Swedish King Olaf of him little dwellings and far sundered, and there have been but kinglets. But Harald Fairhair was the great king in the land, and he had to do with kings of the folk-lands and broke them down under him yet he knew what was well for him, and did not covet the Swede King's realm, and for that reason the Swede Kings let him rest in peace, and there was kinship between them." :

'

:

;

conclude with a few words from my who died too early, and was such a picturesque and gifted person, York Powell, which I

will

old friend,

"

The impression close paper " left upon one's mind," he says, by reading the Book of Settlement and Fairhair's Battles, is that before his day Norway was a land of loosely

may

well

my

:

organized folk-kingdoms, an anarchy rather than a heptarchy, save in the South, where, as Ari tells us, under Halfdane the Black and perhaps

" Harald Fairhair'"

243

was a well-organised nucleus, strong, and orderly, a small league, we take it, of compact, folk tribes round Heathsaevi-Moot by the Vik. Harald Fairhair, in fact, starts as head of the best there

earlier,

organised state in Norway the only compound state which was ruled by one king, and he wins

folk-kingdom after folk-kingdom, and governs them by his sons, as other conquerors have done, but ever keeping a strict eye to their good rule and The only time that Harald is in peace-keeping. danger, through all his task of conquest, is when he meets the war leagues of Kings and Western Vikings he beat at Hafrsfiord, after a struggle of the most desperate kind. But this victory was the

keystone of his power. His kingdom was never after in jeopardy and he was able, by his expedition to the West, to force the great part of the Confederation that had fought against him at Hafrsfiord to leave the western islands for the Northern "

colony

(Corp. Poet.,

ii.

498).

Harald Fairhair had eight wives, respectively

named

:

ASA, daughter of iarl Hakon, by whom he had four sons Guthorm, Halfdane the Black, Halfdane the White, and Sigfrod (or Sigrod). GYDA, daughter of King Eric of Hordaland, by whom he had a daughter and four sons Alof, Rorek, Sigtrygg, Frodi, and Thorgils. RAGNHILD, daughter of King Eric of Jutland, by whom he had one son Eric Bloody Axe. SNOWFAIR, daughter of Swazi the Fair, by whom he had four sons Halfdane, Gudrod, Sigurd, Rognwald. SWANHILD, daughter of King Eystein of Heathmark, by whom he had four sons Ragnor,Biorn,Olaf,Ingigird. ASHILD, daughter of King Dayson of Ringariki, by whom he had three sons Day or Dag, Ring, Gudrod. THORA MOST-STAFF, by whom he had one son Hakon the Good. Besides these children, Harald had a daughter, Ingibiorg, whose mother is unknown.

244

Saga-Book of the Viking

NOTE The

Society.

I.

records of Scandinavia, as in other countries, were doubtless the poems and prose tales in which the pedigrees of the chiefs and other notable events were enshrined, and which the bards and court poets and professed storytellers composed and committed to memory when prose writing was unknown. Besides these The lack of were lapidary records, which were naturally very short more important literature was largely due to the corresponding lack of It was upon such oral sagas and poems, as we materials for writing. have seen, that the earliest prose writers of any moment in Norway namely, Saemund and Ari relied. earliest

historical

After the introduction of prose writings these poems were largely corrupted and forgotten for lack of the trained class of skalds whose duty it was to preserve them, and they have only reached us in many cases in a fragmentary way. It was Vigfusson who first carefully analysed the character and quality of these poems in his great work written jointly with Yorke Powell, the Corpus Poeticum Borealc.

Of these poets or bards we have no mention of the actual names the reign of Halfdane the Black, one of whose bards,

before

In the namely. Andun lllskald. is mentioned in the Egil's Saga. reign of his son Harald we have the names of a galaxy of such This outburst was coincident with the beginning poets recorded. of the intercourse of the Norsemen with the Irish, who had a much older culture, .and among whom the composing of epical and other poems was greatly developed, as was that of composing historic tales. In regard to the Norse tales Magnusson has given a graphic picture of the Saga teller's art which I shall not scruple to copy. He says "The chief settlers in Iceland were men of high birth who had seen better they took days. They left behind lands, homes, kindred, environment with them family traditions, family pride, martial mettle, uncurbed ambition. A dreadful solitude prevailed throughout the land for a long time while the process of colonization was going on, which lasted for In the widely-scattered homes the family circle two-thirds of a century. became the centre of orally-rehearsed family stories during the evenings These stories were easily learnt by heart by nimbleof the long winter. minded listeners. They were the first nuclei of the Sagas of Iceland. They were recited at religious festivals, which were presided over and conducted by the Temple Godi or priest, at wedding feasts and Thingmotes, and other popular gatherings. In course of time the nucleus expanded into a complete Saga recording the acts of the settlers themselves and their dealings, hostile or friendly, with one another. Ultimately the Althing at Thingvellir, where the elite of the little nation congregated yearly, became the great centre for the display of the storyteller's art, and from there the Saga travelled into every part of the country more or less faithfully remembered, and recited to curious The interesting part of the business was that the teller of the listeners. The story was in most cases placed face to face with critical audiences. chiefs themselves, their children and relatives would in most cas:s be numbered among the crowd of interested visitors, and would be certain if necessary to interrupt and correct the reciter whenever his delivery In this way, failed in veracity as to facts or offended against fairness. to tell a story fairly (i.e., truthfully) was a moral duty and the highest matter of honour, while telling a leaning story (halla sogn) was regarded as the meanest of actions, and more than once cost the perpetrator his :

;

44

Harald Fairhair

(Nial's Saga, 1875, ch. 155, kringla, ii. 222, pp, 14-29)."

life

s.

23;

"

245

Olaf the Good's Saga, Heims-

As an illustration of this lucid account, Magnusson quotes a really remarkable story from the Morkinskinna, pp 72-73, in regard to Harald " It happened that one summer Hardrada and an Icelandic Saga-teller a young and lively Icelander approached the King and asked for his favour. The King asked if he knew any lore, and he said he knew some sagas. The King said that in that case he would patronize him, but he must be prepared at all times to offer entertainment whenever asked, whereupon the courtier presented him with suitable clothes and the King with weapons, and he fulfilled his task apparBut at the approach of Yuletide he looked ently satisfactorily. sad, and the King suggested it was because he had exhausted his He Sagas, which was unfortunate as Yuletide was approaching. replied that it was partly true, since he had only one Saga remaining untold, but he dared not tell it for it related to his journey abroad The King replied that this was of all Sagas the one he desired most to hear, and he forbade him telling any more stories till the Yuletide came, and the loss would not be felt since his men had much on hand, and he must recommence it on Yuleday (i.e., Christmas) and make it last out till the end of the feast. This could be done, for the season was chiefly. devoted to hard drinking, when there was not too much time for listening to stories. The Icelander duly began the Saga, and continued it till the King told him to stop, and thus the story went on till Yuletide was gone. The listeners, who did not know that the matter had been arranged by the King, deemed it an impertinence on the part of the Icelander to recite it, but were conciliated by the fact that he had told it so well. On Twelfth Night, the Saga having been ended while it was still daylight, the King asked the story-teller if he wished to know his own opinion of it. I fear to hear it,' he said. 'I like it right well,' said the King; 'it is in no way worse than the deeds warrant. Who taught thee the Saga ? 'It was,' said the storyteller, my custom every summer to attend the great Althing or annual gathering in Iceland, and learn by heart each summer a part of the Saga from Halldor Snorrisson.' It is no wonder that thou knowest it well,' he replied. The King duly rewarded him with a store of goods and kept him by him, and he became a man of substance" (Magnusson, op. cit. This Halldor, son of Snorri, had in fact served under iv., Iv.-lvii.). Harald when he commanded the Varangian mercenaries at Constantir

:

'

'

'

'

nople

(ib. 82).

Presently

when

writing

was introduced

into

Iceland these oral

were written down, and no doubt their artistic qualities were duly improved by skilled writers like Snorri and others. The art itself had been originally largely borrowed, as I have said, from the Irish. Before that a skilled class of bards or poets had put the main facts into verse and thus greatly assisted the memory and perpetuated the poem, and every considerable court had its poets, who were highly rewarded and very privileged persons and, like the mediaeval clowns, were permitted to indulge in covert gibes at their employers, which formed a very useful and necessary antidote at times to the unbounded eulogy they employed at others. I have quoted two notable instances when Thiodolf rebuked 'his master Harald at a feast when he had complained that his veterans unduly flocked to his feasts and when he repudiated his sons by Snowfair, and in both cases very effectively while Guthorm Cinder interfered equally effectively to make peace between Harald and his ruthless son, Halfdane the Black. recitals

;

246

Saga-Book of the Viking

NOTE

Society.

II.

The

rival schools of history in the North which have championed the respective claims of the Norwegians and the Danes as the real heroes of the heroic time of Scandinavian history have misled a large number of Western writers of the last generation. The fact is that the Danes,

under the of Steenstrup, a very industrious, ingenious and leadership persistent champion, have largely befogged the position in regard to the earlier history of Denmark. Danish history really begins with the conversion of Denmark to Christianity, which took place much earlier

Denmark than among the Norsemen. For the pagan period we have no records of the least value except those shreds which have been preserved by the Icelandic writers and by the Prankish chroniclers. There are neither native poems nor prose writings of any value extant dealing with the pre-Christian period with the exception of Beowulf and the Gleeman's tale, which deal with an earlier period and mainly with Germanic and not Norse traditions. Christianity apparently swept away all the trustworthy memorials of the pagan period of the Danish annals. Nothing shews this better than the great and romantic Danish prose epic of Saxo Grammaticus. The latter part of his work, especially that dealing with the reigns of the three Waldemars, is excellent history. The earlier books form an entirely fabulous compilation, in which the author has appropriated tales and Sagas from other people and deliberately invented a large number of royal names and attached to them incidents which have been deliberately transferred from the traditions of other nations, and in doing so has entirely mixed up and sophisticated the chronology as well as the facts, and constructed a romance as remote from real history as Barron Munchausen's adventure. The romance has been excellently told in excellent and fluent Latin, but has no kind of in

basis of truth. The real history of Denmark begins with Gorm, the father of Harald Blartand, grandfather of Swegen, and great-grandfather of Knut, or Canute, the famous Emperor of the North, whose career first brought the Danes into a conspicuous position in history and gave Denmark a notable place in the European polity.

Gorm was a real person, and his gravestone still remains where it was erected by his son Harald, but for what we know of both father and son we have to turn elsewhere than to Saxo, who has made an astounding "muddle" of their chronology, and gives us no new facts which have any value whatever about them. On another occasion I may enlarge on Gorm and his son at At present I wish to speak of Godfred, whose greater length. relations with the Empire I have described. Saxo makes him the son of a Gormo or Gorm, and in order to give his view a semblance of consistency he has had to triplicate the only Gorm known to real One of these history, who lived in the early part of the 10th century. he makes the father of Godfred, who in that case must have lived in the second half of the 8th, since Godfred was the contemporary The Gorm whom he makes the father of the of Charlemagne. latter is preceded in his list by a series of names and events which take us back to the 6th and earlier centuries to Jarmeric and Bikko heroes of the Volsunga Saga, and to Aggo and Ebbo, the heroes of the Lombards, as reported by Paul the Deacon, who was himself a writer of the 8th century. This is not all. These latter names are again preceded by those of Harald and his nephew Sigurd Ring, the latter of whom lived in the end of the 8th century, but who Saxo plants in the earlier

" Harald Fairhair "

247

centuries after Christ. To intensify the confusion this second Harald and a second Sigurd occur in Saxo as successors of Hemming, who is so definitely mentioned in the Prankish Chronicles of the 9th century, that the same two rulers are in this case made to repeat their reigns after an interval of several centuries. Saxo's account of this Gormo is full of anachronisms. Thus he makes him have intercourse with Thule, or Iceland, which was not discovered till long after, and also be converted to Christianity in Germany and to introduce it into Denmark. As Godfred died in 910, if his father Gorm was a Christian, the latter must have been converted in the 8th century. The first Danish ruler to be converted was, however, Harald Klak in 826, and Denmark's conversion was long after this. The whole story is a huge tangle of confusion, and can only be explained by the fact that Saxo had no materials except his own fancy for reconstructing the lost annals of Denmark, except what he got from the Icelanders and the Prankish annals, and finding the name of Godfred mentioned very prominently by the latter authorities as an opponent of the Empire in Jutland, he concluded he was a Danish king, and proceeded to find him quite a mythical father and quite a mythical pedigree.

The Prankish annalists nowhere tell us who his father was. They His him a Norseman and they call him a Dane indifferently. having come from Jutland to some extent justified the latter name, as it justified the Northern writers in sometimes calling the speech of Norway Danskattunga. The fact is the name Godfred or Gudrod does not occur in the best accredited list of Danish names or in the undisputed references call

to early

Danish

affairs in the

Chronicles, while

it

is

a very

common

name among the Norwegians. The Danish writers who have claimed Godfred as a ruler of Denmark, not only in older uncritical times, but in our own day, and notably Steenstrup and Jesson, have based their conclusion on the flimsiest evidence. They could produce no early witness in its favour, either native or foreign, and merely relied on the two facts that Godfred is sometimes called King of the Danes, by which was meant no doubt that he ruled at the time over at least that part of Denmark called Jutland, and, secondly, that the utterly descredited narrative of Saxo makes him a King of

Denmark.

On believe

the other side, the evidence to be conclusive.

is

very strong indeed,

if

not, as I

it,

First, he is made King of Westfold in Norway by the Icelanders, and designated as a very potent king in that part of Norway, with abundant details of his reign and of his ancestry given by Ari, the Icelandic historian, who wrote two centuries before Saxo, and whose writings, as we have seen, were not only remarkable for their proved reliability and critical faculty, but who had a Godfred's sons are large mass of excellent materials to support him. expressly referred to in the Prankish Chronicles more than once as rulers of Westfold, and they tell us in fact that it was when they were driven out of Jutland that they returned to their home in Westfold. Godfred occurs in the well-known Landfedgatal, the oldest list of the Northern Kings. His name is a very well known Norwegian name, and, what is very imthe of the Northern rulers of the portant, approved chronology Ynglings places him just at the period when Godfred is named by the Franks. He occurs in the latter as the commander of a very large fleet, and his sudden appearance in the Prankish annals after a lapse of several years of silence points to his having been an intruder in Denmark, as does the " fact of one of his sons being called Eric the Usurper " by them. This

Saga-Book

248

of the

Viking Society.

view has been adopted by such excellent authorities as Kruse, Munch, G. Storm, Vigfusson, and Yorke-Powell. I arrived at the conclusion myself independently forty years ago (vide Translations of the Royal Historical Society for 1877), and it seems to me to be the only view consistent with the facts and with the history of the period. Steenstrup's attempt to identify Westfold with quite an obscure place Jutland has not, so far as I know, had any support, and is quite inconsistent with the great role played by Gudrod. Kruse, Pertz and Simson all agree that the Westfold here named was the Norwegian Westfold It is clear to me that, in addition to Westfold in (vide ante p. 86). Norway, he and his sons ruled over a large part of Jutland, and perhaps of Denmark proper, in the interval between the reign of Sigurd Ring and that of Gorm the Old, the real founder of the Danish Monarchy. in

It is

ments

curious that Steenstrup and his followers,

who

accept the state-

Scioldunga (which was almost certainly composed by Ari Frothi) in regard to the earlier history of Denmark, should have treated with such scant regard Ari's other and more famous work, viz., his History of the Norwegian Kings. Gudrod, or Godfred, was not the only great Norwegian who has been appropriated by Steenstrup and his followers, as it was by most of the older writers, including our own Palgrave and Freeman, and made into a Dane. A second one was Rolf, the founder of the Dukedom of Normandy. In this case they also base their conclusion upon an authority whose veracity has been greatly discredited of late years, namely, Dudo de St. Quentin, who in the 12th century wrote a panegyric of the rulers of Normandy. It is many years ago since I subjected this work to an elaborate analysis in a paper in " the Archaeologia," and showed that the French writer in question apparently knew nothing of the Norse speech or Norse literature. He in the

was. like Saxo, in large part a mere romancer and, except in the latter He speaks of Rolf as a son of a part of his story, quite untrustworthy. King of Denmark, and quite ignores the details given by the Icelanders about him. I must refer my readers to my analysis of the work just I may say that it has mentioned for proofs of its worthlessness. been accepted by Vigfusson and by the most recent French critical writers on the period. The most notable circumstance in this case, apart from the direct evidence we possess, is the fact that Saxo. who raked together from every side all the materials, fantastic and otherwise, he could find to exalt the glory of Denmark, does not make any claim whatever in favour of the founder of the great Norman Dukedom having been a Dane. In this case, as in that of Gudrod, the only satisfactory authorities are in fact the Icelanders, and especially Ari Frothi and Snorri, and their witness is the stronger because Rolf lived within quite a reasonable traditional memory of Ari and in a period about which much detailed information exists. It must also be noted that whilst Rolf is a common

name

in

Norway,

it is

virtully

unknown

in

Denmark.

Ari's story about Rolf is plain and consistent, and his pedigree of him quite free from ambiguity. As we should expect from what we know of the potency of blue blood among the Normans, he had a very distinguished descent, and as we have seen he is described by Ari as a descendant of the His ancestors for several generations are early rulers of the Uplands. recorded by him. He makes him the son of Rognwald, the son of Eystein Glum, or the Noisy, the son of Ivar the Uplander, the son of Halfdane the Old, the son of Sweethi, the son of Hesti, the son The three last names are mythical, but the others were doubtof Gor.

" Harald Fairhair "

249

Kings of the Upland. Halfdane the Old is mentioned in another pedigree in the Landnama-bok. Ari does not inform us, however, from which of the primitive Northern stocks they sprang, but it is clear that when the Ynglings settled in Norway these Upland Kings were the most powerful of its rulers. The recurrence of the names of Eystein and Ivar among them very possibly point to the solution of the question, and I may return to it on another occasion. Like Saxo, Dudo has transferred the deeds of other Northern freebooters who plundered in France to him, and confused the chronology. I ventured in my memoirs on him to give the first certain date of his appearance in France as the vear 910, and the date has been adopted by Vigfusson and Yorke-Powell and the more recent French writers. less

NOTE

III.

In regard to the chronology of Harald's reign, I do not find it possible to accept Vigfusson's dates or his arguments, and it is the only substantial difference I have with my master. They are based partly on the date he fixed upon as that of the original settlement of Iceland, and partly on the equating of the generations of a number of Icelandic families, an uncertain guide, since it depends on the ages of the several He puts these calculaindividuals tabulated, when they married, etc. tions in opposition with the dates reached by Ari, and claims to correct If this had merely involved a correction of two or the latter by them. three years it would have been reasonable, but to suppose that a very critical and trustworthy authority like Ari would have been mistaken to the extent of 15 to 30 years in his calculation of the length of the reign of the great Harald and the date of the original settlement in Iceland seems to me quite incredible and impossible. The family records and genealogies in Iceland were very carefully kept, and Ari makes a masterly use of them in his works, and in regard to questions of chronology he had a predecessor who had made a special study of chronology, namely, Saemund Sigfusson, Priest of Oddi in Iceland, styled the Learned, who the Kristna Saga tells us was the best Clerk in Iceland, who was born in 1056, the year Christianity was introduced in Iceland and twelve years before Ari, and died in 1133, fifteen years before him. Saemund went abroad when quite young, and in 1076 was studying in Paris under a great master of astronomy, as reported in Jon's Saga (see Magnusson, and we learn from the preface to the Islendinga-bok and in iv., Ivii.) chapter 7 of the same work that Ari submitted its first edition to him and relied upon him for the date of Olaf Trygvisson's reign. Saemund'sown grandson, the poet Jon Loptson, in enumerating the kings of Norway with their regnal years, tells us that for those of the ten reigns from Harald Fairhair to Magnus the Good, both inclusive, he depended on the authority of Saemund (Ib., Iviii.). Magnusson argues plausibly that Saemund's work was written in Latin. ;

must further be remembered that Christianity was introduced Norway by King Olaf Trygvisson, who reigned from 995 1000, and

It

into that

from that date educated priests and the use of writing would be there, and that the obits of the different Norwegian kings would doubtless be duly recorded there. The most important fact, however, to me is that the recognised dates of the Kings of Norway as generally accepted tallies with such events as we can approximately date a good example of which is that of the battle of Hafrsfiord, which, if Storm's arguments about the end of Olaf the White that I have accepted is right, must have taken place in 871 or 872, as Ari says, and not in 885, as Vigfusson argues, while Harald's death would similarly fall in 933.

known

;

S&gft-Book of the

250

NOTE

Vikino- Society.

IV.

One of the things about Harald which \ve should like to know something more about is his attitude towards the Christian religion which was facing him in all the realms around him, except those of Sweden and the Baltic lands. There are evidences that although he was probably a devotee of the worship of Thor, he was strongly opposed to the wizardry and magic which prevailed in so many of the Norwegian valleys, for he pursued its adherents, who were very numerous, with bitterness

and

asperity.

also remarkable that, as we have seen, he should have sent his youngest and favourite son Hakon to be brought up at the court of the Christian King of England, Athelstan. and allowed him to be A form of baptism was indeed preached at this time baptized there. among the pagan inhabitants of Norway, among whom when a child was born his godfather, whose name he generally took, sprinkled him with water. This was possibly of Christian origin. It

is

\Ve must remember also that at this time a great change had taken place in Odinism, involving an amalgamation of various Christian traditions with it This has been shewn to have been the case by the elder

Bugge, Vigfusson and others. The latter has also given some excellent reasons for believing that this change of faith took its rise among the Vikings of the Western islands of Scotland, where the Eddaic poems

were probably composed.

i

Harald Fairhair

1 '

"

251

COEEECTIONS. There is one difficulty always attending a writer when he deals with Scandinavian history which is almost insuperable, namely, the variation of orthography of personal ard geographical names, due to the fact that it is enshrined in three separate languages, requiring three different dictionaries to explore them and adopting a varying alphabet and phonology, especially in the vowels, while the names themselves have also considerably I am conscious of varied in their spelling in their long history. having failed too frequently in maintaining a uniform spelling, but hope I have not seriously misled my readers by the fact, I may have irritated some by these small flies that have crept into my pot of ointment, the majority of which consist in one letter being substituted for another. My bad eyesight and the difficulties of having proofs properly read under recent conditions have also caused lapses for which the author can only crave patience and tolerance from those who I hope that they will not fail to care to consult his work. remember that as far back as Adam it is possible to affirm of our race that error is human and patience divine.

although

Page

2,

line 16 ,,

30.

7,

,,

15.

13,

,,

11.

,,

8.

3,

"

" and elsewhere. For Dofrefelds" read Dovrefells." " For "ib. 90" read cit. 1, 96." Munch, op. " " Insert a second it before the comma. " " to which we will now turn Erase the words insert "cited in the previous pages."

and

"

,,

15,

,,

16,

,,

16,

,,

,,

Pages

Page

17, 19, 19,

,,

line 2, line 34. 10. ,,

,,

22,

,,

29,

,,

,,

31,

,,

,,

32,

,,

30,

Pages 34, Page 38,

16. 25. 35.

,, ,,

34. 5.

22. 33.

line 31, line 11.

,,

38,

,,

21.

,,

41,

,,

3.

45, 51,

,,

,,

,,

11, 36.

,,

54,

,,

7.

,,

55,

,,

6.

,,

,,

,, ,,

57, lines 29 58, line 26. 36. 58, ,,

For Landnamadel" read " Landnamabok." " " For op. cit." put Die Vikingr." " " " Erase the in "s Dronthemen's." " " " For Thrond read Thronds." For " Hallingsyadal" and " Hadand 28, line 6. "

dingadal "

read

"

Hallingyadal."

For Morumentum " read " Monumentum." " " For Arochirani " read Arochis Rani." " " For Geiger " read Geijer." Delete

"

with."

"

For " Ring " read King." " " For rica " read rige." " " and 36, line 20. For Asirs " read Aesir." " " For Vigfussion " read Vigfusson."

" " read in the vernacular." history not as sure as I was that Ari did not write the first 16 chapters of the Ynglinga Saga. It is he did so. quite possible that " " " and elsewhere. For Tretelia read Tretelgia." " " " Transpose " told and" as.'' " and Haldane Transpose Eystein." For "he" substitute " the latter." and 32. For " Freya " read " Frey." " " " Erase ga from Siavagarista." " " For Heinskringla " read Heimskringla."

After I

am

"

Saga-Book of the Viking

252 Page

61, line 24.

,,

62,

,,

11.

,,

63,

,,

25.

,,

65,

,,

28.

,,

66,

,,

13.

,,

71,

,,

23.

,,

72,

,,

25.

,,

74, 83,

,,

3.

,,

28.

83,

,,

35.

,,

,, ,,

,,

,, ,,

,, ,, ,, ,,

,, ,,

,, ,, ,,

lines 17 91, line 11. 84,

94, 94, 113, 113,

116, 116, 119, 151, 153, 155, 157, 159,

,,159, ,,163,

,,

4.

,,

5.

,,

24.

,,

35.

,,

4.

,,

34.

,,

2.

,,

2.

,,

6.

,,

15.

,,

26.

,,

15.

,,

29.

,,

5.

173, 176,

,,

33.

,,

20.

,,

32.

,,

29.

,,

177, 180, 182,

,,

9.

,,

197,

,,

15.

,,

219,

,,

23.

,,

,.

,, ,,

Society.

" " For Sigifrodus " read Sigifroidus." " " " For larl soy read larlsoy." " For "Hottar" read Holtar, now Holtan (Magn. iv. 157)." " " For partilus read "partibus." For "Willchad" read "Willehad." For " Trygvason " read " Trygvisson." " " For Icelandic" read Icelandiae." " For " Fresians " read Friesians." " " Insert between after "struggle." " " " " is e in Trygveson." Substitute for " " " and 32. For Haldane read Half dane." " " For "Ludovisi read Ludovici."

Erase "good." " For Dee " read " Deas " (see supra 112). For "is" read "it." " " For beleive'.' read believe." " " For hove read "have." Cancel the words "doubtless Roric." Cancel "to." " " For Nor ways" read Norway." There is a homestead in Orkedale called Grytingr or from this chief. perhaps named Griting, " " For Herlang " read Herlaug." " " " For Knockwi read Nockvi." " Cancel the words already named." Kueld Ulf means the Night Wolf." For "Atleo" read "Atleo." Omit the comma after "rulers." This was probably because his neighbours resented his fighting on Harald's side and not their's in the great battle. "

For there " put "then." " Put originally " after "came." Erase the comma and the words "and he" and " insert He." Eating a piece of live coal was one of the tricks played by the wizards and bareserks and is practised by modern conjurors.

The name

is

a corruption of the Gaelic Maslbrighde,

and he was no doubt a

Gaelic

Maormar

or

subordinate ,,222,

,,

21.

Now

North

to the Scottish king. Ronaldsay in the Orkneys.

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h.

i.

Extracts and translations from Diplomatarium Norvegicum, and Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Faroese, and other foreign records. Extracts from Scottish, English, Welsh, Irish and Manx records. Parliamentary Returns, Record Commission Reports, also extracts from all books, Proceedings of Societies, etc. records, Sasines registers. Diligence register, Local register, Bailiary Court Books, Protocal books, General registers, Parish registers of births, deaths, and marriages. Collection of Orkney and Shetland papers, etc., in the Register House, Edinburgh. Synod and Kirk session minutes. Sheriff Court Books. Burgh and County records. MSS. in private collections. Orkney and Shetland rentals Revision of Peterkin's rentals, unprin ed rentals in Register House and Charter Room of the Town Council of Edinburgh, and in private collections. The MSS. of three Shethmd rentals are now ready to go to press. Hitherto no rental of She; land has been printed. Valuation of Orkney 1653.

Commissary

3.

Caithness and Sutherland Records.

4.

Orkney and Shetland Place-names. is

I

for the Miscellany.

:

5-

now

Translations.

A

Foula ballad, 6.'

The Survey

of

Orkney place-names

in progress.

translation is in

of

Professor Haegstad's

"

Hildinakvad," or

progress.

Reprints of rare works, tracts, law papers, used as much as possible.

etc.

Illustrations are

1

lications, such as the collection of words of Norse origin, and and the North of Scotland printing- special volumes ;

pose.

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