Olaf II of Norway
Olaf II Haraldsson, known as St. Olaf, was King of Norway from 1015 to 1028. He was posthumously given the title Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae and canonised in Nidaros by Bishop Grimkell and his remains were enshrined in Nidaros Cathedral, built over his burial site. He is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The exact position of Saint Olafs grave in Nidaros has been unknown since 1568, Saint Olaf is symbolised by the axe in Norways coat of arms, and the Olsok is still his day of celebration. Many Christian institutions with Scandinavian links and Norways Order of St. Olav, are named after him, modern historians generally agree that Olaf was inclined to violence and brutality, and they accuse earlier scholars of neglecting this side of Olafs character. Especially during the period of Romantic Nationalism, Olaf was a symbol of independence and pride. Olaf IIs Old Norse name is Ólafr Haraldsson, during his lifetime he was known as Olaf the fat or the stout or simply as Olaf the big. In Norway today, he is referred to as Olav den hellige or Heilage-Olav in honour of his sainthood.
Olaf Haraldsson had the given name Óláfr in Old Norse, Olav is the modern equivalent in Norwegian, formerly often spelt Olaf. His name in Icelandic is Ólafur, in Faroese Ólavur, in Danish Oluf, Olave was the traditional spelling in England, preserved in the name of medieval churches dedicated to him. Other names, such as Oláfr hinn helgi, Olavus rex and he is sometimes referred to as Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae, a designation which goes back to the thirteenth century. The term Ola Nordmann as epithet of the archetypal Norwegian may originate in this tradition and his mother was Åsta Gudbrandsdatter, and his father was Harald Grenske, great-great-grandchild of Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway. Harald Grenske died when Åsta Gudbrandsdatter was pregnant with Olaf and she married Sigurd Syr, with whom she had other children including Harald Hardrada, who would reign as a future king of Norway. There are many texts giving information concerning Olaf Haraldsson, the oldest source that we have is the Glælognskviða or Sea-Calm Poem, composed by Þórarinn loftunga, an Icelander.
It praises Olaf and mentions some of the miracles attributed to him. Olaf is mentioned in the Norwegian synoptic histories and these include the Ágrip af Nóregskonungasögum, the Historia Norwegiae and a Latin text, Historia de Antiquitate Regum Norwagiensium by Theodoric the Monk. Icelanders wrote extensively about Olaf and we have several Icelandic sagas about him, the famous Heimskringla, written by Snorri Sturluson, largely bases its account of Olaf on the earlier Fagrskinna. We have the important Oldest Saga of St. Olaf, there are many hagiographic sources describing St. Olaf, but these focus mostly on miracles attributed to him and cannot be used to accurately recreate his life
Frederiksborg Castle is a palatial complex in Hillerød, Denmark. Situated on three islets in the Slotssøen, it is adjoined by a formal garden in the Baroque style. After a serious fire in 1859, the castle was rebuilt on the basis of old plans, thanks to public support and the brewer J. C. Jacobsen, the building and its apartments were fully restored by 1882 when it was reopened to the public as the Danish Museum of National History, open throughout the year, the museum contains the largest collection of portrait paintings in Denmark. The estate originally known as Hillerødsholm near Hillerød had traditionally belonged to the Gøyes, in the 1520s and 1530s, Mogens Gøye, Steward of the Realm, had been instrumental in introducing the Danish Reformation. He lived in a building on the most northerly of three adjoining islets on the estates lake. The property was known as Hillerødsholm, after his daughter, married the courtier and naval hero Herluf Trolle in 1544, the couple became its proprietors.
In the 1540s, Trolle replaced the old building with a manor house. As the old building with towers was too small for the king. At the kings request, Trolle remained on the premises until the work was completed, the king renamed the estate Frederiksborg. Interested in deer hunting, he used the castle with the neighbouring Bath House as a hunting lodge, centred as it was in the fields. The additions included a wall to the south, separating the estate from the town. Still standing today is the quadrangular red-brick, tip-roofed house on Staldgade known as Herluf Trolles Tower, adjoining this are two long, narrow red-brick stable buildings, the Kings Stables to the west and the Hussars Stables to the east. These in turn lead to a wall along the lake with two round towers completed in 1562 bearing the arms of Frederick II and his motto Mein Hoffnung zu Gott allein, on the central islet, the long pantry house with stepped gables can be seen today. The most important building from Frederick IIs times is the Bath House in the park northwest of the islets, completed in 1581 in the Renaissance style with three protruding step-gabled wings, it served the king as a hunting lodge during the summer months.
Frederiksborg Castle was the first Danish castle to be built inland, all previous castles had been on the coast or close to ports as the sea had traditionally been the principal means of travel. It was the first to be built for recreational purposes rather than for defence. Its location in Hillerød led to the development of improved roads
The Jomsvikings were a semi-legendary order of Viking mercenaries or brigands of the 10th century and 11th century. They were staunchly Pagan and dedicated to the worship of deities as Odin. They reputedly would fight for any lord able to pay their substantial fees, although they were Pagan, the institutions of the Jomsvikings in some ways anticipated those of the Christian Knightly Orders of the Middle Ages. The legend of the Jomsvikings appears in some of the Icelandic sagas from the 12th and 13th centuries, according to the Norse sagas, their stronghold Jomsborg was located on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, but the exact location is disputed by modern historians and archeologists. Most scholars locate it on the hill Silberberg, north of the town of Wolin on Wolin island in modern day Poland. Jomsborg is thought by researchers to be identical with Jumne and Vineta. Historians still debate the accuracy of the accounts of the Jomsvikings, since the site of their headquarters has never been conclusively located, confirming the tales of their exploits is somewhat difficult.
The location of Jomsborg is a matter of debate in historical circles, there are no contemporary sources mentioning the names Jomsvikings and Jomsborg, but there are three contemporary runestones. Reference appears in Old Norse poetry and Lausavísur which refer to their battles, the Saga of the Jomsvikings relates that the Jomsvikings were highly selective in deciding whom to admit to their order. Membership was restricted to men of proven valor between 18 and 50, in order to gain admission, prospective members were required to prove themselves with a feat of strength, often taking the form of a ritual duel, or holmgang, with a Jomsviking. Once admitted, the Jomsvikings required adherence to a code of conduct in order to instill a sense of military discipline among its members. Any violation of these rules could be punished with expulsion from the order. Each Jomsviking was bound to defend his brothers, as well as to avenge their deaths if necessary and he was forbidden to speak ill of his fellows or to quarrel with them.
Blood feuds between members were to be mediated by Jomsviking officers, all spoils of battle were to be equally distributed among the entire brotherhood. No Jomsviking was permitted to be absent from Jomsborg for more than three days without the permission of the brotherhood, no women or children were allowed within the fortress walls, and none were to be taken captive. It is unclear, whether members were forbidden marriage or liaisons with women outside the walls, there are different accounts for the origins of the order. Gesta Danorum tells that a settlement named Julinum was conquered by the King of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth, Harald provided Styrbjörn with a strong force with which Styrbjörn terrorized the seas. The Knýtlinga saga agrees by giving Harald as the founder of the Jomsvikings, the Jómsvíkinga saga says that the settlement was founded by Palnatoke, receiving the location from the mythical Wendish ruler Burislav
Harald II of Denmark
Harald II of Denmark was King of Denmark from 1014 until his death in 1018. He was the youngest son of Sweyn Forkbeard and Gunhild of Wenden and he inherited the Danish throne in 1014, and held it while his brother, the king Cnut the Great conquered England. After his death in 1018, he was succeeded by Cnut the Great, little detail is known about Harald II
Cnut the Great
King Cnut the Great, known as Canute, was King of Denmark and Norway, together often referred to as the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire. After his death, the deaths of his heirs within a decade, the medieval historian Norman Cantor said he was the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history, though he was Danish and not a Briton or Anglo-Saxon. Cnuts father was Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, the identity of his mother is uncertain, although medieval tradition makes her a daughter of Mieszko I. As a Danish prince, Cnut won the throne of England in 1016 in the wake of centuries of Viking activity in northwestern Europe and his accession to the Danish throne in 1018 brought the crowns of England and Denmark together. Cnut maintained his power by uniting Danes and English under cultural bonds of wealth and custom, after a decade of conflict with opponents in Scandinavia, Cnut claimed the crown of Norway in Trondheim in 1028. The Swedish city Sigtuna was held by Cnut and he had coins struck there that called him king, but there is no narrative record of his occupation.
Cnut attempted to gain concessions on the tolls his people had to pay on the way to Rome from other magnates of medieval Christendom, the Anglo-Saxon kings used the title king of the English. Cnut was ealles Engla landes cyning—king of all England, Cnut was a son of the Danish Prince Sweyn Forkbeard, who was the son and heir to King Harald Bluetooth from a line of Scandinavian rulers central to the unification of Denmark. Neither the place nor the date of his birth are known, Harthacnut was the semi-legendary founder of the Danish royal house at the beginning of the 10th century, and his son, Gorm the Old, was the first in the official line. Harald Bluetooth, Gorms son and Cnuts grandfather, was the Danish king at the time of the Christianization of Denmark, Cnut was two years old when his grandfather, Harald Bluetooth and his father, Sweyn Forkbeard, assumed the throne. The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg and the Encomium Emmae report Cnuts mother as having been a daughter of Mieszko I of Poland, since in the Norse sagas the king of Vindland is always Burislav, this is reconcilable with the assumption that her father was Mieszko.
Different theories regarding the number and ancestry of Sweyns wives have been brought forward, Cnuts brother Harald was the first born and crown prince. His date of birth, like his mothers name, is unknown, contemporary works such as the Chronicon and the Encomium Emmae, do not mention this. Even so, in a Knútsdrápa by the skald Óttarr svarti and it mentions a battle identifiable with Sweyn Forkbeards invasion of England and attack on the city of Norwich, in 1003/04, after the St. Brices Day massacre of Danes by the English, in 1002. If it is the case that Cnut was part of this, his birthdate may be near 990, if not, and the skalds poetic verse envisages another assault, such as Forkbeards conquest of England in 1013/14, it may even suggest a birth date nearer 1000. There is a passage of the Encomiast with a reference to the force Cnut led in his English conquest of 1015/16, here it says all the Vikings were of mature age under Cnut the king. He had a fair complexion none-the-less, and a fine, thick head of hair and his eyes were better than those of other men, both the handsomer and the keener of their sight.
Hardly anything is known for sure of Cnuts life until the year he was part of a Scandinavian force under his father, King Sweyn and it was the climax to a succession of Viking raids spread over a number of decades
The term Danish Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark proper, the Faroe Islands and Greenland—three countries constituting the Kingdom of Denmark. The legal nature of the Kingdom of Denmark is fundamentally one of a sovereign state. The Faroe Islands and Greenland have been part of the Crown of Denmark since 1397 when the Kalmar Union was ratified, legal matters in The Danish Realm are subject to the Danish Constitution. Beginning in 1953, state law issues within The Danish Realm has been governed by The Unity of the Realm, a less formal name for The Unity of the Realm is the Commonwealth of the Realm. In 1978, The Unity of The Realm was for the first time referred to as rigsfællesskabet. The name caught on and since the 1990s, both The Unity of The Realm and The Danish Realm itself has increasingly been referred to as simply rigsfællesskabet in daily parlance. The Danish Constitution stipulates that the foreign and security interests for all parts of the Danish Realm are the responsibility of the Danish government, the Faroes received home rule in 1948 and Greenland did so in 1979.
In 2005, the Faroes received a self-government arrangement, and in 2009 Greenland received self rule, the Danish Realms unique state of internal affairs is acted out in the principle of The Unity of the Realm. This principle is derived from Article 1 of the Danish Constitution which specifies that constitutional law applies equally to all areas of the Danish Realm, the Constitutional Act specifies that sovereignty is to continue to be exclusively with the authorities of the Realm. The language of Denmark is Danish, and the Danish state authorities are based in Denmark, the Kingdom of Denmarks parliament, with its 179 members, is located in the capital, Copenhagen. Two of the members are elected in each of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Government ministries are located in Copenhagen, as is the highest court, in principle, the Danish Realm constitutes a unified sovereign state, with equal status between its constituent parts. Devolution differs from federalism in that the powers of the subnational authority ultimately reside in central government.
The Self-Government Arrangements devolves political competence and responsibility from the Danish political authorities to the Faroese, the Faroese and Greenlandic authorities administer the tasks taken over from the state, enact legislation in these specific fields and have the economic responsibility for solving these tasks. The Danish government provides a grant to the Faroese and the Greenlandic authorities to cover the costs of these devolved areas. The 1948 Home Rule Act of the Faroe Islands sets out the terms of Faroese home rule, the Act states. the Faroe Islands shall constitute a self-governing community within the State of Denmark. It establishes the government of the Faroe Islands and the Faroese parliament. The Faroe Islands were previously administered as a Danish county, the Home Rule Act abolished the post of Amtmand and these powers were expanded in a 2005 Act, which named the Faroese home government as an equal partner with the Danish government
Scania, known by its local name Skåne, is the southernmost province of Sweden which consists of a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian Peninsula and some islands close to it. Scania is roughly equivalent to the modern Skåne County, the responsibility for overseeing implementation of state policy in the county is administered by the County Administrative Board. Within Scania there are 33 municipalities that are independent and separate from the Scania Regional Council which has its seat in Kristianstad, the largest city is Malmö, which is the third largest city in Sweden. To the north, Scania borders the provinces of Halland and Småland, to the northeast Blekinge, to the east and south the Baltic Sea and Bornholm island, since 2000 a road and railway bridge, the Øresund Bridge, bridges the sound to the Danish island of Zealand. The HH Ferry route across the part of Øresund remains as an important link between the Scandinavian Peninsula and Zealand. Scania is part of the transnational Øresund Region, Scania was part of the kingdom of Denmark up until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658.
The transition to Sweden was confirmed by the 1660 Treaty of Copenhagen, the 1679 Peace of Lund, the last serious Danish attempt to invade the province failed in 1710, after the Battle of Helsingborg. The period 1658–1720 saw widespread violence by the Swedish militaries against the local population, the same was true about the Danish military, though to a far lesser extent. The region did not form part of Sweden proper until 1720 and it was divided in two counties and has since been regarded as fully integrated in Sweden. Until the early 19th century, a policy of forced assimilation was employed by the Swedish government in what had been a linguistically Danish region. Controversy relating to whether the Scanian dialects should be classified as a language or as Danish or Swedish dialects remains to this day. From north to south Scania is around 130 kilometres and covers less than 3% of Swedens total area, about 16% of Scanias population is foreign-born. With 120 inh/km2 Scania is the second most densely populated province of Sweden, the western part, along the coast of the Øresund, is by far the most populated part.
The endonym used in Swedish and other North Germanic languages is Skåne, the Latinized form Scania occurs especially in British English as an exonym. Scania is the only Swedish province for which exonyms are still used in many languages, e. g. French Scanie and German Schonen, Polish Skania, Spanish Escania, Italian Scania. For the provinces modern administrative counterpart, Skåne län, the endonym Skåne is used in English, in the Alfredian translation of Orosiuss and Wulfstans travel accounts, the Old English form Sconeg appears. The names Scania and Scandinavia are considered to have the same etymology, the name is possibly derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjã, which appears in Old Norse as Skáney. According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning danger or damage, Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem combined with -ör, which means sandbanks
Normandy is one of the regions of France, roughly corresponding to the historical Duchy of Normandy. Administratively, Normandy is divided into five departments, Eure, Orne and it covers 30,627 km², forming roughly 5% of the territory of France. Its population of 3.37 million accounts for around 5% of the population of France, Normans is the name given to the inhabitants of Normandy, and the region is the homeland of the Norman language. The historical region of Normandy comprised the region of Normandy, as well as small areas now part of the départements, or departments of Mayenne. For a century and a following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Normandy and England were linked by Norman. Archaeological finds, such as paintings, prove that humans were present in the region in prehistoric times. Celts invaded Normandy in successive waves from the 4th to the 3rd century BC, when Julius Caesar invaded Gaul, there were nine different Celtic tribes living in Normandy. The Romanisation of Normandy was achieved by the methods, Roman roads.
Classicists have knowledge of many Gallo-Roman villas in Normandy, in the late 3rd century, barbarian raids devastated Normandy. Coastal settlements were raided by Saxon pirates, Christianity began to enter the area during this period. In 406, Germanic tribes began invading from the east, while the Saxons subjugated the Norman coast, the Roman Emperor withdrew from most of Normandy. As early as 487, the area between the River Somme and the River Loire came under the control of the Frankish lord Clovis, the Vikings started to raid the Seine Valley during the middle of the 9th century. As early as 841, a Viking fleet appeared at the mouth of the Seine, after attacking and destroying monasteries, including one at Jumièges, they took advantage of the power vacuum created by the disintegration of Charlemagnes empire to take northern France. The fiefdom of Normandy was created for the Norwegian Viking leader Hrólfr Ragnvaldsson, Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered vassalage to the king of the West Franks, Charles the Simple, through the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte.
In exchange for his homage and fealty, Rollo legally gained the territory which he, the name Normandy reflects Rollos Viking origins. The descendants of Rollo and his followers adopted the local Gallo-Romance language and they became the Normans – a Norman-speaking mixture of Saxons and indigenous Franks and Celts. Besides the Norman conquest of England and the subsequent conquests of Wales and Ireland, Norman families, such as that of Tancred of Hauteville, Rainulf Drengot and Guimond de Moulins played important parts in the Norman conquest of southern Italy and Crusades. They carved out a place for themselves and their descendants in the Crusader states of Asia Minor, the 14th century Norman explorer Jean de Béthencourt established a kingdom in the Canary Islands
Heimskringla is the best known of the Old Norse kings sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet, the name Heimskringla was first used in the 17th century, derived from the first two words of one of the manuscripts. Snorri had himself visited Norway and Sweden, for events of the mid-12th century, Snorri explicitly names the now lost work Hryggjarstykki as his source. The composition of the sagas is Snorris, the earliest parchment copy of the work is referred to as Kringla. It voyaged from Iceland to Bergen and was moved to Copenhagen, at that time it had lost the first page, but the second starts Kringla heimsins, the Earths circle of the Laing translation. In the 17th century copies were made by Icelanders Jon Eggertson, eggertsons copy went to the Royal Library at Stockholm. The Copenhagen manuscript was among the many destroyed in the Copenhagen Fire of 1728. Only one leaf of the manuscript survived and it is now kept in the National, by the mid-16th century, the Old Norse language was unintelligible to Norwegian, Swedish or Danish readers.
At that time several translations of extracts were made in Norway into the Danish language, the first complete translation was made around 1600 by Peder Claussøn Friis, and printed in 1633. This was based on a known as Jofraskinna. This edition included the first printing of the text in Old Norse, a new Danish translation with the text in Old Norse and a Latin translation came out in 1777-1783. An English translation by Samuel Laing was finally published in 1844, in the 19th century, as Norway was achieving independence after centuries of union with Denmark and Sweden, the stories of the independent Norwegian medieval kingdom won great popularity in Norway. Heimskringla, although written by an Icelander, became an important national symbol for Norway during the period of romantic nationalism, Heimskringla consists of several chapters, each one individually called a saga, which can be literally translated as tale. The subsequent sagas are devoted to individual rulers, starting with Halfdan the Black, the stories are told with a life and freshness, giving a picture of human life in all its reality.
A version of the Óláfs saga helga, which is about the saint Olaf II of Norway, is the main part and his 15-year-long reign takes up about one third of the entire work. This saga is an epic in prose, and is of particular relevance to the history of England. The first part of the Heimskringla is rooted in Norse mythology, as it advances and fact all curiously intermingle, the value of Heimskringla as a historical source has been estimated in different ways during recent times. The historians of mid-19th century put great trust in the truth of Snorris narrative
The Lund Cathedral is the Lutheran cathedral in Lund, Sweden. It is the seat of the bishop of Lund of the Church of Sweden, until the Danish Reformation, it was the Catholic episcopal see of the Diocese of Lund, dedicated to Saint Lawrence. Lund was an important town long before there was a cathedral, Lund was the site of the Skåne Assembly at St Libers Hill into the Middle Ages. It was the site of a religious center. A cathedral was built in Lund before 1085, but it is difficult to know if the present building was built in the same place. In the gift letter of Canute the Holy, dated to 21 May 1085, Canute gave several properties that enabled the building of the cathedral. However, sources indicate that Canutes cathedral is not the present Lund Cathedral, the Cathedral School was established in 1085, making it Scandinavias oldest school. Lund was named as the headquarters, bishop Asser Thorkilsson became the first archbishop for all of Scandinavia in 1104 and the cathedral was begun sometime after he took office.
The building was constructed in the basilica style with half-rounded arches supporting a flat timber ceiling. The cathedral was constructed out of blocks of sandstone from a quarry near Höör, the high altar of the crypt was consecrated in 1123. The cathedral and the altar were consecrated to St Lawrence on 1 September 1145 by Archbishop Eskil. Of the present church only the apse has remained unchanged, Lund became the religious heart of Denmark and over the years many monasteries, priories sprang up around the cathedral. Lund played a role in Denmarks history from the time it was made a bishopric. It was the place of many important meeting between kings and nobility, valdemar II was crowned there in 1202. In 1234 the church suffered an extensive fire, when the church was rebuilt a lecture wall, new vaults and a new facade to the west were added. Many valuable artistic additions were done to the church in mediaeval times, in 1294 Archbishop Jens Grand was arrested in the Cathedral. In the 1370s, magnificent gothic choir stalls where installed in the church, an astronomical clock was installed in the nave around 1424 and renovated many times.
In the 1510s, during the reign of King John I, in the crypt, van Düren created a well decorated with interesting reliefs and a monumental sarcophagus for the most recent archbishop of Lund, Birger Gunnersen
Gainsborough is a town in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. The population of the town was 18,508 at the 2011 census and it is situated 18 miles north-west from the city and county town of Lincoln, and on the River Trent. At one time it served as an important port with trade downstream to Hull, Gainsborough was one of the capital cities of Mercia during the Anglo-Saxon period, which had preceded Danish rule. It is understandable that the Viking kings would have drawn to it as an administrative centre. In 868 King Alfred married Ealswitha, daughter of Aethelred Mucill, chief of the Gaini, Gainsborough is the capital that never was. Towards the end of July 1013, the Dane Sweyn Forkbeard, together with his son Canute, Sweyn defeated the Anglo-Saxon opposition and King Ethelred fled the country. Sweyn was declared King of England, and he returned to Gainsborough and Canute took up high office at the Gainsborough Castle, while his army occupied the camp at Thonock. But King Sweyn was killed five weeks when he was thrown from his horse in Gainsborough and his son Canute established a base elsewhere.
King Canute may have performed his attempt to turn the tide back in the River Trent at Gainsborough. Historians believe he may have been demonstrating on the aegir, a tidal bore and he and his supporters may have known Gainsborough was the furthest reach of the aegir, and ideal for his demonstration. However the story was written down a century by Henry of Huntingdon, who gives no location. The Domesday Book records that Gainsborough was exclusively a community of farmers and sokemen, the population was only about 80 people, of which about 70% were of Scandinavian descent. The Lindsey Survey of 1115-18 records that Gainsborough was held by Nele d’Aubigny and he was the forebear of the Mowbray family, and the Mowbray interest in Gainsborough continued until at least the end of the 14th Century. A weekly market was granted by King John in 1204, Thomas Burgh acquired the manor of Gainsborough in 1455. He built Gainsborough Old Hall between 1460 and 1480, a large, 15th-century, timber-framed medieval strong house, and one of the manor houses in Britain.
It boasts a magnificent Great Hall and strong brick tower, King Richard III in 1483 and King Henry VIII in 1541 both stayed at the Old Hall. The manor was sold to the Hickman family in 1596, the town was garrisoned for the King in January 1643 and began co-operating with the garrison at Newark in raiding the surrounding countryside and harassing the Parliamentarians there. With the Great North Road blocked to Parliamentarian traffic, Gainsborough became significant as part of a route around Newark by way of Lincoln and it was in the Royalists interests to obstruct this, which gave rise to the battles of Gainsborough and Winceby