Harald III Sigurdsson (1015 – September 25, 1066), later surnamed Harald Hardråde (Old Norse: Haraldr harðráði, roughly translated as "stern counsel" or "hard ruler") was the king of Norway from 1047 until 1066. Events 303 - On a voyage preaching the Gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona is beheaded in Amiens, France Old Norse is the North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional He was also claimed to be the King of Denmark until 1062, often defeating King Sweyn's army and forcing him to leave the country. Sweyn II Estridsson Ulfsson (c 1019 &ndash April 28, 1074 or 1076 was the King of Denmark from 1047 until his death Many details of his life were chronicled in the Heimskringla. Heimskringla is the best known of the Old Norse Kings' sagas. Among English-speakers, he is generally known as "Harold Hardrada" and remembered for his invasion of England in 1066. The death of Hardrada is often recorded as the end of the Viking era.
Born in 1015, Harald was the youngest of King Olaf II's three half-brothers born to Åsta Gudbrandsdatter. Åsta Gudbrandsdatter (born circa 975/980 died circa 1020/1030 was the mother from her marriage to Harald Grenske (Grenski of Norwegian king Olaf II When Harald was 15, King Olaf was killed defending his throne from Canute the Great in 1030 at the Battle of Stiklestad. } Canute the Great, also known as Cnut in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, or Knut ( Old Norse: Knútr inn ríki, Norwegian The Battle of Stiklestad ( Old Norse Stiklarstaðir) in 1030 is one of the most famous battles in the history of Norway. Harald took part in the battle and although wounded managed to escape before leaving Norway in exile. He was able to form a band of warriors out of men who had also been exiled as a result of Olaf's death. In 1031 Harald and his men reached the land of the Kievan Rus where they served the armies of Yaroslav I the Wise, the Grand Prince of the Rus. Kievan Rus′ (Ки́евская Русь romanised: Kievskaya Rus', rusʲ also written as Kyivan Rus′ (Ки́ївська Русь or Kievan Yaroslav I the Wise (c 978 in Kiev - February 20, 1054 in Kiev) ( East Slavic: Ярослав Мудрый Christian name Harald is thought to have taken part in Grand Prince Yaroslav's campaign against the Poles and was appointed joint commander of defense forces. The Polish people, or Poles, (Polacy) are a Western Slavic Ethnic group of Central Europe, living predominantly in Poland.
Some years after Harald and his men had entered the land of the Rus, they packed up and left for the heart of the Byzantine Empire, the city of Constantinople. Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS At the time, the Byzantine Empire was the wealthiest empire in Medieval Europe and the Near East. B Syria - Belka Woman from Damascus Arab from Baghdadjpg|thumb|Inhabitants of the Near East late nineteenth century
Harald and his men pledged themselves to the service of the armies of the empire. Harald's forces joined the elite mercenary unit known as the Varangian Guard. A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national or a party to the conflict and is "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by The Varangians or Varyags ( Old Norse: Væringjar Greek: Βάραγγοι Βαριάγοι Váraggoi / Varyágoi, Ukrainian It was not long until Harald had proven himself in battle and gained the respect of his fellow guardsmen. Harald became the leader of the entire force and used this power to undertake his own missions.
Harald's forces won a great many victories in North Africa, Syria and Sicily. North Africa or Northern Africa is the Northernmost Region of the African Continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Sicily ( Italian and Sicilian: Sicilia) is an autonomous region of Italy. Through ingenuity, he and his men were able to besiege and defeat a number of castles. A contemporary source reports such tactics as attaching burning resin to birds, setting the castle ablaze, digging a tunnel and feigning reluctance to fight, only to launch an attack at the most advantageous moment. Pitch is the name for any of a number of highly viscous Liquids which appear Solid. Harald was able to build a large fortune in plunder from his victories.
Harald took part in the suppression of the uprising of Peter Delyan, who attempted to restore the Bulgarian Empire in 1040-1041. Peter Delyan (reigned 1040&ndash1041 (Bulgarian Петър Делян) was the leader of the Bulgarian uprising against the Byzantine Empire started Bulgarian Empire (Българско царство Balgarsko tsarstvo ˈʦar In the Norse sagas, he is hailed as "Devastator of Bulgaria" and "Scourge of the Bulgarians" due to his participation, and is even thought to have cut down Peter Delyan in the field of battle. Some authors go as far as to theorize that Harald named Oslo after a Bulgarian he fell in love with, possibly named Slava or Oslava, though these theories are not known to have any actual base. (called Christiania from 1624 to 1878 and Kristiania from 1878 to 1924 is the Capital and largest city of Norway. 
According to Snorri Sturluson, who quoted the skald Stuf, Harald also made a raid into the country of Palestine and was able to conquer the city of Jerusalem: “Here it is told that this land came without fire and sword under Harald’s command. Snorri Sturluson (1178 – September 23, 1241) was an Icelandic historian poet and politician The skald was a member of a group of Poets whose courtly poetry (Icelandic dróttkvæði) is associated with the courts of Scandinavian and Icelandic Palestine is a name which has been widely used since Roman times to refer to the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. He then went out to Jordan and bathed therein, according to the custom of other pilgrims. Harald gave great gifts to our Lord’s graves, to the Holy Cross, and other holy relics in the land of Jerusalem. He also cleared the whole road all the way out to Jordan, by killing the robbers and other disturbers of the peace. ”³
This story would have made Harald the forerunner of the Crusaders, whose kingdom was a century old at the time of Snorri Sturluson - a claim of obvious prestige valued to later Norwegian monarchs. The Crusades were a series of military campaigns of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents In 1225, when the saga was written, Snorri was championing the cause of the Norwegian monarchy and urging a unification of Iceland with Norway. Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland ( ( Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland ( The sagas, however, are historical fiction, which Snorri himself admits in his Prologue, "although we do not know the truth of these, we know, however, of occasions when wise old men have reckoned such things as true. "
Byzantine and Islamic sources of Harald's own time do not mention such a conquest of Jerusalem. It is, however, quite plausible that as a Christian Harald did go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his men, and that they did fight and defeat robbers infesting the pilgrims' route to the Holy City - without intending or effecting the city's conquest from the Muslims.
Using the wealth he had built during his service to the Byzantine Empire, Harald returned to Norway in 1045. He brought with him a number of men who served with him, and, as a result, became an immediate threat to the sitting king, Magnus I, who was the son of Olaf II and nephew of Harald and had returned from exile in 1035 to reclaim his father's throne after the death of Canute the Great. Magnus I (1024 - October 25, 1047) was the King of Norway from 1035 to 1047 and the King of Denmark from 1042 to 1047 } Canute the Great, also known as Cnut in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, or Knut ( Old Norse: Knútr inn ríki, Norwegian
Sturluson writes, “When Harald returned to Constantinople from Jerusalem he longed to return to the North to his native land; and when he heard that Magnus Olafson, his brother’s son, had become king both of Norway and Denmark, he gave up his command in the Greek service. And when the empress Zoe heard of this she became angry and raised an accusation against Harald that he had misapplied the property of the Greek emperor which he had received in the campaigns in which he was the commander of the army…On this account the Greek emperor had Harald made prisoner and carried to prison. ”³
Magnus I agreed to share power with his uncle Harald and the two became co-rulers. However, it was only a year later that Magnus would die. The circumstances surrounding his death were never truly explained. Speculation and increased tension between the two rulers led to the widespread belief that Magnus was killed by Harald so that he alone would control Norway.
In September 1066, Harald landed in Northern England with a force of around 15,000 men and 300 longships (50 men in each boat). The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge East Riding of Yorkshire in England on 25 September 1066 shortly after an invading Longships, or longboats were ships primarily used by the Scandinavian Vikings and the Saxon people to raid coastal and inland settlements during the European At the Battle of Fulford, two miles (3 km) south of York, on 20 September, he won a great victory against the first English forces he met. The Battle of Fulford took place at the village of Fulford, near York in England on September 20 1066, when King Harald
Believing that King Harold Godwinson was prepared to surrender, Harald confronted the English, with roughly half of his forces, to accept his claim to the English throne. Harold Godwinson, (c 1022 &ndash 14 October 1066 also known as Harold II, is widely regarded as the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the His forces were carrying light weapons and wore light armor, as opposed to heavy armor.
However, Harold Godwinson had ambitions of his own. Harold Godwinson, (c 1022 &ndash 14 October 1066 also known as Harold II, is widely regarded as the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the At the Battle of Stamford Bridge, outside the city of York, England, on 25 September 1066, Godwinson's forces met with Harald's. The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge East Riding of Yorkshire in England on 25 September 1066 shortly after an invading York ( is an historic Walled city sited at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. Godwinson's forces were heavily armed, heavily armored, and heavily outnumbered Harald's. Although one of Harald's men was able to block one side of the bridge, when he fell, Godwinson's better armed and better equipped forces cut through Harald's forces easily.
Harald died fighting at this final battle against the forces of King Harold Godwinson of England by an arrow to the throat. Harold Godwinson, (c 1022 &ndash 14 October 1066 also known as Harold II, is widely regarded as the last Anglo-Saxon King of England before the England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland He had come to England with the idea of claiming the English Throne as his own, basing this claim on a supposed agreement between Magnus and Harthacanute whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway. Harthacanute ( Canute the Hardy, sometimes Hardicanute, Hardecanute, Hörthaknútr; Danish: Hardeknud) (1018 – 8 June Instead, he met his end.
His army was so heavily beaten that fewer than 25 of the 300 recorded longboats Harald used to transport his forces to England were used to carry the survivors back to Norway.
Not long after his victory over King Harald, Harold Godwinson was defeated by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. William I of England ( 1027 His reign which brought Norman culture to England had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages The Battle of Hastings was the decisive Norman victory in the Norman Conquest of England.
The fact that Harold had to make a forced march against Hardrada to fight at Stamford Bridge and then move at utmost speed back south to meet the Norman invasion, all in a matter of days, is widely seen as a primary factor in William's hard-fought victory at Hastings.
Harald was the last great Viking king of Norway and his invasion of England and death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 proved a true watershed moment. A Viking is one of the Norse ( Scandinavian Explorers Warriors Merchants, and pirates who raided and colonized wide areas The Battle of Stamford Bridge took place at the village of Stamford Bridge East Riding of Yorkshire in England on 25 September 1066 shortly after an invading It marked the end of the Viking age. In Norway, although he was at least nominally Christian, Harald's death also marked the beginning of the Christian era: the High Middle Ages. A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth
Sturluson writes, "One year after King Harald's fall his body was transported from England north to Nidaros (the present Trondheim), and was buried in the Mary Church, which he had built. Nidaros was the old name of Trondheim (Trond(hjem sometimes Drontheim a city of Norway, in the Middle Ages. (Trondhjem is a city and municipality in the county of Sør-Trøndelag, Norway.
It was common observation that King Harald distinguished himself above all other men by wisdom and resources of mind; whether he had to take a resolution suddenly for himself and others, or after long deliberation. He was, also, above all men, bold, brave, and lucky, until his dying day, as above related; and bravery is half victory. "³
Being remembered is one of the most important wishes for Vikings that went abroad or even those that stayed home. About a hundred years later his body was reinterred in Helgeseter Monastery, which was demolished sometime in the 1600s.
On September 25, 2006, the 940th anniversary of Harald's death, the newspaper Aftenposten published an article on the poor state of Norway's ancient royal burial sites, including that of Harald Hardrada, which is reportedly located underneath a road built across the monastery site. Events 303 - On a voyage preaching the Gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona is beheaded in Amiens, France Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Aftenposten ( Norwegian for "Evening Post" is Norway 's second largest Newspaper (after Verdens Gang) with a circulation of 250 In a follow-up article on September 26, the Municipality of Trondheim revealed they would be examining the possibility of exhuming the king and reinterring him in the Nidaros Cathedral. Vinterdomenjpg|thumb|right|View from the Elgeseter bridge]] Nidaros Cathedral (Nidarosdomen considered the most significant church of Norway, is located in
The cathedral is currently the burial place of nine Norwegian kings, among them Magnus I and Magnus II, Harald's predecessor and successor respectively. Magnus I (1024 - October 25, 1047) was the King of Norway from 1035 to 1047 and the King of Denmark from 1042 to 1047 Magnus II (1048 - 1069 son of Harald Sigurdsson, was king of Norway from 1066 until 1069
In 1980 the Danish American science fiction and fantasy author Poul Anderson published The Last Viking, a three-volume historical novel about Harald. Poul William Anderson ( November 25, 1926 – July 31, 2001) was an American Science fiction author who wrote during a Golden Harald also makes a notable appearance in Thomas Holts novel Meadowland where the tale of Vinlands discovery is used as the plotline. Tom Holt (born Thomas Charles Louis Holt September 13 1961 in London) is a British novelist Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norseman Leifr Eiríksson, about the year A
In 2006, the archeologist-author David Gibbins in his book "Crusader Gold" uses Hardrada in his plot trying to follow the lost Jewish treasure "the Menorah" (candelabrum of the Temple in Jerusalem), by having the king escaping wounded the battle in England to seek refuge in Vinland having with him the treasures of Miklagard, the name of Constantinople in Norse language. David Gibbins (born 1962 is an underwater archaeologist and a bestselling novelist Pekiin tabletjpg|thumb|right|151px| Second Temple period stone tablet from a Synagogue in Peki'in, Israel. A candlestick, chamberstick, or single candelabrum is a holder for one or more Candles used for illumination rituals or decorative purposes Etymology The Hebrew name given in Scripture for the building is Beit HaMikdash or "The Holy House" and only the Temple in Jerusalem is referred to by this name
Cadet branch of the Fairhair dynastyBorn: 1015 Died: September 25, 1066
Magnus I the Good
|King of Norway|
& Olaf Kyrre