Sunday, December 14, 2014

Halfdan "The Old"

Halfdan and his sons[edit]
The Ættartolur, the genealogies appended to the Hversu Noregr byggdist in the Flatey Book introduce Halfdan the Old as the ruler of Ringiríki (a territory including modern Ringerike and Valdres in Oppland). Halfdan is here the son of King Hring (eponym of Ringeríki) by the daughter of a sea-king named Vífil (Vífill). Hring was son of Raum the Old (eponym of Raumaríki) by Hild (Hildr) the daughter Gudröd the Old (Guðrǫðr inn gamli). Raum the Old was son of Nór (Nórr) (the eponym of Norway). See Nór for further details about Nór and his ancestry and descendants.
In his sacrifice Halfdan requested a lifetime of 300 years like that of his ancestor Snær. The form Tiggi appears instead of Tyggi in the list of the first nine sons. The list of the second nine sons has Skelfir instead of Yngvi and the form Næfil (Næfill) instead of Nefir. The order of the names is the same and it is explained that Hildir, Sigar, and Lofdi were war-kings; Audi, Budli, and Næfil were sea-kings, while Dag, Skelfir, and Bragi remained on their lands.
Dag married Thóra Heroes-mother (Thóra drengjamóður) who bore him nine sons, but only four are named: Óli, Ám (Ámr), Jöfur, and Arngrím (Arngrímr).
Óli was father of Dag, father of Óleif (Óleifr), father of Hring, father of Helgi, father of Sigurd Hart (Sigurðr Hjǫrtr), father of Ragnhild (Ragnhildr) the mother of Harald Fairhair.
Arngrím married Eyfura who bore him Angantýr the Berserk (Angantýr berserkr). Angantýr's story is most fully treated in the Hervarar saga. It also appears in part in book five of Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorumand an account only the deaths of Angantýr and his eleven brothers appears in Arrow-Odd's saga.
Stanza 18 of the Hyndluljód reads:
The mate of Dag     was a mother of heroes [drengja móður],
Thóra, who bore him     the bravest of fighters,
Fradmar [Fraðmarr] and Gyrd [Gyrðr]     and the Frekis [Frekar] twain,
Ám and Jöfurmar [Jǫfurmar],     Álf the Old;
It is much to know,—     wilt thou hear yet more?
The name Ám agrees with that of a son of Dag in the Ættartolur and Jöfurmar is probably identical with Jöfur of the Ættartolur. Fradmar, Gyrd, Álf the Old, and the two Frekis bring the total to seven. Adding the names Óli and Arngrím to this list from the Ættartolur brings the tally to nine, as the Ættartolur promised. This may be conincidental. It is odd that the Hyndluljód here leaves out the only two names for which theHversu provides descendants. It is possible that the following stanzas of the Hyndluljód down to stanza 24 cover otherwise unknown members of the Dögling lineage since stanza 23 at least returns to the Dödlings, providing the names of the twelve sons of Arngrím and the following stanza tells of their birth to Arngrím and Eyfura. Áli mentioned in stanza 14 of the Hyndluljód (quoted near the beginning of this article) may be identical to Óli son of Dag mentioned in the Ættartolur.
Bragi the Old [Bragi gamli] was king of Valdres and father of Agnar, father of Álf, father of Eirík (Eiríkr), father of Hild (Hildr) the mother of Halfdan the Generous, the father of Gudröd (Guðrǫðr) the Hunter, father of Halfdan the Black, father of Harald Fairhair.
Skilfings or Skjöldungs[edit]
Skilfir was king of Vörs (Vǫrs, modern Voss in northern Hordaland in southwestern Norway. Skelfir was father of Skjöld (Skjǫldr), father of Eirík, father of Alrek (Alrekr), father of Eirík the Eloquent, father of Alrek the Bold (Alrekr inn frækni), father of Víkar (Víkarr), father of Vatnar (Vatnarr), father of two sons: Ímald (Ímaldr) and Eirík, this Eirik being father of Gyda (Gyða) who was one of the wives of Harald Fairhair. They were called the Skilfing lineage or Skjöldung lineage. For commentary on this lineage and variant traditions on those listed here as belonging to it see Scylfing and Víkar.
Hildir was father of Hildibrand (Hildibrandr), father of Vígbrand (Vígbrandr), father of Hildir and Herbrand (Herbrandr). Herbrand was father of Harald Red-beard, father of Ása who was the mother of Halfdan the Black, the father of Harald Fairhair.
(The text actually reads "Harald Grenski" (Haraldr inn grenski) instead of Harald Red-beard, but that must be an error. Harald Grenski was the name of a later figure, the father of King Olaf II of Norway, and theYnglinga saga and many other sources name Harald Red-beard as Ása's father.
Sigar is provided with two sons Siggeir and Sigmund (Sigmundr). Siggeir is prominent in Volsunga saga as the villanous husband of Signý the daughter of Völsung. Sigmund son of Sigar married Hild, daughter of King Grjótgard (Grjótgarðr) of Mœr. (See Gard Agdi for Grjótgard's genealogy.) Their son was Sigar, father of Signý, that Sigar who caused Hagbard (Hagbarðr) to be hanged.
One of the sources where the story of Hagbard appears is in Gesta Danorum, Book 7, which relates the love between Hagbarthus son of Hamundus and Signe daughter of King Sigarus despite Hagbarthus having slain her brothers. When Sigarus discovered the affair, he had Hagbarthus hanged. Then Hagbarthus' brother Haco/Hako/Haki avenged Hagbarthus. In this version Sigar/Sigarus is a king of Denmark, son of Sivaldus, son of King Ungvinus who was originally king of Götaland (see Hagbard and Signy for more).
There are places all over Scandinavia, associated with this legend such as Asige in the former Danish (presently Swedish) province of Halland, which borders Götaland, where there are two large menhirs calledHagbard's gallows.
Hagbard and his brother Haki are mentioned as great sea-kings in the Ynglinga saga where Haki wrests the Swedish throne from king Hugleik (this event also appears in Gesta Danorum where Haco kills the Irish king Huglethus) only to be killed later in battle with Hugleik's cousin Jorund.
A third reference to Hagbard and his brother Haki appears in the Völsunga saga, chapter 25. It is there said that Hagbard and Haki not yet avenged themselves for Sigar's abduction of one sister and the slaying of another. Either the reference is garbled or it refers to a lost variant with a more extended account of Sigar's feud with Hagbard and his brothers.
See Hagbard and Haki for more.
Lofdi was a great king who raided Reidgotaland (Reiðgotaland) and became king there. Lofdi's sons were Skekkil Sea-king (Skekkill sækonungr) and Skyli. Skyli was father of Egdir (Egðir), the father of Hjálmthér (Hjálmþér), the father of Eylimi, the father of Hjördís (Hjǫrdís), the mother of Sigurd Fáfnir's-bane, father of Áslaug (Áslaugr) by Brynhild whose ancestry appears below in the Budling discussion. This Áslaug was a wife of Ragnar Lodbrok and by him the mother of Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye (Sigurðr ormr í auga) who was father of a second Áslaug who was mother of Sigurd Hart. Sigurd Hart was father of Ragnhild (Ragnhildr), mother of Harald Fairhair as already stated.
But stanza 26 of the Hyndluljód identifies Eylimi the father of Hjördís as an Ödling.
Audi and his brother Budli were sea-kings who raided together and settled in Valland (France) and Saxland (Saxony). Audi ruled in Valland. He was father of Fródi (Fróði), father of Kjár (Kjárr), father of Ölrún (Ǫlrún).
Ölrún, daughter of King Kjár of Valland, appears in the prose introduction to the Völundarkvida, as a Valkyrie swan-maiden who became the wife of Völund's brother Egil. The name Kjárr can be etymologically derived from Latin Caesar. But here the connection with France suggests it might be an adaptation of French Charles.
Budli the sea-king settled down in Saxland. He was father of Attil (Attill), father of Vífil (Vífill), father of Læfi, father of Budli. This second Budli was father of Sörli (Sǫrli) or Serli, of Atli, and of Brynhild. Brynhild was mother of Áslaug, ancestress of Harald Fairhair as described in the previous Lofdungs discussion.
Atli is a legendary version of Attila the Hun and the name Budli comes from Bleda who was the historical Attila's elder brother. The name Sörli is given to a brother of Atli only in this text. But in the eddic poemAtlamál hin grœnlenzku (stanza 50), Atli declares that he was one of four living brothers when his father Budli died and that half of them are now dead, slain by his wife Gudrún. In the German Nibelungenlied Attila is called Etzel and said to be son of Botelung, obviously Budlung interpreted as a name. In this account Etzel has a younger brother named Bloedelin who was slain by Dancwart, Hagen's brother. Blowdelin is probably another memory of the historical Bleda. The eddic poem Oddrúnargrátr tells of Atli's sister Oddrún and her forbidden love affair with Gunnar, which was, according to this poem, one of the motivations for Atli's later treachery. Oddrún is also mentioned in Sigurðarkviða[disambiguation needed], in the prose introduction to Dráp Niflunga, and in the Völsunga saga.
King Næfil was father of Heimar, father of Eynef (Eynefr), father of Rakni, father of Gjúki. Gjúki was father of two sons named Gunnar (Gunnarr) and Högni (Hǫgni) and of two daughters named Gudrún (Guðrún) andGudný (Guðný). For commentary and variant traditions see Nibelung.
Halfdan the Old of Gór's lineage[edit]
The Orkneying saga does not speak at all of Nór's descendants, but introduces instead a figure named Halfdan the Old as the son of Sveidi (Sveiði) the Sea-king, who is called Svadi (Svaði) in the Ættartolur. Sveidi/Svadi in both texts was son of Heiti, son of Gór who was Nór's brother.
This second Halfdan the Old is father of Jarl Ívar of the Uplands who married a daughter of a certain Eistein and so became father of Eystein the Clatterer (Eysteinn Glumra) who was father of Jarl Rögnvald of Møreand of Rögnvald's brother Sigurd Eysteinsson, and also of two daughters: Svanhild who was one of King Harald Fairhair's wives and another daughter named Malahule. According to various sources, Jarl Rögnvald had three illegitimate sons: Hallad (Hallaðr), Hrollaug (Hrollaugr), and Torf-Einarr. Later, by his wife Ragnhild (Ragnhildr) daughter of Hrólf Nose (Hrólf Nefja), Rögnvald was father of three legitimate sons: Hrólf, Ívar, and Thórir (Þórir) the Silent. Thórir inherited his father's lands. The first four Jarls of Orkney were successively Rögnvald's brother Sigurd, Sigurd's son Guthorm (Guttormr), Rögnvald's son Hallad, and Rögnvald's son Turf-Einar. From Turf-Einar the later Jarls descended. Hrollaug and his wife and sons settled in Iceland.
Hrólf, also called Ganger-Hrólf (Gǫngu-Hrólfr 'Hrólf the walker'), is identified by Icelandic/Norwegian historians as the Rollo who conquered Neustria which was then renamed as Normandy, making him the great grandfather of William the Conqueror and the progenitor of every royal family in present-day Europe and Britain.

The opening chapters of Orkneyinga Saga, probably written not long after 1200 and predating Snorre´s Heimskringla although the precise evolution of each work is complicated because the later reviser of Orkneyinga Saga made use of Snorre´s text[122], trace the descent of “Earl Rognwald the Powerful” from “the Sea-Kings” in Norway[123].  As with all the Sagas, it is impossible to distinguish the precise point where folk-legend gives way to historical fact in the narrative.  This document sets out the descent from Halfdan the Old, but the individuals in the first few generations are shown in square brackets as no corroboration for their historical existence, or their relationship to each other, has been found in any primary sources, other than Sagas, so far consulted.  The emphasis on social continuity in the narratives of the Sagas also suggests that relationships between historical figures could have been simplified or even fabricated in the text to give the impression that succession remained within the same family.  For example, Orkneyinga Saga names “Hrolf who conquered Normandy” as son of “Earl Rognwald” and his wife “Ragnhild the daughter of Hrolf Nose”[124].  Snorre repeats the same statement.  However, the Historia Norwegie records that, after Orkney was conquered by "principi Rogwaldi" and his followers, "de quorum collegio…Rodulfus" captured Rouen in Normandy[125], making no reference to any blood relationship between "Rodulfus" [Rolf/Rollo] and "principi Rogwaldi".  Precise chronology is also difficult to assess from the Sagas.  In particular, a close analysis of the chronology of the reported events in the lives of Ragnvald and his sons, in particular his youngest reported illegitimate son Turf-Einar, shows considerable difficulties, as explained further below.  The conclusion must be that the tight family network described in the Sagas is unlikely to be correct and that the relationships shown below should be treated with considerable caution.

[HALFDAN “the Old” .  Orkneyinga Saga names “…the sea-king Sveidi, father of Halfdan the Old…”[126].]  [One child:]
1.         [IVAR .  Orkneyinga Saga names “Halfdan the Old, father of Earl Ivar of the Uplands…”[127].]  [One child:]  
a)         [EYSTEIN “Glumra/Clatterer” .  Orkneyinga Saga names “Earl Ivar of the Uplands, father of Eystein the Clatterer…”[128].  Jarl of the Uplanders in Norway [in Kristian and Hedemarken, the area around Oslo].  [Four children:]
i)          [RAGNVALD "the Wise" (-[894]).  Orkneyinga Saga names “Eystein the Clatterer, father of the wise counsellor Earl Rognwald the Powerful…”[129].  Snorre names Ragnvald Earl of More, a son of Eystein "Glumra" when recording that he had become a supporter of King Harald who had invested him with the districts of North More and Raumsdal[130].  Jarl of North and South Möre and of Raumsdal in Norway.]  
-         see below.
ii)         [SIGURD "Riki/the Mighty" (-[892], bur Sydero, Dornoch Firth).  Orkneyinga Saga records that Ragnvald gave “all the islands” (indicating Shetland and Orkney from the context) to “his brother Sigurd, the forecastleman on King Harald´s ship” and that Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway gave “the title of earl” to Sigurd who remained in the islands after the king returned to Norway[131].  Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd “joined forces with Thorstein the Red, the son of Olaf the White and Aud the Deep-Minded” and together conquered “the whole of Caithness and a large part of Argyll, Moray and Ross”, Sigurd building “a stronghold…in the south of Moray”[132].  Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd defeated and beheaded “Mælbrigte Earl of the Scots” but that he died from an infected wound because a tooth in Mælbrigte´s head, strapped to Sigurd´s saddle, scratched his leg, and was buried “in a mound on the bank of the River Oykel”[133].  The Complete Peerage identifies the place as “Sydero on the Dornoch Firth at the estuary of the Ekkialsbakki[134].  The Complete Peerage dates Sigurd´s appointment as Jarl to [875] and his death to [892][135], but there seems no basis for either date apart from internal consistency with its reconstruction of events in the lives of this family.  Both dates should therefore be considered as extremely approximate, and as noted below the earlier date leads to difficult chonological difficulties with the reported career of Sigurd´s nephew Turf-Einar.]  [One child:]
(a)       [GUTHORM (-[893]).  Orkneyinga Saga records that Sigurd was succeeded by his son “Guthorm who ruled the earldom for a year but died childless”[136].  According to Snorre´s Harald Harfager´s Saga, Sigurd died “without children” but his Saga of Olaf Haraldson names Guthorm as son of Sigurd, recording that he succeeded his father as earl for one year[137].]
iii)        [MALAHULC .  His family origin is confirmed by Guillaume of Jumièges who names “Rogerius Toenites de stirpe Malahulcii qui Rollonis ducis patruus fuerat”[138], suggesting that Malahulc was ancestor of the later Tosny family.  Orderic Vitalis (writing in [1113]) names Malahulc as an uncle of Rollo and ancestor of the Tosny family[139].  He is not mentioned in the Sagas and no other primary source has been found which either names him or links him with the later members of the Tosny family.]
-         TOSNY.
iv)       [SVANHILD.  Snorre names "Snahild, a daughter of Earl Eystein" as one of the wives of King Harald[140].  m as his third wife, HARALD I King of Norway, son of HALFDAN "Swarti/the Black" King of Vestfold & his second wife [Ragnhild Sigurdsdatter] ([853/54] or 860-Hogaland 933[141], 934 or 940, bur "under a mound at Haugar in Karmtsund, near the church in Haugesund").]

RAGNVALD "the Wise", son of [EYSTEIN "Glumra/Clatterer" Jarl in Norway & his wife ---] (-[894]).  Orkneyinga Saga names “Eystein the Clatterer, father of the wise counsellor Earl Rognwald the Powerful…”, adding that “Earl Rognwald campaigned with King Harald Fine-Hair who gave him charge of North More, South More and Romsdale”[142].  Snorre names "Ragnvald Earl of More, a son of Eystein Glumra" when recording that he had become a supporter of King Harald who had invested him with the districts of North More and Raumsdal[143].  Snorre records that he was created Jarl of North and South Möre and of Raumsdal in Norway by Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway after his victory at Solskiel [869] against Hunthiof King of Möre and Nokve King of Raumsdal[144].  Orkneyinga Saga and Snorre both record that King Harald granted Shetland and Orkney to Ragnvald in compensation for the death of his son Ivar[145].  The Historia Norwegie records that "principi Rogwaldi" crossed the Solund Sea, destroyed the peoples of the Orkney islands, in the days of "Haraldi Comati regis…Norwegie"[146].  Orkneyinga Saga records that “Halfdan Long-Leg and Gudrod Gleam, King Harald´s sons by Snæfrid” attacked “Earl Rognvald of More, killed him and assumed his authority”[147].  Snorre records that Ragnvald was ambushed in his hall and burned alive by Halfdan Haaleg and Gudred Liomi, two of King Harald's sons[148].
m [RAGNHILD, daughter of HROLF “Nevja/Nose” & his wife ---.  Orkneyinga Saga records that “Earl Rognwald” married “Ragnhild the daughter of Hrolf Nose”[149].  Snorre names "Hild, a daughter of Rolf Nefia" as the wife of "Earl Ragnvald"[150].]
[Ragnvald & his wife had four children:]
1.         [IVAR (-killed in battle either Hafrsfiord [872] or Orkney [874]).  Orkneyinga Saga names “Ivar and Thorer the Silent” as the two other sons of “Earl Rognwald” and his wife “Ragnhild the daughter of Hrolf Nose”, adding that Ivar was killed in battle fighting with Harald I "Hårfagre" King of Norway in Scotland[151].  Are´s Landnama-book names "Iwar that fell in the Southreys" as the son of "Regin-Wald Earl of More" and his wife "Ragin-hild the daughter of Hrod-wolf Nefia"[152].  Snorre names "Ivar, a son of Ragnvald Earl of More" when recording his death in battle during a Viking campaign against the Scottish islands[153].  The Complete Peerage dates the appointment of Sigurd (Ivar´s reported paternal uncle) as Jarl of Orkney to [875][154], which means that Ivar must have been killed shortly before this date.  However, as explained below this causes considerable chronological difficulties with the reported events in the career of Turf-Einar, Ivar´s youngest illegitimate half-brother, so should be considered as extremely approximate.
2.         [ROLLO [Hrolf "Ganger/the Walker"] (-Rouen [928/33], bur ---, transferred [1064] to Rouen Cathedral).  Orkneyinga Saga names “Hrolf who conquered Normandy” as son of “Earl Rognwald” and his wife “Ragnhild the daughter of Hrolf Nose”, adding that he was so big that no horse could carry him, giving rise to his name “Göngu-Hrolf”[155].  Snorre names "Rolf and Thorer" as the two sons of "Earl Ragnvald" and his wife Hild, recording that Rolf was banished from Norway by King Harald and travelled to the Hebrides, settling first in Orkney before moving southwards through Scotland, and eventually conquering Normandy[156].  The Historia Norwegie records that, after Orkney was conquered by "principi Rogwaldi" and his followers, "de quorum collegio…Rodulfus" captured Rouen in Normandy, commenting that he was known as "Gongurolfr" because he was obliged to walk as he was too large to travel on horseback[157].  This source makes no reference to any blood relationship between Rollo and "principi Rogwaldi".  Guillaume de Jumièges refers to an unnamed Danish warrior “dux” who left two sons “maior natu Rollo, alter...iunior Gurim”[158].  He is known to history as ROBERT I Comte [de Normandie], although no early source has been identified which refers to him by this name.]  
-        DUKES of NORMANDY.
3.         [THORE Ragnvaldsson "Tause/the Silent".  Orkneyinga Saga names “Ivar and Thorer the Silent” as the two other sons of “Earl Rognwald” and his wife “Ragnhild the daughter of Hrolf Nose”[159].  Snorre names "Rolf and Thorer" as the two sons of "Earl Ragnvald" and his wife Hild[160].  He succeeded his father in [894] as Jarl of Möre, having dispossessed Gudrod "Ljome", son of King Harald, who had seized Möre on the death of Jarl Ragnvald[161].  m ([890]) ALOF "Aarbod/Season-bettering", daughter of HARALD I "Hårfagre/Harfagri/Fairhair" King of Norway & his second wife Gyda of Hordaland.  Snorre records that King Harald gave Jarl Thore his daughter "Alof, called Arbot" after the king confirmed him as Jarl of Möre[162].]  [Thore & his wife had one child:]
a)         [BERGLJOT Thoresdatter.  The Historia Norwegie names "Bergliota filia Thoris Tacentis", from "nobilissima Morensium ac Halogensium comitum prosapia", as the wife of "Siwardo"[163].  Snorre names "Bergljot, a daughter of Earl Thorer the Silent" & his wife as the wife of Sigurd[164].  m SIGURD Jarl,  son of HAAKON Grjotgardson Jarl of Haalogaland & his wife -- (-murdered Oglo 962).]

Post a Comment
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.