medieval

News Stories

Aud the Deepminded, Daughter of Ketill, Flees Scotland with her Grandchildren   

Accounts conflict as to why Ketill (Björnsson) Flatnose, a Viking chieftain from Romsdal and the father of his “tall and portly” yet wisely regal second daughter, Aud the Deepminded, left Norway for the Hebrides (Suðreyjar) in the years of Harald Fairhair’s rise to power.

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King Harald Fairhair Unifies and Scatters Norway at the Battle of Hafrsfjord, 872

Harald I Fairhair (Harald Hårfagre, c. 850-c.932) the legendary and handsome heir to the Vestfold (Oslo) branch of the long-lasting Yngling dynasty, was ten years old when he became king following his father Halfdan the Black’s accidental death.

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Birger Jarl, Treaty of Lödöse, and the Swedish Crusade in Finland, 1249

The twelfth-century Gesta Danorum (Deeds of the Danes) by Zealand scribe Saxo Grammaticus chronicles ancient hostilities between Vikings and Finnish tribes living between the Arctic and Baltic seas. However, the earliest relatively verifiable account of the Second Swedish Crusade against the Tavastians – a people who lived beyond the southwest Finns proper (Egentliga Finnar) region of Turku – appears in the anonymous fourteenth-century Erik Chronicle (Erikskrönikan).

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Dublin’s King Sigtrygg Silkbeard and the Battle with Brian Boru at Clontarf, 1014

The legendary Battle of Clontarf at Dublin (Ath Cliath) in 1014 – instigated in part by the king of that realm, Sigtrygg Silkbeard Olafsson (c. 970-1042) – is known for fracturing Viking rule in Ireland but a litany of noblemen and kings on both sides were slain there – including Ireland’s elder high king Brian Boru.

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Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir: Transatlantic Traveler of Viking Frontiers

During her lifetime Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir (Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir, 980-1050), the daughter of Icelandic chieftain, Thorbjorn of Laugarbrekka, Iceland, travelled to Greenland, North America, Norway, and perhaps even Rome as a pilgrim. Legend has it her father would not permit her to marry an early suitor because he was the son of a slave.

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