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Harald Hardrada

Harald Hardrada

King of norway from 1046 to 1066

Harald Sigurdsson, also known as Harald of Norway (Old Norse: Haraldr Sigurðarson; c. 1015 – 25 September 1066) and given the epithet Hardrada (harðráði; modern Norwegian: Hardråde, roughly translated as "stern counsel" or "hard ruler") in the sagas,[2] was King of Norway (as Harald III) from 1046 to 1066. Additionally, he unsuccessfully claimed both the Danish throne until 1064 and the English throne in 1066. Before becoming king, Harald had spent around fifteen years in exile as a mercenary and military commander in Kyivan Rus' and of the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire.

When he was fifteen years old, in 1030, Harald fought in the Battle of Stiklestad together with his half-brother Olaf Haraldsson (later Saint Olaf). Olaf sought to reclaim the Norwegian throne, which he had lost to the Danish king Cnut the Great two years prior. In the battle, Olaf and Harald were defeated by forces loyal to Cnut, and Harald was forced into exile to Kyivan Rus' (the sagas' Garðaríki). He thereafter spent some time in the army of Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise, eventually obtaining rank as a captain, until he moved on to Constantinople with his companions around 1034. In Constantinople, he soon rose to become the commander of the Byzantine

Varangian Guard, and saw action on the Mediterranean Sea, in Asia Minor, Sicily, possibly in the Holy Land, Bulgaria and in Constantinople itself, where he became involved in the imperial dynastic disputes. Harald amassed considerable wealth during his time in the Byzantine Empire, which he shipped to Yaroslav in Kyivan Rus' for safekeeping. He finally left the Byzantines in 1042, and arrived back in Kyivan Rus' in order to prepare his campaign of reclaiming the Norwegian throne. Possibly to Harald's knowledge, in his absence the Norwegian throne had been restored from the Danes to Olaf's illegitimate son Magnus the Good.

Timeline

January 1, 1015
Harald Hardrada was born.

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Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Harald Hardrada - Rise of a Viking Legend (1015-1041) DOCUMENTARY

Web

December 10, 2021

Harald Hardrada - The Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066) DOCUMENTARY

Web

January 16, 2022

Harald Hardrada - The Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066) DOCUMENTARY

Web

January 16, 2022

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January 28, 2021
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VIKINGS: VALHALLA, the explosive, all-new exploration of the spectacularly epic Vikings saga debuting only on Netflix, announces its cast, including Sam Corlett, Frida Gustavsson, Leo Suter, Bradley Freegard, Jóhannes Jóhannesson, Laura Berlin, David Oakes and Caroline Henderson. Pollyanna McIntosh and Asbjørn Krogh Nissen, among others, are recurring. Additional cast to be confirmed and character details are below. The all-new VIKINGS: VALHALLA begins in the early 11th century...
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