Harald Bluetooth (revisited)

Malcolm Redfellow

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
4,403
Website
redfellow.blogspot.com
Twitter
mredfellow
Black Swan opened a thread on the Rügen find of 10th century silver:


That valid topic was shifted, unaccountably, to the Zoological Garden.

The link to Harald Blåtand Gormsson, Bluetooth, is based on Harald being expelled from Denmark, and fleeing south to Pomerania (which would have included the the island of Rügen). In which case, the find could be Bluetooth's private stash, as could also be the gold of the Hiddensee hoard, found in 1873.

Harald Gormsson has a passing connection to Irish history. His son, Sweyn Forkbeard, was a much more significant character: the nemesis of (first) his own father, and then of Æthelred II the Redeless, so briefly (if uncrowned) the effective king of England in 1013-1014, and the first ruler of the Danish North Sea Empire — to which the Viking settlements in Ireland subscribed as vassals.

Anyway, kudos to Black Swan, and bad cess to whoever zoo-ified a worthwhile lead.
 


firefly123

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
28,488
Maybe the mod had bluetooth switched off....!


Badoom! Tish !



I'll get me coat
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
55,055
Black Swan opened a thread on the Rügen find of 10th century silver:


That valid topic was shifted, unaccountably, to the Zoological Garden.

The link to Harald Blåtand Gormsson, Bluetooth, is based on Harald being expelled from Denmark, and fleeing south to Pomerania (which would have included the the island of Rügen). In which case, the find could be Bluetooth's private stash, as could also be the gold of the Hiddensee hoard, found in 1873.

Harald Gormsson has a passing connection to Irish history. His son, Sweyn Forkbeard, was a much more significant character: the nemesis of (first) his own father, and then of Æthelred II the Redeless, so briefly (if uncrowned) the effective king of England in 1013-1014, and the first ruler of the Danish North Sea Empire — to which the Viking settlements in Ireland subscribed as vassals.

Anyway, kudos to Black Swan, and bad cess to whoever zoo-ified a worthwhile lead.
According to one saga, Harald was brother-in-law of Eric Bloodaxe, 'king of Orkney, king of Dublin, twice/king of York'.
 

firefly123

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
28,488
According to one saga, Harald was brother-in-law of Eric Bloodaxe, 'king of Orkney, king of Dublin, twice/king of York'.
Eric bloodaxe -king of York
John Gotti- king of new york
 

former wesleyan

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
25,618

Malcolm Redfellow

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
4,403
Website
redfellow.blogspot.com
Twitter
mredfellow
Here I go, second effort.

According to one saga, Harald was brother-in-law of Eric Bloodaxe, 'king of Orkney, king of Dublin, twice/king of York'.
Anyone who can unscramble the relationship of the early Danish monarchs would instantly be nominated as Head Lar of c.9th/c.10th scholarship. As far as I can see, wikipedia is peddling two different genealogies. And any text I consult produces further variants. Yes, I tried to make sense of it when I found Beowulf (a.k.a. Elfhere, deceased by dragon c.543) in there.

There seems some strong evidence that the Dublin Danes were intermingled with those of Jorvik/York. Ivar (died 883: not entirely sure whether or not that's 'the Boneless' or his son) sires Sihtric (Sigtrygg the elder) who certainly features in Dublin history, but also Ragnald, who is 'king' in York between 912 and 921. Sihtric (Sigtrygg the younger) Ragnaldsson succeeded (or promoted himself — parental piety was apparently at a premium) as King in Dublin by 917 and of York by 921. Sihtrig Ragnaldsson's brother Godfred would seem to have been filtered off to be King of Man, only to re-appear as head man in Dublin, Waterford and York. All of which provokes me to wonder what the job-title involved.

Back on the main-line, our main man appears to be Gorm the Old (a.k.a 'the Languid'), who is ****-of-the-walk at Jelling by c.936 and keeps the job until c.958. His wife (at last we encounter a bit of fidelity) was Thyra, and she got a vast memorial mound at Jelling. Their son was afore-mentioned Harald 'Bluetooth' Gormsson.

There seem to be maternity questions about Sweyn 'Forkbeard' Haraldsson, who appears to be via Harald's 'bit-on-the-side Gyrid Olafsdottir. Let's gloss over that discreetly, pass over the near-invisible Harald II Svendsen, and so arrive at Mr Big, Cnút, who — for two decades — united England, Denmark and Norway, and received the tribute of Danes across the whole North Sea Empire, including the Irish Danes. For those of us who find Norman 'feudalism' a toughie, perhaps that's the alternative 'way-to-go'.

All of which is the major theme, to a minor one.

Cnút's sister, says William of Malmesbury, was the Heidi Fleiss of her day. She supplied the needy of Europe with delectable girls from the slave-markets of Bristol (Sir! that derisory snort was most inappropriate!) and Dublin.
 

GDPR

1
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
217,782
Here I go, second effort.


Anyone who can unscramble the relationship of the early Danish monarchs would instantly be nominated as Head Lar of c.9th/c.10th scholarship. As far as I can see, wikipedia is peddling two different genealogies. And any text I consult produces further variants. Yes, I tried to make sense of it when I found Beowulf (a.k.a. Elfhere, deceased by dragon c.543) in there.

There seems some strong evidence that the Dublin Danes were intermingled with those of Jorvik/York. Ivar (died 883: not entirely sure whether or not that's 'the Boneless' or his son) sires Sihtric (Sigtrygg the elder) who certainly features in Dublin history, but also Ragnald, who is 'king' in York between 912 and 921. Sihtric (Sigtrygg the younger) Ragnaldsson succeeded (or promoted himself — parental piety was apparently at a premium) as King in Dublin by 917 and of York by 921. Sihtrig Ragnaldsson's brother Godfred would seem to have been filtered off to be King of Man, only to re-appear as head man in Dublin, Waterford and York. All of which provokes me to wonder what the job-title involved.

Back on the main-line, our main man appears to be Gorm the Old (a.k.a 'the Languid'), who is ****-of-the-walk at Jelling by c.936 and keeps the job until c.958. His wife (at last we encounter a bit of fidelity) was Thyra, and she got a vast memorial mound at Jelling. Their son was afore-mentioned Harald 'Bluetooth' Gormsson.

There seem to be maternity questions about Sweyn 'Forkbeard' Haraldsson, who appears to be via Harald's 'bit-on-the-side Gyrid Olafsdottir. Let's gloss over that discreetly, pass over the near-invisible Harald II Svendsen, and so arrive at Mr Big, Cnút, who — for two decades — united England, Denmark and Norway, and received the tribute of Danes across the whole North Sea Empire, including the Irish Danes. For those of us who find Norman 'feudalism' a toughie, perhaps that's the alternative 'way-to-go'.

All of which is the major theme, to a minor one.

Cnút's sister, says William of Malmesbury, was the Heidi Fleiss of her day. She supplied the needy of Europe with delectable girls from the slave-markets of Bristol (Sir! that derisory snort was most inappropriate!) and Dublin.
" Raegor was his father ! Its true, I swear it is. He is your brother!"

[video=youtube;PTFt3GN5sro]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTFt3GN5sro[/video]
 

Catalpast

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
25,560
Here I go, second effort.


Anyone who can unscramble the relationship of the early Danish monarchs would instantly be nominated as Head Lar of c.9th/c.10th scholarship. As far as I can see, wikipedia is peddling two different genealogies. And any text I consult produces further variants. Yes, I tried to make sense of it when I found Beowulf (a.k.a. Elfhere, deceased by dragon c.543) in there.

There seems some strong evidence that the Dublin Danes were intermingled with those of Jorvik/York. Ivar (died 883: not entirely sure whether or not that's 'the Boneless' or his son) sires Sihtric (Sigtrygg the elder) who certainly features in Dublin history, but also Ragnald, who is 'king' in York between 912 and 921. Sihtric (Sigtrygg the younger) Ragnaldsson succeeded (or promoted himself — parental piety was apparently at a premium) as King in Dublin by 917 and of York by 921. Sihtrig Ragnaldsson's brother Godfred would seem to have been filtered off to be King of Man, only to re-appear as head man in Dublin, Waterford and York. All of which provokes me to wonder what the job-title involved.

Back on the main-line, our main man appears to be Gorm the Old (a.k.a 'the Languid'), who is ****-of-the-walk at Jelling by c.936 and keeps the job until c.958. His wife (at last we encounter a bit of fidelity) was Thyra, and she got a vast memorial mound at Jelling. Their son was afore-mentioned Harald 'Bluetooth' Gormsson.

There seem to be maternity questions about Sweyn 'Forkbeard' Haraldsson, who appears to be via Harald's 'bit-on-the-side Gyrid Olafsdottir. Let's gloss over that discreetly, pass over the near-invisible Harald II Svendsen, and so arrive at Mr Big, Cnút, who — for two decades — united England, Denmark and Norway, and received the tribute of Danes across the whole North Sea Empire, including the Irish Danes. For those of us who find Norman 'feudalism' a toughie, perhaps that's the alternative 'way-to-go'.

All of which is the major theme, to a minor one.

Cnút's sister, says William of Malmesbury, was the Heidi Fleiss of her day. She supplied the needy of Europe with delectable girls from the slave-markets of Bristol (Sir! that derisory snort was most inappropriate!) and Dublin.
I hear he was a bit of a Cnút ......

Sorry...I'll get me coat....:|
 

Malcolm Redfellow

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
4,403
Website
redfellow.blogspot.com
Twitter
mredfellow
I hear he was a bit of a Cnút ......

Sorry...I'll get me coat....:|
You may need it — but not this fine morning here in Jórvík.

As I recall, what school and college 'taught' about pre-1066 amounts to fairy-stories. Natural curiosity means I now take considerable interest in that pre-Norman (and pre-Confessor) period.

What do we 'know'? Perhaps because later historiography is now quite a crowded profession, that increases on a regular basis.

To start with Harald Bluetooth, he fits in a remarkable period.

In terms of 'English' history we need to backtrack to Æthelred. He came to the kingship at the age of (about) twelve. His 'Redeless' moniker was earned as much during the extended regency of Queen-Mother Ælfþryþ (the Lady Macbeth of her day — she gets the blame for the 'mysterious' assassination of her stepson, Eadweard the Martyr, 18 March AD978). The 'Martyr' is because Eadweard had sided with and fostered the Benedictines, who would be writing the history.

Ælfþryþ was associated with Eolderman Ælfhere of Mercia and Bishop Æthelwold of Winchester. Court politics of that time boil over into the hostility of the Peterborough manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The Chroniclers, Bede, Alcuin and other sources all belong to the school of Divine Providence: so the murder of Eadweard duly 'caused' the Danish assault on Æthelred's kingdom. Conveniently for that view, the main Danish attacks (Thanet and the Irish Vikings in Cheshire) begin in 980, so seem to follow immediately on Eadweard's killing.

Thanet and Cheshire exposed the English weakness. The raids increased: Cornwall and Devon in 981, Dorset and the sack of London in 982.

There has to be a political law of political dynamics. The Saxons of northern Germany became expansionist, impacting on the Danes. The Christian conversion of Harald Bluetooth (as recorded by the Yelling runic-stone) may well have been imposed. Bluetooth's attempts to assert his authority, and acquired religion, on much of Scandinavia, was not just resented, but generated a surfeit of displaced local chiefs, jarls and wanna-be kings. Inevitably Bluetooth was displaced by his son Swein Forkbeard, but that didn't remove the dynamic.

While Swein first focused on his need to prove his power 'at home', the leadership of the Scandinavian expansion elsewhere was assumed by Olaf Tryggvason. By 988 and his marriage to Gyda, sister of Amlaíb Cuarán, King of Dublin, he had the resources. In 991 Olaf led ninety-three ships to strike Essex, Kent and defeat Eolderman Byrhtnoth at the Battle of Maldon. Bamburgh and the Humber coast also got a dose.

Around here, 994, Swein felt confident (or impelled) to join Olaf; and their joint attack on London and the south-east led to Æthelred rendering the £16,000 of gafol/Danegeld.

In a way, though, the rest of Kipling's accusation is not so valid. This 'Second Viking Age' wasn't following the pattern of Alfred's time. Both sides had become better equipped and more disciplined: those burhs were defensible, there were regional and even national armies, Alfred's successors had ships to take on the raiders at sea and to shift forces more efficiently. On the other hand, there was recognisably a Viking central command. More to the point — and this becomes better established as research continues — the later Vikings were settlers, 'entrepreneurs' and traders: Angles and Danes were living side-by-side (or rather -by by -ham, as place names show).
 

statsman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
55,055
Here I go, second effort.


Anyone who can unscramble the relationship of the early Danish monarchs would instantly be nominated as Head Lar of c.9th/c.10th scholarship. As far as I can see, wikipedia is peddling two different genealogies. And any text I consult produces further variants. Yes, I tried to make sense of it when I found Beowulf (a.k.a. Elfhere, deceased by dragon c.543) in there.

There seems some strong evidence that the Dublin Danes were intermingled with those of Jorvik/York. Ivar (died 883: not entirely sure whether or not that's 'the Boneless' or his son) sires Sihtric (Sigtrygg the elder) who certainly features in Dublin history, but also Ragnald, who is 'king' in York between 912 and 921. Sihtric (Sigtrygg the younger) Ragnaldsson succeeded (or promoted himself — parental piety was apparently at a premium) as King in Dublin by 917 and of York by 921. Sihtrig Ragnaldsson's brother Godfred would seem to have been filtered off to be King of Man, only to re-appear as head man in Dublin, Waterford and York. All of which provokes me to wonder what the job-title involved.

Back on the main-line, our main man appears to be Gorm the Old (a.k.a 'the Languid'), who is ****-of-the-walk at Jelling by c.936 and keeps the job until c.958. His wife (at last we encounter a bit of fidelity) was Thyra, and she got a vast memorial mound at Jelling. Their son was afore-mentioned Harald 'Bluetooth' Gormsson.

There seem to be maternity questions about Sweyn 'Forkbeard' Haraldsson, who appears to be via Harald's 'bit-on-the-side Gyrid Olafsdottir. Let's gloss over that discreetly, pass over the near-invisible Harald II Svendsen, and so arrive at Mr Big, Cnút, who — for two decades — united England, Denmark and Norway, and received the tribute of Danes across the whole North Sea Empire, including the Irish Danes. For those of us who find Norman 'feudalism' a toughie, perhaps that's the alternative 'way-to-go'.

All of which is the major theme, to a minor one.

Cnút's sister, says William of Malmesbury, was the Heidi Fleiss of her day. She supplied the needy of Europe with delectable girls from the slave-markets of Bristol (Sir! that derisory snort was most inappropriate!) and Dublin.
The source for my version is, on checking, the Historia Norwegiæ.
 

RasherHash

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
25,655
Dan Snow
@thehistoryguy
·
6h
My daughter had a 'medieval feast' at school yesterday. Mostly, the boys went as knights, the girls as princesses.
She went as the Viking fleet commander, 'The Red Girl' briefly referred to in the 12th C 'The War of the Irish with the Foreigners.'
 

Malcolm Redfellow

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
4,403
Website
redfellow.blogspot.com
Twitter
mredfellow
Dan Snow
@thehistoryguy
·
6h
My daughter had a 'medieval feast' at school yesterday. Mostly, the boys went as knights, the girls as princesses.
She went as the Viking fleet commander, 'The Red Girl' briefly referred to in the 12th C 'The War of the Irish with the Foreigners.'
Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, on line here, in which the Inghen Ruaidh is mentioned twice.

There came there, also, the fleet of Oiberd, and the fleet of Oduinn, and the fleet of Griffin, and the fleet of Snuatgar, and the fleet of Lagmann, and the fleet of Erolf, and the fleet of Sitriuc, and the fleet of Buidnin, and the fleet of Birndin, and the fleet of Liagrislach, and the fleet of Toirberdach, and the fleet of Eoan Barun, and the fleet of Milid Buu, and the fleet of Suimin, and the fleet of Suainin, and lastly the fleet of the Inghen Ruaidh. And assuredly the evil which Erinn had hitherto suffered was as nothing compared to the evil inflicted by these parties. The entire of Mumhain, without distinction, was plundered by them, on all sides, and devastated. And they spread themselves over Mumhain; and they built Duns, and fortresses, and landing-ports, over all Erinn, so that there was no place in Erinn without numerous fleets of Danes and pirates; so that they made spoil-land, and sword-land, and conquered-land of her, throughout her breadth, and generally; and they ravaged her chieftainries, and her privileged churches, and her sanctuaries; and they rent her shrines, and her reliquaries, and her books.
See also section cxvii, page 207:
There fell there, too, Carlus and Ciarlus, the two sons of the king of Lochlainn, and Goistilin Gall, and Amond, so on Duibhghin, the two kings of Port Lairge, and Simond, son of Turgeis, and Sefraid, son of Suinin, and Bernard, son of Suinin; and Eoin, the Baron, and Rickard, the two sons of the Inghen Ruaidh.
This, fictionalising apart, we have to read as the onslaught led by Ottir Dubh (variants: Óttar jarl, Oter comes), one of the two Norse leaders who established a base at Veðrafjǫrðr — and thus making 'Waterford', from 'the fjord of the ram', more authentic a name than Port Láirge.

Ottir Dubh turns up in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (the Winchester version, in the Corpus Christi Library, Cambridge). The account is of a hardly-successful encounter with King Eadweard's fyrd in Herefordshire: suggestively, there is "Kill Dane Field" near Weston-under-Penyard. Allowing for the Anglo-Saxon Chroncle's vagaries of dating, that would be AD915.

As attested by the Annals of Ulster, three years later, AD918, Ottir Dubh was killed by Còiseam mac Aoidh's lowland Scots at the Battle of Corbridge.
 

Shiloh

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
316
Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, on line here, in which the Inghen Ruaidh is mentioned twice.


See also section cxvii, page 207:

This, fictionalising apart, we have to read as the onslaught led by Ottir Dubh (variants: Óttar jarl, Oter comes), one of the two Norse leaders who established a base at Veðrafjǫrðr — and thus making 'Waterford', from 'the fjord of the ram', more authentic a name than Port Láirge.

Ottir Dubh turns up in the Anglo

Makes me think of Flann O'Brien
 

Malcolm Redfellow

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
4,403
Website
redfellow.blogspot.com
Twitter
mredfellow
Makes me think of Flann O'Brien
My friend, few things in Irish literature fail to recall to me the wit and wisdom of Cruiskeen Lawn. I even think of what happens in this forum as the natural successor of Myles' Research Bureau (Cf: pp112ff).

And so to Historia Normannorum from Dudo of St Quentin's imaginative pen (that's yer real, actual metonymy, that is: you don't get it in penny packets). Dudo, not to be confused with The Dude, was — as he himself says — commissioned by Duke Richard of Normandy to compile a history of the Northmen. If that's reliable (and not much else of Dudo is), the date has to be before Richard's death in AD996 — so only a couple of generations after Ottir Dubh, the Inghen Ruaidh and their assorted buddies.

Dudo has long been discounted by 'experts' and pesky historians. He has a rationale for the whole 'going Viking' business. It amounts to the upper-crust men of Scandinavian society hoovering up more than their share of available women, so there was pressure on randy males to risk life and fortune in acquiring some of their own. Hence, too, a warring culture, with a low value on individual male survival.

From this we can draw an obvious conclusion: the Vikings in Munster were essentially after fame, fortune and nookie.

And Dudo's thesis has been resurrected by at least one recent study:
Our contention is that, during the Late Iron Age (c.400–1050), Scandinavian OSRs were biased towards males by polygyny and concubinage and that this bias was magnified by an increase in social stratification that occurred during the period. The bias increased male–male competition, and this in turn led to a volatile socio-political environment in which men sought to distinguish themselves by obtaining wealth, status, and female slaves. The surge in raiding that is associated with the start of the Viking Age was one of the consequences of this.
 
Last edited:


Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top