Die lewe en dood van Sweyn Forkbeard en sy Viking -ryk

Die lewe en dood van Sweyn Forkbeard en sy Viking -ryk

Sweyn I, ook bekend as Sweyn Tiugeskaeg (wat 'vurkbaard' beteken), was 'n Vikinghoof wat die heerser van Denemarke, Noorweë en Engeland geword het. Sy bynaam, 'Forkbeard', verwys na sy lang, gesplete baard. Hoewel Sweyn dekades lank oor Denemarke en Noorweë geheers het, het hy eers teen die einde van sy lewe beheer oor Engeland gekry, en het hy effens meer as 'n maand regeer. Trouens, hoewel hy tot koning van Engeland verklaar is, het Sweyn Forkbeard nie eers lank genoeg geleef vir sy kroning nie.

Kort na sy dood het Sweyn se ryk verbrokkel. Alhoewel hy deur een van sy seuns in Denemarke as koning opgevolg is, keer beide Noorweë en Engeland terug na inheemse heersers. Die domeine van Sweyn sou egter herenig word deur 'n ander seun, Cnut the Great. Geskiedkundiges verwys vandag gereeld na die ryk van Sweyn Forkbeard en sy seun as die Noordsee-ryk of die Anglo-Skandinawiese Ryk.

Sweyn I is vermoedelik gebore omstreeks 960 nC. Sy vader was Harald I, ook bekend as Harald Bluetooth, terwyl die identiteit van sy ma nie seker is nie. Harald was lid van die House of Gorm, 'n Deense dinastie wat deur sy vader, Gorm die Oude, gestig is. Hierdie nuwe koningshuis was gevestig in Jelling, in Noord -Jutland. Onder Harald se bewind was Denemarke vir die eerste keer verenig. Alhoewel Harald die land se eenwording erken, het die projek eintlik onder sy voorganger begin. Afgesien daarvan het Harald ook Noorweë verower en tot die Christendom bekeer. As gevolg van laasgenoemde het die Christendom oor Denemarke en Noorweë begin versprei.

Die grootste van die Jelling -klippe, enorme gekerfde runstene wat in Jelling gevind is, is in 970 deur Harold Bluetooth opgehaal om Denemarke se bekering tot die Christendom te vier. ( Ljunie / CC BY-SA )

Sweyn Forkbeard Revolts Against His Father, Harald Bluetooth

Min is bekend oor Sweyn se kinderjare en vroeë jare. Sy eerste verskyning in die historiese rekord is taamlik wreed. Volgens die Middeleeuse skrywers het Sweyn in die laaste jare van Harald se lewe in opstand gekom teen sy vader. Dit het omstreeks 987 nC plaasgevind. Die Duitse kroniekskrywer, Adam van Bremen, beweer dat Sweyn se opstand 'n heidense reaksie was op die toenemende kerstening van Denemarke. Die bewering van die kroniekskrywer is egter ietwat twyfelagtig, aangesien daar geen aanduiding is dat Sweyn 'n heiden was nie. Daarbenewens het Adam moontlik 'n wrok teen die Deense koning gehad omdat hy onsimpatiek teenoor die kerk van Hamburg-Bremen was.

Die doop van Harald Bluetooth. Detail uit doopvont uit ongeveer 1100 in Tamdrup Kirke, Denemarke. ( Sven Rosborn / CC BY-SA )

Die verhaal van Sweyn se opstand word ook vertel in Snorri Sturluson se Heimskringla (vertaal as 'Die kroniek van die konings van Noorweë' ). In hierdie weergawe van die verhaal word gesê dat Sweyn sy pa vir 'n deel van Denemarke gevra het. Harald, wat nie van plan was om sy koninkryk te verdeel nie, het natuurlik sy seun se versoek geweier. Daarom het Sweyn sy manne bymekaargemaak en aan sy vader gerapporteer as wat hy op 'n aanval sou gaan. Trouens, hy was besig om voor te berei om in opstand te kom. Toe die voorbereidings voltooi is, val Sweyn sy pa aan. Harald het die geveg gewen, aangesien hy 'n groter leër gehad het, maar 'n dodelike wond opgedoen en kort daarna gesterf.

In sommige weergawes van die verhaal is Harald verslaan en na die Wends gevlug waar hy aan sy wonde gesterf het. Wat Sweyn betref, vlug hy van die slagveld af, maar na die dood van sy vader word hy tot koning uitgeroep. Die nuwe koning is egter deur Sigvaldi, die hoof van die Jomsvikings, gevange geneem. Sigvaldi het Sweyn gedwing om vrede te maak met die Wends, voordat hy hom na Denemarke terugbesorg het.

In die Heimskringla word aangeteken dat Sweyn met Gunhild, die dogter van Burizleif, die Wendiese koning, getroud is. Die Heimskringla sê verder dat die egpaar se seuns Harald en Cnut was. Alhoewel Burizleif 'n legendariese figuur is, is daar bespiegel dat hy op 'n werklike persoon gebaseer is. Sweyn trou later met Sigrid die Stoute, die weduwee van die Sweedse koning, Eric the Victorious. In sommige bronne word gesê dat Sweyn na die dood van Gunhild met Sigrid getroud is. In ander word gesê dat Sweyn Gunhild verwerp het en met Sigrid getrou het. As gevolg hiervan is Gunhild terug na Wendland en is eers deur Sweene se dood na Sweyn se dood teruggebring deur haar seuns.

12ste eeu voorstelling van indringende Vikings uit die lewe en wonderwerke van St. Edmund.

Viking Raiders het hul visier op Brittanje gerig

Nie lank nadat hy die troon van Denemarke bestyg het nie, het Sweyn sy oë op Engeland gerig. Reeds aan die einde van die 8ste eeu nC was Brittanje 'n gunsteling teiken van die Viking -plunderaars, aangesien die grootliks onverdedigde kloosters vir hulle 'n maklike keuse was. In die daaropvolgende eeu het die Vikings begin om nedersettings op die eiland te vestig, eerder as om net op die inwoners te val. Teen die einde van die 9de eeu nC is 'n groot deel van Engeland deur die Vikings verower. Hierdie gebied het bekend gestaan ​​as die Danelaw, en die Viking -bewind het tot in die middel van die 10de eeu geduur.

In 954 nC is Eric Bloodaxe, die laaste Viking -heerser van Northumbria, verdryf, wat die einde van die Danelaw aandui. In die daaropvolgende dekades is Engeland regeer deur inheemse konings. In 978 nC word Aethelred II, wie se bynaam 'the Unready' was, wat in Oud-Engels 'onbehoorlik' beteken, die nuwe koning van Engeland. Dit was ongeveer 'n dekade voordat Sweyn aan bewind gekom het.

Danegeld en die afpersing van Brittanje onder Sweyn Forkbeard

Gedurende die 990's was Aethelred steeds op die Engelse troon. Trouens, hy regeer tot 1016. Dit was ook die begin van die 'tweede Vikingtydperk'. Anders as die Vikings van die 9de en 10de eeu, het Sweyn aanvanklik nie daarin belanggestel om Engeland te verower nie. In plaas daarvan het hy verkies om strooptogte op die eiland uit te voer.

Anders as die Vikings van die 8ste eeu, is Sweyn se aanvalle op 'n baie groter skaal uitgevoer. Dit is normaalweg deur koninklike leiers gereël, en die doel was afpersing. Sweyn se aanvallers het nie op geïsoleerde kloosters gerig nie, maar op die Engelse staat self. Die Viking -aanvalle was so verwoestend dat die Engelse ingestem het om hulde te bring aan die Vikings. Hierdie huldeblyk, bekend as die Danegeld, was in wese beskermingsgeld, en die Vikings het groot voordeel daaruit getrek. In 991 nC, byvoorbeeld, is die stropers 4500 kilogram silwer betaal in ruil daarvoor dat hulle Engeland in vrede verlaat het.

Sweyn Forkbeard val Engeland binne Bron:

Sweyn Forkbeard and the Viking Raid of London

Hierdie strategie was nie heeltemal suksesvol nie, en veral in die noorde van Engeland het die Viking -aanvalle voortgegaan. Hierdie aanvalle was baie kleiner. Volgens die Angelsaksiese Chronicles het Sweyn in 994 nC self 'n mislukte aanval op Engeland gelei, met Londen as sy uiteindelike doel. Die verslag van Sweyn se aanval op Londen is soos volg:

'Hierdie jaar het Anlaf (Olaf Trygvasson, die koning van Noorweë) en Sweyne na Londen gekom, op die geboorte van die Heilige Maria, met vier en negentig skepe. En hulle beleër die stad noukeurig en sou dit sonder twyfel aan die brand gesteek het; maar hulle het meer skade en kwaad opgedoen as wat hulle ooit gedink het dat enige burgers hulle kan toedien. Die heilige moeder van God het op daardie dag in haar genade die burgers in ag geneem en hulle van hulle vyande bevry. ”

Alhoewel die Vikings nie daarin geslaag het om Londen in te neem nie, het hulle nie dadelik teruggekeer huis toe nie. In plaas daarvan het hulle die res van Engeland terroriseer:

'Daarvandaan het hulle gevorder en die grootste euwel bewerk wat enige leër ooit kon doen, nie net aan die kus in Essex nie, maar ook in Kent en in Sussex en in Hampshire. Daarna het hulle perd geneem en so breed gery as wat hulle wou en onuitspreeklike kwaad gepleeg. ”

Viking -vegter met 'n byl. "Daarvandaan het hulle gevorder en die grootste euwel bewerk wat enige leër ooit kon doen, in brand en plundery en doodslag." ( DieStockCube / Adobe Stock)

Om die een of ander rede het Aethelred nie militêre geweld aangewend om van die Vikings -stropers ontslae te raak nie. Hy het eerder besluit om hulle af te betaal, soos hy in die verlede gedoen het:

'Toe besluit die koning en sy raad om hulle te stuur en hulde te bring en te voorsien, op voorwaarde dat hulle van die plundering ophou. Die bepalings wat hulle aanvaar het; en die hele leër het na Southampton gekom en hulle winterkwartiere daar gevestig; waar hulle gevoed is deur al die onderdane van die Wes -Saksiese koninkryk. En hulle het hulle 16 000 pond aan geld gegee. ”

In ruil daarvoor het Olaf hom tot die Christendom bekeer en belowe om nooit weer vyandig teenoor Engeland op te tree nie. Volgens die Angelsaksiese Chronicles het Olaf sy belofte nagekom. Daar kan op gelet word dat Olaf in die inskrywing van die Angelsaksiese Chronicles vir die jaar 994 nC as die hoofkarakter uitgebeeld word, terwyl Sweyn 'n sekondêre rol speel. Alhoewel Olaf belowe het om nooit weer Engeland aan te val nie, blyk dit dat Sweyn nie so 'n belofte gemaak het nie. Volgens sommige bronne, terwyl Sweyn besig was om Engeland te bestorm, het Erik the Victorious die geleentheid aangegryp om Denemarke te beset. Tog het die Sweedse koning kort daarna gesterf en kon Sweyn sy troon herwin.

St. Brice's Day Massacre en Sweyn's Retaliation

Onder Sweyn Forkbeard het die Vikings in die daaropvolgende jare steeds op Engeland toegeslaan, en hy het self 'n aanval op die eiland in 1003 geloods. Die Deense koning het besluit om die aanval persoonlik te lei as gevolg van 'n voorval wat die jaar tevore plaasgevind het. In die lente van daardie jaar trou Aethelred met Emma, ​​die suster van Richard II, die hertog van Normandië. Dit was bedoel om die alliansie tussen Engeland en Normandië te sluit, en het Aethelred moontlik aangemoedig om 'n strenger standpunt teen die Vikings in te neem.

Aethelred the Unready beveel die teregstelling van alle Dene wat op Engeland op St. Brice's Day 1002 in Engeland woon, aan. ()

Volgens die Angelsaksiese Chronicles het Aethelred in 1002 nuus ontvang dat die Dene in Engeland beplan om hom te vermoor en sy koninkryk oor te neem. Hy het dus 'n voorkomende aanval begin deur al die Dene in Engeland op St. Brice's Day (die 13de November) te vermoor. Alhoewel dit seker is dat sommige Dene dood is, is die omvang van die St. Brice's Day -bloedbad onduidelik.

In sommige verslae is daar bespiegel dat een van die Dene wat tydens die bloedbad vermoor is, Gunhild, die suster van Sweyn, was. As dit waar was, sou dit Sweyn se antagonisme teenoor die Engelse verskerp het. Alternatiewelik kan die slagting van die Dene self Sweyn se vyandigheid verhoog het. Sweyn het in elk geval in 1003 op Engeland toegeslaan:

“Toe Sweyne sien dat hulle nie gereed was nie en dat hulle almal terugtrek, het hy sy leër na Wilton gelei; en hulle het die stad geplunder en verbrand. Daarna het hy na Sarum gegaan; en daarvandaan terug na die see, waar hy geweet het sy skepe was. ”

Sweyn en die verowering van Noorweë en Engeland

Terwyl sy Vikings op Engeland toeslaan, verower Sweyn Noorweë, wat deur Sweyn se ou aanvalsmaat Olaf Trygvasson beheer word. Sweyn het 'n alliansie met die Swede en die grawe van Lade gesluit en Olaf aangeval. In die Slag van Svolder, in 1000, is die Noorweërs verslaan, en Sweyn word die nuwe heerser van Noorweë. Engeland sou ook onder Deense bewind val, alhoewel baie jare na Sweyn se verowering van Noorweë.

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In 1013 het Sweyn nog 'n aanval op Engeland gelei. Dit blyk dat die Deense koning sedert 1004 nie persoonlik 'n aanval op die eiland gelei het nie. Volgens die Angelsaksiese Kronieke:

'Voor die maand Augustus kom koning Sweyne met sy vloot na Sandwich; en baie gou het hy in East-Anglia in die Humber-mond gegaan, en so opwaarts langs die Trent, totdat hy by Gainsborough gekom het. Toe het Earl Utred, en al die Northumbrians, en al die mense van Lindsey, en daarna die mense van die Five Boroughs, en kort daarna die hele leër in die noorde van Watlingstraat, aan hom onderwerp.

Knut die Grote, Sweyn se seun, geïllustreer binne die voorletter van 'n Middeleeuse manuskrip ()

Om die lojaliteit van die Engelse adellikes wat hulle aan hulle onderwerp het, te verseker, is die Danes gyselaars geneem. Hierdie gyselaars is by Sweyn se seun, Cnut, in Gainsborough, die nuwe Viking -basiskamp, ​​agtergelaat. Die Deense koning draai toe suidwaarts en gaan voort met die verowering van die eiland. Toe Sweyn Londen bereik, het hy agtergekom dat die bevolking nie sou ingaan nie, en daarom besluit hy om verder te gaan na Bath, waar hy die westelike asies ontvang voordat hy na Gainsborough terugkeer. Teen hierdie tyd het Londen ook oorgegee. Aethelred is in ballingskap gedwing en het toevlug gevind by die hof van sy swaer in Normandië. Die verbanne koning het daar gebly tot Sweyn se dood, wat eintlik nie lank geneem het nie.

Sweyn Forkbeard se skielike dood en die verbrokkeling van sy ryk

Teen die einde van 1013 was Sweyn op die hoogtepunt van sy mag en was hy die heerser van Denemarke, Noorweë en Engeland. Dit gesê, teen Februarie van die volgende jaar was hy dood. Die inskrywing van die Angelsaksiese Chronicles vir die jaar 1014 lui: "Vanjaar het King Sweyne sy dae by Candlemas beëindig, die derde dag voor die einde van Februarie," (wat die tweede van Februarie beteken het). Interessant genoeg gee die Heimskringla meer besonderhede oor Sweyn se dood: “dit het gebeur dat koning Svein skielik in die nag in sy bed gesterf het; en daar word deur Engelse gesê dat Edmund die Heilige hom vermoor het, op dieselfde manier as wat die heilige Mercurius die afvallige Julian doodgemaak het. ”

Sweyn Forkbeard, die kortste regerende koning van Engeland, word deur koning Edmund die Heilige vermoor. Illustrasie uit The Life of King Edward the Confessor in 'n manuskrip uit ongeveer 1250.

As gevolg van Sweyn se skielike dood, het die ryk wat hy geskep het, byna onmiddellik verbrokkel. In Engeland keer Aethelred terug uit ballingskap en regeer tot sy dood in 1016. Net so is die troon van Noorweë teruggestuur na 'n inheemse heerser. Nietemin sou Sweyn se seun, Cnut, later sy vader se ryk laat herleef. Cnut regeer Engeland baie langer as sy pa, wat hom meer tyd gee om die Engelse te beïndruk, wat hy gedoen het. Sy goeie dade is deur Engelse skrywers van daardie tyd opgeteken, en as gevolg hiervan staan ​​hy vandag bekend as 'Cnut the Great'. Sweyn, aan die ander kant, het slegs ongeveer vyf weke oor Engeland geheers en het nie tyd gehad om te bewys dat hy 'n bekwame heerser was nie. Daarom sit hy vas by die (nog steeds redelik indrukwekkende) bynaam 'Forkbeard'.


Konings en koninginne van Engeland se tydlyn

Egbert (802–839) Egbert, koning van Wessex, was die eerste monarg wat 'n stabiele heerskappy oor die hele Angelsaksiese Engeland gevestig het.

Aethelwulf (839–856) Aethelwulf was die seun van Egbert. In 851 verslaan hy 'n Viking -Deense leër in die Slag van Aclea.

Aethelbald (856–860) Die oudste seun van Aethelwulf, Aethelbald, is gebore omstreeks 834. Hy het sy pa gedwing om te abdikeer by sy terugkeer van sy pelgrimstog na Rome.

Aethelbert (860–866) Aethelbert het koning geword na die dood van sy broer Aethelbald.

Aethelred I (866–871) Aethelred volg sy broer Aethelbert op. Sy bewind het 'n stryd geword teen die indringende Deense magte, wat die Viking -koninkryk Yorvik gestig het.

Alfred die Grote (871–899) Alfred word in 871 koning van Wessex en spandeer die eerste jare van sy bewind teen die Vikings. Nadat hy hulle in 878 verslaan het, onderteken hy 'n verdrag met hul leier, Guthrum, en verdeel Engeland in twee langs 'n lyn van Londen na Chester. Alfred regeer die land in die suide, maar word erken as die oorheerser van die gebied wat deur die Viking bestuur word, wat later bekend was as die Danelaw, in die noorde.

Edward die Ouere (899–924) Edward was die seun van Alfred die Grote. Hy was 'n gewaagde soldaat en het aansienlike winste uit die Dene behaal.

Aethelstan (924–939) Aethelstan, die seun van Edward die Ouere, het die grense van sy koninkryk nog verder uitgebrei as wat sy vader gedoen het. Vir die eerste keer is al die Angelsaksiese koninkryke saamgevoeg om 'n verenigde Engeland te skep.

Edmund I (939–946) Edmund het op 18-jarige ouderdom sy halfstor Aethelstan as koning opgevolg as koning. Hy het die Angelsaksiese beheer oor Noord-Engeland weer gevestig en rebelle deur die Mercian Danes onderdruk.

Eadred (946–955) Eadred, die seun van Edward die Ouere deur sy derde huwelik met Eadgifu, volg sy broer Edmund op. Hy het die laaste Viking -koning van York, Eric Bloodaxe, in 954 verslaan.

Eadwig (955–959) Die oudste seun van Edmund, Eadwig (Edwy) was ongeveer 16 toe hy as koning gekroon is. Mercia en Northumbria breek weg tydens rebellie tydens Eadwig se kort bewind.

Edgar (959–975) Die jongste seun van Edmund, Edgar "the Peaceful", was met sy broer in geskil oor die opvolging van die troon. Hy was reeds vanaf 957 koning van Mercia en die Danelaw, en volg sy broer op as koning van Engeland na Eadwig se dood in 959.

Edward die Martelaar (975–978) Die oudste seun van Edgar, Edward is as koning gekroon toe hy net 12 was. Sy aanspraak op die troon is betwis deur die ondersteuners van sy nog jonger halfbroer, Aethelred.

Aethelred II (978-1013 en 1014-1016) Aethelred “the Unready”, die jongste seun van Edgar, word koning op die ouderdom van ongeveer 10. Hy word in 1013 gedwing om na Normandië te vlug toe Sweyn Forkbeard, koning van die Danes, Engeland binnegeval het, maar in 1014 terugkeer na Sweyn se dood.

Sweyn Forkbeard (1013–1014) Die Deense koning, Sweyn Forkbeard, het Engeland binnegeval in 2013. Hy is op Kersdag 1013 tot koning van Engeland uitgeroep en word die eerste Deense koning van Engeland. Net vyf weke later was hy dood.

Edmund II Ironside (1016) Die seun van Aethelred en sy eerste vrou, Aelfgifu van York, Edmund Ironside is gekies om Aethelred op te volg deur die burgers van Londen - maar 'n groot deel van die res van die land is teen daardie tyd verower deur Cnut, wat sy pa, Sweyn, opgevolg het. , as die Deense koning.

Knoet (1016–1035) Edmund Ironside het ingestem om die koninkryk van Engeland te verdeel, met die Deense koning, Cnut, wat die noorde regeer en Edmund die suide. Edmund sterf egter skielik en verlaat die hele land na Cnut. Hy was 'n wyse heerser en het 'n groot ryk geskep, waaronder Denemarke, Noorweë en dele van Swede, sowel as Engeland.

Harold I (1035–1040) Harold I, bekend as Harold Harefoot, was die seun van Cnut en sy eerste vrou, Aelfgifu. Hy en sy halfbroer Harthacnut het die koninkryk van Engeland tussen hulle verdeel ná hul pa se dood.

Harthacnut (1040–1042) Harthacnut was die seun van Cnut en sy tweede vrou, Emma van Normandië, die voormalige vrou van Aethelred the Unready. By die dood van sy halfbroer Harold Harefoot in 1040 val die koninkryk van Engeland alleen op Harthacnut.

Edward die Belyder (1042–1066) As die oorlewende seun van Aethelred en sy tweede vrou Emma, ​​word Edward die Belyder die onbetwiste koning. Hy het 'n reputasie gekry as 'n bekwame en kragtige leier.

Harold II (1066) Harold II, oorspronklik Harold Godwinson genoem, is verkies tot koning van Engeland deur 'n raad van hooggeplaaste edeles en godsdienstige leiers na die dood van Edward die Belyder. Hierdie besluit het William, hertog van Normandië, woedend gemaak, wat geglo het dat die troon aan hom beloof is. Harold is dood tydens die Slag van Hastings.


St. Brice's Day en die Deense verowering

Ek skryf hierdie pos op 13 November, 'n ongelukkige dag in die Engelse geskiedenis. Selfs ongelukkig is dit vandag ook Vrydag die 13 de. Dit is 'n gepaste tyd om te duik in een van die mees berugte gebeurtenisse in Angelsaksiese Engeland: die St. Brice's Day-bloedbad. Op 13 November 1002 beveel koning Æthelred II van Engeland, na jare van vikingaanvalle, dat alle Dene in sy koninkryk doodgemaak moet word. Die Angelsaksiese kroniek bevat een van die vroegste verslae oor wat daardie dag gebeur het:

... die koning het beveel dat al die Deense mans wat onder die Engelse ras was, op Brice's Day vermoor moes word, omdat dit aan die koning bekend gemaak is dat hulle sy lewe - en daarna al sy raadslede - wil verstrik en daarna sy koninkryk wil hê.

Soos die kroniekskrywer onthul, het hierdie bloedige gebeurtenis plaasgevind op die feesdag, 13 November, van 'n nou onduidelike heilige genaamd St. Brice of Tours, wat die bloedbad sy naam gegee het. Ons het egter nog 'n vroeër verslag oor die slagting. Verbasend, dit kom van die man wat dit bestel het:

... dit sal welbekend wees dat 'n dekreet deur my uitgestuur is met die advies van my voorste manne en grootmagte, dat al die Dene wat op hierdie eiland opgekom het, soos onkruid tussen die koring spruit, vernietig sou word deur 'n baie regverdige uitwissing [1].

Ja, dit is 'n handves van koning Æthelred, waar die koning (of meer waarskynlik iemand wat namens hom skryf) 'n paar belangrike besonderhede verskaf wat aansluit by die ASC se rekening: die bevel kom direk van die koning, sy raadslede is op een of ander manier betrokke ( óf as doelwitte van 'n plot, medebeplanners van die slagting, of albei) en alle Denen in Engeland moet doodgemaak word. Meer as 'n dekade later verower koning Sweyn (ook Svein, Sven of Swein) van Denemarke Engeland. Nadat Sweyn in 1014 gesterf het, het Æthelred sy kroon teruggekry en Sweyn se seun, Cnut, uit die land verdryf. Na die dood van Æthelred en sy opvolger, Edmund, het Cnut uiteindelik daarin geslaag om die hele koninkryk te verower. Soveel is duidelik en was nog altyd. Saam word na die verowerings van Sweyn (1013) en Cnut (1016) verwys as The Danish Conquest.

'N Middeleeuse wraakverhaal: dooie prinsesse, wreekbroers en verowering?

Berigte oor die St. Brice's Day -bloedbad word egter gewoonlik opgevolg deur 'n bewering dat Gunnhild (daar is talle spellingvariasies), die suster van koning Sweyn van Denemarke, een van die wat in die bloedbad gedood is, was. Vermoedelik is haar man Pallig, 'n Noorse huursoldaat in Æthelred se diens, ook vermoor. Hierdie bewerings kom van William van Malmesbury, wat in die 1100's geskryf is, en verskyn later in talle ander middeleeuse en moderne bronne [2]. Volgens hierdie verhaal het Sweyn wraak op Æthelred gesweer en die veldtog geloods wat uiteindelik die Engelse koninkryk sou omverwerp. Dit is 'n edele verhaal, van wraak en vergelding, waar koning Æthelred 'n kranksinnige suiwering van burgerlikes beveel, 'n onskuldige Deense prinses vermoor word en haar broer die gekke koning Æthelred straf deur sy kroon te steel.

Hierdie wraakverhaal word so gereeld gebring dat dit in informele en ernstige werk voorkom. Die inskrywing van St. Brice's Day op Wikipedia, die eerste plek waar die meeste mense sal draai wanneer hulle die bloedbad ondersoek, het dit te sê oor die verhaal van Gunnhild se dood, Sweyn se reaksie en die skakel van die bloedbad met die Deense verowering (vanaf 13 November 2020):

Onder diegene wat vermoedelik vermoor is, is Gunhilde, wat moontlik die suster van Sweyn Forkbeard, die koning van Denemarke was ... Historici het die bloedbad oor die algemeen beskou as 'n politieke daad wat gehelp het om die inval van Sweyn in 1003 uit te lok ... Audrey MacDonald beskou dit as 'n aanleiding tot die aanslag wat uiteindelik het gelei tot die toetreding van Cnut in 1016.

Maar jy weet dat jou onderwysers vir jou gesê het om nooit Wikipedia te vertrou nie. Meer streng gewilde bronne soos Geskiedenis Vandag maak die Gunnhild -verhaal ook deel van hul verslae oor St. Brice's Day: "Een van die wat vermoor is in Oxford, blykbaar, was Gunnhild, die suster van Swein Forkbeard, wat laasgenoemde se vyandigheid onvermydelik verskerp het." Die skrywer se gebruik van blykbaar sê vir my dat hy ten minste 'n bietjie skepties is oor die verhaal, maar - miskien as gevolg van 'n stywe woordtelling - dit is al wat hy daaroor sê. Is Richard Cavendish, die skrywer van die stuk, iets besig? [3] Verdien die wraakverhaal van Gunnhild dit om op te neem soos dit so gereeld was, of sal dit onder die loep kom?

Dit blyk dat Cavendish verreweg die enigste skrywer is wat twyfel oor die verhaal uitgespreek het. Die meeste akademici is baie skepties oor die feit dat Sweyn se suster Gunnhild (as sy bestaan ​​het) tydens die slagting vermoor is, en selfs meer skepties as wat die bloedbad die Deense verowering 'gelei' of 'veroorsaak' het, wat meer as 'n dekade na St. Brice's Day gebeur het.

Byna alle geleerdes wat hierdie verhaal aanspreek, wys daarop dat dit eers baie later verskyn, wat natuurlik 'n groot staking daarteen is vanuit 'n historiese oogpunt. William van Malmesbury skryf meer as 'n eeu later, ondanks vroeëre bronne wat niks gesê het oor Gunnhild se dood of Sweyn se wraak nie [4]. As 'n historiese gebeurtenis wat met 'n goed bewys is, meer en meer spesifiek word met elke hervertelling, is dit 'n teken dat ons na 'n legende kyk eerder as na iets meer eenvoudig, veral as dit chronologie begin deurmekaar maak en vroeëre en beter bronne weerspreek. Maar ons sal daarby uitkom. Dit doen nie beteken dat William van Malmesbury self die verhaal opgemaak het, en dit beteken ook nie dat hy noodwendig die eerste persoon is wat beweer dat Gunnhild met Pallig getroud is nie, net dat hy die eerste is wat dit neergeskryf het. 'N Laat datum alleen is nie onoorkombaar nie, so ons moet nog 'n paar faktore bekyk voordat ons hierdie verhaal kan verwerp.

Gunnhild en Pallig: slagoffers van St. Brice's Day?

Die verband tussen St. Brice's Day en die Deense verowering, soos vertel deur William van Malmesbury, staan ​​of val op grond daarvan of ons dink Gunnhild en Pallig was die slagoffers van die bloedbad. Sonder hul dood het William van Malmesbury se bewering - dat die verowering grootliks deur 'n persoonlike vendetta veroorsaak is - niks om op te staan ​​nie. Dit is egter onduidelik of Gunnhild selfs bestaan ​​het. Levi Roach, in sy boek oor Æthelred, lys Gunnhild in sy indeks as die '(beweerde) suster van Swein Forkbeard' [5]. Ann Williams, een van die voorste kenners van Æthelred se bewind, noem Gunnhild in een van haar indekse die "veronderstelde" suster van Sweyn Forkbeard en bied een van die deeglikste ontslae van die verhaal. Sy sê dat "die slagting op St Brice's Day teen hierdie tyd 'n oes van halfwaarhede, verhale en legendes verkry het, waarvan sommige in die geskrifte verskyn van diegene wat graag die reeds grimmige reputasie van Æthelred wou verduister." Sy wys ook op hoe onduidelik die chronologie van William van Malmesbury is, aangesien hy Sweyn se inval in 1003 skynbaar kombineer met sy verowering van 1013. inval van 1013. Verder sien Ann Williams geen rede om Pallig die man van die moontlik fiktiewe Gunnhild te maak nie. Op grond van die ASC lyk dit asof Pallig in elk geval voor die slagting ontsnap het [6].

Roach wys ook daarop dat daar geen bewyse vir Gunnhild bestaan ​​voor hierdie verhaal nie [7]. Die veel vroeër ASC teken ook 'n byna konstante menigte van sluipmoorde, ballinge, ousters en verminkings aan wat Æthelred gelas het, veral teen edeles wat die koning verraai het. Pallig is egter nie een van hulle nie. Waarom sou die ASC kies om die grusame dood van hierdie spesifieke verraaier uit te laat as hy die dood van soveel ander noem? Die mees voor die hand liggende antwoord is dat Pallig nie in 1002 of 1013 in Engeland gesterf het nie, maar dat hy, net soos die ingang van die Chronicle in 1001 ons sou laat glo, weer by sy bondgenote aangesluit het en die diens van Æthelred heeltemal verlaat het. Pallig eenkant, moet ons hierdie verhaal nog steeds versoen met 'n onduidelike en deurmekaar volgorde van gebeure, geen bewyse vir Gunnhild se bestaan ​​voor die 12de eeu nie, en (verstaanbaar) skeptiese geleerdes. Die verhaal begin vinnig ontrafel.

Vir die doeleindes van hierdie berig beteken dit dat alle aannames wat uit hierdie verhaal volg - dat Sweyn wraak wou neem en Engeland sou binnedring as gevolg van sy suster se dood - ook begin verkrummel. As daar nie 'n Gunnhild is wat met Pallig getroud was nie (wat ook nie deur Æthelred gesterf het nie), waarom sou ons dan glo dat Sweyn binnegeval het om haar te wreek? En net so belangrik, hoekom die gaping van tien jaar tussen die inval in 1003 en Sweyn se werklike verowering in 1013? Miskien is dit die rede waarom William van Malmesbury die twee in wisselwerking bring-hy het probeer om sin te kry van die dekade lange onderbreking, terwyl hy steeds beweer het dat St. Brice's Day tot die Deense verowering gelei het. Hy kan Æthelred se elftal jaar te vroeg (1003) omverwerp of die bloedbad elf jaar te laat plaas (1013), wat nie maklik is om op te los nie. Soos Ann Williams voorgestel het, verwys die episode van Gunnhild en Pallig wat saam met al die ander Dene doodgemaak word, na 'n heel ander gebeurtenis as die St. Brice's Day -slagting. As ons hierdie roete volg, het ons dit nou twee slagtings in plaas van een, wat die verhaal van William van Malmesbury nog meer deurmekaar maak. Die eindresultaat is egter dieselfde, want ons sou nog steeds hê dat Sweyn sy verowering sou begin om sy suster te wreek. Daar is baie ander bisarre rasionalisasies wat u hier kan doen, maar ek dink dit sou 'n vrugtelose poging wees. Op 'n sekere tyd moet ons erken dat die verhaal nie meer as 'n ernstige geskiedenis geduur kan word nie, en dat geen geestelike gimnastiek dit kan red nie.

Hier moet ek egter stilstaan ​​en iets verduidelik. Selfs al was Sweyn se verowering van 1013 nie gemotiveer deur 'n begeerte om sy suster te wreek nie, was die St. Brice's Day -slagting nog steeds 'n motief vir sy aanvalle in 1003 [8]. Dit is moeilik om te dink dat Sweyn die nuus van Æthelred wat volksmoord op sy familielede gepleeg het, sou opgehaal het, maar dit sou een van die vele faktore gewees het wat Engeland as 'n doelwit aantreklik gemaak het. Sweyn sou ook gemotiveer gewees het deur die moontlikheid van plundering en huldeblyk. Hy het in elk geval sedert die 990's in Engeland toegeslaan.

Het St. Brice's Day die Deense verowering veroorsaak?

Dus nee, die Gunnhild-wraakverhaal hou nie ondersoek in nie, en as gevolg hiervan ook nie die insinuasie van William van Malmesbury dat die Deense verowering deur die St. Brice's Day-bloedbad veroorsaak is nie. Alhoewel baie geleerdes die Gunnhild -verhaal gekritiseer het, is dit nog erger as dit kom by die direkte verband tussen St. Brice's Day en die Deense verowering: die meeste akademici spreek dit nie eens aan nie, byna seker omdat die Gunnhild -verhaal eers afgeskryf is , die Deense veroweringsverbinding, soos aangevoer deur William van Malmesbury en ander, verbrokkel standaard. Dit is 'n boeiende legende, maar dit is tyd dat meer skrywers (nie net akademici nie) dit as net dit begin beskou - 'n legende. Behalwe as 'n amusante kantnota of geskiedskrywing, het dit geen werklike doel met die verhaal van die St. Brice's Day -bloedbad nie, en het dit ook nie iets te doen met die Deense verowering nie.

Middeleeuse feitekontrole:

En ten slotte, net vir die plesier, laat ons dit saamvat met 'n "middeleeuse feitekontrole" in Snopes-styl. Hier in die Verenigde State was ons politieke feitebesoekers besiger as ooit, en dit is waarskynlik die rede waarom hierdie idee by my opgekom het. Dit is seker eenvoudig, maar ek kan meer hiervan doen, afhangende van die ontvangs:

Die St. Brice's Day -slagting is in 1002 deur Æthelred II gelas: Akkuraat. Die ASC verskaf 'n baie vroeë verslag wat bevestig word deur 'n nog vroeër handves deur Æthelred. Daar is natuurlik ontelbare latere verhale oor die slagting, maar hierdie twee is verreweg die vroegste en waardevolste. Dit is so rotsvas soos dit kom.

Sweyn het 'n suster met die naam Gunnhild gehad: Onbekend. Die bron hiervan is so laat dat dit moeilik is om met sekerheid te weet. Ten gunste van Gunnhild is ek nie bewus van bronne wat haar identiteit heeltemal weerspreek nie (ja, glo dit of nie, dit gebeur wel met sommige middeleeuse bronne), wat my daarvan weerhou om dit as 'waarskynlik onakkuraat' te bestempel.

Pallig is dood tydens die St. Brice's Day -bloedbad: Waarskynlik onakkuraat. Pallig word by die naam in die ASC se inskrywings vir 1001 genoem, waar hy uit Æthelred se diens gaan. Hy herenig met sy ou vikingvriende in die inskrywing, maar daar is geen aanduiding dat hy in Engeland gebly het nie. Die ASC noem hom nie weer nie, al sou sy dood in die slagting (of later) relevant gewees het. Die ASC registreer Æthelred wat ander edeles regdeur die regering vermoor, verdryf of vermink het. Dit teken nie op dat hy Pallig straf nie. Slegs baie later bronne sê dat Pallig tydens die slagting vermoor is. Dit is baie meer waarskynlik dat Pallig weer by 'n groter vikingemag aangesluit het ná sy verraad.

Gunnhild is dood tydens die St. Brice's Day -bloedbad: Onbekend. Dit is nog 'n geval van 'ons weet nie'. Pallig is 'n bona fide historiese figuur wie se aktiwiteite in die ASC genoem word, maar Gunnhild bly 'n totale raaisel omdat daar geen vroeëre bronne is om die latere verhaal te verifieer of te weerspreek nie.

Sweyn se inval in 1003 is veroorsaak deur die slagting: Gedeeltelik akkuraat. Hoewel Sweyn waarskynlik nie die dood van sy (moontlik fiktiewe) suster wreek nie, sou die slagting nog 'n regverdiging vir 'n inval gewees het. Sweyn’s list of reasons would have been fairly long by this point: England is rich, I could win some tribute, I could gain more prestige, Æthelred is a madman, etc.

The massacre caused or led to the Danish Conquest : Probably inaccurate. While King Sweyn did return to raid England in 1003, England’s most formidable opponent in in late 1000s and early 1010s was not Sweyn, but Thorkell the Tall. Only after Thorkell had considerably weakened England did Sweyn return and conquer it in 1013. The decade-long gap between the massacre and the conquest, with several years where Sweyn wasn’t in England at all, is probably the nail in the coffin for this. Without the Gunnhild story to link the massacre to the conquest, things appear even more farfetched.

Sources and Notes

[1] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, edited and translated by Michael Swanton (J.M. Dent, 1998). For this post, I have directly quoted the passage about the massacre in the 1002 annal. The charter is quoted in the footnotes for 1002.

[2] William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum Anglorum: Volume 1: The History of the English Kings, edited and translated by R.A.B. Mynors, R.M. Thompson, and M. Winterbottom (Oxford: Claredon Press, 1998).

[3] Richard Cavendish, “The St Brice’s Day Massacre,” Geskiedenis Vandag 52, no. 11 (2002).

[4] Simon Keynes, The Diplomas of King Æthelred ‘the Unready’: A Study in Their Use as Historical Evidence (Cambridge University Press, 1980), 205.

[5] Levi Roach, Æthelred the Unready (Yale University Press, 2016), index.

[6] Ann Williams, Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counseled King (Hambledon and London, 2003), 53-54, index.


Parshat Vaetchanan — Power shift

Last week, I wrote about the US president who served the shortest time in office. This week I want to cross the Atlantic and go back several centuries to write about the English king who reigned for the shortest length of time — only 40 days.

His was only the second-shortest reign of any British monarch because Lady Jane Grey ruled England for nine days while imprisoned in the Tower of London. But her reign was contested and she was never actually crowned.

Sweyn Forkbeard was the first Viking king of England. He was crowned on December 25th, 1013 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, but died there only five weeks later, on February 3, 1014.

Though his rule over England was brief, his impact on British and European history was not insignificant. Since 986 he had been king of both Denmark and parts of Norway. Several times he sent longboats to attack England but they were bought off with gold (Daengold) and the marauders returned home, in what became a very lucrative business.

However, King Æthelred the Unready was called “unready” (originally “unraed” meaning ill-advised) for a reason. He eventually figured he had paid too much Danegold to keep the Vikings out of the country. So on St. Brice’s Day, November 13, 1002 he and his men massacred every Dane they found. Among them was possibly Sweyn’s sister Gunhilde.

After this Sweyn could not be bought off with English money, and for the next decade one viking raid after another gradually weakened the English.

According to the Peterborough Chronicle (a historical record of those years), in 1013 Sweyn headed to England for his final assault.

In August Sweyn landed with his fleet of ships and took one city after another until he came to London. There, Æthelred allied himself with a former viking raider named Thorkell the Tall and managed to defend the city for a short while, but eventually that also fell to Sweyn and Æthelred and his family fled the country.

Sweyn’s impact was also felt through his son, King Cnut (also known as Canute, Knut or Cnut the Great) who once famously described the futility of human action with the analogy of holding back the tide. This became, in popular memory, a story about Cnut actually trying to hold back the water.

After Sweyn’s death, Æthelred returned briefly as king, but then Cnut ruled England from 1016 until his death in 1035. He also ruled Denmark from 1018 and Norway from 1028. Cnut’s two sons, Harold Harefoot and Harthacnut ruled after him, but then the crown returned to the Anglo-Saxons until the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

After the deaths of Cnut’s sons, Sweyn’s line no longer ruled England, Denmark or Norway.

I want to look more at the idea of regal succession. How did Sweyn become king in the first place? Simple. He rebelled against his father, Harald Bluetooth, who was not only king of Denmark and later Norway, but also gave his name to one way our mobile phones communicate wirelessly. (Harald’s initials in runes are the origin of the modern symbol for bluetooth.)

In the mid-980s Sweyn ousted his father Harald, forcing him into exile where he died a few years later.

According to Adam of Bremen, a German, Christian medieval chronicler, the pagan Sweyn unseated his father because Harald had converted to Christianity. Or perhaps Sweyn seized on his father’s weakness, attacking him shortly after Harald had lost control of Norway. Either way, to paraphrase Simba, he just couldn’t wait to be king.

Throughout history the royal line has usually passed from father to son (or occasionally daughter and sometimes even to another relative when there were no children). Often, this was a peaceful transition. Occasionally, as in the case of Sweyn, there was a coup. The only times sovereignty ever passed to another family was when there were no close relatives, or if an outsider overthrew the monarch and seized power for himself.

I was unable to find a single case where the right to rule was passed peacefully and willingly to a non-relative if the king had children of his own.

Because we all grew up with the Bible stories, we fail to appreciate how unique the transition of power from Moses to Joshua actually was. Moses had two sons of his own who he had hoped would take over from him. Furthermore, not only was Joshua not related to Moses , but he was not even from the same tribe. Moses was a Levite, of the priestly class, a descendant of Levi, Jacob’s fourth son by Leah. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim, son of Jacob’s favorite — Joseph, Rachel’s son.

Only a few generations earlier, Jacob’s other sons had sold Joseph into slavery, claiming that he was trying to usurp the leadership from Leah’s son, Judah. Yet now Moses willingly handed the leadership over to Joshua at God’s command (Deuteronomy 3:28).

Command Joshua, strengthen and fortify him for he will cross over before this people and he will conquer for them the land that you see.

Not only did he willingly hand over leadership to Joshua, but according to the Midrash (Devarim Rabba 2:4) Moses would have gladly become one of Joshua’s subjects if he could only enter the land of Israel. Has there ever been another leader in history who pleaded for the right to become an ordinary subject under the rule of a leader from a different tribe?

That’s what I wanted to write about: Leadership — the contrast between King Sweyn deposing his father, and Moses gladly handing over his reign to Joshua.

But there is another theme alluded to in the Torah reading which may also have a loose connection to Sweyn.

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 90a) states that one who does not believe that the resurrection of the dead is written in the Torah will have no portion in the World to Come. One of the verses cited (Sanhedrin 90b) to prove the resurrection is from this week’s portion (Deuteronomy 4:4):

You who cling to the Lord, your God, are all of you alive today.

The Talmud interprets this to mean that just as you are alive today, so you shall be alive in the ultimate day of the World to Come.

How does this relate to King Sweyn Forkbeard? Well, nobody knows for sure how he died (though it was almost certainly according to natural causes).

But according to Archdeacon Hermann’s Miracles of St. Edmund, written in 1069, Sweyn was stabbed in his bed by St Edmund. Edmund had died almost 150 years earlier, in 869. According to the legend, when Sweyn began attacking villages in England, the locals ran to Edmund’s tomb and asked him to intercede. The spirit of Edmund then appeared to Sweyn in a dream and warned him of the dire consequences that would follow if he continued his attacks. The ghost of the saint was then temporarily resurrected after the coronation to deliver the punishment.

Another way in which Sweyn prepared for the afterlife comes from Encomium Emmae, an 11th century text written in praise of Emma, consort of both Æthelred and Cnut. According to the text, before his death Sweyn asked his son to carry his body back to Denmark and bury him there.

Roskilde Cathedral, in Zealand, Denmark, claims to be the burial place of both Sweyn and his father Harald Bluetooth.

But the ultimate irony of this story is how Sweyn’s royal line actually lived on. Despite the fact that Danish rule over Britain ended with Harthacnut, the current British Royal Family are actually descended from Sweyn.

In the 15th century Margaret of Denmark married James III of Scotland. James’s great-great grandson was James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England, and the ancestor of the British royal family.

So even after death we can live on through our children. And it is interesting to think that Queen Elizabeth II is a tiny bit Bluetooth.


4. Personality

Sweyn was a knowledgeable and open person, who did not neglect any opportunity to hear news from travelers. Adam reports: "Like all his guests, I was very graciously received, and from his mouth I have gathered a large part of this book's content. For he possessed a thorough scientific education, and was also extremely accommodating to foreigners."

Detail of mural at Sweyn Estridson's grave in Roskilde Cathedral. It is painted several hundred years after his death and have with great certaincy no likeness.

The saga of Magnus the Good says something similar: "Sweyn Ulvson was the most beautiful man He was very big and strong, a great athlete and very clever It was the speech of all men, who knew him that he had all the qualities that adorn a good chieftain."

Saxo also says that Sweyn was a kind and generous man: "While winning a famous name by generosity and kindness and considered to be perfect in respect of noble behaviour, he also made an enthusiastic effort to build and decorate churches and guide his people, who were still quite uninformed in religion, to a deeper worship of God."

Sweyn was intelligent and knowledgeable. He could probably read and write. None other than Pope Gregory the 7. wrote in a letter to him: "But as we have understood that you, noble and high king, distinguishs yourself over other kingdom's princes both with academic knowledge and in your zeal for church beautifying, we address with so much more confidence our letter to you, who we believe that we easier progress with you, the more you are known to have made progress in learning and wisdom of life."

Sweyn's literacy is confirmed by Saxo in the episode, where some students making fun of Sven's favorite, Svend Normand, had removed some letters from a prayer book, so that "servant of God" had become to "God's donkey", which the victim unwittingly read aloud in latin: "A servant is in latin called famulus, and now they had deleted the first two letters, so there stood mulus, which means a donkey. Those present burst into such an immense laughter at this his ignorance that the worship service was turned into a joke by this coarse joke. When the mass was over, the king had the book taken from the altar, and when he saw that it recently had been forged by envious hands, and that it was this forgery, that caused that the prayer had been read erroneously, he became angry."

Sweyn Estridson and bishop Wilhelm. Saxo brings the story of the close friendship between Sweyn and Bishop Wilhelm. Bishop Vilhelm once stopped King Sweym at the entrance to the church and forced him to a humiliating penance, because he had let some men kill in the church but the friendship between them was nevertheless so strong that William by the message of Sweyn's death let dig a grave to himself next to the grave of the king, thereafter he went to meet the burial procession and died as it approached. Probably, none of the stories are true.

Some historians have suggested that as the younger son of the murdered and disgraced Ulf Jarl it was originally planned that Sweyn should have an ecclesiastical career. It will explain his great knowledge and his literacy skills. We can only congratulate Sweyn that it did not materialize with his great appetite for women it would have been unbearable to live a life of celibacy.

There is no doubt that Sweyn himself was convinced Christian. It was not something he pretended to win the newly converted Danes' hearts in competition with the holy Magnus, the saint king's son. Harald Hårderådes Saga says that after the battle of Lofofjord the victorious Norwegians found a reliquary on Sweyn's ship: "In the aft end of King Svend's ship they found a shrine with the holy Vicentii Diaconi sanctuary and brought it with them." But even though he was a convinced Christian, he was not so unwise to demand of his people that they should pay tithing, as he his son, Canute the Holy, later did - with fatal consequences for himself.

Although Sweyn lost most of his battles - but won the wars - he was personally courageous. Harald Hårderådes Saga recounts that Sweyn and Harald met in battle in Lofofjord (which reportedly is also called Lagefjord), probably located somewhere in southern Halland: "King Svend did not flee before his ship was completely cleared".

Brave Svend not without cause
Left his ship in battle,
Surely that time high helmets
The hard iron has split,
For before the king fled,
The Jutlanders protector
So completely left to swim
His navy, retainers death.

Hakon Earl speaks with Vanråd. Drawing by Wilhelm Wetlesen in Heimskringla Nationaludgaven.

The Norwegians won the battle, and King Harald pursued the fleeing Danes. The Norwegian Hakon Jarl, however, remained on the place of the battle as he could not sail because of the damaged ships: "Then a man rowed to the Earl's ship in a boat and docked at the ships side It was a tall man with a wide-brimmed and big hat on his head" - "Where is the earl?" hy het gesê. The earl stood in th fore end room, and stopped a man's blood He looked at the man with the hat and asked about his name "It is Vanråd, here is," he said." - "The earl bowed over the shipboard to him, and the man in the boat said: "I will ask you about my life, Earl, if you will grant it to me." Hakon Jarl stood up, and called two men, whom he loved very much, and asked them to bring the man to the land "Vanråd has proven me very well," sagde han, "follow him to my friend Karl, and say this as a sign that it is me, who sends him, that he should give the horse, that I gave him the day before yesterday and his saddle and give him his son to show the way." - "This happened early in the daybreak."

Harald Hårderåde's Saga continues: "Then they went up to Karl's farm It started to become daylight, they went into the living room, where Karl just had been dressed was The earl's men told him their errand, Karl said that they should eat first, he let the table be set and offered them a hand wash. Then the wife in the house came into the room and said immediately: "It is strange that we have not been able to sleep or rest in the night for a moment because of of shouting and roaring." Karl said: "Do you not know that the kings have met in battle in the night?" "Who then got the upper hand?" she said. "The Norwegians have won," said Karl. She answered: "Then our king again had to flee." "There is no one who knows," Karl said, "whether he has fallen or fled." She said: "Some wretches we are, for the king we have, who is both lame and cowardly." The newly arrived guest said: "Let's rather believe what is more decent, my dear! That the king is not a fool, but he is not very victorious." Vanråd washed his hands, and when he took the towel, he dried himself in the middle of the same The woman grabbed the towel and tore it from him, and said: "A poor upbringing you've got, it is not good behaviour to make the whole hand cloth wet at once." Vanråd answered: "Yet again, I hope if God's will to live the day that we can dry ourselves in the middle of the towel." They sat down and ate and drank a while, and then left Karl's horse was then prepared, and his son prepared to accompany Vanråd, he had another horse they rode into the woods, but Hakon Jarl's men went down to the boat and rowed out to the Earl's ship."

Vanråd was Sweyn Estridson. Hakon Jarl had previously been King Sveyen's man, and he immediately recognized him and helped him to the forest. Sweyn rewarded the peasant Karl.

The name Vanråd mean literally bad advice and reveals a certain self-knowledge and self-irony. Perhaps he thought his plan had not been good enough to win the battle. It also reflects responsibility, as he did not blame others for the defeat.

"In the morning when the sun rose, they saw the Danes' ships" . Drawing by Wilhelm Wetlesen i Heimskringla National udgaven.

Alter plate from Tamdrup Church at Horsens exhibited at the National Museum. Christ sits on his heavenly throne with the holy book in his left hand. On his right side is a person in a worldly suit and on his left side a person with crown and headscarf, in worshiping position. It is assumed that they are Sweyn Estridson and his mother. Photo Kim Bach Wikipedia.

A more hard-boiled commander might have thought that if he really could lay hand on Harald Hårderåde, then it would in the long run save more lives than the few who swimmed around in the sea of Kattegat. But Sweyn was soft-hearted and could not sail past his countrymen in distress.

Harald Hårderådes Saga continues to describe Sweyn's soft-heartedness: "King Sweyn returned with his fleet to the south near Læsø, and found there seven Norwegian ships, which were manned by conscripts and peasants from Viken they asked for peace, and offered ransom for themselves. Many asked King Sweyn to have them killed, and said that all Norwegians should suffer for what King Harald had done. King Sweyn answered: "Only little desirable I find it in my destiny to miss the victory in the battle, and then to treat them badly, who themselves surrendered to my mercy since now that major victory escaped our grasp, so we bestow these freedom and life."


Keeping Vinland settled

Well, Portugal will be preoccupied with the Reconquista well into the middle of the 13th century, giving the Norse a de facto monopoly on Transatlantic trade for more than 200 years. Once they've finished fighting the Morisco, they'll still need a couple of decades to make their nation internally stable and economically capable of supporting such ambitious ventures. Still, with the motivation there, it is highly likely that the Portuguese Age of Exploration can begin well over a century before what in OTL was the time of Henry the Navigator. Portuguese sailors will probably reach the Caribbeans before the year is even 1350. I expect to see a hostile reaction from Vinland, Iceland and the Scandinavian countries when their monopoly on Transatlantic trade is finally toppled by the Portuguese.

However, such projections still doesn't take into account the Black Death, Turkish invasions into Eastern Europe and the Mongol invasions. Will they be the same ITTL as in OTL? I will have to go through the events each in order to see the full consequences of what the non-conversion of Olaf Tryggvason will be. we have already concluded that it will radically change Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English and Scottish history. What happens when the ripples of this reaches middle and southern Europe remains to be seen.

Dan1988

Byzantine

For Irish colonization efforts, much would depend on the policies pursued by the two major High Kings of Ireland at the time of Vindland's discovery:

*Máel Sechnaill II mac Domnaill/Malachy II, son of Domnall (Donald) (c. 950-1022, reigned 980-1002, 1014-1022). His victory in the Battle of Tara (1980) resulted in the Kingdom of Dublin (a Norse-Gaelic state) falling under the political influence of the various High-Kings. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tara_(Ireland) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Dublin
*Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig/Brian Boru (c. 940-1014, reigned 1002-1014). His victory in the Battle of Clontarf (1014) left the Kingdom of Dublin once again unable to achieve full independence and deprived of their allies. In 1018, the Dubliners sacked Kells but this was their last victory for quite a while. Their fleet was destroyed by the Ulaid in 1022. Dublin briefly recovered its influence in the 1030s, when they allied with Canute the Great for combined attacks against the various Welsh states. They managed to create a Norse-Gael colony at Gwynedd. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Clontarf and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigtrygg_Silkbeard

For Scotland, the discovery of Vinland falls in the reign of Cináed III mac Duib/Kenneth III, son of Dub (prior to 967 -1005, reigned 997-1005) who is something of a mystery. His father was king in the 960s, but it is uncertain how Kenneth himself gained the throne. While his predecessor Constantine III was reportedly killed in a civil conflict, it is uncertain whether Kenneth was even involved in that conflict. He was himself killed in a battle against his cousin Malcolm II, which might suggest that the civil war was still ongoing for his entire reign. A granddaughter of Kenneth, Gruoch, was married to Macbeth, King of Scotland (reigned 1040-1057). Her son Lulach succeeded to the throne, reigning briefly (1057-1058). See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_III_of_Scotland and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_II_of_Scotland

For Scottish colonization, you might need to produce your own theories on the internal situation of Scotland/Alba.

England was at the time under the reign of Aethelred II the Unready (c. 965-1016, reigned 978-1013, 1014-1016) and under the constant threat of Denmark. "In 1001, a Danish fleet – perhaps the same fleet from 1000 – returned and ravaged west Sussex. During its movements, the fleet regularly returned to its base in the Isle of Wight. There was later an attempted attack in the south of Devon, though the English mounted a successful defence at Exeter. Nevertheless, Æthelred must have felt at a loss, and, in the Spring of 1002, the English bought a truce for 24,000 pounds. Æthelred's frequent payments of immense Danegelds are often held up as exemplary of the incompetency of his government and his own short-sightedness. However, Keynes points out that such payments had been practice for at least a century, and had been adopted by Alfred the Great, Charles the Bald, and many others. Indeed, in some cases it "may have seemed the best available way of protecting the people against loss of life, shelter, livestock, and crops. Though undeniably burdensome, it constituted a measure for which the king could rely on widespread support." "See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Æthelred_the_Unready#Conflict_with_the_Danes

In 1002, Aethelred elevated himself to the top of the list among Sweyn Forkbeard's many enemies. Through the St. Brice's Day massacre. "On 13 November 1002, Æthelred ordered the massacre of all Danish men in England on St Brice's Day. No order of this kind could be carried out in more than a third of England, where the Danes were too strong, but Gunhilde, sister of Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark, was said to have been among the victims. It is likely that a wish to avenge her was a principal motive for Sweyn's invasion of western England the following year. By 1004 Sweyn was in East Anglia, where he sacked Norwich. In this year, a nobleman of East Anglia, Ulfcytel Snillingr met Sweyn in force, and made an impression on the until-then rampant Danish expedition. Though Ulfcytel was eventually defeated, outside of Thetford, he caused the Danes heavy losses and was nearly able to destroy their ships. The Danish army left England for Denmark in 1005, perhaps because of their injuries sustained in East Anglia, perhaps from the very severe famine which afflicted the continent and the British Isles in that year."

I can see a good motivation for English subjects to leave Great Britain, but on their own initiative. Aethelred is not going to like England loosing population while he is in desperate need of more soldiers.

Henriksson

Byzantine

Finnish paganism may have been distinct from Aesir and Vanir worship, but some distinct similarities have been noted. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_paganism

For example, their chief deity seems to have been Ukko/Perkele, God of the Sky. Who seems to be, in either incarnation, another of the Thunder Gods/Storm Gods whose worship was so wide-spread in the Old World that certain myths appear in variations anywhere from Ireland and to India, from Scandinavia to Egypt. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukko and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perkele and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_thunder_gods

Ukko is often depicted wielding Ukonvasara (Ukko's Hammer). An equivalent to the Mjölnir from Scandinavian mythology. Which suggests there was some connection between the worships and legends of Ukko and Thor. Conversely, Ukko's worshippers used the stone-axe as a symbol. There are references in Scandinavian legend where Mjölnir is depicted as an axe. Suggesting that the influence worked both ways. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukonvasara and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mjölnir

Further to the east, the Baltic thunder god Perkūnas/Pērkons/Perkūns/Parkuns is often depicted as wielding either an axe or a sledgehammer. The Slavic thunder god Perun was also depicted wielding the Axe of Perun. Less oftenly, the Axe is turned into a hammer. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perkūnas and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perun and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axe_of_Perun

To the north, we have the Sami thunder godf Horagalles. "Horagalles was occasionally symbolized with a sledge in one hand and a cross-hammer in the other. Sometimes he was depicted with two crossed hammers." See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horagalles

I would expect religious syncretism to result from pagans from these different regions settling together in a new environment. With various roughly similar deities now clearly identified with each other. Wonder what they would make of the Thunderbird legends of the natives.

Makemakean

The butterflies could, I dunno, result in some Pan-Scandinavian alliance invading the Rus', sometime in the late 11th century, and driving the Russians further eastward, forcing them to adopt a new way of living, say nomadic. Have them continue further eastward, looking for new land, and have them reach Mongolia before Genghis Khan have unified the tribes (or even been born) and perhaps rather than having stories of the Mongol invasion of Europe, we have stories of the Russian invasion of Asia? Stories about the Russian siege of Kaifeng and the sacking of Zhongdu, with the merciless and barbaric Russians under the leadership of powerful warlords who title themselves as Knyaz.

Extremely handwavey, I'll admit, and probably won't survive closer scrutiny, but the best I can come up for now.

Considering how soon after the POD this massacre occurs, it would be pretty much impossible for this to be prevented. Æthelred will still become Sweyn's most hated enemy.

Sweyn's English business becomes more interesting later on. In 1013, OTL, he invades and is crowned king of England after having taken London. In 1014, Sweyn suddenly dies, an opportunity which exiled king Æthelred have no desire to miss, and he quickly returns to England to assume the crown, driving Canute out in the process. Canute returns to Denmark, gathers a fleet and conquers England for Denmark again the following year.

ITTL, Canute wasn't born nor his brother Harald. Assuming that Sweyn never found another consort, Denmark may well fall into a civil war over the throne. How the Norwegian and Swedish Crowns will react to this will be interesting to see. Preoccupied with a civil war, Denmark will not conquer England a second time, and Æthelred gets to continue his rule. In OTL, Æthelred dies in 1016, and I can't find information on the cause of his death. However, his sons, Edmund, Edward and Alfred are all still alive, and can continue to rule in England. Things get a bit annoying when Edmund (Ironside) dies less than a year after his father, and I can't seem to find any solid information on his death. According to some sources, his death was completely unexpected but out of natural causes. According to others, he was assassinated by orders of Canute. Most sources doesn't even mention the cause of his death, only the date at which it occurred. Anyone willing to help me?

In any case, if Æthelred's sons can continue to rule without the constant threat of a Danish invasion on them, then they might produce more heirs, thus avoiding the situation where England lacks an heir to the throne that happened in the 1060s. If so, then William of Normandy will have no reason to claim the English throne, averting the Norman invasion of 1066. For example, Edward the Confessor married Edith of Wessex to formalize an alliance between himself and Godwin of Wessex, the most powerful earl in England, who had supported Edward's ascent to the throne. Without any such support being necessary, it is likely that Edward choses a different consort and thus produces an heir to the throne.

As for Ireland and Scotland. Considering how extremely slow information travels in the 11th century, Vinland itself will probably remain known only to Icelanders and Greenlanders for at least a couple of year, eventually Norwegians, and through them Danes and Swedes will find out about it. The British Isles, with its nations often visited by Norsemen will probably be the next ones to find out about it, but probably not before a decade has gone through, and they will first seriously consider the place as something worth thinking about a couple of decades after that.

Finally, iron ore is good, very good, then mining on a smaller scale is only a few decades away!

The butterflies could, I dunno, result in some Pan-Scandinavian alliance invading the Rus', sometime in the late 11th century, and driving the Russians further eastward, forcing them to adopt a new way of living, say nomadic. Have them continue further eastward, looking for new land, and have them reach Mongolia before Genghis Khan have unified the tribes (or even been born) and perhaps rather than having stories of the Mongol invasion of Europe, we have stories of the Russian invasion of Asia? Stories about the Russian siege of Kaifeng and the sacking of Zhongdu, with the merciless and barbaric Russians under the leadership of powerful warlords who title themselves as Knyaz.

Extremely handwavey, I'll admit, and probably won't survive closer scrutiny, but the best I can come up for now.

Late 11th c., as in coinciding with the Cuman invasions?

Well, either Russia's screwed from both sides, or the Scandinavians get to discover what combat with steppe cavalry is like if the Russians ally with the Cumans (which they did against each other let alone Scandinavians). With the single exception of Svyatoslav who's a bit of a nuanced Varangian, history suggests the result won't be in the Scandinavian favour even if they brought every fighting man in the Baltic.


Erfenis [wysig]

One of the legacies of King Sweyn was a fundamental change in Danish society which had been based on whether a person was free or a bondsman. Sweyn is often considered to be Denmark's last Viking king as well as the first medieval one. A strengthened church in alliance with the land-owning noble families begin to pit their power against the royal family. The peasants were left to fend for themselves. ⎜ ]

Sweyn built a strong foundation for royal power through cooperation with the church. He completed the final partition of Denmark into dioceses by corresponding directly with the pope, bypassing the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. During his reign hundreds of small wooden churches were built throughout the kingdom many were rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. Δ] Sweyn sought to create a Nordic Archbishopric under Danish rule, a feat which his son Eric I accomplished. ⎙ ]

Sweyn seems to have been able to read and write, and was described as an especially educated monarch by his personal friend Pope Gregory VII. ⎙] He is the source of much of our current knowledge about Denmark and Sweden in the 9th and 10th centuries, having told the story of his ancestry to historian Adam of Bremen around 1070.


991–1002: The First Struggles and Solutions

The First Danegeld

Six months after the treaty, though, the Vikings start raiding England again. They begin in Folkestone, and make their way via Sandwich and Ipswich to Maldon. The Battle of Maldon in late summer of 991 seems insignificant enough. But its outcome clearly tells Æthelred who his foes are. The two unlikely allies called Olaf Tryggvason and Sweyn Haraldsson. Both are Scandinavian princes seeking the crown of their respective countries, Norway and Denmark. After Maldon, they leave with a good amount of danegeld 17 and a message to keep away for good. But they stay to haunt southern England. 18 The danegeld is raised mainly by tributes, 19 and Æthelred uses all he has to buy himself time to build an army that can defeat Olaf and Sweyn.

The First of Many Betrayals

Remarkably, Æthelred never asserts himself as a military leader. Most of the time, he leaves the command to Ælfric of Hampshire and other noblemen. 20 Yet, he builds a large fleet and infantry by 992. He is determined trap Olaf and Sweyn in London and defeat them. Unfortunately, Ælfric is disloyal and flees the city. In the process, he leaves the door open for the Vikings to escape. 21

The raids continue. The Vikings know they have high-born allies to help them to get easy money. Consequently, the attacks increase in force and ferocity. So much, that even Anglo-Saxon commanders flee the battleground in Northumbria in 993, leaving Æthelred weakened once more. 22

Divide and Conquer

Two years later in 994, the citizens of London must defend their city again. This time, though, Æthelred has not had the time to raise another army. The city successfully defends itself, but Olaf and Sweyn take their anger to the countryside and devastate it until Æthelred offers them a winter camp at Southampton to make them stop. 23

Æthelred then makes a calculated move and offers the Vikings a treaty known as II Aethelred. Sweyn’s signature is not on this treaty, but Olaf’s is. 24 The treaty is the start of a strong alliance between Æthelred and Olaf. Æthelred supports Olaf with money and means to return to Norway and claim the throne. After 995, Olaf and Sweyn both disappear from England, both heading home to claim their thrones. They will not bother Æthelred as they fight each other for land and crown, that culminates in the Battle of the Svold in 1000 where Olaf dies. 25

Assertive

Despite Olaf and Sweyn leaving England, the raids continue. Again, Æthelred raises an army. He has relied on the tributes, but it is easy to see how England’s wealth might have been depleted with years of relentless attacks and devastation of towns, the raising of multiple armies and defences. 26 He is clearly less inclined to sit back and wait. Instead, he lays waste on areas in England where Vikings are and then moves to invade Normandy. 27

Richard II, the new duke and son of Richard I, stops the invasion by defeating the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Val-de-Saire. He and Æthelred sign a new treaty. To secure a stronger and more lasting peace, Æthelred marries Richard’s sister, Emma of Normandy, in 1002 after the death of his first wife. 28 This marriage will be William the Conqueror’s claim to the English throne in 1066.

Æthelred continues this assertive kingship upon his return. He orders the death of Scandinavian criminals and outlaws in England. 29 What should have been a small, clean killing spree, turns into a death pool. On St Brice’s Day the English kill any Scandinavian they come across. And the one significant person said to have died on this day, is Sweyn Forkbeard’s sister. 30


Notas

  • English Monarchs – A complete history of the Kings and Queens of England
  • Britannia: Monarchs of Britain
  • Archontology
  • Kings of England
  • Æthelstan
  • Edmund I
  • Ereded
  • Eadwig
  • Edgar the Peaceful
  • Edward the Martyr
  • Æthelred the Unready
  • Sweyn Vurkbaard
  • Edmund Ironside
  • Cnut the Great
  • Harold Harefoot
  • Harthacnut
  • Edward the Confessor
  • Harold Godwinson
  • Edgar the Ætheling
  • William I
  • Willem II
  • Henry I
  • Stephen
  • Matilda
  • Henry II
  • Henry the Young King
  • Richard I
  • John
  • Henry III
  • Edward I
  • Edward II
  • Edward III
  • Richard II
  • Hendrik IV
  • Henry V.
  • Henry VI
  • Edward IV
  • Edward V
  • Richard III
  • Henry VII
  • Henry VIII
  • Edward VI
  • Jane
  • Mary IenPhilip
  • Elizabeth I
  • Kenneth I MacAlpin
  • Donald I
  • Constantine I
  • Áed
  • Giric
  • Eochaid
  • Donald II
  • Constantine II
  • Malcolm I
  • Indulf
  • Dub
  • Cuilén
  • Amlaíb
  • Kenneth II
  • Constantine III
  • Kenneth III
  • Malcolm II
  • Duncan I
  • Macbeth
  • Lulach
  • Malcolm III Canmore
  • Donald III
  • Duncan II
  • Donald III
  • Edgar
  • Alexander I
  • David ek
  • Malcolm IV
  • William I
  • Alexander II
  • Alexander III
  • Margaret
  • First Interregnum
  • John
  • Second Interregnum
  • Robert I
  • David II
  • Edward
  • Robert II
  • Robert III
  • James ek
  • James II
  • James III
  • James IV
  • James V
  • Mary I
  • James VI
  • Anne
  • George I
  • George II
  • George III
  • George IV
  • William IV
  • Victoria
  • Edward VII
  • George V
  • Edward VIII
  • George VI
  • Elizabeth II
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